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Earlier this week I had the privilege of welcoming back the faculty and staff to the Irvington Union Free School District. As an alumnus, parent, and mayor, it is always special to share some thoughts with this talented and dedicated group. I was also impressed and pleased to hear the focus on school safety for students and staff. While it is sad that we must be focused on school safety, I am glad Superintendent Kris Harrison and his staff are making important enhancements to facilities and training. During my remarks, I re-pledged the Village’s cooperation with all matters – safety included. I am very proud of the excellent working relationship between the Village and the District. It makes Irvington a very special place.
While I may have already delivered a welcome address to the schools, I am still in denial that today is the last day of August. As someone who loves warm weather, I am dreading turning the page on the calendar tomorrow as I know we will be one step closer to snow flying. I do love the clean, crisp air of autumn but not what it portends a few months later. For those of you returning from vacation, you will notice there is a lot of work going on around the village. Our commitment to infrastructure is entering the “execution stage” and I wanted to update you on several projects.
Con Ed Gas Line Replacement
While we tirelessly plan Village projects to have the least effect on residents, our friends at Con Edison do not always share the same concern for impacts. The work you see on Main Street is not Village-planned, hence we were not able to provide the usual notice that we afford our residents. Since the School District will be tying into the new gas line for the Main Street School, Con Ed has kept the District largely informed of the progress and District officials have been very helpful in communicating with us. Originally scheduled for June of 2017, the project started two weeks ago, and we expect the major work will be completed over the next four weeks. While this has the potential to dramatically impact traffic on Main Street, we have convinced Con Ed to utilize two Irvington Police officers (at their expense) to make the best of a bad situation. Additionally, they have agreed to limit the timing of the project from 9 am to 2:30 pm during the week and from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturdays to reduce the impact on the Main Street School drop-off and pick-up. Additionally, no work will be performed on September 4th or 5th as the back to school rush is getting settled in. While we were not happy with the initial notification and communication, we are very appreciative of Con Ed’s willingness to work with us to limit disruptions. I appreciate your patience as we get through this necessary project.
Town Hall “Plaza” Project
Though a New York State grant from the Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement Project, we received funding to “beautify” the area in front of Village Hall. This project has been in the planning stages for several years and we hope in the end that we will not only better show off the beauty of our historic building but also create a more welcoming area in front of the building. This project has been impacted by the Con Ed gas project but is roughly on time and should be completed by October.
Hudson View Park / East Sunnyside Culvert Upgrade
Another major project that is progressing through the engineering phase and will be started shortly (spring of 2019) is the enlargement of the culvert along East Sunnyside Lane, specifically in the area near the entrance to Hudson View Park. Residents have dealt with flooding during storms for decades and our engineers believe that inadequately sized culverts are largely to blame. This is a very difficult project from an engineering perspective due to the narrowness of East Sunnyside and the limited work area. As we get closer to the work commencing we will be providing additional information.
Repaving of East Sunnyside Lane
We have been working with the Village of Tarrytown to plan a complete milling and repaving of East Sunnyside Lane (the roadway is in both villages). This project was scheduled to have been completed already but we were waiting for Con Ed to properly repair areas of the roadway that they had patched after gas leak repairs. The repair work is now complete and we are pushing to schedule the paving work. We are using this work to explore adding some vehicular safety improvements like the use of rumble strips or similar aids to remind drivers to stay in their lanes on this narrow road. I would like to personally ask drivers to slow down on East Sunnyside. It is very easy to stay in your lane at 20mph but impossible at 40mph (the speed limit is 25mph so no one should ever go 40).
Mercy College / Ardsley-on-Hudson Train Station Sidewalk Project
There are some projects that are much more difficult to plan and organize than to build, this is one of those projects. Although not a particularly large project, the project is on the property of four different entities (Mercy College, Hudson House, Village and, most problematically, MetroNorth). While our neighbors at Mercy and Hudson House were very helpful and motivated to get this important safety project completed as soon as possible, the bureaucracy of MetroNorth has delayed the project beyond the slower summer months as we had planned. The construction will necessitate taking some commuter parking spots out of service temporarily – we are working on contingency plans to ease any potential parking issues. So, if you park in the Ardsley-on-Hudson lot be advised that spots will be out of service in the coming weeks. We will be sending and posting information and possible alternative parking areas. The project is expected to be completed by the end of September.
Water Department Projects
The Water Department is always busy with improving their aging infrastructure – something that we try to do as proactively as possible. Along those lines, we have two major projects underway or about to commence, namely the low-pressure service tank replacement project near the Irvington Reservoir and the Riverview Road booster station upgrade. Both of those projects are expected to be completed in the next four to six months.
There is a lot of work going on in the Village and I apologize for the inconveniences the projects will cause. I ask for your patience and understanding as we complete these important projects. Enjoy the last beautiful days of summer – I hope to see you around the village and, as always, please never hesitate to reach out with thoughts or suggestions.
Brian C. Smith, Mayor