The Greenburgh Town Board members unanimously agreed to request the Town Attorney, Tim Lewis, to prepare a request for proposals for the WestHELP property by October 1,2012 in the event that the County Executive, Rob Astorino, does not submit proposed legislation to the Board of Legislators to authorize the town to lease the property to Ferncliff –for a campus for developmentally disabled children. Some members of the Board of Legislators do not support the Ferncliff option –even though the town would generate significant additional revenue from the property than from competing non profits.
We believe that that Ferncliff would be the best use for the site. The developmentally disabled would be able to live in a beautiful campus. And, the town would generate probably hundreds of thousands of dollars more in revenue each year from this use than from competing options (low income housing). The extra dollars we would generate from Ferncliff would help us keep taxes down. The Valhalla school district would not be impacted with additional students if Ferncliff develops the property for the developmentally disabled.
We can’t wait indefinitely for the county to act. . The county closed the Westhelp facility last September. If there is no official proposal made by October 1st we will proceed with plans to turn the property into affordable housing. The RFP that will be sent out to developers , realtors, affordable housing administrators and activists will seek proposals for the use of the property for an organization that provides housing and other services for low income individuals and families. We don’t want the property to stay vacant and also want to generate some revenue from the property – to help us with future budgets.