GREENBURGH, N.Y. – For the last three weeks, members of Iron Workers Local Union 40 have been protesting the use of out-of-state workers building the foundation for a new Greenburgh Health Center on Knollwood Road.
The demonstration is just one of many issues that have plagued the project over the last seven years. The Broadview Civic Association feels it has been "poorly planned" and will have a negative effect on property values, traffic, safety and quality of life in a predominantly residential area.
"There's so many concerns there," said Linda Dowdell, a member of the association. "It's a narrow two-way street that's very dangerous and there's no space on the road to build a sidewalk."
The more than 25,000-square-foot facility is being constructed next to the Social Security building at 295 Knollwood Road. The center will be affiliated with health centers in Mount Vernon and Yonkers, but Supervisor Paul Feiner said it will operate in the same way as the existing Greenburgh Health Center on Route 119.
"It's just like any other health center. Most of the people who use it will be Greenburgh residents," Feiner said. "I never see crowds at the center. You don't even know it's there."
Dowdell said Feiner and other town officials have been unresponsive to the concerns of residents.
"I don't think Paul Feiner is working on behalf of the citizens but on behalf of the politicians and those who have a stake in the building," she said.
Feiner, who noted the developer has two years to install a sidewalk before a certificate of occupancy will be issued, said residents of the townhouse complex moved in after the health center was already approved and are just upset they weren't aware of it.
"Many of them didn't know. It was not like it was a secret," Feiner said. "We had dozens of hearings on it. I don't think it will be a problem."
As for the protesters, David Levy, a 25-year member of Iron Workers Local Union 40, said the contractor should be using workers from New York State, not Connecticut. He also claimed proper safety guidelines were not being followed with the project.
"There are people out of work in New York who could do this. Why do we have to use people from Connecticut?" Levy said. "We'd like to make local Greenburgh residents aware of what is going on with their taxes. We could have had this project done already."