There’s Village of Nyack news on land and sea this week. Former Deputy Mayor Don Hammond reports that the village wants to buy back its street lights and will be forming a Vision Committee to decide the future of the Nyack Marina. Also: Mayor Jen Laird White invites businesses and residents to her monthly “Downtown meeting” on Tues 2/7 at 9a; Rockland County opens a “Baby Café” in Spring Valley.
Nyack Village Board Notes — 1/12/17
by Don Hammond
The items for January 12’s workshop included a review of the Build Smart Program and the Nyack Housing Authority budget. The Nyack Village Board conducts two types of meetings on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. The workshop, which precedes the regular village board meeting, is an informal interchange between the board and the public on issues and policies being considered by the board. The regular VB meeting included discussions of the TZ Vista Condo development on Gedney Street, proposed transitional housing construction on Waldron Terrace and Nyack Hospital’s request to build a parking garage on top of their existing parking lot.
The Build Smart Program is exploring whether the village should purchase and install its own streetlights, which are currently owned by Orange and Rockland. The program would give the the Village of Nyack ownership of the streetlights and save taxpayers money once the lights are paid off (projected to be about six years). The board requested additional cost information and discussed reaching out to other municipalities about joining the program. Clarkstown has already moved forward on purchasing streetlights and Orangetown has a proposal under consideration.
Although I’m no longer a Nyack Village Trustee, I plan to remain an active member of our progressive, inclusive community — particularly with so much that affects Nyack coming down the pike.
With that in mind, here’s the first of what I hope will be bimonthly updates to Nyack News And Views about what’s happening in village hall and around Nyack.
If you have thoughts or questions based on either what you read here or things you’ve heard buzz about in the community, please feel free to reach out to me directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 914.954.7556. — Dr. Don Hammond
The Nyack Housing Authority presented its 2017 budget to the board for adoption. There was some discussion about increases in rent and a new position recently added to perform administrative duties for the authority. The trustees expressed concern that this position should focus more on tenants’ needs.
The January 12 regular Nyack Village Board meeting contained a number of updates on village development:
- Dredging of the marina is now complete.
- The Nyack Planning Board is now reviewing plans for TZ Vista. The VB members said the project needs a more detailed State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review and a planning consultant to review the current plans related to the Village Code. A Request for Proposal will be developed to hire an outside planning consultant.
- New construction proposed for Waldron Ave as part of the Transitional Housing Initiative. The board said there are issues that need to be addressed before the proposal can move forward to a discussion process and consideration. This proposal, which can be can be viewed Nyack-NY.gov, has a number of significant issues and concerns that have yet to be discussed.
- A Vision for the Marina committee was discussed. Paul Curley has volunteered to chair the committee. The adjacent neighborhoods will be contacted for additional members and input.
- A resolution to approve free parking for AARP tax volunteers was discussed and will be considered at the January 26 meeting.
- An Eagle Scout Project to honor Welles Crowther was presented by Christopher Walsh for the south side of Memorial Park.
The January 26 workshop focused on forming committees to give advice to the village board in three areas: the marina (which been combined with the review of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan update); display of public art; and possible formation of historic preservation districts.
Most of this discussion centered on the Marina/LWRP Committee. The committee was asked to consider both the operation and opening of the marina in the spring and the LWRP. No final decisions were made regarding the committee’s mandate or makeup; the Board asked for more outreach into the surrounding neighborhoods and a resolution will be drafted for consideration at the next meeting.
The discussion about forming a committee to explore historic districts included an oral history of the influence of the black community in Nyack’s progress. Salehudin (Sal Rahim) discussed the black business district, the fight against institutional racism in Nyack, and the black men and women who were instrumental in making Nyack the community it is today. He asked the board to consider the residents of District 2 in any consideration of developing historic districts.
In addition to a Historic Preservation Committee, a new Public Arts Committee will explore how artwork can be displayed throughout the village. People can sign up to join any of these committees by contacting Village Clerk Mary White. The board will announce the committees in the near future.
Resolutions were passed to approve the following initiatives: Free parking for AARP volunteers at the library and the Eagle Scout Project at Memorial Park honoring Welles Crowther. The board also passed resolutions approving the Penguin Plunge, Gay Pride event, Basketball Classic, Gran Fondo event, and Art Walk.
The VB also approved the Nyack’s two Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proposals for Nyack Center and sidewalk repair on 1st Ave between Broadway and Franklin. These proposals will be sent to the county for consideration. Other board updates included:
- A feasibility study for village-wide sidewalk repairs will be considered by the board.
- The Transition Housing Initiative Proposal—which the mayor again encouraged residents to view on the village’s website, Nyack-NY.gov, which will require a zoning change to include single-room occupancy transitional apartments and affordable housing.
- A request from Nyack Hospital for public comments on a proposal to construct a parking garage over the current parking on the hospital’s south side.
- A Request For Proposal is being developed for a planning consultant to determine if the current TZ Vista plans meet the criteria of the new village code.
Public comments during the January 26 meeting included a request for the village board to pass a resolution condemning the issue of Chinese organ harvesting and a request for the board’s intervention concerning the number of evictions taking place on Waldron Terrace. Residents are reporting they feel threatened and intimidated and don’t know where to turn for help.
Here’s what’s on the municipal calendars in Nyack, South Nyack and Upper Nyack this week:
Village of Nyack
- Mon 2/6, 6p: Planning Board Meeting
- Tue 2/7, 9a: ‘Downtown’ Meeting
- Tue 2/7, 5p: Justice Court
- Thurs 2/9, 9:30a: Justice Court
- Thurs 2/9, 4:30p: Board of Water Commissioners
- Thurs 2/9, 6:30p: Village Board Pre-Meeting Workshop
- Thurs 2/9, 7:30p: Village Board Meeting
Nyack Village Hall is located at 9 N. Broadway.
Village of South Nyack
- Mon 2/6, 5:30p: Justice Court
- Tue 2/7, 7:30p: Zoning Board of Appeals
South Nyack Village Hall is located at 282 S Broadway.
Village of Upper Nyack
Thurs 2/9, 7:00p: Village Board Workshop
Upper Nyack Village Hall is located at 328 N. Broadway.
First ‘Baby Cafe’ Opens in Rockland
The first ‘Baby Cafe’ in Rockland is now open at the Women Infants and Children Center at 14 South Main Street in Spring Valley. The county is working with Baby Cafe USA, a non-profit organization that helps coordinate a network of drop-in cafes where pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can get support from trained staff and can share experiences with other moms. Rockland County will eventually have five Baby Cafes, focusing on underserved communities in Ramapo and Clarkstown, thanks in part to a $1.2 million state grant awarded to the Rockland County Department of Health to promote and support breastfeeding.