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March 8, 2012

Last week I wrote to you about the Penguin Plunge.  I am happy to update you that the success of the event exceeded my wildest dreams!  It is estimated over a thousand residents watched almost a hundred plungers jump, swim and/or frolic in 37 degree water.  While the fundraising totals are still being tallied, we will be able to continue or restore many special events, senior and teen programing due to the generosity of the Irvington community.  The Recreation Department staff, the FACE Committee and all the volunteers should be very proud of the wonderful event they provided us.

Two large proposed projects

There are currently two large proposed projects in front of our Planning Board.  These two items were the main topics discussed at a well-attended public hearing held last night at the Irvington Public Library.  The first proposed project is Continuum Company’s assisted living facility on the property currently owned by the Foundation for Economic Education.  The proposal calls for a senior-care facility with 121 beds, including 40 in a memory care facility for seniors suffering with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other memory problems.  The second proposal is Mercy College’s expansion plan for additional faculty offices, meeting space and an indoor recreation facility.  The Mercy College plan is in conjunction with additional dormitory buildings on the Dobbs Ferry portion of the property (currently in front of the Dobbs Ferry Planning Board).  The full descriptions of the plans are beyond the scope of this e-mail but more information, including the draft environmental impact statements that are the subject of the current public hearings, can be found on Irvington website:  

My purpose of mentioning the proposals is simply to ensure you know that there are two projects being considered that could impact the Village for years to come.  I commend the Planning Board, particularly Chairman Hoffman (Continuum) and acting-Chairman Mackie (Mercy) for their patience, diligence and expertise as they listen to applicant presentations and resulting resident concerns.  This group of volunteers gives a tremendous amount of time with little reward beyond serving their community.  I would ask all residents to treat the Planning Board members, your fellow neighbors, with the same respect and professionalism that they show us in the audience.  If you would like to comment on these proposals but are unable to attend in person, you can send an e-mail to the Building Department to the attention of Florence Costello ().  

Candidate Forum

We are lucky to have three candidates running for two Board of Trustee positions in the March 20th election.  Tonight, at 7pm in the Irvington Library, there is a candidates’ forum hosted by the Rivertowns League of Women Voters.   I hope you can come to the library tonight to hear what the candidates have to say about important issues facing the Village.

Brief Update on the Budget

While we started working on the budget many months ago, in the last several weeks we have met with almost all the Village Departments to finalize their proposed budgets for next year.  I am happy to report that we fully anticipate being within the 2% Tax Levy cap without having to make any drastic cuts to services.  We have another budget workshop next Wednesday after which I plan to give you more details.  I would like to thank all the Department Heads for their cooperation with yet another round of cuts and a special thank you to Village Administrator Larry Schopfer and Clerk/Treasurer Brenda Jeselnik for their assistance preparing the budgets, suggesting cuts and for their constant monitoring of the budget all year.

Brian C. Smith, Mayor