Earlier this summer members of the Town Board learned of an agreement that had been made in 2009 between a developer and the East Irvington Civic Association to donate one million dollars to the town for the purchase of 28.7 acres of land for parkland located in the village of Tarrytown, near the E Irvington border (Taxter Ridge park) The one million dollar donation is being made by Avalon Bay Communities and Robert Martin Corporation--which built 444 apartments off of Taxter Road in E Irvington and has received approvals to build 68 additional units at the site.
Councilman Francis Sheehan and I wrote to the Greenburgh Ethics Board asking for an opinion on whether accepting the $1 million dollar donation would violate the Greenburgh Town Code of Ethics.
I am pleased to report that the Ethics Board voted last night that accepting the one million dollar donation would not be a violation. Town officials were not aware of the agreement between the civic association and developer until recently.
The Greenburgh Town Board will vote on whether to accept the one million dollar donation at a special Town Board meetings on Tuesday evening, September 30th at 8 PM at Town Hall. Residents may speak before the vote on this topic.
The Town Board will be assigning the property to the Village of Tarrytown if the Board accepts the donation. The village understands that the property will be part of Taxter Ridge Park and will be available to the general public and the maintenance responsibility will rest solely with the village. The Tarrytown Village Board is supportive of the concept and has agreed to accept assignment should the Town Board officially assign the property to the village of Tarrytown.
According to the agreement between the civic association and developers, the Town Board must vote to accept the donation by October 1st. If the Town Board rejects the donation the developer (Robert Martin Corporation and AvalonBay) will get to keep the one million dollars for themselves. I support using the funds for parkland acquisition. I believe that it’s important to balance new development with open space preservation (that’s why Greenburgh has the green before the burgh in its name). We need to maintain the quality of life for our residents.