The Trustees and I just completed deliberations on our second most important task, save for formulating the operating budget, that of crafting a capital budget.
We have developed a very comprehensive process whereby department heads present their requests line by line, justifying all proposed expenditures to the full Board of Trustees in various work sessions. The result is a thoroughly vetted and reviewed set of expenditures that will culminate in a plan brought to the public for review and comment at a public hearing at the Dec. 10 Board of Trustees meeting.
Capitalizing on the very favorable interest rates that stem from our AAA bond rating, we are undertaking a myriad of projects encompassing every department, with a projected capital budget of $2.4 million for the fiscal year 2012/2013, including $71,862 in state highway improvement assistance.
Some of the highlights/major expenses include:
- Purchase of a new mainframe computer to replace the AS400 being used in the administrative offices since 1988. With a cost of approximately $135,000, the new computer will integrate all village financial functions including assessment, payroll and taxes.
- Under the umbrella of the Building Department, $175,000 was earmarked to kick start the FEMA flood mitigation grant and commence preliminary engineering and design work. Of these initial expenditures, 75 percent may be eligible for reimbursement by FEMA.
- The Library will be replacing some flooring due to the heavy traffic, which on balance is a very positive thing.
- The Police Department, by the nature of their operation, requires capital expenditures second only to the needs of the Public Works Department.
- A new patrol car is needed to add to the rotation. The one we are replacing has been in service since 2003.
- Unfortunately as a sign of the times, additional security is needed in the department and the court room and new tactical equipment must be added to the department inventory.
- A new voice recorder to record every conversation coming into the department’s main number will replace one now past its usable life.
- A rotation of Kevlar vests are needed as the vest fabric loses its effectiveness after just five years.
- An additional license plate reader will be purchased so that all cars on patrol have this technology. Not only does it recognize cars with expired inspections, more importantly, it is an invaluable investigative tool helping the village to discover stolen cars, arrest individuals with outstanding warrants and identify any cars in proximity to crime scenes.
- Because most of the long term improvement projects throughout the village come under the auspices of the Public Works Department, we devoted an entire meeting to reviewing the department requests.
- We continue to promote a very pro-active road paving program begun about five years ago under the aegis of former Trustee Bill Barton.
- The Pondfield Road paving project will continue from where we left off last year at the intersection of Tanglewylde Avenue and will move forward to the Lawrence Hospital traffic circle. Attention will be focused on the west side commercial area with resurfacing planned for Studio Arcade, Leonard Morange Square and the Metro North station environs. In addition, residential streets throughout the village will be addressed based on need and traffic volume.
- We continue to focus on our open spaces and will spend funds in conjunction with the efforts of the Boulder Ledge Garden Club at Bicentennial Park and the Bronxville Beautification Committee collaborating with them on an irrigation system for the railroad station banks. Funds will be allocated to complete the Sagamore Park project and the stairs descending from Valley Road to the tennis courts will be repaired.
- Repairs will be made on two other village-owned staircase accesses, those leading to the Garden Avenue parking lot from Pondfield Road and the Milburn Street stairs.
- One big ticket item is the need for a new street cleaner/sweeper totaling over $200,000. The last one was purchased over 10 years ago and is well past its usable life. In the past few years, maintenance expenses have reached a level making purchasing a new one the more economical alternative.
- We will also continue pursuing our long term goal of repairing/replacing pipes in our sanitary and storm sewer system with a $75,000 expenditure going forward. Counsel is researching whether we can form a sanitary/storm sewer district so that all who benefit from it will contribute to the repairs and not just property tax payers.
- Our most expansive project will be a gradual “re-lighting” of the village, both in the business district and our residential streets. I will explain our plans in detail in my column next week.
The trustees are acutely aware that deferred maintenance results in unnecessary extra expenditures, and we endeavor to stay on top of projects to keep our infrastructure safe and attractive, with an eye towards maximizing every taxpayer dollar spent.