FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2013
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-815-4462 (cell)
Westchester Legislators Launch Interactive “Capital Projects Dashboard” on Website
White Plains, NY – Recognizing that Westchester residents and business owners may want to track the progress of the more than 300 hundred capital projects approved by the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) totaling over a billion dollars, the BOL launched today a new interactive “Capital Projects Dashboard” that is now available on the BOL website under the “Popular Links” heading.
The link for the website: http://westchesterlegislators.com/capital-projects-dashboard.html
The 333 open capital projects approved by the BOL are as old as 1996 and include the latest projects approved in 2013. They are in varying stages of completion. Some are “in progress,” while others are “delayed” or the legislators have not been furnished with information about their progress; others have simply been stopped by the Astorino Administration.
“This innovative online tool will allow users to see where the County’s capital projects stand,” said BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers). “By taking advantage of technological resources, the Board of Legislators plans to provide this information in effort to offer greater openness and transparency.”
As of today, there are 118 projects “in progress” worth $407,328,062; another 161 projects “delayed” or lacking details and are worth $568,839,400; and 54 projects that the Administration has stopped are worth $101,136,380—for a grand total of $1,077,303,842 of outstanding capital projects approved by the BOL.
“The capital projects that still haven’t moved forward represent countless jobs that could be putting our residents to work today,” said Jenkins.
Together, the over $1 billion worth of projects represent 11,178 new jobs according to federal guidelines. The delayed or stopped projects alone represent 7,280 new jobs.
The new “Capital Projects Dashboard” will be updated regularly to reflect changes in the progress of each project. Each project will have its status and legislative information shown, the date passed, a description, the amount requested for each bond and which department is in charge of the work.
Jenkins added that he is hopeful that the Astorino Administration will supply the BOL with the necessary information to achieve a proper updating of the dashboard.
In 2012, the BOL approved over $92 million in new capital projects.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino falsely blamed the BOL in May 2012 for not approving capital projects that would create hundreds of construction jobs in his veto message of the Reproductive Healthcare Facilities Access bill.
Earlier in 2012, Astorino complained in his “State of the County” Address that the BOL was holding up $80 million in 62 capital projects. In reality, 41 of those projects were not yet designed, representing about $44 million of the aforementioned $80 million. Another seven projects were equipment purchases, which won’t create a single job in Westchester. Another capital project was a land purchase for $2.8 million. All told, there were only 13 shovel-ready projects worth $25.8 million still being deliberated on by the BOL at the time; and as usual, the BOL was still waiting for information from the Administration to be able to make decisions in a responsible manner.
In 2011, the BOL approved $84.3 million in 57 capital projects, which then went to the Astorino-controlled Acquisition and Contract (A&C) Board for approval, but only $28 million in 10 projects went forward.
“With our local and the national economy still on the rebound, not moving forward on even half these projects and leaving the jobs they represent still unfilled is not productive and hurting Westchester economically,” said BOL Majority Leader Harckham (D-Katonah).
Additional news and photos available at http://www.westchesterlegislators.com/newsroom
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