YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Residents are being asked to share their opinions on what Yorktown should do with the $1.5 million Spectra money in a short online survey hosted by Citizens for an Informed Yorktown, a non-partisan effort dedicated to increasing citizen participation in town affairs.
In 2015, Yorktown received $1.5 million from Spectra Energy as a one-time payment for allowing the company the temporary use of town parkland for the construction of its new pipeline.
While recognizing that the ultimate decision on what to do with the $1.5 million rests solely with the Town Board, the survey is designed to give residents an opportunity to provide feedback to board members on how they’d like to see the money used: save it, use it to reduce taxes, or spend it on needed infrastructure projects.
If the resident believes the money should be used for one or more infrastructure projects, the survey asks the resident to prioritize a list of six general infrastructure categories, from paving roads and park improvements to building a new highway garage. The short, anonymous online survey is available by clicking here.
“The decision on how to spend the Spectra windfall should not be made behind closed doors and then presented to residents as a done deal,” said former town supervisor and councilwoman Susan Siegel, who created the survey. “Before the five members of the Town Board make a decision, they should, at a minimum, give their constituents an opportunity to voice their opinion on an issue that will affect the lives of e very Yorktown resident.”
The survey is not the first time Siegel has called for residents to have an opportunity to provide input on the use. In June 2015, one month after the Town Board voted for the Spectra Agreement, Siegel called for a community discussion on the use of the money, saying: “It’s not often we get a $1.5 million one-shot windfall, so let’s think carefully before we spend it."
Responding to her suggestion, Councilman Tom Diana said he wanted to wait, adding that, “There’s a lot of things that [the] money could be used for and I’m not sure which direction it’s going to go in right now. “
Residents with questions should email Citizens for an Informed Yorktown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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