Column: We’ve mastered this plan

belmontSince coming into office, it has always been my mission to streamline municipal spending while maintaining services. I believe the Town Council has acted responsibly in developing strategies and cost saving measures that will benefit our entire community.

Over the past several years, Harrison’s corporate tax base has diminished due to the departure of many large corporations. This is especially true along our Platinum Mile. The corporate tax base has also been affected by successful certiorari filings. This reduced tax base has resulted in an increased tax burden for Harrison residents. Adding some new uses to the Platinum Mile, along with some improved infrastructure and pedestrian connectivity, could help revitalize the area and improve our taxes.

I would like to bring your attention to Harrison’s newly adopted master plan. The Town Council spent much of 2013 laying the ground work for the master plan update. Through public engagement, with interested stakeholders, a draft plan was compiled and ultimately adopted by the council, in December 2013. The adopted plan is currently posted on our website at www.harrison-ny.gov.

The plan identifies guiding principles concerning our municipality’s development and revitalization. Our Planning and Zoning boards will use it as a reference for more efficient decision-making, and the Town Council will use it to review and approve planning and zoning decisions. It is a critical component in creating a new vision for Harrison and I am very happy with the finished product.

In an effort to fuel economic vitality and development in our region and stimulate new business formation, thereby creating new job opportunities, the plan addresses the development of the properties along the I-287 corridor, also known as the Platinum Mile. The adopted plan will be an important vehicle in the redevelopment of this area and includes a mixed use development approach.

The establishment of a new mixed use zone, to expand permitted uses, reflects the council’s desire to repurpose the vacant corporate office parks. New uses may include residential projects with supportive retail and will be carefully controlled through special permit regulations. Density issues and environmental impacts will be carefully examined, and the Planning Board will have approval authority. All new uses will be subject to the review and confirmation of the Town Council.

Save the date for this year’s “A Taste of Harrison.” On Sunday, May 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Friends of the Harrison Public Library will sponsor this event to benefit the library. At your own pace, visit restaurants, in any order, and enjoy a delicious sample of the chef’s specialties. Almost all of the downtown Harrison restaurants are participating. See the library’s website, harrisonpl.org, for list. Adults: $20 in advance/$25 day of event; children under age 12: $10 in advance/$15 day of event.

On May 18, an information table will be in front of the Commuter Parking Lot on Halstead and Harrison avenues. The Harrison Senior Transport will be available. For info, call Angela Brandt 914-373-4956.

Congratulations to student artists, James Duffelmeyer, Matthew Fertig, Jacee Cappelli and Claire Furio, this year’s winners of the Mayor’s Choice Award. Be sure to come to Town Hall and see the talent these students have exhibited. I am proud of all the art show participants and look forward to seeing more beautiful pieces in the years to come.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on May 16 and I will be at Silver Lake Asian Fusion and Sushi Bar located at 87 Lake St. in West Harrison. I will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.