For a Village that leans so heavily on a single holiday, Sleepy Hollow did surprisingly well, considering Sandy literally cancelled Halloween. “It could have been a lot worse,” says Village Administrator Anthony Giaccio.
“We had most of our events on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s now a month-long celebration, and it was really only the tail end of the month that we lost.”
It was a good thing that the Village cashed in early on Halloween, because Sandy took a serious toll.
“The Village itself was kind of on hold for two weeks,” says Giaccio. “All of our resources dealt with issues related to the storm. We are applying to get reimbursement from FEMA, and we expect to get most of that [money] .”
The other major event impacting Sleepy Hollow was, of course, the legal battle with Tarrytown over the General Motors site. The judge ruled in favor of Sleepy Hollow, but with Tarrytown holding onto the right to appeal, that particular drama will continue to play out over the coming year.
Summer and fall were busy times in Sleepy Hollow. In addition to welcoming a new fire truck to the Village, three large projects were underway during the past six months: GM cleanup, the River’s Edge development on the old Castle Oil site, and the Duracell cleanup and remediation project. The dredging portion of the GM cleanup is expected to be completed in January, River’s Edge is expected to be completed in the next fiscal year, and the Duracell project could take between three and five years, as they need to remediate close to 100 properties.
Upcoming projects include renovations to the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, which will begin at the end of spring and is expected to take six months, and the Route 9 street-scape project which the Village is undertaking with Tarrytown to improve the sidewalks along Broadway.
Financially, Sleepy Hollow finds itself in the same boat as everyone else. While they will experience some new tax revenue from the River’s Edge project, it will be more than offset by the multitude of tax certioraris that save individual families money while draining resources from the Village as a whole. “I can say that we’re strapped like every municipality [because of the] 2% tax [levy] cap,” says Giaccio. “It’s very difficult [ to stay under the cap] with the pension costs, the insurance cost, and all kinds of things we have little control over that drive up the budget. Whether we can stay within the cap I don’t know, but that would be the goal.”