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COVID-19 has resulted in significant anticipated revenue losses for the town. The Comptroller anticipates that unless Washington provides local governments with funding we could lose 7 million. Town Board discussed at our work session -cuts in budget.
Last night the Greenburgh Town Board met with all department heads and with the Hartsdale Fire Chief, Ray Maseda and with the Fairview Fire Chief, Howard Reiss for our weekly update -how departments are functioning during the Covid-19 crisis. The Greenville Fire department declined to participate. The meeting can be watched on the link below.
TOWN ANTICIPATES 7 MILLION DOLLARS IN LOST REVENUE:
The major topic discussed: the impact this crisis is having on local governments, like the town of Greenburgh. Comptroller Roberta Romano estimates that unless the United States Congress passes another Stimulus package to help towns like Greenburgh - we could lose 7 million dollars. We anticipate a 2.4 million dollar revenue shortfall in the A budget (town and villages) and a 4.6 million dollar shortfall in the B budget (unincorporated Greenburgh). I participated in a conference call with United States Senator Chuck Schumer last week (with other town and county officials) and will participate in a conference call with US Senator Gillibrand tomorrow afternoon--we all are lobbying Washington to provide financial help to local governments. The Congress is considering but it’s not a done deal.
MAJOR CUTS HAVE TO BE MADE TO AVOID TAX HIKES
Members of the Town Board and I recognize that many residents are out of work and don’t have the incomes they used to. As a result -we are going to have to make difficult choices that no one will like: cuts in our budget. The Board discussed deferring 2020 capital budget items that were previously approved to the future. Bulk pickups -which many enjoyed, has been suspended. DPW is considering either eliminating this service or charging residents for the service. All purchase orders will require Town Board approvals. Discussing legislation from Albany to authorize early retirement packages which will make it easier to reduce our workforce. New hirings on hold. Other initiatives are also being considered and will be an announced when finalized.
DEFERRED- COURT HOUSE AND POLICE HQ
The Board discussed deferring plans for a new Court House and Police HQ but will appropriate funds for essential short term safety initiatives such as making space available for a women’s locker room so that the police can hire additional female officers. We need to address ADA compliance concerns. We need a new court house and police HQ but this is not the time for a significant new capital expenditure.
During the work session (which you can watch below) Jared Rosenberg, head of our EMS unit, gave a very depressing account - at least 33 Greenburgh residents are dead from this virus.
HELPING SENIORS WITH FOOD & VIRTUAL MARRIAGE LICENSES AND CEREMONIES
Gerry Byrne, Commissioner of Parks and Andre Early, Commissioner of Human Resources at the Theodore Young Community Center discussed our outreach efforts - helping local seniors obtain food. And Town Clerk Judith Beville mentioned that her office is preparing for virtual marriage licenses and ceremonies -authorized by NYS last week.
WAITING TO HEAR FROM COUNTY EXEC WHETHER LAW COUNTY LEGISLATURE APPROVED RE: REDUCED TAX PENALTIES WILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW
Receiver of Taxes Anne Povella inquired about the law approved by the Westchester County Board of Legislators last week authorizing towns to reduce penalties on the April taxes for late payments. If the law is signed by the County Executive penalties for paying your taxes in May will be a half of one percent. And 1% till July 15th. I contacted the Deputy County Executive last night who advised me that the County Executive has 10 days to sign or veto the legislation. No decision has been made as of last night.
Current Westchester Data
Westchester Cases: 24,306 (+503)Westchester Tests: 73,340 (+1599)Westchester Fatalities: 776 (+33)
New York State Cases: 247,512 (+4,726)New York State Tests: 633,861 (+16,301)New York State Fatalities: 14,347 (+478)
Unincorporated Greenburgh: 675 tested positive; Tarrytown: 168; Dobbs Ferry: 147; Elmsford: 106; Hastings: 73; Ardsley:60; Irvington: 52