Coming soon: Demise of Rt. 306

It is clear that the Town of Ramapo is intent upon making the northern end of Route 306 look like the southern end. Drive along Route 306 from Route 202 to Route 59 and see for yourself how a semi-rural landscape changes into ugliness. The potential development of the Patrick Farm area and a very obscure religious college on the opposite side of Route 306 under a law of questionable constitutionality will help to destroy Ramapo and Rockland County. Surveyor flags are all over the property. Development is moving along faster than we think.

How obscure is the Congregational Rabbinical College of Tartikov? More than 100 acres with a claimed population of "almost 5,000" will vanish from the tax rolls. Everyone should carefully examine their current tax bill to see what this tax loss and simultaneous population surge will mean: a shrinking tax base, increased government spending, a decaying infrastructure and a firmly entrenched political machine. These are the ingredients of a slow death of our town and county. The 5,000 residents will require, and are entitled to, the same county and town resources as everyone else.

Harvey Sigal

Tuxedo Reserve endangers water


(Original publication: January 25, 2007)

Tuxedo Reserve endangers water

This letter is written in the hope of shedding light on a serious and possible irreversible water crisis in western Ramapo.

Western Ramapo sits atop a sole source aquifer that supplies water to residents of Rockland and as far south as Mahwah, N.J. Development already planned and approved in this area by the Town of Ramapo will negatively impact the quality and supply of water we all share. To add insult to this severe injury, we have the Tuxedo Reserve Development on the border of Tuxedo and Sloatsburg. The developer, Related Companies and Tim Miller Associates, have purchased property in Sloatsburg to site wells to supplement the water supply for the 1,195 homes in Tuxedo Reserve. This upscale development is completely contained within Orange County. None of the homes will be in Rockland. The Town of Tuxedo has protected its water supply from compromise by prohibiting the use of Tuxedo Lake as a source for the Tuxedo Reserve Development.

In an appearance before the Rockland Legislature's Environmental Committee on Dec. 18, Related Companies' attorney Thomas West stated that Rockland County should support Related's use of Sloatsburg's water. His logic: The Tuxedo Reserve development will return approximately 500,000 gallons of treated sewage back into the Ramapo River during average conditions. Mr. West thinks that adding the treated sewage will help keep the river and the connected aquifer at a constant level.

As residents of Sloatsburg, we hope the response would be "Thanks, Mr. West, but no thanks." Using pure Sloatsburg water taken from the aquifer and returning treated sewage is not a deal!

Laurie Smyla