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October is a very busy time in Irvington. We just finished another very successful Rocktoberfest last Saturday, this Saturday the 21st is the Harvest Hayride and the Halloween Parade is Sunday October 29th. I think our namesake Washington Irving would be proud of all the excitement his stories have helped create in our little Village at this time of year.
Halloween Candy Donations
The enhanced Halloween excitement has made “downtown” Irvington The Destination for Trick or Treaters. As we’ve done in recent years, the Village is organizing a program that will assist the Main Street residents with supplying candy for all the happy hordes of Trick or Treaters that continue to descend on the area. To facilitate the candy purchase, we will be accepting online donations. Then, the Recreation Department will buy candy with the funds received and Main Street residents can pick it up from the Recreation Department before Halloween. This program is 100% funded by the generosity of donors; the Village does not spend any money on it. Before Halloween, I will send around details of exactly how we plan to distribute the candy to the Main Street residents. In the meantime, if you are interested in contributing, you can drop off cash or a check at the Village Clerk’s office or just click and donate online here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9UMFKA5KZWWNJ
Donations to the village are tax deductible.
Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em
In addition to Halloween fun, the fall also means leaves falling. Many residents, including the Irvington Parks Department and yours truly, have been mulching leaves for years with great results. In fact, the Irvington “Love 'Em and Leave 'Em” program has received awards and has been a model for Westchester County and beyond! Mulch mowing pulverizes leaves and feeds your lawn and garden – and avoids the costs associated with leaf bag pick and disposal. If you have not tried mulching your leaves in the past, why not try it this year, even on a small portion of your lawn?
More information can be found at WWW.LELENY.ORG.
As Village Administrator Larry Schopfer wrote about recently in the River Journal, the Irvington Board of Trustees authorized the creation of a Traffic Safety Officer position within the Irvington Police Department. In April 2017, Officer Pat Crisci was selected to fill this role. The purpose of the Traffic Safety Officer is to focus time on enforcement of all types of traffic safety violations: Speeding, failure to stop at stop signs, passing a stopped school bus, failure to stop at crosswalks, and distracted driving, to name a few. The increased enforcement is part of the Village’s ongoing “Slow Down Irvington” and “Walk Safe” initiatives. After years of raising awareness and asking our neighbors to slow down and obey all traffic laws, we are moving into phase two: enhanced enforcement.
In the months since the Traffic Safety Officer was deployed, the results are evident. There has been a 65% increase in the number of moving violations issued in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 (1,151 vs. 694). Revenue activity is already showing an increase and is expected to see further increases as fines begin to work their way through the Irvington Justice Court ($110,786 vs. $87,599). While extra revenue is always welcomed, we would much prefer to see changes in behavior.
While enforcement has been enhanced village-wide, our Traffic Safety Officer utilizes speed data collected from around the Village in order to prioritize the areas of greatest concern. The data, however, is only one piece of information used to prioritize the deployment time. Specific complaints, observations, and other trends are also used to determine where to focus enforcement efforts.
I have already heard some grumbling from residents about getting tickets for speeding and “rolling” through stop signs. It is interesting to note that they did not say they weren’t speeding or did stop at the stop signs. The Board of Trustees and I expect everyone to follow traffic laws – especially residents. When we investigate neighborhood complaints about traffic issues, the vast majority of violators turn out to be residents. So, if you are tired of speeders like I am, lead by example and slow down!
Major Project Update
As you know, the Village has undertaken several large and important projects in recent years. Those projects have been completed or, in some cases, are about to be completed. Here’s a quick update on the status of each.
The Station Road culvert replacement project is nearing completion. The project was started at the end of July and included the closure of Station Road in order to facilitate the replacement. Although we are about 2 weeks behind schedule, Station Road is expected to open by the end of this week. There will still be some cleanup work to do, but at least the traffic will be flowing again. We appreciate your patience during this project, especially residents living on Station Road who were directly affected. We hope the improvement to the flooding conditions in the both the Station Road area as well as upstream on the Barney Brook will make our short term pain worth it.
After two and a half long years, the Town Hall restoration project is almost done. As I’ve written about in the past, the project that was supposed to last about one year ended up being delayed by an insolvent, low-bid contractor. When the original contractor failed to perform the work, we were forced to utilize the performance bond. The good news is that while the project was delayed significantly, it is still on budget. I expect the final pieces of scaffolding to come down later this week or early next week. As with any detailed restoration job, there are still “punch list” items to be completed, but the removal of the scaffolding will be a welcomed sight.
We completed our paving program for the year. The entire length of upper Fieldpoint Drive was repaved in September.
And, finally, the plaza surrounding the war monuments was improved significantly over the summer. There are still more improvements to come, including a highly visible brick crosswalk, an updated plaque, and added benches. We hope to have the project closer to completion in time for our Veterans’ Day ceremonies on November 11, 2017.
This is certainly not the end of the enhancements to infrastructure of Irvington. We are busy preparing to start additional projects including, just to name a few, enhanced walkways on Main Street, Halsey Pond dam improvements, enhancing the area in front of Village Hall as well as work on our water infrastructure.
Thanks for reading my email. I hope you enjoy the beautiful weather the next few days.
Brian C. Smith, Mayor