To the Editor,
Brian Kiernan’s recent letter to the editor misstated the plan for the redevelopment of Rockland Psychiatric Center that the Orangetown Town Board unanimously agreed to in 2005. After the town bought 348 acres of surplus property from the state in 2003 to control its own destiny, we issued an official Request for Proposals (RFP) for its development. The RFP specifically said the Supervisor and the Town Board preferred office and commercial use, but we did not get any takers. Instead we got several senior housing applicants. (We specified that we would only entertain senior housing to eliminate any negative impact on the Pearl River School District.)
The Town Board (including current Town Board member Dennis Troy) unanimously chose Hovnanian to build senior housing on the part of the site that JP Morgan is now prepared to build the data center. Hovnanian also agreed to construct about 34 senior affordable units in the vicinity of the volunteer housing that we had previously had provided for on the site. With that exception, at no time did I, Supervisor Kleiner or any other member of the Board support or advocate “high density low-income housing.” Statements to that effect are completely false.
Thom Kleiner recently spoke before the Town Board to support the data center and to advocate for the protection of the remaining land at RPC for active or passive recreation, now that the data center will allow the old buildings to come down and provide substantial tax ratables for Orangetown. That’s something we should all agree on.
Orangetown Councilwoman 2002-2009