Ashley HartOct 12, 2017, 1:32 pm

Voters to decide on Monroe's separation from Village of Kiryas Joel

If majority votes for creation of new town, budget would not be affected until 2020

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On Nov. 7, residents will make decision on the future of the town of Monroe. Voters will go to the polls to decide whether the Village of Kiryas Joel, plus an additional 56 acres from Monroe should become its own town, the Town of Palm Tree, making it first new town in New York in 35 years.

Some residents said they're for the separation between Kiryas Joel and Monroe, highlighting that residents of Kiryas Joel are ultra-orthodox Jews and their priorities sometime conflict with their neighbors in Monroe.

"For 20 years, they have dictated policy and anything they wanted because they have majority and they do what they want," says Mike Curley of Monroe.

A separate town will cost Monroe tax revenue. One estimate says as much as $1.9 million, which could lead to higher property taxes.

"If taxes go a little bit higher than they are now, that's not that big of a deal, I think because I don’t think it's not going to be that significance,” says Stan Stanis of Harriman.

Chairwoman of United Monroe and Director of preserve Hudson Valley Emily Convers of United Monroe says the separation will give both communities what they want.

"We have two very distinct communities living side by side with two distinctly different goals. One community wishes to build high density housing and live very tightly with, you know, large apartment complexes and the other half of Monroe wishes to live the more rural lifestyle," Convers says.

If the majority votes for the creation of the new town, the budget would not be affected until 2020, the year the new town would open.

The next informational meeting will be on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in the Town of Monroe’s Arts and Civic Center.

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