This week in the Villages: We say good-bye to the Village of South Nyack where dissolution last week means residents will go from being one of 1,900 voters to one in 38,000. In other news, we have more South Nyack dissolution fallout and context, a Ukrainian woman being treated at Nyack Hospital talks about her harrowing escape from war, two extremist religious leaders with ties to Rockland get prison sentences for kidnapping, and a $2 million women’s health center is coming to Spring Valley. Plus, your local weather forecast, Covid updates, upcoming meetings (it’s budget time) and much more!
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The End of South Nyack
South Nyack, born in 1878, ended its 144-year run as an incorporated village last week, ceding all of its assets and responsibilities to Orangetown on April 1 as part of a dissolution plan voted for by residents in December of 2020.
The decision to dissolve was largely fueled by the sale of Nyack College, South Nyack’s largest property, to a Ramapo-based Hasidic Yeshiva early in 2020. Residents worried they would suffer the same fate as Ramapo, a municipality that was thrown into chaos after Yeshiva-friendly representatives took over the school board and gutted its funding. They also quickly realized the sale of the property to a tax-exempt religious organization wouldn’t provide any coming financial boost.
Local officials, including South Nyack mayor Bonnie Christian, argued against dissolution, saying South Nyack would lose its identity and ability to shape its own future. But residents voted heavily in favor (64%) of being absorbed by Orangetown.
Technically and logistically, not a whole lot will change with last week’s official dissolution. Many residents probably will not notice anything different, aside from Orangetown police cars now patrolling their streets.
In fact, because services will be consolidated and Orangetown will receive a state tax credit of up to a million dollars (that must be used mostly to lower taxes), South Nyack residents will see tax costs drop somewhat significantly.
However, these tax benefits come at a cost residents may not feel until the next time they go to the ballot box.
As an impact report by an independent firm pointed out when the issue was still being debated, dissolution means “a South Nyack voter would no longer be one of about 1,900 voters in a village, but one of about 38,000 in a town.”
That’s not an insignificant loss of power.
(Editor’s note: Do not fret a loss of importance in our eyes. While South Nyack is no longer an actual village, The Villages will continue to cover it just the same.)
More South Nyack coverage:
Steve Lieberman reports on how the pending sale of two South Nyack properties, now controlled by Orangetown will affect residents. Many remain concerned about a new trucking company taking over a DPW site on Brookside Avenue. [LoHud]
- Three Reasons to Dissolve South Nyack, 12/12/2020
- S. Nyack Democrats: With Dissolution, Don’t Fear Republican Orangetown, 12/29/2020
- S Nyack Dissolution Vote Excludes Better Options, 12/14/2020
- What South Nyack Can Learn From BREXIT, 12/13/2020
- CGR’s S. Nyack Dissolution Report: 10 Important Takeaways, 11/25/2020
- High Stakes For South Nyack Dissolution Vote, 11/3/2020
- Say You Want a Dissolution: Inside S Nyack’s Heated Battle Over Its Future, 8/9/2020
- Nyack College Will Leave Rockland Next Fall, 8/11/2018
- Nyack People & Places: Simpson’s Religious Resort in Nyack Heights – Nyack College’s Early Years, 7/9/2020
In other local news . . .
Two members of Lev Tahor, an extremist anti-Zionist religious group with ties to Rockland’s Hassidic community, were sentenced to 12 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually exploiting teens. We can’t even begin to summarize this crazy story. Please read Steve Lieberman’s report for more details. [LoHud]
A Ukraine refugee who ended up in Rockland discusses her harrowing escape from a war that snuck up her and her disbelieving relatives [LoHud]:
Senator Chuck Schumer and Mondaire Jones announced $2 million in funding for women’s health care at Refuah Health Center in Spring Valley. [LoHud]
Find out everything you need to know about how your local Rockland libraries are celebrating National Library Week. At the Nyack Library, there is a scholastic book fair on Wednesday, April 6, from 4 to 6 pm. [LoHud]
Here’s a guide to local farmer’s markets. [LoHud]
More on the 50th anniversary of the fatal Congers bus crash from Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehman. [Rockland County Times]
A land conservancy is fighting the transfer of public parkland over to a private developer in East Ramapo. [Rockland County Business Journal]
A 42,000 square-foot warehouse property on Route 303 in West Nyack recently sold for $6.2 million. It’s unclear what the developer plans to do with it. [Rockland County Business Journal]
ICYMI (elsewhere): How will the Hudson River be impact by the rising water levels associated with climate change? [Times Union]
ICYM our stuff last week: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log” on Strawberry Placeand Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places” on Nyack’s first postal delivery service.
Weather Forecast (April 4 – 10):
Monday should be sunny and in the mid-50s. The rest of the weekdays will remain in the 50s, but mostly prepare for rain. Should be warming and clearing up come this weekend. [National Weather Service]
Nyack Area COVID Update (stats through April 1)
Through April 1, Covid rates and severe cases in the greater Nyack area remain low. Although there’s been a slight uptick in new cases, hospitalizations have actually gone down.
The “early warning” detector for Rockland is showing that percentage of positive tests per day is now 1.96% (exactly the same as last week); we have 559 total cases (up from 435) and hospital capacity is not threatened. A total of 3 people (down from 9 last week) in Rockland county are hospitalized for Covid related issues, and only 1 of them is symptomatic.
To find out what case and hospitalization trends look like in your town, click here.
Here’s the CDC’s data on Rockland.
Covid Testing and Vaccine Info
To get free at-home Covid test sent to your home, visit Covidtest.gov. Every home gets four, takes about a week to arrive.
Get free Covid tests at Village Hall in Nyack, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
More than 80% of eligible people in Rockland County are vaccinated. To schedule an appointment for a 1st dose, 3rd dose (for immunocompromised), or booster COVID-19 vaccine from any Rockland County Department of Health Clinic visit rocklandgov.com/departments/health/. To search for additional COVID-19 vaccination opportunities nearby visit vaccines.gov.
If you need information on where to find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov. Individuals who have questions regarding eligibility or access for testing should call the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website covid19screening.health.ny.gov.
A state operated COVID-19 testing site is open at the Patriot Hills Golf Club, 19 Club House Lane, Stony Point. Regular operating hours will be Mon – Sat from 8 am – 6 pm and testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Appointments may be made at appointments.bioreference.com.
Rockland Community College (RCC), 145 College Rd, Suffern, is open as a New York State COVID-19 testing site. New York State has partnered with Quadrant Biosciences to operate the site which will provide oral, saliva-based PCR COVID-19 tests. Regular operating hours will be Mon – Fri from 8:30a – 4p. Appointments may be made at app.acuityscheduling.com.
Village of Nyack Updates
There is a Budget Workshop meeting on Monday, April 4, from 6 to 7 pm, and other the following week. Join on Zoom. Prepare yourself by taking a look at a copy of Nyack’s tentative budget for next fiscal year.
Drop off humanitarian aid for victims of the war in Ukraine (, including first aid, painkillers, blankets, baby food, diapers, non-perishable food, antibiotics and more, at Village Hall, 9 N. Broadway (or at the Orangetown town hall, 26 W. Orangeburg Rd.).
Recycle all of our small electronics on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. Prepare your old laptops, batteries, printers, etc. for a new life.
Here’s the list of all upcoming meetings posted for the Village of Nyack.
Order Military Tribute Banners
It’s time to order your Military Tribute Banners for 2022. These banners make a beautiful tribute to honor your veterans, active-duty, reserve, and National Guard members. Banners will be displayed from Memorial Day to Veterans Day in the village downtown area. For more information, contact Ann Marie Tisty at 845-358-0548 ext. 283 or at email@example.com.
Village of South Nyack Updates
This is it. The Village of South Nyack officially dissolved on Thursday, March 31. All municipal services will be provided by the Town of Orangetown after that date. Police and DPW services transitioned to Orangetown on January 1, 2022. For more info on dissolution plans, visit here or here.
Village of Upper Nyack Updates
Upper Nyack will hold its annual organizational meeting on Monday, April 4, at 7 pm at the Old Stone House.
- To participate in person, come to the Old Stone Meeting House, 347 North Broadway, Upper Nyack, NY 10960
- To participate virtually, please click the link below to join the webinar:
The Board of Trustees will hold a Public Hearing on the Tentative Budget on April 4, at 8 pm, at the Old Stone Meeting House, 347 North Broadway, Upper Nyack, New York 10960. This will be held as a hybrid meeting. Those wishing to attend may do so in person or online. Comments and questions can also be provided via email before the meeting to the Village Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Link to join the budget hearing: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83678906780
ICYMI: In an outcome everyone predicted because they ran unopposed, the Village of Upper Nyack elected Jeffrey Epstein and Kennon Rothchild III to new 2-year trustee terms.
Nyack Public Schools Updates
There is a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 pm, at Nyack Middle School, 98 South Highland Ave.
Applications are being accepted for universal pre-K and full-day kindergarten.
Masks are currently optional for all students and staff in all Nyack district schools.
However, they posted this notice on circumstances where masking would be required:
3-4-22 UPDATE: NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) released its “New Masking Guidance Update” for schools. The update reaffirms the removal of the statewide universal masking mandate in schools and on school buses. However, the guidance also notes that masking is required in the following cases. All present mitigating procedures in our schools will remain in place.
For individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 (Isolation):
- Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may return to school and extra curriculars, must wear a well-fitted mask, after isolating for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic at the end of 5 days (on day 6) or if symptoms are improving. Individuals must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications before returning to school; and
- Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must mask on return from isolation during days 6 through 10 after COVID-19 infection, in schools and public indoor spaces and on school buses. Parents must ensure that their child is properly masked on days 6 through 10.
For individuals exposed to COVID-19 (Quarantine):
- Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may remain in school following an exposure, as long as they are asymptomatic, must wear a mask in schools and public
indoor spaces and on school buses for 10 days after exposure.
- Individuals who have been exposed are encouraged to test immediately upon learning of the exposure and 5 days after exposure. COVID-19 home test kits will be available for pick up from our schools on school days starting Monday, March 7.
More than ever, personal and parental responsibility will have a critical impact on keeping our students and staff healthy. If your child is sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please keep them home and consult your medical provider.
The district also posted a listing of resources for parents:
NYSED Social Emotional Wellness
NY Project Hope
Social Emotional Learning Parent Resources (Fordham University)
Find out what else is going on in Villages-area school at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (nyackschools.org)
Town of Orangetown Updates (Town Hall: 26 W. Orangeburg Rd.)
Several meetings this week in Orangetown, including a comprehensive plan committee meeting on April 6 at 10 am (that is publicly open for viewing only), a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 pm, and the Architecture and Community Appearance Board of Review meets Thursday at 7:30 pm.
Here’s the official resolution Orangetown enacted with regards to the sale of two South Nyack properties, which appears to say the proceeds will go toward wiping out South Nyack’s debt, which is what South Nyack officials were lobbying for as the dissolution date approached.
Help limit greenhouse gasses and curb pollution by joining this new food scraps recycling program.
Check out the Orangetown YouTube channel, and this video of a recent special town board meeting, which included renderings of a new town hall.
Children’s Playground at Veteran’s Memorial Park To Close Temporarily
The children’s playground at Orangetown’s Veteran’s Memorial Park will be out of service. The old playground will be removed and a new, all-inclusive playground will be installed. The grand re-opening is expected to be held in the spring.
Town of Clarkstown Updates (Town Hall: 10 Maple Ave. New City NY)
The Town Board is meeting Monday, April 4, at 7 pm in the auditorium. The Traffic and Traffic Fire Safety Board also meets Monday, at 7:30 pm in the Historical Map Room.
Clarkstown is holding a Virtual Fashion Contest this spring. Submit a photo of your child modeling their best outfit to email@example.com. The contest will run through April 14. Please include name, address, and phone number. The winner will be announced the following week and will receive a prize.
The Technical Advisory Committee, which “evaluates the technical adequacy of land development applications and decides their readiness for Planning Board review,” meets most Wednesdays, including Wednesday April 6, from 10 am to noon, in the town hall’s Historic Map Room.
Ambulance Corp Volunteers Needed
There is currently a nationwide shortage of EMTs and Ambulance volunteers. Within Clarkstown, there are five ambulance corps serving the community that are in dire need of volunteers. If you are interested, or know someone who may be please consider contacting and volunteering with one of these great organizations: Nyack, Congers/Valley Cottage, Nanuet, New City, or Spring Hill.
Rockland County Updates
Rockland Youth Bureau’s 2022 Youth Employment Program
The Rockland County Youth Bureau is now accepting applications for the 2022 Youth Employment Program. The program helps people ages 14 to 24-years-old develop attitudes, skills, and behaviors to help them thrive in the workforce.
Employers from the private sector, local government, and not-for-profit agencies hire these individuals through the program to give them the experience they need for a successful future. For more information about the Youth Employment Program, please contact RCYB@co.rockland.ny.us or call 845-364-2929.
Conservation Corp. Looking for Applicants
Here’s what you’ll be doing: “Rockland Conservation Corps members perform a variety of outdoor, environmental community service projects throughout the Rockland region. Responsibilities include educating the public about water stewardship, ecological conservation and environmental health issues, fieldwork and data collection, building and maintaining nature trails, teaching environmental education, planting gardens, patrolling streams, connecting young adults to their local environment, facilitating clean ups, and implementing food recovery programs, among others. Corps Members will take an active role in beautifying, protecting, and preserving Rockland’s parks, open spaces, and valued resources.”
Key Details: “To be considered, students must be at least 18. Members are required to serve 350 hours between May 23rd and mid to late August at local sites that may include the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Clarkstown Planning Department, the Town of Ramapo, the Rockland County Drainage Agency, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Cornell Cooperative Extension, among others.”
Compensation: “Members are paid a $2,300 living stipend for the summer. After successful completion of 350 hours, Corps Members earn an additional $1,342.86 educational award provided by AmeriCorps and The Corps Network.”
Apply: “Applications are due Friday, April 8, 2022. The program begins on May 23, 2022, with most of the service taking place late May through August. Candidates can request an application by phone (845) 364-2937/2932 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.”
Reviving Rockland Restaurants Grant Program
The Reviving Rockland Restaurants Grant Program will reimburse businesses between $5,000 and $25,000 for past expenses or fund future expenses for eligible outdoor dining COVID-19 mitigation equipment. Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, bars, saloons, lounges, taverns, bakeries, delis, cafes, breweries, wineries, and other similar places of business.
Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Heat Lamps or other electric heating equipment
- Additional tables and chairs for outdoor dining
- Market Umbrellas
- Plexiglass Shields
- Patio Fencing
For more information and to download an application visit rocklandgov.com
Flu Vaccine Clinic
The Rockland County Health Department is holding flu vaccine clinics for the 2021-2022 flu season on various dates and locations. This clinic is for everyone 6 months and older.
Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome at all clinics. There is a $20 fee for those 6 months through 64 years old: cash or check accepted. For those with private health insurance, we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your health insurance for possible reimbursement. To make the process quicker, please print and bring the completed 2021-2022 FLU VACCINE FORM with you.
The vaccine is free of charge if you:
- are 65 years and older (please bring identification with proof of age)
- have Medicare or Medicaid (please bring your card)
- are uninsured or underinsured
The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine clinics visit rocklandgov.com or call 845-364-2534.
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