Conflicting Reports on the Waverly Avenue Bridge
By Cindy Goldstein =
The saga continues as the Town of Mamaroneck issued a press release on 11/7 contradicting information from Village Manager Jerry Barberio’s Report at the Board of Trustees meeting on 10/23. The Town “believes it is necessary…..to provide FACTual information….as it is detrimental to all of our residents to be provided with inaccurate information from a local official.” See HERE for the full press release.
The $4.54 million Waverly Avenue bridge project, funded by the Town of Mamaroneck primarily with grant money, is sorely needed as the bridge has been determined to be structurally deficient by the NYS Department of Transportation. The bridge will be rebuilt to address public safety and for flood mitigation consistent with the Army Corps of Engineers flood plan for the Village.
The Village initially issued a work permit but then revoked it at the last minute demanding up to $728,000 of reimbursable police overtime for traffic control during construction in this fiscal year. The Town balked at both the amount and the rationale for requiring a police presence especially since during the years’ worth of prior meetings between the Town and the Village the topic was never brought up.
The Town’s press release lays out the timeline for the Waverly Avenue Bridge and expresses frustration as to why Barberio waited until just before the bridge work commenced to raise the issue of police presence for traffic regulation and safety. They reiterate that Barberio has refused to attend meetings with the Town for reasons that are unclear.
The Town press release goes on to cite two additional reasons that might explain why Barberio refuses to meet with them to resolve this issue. The first is Section 8 and Affordable Housing with Barberio commenting that the Town does not care about poor people in the community. Barberio had indicated that he wanted the Village to take over the program.
The other issue surrounds accusations by Barberio that the Town illegally abolished the Cable TV Board of Control and attributing motivations to the Town that are not supported by facts. The Town states “…. the Town will not be honoring the Village Manager’s request to be paid his $8,500 stipend to serve as the Administrator of the Board of Control. That compensation is a component of his employment agreement with the Village.”
At the November 13th Village Work Session Barberio spoke about the fact that he did not meet with the Town without stating a reason and that the Town had threatened to sue the Village over the bridge work delay. Barberio said that while others may say whatever they want he must be careful about what he says.
Village Attorney Bob Spolzino clarified that at a recent meeting with the Town it was agreed that counsel to the Town would prepare a draft agreement that included negotiated points for a police presence for up to 60 working days and a study (prepared at the Town’s expense) to determine the traffic situation during construction in order to find other traffic control measures (e.g., timing of lights, etc.) to alleviate the back-ups. Spolzino mentioned he had made some edits to the agreement and with additional input from the Board and other officials will forward the agreement back to the Town for further discussion. The start date for the project has not been determined but Spolzino said work cannot begin until this agreement is signed.
Deputy Mayor Young questioned why traffic control was not considered earlier in the process. Barberio responded that traffic control is usually included in the contract, and he did not learn there was no provision for it until he spoke with the contractor.Barberio went on to say that the contractor said there had been $150,000 available but they were not permitted to include it in the contract.The Town awarded the contract since it was their project. Barberio claims that in the past the Village never had a written agreement with the Town for any of their joint projects and also stated that services the Town used to provide to the Village have been discontinued.