Orange County News Roundup

Orange County News Roundup
Yvonne Marcotte

Newburgh Plans Downtown Revitalization with Broadway Corridor Project

Newburgh's Broadway corridor demonstration project will partner with the Newburgh Community Land Bank to revitalize part of the downtown, reported the MidHudsonNews on Sept. 15. More green space and improved safety are the focus of the plan implemented by Safe Harbors of the Hudson which will redesign of the empty lot on the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street next to the Ritz Theatre. The project will install new sidewalks between Broadway and Ann Street, as well as bike lanes and bike racks. The Main Street Revitalization Program is funding the project.

Newburgh Reopens Bidding for Skateboard Park

Newburgh will reopen bidding for a proposed skateboard park because only one company submitted a bid, and it was $100,000 over the projected budget. Mayor Judy Kennedy said the construction project is not dead, the MidHudsonNews reported. "We are resubmitting the bid and actually underlying the requirements so people understand," Kennedy said.  "They were there before but apparently they weren't reading the full requirements, so hopefully they will the second time."

Stewart Army Barracks Razed

The ten former Army barracks along International Boulevard leading into Stewart International Airport have been demolished, reported the MidHudsonNews. The Town of New Windsor paid $260,000 to have the buildings razed. Town Supervisor George Green said there is interest in building two hotels for long-term rentals to developers. "There are people looking at it right now; they have a hotel in mind," he said.  "I think they are looking at that whole portion where the buildings actually sat."

Orange County Accelerator's 'Maker Space' Gets a Tenant

A program at the Walter Hoving Home for women shattered by drugs and alcohol is the Orange County Accelerator's new "maker space" first tenant. Previously an incubator for start-ups, the facility will now provide space for small businesses in fashion design and production, reported the MidHudsonNews. Laurie Villasuso, associate executive director of the county's Industrial Development Agency, said "They are fully funded on donations through fundraising."

The director of the Hoving Home's Unshattered program saw an opportunity to help that program raise money by creating pocketbooks and bags out of old coats that had been donated. "They will try to sell these bags and, in turn, return the profit to the home. It is a really fabulous program." Villasuso said.

Bear Mountain Bridge Celebrates Dedication Anniversary

Motorists were delayed on Sept. 12 on one of the bridges spanning the Hudson River north of New York City as two of the span's anniversaries were commemorated. A motorcade of vintage cars from the 1920s and '30s drove over Bear Mountain Bridge, which connects Orange and Westchester counties. The motorcade paused on the span for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event commemorated the 90th anniversary of the bridge's dedication and the 75th anniversary of the span's purchase by the bridge authority. The span was the first vehicular river crossing built between New York State and Manhattan. The bridge is a toll suspension bridge and once held the record for the longest suspension bridge in the world after its completion in 1924.

From The Associated Press

Goshen High School Plans $18 Million Expansion

A plan to expand classroom and cafeteria spaces at Goshen High School is expected to cost the school district between $18 and $22 million. Voters will speak on the plan in the next few months. School administrators expect the student population to reach 1,000 in the near future. Four classrooms, a nurse's office, a guidance office, and administrative offices are planned. Seating, acoustics, and front doors in the auditorium are included. Superintendent Daniel Connor told The Chronicle on Sept. 10 that current projects are being completed at no additional cost to taxpayers because the district's capital reserve fund is covering the cost.

Metro-North Adds Another Local Train to Middletown

Metro-North Port Jervis Line commuters will have another mid-day train effective Sept. 10. The new Port Jervis train will depart Hoboken at 2:41 p.m. and will run express to Suffern, after stopping at Secaucus Junction. From Suffern, the train will make all local stops to Middletown/Wallkill, where it is scheduled to arrive at 4:19 p.m., reported the MidHudsonNews. The additional service means that commuters will not have to wait more than two hours for the next train.

Developers of Proposed Hotel Seek Incentives From Orange County IDA

Officials of Cross Roads Court Real Estate, LLC are asking the county's Industrial Development Agency for financial help to build a 139-unit hotel in the Town of Newburgh, said Associate Executive Director Laurie Villasuso. The 139-unit hotel is estimated to need a capital investment of about $14,600,000."They aim to create 125 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs once construction is complete," Villasuso said. The MidHudsonNews reported that developers sales and tax exemptions for construction materials. They may also seek a down payment in lieu of taxes.

Orange County Legislature Holds Executive Session on KJ

The Orange County Legislature met in executive session on Sept. 15 to engage legal counsel in response to Monroe's approval to allow Kiryas Joel to annex 164 acres of town land. The MidHudsonNews reported that legislative Chair Stephen Brescia said, "We want to be informed legally from counsel–the county attorney and county legislative attorney–about what we can or can't do and whether we have standing to do anything or not."

Mamakating Suit Against Chestnut Ridge Dismissed

Judge Stephan Schick ruled that the townhouse project in the Village of Bloomingburg can go forward, as he dismissed the last lawsuit standing in the way of new residents moving in, reported the Time Herald-Record on Sept. 10. The judge said the Town of Mamakating failed to prove that Bloomingburg building inspector Joseph W. Smith Sr. acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing certificates of occupancy to 24 townhouses in the Chestnut Ridge development, which is designed to attract Hasidic Jewish families. The town filed suit against Smith and Bloomingburg in August and applied for an injunction to stop people moving in.

PJ Engineer Advises Front Street Building be Demolished

The Port Jervis common council considered whether to take down a building at 24-32 Front Street at a special meeting on Sept. 10. Structural engineer Michael Lamoreaux from McGoey, Hauser, and Edsall recommended the action after a rainstorm on Aug. 21 changed the building's status from damaged to dangerous. City attorney William Bavoso said the action is necessary based on city building codes. The city made temporary repairs to the property after a storm last September and the owner abandoned the building.

Thrall Library Hosts Talk on Traditional Chinese Music

On September 12, the Thrall Library in Middletown hosted a presentation on traditional Chinese music. Ted LeStrange said that Chinese culture goes back 5000 years, even possibly further since an 8,000 bone flute was recently discovered. Several instruments are unique to Chinese music. The two-string erhu with a history of 4,000 years, the pipa which came to prominence during the Tang Dynasty, the suona that was prominent in Chinese opera, and the gong that is heard in temples.

Librarian Gail Myker who arranged the talk said it's good to learn about other cultures. "Maybe we would understand each other better by learning more about each other's culture." She noted that the Shen Yun Orchestra cannot perform in mainland China. LeStrange said the Shen Yun Orchestra has found a way to combine the Western orchestra with Chinese instruments in a way no one else has been able to do. The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra continues the tradition of Chinese music and will perform at Carnegie Hall on October 10.

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