I am pleased to report that the Village Board of Trustees and Ms. Booth have concluded a settlement agreement regarding the repair and reconstruction of a portion of the Causeway Wall.

To recap, briefly, the on-going litigation was brought by Ms. Booth against the Village, alleging that the Village acted arbitrarily and capriciously in determining that a portion of the wall had failed structurally.

Even though the court ruled that the Village had acted properly in all respects, the court sought to go one step further to determine ownership of the wall, despite the fact that neither side had sought such a ruling. Ms.Booth, however, did succeed in preventing the Village from performing any dismantling or repair work, while the matter was being litigated.

At the most recent court hearing, the judge in the case expressed displeasure that the matter had not been resolved by the parties. It became apparent to the Village that long delays would continue to be a hallmark of this matter, when Judge Onofry stated that he was going to make an “expedited” decision, as to measures that would be required of each side prior to a full hearing on the question of ownership, and a month proceeded to go by with no such decision.

We faced many potential legal challenges and days of hearings going forward. Several issues could have easily been appealed, further prolonging this case for many more months still, or longer.

Given the legal landscape, it was clear that the time had come to do what was necessary to end the litigation and get the causeway road re-opened, primarily for the safety of ours residents.

A settlement was hammered out by Trustees Giunchard and Kilduff, along with Village resident Alan Yassky. The work will be overseen by Mr. Yassky, Patrick Donaghy and Tom Salierno, while being monitored by the Village. An approximate 100 foot section of the wall will be dismantled to a height of 3 feet and built back up, using the same stones, soil will be permanently removed from the property and a swale of 250 feet will be created to relieve pressure from behind the wall and enhance drainage. An easement of 20 feet will run along the length of the wall, will enable proper monitoring and maintenance going forward.

It was time to get the road open, to let residents have ease of travel, safety and the beautiful view of Tuxedo Lake returned. And it was time to end the litigation, which increasingly held a great deal of legal uncertainty for both sides of the dispute, given the unrequested insertion of the court into some much broader questions.

Preliminary work has already begun, and we expect the construction work to begin in earnest May 1st. Please be advised that the road will need to be closed, in its entirety, for certain periods of time, but we will try to retain the one-way aspect through most of the construction period. If the weather cooperates, we could see completion by the end of May, just in time for a wonderful summer season!

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