By Kathy Savolt -
Police Department Accreditation
Police Chief Sandra DiRuzza announced that the Department is officially accredited under the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Program. She presented the Village with a plaque received by NYS.
The Village of Mamaroneck joins a select group of police departments as only 34% of departments in the State have achieved accreditation. To be accredited, a set of standards must be met in three categories: Administration, Training and Operations. Accreditation provides formal recognition that an agency meets or exceeds expectations of quality; demonstrates that the agency performs in a professional manner, has formalized policies in place to govern its operational practices and procedures, and that its employees contribute to the agency's mission and know what is expected of them. Accredited agencies are reassessed every five years.
Lieutenant Tim Galvin was also recognized by the State for his leadership role in securing accreditation. Galvin thanked his colleagues who worked with him on this effort – Lt. Plinio (PJ) Trujillo, Lt. Mark Gatto, and Sgt. Mark Ballantyne.
Congratulations to the Department and Lt. Galvin. The work towards reaccreditation starts now with a request for a budget amendment for necessary resources.
Economic Development Strategic Plan
Planning Director Greg Cutler and Planning Intern, Morgan Wait presented the Village’s Economic Development Plan at the work session. See HERE. This plan, which updates the 2015 Plan, presents nine recommendations including establishing a Business Recruitment Team, making zoning changes, improving parking, and creating flood resilient commercial building standards. There was no further discussion. The cost for developing the plan was $10,000.
Editor's Note: TMO was recently advised by the Director of Planning that the budget transfer for this study was approximately half of the originally planned expenditure ($10,000).
Home Elevation Grants/Loans
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has grants available to property owners who wish to elevate their homes above flood levels and currently, there are four homeowners who wish to explore the process. The application is reportedly very complicated and detailed, so the Village has reached out to an expert in the area of flood mitigation, Rod Scott, from Louisiana. Mr. Scott attended the work session to discuss helping VOM homeowners for a fee of approximately $10,000. Scott would be retained by the Village, who would be the official sub applicant for the grants. Any grant funds would flow through the Village. Eligible property owners may receive a grant of up to 75% of the elevation costs. A low interest (3%) loan program is also available. If Scott is successful there is another FEMA grant that could reimburse the Village for his fee.
Scott, a Certified Flood Plain Manager, has extensive experience in this area. See HERE. This item was tabled until the next meeting as Scott was asked for more information.
Length of Service Award Program for Fire Department
The Village is considering instituting a planned benefit program for the all-volunteer Fire Department.
Basically, the Village would pay $30/month for each eligible volunteer. To be eligible, each volunteer would have to meet a point-based criteria based on the level of their volunteerism. The initial start-up of the program allows a five-year lookback requiring a substantial start-up investment estimated at between $1.3 and $1.5 million. Ongoing costs are estimated at between $200,000 and $250,000 annually.
The Village would set the entitlement age and years of service are capped at 50. Recipients would receive monthly benefits of $30/month X their years of service making the maximum benefit $1,500/month or $18,000/year.
The Board agreed more discussion is needed. State law requires that this proposal be presented to the voters in the form of a referendum either in a special election or during the regular November election.