By Eileen Gallagher
Returning to town hall for his 14th year, Chairman of the Westchester Board of Legislators Mike Kaplowitz addressed Supervisor Rob Greenstein and the town board in his recap of 2014.
Kaplowitz spoke of the “bipartisan mode” the county has achieved. Comparing the county legislators to the New Castle town board, where both bodies of government “sit around the table and hash things out,” he described the current situation as more favorable in that, “everyone’s had some skin in the game.”
Kaplowitz spoke of the current decision by the New York State Board of Variances to grant Conifer previously denied applications regarding 54 Hunts Place. “We [the county] had a deadline and a goal of 450 units [of affordable housing]. It was a tough decision, but prudent,” he continued, explaining why the county had approved funding for the building in December 2014, contingent upon Conifer acquiring variances which had previously been denied due to safety code violations. “[Hunts Place] was offered up [by previous town boards] and was taken in good faith by Conifer,” per Kaplowitz. “The county role is over,” he concluded, stating that the determinant of a good site is if people want to move in and live there.
Greenstein remarked that he remains concerned about the Conifer project being built at the Hunts Place location. Reading from his prepared statement, he said, “As has been widely reported, on January 22, 2015, Conifer received the building and fire code variances it had requested from the New York State Board of Review for its workforce housing project on Hunts Place. I remain concerned about the issues I raised about this project in 2013, namely, the safety of putting an apartment building at that location, and what that location says about our community. I want residents to know that I previously offered to work with Conifer to find a larger and more attractive location, and I remain willing to do so.”
In other news…
Monday, February 2 is the final day to pay taxes without incurring a penalty. Per Jill Shapiro, town administrator, the town is not allowed to waive this penalty, even in case of weather-related closure of town hall.
Addressing the recent snowstorm, Greenstein thanked the Department of Public Works staff for their dedication to clearing the roads, as well as the many restaurants and shops donating food. Councilman Jason Chapin reminded residents about not leaving snow from their driveways on public roads which, he stated, creates a hazard and causes additional time for plowing. Shapiro asked residents to please locate and shovel out nearby fire hydrants.
The board voted unanimously to hire Pace to provide economic analyses for downtown Chappaqua and Millwood at a cost of $20k and $10k, respectively.