Monroe town digest

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:36

    MONROE - Here’s a summary of items in and around the Town of Monroe: Freeland Street bridge expected to open today Save the date: Aug, 20. At approximately 2:30 p.m., the barriers will be taken down to allow vehicular and pedestrian traffic to once again cross the Freeland Street bridge. The bridge is a major route between Larkin Drive, North Main Street and Route 17M. Orange County Principal Engineer Ron Meyer, said a ceremony will take place at a later date. “We just want to open the new 125 foot-long - 35 foot-wide superstructure to traffic,” Meyer said. “The opening date is contingent that there is no equipment breakdown.” The public was advised the bridge closing would be for a three-month period. It went over by about two weeks which started getting locals antsy . Meyer said there was no specific reason for the delay. Construction to re-build the 1940’s structure began in April. That prompted Monroe-Woodbury’ school officials to re-route about 100 school buses that cross the bridge each school day. Meyer said the work involved replacing the steel stringers and concrete deck with pre-cast, pre-stressed concrete voided slabs. It also included new sidewalks and bridge railings. No two ways about it After years of haggling between Monroe and Harriman officials over what to do with Bailey Farm Road, the town of Monroe has made its final decision: Make it a two-way street for vehicular traffic. Not so fast, says Harriman Mayor Steven Welle. “The last 280 feet of the road is in the village of Harriman,” the mayor said. “The village board is emphatic - the road will be open one-way only - in the direction of Larkin Drive. “There is no wavering on this matter,” Welle added. ‘We have had two joint public meetings and nobody was in favor of the two-way street for various reasons.’ The mayor said the village opposes the two-way option because of the influx of traffic into the village and “ for the safety of the area children.” Bailey Farm Road, which houses a 198-unit condominium complex, had been an undedicated road until Monday’s town board meeting. The developer had met all the conditions imposed by the planning board last year which allows the road to be maintained and opened to the general public. But neither municipality could come to a mutual agreement and the road continues to be closed. The one-way option offered by Harriman would make drivers coming from Monroe turn off River Road toward the Ridgewood Plumbing building and continue on Melody Lane past the Meadow Glen condos to the Target site on Larkin Drive. But, as long as Monroe wants the two-way option, drivers won’t get very far. Welle said Harriman will make it a dead-end at their village line. And, motorists will continue to drive out onto Route 17, sit at the three-way traffic light and then merge with the southbound traffic onto Larkin Drive. When making the final decision, Monroe Town Supervisor Sandy Leonard said, “They will do what they are going to do.” In other business at Monday’s town board meeting: $6.8 million previously tax exempt properties in the town of Monroe are now back on the tax rolls. The town is in the middle of a major overhaul of its residential and commercial assessments. The town does expect some of the property owners to challenge their new assessments. A proposal by Zigmund Brach to annex 12.8 acres into the town of Monroe from the town of Woodbury will be the subject of a joint public hearing Sept. 13 at the Woodbury Town Hall in Highland Mills. As of Jan. 1, 2011, residents in the Lakeside Fire Company district will call the Monroe Volunteer Ambulance Corps for all medical calls instead of the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). The change is a result of the newly formed Monroe Joint Fire District. Dark clouds of dust kicked up by the excavation of dirt moved around at the Quick Check site on Route 17M had Supervisor Sandy Leonard “up in arms.” Residents complained they were having trouble breathing because of the polluted air. A water control tanker was finally brought in to dampen the problem. It was brought to the board’s attention that a large parking lot, part of a girls’ school to be built on Forest Road, is in the right of way of the proposed Larkin Drive extension. Glenwood Partners is proposing a 20,000-square foot school to be built on a seven-acre parcel bordering the Quickway. Glenwood represents a dissident group from the Village of Kiryas Joel.