Tuesday, January 27, 2009

3 DEATHS LAST YEAR ON 9A--TOWN RECEIVES MAJOR CDBG GRANT TO CONSTRUCT SIDEWALKS


AFTER 3 DEATHS IN ONE YEAR AND OTHER FATALITIES OVER THE YEARS,

TOWN TO RECEIVE CDBG GRANT TO CONSTRUCT SIDEWALKS ON 9A!



I am pleased to report that the town has received a grant of $225,000 from the

community development block grants (CDBG)to install accessible sidewalks along the

east side of Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) from Payne Street to Hunter Lane. The

proposed project will compliment the redesign plans by NYDOT for Saw Mill River Road

(Route 9A); phase one would include improvements from Payne Street to Old County

Lane and phase two would include improvements from Old Country Lane to Hunter

Lane.



Sidewalks are necessary to reduce the incidents of accidents and fatalities on Route

9A. There have been three pedestrian deaths along Saw Mill River Road over the

last year; and there have been numerous accidents and fatalities going back several

years.



On June 18, 2002 an article appeared in the Journal News entitled "Too Late and Not Enough". This article highlights the need for safety improvements on the winding road. Another article appeared in the Journal News on March 3, 2008 entitled "Family Mourns Father". That fatality highlighted the need to press the NYS Department of Transportation to increase safety on the 9A. A third article appeared in the May 26, 2008 issue of the Journal News entitled "Greenburgh wants study of road where 3 men died." This latest fatality made the cause of sidewalks even more urgent.



The proposed project would look at areas along Saw Mill River Road in order to improve sidewalks along the east side of Saw Mill River Road (Route 9A) from Payne Street to Hunter lane. As part of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan update, the identification of possible areas for new sidewalk has been an early action items recommended by the residents of the Town of Greenburgh. This is a CDBG target area and serves as the primary pedestrian and vehicular traffic route into and out of the area for local residents.



The Route 9A Traffic Calming and Sidewalk Roadway Improvement Project will include a “bulb- out” curb extension along traffic calming measures at Payne Street, Beaver Hill Road , Old Country Lane and Hunter Lane. This would be included as addition improvements, to be coordinated with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), to upgrade the pedestrian crossing signal and improve pedestrian crossing safety time at Saw Mill River Road. The project will also look at the possibilities of upgrades to the drainage system along Saw Mill River Road as a result of a new curbing along the road. The first phase of the project will be from Payne Street to Old Country Lane.



The project will 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.



This project is scheduled for 2010. This project will require coordination with The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Village of Elmsford. We will be requesting $425,000 in Federal funds. This project is scheduled for 2010.
Special thanks to Winsome Gordon, George Gumina of our Philanthopy Dept and Planning Commissioner Thomas Madden for their hard work pushing for this safety improvement.

21 comments:

hal samis said...

Someone please refresh my memory.
Am I confusing this with another program?

Didn't the grant application include building sidewalks along some of the missing sidewalk portions of Tarrytown Road within the CDBG specified District. My memory is that these sidewalks were included because the Town Board and the Police Department, having studied what areas needed sidewalks, listed the missing links on Tarrytown Road is within the list of top three prioritized for public safety. Ask Mr. Sheehan.

Of course it might have been another grant program. Does anyone remember, the public discussions on applications at the time also included applying for a grant to buy video games for the library etc.

how much must the town pay? said...

More importantly, how much money must the town now put up in order to qualify for this CDBG money? Why is it, when these grants are announced, that the Town Supervisor never discloses what Greenburgh's obligation is? If there were no matching obligation, certainly he'd tell us that -- it would be free money after all -- but when there is a corresponding financial obligation that will fall on town taxpayers, he never says how much it will be.

So, should town taxpayers FOIL the information? Is that how we're supposed to find out? One would think that in these tough economic times, what with the town's taxes for unincorporated having jumped more than 31% in the past two years, that this information would be disclosed right up front. But it's not.

There's something really wrong with that.

more of the same said...

where is the grant for the dangerous intersection of sprain and ardsley road?

once again the town board is mia.

Anonymous said...

10:57
Just slow down at that intersection, and get over it!
Drive with caution and you will be alright

Anonymous said...

Excuse my ignorance, but which government level dispenses "Community Development Block Grants"?
Aren't we just getting our own tax dollars returned to us?

The posting references "bulb out" situations. Why would any street light bulb out for more than a day or two? If, as one supposes, town police patrols cover every street in unincorporated Greenburgh on a regular basis, an observant officer (and truthfully, our officers are very good) might be expected to notice a burned out bulb. If it was easy to report such an outage and the Town had the will, no light would remain unlit for very long. Sadly, there are frequently long delays between the reporting of burned out bulbs and their replacement. (Probably the same can be said of Town politicians - but I'll refrain from adding to that.)

Justin said...

In my opinion this is the least dangerous portion of 9A for pedestrians. I think there are much scarier parts that should be addressed first. Like the Section between White House Road and E Main St.

government not working said...

its probably in the union contract - thou shall not report a burned out light bulb or a rusted damaged sign.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Feiner: What is the amount that the town must pay?

hal samis said...

The Town has received approximately $390,000 in three linked grants.

$45,000 for the Tarrytown Road sidewalk infill, $120,000 for along Manhattan Avenue and $225,000for the sidewalk on 9A. More had been requested but this is what the Town got. Good job so far.

The Town's matching portion is roughly $200,000.

Now here is where it gets tricky. The Town is looking for more grant money for this project, this time from that soft touch Nita Lowy. From her, there apparently is a requirement to obtain matching funds. Given that what is really needed, or at least what the Town says is needed to do the job, is at least $1 million. So how to get $600,000 to grown into $1 million?

Well the first method is to fool everyone. Say that the project needs $1 million when it doesn't. This lesson was learned over at the Library. Of course, applying to government agencies for grants might have some consequences if anyone is awake at the switch. Right, this is government at the controls. For example a private Developer wants to borrow construction money to build a project. The Lender is not going to finance the project at 100% of the costs; they want the Developer to have some of his money at risk -- at least enough to satisfy Regulators that they are not making high risk loans. But what the Developer does is mark-up the costs to provide for builder's profit and thus with this as a cost factored in, he can borrow closer to the $1 million without raising anyone's conscience levels. Look how well it worked last year.

Now the Town wants to do the same thing. They want to tell the new grant sources that the project costs more money than the actual cost to build. By inflating the costs, they can justify a higher grant. But what about matching funds? Won't the Town have to put up more money. Not so, says the Town. We can use the first round of grants to become the Town's equity, the matching funds. Thus, with the Town willing to put up the orginal $200,000 and add to that the grant money of $390,000, then the Town should be able to match $590,000 worth of additional grants.

Let's use the grants to get more grants and we can build...a house of cards. Quick, who came first: Bernie Maydoff or the Town's grant purveyors? We'll use the original grant money not to build sidewalks per our signed application but instead as the collateral (matching funds) for new grants. We can make money if we don't have to use the money to actually build the damn sidewalks.

Sounds like a plan. We'll get more and more grants and use the first-in grants as the basis to get even more matching funds.

Hope that no one actually asks to see a sidewalk.

But that won't be happening soon anyway. We're talking 2011 under any scenario. Just don't plan to do any walking in these areas soon.
And remember, if you're out walking at night, wear white.

One more thing. State. Federal. Grants don't grow on trees. They come from money you paid in as State and Federal taxes. And as the State and Feds pump out this money, eventually someone is going to have to pay the price. You.
Even Obama's economic stimulus package. You pay in the end.

Taxes are going up. Only, unlike the Town, you can't get a grant to use as collateral for the next round of funding. Don't get it?
Maybe an Xposure graduate can explain it to you.

What stimulus stimulates is inflation. Get used to the idea.
Coming to a Town near and dear to you.

ponzi on hudson said...

sounds like a scheme madoff in heaven

hal - please call the feds!

if we cannot et term limits lets at least get indictments.

Anonymous said...

"The Town's matching portion is roughly $200,000."

Mr. Feiner: Is that true?!

Paul Feiner said...

YES

Anonymous said...

who is in charge of making sure all of the sidewalks are cleared on the way to the train station in hartsdale. i saw many people wipe out this morning and I was almost one of them.

Anonymous said...

I believe Parks & Recreation maintains the sidewalks. From what I heard someone fell & got hurt. Hope this doesn't equal to another lawsuit for the town.

The problem is their is no accountability.

Anonymous said...

the town has been sanding/salting. Some of the black ice is not melting. It's slippery out there, on public property, on private property, in our own driveways and steps to our homes.

Anonymous said...

Yes the town was sanding and salting but why wasn't important areas like hartsdale avenue sidewalks taken care of until after 730. I watched someone taken away in an ambulance, I also watched a town vehicle pass by a white suv and not even stop to see what happened to the person being taken away in an ambulance.

Anonymous said...

Observed crews sanding and salting.

hal samis said...

Enough already...

"Special thanks to Winsome Gordon, George Gumina of our Philanthopy Dept and Planning Commissioner Thomas Madden for their hard work pushing for this safety improvement."

What we have here is a block development grant REQUIRING matching Town funding of $200,000.

What we don't have here is a forceful Town government INSISTING that the State make its own road, 9A, safe and spend ITS own funds doing so.

The CDBG grant is the local distribution of what are really State funds. The NYDOT is already funding a redesign of nearby Saw Mill River Road. Still, the total of the CDBG grant AND the Town's money is not sufficient to do the job.

So here's the question? Why is the Town being the $200,000 sucker here and not pressuring the State to do the right thing...at State expense.

What we have here is the lack of communication and the lack of clout to get the State to fulfill its obligation -- without the assistance of Greenburgh. What we have is the State laughing at us for stealing crumbs from the CDBG pot which should be applied to other needy programs INSTEAD of compelling the State to cure the problem without us. What the State has done is snooker the Town into ponying up $200,000 which saves the State $200,000. And, again, grant + $200,000 won't complete the job.

There's nothing here to be patting the Town on the back.

And, one of the three deaths was the result of a pedestrian crossing the road, nothing that a sidewalk would have cured.

You've got to understand that everything that the Town puts out should be taken with a grain of rock salt.

Anonymous said...

3 people have died on 9A. The police recommend sidewalks. The community wants sidewalks.

hal samis said...

The Community wants sidewalks is not the issue.

Nor do we want the Police Department to be deciding how we spend our money. What if someone were to die would lead to helicopters, mobile surgery units, nuclear medicine units, missile silos, anything in the Police version of the PX.

BUT, in case your forgot, the Community also elects representatives to Albany.

It is true that sidewalks might have saved two lives (they don't build sidewalks in the middle of the road); if the need is real then the need is something that the State should not ignore and it is their responsibility.

Otherwise, ignore Brodsky and Cousins when they ask for your vote.

As for Greenburgh spending its money on State obligations, look at it this way: would you mow your neighbor's lawn, shovel his driveway, put out his garbage, pay for his kid's college education, pay for his daughter's wedding, take his high blood pressure medicine for him, stop a bullet headed his way...

You and your neighbor are both in the Community.

In this case, your elected officials are supposed to hound the Brodsky's and the Cousins (both useless other than to promote themselves) into making the State fulfill its obligations.
Does Greenburgh have more money than the State? Two deaths, three deaths...is supposed to have the same import in Albany as it does locally -- that's the reason why we have elected people sent to Albany. That's why they are called our representatives. That's what their job is: to represent their districts. That's supposed to be the reason that you voted for Brodsky and Cousins, not to keep them off the street. If Greenburgh is supposed to step in and mow the neighbor's lawn, we could better afford this expense if we stop paying the salaries of Brodsky and Cousins; that would be at least account for the $200,000 that the Town is on the hook for.

ed krauss said...

CDBG is money to help "community development," of its OWN parcels.

A "block grant," to remedy the probems of a state owned road which happens to run through Greenburgh, wherein we pay to solve their responsibility, is a BLOCKHEAD "GRANT."

What are we stupid...don't answer that? The State gives us a few bucks to put sidewalks on a portion of their roadway; they wants us to match their contribution; the sum total of their money and our money is not enough to do the job, and we're "thanking" Whinsome and George.

I know people are dying BUT, we don't have enough usable fund balance left (guess where it went to) to even "front" the money needed to do the job. Betting on the "come," is out of the question.

Albany promises are not collateral, given their finances. Besides,if the roadway is not safe, it's their responsibility to make it safe, nor ours. Additionally, filing a false document is a felony (10:57AM Stephanie Bellino topic person- I know it is) so maybe if it is signed by our CFO, we can solve two problems: we can save people from dying on Rte. 9A and the Town from dying from Mt.Pleasant south to the Yonkers line,and from the Hudson to the Bronx River Pway on the East.