By Stephen E. Lipken
Village of Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen convened a virtual Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, November 10, calling for Trustee Reports.
Trustee Michael Carpenter invited citizens to join the Pelham Arts Council; apply on website https://www.pelhamgov.com.
Then PKF O’Connor Davies LLP partner-in-charge Robert A. Daniele and Catherine Rapfogel presented an Audited Financial Statement for FY 2019-20. Daniele stated that the Village received an Unmodified, Clean Opinion, the highest rating a village can receive.
In basic financial statements, Original Budget totaled $15,017,061; Final Budget, $15,371,372, difference, $354,311. Actual Budget, $15,295,697, Variance with Final Budget: $75,675.
Other expenses included $285,000 for Refuse and Garbage Contract and $120,500 Police Retirement Costs. Parking Lot Fees are COVID-driven, with reduction of $108,361 reflecting loss of users. Fines and Forfeitures are also COVID-driven with less parking tickets; street meter revenues are down about $60,000.
Mullen mentioned that the Village sold land to Pelham House LLC Developer Patrick Normoyle and partners Mark Reed and Joe Sisca in exchange for constructing a consolidated Fire House, Police Station and Village Hall.
“What’s the problem,” Mullen asked. “Our Downtown was not designed to be thriving in the 21st Century. There are reasons why the zoning laws on our books effectively prevent new construction. We diagnosed the problem in 2008, ‘broken teeth’ which undermines walkability and vibrancy. The lack of foot traffic makes it difficult to attract new capital business. Middle School and High School cut into our tax base.
This has shifted the tax burden onto our homeowners.
“Financial liability of the Police Station, Fire House and Village Hall is $17.4 million dollars,” Mullen concluded.
New Pelham House apartments consist of 55% studios, one-bedroom units; 5% work force housing for 80% Average Median Income (AMI) people.