A big part of being a Town Supervisor is planning to repair, improve and construct new infrastructure projects throughout the Community and build a metropolitan district. But, What is a Metro District? It is a local unit of government created to fund public infrastructure for new development with debt repaid by taxes and/or fees levied only within the new district’s boundaries without burdening the existing taxpayers of that City or County.
These infrastructure projects include water storage tanks, traffic signals, replacement of waterlines, drainage projects, and road improvements including sealcoating and paving a number of roads each year (the Town of Cortlandt averages $2 million each year).
Also, we seek grants to assist us with traffic-calming measures, new sidewalks, improved traffic signal areas, roundabouts, sewers, and so on.
The Town during my administration passed a local law to annually adopt a Capital Improvement Plan (C.I.P.). A staff committee and I put together this five-year plan each year. We list needed projects that will cost more than 50,000 each for the Town Board to vote on. It totals millions of dollars each year, with some projects phased in over a couple of years.
It is a very good way to plan for necessary infrastructure and capital projects that address the needs of a community. The C.I.P. can range from large vehicles, such as snowplows (250K), to playgrounds, ballfields, water tanks, paving, expansion of our Senior Community Center, a new bathhouse/snack bar (done this year at our town pool) and many more.
The C.I.P. also helps me and our Comptroller budget for these expenses each year. A percentage of the costs of these large projects come either from our town’s fund balance or bonding, and are also offset from grants at the State or Federal level.
Sharing services with other municipalities is another way to help pay for these major projects, especially for unfunded mandates.
For example, when we received a mandate from the EPA/Federal Government to filter our town’s water in the 1990s, we formed a Northern Westchester Joint Waterworks with two other towns, and a smaller water district, to share in the costs of building a new filtration plant. The waterworks continues to this day. I serve on the executive board. The Town of Cortlandt saved $8 million by sharing the cost with our partners.
One of my first major projects, also in the 1990s, was to lobby Metro North/MTA to build a new larger train station in Cortlandt and they did (Cortlandt Train Station). It’s in the central part of our town, and services many of our commuters and those wanting to take an occasional trip into the City.
I’m very proud of all of these major improvements, and of the new funding plans we developed to benefit our community.
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