Taxes Down, but Financial Concerns for Northern Rockland Town Abound

First, the good news: Homeowners in Stony Point will see their town taxes reduced by 2.02 percent next year. The Town Board ended the public hearing on its 2022 spending plan on Tuesday evening, November 9 , voting unanimously to accept the $23 million final budget. The tentative budget originally called for a 3.02 percent decrease; with the approval of the increase in funding for Rose Memorial Library, it resulted in slightly lowering the savings for homeowners.

Now that the opportunity to sell the golf course, its buildings and Letchworth Village property to Patriot Hills LLC has come and gone, the town must now look to other funding sources to improve the properties. Monaghan, who coasted easily into a third term as supervisor last week, expressed his disappointment over the outcome of Proposition #7 and told the packed audience gathered in the RHO building Tuesday night that Stony Point must now consider bonding for needed repairs.

Townsfolk divided over the fate of their municipal golf course must now come to terms with finding other means to remediate its 266 acres, its clubhouse and the Grille Room, as well as consider the fate of 26 acres of Letchworth Village land and buildings that were included in the failed referendum. Monaghan is seeking input from Rockland County Economic Development & Tourism, as well as other local municipal leaders, on how best to move forward with the property.

When the tone in the room turned a bit persnickety after hearing the costly repairs needed, Councilman Tom Basile intervened. “We’re open to hearing solutions from the public,” he said in response to the grumblings. “If you have a solution as to where the money will come from, we’re all ears. We have been working to reduce our debt, not to increase it,” continued Basile, saying that sewers need upgrading, roads need repaving and that continued repairs made to the RHO building need to be re-evaluated. Monaghan said the town will get estimates for what’s needed and determine if it makes sense to keep investing in the aging structure or consider building a new senior/community center.

Residents took part in the public discussion, with North Rockland native Dave Evangelista saying he regretted not being more involved in the community before the Patriot Hills referendum came about and offered his expertise to the town, as did several others. The board was also asked to look at options for livestreaming, rather than using Facebook, to broadcast town, planning and zoning board meetings.

Camp Bullowa, one of several Greater Hudson Valley BSA camps on the market, was also discussed. Monaghan said the town has put an offer in for the property under the terms required by New York State law, since it is being sold to satisfy the BSA’s bankruptcy proceedings. The Town’s bid for the property is for its appraised value, $3.5 million, which if approved, will be paid for with help from Rockland County government and by bonding the remaining amount. “We also plan to seek State funding to help with the purchase,” said Monaghan.