WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino pitched issuing $58 million in bonds to mend Westchester bridges, roads, parks and buildings Wednesday.
Astorino asked lawmakers to help create 550 construction jobs by approving financing for 15 new capital projects and acting on $32.2 million slated for projects that stalled in 2011.
"Each of these projects is a priority," Astorino said in a press release. "These projects will create about 550 jobs that will boost our local economy and address critical infrastructure needs that will protect the safety and well-being of our residents.”
If approved, $2.96 million would be spent on replacing a bridge on the northbound entrance ramp to the Bronx River Parkway at Elm Street, $3.26 million would finance a new electrical system at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, $2.43 million would fix two miles of North Street in Harrison and part of Hammond Road in Harrison and Rye. Nearly 1 mile of roadway between White Plains Road and Wilmot Road in Eastchester and New Rochelle would be re-constructed as well.
The other $32.3 million would finance projects that have previously been submitted to legislators.
The Westchester County Board of Legislators, which has a Democratic majority, issued a release praising Astorino’s proposition, but criticizing him for not signing off on 99 capital projects approved by legislators since his Republican administration took office in 2010.
Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon) said the county executive has dragged his feet on projects such as federally-required dam reconstruction in Mount Pleasant and a downtown revitalization project in Mount Vernon that could have collectively created 1,500 jobs.
“News that the county executive has finally decided to open the spigot a bit is certainly welcome,” said Williams, the vice chair of the board of legislators, in a statement. “But we still have over $100 million in approved projects that he needs to act on. In the meantime, trades people around the county are waiting for new construction jobs and meaningful work to begin. That time is now.”