White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) announced today that a review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for 2010 shows a $67.3 return to fund balance.
In addition to this $67.3 million, the Health Insurance Fund of the County is showing an increase in Fund Balance of nearly $17.5 million dollars from 2009. The fund balance in this account was previously $12,180. This increase is comprised of an allocation of nearly $15 million in savings in county health insurance, along with Early Retirement Reinsurance Program (ERRP) reimbursements of approximately $2.5 million.
Also reported in the CAFR is an increase in fund balance of $3.7 million in the County’s Retirement Fund. The additional monies now available in these two funds will help the County to stabilize the impact of unforeseen increases in both health insurance costs or retirement expenses in future years.Read more
Westchester County will use $250,000 in federal stimulus money and another $250,000 in federal and state aid to reduce its own share of a $5.63 million capital project to fund improvements at bus stops throughout the county.
County Executive Robert P. Astorino has sent to the Board of Legislators a proposed capital project amendment, which would substitute the new funds for county funds that would have been raised by selling bonds. If approved by the legislators, the county’s share of the project would be $140,000 in county cash and $400,000 from bonds.
“This essential capital project will continue to fund needed improvements in and around bus stops,” said Astorino. “Our bus ridership remains high and we have to make sure that we maintain the bus stops so that they are safe, clean and handicap-accessible.”
The bulk of the funding for the project comes from federal funds, now $4.6 million, plus the $250,000 in stimulus funds. The stimulus funds will be used to make improvements at the White Plains Bus Terminal including painting and new signage. That project is expected to be completed by October of this year.Read more
Sources with direct knowledge of a public corruption investigation in New Rochelle by the Westchester County District Attorney tell Talk of the Sound that Fleet Manager Richard Fevang is the sole focus of the pending grand jury indictment.
Several sources have complained that the DA's office appears to be singling out Fevang and ignoring siginificant wrong doing by other municipal employees. Some well-placed sources have speculated that this may be the result of political considerations by Janet DeFiore, a Democrat, who will need to support from New Rochelle Democrats when she runs for re-election. By laying the entire case at the feet of Fevang, the City can then claim they have got rid of the "one rotten apple" when they fire him to create the illusion that Fevang was a rogue employee and that no other municipal employees were involved.Read more
On June 14th in a hastily called meeting with barely 24 hours notice to legislators, the Democrat supermajority on the Westchester Board of Legislators voted to eliminate the spectator fee for county residents to Playland. The capricious fee change will cost taxpayers at least $377,000 for the remainder of the season. The Republican Caucus did not participate in the vote since over the past few weeks, we strongly opposed and voted against changing this fee structure because it was fiscally irresponsible.
This past Tuesday, the Republican Legislators challenged their Democrat colleagues to identify spending cuts to offset the loss of the spectator fees, so that we could consider supporting the change. Unfortunately, the Democrat Legislators failed to meet this challenge and simply voted to eliminate at least $377,000 in revenue from the county’s finances.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2011
CONTACT: Matt Richter
Legislators Marcotte and Maisano Secure Funding
for Affordable Housing in New Rochelle
With the strong support of County Legislators Sheila Marcotte and Jim Maisano, the Westchester County Board of Legislators has voted unanimously to provide $1,190,000 in funding for the construction of new affordable housing called Heritage Homes in New Rochelle. The new construction will replace the sixty year old Robert Hartley Housing Project near Lincoln Avenue. The new housing plan, through an innovate design, will provide significant infrastructure improvements needed to transform this property from one geographically and socially isolated to a new community that is part of surrounding neighborhood.Read more
White Plains, NY – Thanks to Westchester County’s acceptance into the federal government’s Early Retirement Reinsurance Program (ERRP), nearly $2.5 million of health benefit costs for early retirees and early retirees’ spouses and surviving spouses will be returned to the County coffers.
“Rising health care costs have made it difficult for employers to provide quality, affordable health insurance for workers and retirees, so the ERRP relief stands as significant revenue and resulting cost-savings for Westchester County taxpayers,” said Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers).
The ERRP was established in March 2010 when Congress appropriated $5 billion for this temporary program, which covers the group of retirees 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare and meet specific dollar thresholds of health care costs. One of the criteria which the County had fulfilled in order to participate in the Early Retirement Incentive program was the establishment of wellness programs, instituted under the Spano Administration in conjunction with the Westchester County Board of Legislators.Read more
In preparation for the opening of all county swimming pools on Friday, June 24, three pools will begin offering Westchester County resident Park Passes and season swim passes seven days a week beginning Saturday, June 11.
Tibbetts Brook Pool in Yonkers, Willson’s Waves in Mount Vernon and Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains will offer the passes from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. daily through Labor Day, Monday, September 5. In addition, passes are available daily at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, and Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River and at all six county-owned golf courses.
A Park Pass is available to all residents ages 12 and older and provides access to all county facilities. Fee for an individual pass is $50 and it is valid for three years. Senior citizens ages 60 and older pay $50 and the pass is valid for six years. A Family Park Pass is available for two adults and any children (ages 12 to 18) living in the same household and costs $100. All must be present in order to get the pass.Read more
With hot and humid weather forecast for this week, the Westchester County Health Department is issuing a heat advisory. As the temperature rises, residents are advised to avoid strenuous activity, drink plenty of non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated fluids, and take precautions against suffering heat-related illness.
Heat stroke is a serious and life-threatening condition that claims many lives nationwide each year. Symptoms include hot, dry skin; shallow breathing; a rapid, weak pulse; and confusion. Anyone suffering from heat stroke needs to receive emergency medical treatment immediately.
“Heat stroke and dehydration can take you by surprise,” said Dr. Cheryl Archbald, Westchester County acting commissioner of health. “The elderly, young children and those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or lung conditions need to be especially careful to avoid heat-related illnesses.”
The Health Department recommends the following preventive measures against heat-related illnesses:
Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.Read more