J'nelle AgeeNov 7, 2017, 4:16 pmNov 7, 2017, 5:17 pm

Fate of new town in the hands of voters

The Village of Kiryas Joel seeks to separate from the Town of Monroe

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MONROE — Voters are deciding on the crucial vote that will affect the Town of Monroe. The vote will end a four-year battle, possibly giving the Village of Kiryas Joel control over their own town with the proposed name “Town of Palm Tree.”

Residents say they are for the separation.

"I'm in favor of separating them into two towns; I think it will alleviate a lot of the burden for the Monroe residents," says Monroe resident Constance Caso.

The vote will also allow the Village of Kiryas Joel to inherit 56 additional acres from Monroe.

If the proposition goes through, the Town of Palm Tree will be the first new town in New York in 35 years.

Officials say the separation could cause an increase in taxes.

One local accounting firm is reporting the town could lose around $2 million in property and mortgage taxes and other revenues and save about $168,000, for a net loss of $1.9 million.

Sample ballots were handed out at voting locations in both Monroe and Kiryas Joel encouraging residents to vote in approval for the separation proposal.

If the vote passes, the Town of Monroe's budget would not be affected until the Town of Palm Tree is established in 2020.

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