Village of South Blooming Grove Takes KJ Shuttle Bus To Court
By Edie Johnson
After a month of resident dissatisfaction over a new “Blooming Grove Shuttle Bus” running between the Village of South Blooming Grove and Kiryas Joel, officials put their foot down on the bus operations which they said were not in compliance with the stipulations that had been agreed upon. The earlier temporary approval, which many felt had been a rather significant offering to the new residents had stipulated that there was to be only one bus driver and only 10 particular stops to be made. The shuttle bus was being requested since most of the Hasidic women do not drive. The bus was said to not only have broken the stipulations, but has continued operating after they were told to stop. After stop work injunctions were filed with no effect, village attorney, Joe McKay said on Monday, February 11, the village had just filed litigation at the Orange County Supreme Court. Mayor Jim LoFranco allowed discussion by the residents who were present, but said he could not comment on an ongoing litigation.
About 8 gentlemen from the Hasidic Peace and Justice Coalition attended the meeting, and their Rabbi Joel Loeb emphasized that he and others who had moved into Blooming Grove are very happy with the new country atmosphere and have absolutely no desire to do anything that would harm it, including that they are against any new high density housing in the community. He added that he has met numerous times both with his neighbors who are Hasidic, and with those who are not. He and some of his Peace and Justice group has discussed items of concern with both sides and hopes that as new members of the community become better educated about the village’s rules, there will be better understanding between them. His efforts have already brought some results as could be seen when some of the longstanding village residents chatted back and forth with them, and even shared a few moments of laughter.
Brown Water Solution May Be In Sight Via A Grant
The Village of South Blooming Grove has been plagued for years by instances of brown water because of broken pipes. Many of the underground pipes date back to the 1970’s, and while numerous repairs have been done in the past 8-10 years, there are new breaks every few weeks, particularly during the winter with its temperature changes that cause expansion and contraction. Replacement of the lines all at once would be cost-prohibitive. But a reasonable solution would be to add a filtration system before the water goes into the main water tank. That way the supply would not be spoiled for all of the neighboring streets.
Village officials are scheduled to meet this week with Senator James Skoufis to get an update on a grant that was begun by Senator Larkin.
The grant would be used toward the $1.3 M filtration that could largely solve the problem and the frustration of residents who have had enough of looking at nasty brown stuff coming out of their sink and tub faucets. Given the many millions that their neighbors in Kiryas Joel have received for water infrastructure, residents say they think it’s only fair.
(Photo by Edie Johnson)