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Good things have been happening...
28 REASONS GREENBURGH SHOULD BE THANKFUL
Every Thanksgiving I review my notes taken between the last Thanksgiving and the current Thanksgiving and issue a report highlighting some local reasons why we should be thankful. This has been a difficult year for many people. We are still overcoming the pandemic, worry about inflation, global warming, gas prices, the future of our Democracy and the war in Ukraine, among many other things. Instead of focusing on what is wrong with our lives --I'm hopeful that today we will all reflect on some of the good things that are happening here in Greenburgh. This is just a partial list:
1) Westchester and Greenburgh propose budgets for 2023 with tax rate decreases: Last month I proposed to the Town Board tax reduction of more than 6%. The Westchester County Executive is also proposing a 2023 budget with a tax rate cut. Both the county and town of Greenburgh haven't increased the tax rates in four years. Hoping that the town, county, villages,fire and school districts could work together and come up with additional initiatives that could reduce the costs of government and end Westchester County's distinction of being among the highest taxed area in the United States.
2)Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and the NYS Department of Transportation awarded the town a $5 million grant to build a sidewalk on West Hartsdale Ave and to make additional safety improvements on E Hartsdale Ave. Lt Governor Antonio Delgado made the announcement at a press conference on W Hartsdale Ave at the Hartsdale Fire house this summer.
3) Congressman Mondaire Jones helped the town receive a one million dollar grant from the federal government to build a sidewalk on Dobbs Ferry Road from Knollwood to Route 119. We will continue our efforts to make Greenburgh a safer area for pedestrians. A hawk eye traffic signal will be installed in front of Sacred Heart Church on Central Ave in the near future -enabling pedestrians to safely walk. A few years ago a student was hit by a car when crossing the Ave. A new sidewalk will be built on N Washington (contract was awarded recently). We're working with the Juniper Hill Civic Association on a sidewalk on Juniper HIll. And, next year anticipate that a major sidewalk will be built on Hillside Ave from Town Hall to South Road. That sidewalk was supposed to be built this year but Con Ed plans to do underground gas work on Hillside soon so the sidewalk is being delayed till next year. Other sidewalks are also being planned for future years.
4) Greenburgh stepped up our efforts to address flooding problems around town. Every year we will appropriate significant funding for flood control initiatives. In 2023 we took important action steps that could reduce flooding for homes impacted by Troublesome Brook in Edgemont and Manhattan Brook in Fairview, among other flood relief initiatives. This summer the DPW team spent time widening the channel along Central Ave most impacting the Greenville Fire department. The work increased the storage and decreased it being prone to clogging. We are also removing obstructions in Brooks, Rivers around the town that contribute to flooding and have received grants from the county to come up with additoinal solutions. We will need many millions of dollars to address much of the flooding in town. If we appropriate funds each year over a period of time there will be a big difference. After last years storm we created the FEMA angels- volunteers helping seniors apply for FEMA grants. And the town applied for a FEMA grant this year to lift up homes on Babbitt Court that always get flooded.
5) NYS completed a 19 million dollar overhall of the Ravensdale Road bridge that connects Hastings to unincorporated Greenburgh near Jackson Ave. No one will ever be able to compare the Ravensdale bridge to London Bridge---our bridge isn't falling down!
6) Although the pandemic is not over the number of deaths and hospitalizations caused by the pandemic is way down. And - Greenburgh buildings no longer require masks. Earlier this year (when masks were strongly suggested) Town Board members Ken Jones, Gina Jackson, Francis Sheehan, Ellen Hendrickx and I distributed free masks and Covid test kits to residents. The County Executive also joined us at a distribution location at Acme supermarket.
7) The Governor named Greenburgh Town Attorney Tim Lewis as a Judge - NYS Court of Claims. Tim was a hard working Town Attorney for many years. The Town Board also appointed Judge Erin McGoey to a vacant position on the Town Court. She was elected to the position.
8) NYS approved a law pushed by Greenburgh to increase senior citizen exemptions. Those who earn less than $58,000 are qualified for partial exemptions. We've been pushing for an increase in exemption qualifications for at least a dozen years.
9) 45 Greeenburgh interns---Town Clerk Judith Beville coordinated the 2022 internship program. Among speakers: Meredith Viera, former co host of the NBC TODAY SHOW; JT Rogers who won the Tony award winning play OSLO; Judith Cheng- Hopkins, former Assistant Secretary General at the United Nations in charge of Refugees world wide and Barrett Seaman, former White House correspondent for TIME Magazine and editor of the Hudson Independent. The students prepared public service announcements, interacted with other elected officials and civic leaders.
10) NYS authorized local governments to reduce speeding limits on certain roads from 30 mph to 25 mph.
11) Regeneron breaks ground on 1.8 billion expansion project at their Greenburgh headquarters--millions of dollars in additional revenue to the town. And, lots of additional brilliant people coming to town. Regeneron has repeatedly and consistently translated science into medicine and the company has led to numerous FDA approved treatments. The towns rezoning of the property a number of years ago is paying big dividends today.
12) A large turnout in the November elections in Greenburgh---democracy is functioning!
13) Some exciting new businesses that have or will soon open: BJs Wholesale Club at Crossroads Shopping Center; Duck Donuts at Crossroads; ShopRite on Saw Mill River Road, Crumb Cookies at Dalewood; a new Indian and Latino restaurant on E Hartsdale Ave and Golfzon on Central Ave (and indoor facility people can play golf using a simulator at some of the world's top golf courses.
14) Westchester County offered free bus service during the summer and December holidays to residents--good for the planet, reduces congestion and helps residents save money.
15) Implementation of our new APP- FixitGreenburgh. take a photo of a pothole, downed oose wires ,broken lights , trees in danger of fallingand other town problems. Using GPS - the APP can identify the exact location of the problem and help us keep track of the complaint and quickly address the issue.. Pictures of the problem are sent directly to town officials from your phone
16) We created a new App listing the existing vacant commercial properties in town --which has helped lease vacant commercial properties into exciting new businessse.
17) Two new pollinator gardens in town: at Hartsbrook Nature Preserve and at AF Veteran park
18) Worked with Formula finders -set up a bin at Town Hall. Residents donated difficult to find formulas for those who had a difficult time finding the formulas. Many parents stopped by at Town Hall daily picking up formulas.
19) Kobie Powell made town history - the first African American Police Chief in history. The Greenburgh Police department has been trying hard to diversify the force
20) Metro North started building elevators at the Hartsdale train station- an initiative the town has advocated for many years. The elevators will make it easier for the disabled to take the train into the city.
21) PIckelball--the town is in the process of adding 4 more pickleball courts at Rumbrook. We enhance pickleball courts at AF Veteran park.
22) Odell House - the Odell House is getting closer to becoming a museum. Roof is currently being replaced at this historic building. The town is hiring a consultant to help us turn this historic property on Ridge Road into a museum.
23) We received a $500,000 grant from Assemblyman Tom Abinanti to upgrade Massaro Park basketball courts and to take additional actions to enhance the park.
24) We built a new playground on Taxter Road. We created a new parking area at the park and plan a sidewalk from the Old School (where the playground is) to Mountain Road.
25) Safety upgrades near the Seely Place school -including making Mt Joy and Robin Hill Road one way and adding a short sidewalk on parts of Robin Hill Road. These changes have made it safer for children to walk to school.
26) Greenburgh Health Center helping Ukrainian refugees with their medical needs.
27) Sterling Optical (which is located on Central Ave) donates more than 75 free eye exams, frames and lenses to over 75 residents on fixed incomes. The event was held at the Theodore Young Community Center. Last year Sterling Optical arranged to donate a motorized wheelchair to a resident in need--on short notice.
28) Greenburgh Teen Task Force to Combat Food Insecurity--the committee, inspired by the wor of Tanya Shukla, has created a cupboard at the Greenburgh Health Center.
29) Summer parks festivals - This year, for the first time, the town sponsored a parks festival in different parks during the summer months. Vendors sold goods. The event, organized by Johan Snaggs and Councilwoman Gina Jackson highlighted the beauty of different parks, encouraged residents to enjoy the parks, provided the community with another event to look forward to during the summer months and motivated town officials to take another look at park conditions.
30) Landscape/snow angels--Students continue to lead our snow angels committee and landscape committee- providing seniors with the ability to get help when it snows from volunteers. And, if they can't afford landscapers to get assistance from our landscape angels who will help make their property more presentable
Many of the Greenburgh initiatives we are thankful for could not have happened without the help and support of very dedicated department heads, employees who work for the town, the members of the Town Board, appointees to our Citizen Advisory and Policy making Boards. A shout out to Councilman Ken Jones who is not running for re-election. A hard worker, an independent thinker who tried hard to do what he thought was right and good for the town.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor