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GREENBURGH TO PUSH FOR MANHATTAN AVE STREET-SCAPING, SIDEWALK TO HEALTH CENTER, SIDEWALKS ON 9A
Release Date: February 11, 2015

MANHATTAN AVE STREET-SCAPING, SIDEWALK TO THE GREENBURGH HEALTH CENTER, SIDEWALKS ON 9A, SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAMS MAY BE ELIGIBLE AGAIN FOR FEDERAL CDBG FUNDS—THANKS TO ANNOUNCEMENT BY GOVERNOR AND CONGRESSWOMAN LOWEY
 
Greenburgh will soon be eligible to apply for community development grants as a result of an announcement made by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congresswoman Nita Lowey earlier this week.  This is the first time in four years that federal dollars won’t be held back due to the dispute between the county, US Department of Housing and Urban Development and a court appointed monitor.  In 2015 $5 million dollars will be made available to communities and non profits in Westchester County.
 
Greenburgh had received word years ago that we would be eligible for federal funding for the following projects.  Sadly, because of the federal-county dispute the funds we were promised for great projects were lost..  Greenburgh was denied the grants even though we were not among the 31 communities named in the federal housing lawsuit/settlement. In that suit, Westchester had agreed to build 750 affordable housing units in the least racially diverse communities.  In 2013 I sent the Governor and state/federal lawmakers a letter suggesting that the state take over the administration of the CDBG grants (see August 12,2013 website post below).   The new deal announced by the Governor and Congresswoman is similar to the recommendation I made IN 2013—the state will oversee the application process.
 
These are some of the projects that we had previously applied for (and received a favorable decision re: funding). We will re-appy for these grants.  And, give you priority.
  
Saw Mill River Parkway (9A) -                    $225,000.00-----------We were planning to install sidewalks at this location with the CDBG funds. There was a pedestrian fatality earlier this year on 9A
Improvement Project
Manhattan Avenue Street-                         $120,000.00           ----This is a major priority. Union Baptist church recently celebrated their 100th anniversary. I was hoping that we could have street-scaped the avenue in time for their anniversary. Better late than never!  In 2015
Revitalization                                                                                      the town will repave Manhattan Ave using capital budget funds.
 
Greenburgh Police Dept.                             $3,000.00
Youth Program
  
Senior Nutrition Program                            $18,000.00
Enhancement
  
Phase II of Saw Mill River                         $197,032.00
Road Improvement Project-
Payne St. to Old Country Road
 
Total:                                                 $563,032.00
 
IN ADDITION---I will be pushing hard to obtain federal/state dollars to complete the sidewalk on Knollwood Road –to the Greenburgh Health Center. The Health Center serves low income residents. CDBG funds are earmarked for projects in lower income neighborhoods. Many patients who use the Health Center don’t have cars and walk to their doctor at the Health Center. Knollwood Road is a very busy street. A sidewalk from the shopping center to Knollwood would greatly increase pedestrian safety for patients who use the services of the Health Center.
PAUL FEINER
 
Copy of my glist release in 2013 calling on the state to oversee the administration of CDBG funds….
 
PROPOSAL THAT WILL HELP GREENBURGH ACCESS CDBG FUNDS
Release Date: August 12, 2013
 
PROPOSAL: NEW YORK STATE SHOULD TAKE OVER CDBG AND LEAD ABATEMENT FUNDS FROM COUNTY—
INNOCENT COMMUNITIES LIKE GREENBURGH THAT HAVE LOW AND MODERATE INCOME HOUSEHOLDS SHOULD NOT BE HURT BY HUD/COUNTY DISPUTE
 
The battle between the county, HUD over the affordable housing exclusionary zoning lawsuit is hurting communities like Greenburgh that are in compliance with affordable housing. The Town of Greenburgh and other municipalities in Westchester, are not able to access CDBG and LEAD abatement funds that would be earmarked to low and moderate income communities and households. Among initiatives that the town of Greenburgh has not been able to pursue: a Manhattan Ave improvement initiative and a safety issue on 9A – programs that are needed to help adjacent low and moderate income areas. The town is losing close to $1.5 million in grant assistance because the federal government is holding up funding of the CDBG program to the county – to punish the county for not being in compliance.
 
I believe that the there is a solution that could help alleviate the impact on innocent bystanders. HUD should transfer the funding of CDBG and LEAD abatement funds to the state of New York to be used to administer permitted activities in Westchester for communities that have met the affordable housing goals. This would in no way dilute the ability of HUD and the Monitor to take whatever steps they deem to be needed to bring the County in compliance with the settlement agreements and would in no way weaken the ability of the County Executive to argue that there is no valid basis for the assertions of HUD and the monitor.
 
The county government acts as an administrator of the CDBG program. The grants are largely a pass thru for programs carried out by the municipal members of the consortium. Why should innocent local governments be hurt by issues that we have no control over?
 
I would like to set up a meeting with the United States Secretary of HUD, Shawn Donovan and with fellow municipal, county, state and federal officials who will become part of a coalition that can lobby for this solution. I will be forming a county coalition to push for a state takeover of CDBG programs in Westchester.
The bottom line is that poor people are in the middle of a political dispute and are getting hurt. The above proposal is urgently needed to address this matter. I would welcome the opportunity to meet to discuss.
 
PAUL FEINER
 
 

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