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$120 million revitalization project would provide hundreds of construction jobs
White Plains, NY – The LaPorte capital project in Mount Vernon, presently stalled by the Astorino Administration even though its funding has long been approved by the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL), should now move forward, say two of the BOL’s Democratic leaders—thanks to Acting Justice of New York State Supreme Court James W. Hubert’s recent ruling that County Executive Rob Astorino acted improperly after the BOL’s override of his vetoing of capital projects added by the BOL.
“The County Executive’s foot-dragging on this important capital project is unacceptable, and now a State Supreme Court justice agrees that it is unlawful as well,” said BOL Vice Chair Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon). “And while keeping this project in limbo has adversely affected the local economy, all of Westchester suffers when an investment like this is not carried out in a timely manner.”
As part of the Atlantic Development Group’s planned $120 million downtown revitalization project for the city, the last $4.4 million of funding of the LaPorte development—Westchester County’s contribution to the project—was approved by the BOL in May 2011 but never delivered because of Astorino’s false and spurious claims of procedural oversights. Since then, the final approval of the funding has not moved out of the Astorino-controlled County Acquisition and Contract Board (A&C).
All told, the LaPorte project will create an estimated 305 construction jobs and 76 full-time positions in Mount Vernon, which has the highest unemployment in Westchester County.
“For County Executive Astorino to take credit for funding Mount Vernon’s Youth Bureau, which he did recently even though those programs have long been funded by the Board of Legislators, while directing his Administration to ignore millions of dollars of capital projects that will benefit the city long-term is partisan politics at its worst,” said Williams.
BOL Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) stated he will again move that the $4.4 million approved for the LaPorte development be placed on the A&C agenda and adopted immediately.
“The Astorino Administration would have approved this project right away if it was truly serious about helping the economy of Mount Vernon and creating jobs for Westchester residents,” Jenkins said.