to Save Over $300,000 Annually
YONKERS, NY – September 7, 2012 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today
announced Yonkers taxpayers would no longer be burdened subsidizing free trash
collection of local commercial properties in downtown Yonkers, saving taxpayers
$300,000 per year. Starting November 15, the City of Yonkers will
discontinue trash removal services for commercial businesses located within the
Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District (BID).
conducting a top-down evaluation of the City services and budget obligations,
the Spano administration uncovered that for more than 10 years the City of
Yonkers had been providing this free service - twice a day, five days a
week – to the over 200 businesses located within the Downtown Business
can no longer subsidize the Downtown BID with free City services that no other
businesses in the City receive or are entitled to,” said Mayor Spano. “What was
supposed to be a temporary bridge to support the BID when it was formed in 2001
has continued for more than a decade and has cost City taxpayers millions of
dollars. While we value the businesses invested in our downtown redevelopment
and are committed to working with them, this practice is unsustainable.”
subsidy initiated under Mayor John Spencer’s Administration and maintained
throughout the Mayor Phil Amicone Administration was imposed onto the Yonkers
Downtown Waterfront Business Improvement District (B.I.D.). This telling was
exposed by the Yonkers Tribune years ago despite the deaf ears and the “my way
or the highway” demeanor of both the Spencer and Amicone Administrations
addition to the taxpayer cost, this practice likely violates both the State and
US Constitutions as it raises concerns relating to gifts of public funds and
equal protection. In this case, no other private business in the City –
including those affiliated with the City’s other BID – receives this free City
service and, instead all pay for their own trash removal. As a result,
the free trash service to the Downtown/Waterfront BID members amounts to an
unconstitutional benefit to an isolated group of private businesses.
Spano added, “In uncovering this past practice, and putting a swift end to it,
our administration continues to take action and demonstrate to City’s taxpayers
that we are committed to addressing the fiscal crisis which threatens the
City’s long-term solvency.”
August 15 of this year, the City sent a notice letter to the Downtown BID
asking it to notify its membership that the City of Yonkers will no longer
cover the free trash collection for the downtown businesses as of November 15.
stated in its original 2001 business plan, the Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID
envisioned a joint venture with the City, which would focus on marketing,
façade improvements and code violation concerns. The City remains committed to
supporting those mutual goals as it celebrates the ongoing revitalization of
the downtown waterfront and encourage new investment in this region.
garbage subsidy program was initiated as far back as 2006 when then Downtown
Yonkers Merchant Association (DYMA) and the Business Improvement District
(B.I.D.), precursers to the present Yonkers Downtown Waterfron B.I.D. afforded
garbage pickup to 95 percent of some 400 businesses who used the garbage
program. Garbage pick up at that time ranged from $20 to $350 a month. DYMA
Executive Ian Kipp would not explain the scheme of the plan but Yonkers Tribune Editor / Publisher Hezi
Aris was able to figure it out and explained it in the article:
www.yonkerstribune.com, 10 June 2006 [cached].
said garbage pickup became DYMA’s sole mission and source of revenue after the BID took over in March 2002. Membership
in DYMA was voluntary, but the BID
was then, and is presently funded by a 6 percent surcharge on property tax in
PHOTO CAPTION: Ian Kipp, center, the downtown development manager for the City of Rocky Mount, talks with Fred Turnage as his daughter Eva, 7, listens Tuesday during a going away party for Kipp at Taste of Paradise. Photo by Alan Campbell and courtesy of Rocky Mount Telegram.
garbage collection was accomplished by DPW crews that fell under the auspices
of then DPW Commissioner John Liszewski who is presently the Commissioner of
Finance. DYMA collected fees divulged years ago by Ian Kipp to Hezi Aris but the
fees collected were never paid to the Yonkers City coffers, instead they were
used for the operation of DYMA. That practice was initiated by Mayor John
Spencer, continued by Mayor Phil Amicone and will at last end under Mayor Mike
Spano’s Administration. Bravo Mayor Spano, Bravo!
Learn more by reading: Past Conduct of Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront BID Reminiscent of Recent Coverups. That article, also written by Hezi Aris, was written January 24, 2008.