Latimer Releases Proposed 2023 Capital Budget
Westchester County Executive George Latimer has submitted his 2023 Capital Budget to the Westchester County Board of Legislators for their review and consideration. The budget, which is Latimer’s fifth, includes investments in affordable housing, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, recreational facilities such as Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center, Playland and Memorial Field, flood mitigation projects including the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River project, numerous sewer and water projects and the paving of the Bronx River Parkway.
Latimer said: “This Capital Budget continues the strategic investment in our County infrastructure. The overarching goal of this investment is to maintain our assets in a state of good repair, while at the same time supporting thousands of jobs within the County. Many of the projects in this budget focus on the environment and sustainability including the investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, purchase of hybrid and electric buses, flood mitigation funding and incorporation of energy efficiency goals. I made a promise to the people of this County years ago, that I would invest in our infrastructure, take care of our people, help the environment, raise the County’s bond rating and cut taxes responsibly – we have done all of this and more.”
The proposed budget proposal requests $662.5 million in new appropriations on an all-funds basis for 2023. This appropriations request breaks down as follows:
• $448.8 million for general County purposes.
• $200 million for the Refuse, Sewer and Water districts.
• $13.7 million for the Westchester County Airport.
Environmental Conservation and Flood
Mitigation Total $125 Million
Environmental conservation and flood mitigation efforts continue with an additional $95 million in appropriations for the purchase of hybrid buses for the County’s Bee-Line Bus System, $18 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at County and municipal locations including $5 million for a County/municipal fund for electric charging stations, and $12 million is added for flood mitigation efforts.
Department of Public Works and Transportation Commissioner Hugh Greechan said: “Continuing to improve the Westchester County Bee-Line System is a win for the riders in the County. Also, the focus on electric vehicles and charging stations further shows the County Executive’s commitment to the environment.”
Westchester County Parks System
Total $41.1 Million
A combined $28 million has been slotted for structural improvements at the Ice Casino and Playland Amusement Park. Additionally, $7 million has been allocated for Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center, and $3.3 million for Cranberry Lake Preserve improvements.
Latimer said: “As the construction of the County’s historic investment in Playland continues, we look toward other park facilities that have suffered from underinvestment in the past.”
Westchester County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said: “The proposed 2023 Capital Budget continues the much-needed trend of rebuilding and restoring our nationally accredited parks system, which is widely used by residents to maintain their physical and mental health. Park usage has grown since the beginning of the pandemic, and we are appreciative of the support we receive from the County departments and both branches of government that participate in the capital process.”
Environmental Facilities Total $198 Million
Twenty-five point five million dollars has been added for continuing the improvements to the Mamaroneck wastewater recovery facility in 2023. Twenty million is included for the New Rochelle Water Resource Recovery Facility. For Yonkers, $46.1 million is included for improvements to the Yonkers Joint Water Resource Recovery Facility.
Affordable Housing Total $90 Million
Affordable housing is once again a top priority for Latimer’s administration, with a combined $40 million included for land acquisition ($25 million) and infrastructure ($15 million) improvements to support the development of affordable housing within Westchester. Fifty million dollars is included for the Affordable Housing Investment Fund to be funded with ARPA funds, and plans are to use these funds for further development of workforce housing.
If approved by the Board, this would represent the largest single-year commitment to affordable housing in County history.
Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond said: “Westchester County’s commitment to creating fair and affordable housing opportunities has never been more evident than with County Executive Latimer’s continuing support through Capital Budget programs that help affordable housing developers fill their financing gaps. This commitment is getting more affordable housing units built in Westchester.”
Latimer said: “I look forward to working with the Board of Legislators throughout the 2023 budget process, and into the future.”
The Westchester County Board of Legislators will receive the proposed Capital Budget and the proposed Operating Budget and are charged with passing the County Budget by the end of December 2022.