MONROE - The Monroe-Woodbury School District is out of the running to take the lead in an environmental review of the proposal that would double the size of the village of Kiryas Joel.
The district got word this week from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that the school district doesn't qualify under state law to be the lead agency. It was competing with the town of Monroe and the village of Kiryas Joel for the job.
School Superintendent Edward Mehrhof says the school district garners $1.1 million in school taxes from the land under discussion. If the annexation goes through, the land that is currently in the town of Monroe would become part of the village of Kiryas Joel.
Mehrhof is concerned that the next move would be to make the area part of the Kiryas Joel School District.
"For us, the loss of $1.1 million in school taxes potentially could have a significant impact on the programs the district offers," Mehrhof said.
School taxes in the Monroe-Woodbury district could also go up.
Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus wants the county be part of the annexation review. He is calling for a change in state law to allow counties to be the lead agency.