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Letter: Health Center Bad for Greenburgh

This Letter to the Editor was written by Linda Dowdell, a member of Greenburgh's Broadview Civic Association who has lived in Greenburgh for nearly 16 years.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner has ignored numerous requests of Greenburgh residents regarding a variety of past town projects. Now, he is ignoring requests about the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center (MVNHC) being built at 295 Knollwood Rd. The center will have a negative effect on the value of property, real estate taxes, traffic, safety, and overall quality of life.

The MVNHC is the most recent project under construction and has raised several concerns for Greenburgh. There is a need for a sidewalk for the MVNHC construction, but the town is withholding documents and wrongly interpreting town code.

The architectural plans for the proposed sidewalk have been filed with both the New York State Department of Transportation and the town of Greenburgh. Feiner has included public officials and health center staff in the filing, but has excluded citizen participation by scheduling the sidewalk discussion during a work session when few, if any, residents could attend.

Greenburgh residents have repeatedly requested that Feiner make the architectural plans available for public inspection by posting these plans on the town's website along with other promised documents. On Jan. 9, the town only posted online one of the plans on their website relating to the MVNHC construction. However, the town has approved two different plans for the actual construction.

It is against New York State law, and generally accepted practices for the planning board, to approve two different site plans for the same project. Additionally, one set of plans has been made available on the town's website – the ones prepared by J. Crocco Architects. However, the plans allegedly being used by the MVNHC construction were the ones not posted online, prepared by Kellard Engineers. Furthermore, the Crocco plans are not officially signed and stamped by an architect, nor have they been signed by town staff. The information that is made available to Greenburgh residents online is grossly misleading.

This month, the Broadview Civic Association learned that MVNHC has submitted a highway work permit application to the NYS DOT for construction of the sidewalk at 295 Knollwood Rd. The Broadview Civic Association has again filed a FOIL request with the town to inspect these documents.

Before the sidewalk can be constructed along a New York State highway, which Knollwood Road is, NYS highway law requires that the applicant also file an application with the town where the sidewalk is located. Because the sidewalk has been the subject of considerable controversy, the Broadview Civic Association has requested that Feiner make any new information, plans or applications immediately available to Greenburgh residents before any applications are approved by either the NYS DOT or the town.

The town and Feiner have been less than transparent with reference to the construction of this proposed sidewalk. The Broadview Civic Association has requested that Feiner expedite the publication and release of any information in his personal possession or in the possession of town staff concerning this allegedly new proposal by the MVNHC for sidewalk construction from Tarrytown Road to 295 Knollwood Rd.

We foresee major accident lawsuits against the town as a result of improper sidewalk construction with a lack of land to build it, and pedestrian clients crossing the already-busy Knollwood and Tarrytown Roads. When that happens, Greenburgh residents should attempt to sue Feiner for being a bad politician, for not caring for our town, and for getting paid to not do his job.

Linda Dowdell

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