Orange County, NY – In Historic Agreement, KJ And United Monroe To Split Into Separate Entities

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    FILE - Michael Egan, left, and Emily Convers of United Monroe pose on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in Kiryas Joel, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Orange County, NY – In a development that could end years of costly legal battles, Kiryas Joel and representatives of the United Monroe citizens group have agreed to the equivalent of an amicable divorce, splitting the Village of Kiryas Joel off into a separate town that would include an unspecified amount of additional acreage to accommodate future growth.

    The agreement was announced on Friday night on United Monroe’s Facebook page and would end three years of bitter infighting that resulted when Kiryas Joel announced its plan to annex more than several hundred acres of neighboring land into the village.

    The new town would be the first created in New York State in 35 years, with a revised map of the proposed unnamed town to be provided to county lawmakers this week, reported The Times Herald Record (http://bit.ly/2sHcmnw).

    The exact details of the agreement, the result of two months of hush-hush negotiations, have yet to be disclosed, but United Monroe said that new acreage allotted to Kiryas Joel would be considerably less than the 382 acres specified in the village’s latest petition.

    The plan still needs to pass muster with both the county legislature and voters in the Town of Monroe. Once that hurdle has been cleared, the issue would be included on the ballot in the upcoming November 7th election.

    United Monroe’s Facebook post generated dozens of comments, with the group blaming Kiryas Joel for refusing to negotiate a separation for the past three years and noting that spinning the village off into a new entity would remove Kiryas Joel’s influence in matters concerning Monroe residents.

    Both Emily Convers, head of United Monroe, and Kiryas Joel administrator Gedalya Szegedin, expressed their appreciation to all parties involved for their efforts in reaching an equitable compromise.

    Convers said that she felt the deal was fair to both sides.

    “I’m eager and excited for the public to learn the details of this agreement,” said Convers.

    Szegedin hailed the agreement as a “historic new day,” describing it as “a recipe for living side by side in peace and mutual respect and understanding.

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