FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2013
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)
Westchester Legislators Approve Bond Funding For Immediate Repairs to DES Roof
Compromise with Administration Moves Solar Component Forward
White Plains, NY – The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) approved a bond act tonight to begin repair of the roof of the Department of Emergency Services (DES) Main Facility. The bond act totals $1,590,000 and includes $940,000 in previously authorized design bonds to finance this long-awaited capital project.
“Fire chiefs around Westchester can now be assured that bond funding to fix the roof at the DES building is finally in place,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “We expect work on the repairs to begin as soon as possible so as to improve the working conditions for our first-responders at this important training facility.”
Jenkins noted the DES roof has been leaking in multiple locations. During heavy rains and with melting snow, water runs in steady streams to the floors and apparatus, endangering supplies and valuable equipment. Electrical lighting has failed and building telephone circuitry and fire alarm systems have been compromised as a result of water infiltration.
Initially, the BOL Democratic caucus had voted to fast-track funding for the repairs, but a compromise was forged step-by-step over the last six months with BOL Minority Leader Jim Maisano (R-New Rochelle), the BOL Republican caucus and the Astorino Administration to reintroduce the bond act to get repairs rolling while a design that will incorporate solar panels on the roof is completed. The Astorino Administration also promised, once again, to pursue New York Power Authority grant funding (which was initially secured under former County Executive Spano’s Administration) to pay for the solar component.
Repairing the DES roof in accordance with County law that calls for new and repaired roofing for all County buildings and facilities to have the solar components had become a sticking point between the BOL and the Administration.
The BOL vote to approve the DES roof repair bond act was unanimous.
“The Administration rightfully understood the Board of Legislators was serious about fixing this roof while at the same time creating opportunities for clean energy as well, so I’m pleased that a compromise was achieved toward this goal,” said BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham (D-Katonah). “In the end, it simply made sense to get the project underway to ensure the safety of first responders and before the building is damaged further.”
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