Thanks. Hope to see you tomorrow night before 7 PM at the County Office Building.
The Board of Legislators, with little public notice, is about to appropriate $13 million to buy and renovate a dilapidated office building/warehouse at 450 Saw Mill River Road in Greenburgh. 450 has been vacant for a long long time -- except for a brief time when the county rented it. The stated purpose for purchasing this 85,000 square foot building is to house the new voting machines the county will purchase to comply with federal and state mandates. $13 million dollars to house machines!
Newspapers have reported that the building is owned by a large contributor to the County Executive.
Most outrageous is that the county is doing what it always protests about the state and federal government. It is placing an unfunded mandate on Greenburgh and the small Donald Park fire district that must protect this building with no taxes, as the county’s purchase takes it off the tax rolls. Taking it off the tax rolls also takes another $200,000 a year out of the pockets of the residents of the small Ardsley school district. So some Greenburgh taxpayers will see a property tax increase to subsidize a questionable deal.
Since the voting machines will need no more than 55,000 sq. ft, no more than 2/3 of the building, the county is now scurrying around trying to find a use for the other 1/3. The county executive first proposed moving the Department of Environmental Facilities from New Rochelle, but backed off when the mayor protested. Now, he suggests moving the police brass out of the Hawthorne headquarters to take up some of the extra space. He still hasn't yet figured out how to use the remainder.
With everyone else hurting and cutting back, is now the time for the county to spend $13 million to take on the obligations of a new building? How about using the office/warehouse building the county already owns at 375 Executive Boulevard in Elmsford?
Right now it houses some files and new equipment but also abandoned motor vehicles and used computer equipment waiting to be sold. With almost 4 million square feet of county-controlled office, warehouse and garage space, can’t they juggle things around to make room.
And at least you can get to 375. It is in used by so many companies as a distribution center (near Fed Ex, UPS, etc). 450 is located on a remote stretch of 9A between two congested intersections Ardsley Road and Jackson Avenue. It has no easy access to major commercial highways - even though all of the county's voting machines will have to be distribtued from there by commercial vehicles.
If this makes no sense to you, tell your county legislator: 995-2800 or westchesterlegislators.com. E mail the County Executive at CEO@westchestergov.com