By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville
Sep. 11, 2019: Just as in summers past, the summer of 2019 proved to be a very busy one on the village front. Most important, and perhaps most disruptive for residents, was the repaving of over $400,000 worth of roadways throughout the village. The only street left on the to-do list is North Road, as Con Ed decided to install a new gas line, so we are waiting for its completion to pave. Many of the crosswalks throughout the village were scored and repainted for better visibility, and thanks to the Boulder Ledge Garden Club, trees are being planted in the Kraft Avenue area and the west side/Palmer Road neighborhood.
What we have remaining in the village budget for trees will be spent in the residential areas at locations where trees were lost due to recent storms. Our refurbished and now village-owned Parkway Road parking lot is up and running with several dozen spaces added, shrinking our resident waiting list. Knowing that early sundown is fast approaching, we have ordered over a dozen teardrop light fixtures totaling $96,000 to be placed mainly in the area of the west side and train station environs. We anticipate a November 1 delivery date.
Two of our village intersections are in the process of being refurbished and upgraded as well. At the intersection of Meadow and Kraft Avenues, in the vicinity of Saint Joseph School, a new state-of-the-art rectangular rapid-flashing beacon for pedestrian crossing will be installed in the coming weeks. We are also in the process of reconfiguring the intersection at Midland Avenue, Masterton Road, and Crows Nest. Pedestrian and traffic improvements were implemented today on that intersection. The design was recommended by our consulting engineer and includes the relocation of the crosswalk on Masterton Road along with additional striping to reduce vehicle speed and better define the intersections. Additional improvements, including the installation of signage at the crosswalk that becomes lighted when activated by a pedestrian, will also be added. Permanent curbing and sidewalks will be installed next spring following a review of these improvements and your feedback on the intersections. We welcome your input as we try to improve these two pressure points in the village. As a corollary, we still struggle with too much manpower spent weeding the train station embankments and again welcome some assistance as to what we might plant that is attractive yet relatively maintenance free.
Projects to be initiated in the fall include instituting a materials recycling program, a refurbishment of Bacon Woods Park, and landscaping of the Kennedy Monument. We will also be installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Pondfield Road and Gramatan Avenue. As point of information, replacing the signal taken down by a truck will cost the village a staggering $280,000, though we are confident that insurance will cover costs.
We had hoped to focus on the tennis courts as well; however, we received only one bid after putting out a request for proposal, which we deemed much too high, so we will re-bid over the winter when tennis companies begin to plan their schedules. In additional infrastructure upgrades, we have relined sewers along Meadow and Tanglewylde Avenues and continue to work with residents at Park Place Terrace to continue the project behind their homes.
On the financial front, the village is in an extremely advantageous position. Sales tax revenue exceeded budget by $122,000, which is a direct result of residents shopping local. This number does not even include the additional 1% sales tax increase passed by the legislature this past legislative session. To put in perspective, thanks to your shopping local, the village received $1,022,360 as our portion of Westchester County sales tax. This is equivalent to a 12 percent tax increase should you not have kept purchases local. The only significant revenue shortfall was mortgage tax revenue. Overall, revenue succeeded budget by $903,000, led primarily by strong building permit fees and parking space rentals. On the flipside, expenses came in under budget by $670,000, or 4% of appropriations. The lower-than-anticipated health insurance premiums account for almost 40% of this number.
As a board, we continue to focus on age-related infrastructure repairs knowing that being proactive is prudent vis-à-vis dealing with emergency repairs. We will also be doing repairs to the underpass on railings, abutments, etc., that have been deemed village property. As we are all back in town, do not hesitate to reach out to us with concerns, street issues, and improvement ideas that we may have missed over the summer.
Photo by N. Bower
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