Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin and Village Administrator Harold Porr met with several Village department heads Monday night, during a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees dedicated to reviewing and discussing the proposed 2011/2012 Village of Bronxville Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
The theme of the meeting and discussion seemed to be “frugality,” as with the tough current economic times in mind trustees and department representatives sought to include only the bare essentials in next year’s CIP.
Items on each of the departments’ proposed budgets were separated between ‘needs’ and ‘wants,’ and a handful of large projects – including some that trustees recognized as very real concerns and in need of addressing in the near future – were postponed until next year.
The biggest and most expensive budget included in the 2011/2012 CIP belonged to the Village’s Department of Public Works, whose Superintendent Rocco Circosta requested among other things $600,000 ($150,000 for 2011/2012 and $450,000 for 2012/2013) for street and curb restoration. Circosta explained that these funds would go towards servicing the Village’s road infrastructure, including replacing a number of damaged sidewalks.
Other items on the DPW’s budget included two dump tracks ($130,000), which will replace the two 14 and nine year-old heavily damaged vehicles currently being used; a pickup truck ($30,000); an “Asphalt Hot Box” ($32,000), which would allow the Village to produce asphalt in cold weather; and Storm Sewer Repairs, originally proposed at $30,000 but adjusted to $50,000 after Hurricane Irene.
Due to the current economic times, the trustees and Circosta decided to hold off on conducting renovations to the Sagamore and Malby Parks – especially considering Malby may be used as a dumping areas for snow this winter – which were originally proposed at a combined $275,000. Instead, $175,000 of grant money received will go towards servicing the parks, and $20,000 of the Village’s money will go towards “putting documents together” for possible future renovations.
The Village of Bronxville received $72,017.12 of state aid towards DPW projects for the 2011/2012 calendar, down from $84,788.14 in 2010/2011.
Other “big ticket” items discussed at the trustees special meeting belonged to the Police Department, represented Monday by Lieutenant Richard Bunyan. Bunyan got approval for the acquisition of four new police cars ($113,000), which he said were desperately needed after the department did not add any vehicles last year and lost one this June in an accident; the acquisition of TRACS ($50,000), state of the art technology that will allow officers to write summons on site and have them directly forwarded to Village and County headquarters instead of duplicating entries three times; the acquisition of a security camera system ($38,000); and the acquisition of a license plate reader device and laptop ($35,000).
The acquisition of the video camera system – which could install up to 60 cameras inside and around the and – was strongly backed by a number of trustees and Village administrators, who all expressed concerns about the lack of security around the buildings. In particular, Bunyan revealed that during certain shifts there is only one police officer near the entrance of the Police Department, with no vision of the front or back doors.
Other items included in the Police Department’s proposed budget were the acquisition of Live Scan technology ($20,000), a new copier ($10,000), and tactical equipment ($15,000), including ballistic shields and helmets, patrol rifles and Taser electronic control devices.
The tasers were another major talking point at Monday's meeting, as Bunyan explained that "everyone has them around us," and that they are an essential medium between officers having to use hand-to-hand force and deadly force. The rest of the equipment asked for, including the ballistic gear and patrol rifles, are required for the Village to be able to respond to a "live shooter" situation involving a school or the hospital. Board members were again very supportive of both requests, and stressed that whatever can be done to make the Village safer and better equipped to respond to an emergency should always be a priority.
Again due to the economic times, it was decided that projects to repair or replace damaged traffic controls at the intersections of Pondfield Road and Locust Lane as well as Sagamore Road and Avon Road ($150,000) would be pushed back to next year’s budget. Similar action was taken on a replacement project for the radio antenna mast used by the Police Department ($175,000), a converted flagpole Bunyan said could “come down” sometime between tomorrow or in five years.
Here is a brief summary of some of the other departments represented at Monday’s meeting and the most important items included in their proposed budgets:
- Digital Archiving and Storage of Building Department Records ($75,000)
- Village Hall Front Steps Renovation ($40,000 -- down from $125,000 project which included restoration of surrounding “paved” areas)
Department of Treasury and Assessment
- Acquisition of Treasury Main Frame Computer program ($35,000)
- Acquisition of New Laserfiche Server ($14,000)
- Interior Painting ($15,000)
- Replacement of Flooring ($15,000)
- Furniture Restoration ($10,000)
- Acquisition of Coin Sorter/Counter ($17,500)
- Meters & Cases Restoration Following Irene ($5,000)
From here, the 2011/2012 Village of Bronxville CIP will be presented to residents at a public hearing set for October 10th.
“What we did [Monday] was review in detail the capital item requests by the department heads,” said Village Administrator Harold Porr. “The Board did their work, brought some in, took some out. That program will now be rewritten based on what the input was tonight, and then we will bring it back for a public hearing on October 10th and take public comment. If all goes well we will have an endorsement by the Board at that October meeting to approve the plan.”
[Editor’s Note: The numbers in this article are subject to change, and reflect only those discussed by Bronxville trustees and administrators at Monday's Board of Trustees Special Meeting. Check back with Patch in the following days for the revised and finalized proposed 2011/2012 Village of Bronxville Capital Improvement Program (CIP).]