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From the Mayor: Village Challenges and Priorities for Coming Year PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville


Jan. 31, 2018:  In my first official village-centric column of the new year, I wanted to share with you what the board of trustees has determined to be priorities for the upcoming year.

Truly, the year promises to be one of the busiest I can recollect, as so many major projects are on the front burner.

As an overview 

Garage for Our Public Works Staff and Equipment:  Built in 1942, and not substantially remodeled since, our current facility has a compromised infrastructure. Leaking in so many spots, the building cannot hold our equipment, necessitating outdoor storage, which halves the life of most of our intricate vehicles. Repairs also have to be made in the freezing cold and on a public street.

Last year, we sought proposals, which resulted in estimates much higher than anticipated, so we are going back to the drawing board. Regardless of the scope, something has to be done to improve working conditions and storage of millions of dollars of equipment.

Update Zoning and Planning Regulations:  In light of changing residential and business realities, our overall zoning and planning regulations must be updated to reflect the current climate.

As an example, due to the popularity of Internet shopping, stores want to operate in the village with a service component or solely as a service, such as exercise studios and restaurants.

On the residential side, teardowns, tree removals, and multiyear construction projects need to be addressed with new rules and regulations. The quality of life of neighbors must have a more central role in our consideration of permits and approvals.

Upgrade to Village Commercial and Residential Lighting:  We currently have the most inefficient lighting system possible, employing 189 Watt incandescent bulbs on most of our streets, near both homes and businesses. We will move slowly, especially in residential areas, as needs are very different depending on street width, topography, and density of homes. Our neighbors in Scarsdale are ahead of us in the process, and we are learning from their rollout. Certainly, aesthetics is a major factor throughout the village. In the business district, other factors must be considered, including insurance and liability issues, traffic flow concerns, and illumination needs when businesses are closed.

Teamsters Labor Negotiations:  Our public works department employees are represented by the Teamsters. We are currently in constructive talks to craft a new agreement going forward. As would be no surprise, health care coverage and contribution rates are the main issues under discussion.

Infrastructure Improvements:  We continue on our aggressive course to repair our 100-plus-year-old infrastructure in a methodical way to avoid patchwork emergency deferred-maintenance issues, which are much more costly. The sewer system is currently our main focus as we enter Phase Two of pipe repair and relining.

Midland Avenue/Pondfield Road Intersection:  We continue to seek a light/walk configuration that will improve pedestrian flow, in particular, as we encourage residents to embrace a more walking environment. In recent years, more stringent state rules apply when an intersection is reconfigured (witness what we were required to do near St. Joseph’s Church), and we are conscious of the unobstructed beauty of the village’s crossroads at Pondfield and Midland. Currently, we are reviewing many options, aware that an improvement is warranted.

Budget:  Starting in early February, the trustees, staff, and I begin a very comprehensive review of our spending in anticipation of a new budget being crafted and adopted by May 1, 2018. 

Municipal expenditures are 19% of every village tax dollar. Given the recently passed tax laws, we are acutely aware of the added burden placed on Westchester County residents in particular.

Kensington Road Improvements:  As the Villa BXV project nears successful completion, we are looking toward upgrading the nearby Bacon Woods Park, sidewalks, and intersections that were left in limbo as we awaited positive development on the long unattractive Kensington parking lot. The village owns Bacon Woods, a hidden gem that is a 1.6-plus-acre park straddling Kensington and Sagamore Roads, which warrants upgrading and refurbishing.

Business District Revitalization:  Extremely important to the value of everything in the village, we continue to work with our chamber of commerce, standing committees, merchants, and landlords to not only fill the vacant storefronts but ensure that we have the optimal mix of businesses to promote stability and profit.

Parking Opportunities:  We are actively working with various property owners and village entities to increase our inventory through village ownership and/or public/private partnerships.

Smaller in Scope but Equally Important: 

  • Constant refurbishing and maintenance of the condition and attractiveness of village public spaces

  • Village Hall

    • Improvement of our website

    • Startup of the community garden

    • Repairs to the library’s HVAC system

    • Upgrades to court security, phone system, parking software, records retrieval, and cameras

    • Improvement of our green efforts re composting and recycling volume

    • Replacement of street trees lost over the years to age, storm, and disease

Our overarching goal is to make the village the most efficiently run, fiscally responsible, attractive, and inviting place to live. 

As most residents did, we came to the village for the excellence of the public school system. The task of the municipal government is to offer enough services and amenities within a very small budget for you to want to make the village home long after the children are off to college. 

For long-term sustainability, it is imperative that we keep a healthy balance between school and non-school families and encourage lifetime investment in our community. 

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases and articles from local institutions and legislators. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in those press releases and articles and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

From the Mayor: Assessed Values of Bronxville Real Estate Defensible; Grievance Numbers Low

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville Nov. 14, 2018:  As a result of the federal tax law changes and the uncertainty that has followed in the real estate...

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