By CHRIS EBERHART
The Bronxville Board of Trustees adopted its $3.5 million capital budget during its April 7 village meeting, which will be used to fund large-scale village projects with an operating life of more than a year.
The capital budget projects line item—unlike any line item in the $14.8 million operating budget—can begin anytime after the capital budget is adopted and can remain open until the project is completed or the Board of Trustees decides to close it. The village’s operating budget funds one-year costs, such as salaries, and has definitive start and end dates—June 1 and May 31, respectively.
Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, a Republican, said every year, she and the trustees create a five-year capital improvement plan that “builds upon past programs and also tries to predict village capital needs going forward for the next three years.”
Marvin said the annual process takes about four months to complete, during which she and the Board of Trustees meet with each department head to discuss a “needs and wish list” for their respective departments.
Marvin said she and the trustees arrange the resulting list by priority and then a final number is set, which is then bonded for annually.
Last year’s capital budget was $2.65 million.
“Every year,” Marvin said, “there’s an overarching theme…Last year was technology upgrades. This year, it’s about infrastructure and repaving the roads.”
The following is a breakdown by department.
Budget: $2.78 million
The bulk of the annual capital budget goes toward funding the village DPW, which
Marvin said is using deteriorating vehicles and has been tasked with repairing the roadways after a harsh winter and addressing an aging infrastructure.
“The roads are in really bad shape. There are potholes everywhere, so we’re doing a lot of resurfacing and curbing,” Marvin said.
The village will undergo an “aggressive repaving program,” according to Marvin, to restore the roadways to pre-winter conditions. A total of $450,000 has been allotted to carry out the project.
The village will also continue two ongoing projects: sewer repairs and lighting modernization. Last year, the village hired two separate consultants to assess its sewers and lighting, especially in the business district, which residents say is too dark.
Essentially, $400,000 will go toward part two of these ongoing projects—$275,000 will fund the renovations and repairs to the 100-year-old sewer pipes and $125,000 will go towards lighting improvements.
Public Works Superintendent Rocco Circosta is awaiting the results of the lighting assessment before deciding the village’s next steps.
Other expenses include the purchases of four DPW vehicles: a full-size dump truck and a smaller dump truck for $185,000 and $60,000, respectively; a garbage truck for $280,000; and a bucket truck for $150,000. Marvin said the old trucks are put out to bid to recoup some of the money.
The life expectancy of the village’s DPW vehicles gets cut short because they don’t all fit in the DPW facility on Palumbo Place and are kept outside, where they’re constantly being exposed to the elements, the mayor said.
To remedy this situation, the village has decided to allocate $240,000 to jump start the facility’s overhaul. Marvin said the $240,000 will pay for an architecture consultant, who will determine what needs to be done and provide “wiggle room” for the Board of Trustees to discuss different options. As of now, Marvin wouldn’t say if the building will be expanded or torn down and replaced, but did say, “work needs to be done.”
More than half of this year’s capital budget for the police department—$80,000—will be used to purchase two cars to replace older cars in the fleet that have reached the end of their life expectancies.
In keeping with the village’s theme of digitalization, the Bronxville police will utilize a relatively new paperless ticket technology called TraCS—Traffic and Criminal Software. A total of $11,000 was allotted to install the software in the village’s police cars.
Fifteen thousand dollars will be used to purchase supplies like special vests and shields for the village’s tactical unit, which is a collaborative unit with Tuckahoe and Eastchester police forces that will respond to emergency situations, such as a school shooting, in any of the three jurisdictions.
Marvin said a large chunk of the $70,000 is going toward technology as the village continues to roll out its new website. Marvin said the money will be used to purchase software that will allow residents to make payments—such as bills or parking tickets—by credit card through the website.
“The village is changing. People are not always home,” Marvin said. “We are trying to offer more computerized options.”
The biggest expense
—$225,000—will go toward the ongoing, village-wide flood mitigation project, which is mostly funded through a FEMA grant. Through the grant, the project is split three ways: 75 percent was paid for by FEMA, 12.5 percent is paid for by the school district and 12.5 percent is paid for by the village. The $225,000 accounts for this year’s village payment towards the project.
Marvin explained that flooding has always been an issue for the village, particularly around the school on Pondfield Road, because of its low elevation.
Other expenses under the Building Department include $50,000 for the storage of records, which is part of a bigger project to put all public records for the village online; $30,000 for a new village car used by building inspectors; and $25,000 for a new computer.
The Bronxville library allocated its entire capital budget funding for renovation purposes, such as painting, which would cost $15,000. Marvin said the library receives the most traffic and needs to be updated every year to keep up with the wear and tear from heavy use.
The library will also purchase $15,000 worth of furniture for the children’s room.
The justice department presented an audit of the department during its meetings with the mayor and Board of Trustees that said there needs to be more security measures in place to protect judges. As it stands now, there are no metal detectors or cameras in the courtroom. The village took steps to address those concerns with $11,000 worth of court security materials, which will include items like cameras