A public hearing is set to convene on August 3rd at Khal Toras Chaim Viznitz Shul Gibbers, located at 169 Barnes Blvd in Kiamesha Lake to address a petition seeking the incorporation of a new village within the Town of Thompson.
The reason for this joint hearing lies in the fact that some of the proposed village’s parcels extend into the neighboring Town of Fallsburg, necessitating the involvement of both Thompson Town Supervisor, Bill Rieber Jr., and Fallsburg Supervisor, Katherine Rappaport.
Named the “Village of Ateres,” the proposed community is expected to house over 500 inhabitants, with the majority coming from the Chasidic community.
Town Supervisor Rieber has publicly stated that he’s concerned about the motivations behind the incorporation of a new village, labeling it as a possible “scheme” to gain control over housing regulations.
The petition claims to meet the area requirements outlined in the New York Village Law, ensuring that the proposed village does not exceed five square miles.
According to the petition, there are 308 qualified voters residing in the Town of Thompson and 14 in the Town of Fallsburg, totaling 322 eligible voters within the Incorporation Territory. This figure meets the 20 percent requirement mandated by law for village incorporation. New York law dictates that a public hearing must be held to address any objections to the legal sufficiency of the petition.
If either Supervisor Rieber or Supervisor Rappaport deems the petition invalid, it may lead to a legal battle in the court system. In such a scenario, a judge will be responsible for determining whether the Village of Ateres can be established. However, if both supervisors find the petition to be valid, the village incorporation can proceed without hindrance.
Meanwhile, in Albany, an update to the village incorporation law has been proposed by Senator James Skoufis and currently awaits Governor Kathy Hochul’s approval. The proposed amendments aim to modernize the law, which has seen minimal changes since the 1800s.
Key proposals in the update include raising the minimum population requirement to create a village from 500 to 2000. Additionally, the updated law would necessitate a comprehensive analysis of financial sustainability, taxation matters, and overall viability for any proposed village.
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