HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON/DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- The neighboring villages of Dobbs Ferry and Hastings will hold connected meetings on Friday, March 27 to begin public discussion on a proposal to merge respective Departments of Public Works as a means of saving taxpayers money.
The Dobbs Ferry meeting will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall followed by the Hastings meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at James Harmon Community Center so that residents may attend both.
The meetings are the first of several public forums that will allow for input before a decision is made. A proposal to combine village Recreation Departments was considered last year before being tabled.
The villages chose the consulting Laberge Group to conduct a study of whether the merger would be cost saving and allow both communities to continue full service to the villages.
Dobbs Ferry, which built (five years ago) and maintains a new public works facility, serves just over 10,000 residents with a crew of 24 workers in its DPW and Recreation Department, while Hastings DPW handles its public works with a full-time crews of 15.
The villages will consider staffing, facilities -- Hastings has its own Public Works facility on the Hastings waterfront -- and use of equipment to cover the two communities and whether the merger would save money and benefit both villages.
"Dobbs Ferry will approach this study with an open mind and from a position of strength," Dobbs Ferry Mayor Hartley Connett said in a letter to residents. "Its’ current DPW operations run efficiently and are a source of pride for our community and our workers. In addition to the close involvement of staff, the village will also utilize the ad hoc Citizens Budget Committee to help analyze financial data and impacts; the village will also use any internal or external resources as it deems necessary to conduct the most thorough analysis."