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Reichlin-Melnick: April (in May) Village Trustee Update

by Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

Last weekend brought a heartening display of the kind of community we live in, as at least a hundred people braved a blustery day to attend the village’s annual Earth Day celebration. The event featured live music (including some super talented teenagers), local vendors, games for kids, and more. But the highlight was the recognition of some of the local high school students who have been leading the fight to call attention to the looming crisis of climate change.

Village government has been doing our part to make Nyack a more sustainable community, and so it was extremely gratifying to have the New York Department of Environmental Conservation certify Nyack as a Climate Smart Community last week. Nyack is the first municipality in Rockland to receive the designation. From planting trees to reducing municipal energy usage, installing an electric car charging station downtown, and the upcoming conversion of all streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs, the village is pulling out all the stops to do our part in the fight against climate change. The next step is a proposed shift to a type of bulk clean-energy purchasing known as Community Choice Aggregation, which will ensure that the energy sources for all residential O&R customers in the village come from clean sources unless an individual household opts out. There would not be any additional cost to residents as a result of this change. Mayor Don Hammond recently took a more comprehensive look at all of our sustainability initiatives in a piece for Nyack News & Views. I encourage you to check it out.

One additional environmental (and quality of life) initiative I am interested in pursuing is some type of new regulation to address the overuse of loud and polluting leaf blowers, especially in the summer, when there are no fallen leaves to remove. Several years ago, before I joined village government, the Village Board took up the issue but opted in favor of an education campaign rather than new legislation. Based on the continued complaints from residents, the education campaign hasn’t worked. I think it’s time to revisit the issue. If you agree, let me know.

Village Budget

The fundamental task of the Village Board is to be a good steward of taxpayers’ money while delivering the services residents count on. At our April 24 meeting, we approved the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins June 1. I’m happy to report that once again we were able to keep the budget under the New York State tax cap; according to our village treasurer, the average household’s village tax bill should increase by less than 1%. An infusion of state and federal grant funds will have us making a major investment in infrastructure, especially along Broadway, with new sidewalks, curbs, crosswalks, and features like benches and trees. Other projects will include new sidewalks along Depew Avenue between 9W and Midland, a repaving of Upper Depew Avenue heading west from 9W, and the long awaited footbridge connecting Memorial Park with the Marina parking lot. The final budget is available on the village website, here. The Mayor provided further information about the details of the budget in his April 22 update, here.

Pavion Affordable Housing

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With the Pavion development nearing completion at the corner of Franklin and Cedar Hill, applications are now being accepted for the 13 affordable apartments in the complex. The basic monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment, consisting of approximately 800 square feet, will be $1,190. The basic monthly rent for a two bedroom apartment, consisting of approximately 1,000 square feet, will be $1,431. The village has contracted with the non-profit Rockland Housing Action Coalition (RHAC) to manage the application process and screen income qualifications of potential applicants. To determine which applicants will be selected for the units, RHAC will conduct a lottery among all qualified applicants, with preference given to Village of Nyack residents. If you or anyone you know is interested in applying for these units, please call Jason Jennings with RHAC at (845) 708-5799 x 203.

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.


HudsonLinkNyack.com


has customized Hudson Link bus schedules including departure and arrival times for Metro North trains between Tarrytown and Grand Central on routes H07 / H07X.

HudsonLinkNyack.com is a web app to ease your cross river commute from Nyack News And Views.

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