Palisades Community Meeting With Local and State Officials

On Sunday, March 26, over 80 residents pulled themselves away from a beautiful sunny day to attend a community meeting at the Palisades Community Center with Congressman Mike Lawler, State Senator Bill Weber, Assemblyman John McGowan, County Legislator Jim Foley and Town Supervisor Teresa Kenny. It was a rare opportunity for residents to voice concerns in person, and the amazing turn out showed that residents are alert and involved. Numerous topics were covered, but the top three were HNA, the Route 9W/Oak Tree Road intersection and abysmal cell phone service in the area.

HNA – Supervisor Kenny said the purchase of the former Palisades Premier Conference Center property from the China based HNA Group should be resolved within the year. Two years ago, Orangetown reached an agreement with Reveille Hospitality, a Delaware based company that plans to build a hotel, spa, a facility for content creation, and eventually, townhouses on the site. The sale has been stalled for two years because of HNA legal issues. HNA is $4 million in tax arrears, the property is deteriorating, utilities have been turned off and the property is regularly vandalized. The Town is proceeding with eminent domain to facilitate a sale.

Route 9W/Oak Tree Road Intersection – Last year, Palisades received $5 million in state and federal funds to make changes to the hazardous intersection. A few years ago a roundabout was suggested. An initial study by the DOT determined a roundabout could be installed within the diameter of the current intersection with no need to purchase additional land, but more immediate actions were proposed including a delayed light and increased police presence. If the roundabout plan is pursued, there will be a number of public hearings before anything is confirmed. Mock–ups of roundabout designs can be viewed at the Palisades Farm Stand.

Orangetown Traffic Patrol – Supervisor Kenny reported that they have hired two new policemen to rotate around Orangetown to monitor traffic. They’ll be visible at the Oak Tree Road/Route 9W intersection and ticketing tractor trailers on Oak Tree Road.

Cell Phone Service – Congressman Lawler said, “This is a top priority. I have raised the issue with Verizon, TMobile, and AT&T about the need for better broadband and cell phone service.” There are five cell towers in the area, but it is unclear why service is so poor. To help address the problem, residents can call their cell provider with service complaints. The community can also file complaints with the FCC. Watch for e–blasts with more details on this process.

Other topics discussed were the high cost of living and taxes in our area, New York City congestion pricing plans (Lawler calls it a “money grab” by the MTA), disappearing bus service, the discontinued commuter parking lot at the American Legion in Sparkill (Kenny explained that funds were withdrawn), potholes on Route 9W, increased tractor trailer traffic, proposed mega–warehouses on Route 303, NYS Compact Housing mandate, different interpretations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, elimination of NY state tax on clothing and CSX rail safety (very concerning after recent devastating train derailments in Ohio and Minnesota).

To help activate change on any of the above issues, email