Superintendent update regarding boundary line alteration

on August 10, 2017

This letter from Superintendent of Schools Elsie Rodriguez was emailed to all Monroe-Woodbury families on August 10, 2017.

August 10, 2017

Dear Monroe-Woodbury families, I hope you are enjoying your summer break. The summer months pass by quickly as we ready our buildings for the return of students on September 6.

I’m writing to share with you the most recent information related to the annexation of land from the Town of Monroe to the Village of Kiryas Joel. Most recently, Kiryas Joel has proposed to form a new town to separate the Village of Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe. Under the proposal, the 164 acres annexed from the Town of Monroe in 2015 – plus an additional 56 acres – would be detached from Monroe to create a new Town of Palm Tree.

The Orange County Legislature will be holding two public hearings next week regarding the proposal. The Legislature will vote on September 7 and, if approved, Monroe voters would decide the outcome on November 7. This agreement is contingent upon the changing of school district boundaries so that the 220 acres are moved from the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District to Kiryas Joel School District. The new town would be legally established in January 2020 if approved by voters.

It is important to note that the school district represents more than just the town of Monroe; we also represent the town of Woodbury, as well as parts of Tuxedo, Chester and Blooming Grove. In total, the school district is accountable to more than 29,000 taxpayers who reside in these towns. It is our job to ensure we make fiscally prudent decisions for our taxpayers.

Making the decision to move boundary lines requires a methodical, complex approach. Just two weeks ago, the district received revised parcel information from the Town of Monroe, numbers that differed from those previously discussed. As a result, the district is working quickly to compile an updated report, utilizing the new data.

Based on the most current assessment information, if the formation of the Town of Palm Tree is approved and school district boundaries are moved, the district would lose approximately $880,000 in tax revenue, an amount which would then be absorbed by the remaining taxpayers. District representatives have been meeting with leaders at various state levels since March, in hopes of identifying ways to mitigate the impact on M-W taxpayers. These conversations will continue.

What next? The district will conclude its study shortly and then publicly discuss the findings and recommendations. Our first, and primary, focus is always what is in the best interest of our students. We will continue to be the voice of the students, families and residents of Monroe-Woodbury.

As always, please contact me at 460-6200, ext. 6201 or email erodriguez@mw.k12.ny.us if you have questions. Enjoy the final weeks of summer!

Warm regards,

Elsie Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools