Kiryas Joel, NJ – Years of tensions and lawsuits in Orange County may soon become ancient history as area residents have voted to formally separate Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe by folding the Chasidic village into a newly created entity called the Town of Palm Tree.
Just over 83 percent of those who cast their ballots today in the Town of Monroe voted “yes” on Proposal No 4 which read “Shall the Town of Monroe be divided to create the Town of Palm Tree (with the lands generally described in abstract) and Town of Monroe?”
A statement released tonight by Kiryas Joel administrator Gedalye Szegedin hailed the vote as a “historic step, providing a framework for peace and stability for both communities and their educational institutions.”
Kiryas Joel’s governmental relations director Ari Felberman said that the creation of the Town of Palm Tree was just the first of what he hopes will be more cooperative efforts between the Town of Monroe and the Town of Palm Tree.
“When we cooperate we can accomplish big things,” Felberman told VIN News.
United Monroe founder Emily Convers did not immediately return a call for comment on the matter.
Creating the new town finally frees Town of Monroe voters from Kiryas Joel’s dominating bloc vote in exchange for much needed acreage that will allow the village to expand to meet the needs of its growing population.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2yF0jdZ), a measure to divide the town in two distinct entities passed by Orange County Legislature by a vote of 18 to 3 in September. Leaders of both Kiryas Joel and United Monroe hailed the plan as the path to peaceful co-existence between the two group who have been at odds for years.