Orange County News Roundup, December 3

By Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
Yvonne Marcotte
December 2, 2015 Updated: December 2, 2015

Rowley Center Certified Gold by Green Building Council

The Rowley Center for Science and Engineering at the Middletown campus of SUNY Orange received the LEEDA gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Rowley is the second SUNY Orange building to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation, joining the Newburgh campus’ Kaplan Hall. At the time its certification was announced in 2013, Kaplan Hall became the first building–public or private–in Orange County to earn LEEDA Gold. Dr. Kristine Young, president of SUNY Orange, lauded the efforts of all involved. “I commend those who first envisioned the concept of a science center on the Middletown campus, the architects who turned those visions into a breathtaking and educationally relevant design, and the many men and women who labored to construct this outstanding structure.”

Goshen Has Its Own App

The Village of Goshen has had its own app to keep residents up to date on what’s happening. The Goshen Mobile App allows locals to promote businesses and gives information on restaurants, shopping, local history, recreational, cultural, and sporting events, as well as parking regulations, reported The Chronicle. The app is free for Apple and Android smartphones. Village event announcements can be emailed to the mayor who will post them on the calendar. “We’re looking for more businesses to send us information about themselves and what they offer. We want to include everyone,” said the mayor.

Adler Still Looking for Supermarket to Anchor Goshen Plaza

Philip Adler, who bought the Goshen Plaza in July, is still searching for a supermarket to anchor the proposed mall. Adler spoke at the Goshen Chamber breakfast on Nov. 24. The 14-plus acre parcel was obtained by a foreclosure sale, reported The Chronicle. Among other retailers, the site is the location of CVS Pharmacy, which is staying on as a tenant. “There may be some grocers I haven’t heard of, but I’ve spoken to many,” Adler said. The complex received approval in 2004 for 40,000 sq. ft. for a supermarket.

Hart appointed to OC Land Trust Board

The Orange County Land Trust has appointed Elinor Hart of Campbell Hall to its Board, reported Photo News. Active in the community, Hart is noted for her energy and enthusiasm in volunteer work. Hart served as a steward for the Land Trust’s 130-acre Hamptonburgh Preserve in the Town of Hamptonburgh.”Eli brings with her a strong commitment to land conservation and stewardship in Orange County, enthusiasm for the work we do and above all immense energy,” Board President Marlena Lange said.

Montgomery Gives Out Bottled Water to Residents with Brown Water

 The Montgomery village board voted to distribute bottled water to residents in the area of Water’s Edge, Dunn Drive, and Weaver Street who have brown water in their pipes. The action will continue for a month while a new filtering system is installed in village wells, reported the Wallkill Valley News on Nov. 25. Residents have contended with the brown water since 2008. Mayor Steve Brescia said the village has gotten calls from residents outside that affected area saying that they, too, need cleaner water. The Orange County Department of Health approved the “green sand” filtering system, according to Buddy Nelson, superintendent of the village Department of Public Works, much like one in Wallkill.

Shawangunk Vies for Main Street Grant

 To be in contention for a Main Street grant, a bridge on Route 52 near Verkeerderkill Park in Shawangunk will be closed for repairs for up to three months, reported the Wallkill Valley News on Nov. 25. The grant could be used for building facades and possibly hiring a part-time code enforcement officer.

Next Year’s Budget Passes Newburgh City Council

 The Newburgh City Council adopted a $43.5 million budget for 2016 on Nov. 23 with a 1.31 percent general fund increase. Expenses will include street paving, part-time code inspectors, and fire department staff, reported the Wallkill Valley News. The budget for sewer, water, and sanitation maintenance will increase by 4.2 percent at $15,039,719, said city comptroller John Aber. Councilwomen Genie Abrams opposed proposed pay cuts and said non-union employees had been “hired with the approval of civil service” and dropping their salaries by a whole pay grade was “unfair” when they were performing well. The budget will restore ten firefighter positions from a FEMA grant to pay for the positions into next year.

County Legislature Says Cities Ought to Opt Out of Sparkler Sales

The Orange County Legislature’s Physical Services Committee recommended that cities be able to prevent the use of sparklers and the legislature is expected to allow cities to prevent the sale of sparklers during some holidays, reported the MidHudsonNews. The state has approved the carte blanche sale and use of those devices. Chairman Kevin Hines said cities currently cannot opt out. The county’s three cities want the right to decide if they should allow sparklers to be sold.

County DMV Office Will Stay at Same Middletown Location

Orange County’s motor vehicle office in downtown Middletown will continue at its present location for the time being. County Executive Steven Neuhaus has signed a new lease for the office space accessed through the James Street parking lot. Neuhaus said the Middletown DMV is the busiest of the three offices in the county, the others being in Newburgh and Port Jervis. The Goshen office closed when the government center shuts down, but is expected to reopen when the center reopens.

County Drug Sweep Makes Narcotics Arrests in Port Jervis

County and city officials announced the arrest of narcotics perpetrators in a month-long operation. Law enforcement officials used search warrants and car stops to arrest 25 for possession of illicit narcotics. District Attorney David Hoovler credited Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden for a strong policing model. “Heroin and crack-cocaine are destroying our communities,” Worden said. The DA said the operation would not have worked without cooperation among the Port Jervis Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Deerpark Police Department, and the Orange County Drug Task Force as a model of how different law enforcement agencies can work together to combat drug trafficking. “Illegal drugs continue to be the largest crime-driver in Orange County,” Hoovler said.

Novelist and Veteran Pens Thriller ‘Murder in Tuxedo Park’

The Sunbury Press published a crime novel by Tuxedo resident award-winning author and veteran William E. Lemanski, reported Photo News on Nov. 29. A crime detective work of fiction is placed in the wealthy, gated community of Tuxedo Park in the latter 19th century. This upper class enclave holds murder and mayhem until a young scientist pursues the killer. Lemanski’s first book, “Lost in the Shadow of Fame,” was a non-fiction account of one of Theodore Roosevelt’s son, Kermit, and won the 2014 Salute to Veterans Award from the Orange County Arts Council. Lemanski is active at the Castle Point and Montrose VA hospitals where he provides writing workshops.

Monroe Leases Eitz Chaim Center to Consolidate Town Services

 The Town of Monroe will lease the Monroe-Woodbury Jewish Community Center owned by Congregation Eitz Chaim on Orange Turnpike, reported Photo News. The two-year lease for $100,000 annually will consolidate town offices, town court, and senior center. Monroe Town Supervisor Harley Doles at first wanted to develop affordable housing on the property. The building, designed by Bill Pendergast of Pendergast & Terach and built by Ruby Construction received the 2007 Builder’s Association of the Hudson Valley Pinnacle Award for The Best New Commercial Project. The congregation, which has since grown smaller, leased its basement to the Monroe Free Library while the library building on Millpond Parkway was refurbished.