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Reichlin-Melnick: October Village Trustee Updates

by Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

With October well underway, I wanted to share a few updates from Village Hall and a couple of events coming up in the next few weeks.

First, the events:

  • On Saturday, October 13, the first annual Autumn Sidewalk Sale, presented by the Chamber of Commerce, the Art, Craft, and Antiques Dealers Association, and the village, will take place from 10a-6p. Throughout the downtown, merchants will be setting up tables outside their shops, offering special deals and giving people a chance to see all the variety that Nyack business has to offer. This is not a street fair—downtown roads will remain open to traffic.
  • On Saturday, October 27, it’s the Annual Halloween Parade! The parade starts at 5:30p. This is always one of my favorite events of the year. Even beyond the remarkably inventive costumes people come up with, I just love seeing Nyack filled with thousands of happy families and smiling kids! Last year I went back to the ‘60s with a hippie look. This year? Still planning…


Affordable Housing

Trustee Donna Lightfoot-Cooper and I have been meeting with village staff and with the Rockland Housing Action Coalition to work on various issues related to affordable housing in the village. Several of these issues are now being discussed by the full village board. For example, at the first Village Board meeting in September, there was discussion of the ability of developers to “buy out” of the village’s requirement that 10% of housing units in new multifamily construction be designated affordable housing. Currently, a developer must provide 10% affordable units or pay $40,000 per unit into a village affordable housing fund. There was general interest from the whole Village Board in raising the amount we charge developers, charging more for units with more than one bedroom, and indexing the fee to inflation. We hope this will either spur more developers to provide affordable units directly, or if they do not, increase the size of the village’s affordable housing fund.

What is the affordable housing fund used for? The Village Board is in the process of creating general guidelines for what the fund can be used for, with specific implementation rules to follow. Ideas include providing assistance to lower income homeowners for home repairs or weatherization, and providing assistance to lower income renters to help them pay security deposits.

Other Odds and Ends

  • Sidewalks on South Midland Avenue between Depew and Cedar Hill are being replaced thanks to funds from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program originally applied for in 2016. Additional CDBG funds have been requested to replace sidewalks on Depew Avenue between S. Midland and Route 9W.
  • For more than five years, the village has been trying to get reimbursed what we are owed by FEMA for significant expenses incurred at the marina as a result of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thanks to persistent work by Mayor Don Hammond, former Mayor Jen White and many others, the village has finally received the first major chunk of this money, over $600,000. When the remainder of the funds are received, it should give us many options for the FY2019-20 budget which we will adopt next spring.
  • Discussion on the overnight parking changes I proposed is continuing at the Village Board. If you haven’t had a chance to take the informal survey on this topic yet, I encourage you to take five minutes to do so.

If you want to get more details on these or any other Nyack topics, I’m holding my monthly “Meet Your Trustee” event on Wednesday, October 17 from 6p to 7p at Johnnycakes on Main Street. Stop by for a casual conversation about any Nyack issues on your mind.

Elijah Reichlin-Melnick is a Trustee for the Village of Nyack. 

See also:

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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