EIC volunteers believe incorporation is the right choice for Edgemont, and these discussions are the results of our research and analysis. We encourage you to read our analyses of the issues, conduct your own research, contribute to the conversation, and make your own decision.
PUBLIC WORKS (AKA “DPW” OR “HIGHWAY”)
The Village of Edgemont would have favorable options for highway services including potentially contracting with the Town of Greenburgh, developing its own, Edgemont-focused Department of Public Works, sharing services and facilities with other villages and/or Westchester County, contracting for certain services with private entities, or some combination thereof.
Edgemont currently receives public works services from the Town of Greenburgh, which include:
- Snow and ice removal and hauling;
- Construction, repair, and maintenance of streets, sidewalks and other public properties, including parks;
- Street sweeping;
- Vehicle and equipment repair (for DPW and other departments, if and where applicable);
- Street lighting;
- Drainage; and
- Planting and care of street trees.
Post-incorporation, and after the transition period of no more than 18 months, the Village would be responsible for the provision of public works services through contract/shared service arrangements or directly.
1. Edgemont-Greenburgh DPW Inter-Municipal Agreement
Because the Town of Greenburgh provides good DPW services and has significant fixed costs embedded in this department, continuing to service to Edgemont as a village on a contractual basis would, we believe, be attractive to and motivate Greenburgh to consider negotiating with Edgemont. Favorably, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner recently expressed his support for shared services. However, we cannot predict with certainty whether Greenburgh will ultimately be willing to enter into an IMA for highway services with the Village of Edgemont, the exact cost of any such arrangement, or if the Edgemont Village Board of Trustees will pursue this option.
(For reference, click here for a sample DPW IMA utilized by the Town of North Hempstead, NY.)
For analysis purposes, the Town's non-sanitation-related DPW operating expenses (labor, materials, equipment repairs, etc.) total approximately $8 million. An negotiated Village-Town fixed percentage contract for highway services would likely consider that Edgemont:
- Pays 26.6% of the property taxes collected by the Town for the unincorporated area;
- Contributes a much lower percentage of other "B" budget Town funding sources (e.g. building permit fees, sales taxes) that support unincorporated area services; and
- Accounts for 15% of unincorporated land area, 17% of unincorporated population, and 20% of all Town, State, and County roadways with the Town.
Based on the above mix of ratios, we have assumed a 25% "blended" factor for contract estimation purposes. Under that assumption, Edgemont would be charged $2 million of the Town's $8 million DPW operating budget. We note that an Edgemont-Greenburgh IMA would likely include provisions for pro rata capital debt service (e.g. equipment utilized in service to Edgemont) and contract administration. As highway departments are heavy users of capital, we estimate those costs at $500,000 resulting in a total projected IMA cost of $2.5 million. Click here for the relevant budget scenario.
2. Village of Edgemont DPW
An Edgemont DPW would be wholly focused on the Village, including road resurfacing, snow plowing, sidewalks, and community beautification. The EIC financial feasibility study provides a detailed DPW analysis demonstrating that the Village could fund a 10-person public works department, modeled largely on the staffing levels of the similarly sized villages of Rye Brook and Pelham*, that would allow for a high level of services (including snow removal) without an increase in taxes. Click here for Greenburgh DPW Commissioner Victor Carosi's commentary on the sufficiency of the feasibility study's DPW cost assumptions and staffing projections.
Similar to the IMA option, the cost of a Village of Edgemont DPW would approximate $2.5 million ($2 million operating, $500,000 capital debt service). Click here for the relevant budget scenario.
The Village DPW, if established, would not be responsible for water and sewer system maintenance and improvements as that infrastructure is funded by taxes and fees imposed and collected by the independent water and sewer districts that currently serve Edgemont (and would continue to do so post-incorporation).
The EIC feasibility study provides $400,000 annually for road projects which exceeds the amount spent by Greenburgh on Edgemont roads in recent years.
Most public land in Edgemont is owned by the Edgemont School District ant the maintenance thereof is funded via the district's separate school tax. There are only a few acres of lightly used parkland in Edgemont that would require day-to-day maintenance by a Village.
*Both Rye Brook and Pelham utilize private haulers for sanitation and recycling collection; the EIC assumes that Edgemont will do the same.