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ASTORINO URGES APPROVAL OF MAJOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS TO IMPROVE INFRASTRUCTURE AND CREATE JOBS

County Executive Robert P. Astorino today asked the Board of Legislators to approve issuing $3.5 million in bonds to finance capital projects for the Bronx River Parkway in Scarsdale, Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill/Cortlandt and Broad Street in Yonkers.

The request comes a month after Astorino sent to the Board a request for approval of $3.1 million in bonds to finance two capital projects in the Peekskill area, and represents Astorino’s commitment to funding essential capital projects to maintain infrastructure and create jobs.

“These important projects are already part of the county’s Capital Budget that the legislators have already reviewed,” said Astorino. “This legislation puts the financing in place to make these possible. Even in times when we are doing everything to reduce the costs of government, it is imperative that we continue to fund essential projects. These projects meet the test.”

The three projects sent to the legislature today are the following:

  • $1.37 million to fund the cost of design and construction associated with the rehabilitation of the Greenacres Avenue Bridge over the Bronx River Parkway in Scarsdale. The bridge, built in 1967, is 71 feet long and 40 feet wide. It carries more than 1,200 vehicles a day and is in need of major repair to prevent further deterioration. The project involves milling and re-paving of the asphalt and various repairs on the bridge, as well as installation of pedestrian fencing on the bridge. The design work will begin upon approval of the funding and take approximately nine months to complete. Construction could begin in late spring of next year.
  • $1.56 million in additional funds to finance costs of design and construction for the repair and rehabilitation of the Broad Street Viaduct (County Road No. 132) from Midland Avenue to the Yonkers/Mount Vernon line. The 0.2-mile long viaduct was built in 1923 and has a traffic volume of more than 15,200 vehicles daily. The additional funding increases the project to $2.01 million and will address the structural repairs and waterproofing of the viaduct arch. The design will take about nine months to complete with construction to begin in late spring of next year.
  • $460,000 to fund design work on a project to reconstruct buildings at the county-owned Blue Mountain Reservation, located in Peekskill and Cortlandt. The county Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation has determined that these buildings, which include the maintenance building, the park office, the trail lodge and woodland shelters, are in need of major repair and reconstruction. The total cost of the project is $5.56 million, with construction funding scheduled for 2012 and 2013.

The bond proposals were praised by county Legislator John Testa of Peekskill, who said, “The county-owned road infrastructure in the northern part of Westchester is in critical condition and in desperate need of repair. It has been neglected for far too long and has become a safety concern for our citizens. These are major thoroughfares and facilities that service the entire northern tier of the county. This type of maintenance is an essential responsibility of the county, and we need to get these and similar projects already in the pipeline approved and moving forward right away. It is the right thing to do.”

Legislators Gordon A. Burrows and Bernice Spreckman, both from Yonkers, praised the projects and urged swift approval.

“The capital improvements to the viaduct and the bridge will improve traffic flow and create jobs,” said Burrows.

Spreckman said, “These two projects are essential to the City of Yonkers and go hand and glove with the development and revitalization of the downtown.”

The bond proposals sent last month were for the following:

  • $2.7 million for improvements to the Peekskill Wastewater Treatment Plant, a modification of a project previously approved. The Peekskill Wastewater Treatment Plant has a design capacity of 10 million gallons per day (MGD) and currently treats approximately 6.6 MGD. The treatment plant receives wastewater from the City of Peekskill and portions of the towns of Cortlandt, Somers and Yorktown. The project will finance replacement of old components that have reached the end of their useful life. By replacing the equipment, there will be fewer breakdowns at the plant.
  • $400,000 to fund the design and rehabilitation of approximately 0.31 miles of North Division Street in Peekskill, from South Division Street to Highland Avenue. The work on North Division Street involves milling, resurfacing and new pavement markings, to ensure that the road is safe. Each day, almost 14,000 cars use the road. The improvements will forestall the need for major, more expensive improvements.

Westchester Coalition for Business Development
Getting Down to Work on Developing Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Businesses in the County

Group to Present its Recommendations to County Executive in June

WHITE PLAINS, NY (January 28, 2011) – The Westchester Coalition for Business Development – The Business Council of Westchester’s task force established to develop strategies for attracting and retaining businesses in Westchester – is moving forward with its goal of presenting specific strategies and recommendations to the County Executive and Office of Economic Development in June, 2011.

Nearly 30 members of the Coalition attended the group’s second meeting which was held January 20 th. At the meeting, Coalition members were assigned to subcommittees, each responsible for a particular area of work. The subcommittees will meet monthly and prepare a draft of their recommendations in May.

“It was a very productive, well-attended meeting, and the work has already begun,” said Business Council President/CEO Dr. Marsha Gordon. “This is an incredibly smart, enthusiastic group, and I anticipate they will develop some very positive, creative ideas. This is an important step forward for Westchester County.”

The subcommittee Chairs are: Legislative: Joanne Fernandez, Government Affairs Manager, Entergy Corporation; Workforce: William McGrath, Senior Vice President, Pace University; Financial: Carl Capuano, Senior Vice President, Provident Bank; Real Estate: John Fareri, President, Fareri Associates; Incentives: Ellen Lynch, President and CEO, Yonkers IDA; Infrastructure: Ross Pepe, President, Construction Industry Council of Westchester, Hudson Valley, Inc.; Positioning: E lizabeth Bracken-Thompson, Partner, Thompson & Bender: Quality of Life: Yuval Marcus, Esq., Partner, Leason Ellis LLP.

Each subcommittee is responsible for considering the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within their area for each of the county’s hot sectors (biotech, health care, professional services, information technology, and green). Taking into consideration small, medium and large businesses, they will develop both short-term and long-term goals as well as specific recommendations.


VHB’s Planning Practice Leader, Ken Schwartz, Relocates to New White Plains Office

Schwartz and N.Y. team to expand planning practice throughout region

Watertown, Mass. (November 16, 2010) —Ken Schwartz, AICP, the corporate planning practice leader for Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB), has relocated from the firm’s Watertown, Mass. headquarters to its newest office in White Plains, N.Y. to build upon the firm’s growing planning practice in the region.

Schwartz, an award-winning NCI Charrette Planner®, brings 25 years of experience to the White Plains team, which recently joined VHB as a result of the acquisition of the well-respected planning and development firm, Saccardi & Schiff, in October 2010. VHB will provide clients throughout greater N.Y. with a deeper pool of planning talent and broader service offerings.

“I’m excited to join our talented team in White Plains as we continue to grow our planning practice in N.Y.,” said Schwartz. “Our White Plains team brings more than 30 years of experience throughout Long Island and Westchester and Fairfield counties. Their intimate knowledge of the region, combined with our integrated planning, design and engineering services, will position VHB to better serve our clients.”

The White Plains office marks VHB’s third N.Y. office. VHB also has offices in Hauppauge and Albany.
Schwartz specializes in assisting clients with comprehensive planning studies, economic revitalization programs, and creating redevelopment strategies and initiatives through the visioning processes. He has worked with dozens of cities and towns, public agencies, institutions, and private developers, to lead projects through the community process while building a shared vision and consensus for large and complex redevelopment areas.

Prior to joining Vanasse Hangen Brustlin 10 years ago, Schwartz served as the director of environmental planning and permitting for the Massachusetts Port Authority. His work has been recognized by organizations including the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, and most recently, Vision Long Island for his work on the Ronkonkoma Station Transit-Oriented Development Plan in Brookhaven, N.Y.

Schwartz holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Clark University.

About Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
Watertown, Massachusetts-based Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. is a 900-person firm that provides integrated transportation, land development and environmental services from 20 offices along the east coast. Engineering News-Record ranks VHB 82nd of the Top 500 U.S. Design Firms and among the Top 50 Transportation Firms in the Nation. CE News magazine consistently ranks VHB among the Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For in the U.S. For more information, visit www.vhb.com.


 

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