Larchmont-Mamaroneck Municipal Leaders Share Update on Key Priorities
Larchmont Mayor Sarah Bauer, Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Jane Elkind Eney and Mayor of the Village of Mamaroneck Tom Murphy
By John Bradley
Sewer upgrades, master plans, street paving, and improved recreation areas were among the projects listed by Jane Elkind Eney, Mamaroneck Town Supervisor, Tom Murphy, Mayor of the Village of Mamaroneck, and Sarah Bauer, Mayor of the Village of Larchmont when they addressed the March 14th meeting of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit.
Town of Mamaroneck, A Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Mamaroneck, topped Supervisor Eney’s list of current projects. Aided by professionals from the Pace University Land Use Center, the Town is reviewing all aspects of municipal life and has been conducting numerous listening sessions with residents as it develops the Plan. Eney stressed the importance of the Plan, which she described as “a blueprint that sets forth a vision for the future of the town and informs the actions taken by the Town Board.” Eney anticipates that the first draft of the Plan will be available next month.
Using grant money, the Town has completed a major sanitary sewer project and, with a separate $300,000 grant from Westchester County, thanks to County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Catherine Parker, the Town is conducting a comprehensive study of its storm water system. On the recreation front, the Town will be making improvements to Memorial Park; working with Fields for Kids to improve the Hommocks Field; and using State funds secured by Representative Steve Otis and Senator Shelly Mayer, to study improvements to the Hommocks pool area.
In response to the governor’s urgent plea, the Town is studying how to expand the local supply of affordable housing. Eney was also pleased to note that the Town boasts a Triple-A bond rating, was recently re-certified as a “Climate Smart” community and has a new website.
Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy reported that his Village is currently updating its existing Master Plan to accommodate changes in the Village and to support ideas for future growth and development. He expects completion by this June. Ever since Hurricane Ida, storm water and flooding have been major concerns. With the help of Senator Charles Schumer, the political force behind the Ida Recovery Act, and the cooperation of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Village of Mamaroneck is pursuing a comprehensive program of improvements to their storm water system. These efforts include dredging, clearing debris around bridges, and installing pumps at the most vulnerable locations. In conjunction with this, the Village is upgrading its sanitary sewer system, with financing, in part, from higher fees for water treatment. Murphy described how the Village is working hard to be responsive to the needs of its highly diverse community and to make the immigrant community feel welcome. They maintain a close relationship with the Community Resource Center and are striving to put out more bilingual communications. At the Police Department, every shift includes officers fluent in Spanish and the Village Manager and his assistant speak Spanish.
Murphy suggests that one way to respond to the acute need for affordable housing is to change the zoning. One example is the proposal to rezone the double decker parking lot across from the library to allow for a multi-unit building of all affordable housing.
Four months into her job, Larchmont Mayor Sarah Bauer reports that one of her biggest challenges has been to develop a Village budget that is under the 2% tax cap in an economy with an 11% inflation rate.
As with the Town and the Village of Mamaroneck, the Village of Larchmont has undertaken major infrastructure projects with the assistance of grants, including a $1.6 million sewer upgrade, repair of the storm water system, a flood mitigation modeling project in the Pinebrook neighborhood and an ambitious program of road paving and repair.
Projects to improve Village recreation areas include a renovation of Flint Park, in conjunction with the Flint Park Conservancy, featuring new basketball courts, along with a renovation and upgrade of the Tennis House, currently underway.
A survey of affordable housing is included in its study of Larchmont’s downtown. Bauer is concerned that the state’s call for more affordable housing does not include any money for the extra costs to a community that accompany this development. Other initiatives underway include simplifying the Village’s land use application process and continuing its environmental leadership with the installation of three new electrical charging stations thanks to a NYS Zero Emission Vehicle Grant and the replacement of gas-powered vehicles with hybrid and electric cars in the Village fleet.
In conclusion, all three municipal leaders cited many more initiatives underway in their municipalities. For more complete information, the program may be viewed at this LMC Media YouTube link: https://youtu.be/ZWxYTSBYVWM.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, April 11 at 8:00 a.m. when Mamaroneck Superintendents of Schools, Dr. Robert Shaps and the Rye Neck Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Eric Lutinski. visit.