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White Plains, NY — On Monday night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators convened its eighth meeting of the year and voted on several crucial legislative items.

Chair Vedat Gashi (D- New Castle, Ossining, Somers, Yorktown) said, "I’m incredibly proud of the work that we are doing together with County Executive George Latimer to bring tangible benefits to Westchester County residents - from supporting our youth in Westchester where we worked with municipalities to provide for at-risk youth in Yonkers and Mt. Vernon, to important infrastructure programs at two wastewater facilities. In Yonkers we approved much-needed IT system and security upgrades and in Portchester we approved the replacement of over 4 miles of piping that is over 50 years old. I look forward to continuing this great work as the year goes on.”

Youth Development Programs

The Board adopted an Act to authorize the County of Westchester, represented by its Youth Bureau, to enter into an inter-municipal agreement (IMA) with the City of Yonkers for the Sixth Grade Leadership Academy Program. This program aims to assist sixth-grade students in transitioning to middle school through weekly lessons, guest instructors, and an end-of-year conference. The IMA, with a term from January 1, 2024, to June 31, 2025, and a total aggregate amount of $220,000, will benefit both the Municipality and its Youth Bureau.

Mount Vernon
The Board adopted an act, authorizing the County to enter into an IMA with the City of Mount Vernon for the City to provide youth development services under its Youth Development Program for up to $180,718. The Programs included in this initiative aim to serve approximately 185 at-risk youth aged 5-21, offering academic enrichment, social activities, employment readiness training, and job placement during after-school and summer hours.

Minority Whip James Nolan (R - Yonkers, Eastchester, Bronxville) Chair of the Veteran, Seniors & Youth Committee said, “It brings me great joy to see Westchester County investing in our youth. With this funding we are giving children the opportunity to learn, grow, and create bonds that will last a lifetime. This is how change happens. I would like to thank my colleagues for joining me in supporting this initiative and the future of our youth.”

Majority Leader Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D -Mount Vernon) said, “One of our bright spots is when Mount Vernon’s Youth Bureau Executive Director Debbie Burrell-Butler comes up with the youth and we hear from the recipients directly on what they are learning. I’m happy we’re continuing this practice. We all know that skills pay the bills. There are many components to this program but that’s one of my favorite – seeing the tangible impact - how we are keeping youth engaged in constructive activities and how they are connecting with businesses that will give them relevant experience and training.”

Public Safety

School Resource Officers – North Salem Central School District
The Board approved an Act authorizing the renewal of a successful IMA between the County of Westchester and the North Salem Central School District. This agreement will continue the assignment of two School Resource Officers (SROs) for a five-year term starting September 2024. The SROs will continue to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning, providing resources to staff, fostering positive relationships with students, and addressing behavioral issues. The agreement includes provisions for SRO duties, coordination with the district, and data privacy measures.

Legislator Erika L. Pierce (D - Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers) said, “After many years of North Salem contracting with the County for a School Resource Officer for their high school, they have opted to add a second SRO for their elementary school. These highly trained Officers provide a wealth of services to our school’s systems, and are far more than security guards to the staff and students in these buildings. I am proud of this program and of the County’s ability to provide these officers when requested.”

Correctional Facility Replace Fire Alarm System
The Board approved a $665,000 Bond Act to finance the design phase for replacing the fire alarm system at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla. The bond will cover the design costs for updating the current, outdated fire alarm system.

Majority Whip Terry Clements (D - New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) Chair of the Public Safety Committee said, “The current fire alarm system has faithfully served but now nears the end of its useful life. This crucial investment ensures the safety and security of all within the facility.”


Technology Upgrade: Yonkers Water Resource and Recovery Facility
The Board approved a $850,000 Bond Act to upgrade the information technology infrastructure at the Yonkers Water Resource and Recovery Facility. The Bond Act will finance the replacement of outdated cabling, fiber, and network equipment critical for the facility's operations. The upgrade is necessary to meet CISA Cybersecurity standards and prevent operational disruptions.

McGregory Brook Relief Sewer in Peekskill
The Board's approval of the $1.9 million bond act for the McGregory Brook Relief Sewer project in Peekskill marks a critical investment in the community's infrastructure. By enhancing the sewer system's flow capacity, this project not only mitigates the risk of flooding but also ensures the continued environmental health and safety of the area, safeguarding both residents and local ecosystems.

Port Chester Water Resource Recovery Facility
The Board approved a $750,000 bond act to finance a study evaluating the rehabilitation or replacement of a deteriorating 30-inch outfall pipe at the Port Chester Water Resource Recovery Facility. The study, to be conducted by consultants, will assess the pipe's condition, explore rehabilitation options, and develop a preliminary budget. This project aims to ensure the facility's efficiency and resilience for years to come.

Chair of the Public Works & Transportation Committee Erika L. Pierce said, “Maintaining our infrastructure, whether it is our waste water systems or our award winning Community College, is a priority for this Board. With these bills, we address IT related issues at the Yonkers Waste Water Facility, improve the sewer system in Peekskill in preparation for increased volume in the years ahead, identify how to best maintain a 50+ year old 4-mile stretch of pipe in Port Chester, and invest in our joint mission with Westchester Community College - bringing programming into the City of Yonkers.”

Chair of the Budget & Appropriations Committee Jewel Williams Johnson (D - Elmsford, Greenburgh, Tarrytown, White Plains) said, “I am so pleased with our approvals of critical infrastructure and IT upgrades funding for our water resource and recovery facilities in both Port Chester and Yonkers, and the sewer system infrastructure in Peekskill. These investments are essential for maintaining and improving our community's vital services, ensuring clean water and efficient waste management for all residents. Additionally, the extension of the lease for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children through our Department of Health guarantees that our most vulnerable families continue to receive the support they need. These comprehensive funding packages represent a significant step forward in our commitment to public health, safety, and the well-being of our citizens."

Save the Date
Public Hearing: Westchester Community College (WCC) - Lease Agreement in Yonkers
On June 3rd we will discuss amending the lease agreement for WCC's Yonkers Extension Center, proposing an additional $500,000. This allocation aims to support the center's growth, improve its infrastructure, and adapt it to 21st Century educational standards. Your participation is vital in shaping this important decision for our community. Details on participation will be posted on our website and social media.

Watch the Board Meeting Recap HERE