By Mark Gerlach
Local municipalities shared their top agenda items and goals for the coming year.
Supervisor Robert Fromaget said his top priorities are implementing the town’s new ward voting system, reducing taxes and updating the town’s comprehensive plan. He sent the following note to the O.C. Post-Sentinel.
“My three top priorities are:
1. Complete the implementation of the ward system as proposed by the Wards Oversight Committee with minor modifications by the town board.
2. Establish a (Blooming Grove) Citizens’ Committee to look into reducing the cost of doing business with the hopes of reducing taxes and/or reducing the cost of town government.
3. Establish a comprehensive plan focus group to work with our consultant to update the comprehensive plan.
In addition, I am working with Orange County Planning to acquire an additional Dial-A-Bus for our community. Since we have created our own program, the participation is growing and we need a new bus to support the changes that we have introduced in 2017. We are introducing a bus to travel the town one or two days a week with predetermined bus stops to include senior housing and other locations as identified by the residents. The destination within town will include shopping locations throughout the town. The idea is to provide more foot traffic into the town business areas.”
City of Newburgh
The City of Newburgh has its sights set on safety, economic development and education, Mayor Judy Kennedy said.
“Economic development is extremely important because of the downstream effect that it has on the quality of life for our citizens. When businesses succeed then people have jobs which then reduces the amount of crime in the city,” Kennedy said. “That creates a safer environment and encourages more businesses and families to live in the City of Newburgh. This reduces the vacant and abandon buildings which builds the tax base and further reduces crime and property taxes. This effort will help people stay in their current home.”
“As you can see economic development and safety are very closely tied,” Kennedy continued. “In addition to these two issues we need to continue working with all (of) our educational systems to increase the graduation rate and the education level of our population. This is another factor in improving the quality of life for our people.”
Town of Cornwall
The Town of Cornwall will appoint Comprehensive Plan Committee members in January, according to Supervisor Richard Randazzo. The committee will review and update the town’s comprehensive plan, which “helps create a vision” for the community, Randazzo said.
Cornwall will also upgrade its sewer plant, and hopes to get work out to bid early in the year on the multi-million dollar project and underway by this summer.
Pertaining to environmental concerns, Cornwall will monitor any potential impacts from Kiryas Joel’s wells in Mountainville on private wells and the Woodbury Creek. Randazzo vows to be “vigilant” of the Pilgrim Pipeline project. The Pilgrim Pipeline company has proposed constructing two 169-mile pipelines that would carry oil and petroleum from Albany to Linden, N.J. The pipeline would run through several local municipalities, including Cornwall. “It’s a major concern,” Randazzo said. Cornwall is opposed to the anchorage of oil barges in the Hudson River. Randazzo called the barges “detrimental” to the environment, and Cornwall will monitor them, he said.
Town of Newburgh
Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said the Town of Newburgh’s 2017 goals include the following list:
1. Keep the tax rate down without cutting services to the taxpayer.
2. See the Loop property developed as a shopping center (see pg. 3).
3. Update and improve the town’s infrastructure.
4. For the town to know its emergency services are always second to none.
A big item on the Town of New Windsor’s 2017 agenda is completing its switch to an alternative, independent water supply, so the town no longer has to purchase water from New York City. New Windsor is installing three wells at Butter Hill. The town hopes to have the project near completion in 2017, Supervisor George Green said. It’s no. 1. on the town’s agenda, said Green. Ground will break this spring.
Another smaller project on the town’s radar includes expanding the Community Center’s parking lot. New Windsor has acquired approximately three acres behind town hall. The valuable piece of property was given to the town last summer by New Windsor Business Park owner Jon Miller, according to Green.
“I look forward to 2017,” he said.