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Mayor and Village Manager Praise Staff for Rescue Efforts and Vow to Look for Ways to Prevent Future Flooding

georgefieldOxford Road After Tropical Storm IdaAt the 9-14 meeting of the Scarsdale Village Board the Mayor and Village Manager praised Scarsdale’s Police and Firefighters, the Department of Public Works and Scarsdale Village Ambulance Corps for their heroic work during Tropical Storm Ida. First responders rescued drivers from deluged cars, cleared streets of trees and debris, redirected traffic and assisted residents with flooding.

The Mayor said, “We want to recognize and honor all of these individuals’ unflagging dedication, particularly during these many days of Ida’s wrath and recovery. It did not go unnoticed how our first responders were there pulling us out of harm’s way and how incredibly hard our DPW staff worked to remove debris, even on Saturday of a holiday weekend.” She said “Residents’ losses are heartbreaking. The staff will do an analysis and look for opportunities to improve and mitigate future storm impacts.”

Village Manager Rob Cole Appreciated that noted that many lost memories and photos that were housed in their basements. He said, “Ida was a 200 – 1000 year storm. But there was a storm of equal magnitude in 2007. We need to be more prepared to address these storms. Staff will convene as a group – including public works, engineering and planning to look for ways to reduce stormwater runoff and infrastructure needs to help in the future.”

About the Village’s current stormwater management infrastructure he said, “George Field Park was overrun – it flooded beyond the park – however the retention basin made a huge impact. Cooper Green is designed and intended to absorb large amounts of water in a short time. What else can we do beyond repairs? What are the best practices? We will look at our stormwater management rules to see what more can we do. We will look to build resiliency into our system. We will bring this to a public session for resident feedback.”

Scarsdale Poolpool6

The Mayor announced that Village Staff has sent out an RFP to identify and address infrastructure needs at the Scarsdale Poll which has outlived its useful life and is in need of reinvestment. The work will involve community outreach, the development of three scenarios and a baseline assessment of pool conditions.

Village Bills

Trustee Jonathan Lewis lauded Village Treasurer Anne Scaglione for modernizing the bill approval process. Formerly a police cruiser delivered the paper bills to a trustees house where they would be reviewed and approved manually. Now the bills can be approved online on an iPad. This new procedure is far more sustainable, saved tons of paper and it is much easier to access to data”

Village Board Meetings

The Mayor said that Governor Hochul granted permission for governments to operate virtually, but the Scarsdale Village Board will meet in person for as long as it is possible. Virtual public comments will also continue to be permitted. The Village Board meeting time has been moved back to 8 pm.

Collaboration with the School Board

Representatives from the Village Board will hold monthly meetings with representatives from the School Board to work on matters of shared concern such as traffic around the schools and safety.


-The Board approved a 2% salary increase for non-union Village employees, on the recommendation of the Village Manager and Village Treasurer. These raises are not retroactive and will have a $61,000 impact on the Village budget.

-The Board agreed to a $250,000 settlement with the contractor for the library. The contractor, Nirim, alleges that delays in the project timing due to late Village approvals cost them $554,640 as they were unable to complete their work in a timely manner. After discovery, the Village and Nirim negotiated and agreed on a settlement of $250,000.

-They awarded a contract for $32,207 for leaf vacuum machine parts to Lacal Equipment Inc. of Jackson Center, Ohio.

-They approved an agreement with the Village of Pelham for use of the Village of Scarsdale Transfer Site at the Recycling Center along with an Intermunicipal Agreement with Westchester County for hauling of organic waste.

-They approved $24,000 for aeration, seeding and fertilization of athletic fields by Alternative Earth Care.

-They accepted a gift of $1,000 from the Scarsdale Raiders Youth Football Organization for the signage to name Crossway Field for Richard “Rippy” Phillips.

Public Comments

Kevin Lilly of 79 Huntington Avenue objected to the new leaf blower policy saying it was “too restrictive.” He asked that the board extend the months when usage would be permitted and said battery operated leaf blowers are not as effective and need to be recharged. He said, “I do my own lawn. I have a long driveway and sweeping it is too much. I was hoping we could extend the hours of use for gas leaf blowers to include Saturdays for those who like to do their own lawns – and allow use beginning in March.” Furthermore he said, “I think the policy of fining the landscaping company, the worker and the homeowner is over kill…. And added, “I hope you don’t eliminate leaf vacuuming.”

Jane Kauffmann of 98 Cushman Road came to object to proposed development at 80 Garden Road but was told that the matter would be before the Planning Board on Wednesday September 22, 2021 at 7 pm.

She said, “We have the Sheldrake River on our property. During the storm if we didn’t have electricity, our basement would have been unlivable. We moved into this house 44 years ago. The water table is very high…. If we dig a hole for a plant, we find water. I just replaced all my sump pumps and got commercial ones.”

Bob Harrison of Fox Meadow Road reported that the new comfort station at Scarsdale Middle School is 75% complete, thanked the Village for building it and said he looked forward to the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Trustee Liaison Reports

Randall Whitestone commended the Village on the 9-11 ceremony at the Scarsdale Public Safety Building. He said, “We lost 3 to 7 residents on that terrible day. I think it was proper and fitting that we took time out to remember them.”

Jonathan Lewis reported that trustees met with colleagues on the school board and discussed areas for collaboration and institutionalizing these meeting protocols. Lawyers will recommend legal structures to facilitate collaboration.

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