Column: You’re back. Here’s what you missed

Welcome back to all. My inaugural fall column is a compilation of updates on projects undertaken while many villagers were away as well as answers to some frequently asked questions of late.Mayor-Marvin

The Public Works Department undertook a very aggressive street resurfacing capital program of paving, curbing and sidewalk installation with expenditures reaching $500,000. All of the residential work has been completed. Parts of the two business districts will be paved in the late night hours in the next few weeks. Residents living nearby will be informed by flyer and e-alert as to the evening schedule. If you believe your street is in need of repair, call the Public Works Department at 337-7338 and it will be added to the list for the next capital undertaking.

The police department has undertaken a “Back to School” enforcement initiative concentrating on monitoring speeding—especially in the 20 mph school zones—cell phone usage and texting while driving as well as the persistent problem of u-turning in the business district.

Over the summer, the village trustees engaged a consultant specializing in small business district revitalization with experience in communities similar to Bronxville. In conjunction, we also formed a focus group of resident of all ages, landlords and shopkeepers. The experts are focusing on our parking and its distribution, zoning and changes of use procedures and approval timetables, rental costs, lease requirements, landlord behaviors, marketing and regional competitiveness. Their work will continue into the fall.

The FEMA flood mitigation grant/project has finally been approved and is now in the facility planning phase with the architectural firm. As a refresher, the village was awarded $5.16 million in grant monies, which represents 75 percent of the cost of the project.

As a result of another grant the village was able to procure from New York State, the Garden Avenue parking lot will be reconfigured to add permeable surfaces and drains to further mitigate flooding in the school environs.

New York State has revamped the procedure for receiving the STAR tax exemption. As the date for filing draws nearer, I will elaborate and share more specific details. In essence, the onus is now on the taxpayer, not the taxing entity. Our Assessment Department will mail out applications and information during October.

Due to renewed resident requests, the no parking zone on Midland Avenue adjacent to the school track is in full force. Quite honestly, perhaps to our detriment in terms of liability, we have often turned a blind eye to vigorous enforcement here due to the needs of the school for athlete and visiting fan parking. However, parking vehicles curbside along this stretch does not leave the required road width for safe passage of vehicles traveling southbound. Also, drivers exit vehicles directly into a lane of traffic creating an extremely dangerous situation. Emergency vehicles have also been detoured when vehicles are parked curbside on Midland Avenue.

The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the OSilas Gallery of Concordia College on a “Rodin in Bronxville” community-wide celebration in honor of the special exhibition of Rodin sculptures on loan from the Gerald Cantor Foundation and the Metropolitan Museum. Running from Sept. 12 through Nov. 27, more than 40 businesses and organizations will partake in the celebration by offering performances, classes and discounted French-themed meals, merchandise and promotions.

The village has hired a traffic engineer to evaluate the intersection of Pondfield Road and Midland Avenue with an eye towards improved walkability.

A new shipment of blue recycling bins has arrived at our Department of Public Works. If you are in need, just stop by Village Hall or send $10 payable by cash or check and our sanitation staff will deliver it to your home.

Any municipal building permits are valid whether or not a proposed project is subject to outside legal action. Hence, Lawrence Hospital may go forward with its project while issues are being adjudicated through the court system.

Also relating to the hospital, if you should have a need to use the emergency room, the hospital parking garage is a 24-hour service. In extreme emergencies, staffers will transport your car to the garage while you receive care. Parking is forbidden on village streets from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. to facilitate street cleaning and plowing and spot abandoned autos. Visitors parking on the streets near the hospital during this time frame are subject to ticketing.

The federal monitor appointed by HUD to oversee the affordable housing settlement reviewed the village’s land use laws and deemed them non-discriminatory. We continue to work with all parties on both the federal and county level to understand our role and obligations in the settlement agreement.
Finally, the entire staff at Village Hall and all our elected officials past and present mourned the loss of former Mayor Sheila Stein this August. She was a lady of great warmth, intellect, grace and courage and the finest example of a public servant this village could ever have.

CONTACT: mayor@vobny.com