By Audeen Moore
“The light is coming. We’re halfway through the tunnel,” is how Maybrook Trustee Kevin Greany described the village board’s latest action on Galaxy Limited’s plan to develop property it owns along former railroad tracks in the village and the Town of Montgomery.
At an online meeting Monday, the board unanimously approved the adoption of a negative declaration on Galaxy’s Environmental Assessment Form (EAF), the last step in the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. That action opens up the way for the village board and Town of Montgomery Town Board to hold a joint public hearing on annexing that part of the property that lies in the town to the village.
Galaxy wants access to village water and sewer, thus the need for the annexation. The village board has set the joint public hearing for 7 p.m., Mon., Feb. 22, hosted by Maybrook.
“It’s another big step,” Trustee James Barnett said. Galaxy has owned the property, which runs from east of Main Street in the village to Henry Henning Drive in the town, for about 30 years and sought development of it for more than ten years. It is now seeking to develop two of the seven lots comprising the property for warehouse/industrial park use.
A road would run from Henry Henning Drive through the property to Main Street. In prior village board meetings, questions on the EAF have focused on traffic issues with that road and its intersections with Henry Henning Drive and Main Street. With those resolved, the board approved the negative declaration.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Maybrook Village Attorney Kelly Naughton. “This is a big milestone.”
In other business involving the Town of Montgomery, Town Supervisor Brian Maher was on-line with the village board to speak of the town’s plan to establish a town-wide ambulance district. Similar to a fire district, an ambulance district would collect property taxes, be run by an independent board and provide what Maher said were the best ambulance services.
Maher updated the village board on the town’s progress to date on the project and asked for a village board member to sit on a joint task force the town has set up to move the project forward. That board member will be Trustee Kevin Greany.
“This is the best long-term solution,” Maher said, noting that projections are for the ambulance district to have a $1 million budget, partially funded by property taxes. For the owner of a home assessed at $100,000, Maher estimated, ambulance taxes would run about $30 a year. The district would not be set up, he estimated, until Jan. 1, 2023.
“As a 27-year fire department member,” said Maybrook Trustee Daryl Capozzoli, ‘‘the majority of our calls have been ambulance calls. We know how important this is.”
Mayor Leahy called the plan “a positive step that should be looked into.”
In other business, the village board voted unanimously to extend its contract with County Waste for garbage pick-up for another year. The current contract expires at the end of May. The extension would keep all current provisions, from price to twice-a-week pick-ups and once-a-week limited bulk pick-up.
Finally, Mayor Leahy pleaded with the public to contact village officials, instead of looking to social media, for answers to any questions or concerns. It was prompted by a recent water main break at Country Club Drive and Homestead Avenue. A resident saw it and reported it to the village.
“This winter,” Leahy said, “we have not had much snow cover so the ground freezes and warms when the temperature spikes, causing breakages.”
If you notice water coming from a street or experience any water discoloration or you just have a question about your water, contact Public Works Supt. Matt Thorp, 656-3122. Leahy said this advice extends to any question or concern you may have.
The board’s next meeting is 7 p.m., Mon., Feb. 8, online.