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Reichlin-Melnick: May Village Trustee Update

by Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

It’s time for another update, as recent weeks have brought some big news in Nyack on the infrastructure front, as well as other issues. Additionally, over the next few weeks there are a number of wonderful community events taking place.

First, in case you missed it, late last month the village was awarded an enormous $4.3 million grant from the NYS Department of Transportation, which will fund the “Safe Routes to Schools Project” for Nyack Middle School. As former Vice President Joe Biden might say, this is a big f—ing deal! The funds will allow the village to comprehensively improve the pedestrian infrastructure in the entire southwest section of Nyack (roughly, everything west of Franklin Ave. and south of Main Street). This will include full repairs of existing sidewalks, as well as installation of new sidewalks where none exist, including the installation of handicap-accessible curb cuts at intersections. The project will also include new pedestrian flashers near the middle school to improve safety for students walking to and from class. More details about the project will be available at a later date (construction is not likely to begin in the near future) but this certainly ranks as one of the largest grant awards the village has ever received. Given the constant struggle to address our infrastructure needs without big raises in local taxes, being awarded this grant is a hugely important win for the village.

The other big infrastructure project coming down the pipe (pun intended) is a major project by the Nyack Water Department to replace some of the decades-old water mains that serve the village and parts of surrounding communities like Central and West Nyack. The project will begin later this year. While the construction will unfortunately cause some disruption as selected streets are excavated to install new water mains, all efforts will be made to mitigate the impact on residents, and the bottom line is that undertaking these upgrades is critically important for the long run sustainability of the water system. Water rate increases associated with the project will total approximately $6.25 on a quarterly bill for an average family of four. The village has put together a detailed list of Frequently Asked Questions which you can read on the website.

On a much smaller and more immediate scale, the village is replacing sidewalks near the American Legion on Piermont Avenue this week. The goal is to have as much as possible of the project done by Memorial Day.

Upcoming Events

On Monday, May 27, Nyack will honor the members of our armed forces who paid the ultimate price to defend our country with our annual Memorial Day parade. It will step off at 11a. Please come out to support and thank our veterans.

On Sunday, June 9, the Nyack Center is hosting its annual Men Cooking event from 5-7p. This is a fantastic opportunity to support the vital work of the Nyack Center while enjoying a bounty of delicious dishes—all for just $20. Last year, I joined the cadre of chefs for the first time, but unfortunately this year the event conflicts with a family birthday celebration (I’m turning 35 the week before) so I’m going to miss it. Looking forward to returning as a chef next year.

From Friday, June 14 through Sunday, June 16, come to downtown Nyack to experience the annual Artwalk, with many stores throughout the downtown hosting exhibits by some of the many wonderful artists in Nyack (and beyond). This year’s theme is “Perception.”

Last but definitely not least, the 11th Annual African American Day Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday, June 15, beginning at noon. This year the parade will double as a celebration of hometown football heroes Jason and Devin McCourty, the Nyack natives who became the first pair of twins in NFL history to win a Superbowl together when the Patriots captured yet another trophy earlier this year. You won’t want to miss this celebration of Nyack’s rich cultural heritage and these fabulously talented athletes. More details here.

Fundraiser reminder

The primary for Village Trustee is coming up on June 25, and after that I promise I’ll stop bothering you about elections until 2021 (since there’s no Republican candidate, the only contested election will be the Democratic primary). But in the meantime, if you approve of the work I’ve been doing on the Village Board over the past two years, I hope you’ll consider joining other supporters at my campaign kickoff fundraiser on May 30 from 6-8p at 68 Sickles Ave. (details in the attachment) or supporting my re-election campaign with a donation through my website. Thank you so much to everyone who has already chipped in!

Meet Your Trustee

I’ll be holding my monthly Meet Your Trustee event on Saturday, June 8 at Didier Dumas from 9a-10a. Feel free to stop by for an informal chat about anything in Nyack that’s on your mind. Hope to see you there!

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

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