ARDSLEY, N.Y. -- As the New Year begins, Ardsley Mayor Peter Porcino and Village Manager George Calvi offered an overview of the village through 2013 and a look ahead at this year:
• We were very happy in late 2013 to have completed the construction of the new sidewalks, fully funded by a federal grant, along Heatherdell Road from Farm Road to Anthony Veteran Town Park after nearly five years of filing paperwork in compliance with the federal and state governments under the Safe Routes to School program. An educational component of the grant will commence in 2014 to encourage children to walk to school.
• 2013 saw the finalization of the sale of the former Water Wheel Restaurant property in the Village by the Town of Greenburgh to a private New Jersey developer for the construction of 22 units of affordable housing. The sale of the property, which had laid dormant since a fire destroyed the former restaurant in 1993 and had become somewhat of an eyesore, will assist the Village and the County towards meeting the demands of the federal housing settlement. Bids for the first phase of the construction for infrastructure improvements are expected to be let in the spring.
• After several years of discussions, Ardsley, along with a consortium of eight other communities in Westchester serviced by United Water New Rochelle finally succeeded in persuading state legislators to pass a bill to transfer the cost of fire hydrants from municipal budgets to water consumers in an attempt to make their financing more equitable for all. Essentially, this effort causes hospitals, cemeteries, universities, public and private schools, group homes, houses of worship, and other tax exempt entities to pay their fair chair of the cost of the operation of these hydrants. The state Public Service Comission has 120 days or approximately late April 2014 to facilitate this change in the billing.
• Ardsley village and the Ardsley School District finally persuaded Consolidated Edison to take over the maintenance and ownership of the utility poles on McCormack Drive, a small access road leading to the Ardsley Middle School.
The middle school is a critical facility in the community because it serves not only as a warming center in the event of an area-wide power-outage, but also as a reception point for the children of the Ossining School District should there be a serious event at the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
• During 2013, the village of Ardsley negotiated and secured takings of a narrow strip of land from various merchants to enable the widening of Route 9A from Ashford Avenue to Heatherdell Road. Approvals from state agencies are expected to be secured in 2014 to enable the actual construction of the road widening to improve traffic flow through the village’s downtown. Funds for this project were secured from the settlement received from the developers of Ridge Hill Shopping Center in Yonkers several years ago.
• The dropping of concrete chunks on the New York State Thruway from the Ashford Avenue Bridge caught everyone’s attention in 2013, particularly the county of Westchester, which owns the bridge. Quick-fix measures were put in place relatively quickly. Plans for the bridge’s reconstruction are nearly completed, and work is expected to commence sometime in late 2014.
• There was yet another bridge in Ardsley in need of repair, specifically the King Street bridge. A small narrow cul de sac with nearly 18 households, the road traverses a very old small bridge behind Our Lady of Perpetual Church. Engineering inspections determined that the bridge was deteriorating and in need of reinforcement.
The culvert was far too narrow to handle the flow of the stream during storm events generating flooding on nearby properties. Complicating matters was the discovery that gas lines and water lines coursed through the foundation. Consolidated Edison relocated the gas lines in October, then United Water in early December relocated the water lines. With the onset of winter, work was suspended until late March 2014 to perform the actual reconstruction work.
• The village began its project to fully overhaul the Village’s website for the first time in well over a decade. Under the guidance of Village Trustee Nicole Minore a new website company and various department heads are working to create new content for the web pages as the new website is being constructed. The expected launch date of the new site is late February 2014.
• In response to the demands of village residents, the mayor in January 2013 replaced the alternate bi-weekly pickup of pulp and container recyclables to weekly collection of all recyclable types. The action has generated a general uptick in recycling collections
• In late 2013 the village contracted with a civil engineering firm to explore remediation options regarding various drainage problems, some dating back to the mid-1950s, in the north end of the Village in the vicinity of the Stonegate Condominiums and Alexander Hamilton Road. Expectations are high that the options will become available for review by the Village Board in early 2014.