FCD Apartment Gets Board Approval; Tentative Budget Up 4.2%

by Harriet Kline

(October 18, 2006) The Mamaroneck Town Board met on Wednesday, October 18 for a lengthy session to consider issues with long-term impact for the area. They tied up one long-running issue, approval for a large apartment, and considered another, the need for more playing fields.

Forest City Daly (FCD) Apartment Project

The Board unanimously approved a special permit application enabling FCD Mamaroneck LLC to construct an eight-story residential apartment complex on Madison Avenue. The building will house 139 dwelling units, of which 9 will be designated as workforce housing. No more than 107 units will have two bedrooms, the rest will have one. The workforce housing will consist of 7 one-bedroom units and 2 two-bedroom rental units. The other 130 apartments will be sold as condominiums.

FCD Mamaroneck will also pay for the construction of a two-level parking garage on Myrtle Boulevard’s Lot 3 and install a traffic signal at the intersection of the I-95 ramps and Madison Avenue.

parking deck
The parking deck would create a two-level lot on Myrtle Boulevard.
Artist's sketch of the west elevation supplied by Divney Tung Schwalbe, LLP.

At the October 4, Town Board meeting, Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe thoroughly itemized the extensive five-year review process undertaken by her board in conjunction with Mamaroneck Town's land use boards, environmental groups, engineering consultants and local residents. (See: No VoteYet: TOM Holds Another Hearing On Apartments.)

2007 Town Tentative Budget

Town Administrator Steve Altieri presented the 2007 Town Tentative Budget which calls for a $1.12 million increase in appropriations over last year. That translates into a 4.2% budget-to-budget increase from last year. The anticipated tax rate impact of the proposed budget is as follows:

For Larchmont Village property owners with an average assessment of $20,000, the property tax rate would tentatively rise $12, from $230 to $242 per year. That’s still below the 2005 rate, which was $293.

For property owners in the unincorporated area of Mamaroneck Town with an average assessment of $20,000, taxes will rise $212 in 2007, which is about $30 higher than the increase approved in 2006. The increase would result in a Town property tax bill averaging $4,783.

According to Mr Altieri, the budget for the coming year “includes a particularly daunting financial challenge in the form of financing a portion of the construction cost of a court ordered water filtration plant.” The total cost of the plant is estimated at $60-62 million, which will be shared by Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Mamaroneck and Town of Harrison, which are jointly responsible to construct the plant and have it in operation by 2008. Mamaroneck Town’s share will be approximately $12 million, “the single largest financing ever incurred by the Town,” said Mr. Altieri. Debt costs relating to this project will appear in the 2007 Town budget.

Other factors driving the budget increase include: “dramatic increases in energy costs,” reported Mr. Altieri. New York State Power Authority advises that electric rates will rise by 20% in 2007.

The tentative budget will be the subject of extensive review by the board. Meetings listed below are open to the public.

Thursday, October 26, 2006
6:00 pm – Conference Room A
Mamaroneck Town Center, Public Work Session
Overview of Tentative Budget.

Friday, November 3, 2006
8:30 am – Mamaroneck Women’s Club
504 Cortland Ave. Mamaroneck
Public Work Session Operating Departments.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006
6:00 p.m. – Conference Room. A
Mamaroneck Town Center
Public Work Session Capital Budget.

Monday, November 13, 2006
6:00 pm– Conference Room A
Mamaroneck Town Center Review of Revenues.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006
8:15 pm – Courtroom
Mamaroneck Town Center
Public Hearing – 2007 Budget

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
8:15 pm – Courtroom
Mamaroneck Town Center
Adoption – 2007 Town Budget

Fields for Kids

A number of residents in the tri-municipal area have recently initiated a Field for Kids (FFK) campaign to lobby for more (and better) playing fields for local organized sport teams. The group had already made presentations to the Mamaroneck School Board and the Village of Mamaroneck (see: More & Better Fields Urged at Mamaroneck School and Village Board), and have twice appeared at the Village of Larchmont Board (see: Fields for Kids Takes Case to Larchmont Board and Good & Bad News on Turf Fields at Larchmont Village Board.)

On Wednesday night it was the Town of Mamaroneck’s turn to hear parents, coaches and students describe “the fields crisis.” Tony Carrol spoke about the lack of capacity for all grade levels wishing to participate in sports. Coach Bob Meglio spoke about the exponential growth in the number of students on the teams that he has coached. Ethan Vasman, an MHS student, cited incidents when forty students had to share a field to hold practice. Natan Vasman, his father, pushed the Board to make a real effort to look for solutions to the problem. He called for the three municipalities and the School Board to design a “master plan” for all sport teams.

Board members were sympathetic to the group’s message and said they would be participating in upcoming meetings with the other municipalities and the schools, including one on November 15 hosted by the Village of Mamaroneck. Councilman Paul Winick stressed the importance of developing a comprehensive needs assessment so that the stakeholders can plan for the future. Supervisor O’Keeffe also stressed that “we need hard data and information” to move forward.