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Town Voices: Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner Photo Credit: Courtesy: Judith Ebenstein

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- I would like to thank The Daily Voice for providing me with the opportunity to discuss with your readers some initiatives that are being considered by the town of Greenburgh this coming month.

Last month I  submitted my proposed 2013 capital budget to the Town Board for consideration. The Board will review the proposed budget during the month of April, make some possible changes to the budget and approve a final budget--probably in May.  My  proposed capital budget includes spending recommendations of $2,187,157 in the A budget, $4,322,909 in the B budget and $5,350,000 in the water department. Although many requests were made by department heads, the goal has been to maintain a level debt service, going forward, relative to previous years.

Many of the requested initiatives in the proposed capital budget will reduce our costs long term. The town wide reassessment, which will take place in cooperation with other communities in Westchester, will reduce tax certiorari’s and revenue losses for the Town. We anticipate that as many as 12 localities in Westchester could join Greenburgh in reassessing properties. The last time reassessment took place in Greenburgh was about 60 years ago. Mount Vernon, one of the communities that is considering partnering with Greenburgh on the reassessment initiative last reassessed properties BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. So I'm not exaggerating when I suggest that there are some inequities in our current assessments! The cost of reassessment will be paid over 3 years.

We have appropriated $350,000 for the purchase of a “one arm bandit” sanitation truck—a truck that picks up garbage using a hydraulic arm. This vehicle uses one employee instead of three. The Town will be able to reduce our personnel costs via attrition and we will be able to increase collection efficiencies. A theme in this year's capital budget is long term savings. We will be able to operate less expensively and with fewer employees by re-inventing the way we are managing the town.

LED lighting will be phased in. Our new LED lighting will enable the Town to save money because these newer LED lights are much more energy efficient. The new lights will also help the town reduce personnel costs associated with replacement of the lights. I have recommended that $500,000 be appropriated for 2013. We anticipate that all lights will be replaced within 3 years. We will be comparing some different purchasing options. Some companies will replace lights at no cost to the Town –they are paid via savings. We will compare the financial options before making a decision. If it is determined that the Town will come out financially better off by not paying any upfront costs, the Town will not have to borrow the $500,000.

Our roads need repaving and the proposed capital budget includes 1.2 million for repaving. It cost us about a million to repave one mile of road.

The proposed capital budget also includes funding for water meter replacements which will enable water rate users to feel more confident about the accuracy of their meters. The water meters will also reduce our costs. The proposed budget also includes funds to repair, renovate and paint our water tanks. The capital budget includes updating our computer system, providing funds so we can continue to provide quality, advanced life support services to the Town. We are recommending additional security upgrades at the Theodore Young Community Center and at our fuel stations. I am recommending funding that will enable residents to continue to enjoy our recreation programs. There is also funding for road resurfacing and curbing rehabilitation.

Paul J. Feiner, Town Supervisor

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