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Scarsdale Mayor: Crane Road Update; Snow Response, Budget

Scarsdale Mayor Miriam Flisser addressed the issues at this week's Board of Trustees meeting. There is a public, budget meeting tonight, Feb. 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Scarsdale Mayor Miriam Flisser gave the Village Board of Trustees an update at this week's public meeting. The mayor commented on the Crane Road Bridge Project, the village's response to the recent snow storm and the village budget. Here is a copy of her complete address:

Westchester County Crane Road Bridge Project 

Road Closures began on February 11, during installation of the formwork for the North Abutment of the Crane Road Bridge, between East Parkway and the tracks. To reach the northern corners, the crane will be positioned on southbound East Parkway between Crane Road and the entrance to the Merchant lot.

This work will take place over 4-7 work days.  Road closures will take place from 8:00 p.m. and all roads will be open by 6:00 a.m.

The road closures include:

  • the SB Exit from the Bronx River Parkway to Crane Road
  • the NB Exit from the Bronx River Parkway to Crane Road
  • WB Crane Road between Chase Road and East Parkway
  • SB East Parkway between Crane Road and Christie Place.

For the two ramp closures, detours will be posted utilizing Harney Road and Scarsdale Avenue.  For the WB Crane Road and SB East Parkway closures, we will detour traffic south on Chase Road and west on Christie Place.

A Scarsdale Police Officer will be stationed at the intersection of Fox Meadow/Crane Rd to direct motorists to Fox Meadow Road if they get past the barricades at Chase Road. County DPW will send daily advisory notices during the week of 2/11 advising of the road closures and these notices will be posted on our website, Scarsdale.com. Steel installation for the bridge is planned for April and additional road closures are expected during that time. 

February 8 Snow Storm

Here is  a timeline summary of how the Department of Public Works handled the storm this weekend:

  • Snowfall began at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday 2/8/13. While this snowfall was not part of the blizzard anticipated for later in the day, this snowfall did accumulate upwards of 3 inches by 3 p.m.
  • Snow clearing efforts began from early morning with our Highway and Facilities Maintenance workforce, by applying salt and clearing snow from the downtown walkways. Plowing operations of all roads began at 4 p.m., with a total of 23 plow trucks (including eight salt trucks.)
  • Main roads were kept clear and passable, with secondary and dead end streets also being plowed.
  • All DPW personnel were held over and remained on the job plowing and keeping the roadways safe.
  • The snowfall decreased in intensity between 9 p.m. to midnight, with little accumulation. Total snowfall at 11 p.m. (2/8/13) was measured at 6 inches. All roads were plowed and passable. Most main roads had visible blacktop.

By 5:00 a.m. (2/9/13) an additional 7 inches of snowfall accumulated on all surfaces. There were no reported power outages or tree issues. Only two locations had overhanging branches onto the roadway which were cleared.

  • 3 pay loaders and 1 plow truck began “stacking” snow in the downtown at 5 a.m. and by 1 p.m. the downtown was mainly cleared of snow along the curbline and approximately 85% of parking spaces were available. Large piles of snow remained at strategic locations along Chase Road, East Parkway, Boniface Circle and Scarsdale Avenue.
  • By 10 a.m. (2/9) all main roads and 40% of all secondary roads and dead end street were open and cleared .  
  • At 1 p.m. the west side sidewalks began to be plowed. All sidewalks on the west side of the Village were plowed by 6 p.m.
  • All Village Roads were plowed and blacktop was visible by 3 p.m.
  • DPW employees were released from duty between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Hauling of stockpiled snow from the downtown began at 5 a.m. (Sunday 2/10.) The cleaning operation included making public access to meters and walkways. This operation continued until 5 p.m. Leftover piles will be collected during the week, with possible overnight clearing as well. The downtown was vibrant with commuters and shoppers with 100% of available parking spaces occupied at noontime.
  • Our equipment fared well. Only minor breakdowns, with repairs expeditiously completed. One plow was not repairable.
  • School buses were cleaned of snow on Sunday, and the transportation facility was also cleared.
  • There were no major emergency services incidents informed of (Police and Fire.)
  • All parking lots have been plowed and are open.
  • No Snow Emergency was declared during this event.

Common problems and concerns associated with a snowfall of this magnitude:

  • Snow being deposited in the roadways by private contractors and homeowners cause cleared roadways to have snow and ice packed “strips” to form.
  • The Villages’ sidewalk and roadway clearing operation places snow back onto the driveways after they are cleared. This is unavoidable.
  • Many sidewalks although plowed are narrow and snow covered, given the fact that the snowfall accumulation (from that which fell and that which was plowed from the roadway) exceeded more than 2 feet in most locations.
  • Gravel driveways that have been plowed out to the roadway: gravel creates additional hazards .
  • Buried catch basins. Catch basins become blocked as intersection clearing tends to pile snow. DPW workers will be clearing many of these basins during the upcoming days .
  • Blocked fire hydrants. Residents should avoid placing snow onto hydrants. The Fire Department customarily addresses hydrant clearing with staff and volunteers.

Village Budget

The VB continues to work on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. We have begun with discussions of the fees and charges schedules (such as recreation fees, pool fees, fees for building permits and tree removal, etc.)

The Village's sanitary sewers require extensive repairs and upgrades to maintain structural integrity, and protect the stormwater system from sewage inflow, which can lead to home contamination in the event of flooding. The sewer infrastructure dates from the 1920s in many instances, and the Village Board has considered a fee for sewer usage, based on water usage, in the past.

All discussions of the budget are open to the public, and our next meeting is on Feb 14 at 6:30 PM, followed by a meeting on Monday March 11 at 6:30 PM. Special public briefing sessions on preliminary Operating and Capital Budgets will be held on Feb 27 at 7 PM and March 6 at 7PM respectively. 

Balancing the budget under consideration, which currently has a shortfall of about $2.8 Million, may require reduction in programs, layoffs, and consolidation of services. Beside the sewer costs, we are considering reductions in trash pick-ups, and removing the police officer at the Garth Road/Popham intersection. 

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