MONROE - The Monroe School District applied for lead agency in a controversial land deal that plans to transfer 500 acres to the village of Kiryas Joel.

Monroe-Woodbury Superintendent Ed Mehrhof applied for lead agency at a town board meeting last night. Residents who oppose the deal say they thought it would be in the best interest to get the school district involved. 

The school district is now up against the town and village boards from Monroe and Kiryas Joel for the role of lead agency to perform a study on the environmental impacts of the land deal. The town board voted unanimously to spearhead the study on the plan to transfer the acres to the village, whose residents say the growing community needs more room to expand.

Attempts to interview officials from the town of Monroe and the village of Kiryas Joel were unsuccessful.