Wednesday, May 21, 2008

3 HIT AND RUN FATAL ACCIDENTS--TOWNS RESPONSE...SPECIAL MEETING OF TOWN BD THURSDAY...HEARING SET FOR WED NIGHT

The Greenburgh Town Board will be holding a special meeting on Thursday May 21 at 7:15 PM at Town Hall to set a public hearing for May 28th on the following resolution. THe hearing will be held at our Board meeting on the 28th. Last Friday there was another hit & run death on 9A--the 3rd fatal accident on 9A since January. We have been in touch with CDBG officials and have been working with the county CDBG program to fund sidewalks and other pedestrian safety initiatives.

These initiatives, if approved, could reduce the potential for another fatal accident on 9A.
PAUL FEINER



RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION

FOR 2009 – 2011 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT FUNDING FOR SAW Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project



WHEREAS, the Town of Greenburgh is a member municipality of the Westchester Urban County Consortium and, as such is eligible to submit applications for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to Westchester County; and



WHEREAS, after meeting with the Community Development Advisory Committee, community members, as well as Town Agencies and non-profit organizations, the Town has developed a series of projects designed to address both the needs of low and moderate income citizens and the priorities for funding established by Westchester County (the development or maintenance of Affordable Housing Opportunities; Sustainable Investment; and Opportunities for Youth); and



WHEREAS, Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) is located in the heart of the CDBG target area and serves as the primary pedestrian and vehicular traffic route into and out of the area for local residents including public housing tenants and others in the immediate vicinity; and



WHEREAS, New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and determined that DOT would upgrade the pedestrian crossing signal and improve pedestrian crossing safety time; and



WHEREAS, the Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project will include a sidewalks, curbs, drainage improvements and traffic calm devices that would be part of New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), to upgrade road access and pedestrian crossing along Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A); and



WHEREAS, the proposed project would compliment the redesign plans by NYSDOT for Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) and would be a two phase project; and



WHEREAS, the first phase would include improvements from Payne Street to Old Country Road and the Second phase would include improvements from Old Country Road to Hunter Lane: and



WHEREAS, the proposed project would also include pedestrian scale lighting as lighting plays an important role in the overall character of any area. This type of lighting would be used along the sidewalks and pedestrian areas to illuminate and identify routes and provide safety at night; and



WHEREAS, the project will include but not be limited to sidewalks, trees, tree grates, tree guards, plants & planters, sidewalks, curbs, drainage improvements, traffic calm devices, and new pedestrian scale lighting; and



WHEREAS, local residents have requested additional sidewalks be installed in the interest of easier pedestrian access and enhanced safety; and



NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby endorses the submission of an application to Westchester County for $800,000 ($0.00 for the first year, $0.00 second year, and $800,000.00 for the third year) in CDBG funds for Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) improvement project; and



BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Greenburgh will support the project with construction supervision and management, materials and labor in addition to the estimated cash amount of $200,000 ($0.00 for the first year, $50,000.00 for the second year and $200,000 for the third year).

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cute resolution. Can you write one to get the highway department and/or parks department to do basic roadway and median maintenance?

Anonymous said...

Whom will you get to oversee this project.

Think before you leap.
An outside person will do well in overseeing that the work is done properly and on time.

cloudy thinking said...

what do sidewalks have to do with the fact that at least 2 of the accidents took place while the pedestrian's were crossing the street?

hal samis said...

Where is the Town's portion of the money (matching funds) coming from?
It is not as though the Town is awash with extra cash.

Why sidewalks just here and not there? Did the Philanthropy Department conduct a study to determine where sidewalks are needed?

How much is it actually going to cost?

How come the public was told that the hearings on the community grants HAD to be closed at last Wednesday's Town Board meeting?

How come the Library grant, the only controversial one and the only grant that the grantee was not on hand to explain, could not have been held over? Please don't anyone say that the Library Board wasn't needed because Diana Juettner was present.

Why is the Town not in compliance with the requirements of the CDBG application process -- for any of the grants?

Where have all the flowers gone...
When will they ever learn.

juettner must go said...

gone to graveyards everyone - like a town with juettner at the helm for 20 years!

juettner is at the core of every fiasco - esp the library.

juettner = disaster.

p. leavy said...

Hal,

Matching funds. Yes. Where does all of this money come from?

Could you elaborate some on the non-compliance of the CDBG grant applications? Why are they not in compliance?

Many thanks.

hal samis said...

At today's CDBG meeting, the committee, with the exception of Planning Commissioner Thomas Madden, were all hospitable to hearing from another source (me).
Since I did not want to be remembered as a Monday morning quarterback, I appeared in person as a Thursday evening quarterback.

Basically this grant defines low to moderate income areas which are the basis for the grants. I pointed out that there are other similarly trafficked streets within this area that were not targeted for improvement and asked on what selection basis the committee eliminated other streets needing sidewalks.

Not to be arbitrary but I reminded that that it was but a year or two ago that the then Town Board completed a year long study with the assistance of the Chief of Police intended to identify those streets needing sidewalks the most.

The conclusion then was that pedestrian safety was the requisite for committing money to sidewalks and that the first roads chosen for such sidewalks would be Central Avenue and Tarrytown Road.

Central Avenue does not meet the mapped HUD low and moderate income standard of the Westchester County Urban Consortium but the north side of a portion of Tarrytown Road does. Thus excluding this section from its inclusion for the CDBG sidewalk grant eligibility would be unpardonable.

Now, whether the north side of Tarrytown Road is lacking sidewalks is not the point; the CDBG didn't know and it should not be their decision to disregard the safety recommendation made by the Police Chief and the Town Board.

Bottom line, the CDBG agreed to look into it and extend the project to include the north side of Tarrytown Road. If so, at the Public Hearing any other qualifying areas should be included.

Now it will be up to the County to choose who should live and who should die.

On the other hand, there is always the fallback of the famous intermodal pedestrian facility which was good enough for the Greenburgh Health Center.

As for matching funds, Mr. Feiner suggested using the fund balance of the Tax Increment Finance District (found on page 164 of the Town Budget).

Apparently there is still time to make changes in the Grants, something that Mr. Madden as arbiter denied.

As for problems with the process and applications...

The argument has been presented to the Town that at the Town Board meeting when the Grants applications were approved, that the Town has not completed an application consistent with the requirements of the Westchester County Planning Department (as set forth in the Westchester Urban County Consortium Community Development Block Grant Manual) which is responsible for administering the program. There are problems too with the Library receiving funds to purchase equipment. And the Town Board closed the Public Hearing of May 14on the Grants without the customary leaving the record open for written comments (say from those unable to attend the meeting); they did this on the erroneous belief that there would not be enough time (actually until June 2) which obviously now there is enough time for this new Grant and a Public Hearing on it. Etc.

It's a typical day in Dogpatch USA.

p. leavy said...

Hal,

Interesting. A few more questions if possible, please.

Did we pay for this year long study of sidewalks? How can we not address Tarrytown Rd first? If I understand you correctly, not providing time for public comment itself is clear violation in the case of the Library grant?

Matching funds from TIFD: Is this where most matching CDBG grant money is taken from? If so, how much of this year or how far into the future balances, has this fund balance been committed? Do we even know?

I noticed that the TDYCC requested an increase of $ 781.0k for 2008 to their budget. They will receive 15k. In the request was a line for 65K for a 25 passenger bus. Request denied. If I understand correctly, the TDYCC then received CDBG grant money for a 16 passenger bus ( $30.2k) and the town is matching it with $10.1k. Where does this $10.1k come from? The TIFD fund balance?


I’m just trying to have a better understanding. Admittedly, I’m confused and your help is greatly appreciated.

hal samis said...

Dear Pauline,

I'm confused too. And you're venturing into some territory that I don't have the answers.

I think that the TIFD funds are not usable in other parts of Town other than North Elmsford or Tarrytown because they were raised in these areas.

TDYCC issues I leave to those that use the Community Center.

The study of sidewalks was done in-house. Mind you, when it was conducted it was done by the four war-mongering members (Bass, Barnes, Juettner and SHEEHAN) of the Town Council who had to respond to their own criticisms that nothing was done regarding sidewalk construction, something that was repeatedly urged by certain Edgemont residents reasonably concerned by a lack of sidewalks around the Seeley Place School and along Ardsley Road. West Hartsdale Avenue was also mentioned because of the two schools located there. The Town Council was forced to put up or shut up (yours truly again acting out) because they had criticized Feiner for not having a sidewalk policy and when this was turned back on them, they scraped together the nonsense about what locations were their foremost priority and the need to "fill in the gaps". Of course, this sidewalk construction was never attempted either. And the idea that the gaps on these major roads were the presumed first effort was a joke. Who says that the Police Chief doesn't have a sense of humor?

The only point I was making about the grants for 9A is that given the Town sidewalk history and the HUD "map" which shows the location of low to moderate income areas which are the basis for the CDBG funding (but does not point to specify areas needing sidewalks within the income criteria)...that the committee was unaware of the Town's previous sidewalk "research" and should have considered solving all of the Town's needs in the covered income areas rather than playing god in choosing which streets should get sidewalks.

I specifically point the finger at Thomas Madden because it is his Department, Planning, which oversees the Philanthropy Department and Mr. Madden was the key data collector to the sidewalk study ordained by the then Town Council. It seems that his memory is subjective and he is too eager to pass his official but incorrect statements off as the answer when they serve his purpose.

The County has often too often given indications that it is behind something only to bail out at the last minute. And, as Mr. Feiner himself pointed out, whatever is asked for the reality is that only a tiny fraction of the amount requested will be granted. He suggested that if $800,000 is asked for, getting $100,000 might be realized. Such dollars would not provide the sidewalk funding much less allow anything for all the other grant requests.

Nevertheless as it turns out, the income criteria include just the north side of Tarrytown Road in an area that is probably already sidewalked but the committee did not omit this area knowing this. On the other hand, the grant also specifies sidewalk repairs, crossing signals, drainage improvements and street lighting enhancements, etc. which still may be needed even in this sidewalked area.

The basic problem the public faces when making comments at PUBLIC HEARINGS is that the way the Town interprets these comments is that they are only good if they agree and support the position of the Town Board. Everything else is for show and just to allow the record to register that there was a Public Hearing held.

Come to the Town Board meeting this coming Wednesday. See for yourself. On the Agenda will be a Public Hearing on the Capital Budget. It is rumored that the Town Board intends to vote that same night. What is less known is that the Town Board has already passed Resolutions to purchase items shown on the Capital Budget that might be the subject of public comment. However since these items have already been committed, there is nothing that the Public can do to alter what has already been done. How do you feel about this?

Often "open" government is confused with the phrase "open and shut case".

Anonymous said...

There are already sidewalks on 9A from Rt 287 to the movie theater.
sidewalks are located at 9A and Payne St where the last accident happened.New sidewalks aren't going to help in this area, beacause they are there already!

Patty Leavy said...

Dear Hal,

My first name is Patty. Pat or Patricia, if you like. Although my parents once considered naming me Phyllis, Pauline was never an option nor has anyone referred to me by that name. As amusing as I found “Dear Pauline” I’m afraid to ask you why you choose to address me this way. :D

Many thanks of giving me the back history and education of Greenburgh sidewalks. I now have a better understanding.

I use the TDYCC bus only as an example of trying to find the money trail. It was current and seemed a good case to ask “where does this money come from” question. Since it was denied from the Capital Budget but, then, possibly approved from the TIFD fund balance, I was looking to find if this was a shell game, if you will.

I will admit that I shy away from attending town meetings for many reasons you cite. Somewhat pointless; decisions have already been made; the council is going through the motions…..pointless. Also, I find it disturbing how people conduct themselves.

How do I feel about this? I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone. My first reaction was complete disbelief. After a few decades, I sorta feel like I have Stockholm syndrome. Either way, it isn’t good.

Anyhow, I grateful for all of this “open ( open & shut?) government” as I can feel as if I’m an active, armchair, participant! YAY!

Maybe we will meet at the next public hearing. Another issue beckons & I fear I will be attending. I will seek you out & introduce myself. Look for the lady wearing the “Pauline” name tag.

Thanks again.

hal samis said...

Dear Patty,

You will recall we spoke when you made your initial appearance on the blog almost a year ago.

So much curiousity.

Pauline as in Perils of...

I now hear that the Capital Budget will not be voted upon Wednesday night so that is an improvement.
Time to get out and speak your piece; you can bring your keyboard as a security blanket.

Anonymous said...

WHEN IS THE DPW REMOVING THE BOULDERS ON TOWN PROPERTY SO WE COULD WALK ON THE SIDE OF THE ROADWAY INSTEAD OF WALKING IN THE ROADWAY.

Many new residents walk with the traffic than against the traffic.
They ride their bikes and scooters in the same manner.
Is there anyway of teaching them how to proceed on foot,bikes and scooters.

It gets kind of tough trying to explain to them that they should be looking at the uncoming traffic at all times
.

Anonymous said...

How could the town request a grant for 9A and also include two other areas when the residents in Edgemont have requested sidewalks arround school areas and the roadway to the Scarsdale train station for years

Why is it if they ask for something nothing happens but let the north end ask and it is granted.

I guess the town council is using these residents to acquire more land ,pay for parks the center and library without reapping any benefits .

Paul do you say that this is being fair to all the residents or are we being used to heighten your accomplishments.

Up to today I cannot say that your accomplishments deserve a good passing grade.Too many failures for you and the board.

Anonymous said...

Every area has been requesting sidewalks. Edgemont, isn't, um, poor enough, to qualify for a CDBG grant.

ed krauss said...

The last "We resolve" applying for a CDBG grant for route 9A improvement is incredulous.Within the "resolve" is stated the Town will support the project "with construction supervision and management..."

That's quite a promise given the abortion known as the Library construction project, which had no supervision and less management.

I sure do hope to recipients of the grant application don't work too hard at checking us out, and if we do get the grant, I hope we have learned something from the library project.

Anonymous said...

The way our money is being used by the north end of town we too will be seeking assistance from the government for different projects.

Why can't this town treat all residents equal.

Last night Cora insisted that the money allocated to the center was too little,well the center demanded money for the previous two years got the money and never did the construction .
What's her beef???

They get money year after year for pool repairs but they never do the necessary repairs.
Are we just to give and give until it hurts. Well Mr. Feiner we are hurting real bad and we have no more money for the centers foolishness.

It has been said close the dam thing since we ALL do not and cannot use it.

Anonymous said...

Cora and the TYCC are out of control!
The TDYCC 2008 budget was $3.1million. That's 37% of the entire budget for ALL recreation. All parks. All maintenance. What % of the population use the center?


Adding insult to injury the TDYCC asks for $781.0k for 2008 capital improvements! They get 15k & Cora tells the council members that they should be ashamed of themselves.

The TDYCC has received $791.0 for capital improvements over the past 3 years.

Shame on you Cora for both your disrespect of the town council members at the meeting and for the open theft of the towns tax money. It's time people start to stand up to the Cora's and to stop being bullied into handing over money.

PS I want our $443.0. Pay up!

Anonymous said...

The board is married to Fairview.
We in the other parts of town have been divorced.
The only thing that we are good for is paying alimony to Fairview .
They seem to be the boards chosen people.