Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS


In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.



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TOM Parking Plan Evolves; Still Controversial

Further complaints: In the ensuing discussion of the plan, the overarching theme was the request for designated spaces. In addition, one resident asked how people, particularly the elderly, could be expected to find their cars if they have to park in a different spot every day. Several residents expressed concern that non-permit parkers would park  illegally on the deck. Others worried about the well-being of cars left overnight on the deck and the safety of car owners walking in the lot in bad weather or in the dark.  Several mentioned the difficulty in walking uphill after parking on the deck. Yet another resident asked what the chances are that she can obtain a deck permit when there are 60 eligible residents currently listed and many more on the wait list.

And finally, there was the complaint that the parking rates, though lower than previously suggested, were still too high (one resident recommended a charge of $1 per day).

Among all the complaints, there was one apartment resident who thanked the board for lowering the price of deck parking,  for establishing handicapped parking and  for reinstating the senior citizen discount.  He continued, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Thank you for listening to all we said.”

Board responses: Supervisor O’Keeffe and Mr. Altieri along with other board members defended the plan, noting that the number of cars in the area has increased, the availability of parking spaces is limited, the needs of multiple users (including commuters) have to be considered, and consultants have advised that designated parking spaces will not  maximize use.

As for safety, the police will monitor the lot and ticket and tow illegally parked cars.  There is a call box on each level that goes directly to the Mamaroneck Police Department to request help or report illegal parking. In addition, the lower level will be lit at all times.

The supervisor said parking rates were set after consulting costs elsewhere in Westchester. She argued  that setting parking fees  too low may encourage residents to abandon their private spots and  thereby deprive those who have no alternatives to public parking.

Residents were not pursuaded by Councilwoman Phyllis Wittner, self-described as “a senior citizen” who has  ”trouble walking,” when she suggested that apartment dwellers hire   extra help with parking and packages. To cries from residents that  “it’s not possible” and “we need to deal with the union,” she said these problems can be solved. ”Space,”  a parking poem by  Councilman Odierna got a calmer reaction (see below).

Next steps:The board took two issues under advisement for the next meeting: provision for business day parkers and the possibility of setting aside a specific area  for senior parking. The threshhold for eligibility (age 80 was mentioned) and  the feasibility and logistics of such a plan will be considered further.

THE REST OF THE AGENDA

In the final hour of the Board meeting, the members moved swiftly through several matters.

Firefighter Contract – Smaller Raises

The board approved a three-year agreement between the Firefighters International and the Town.  The new contract provides for a 2.5% salary increase in 2009 and in 2010 and a 2.7%  increase in 2011. This is well below the salary increase authorized in the prior contracts (3.5% for 2006; 3.65 for 2007 and 4.0 for 2008). It’s also below the last contract between the Village of Larchmont and its firefighters, which increased pay by 4% for 2008, 2009 and 2010. (See: New VOL Firefighter Contract Raises Pay 4%, Expands Duties.)

Mr. Altieri commented that having a three-year contract settled will make budgeting for the fire department easier for the next few years and will provide certainty as to expenses in this area. Supervisor O’Keeffe commented that “Steve and the firemen got a good deal.”

Leasing Agreement with VFW

The board approved a 15-year lease agreement (7/1/09-6/31/24) permitting the Town to occupy and use the VFW ‘s building for the senior citizen program that now serves residents from the tri-municipal area.  The Town will make capital improvements to the building over the next five years, at an estimated cost of $45,000. The veterans will still be able to use the building for their meetings and events. Mr. Altieri said the lease will improve the chances for obtaining a Community Development Block Grant  to fund $285,000 in further improvements to the facility.

Ice Rink Study
The board  approved a feasibility study for replacing equipment at the Hommocks Ice Rink.  The study will be performed by Ward Associates of Bohemia, NY, prior consultants on two other Town projects.  As background: in March, 2008, the Town entered into a contract with ISP Consultants of Minnesota that the Town then cancelled because of a number of problems. The financial loss for the cancellation amounted to a $2,400 reimbursement for consultants’ travel expenses.  Mr. Altieri said, notwithstanding the current economy, it would be valuable to go forward with the study now.

The rink, which operates with no property tax subsidy, provided $218,000 in revenue after expenses in 2008.

Engineering Services for Baldwin Avenue Pump Station

The Town approved an  engineering services agreement with LynStarr Engineering, P.C. of Pleasantville, NY for designing the specifications for a new control panel for the sanitary sewage pump station on Baldwin Avenue and overseeing the construction at the cost of $21,150.  The current panel, built in 1988,  has deteriorated and the original manufacturer no longer exists. The panel is currently operated manuall. After  filing three unsuccessful requests for grant funds, Mr. Altieri believes the project can no longer be delayed.

Garden’s Lake Renovation Authorized

The Board approved the Gardens Lake renovation contract under which the Town will receive an $800,000 grant from Westchester County for work on the area. (See: TOM Approves $3.97M for Capital Projects Held Over From 2008.

Brief Notes:
  • The Town and the Village of Larchmont received a Good Deeds celebration award for their excellent recycling and solid waste removal as did the Chatsworth Avenue School at the same event in praise of the school’s recycling program.
  • Chris Helwig Memorial, Saturday, April 25, 1pm, Purchase Meeting House, Harrison
Space

by Ernie Odierna
April 18, 2009

The human race has been exploring, and trying to understand, inner and outer

space for as long as people have been around.

In recent years, “Parking Space” has gotten almost as much attention, at least here

where S.U.V.s and multi-car families, seem to abound.

Space is something we never seem to have enough of.

Little stuff seems to look for and find little spaces and big stuff goes for big spaces.

One thing about space, the more you have, the more you need.

It’s bad enough if it’s “your” space and you’re free to do with it what you will.

It can be a problem though, when it’s someone else’s space, and you have to

borrow, rent or share it.

How long can you use it? Can you change where it is, to fit your needs or desires?

When you don’t need it for awhile, can you give it back, give it to a friend, family

member or a neighbor?

What if someone else wants your space? Can space be “shared?” Who and how do

We decide when it’s yours or theirs?

How much should space cost? Should the price be based on where it is? How many

people want or need it?

How much it costs somewhere else?

Should the cost be based on your “ability” or “willingness” to pay?

Suppose you don’t always use the space, should someone else be able to use it

when you’re away? Who should be deciding on who gets the space?

Should folks with “big stuff” pay more than folks with “little stuff?”

Once you pay for and get to use the space, should it be yours forever?

What do you do if more people want space than there is space to give them?

Should it matter where someone lives, or their age, in deciding who gets the space?

Just like the air we breathe, is getting all the space you want a divine right or is it

something that we can figure out together, so it’s done fairly and everyone gets

their fair share?

Suppose someone wants, or thinks they need, lots of space, two or three times what

everyone else has, should we give it to them? At what price?

What should the “premium” be for “extra space?

If you make more space, will more stuff show up to fill it?

Should older folks pay less for the same space that younger folks do?

Should it be ok to charge folks for space that everyone thought was free?

If someone gets some space, should they be able to get some more, before their

neighbors get some too?

If you were the “Space Czar,” what would you do?

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