The Westchester Board of Legislators plans to put up a list of capital projects on its web site Feb. 1 to allow the public to track the status of the work.
A board press release said there will be more than 300 projects on the Capital Projects Dashboard worth over a billion dollars.
The board has been involved in a long-running dispute with the administration of County Executive Rob Astorino over capital projects and is looking to make a point about the administration’s handling of the projects and the impact on economic development of stalling the work. The site will track the status of the projects, everything from ‘in progress’ to ‘on hold’ to ‘stopped by the administration.’
Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, pointed to the Sprain Ridge Pool in Yonkers as a project that was in design when Astorino decided to stop the work. The pool needs an overhaul and was closed last summer.
“It is not the county executive’s prerogative to say, ‘i just don’t feel like doing that,’” said Jenkins, who is one of three Democrats seeking to run against Astorino in November.
George Oros, Astorino’s chief of staff, said there are many legitimate reasons for projects to be delayed, including requests from localities to coordinate work, problems with state or federal funding, the need to negotiate easements or other reasons. Without seeing the list, he said, it’s not possible to know if it’s accurate.
The administration has also had issue with the board’s handling of capital projects, complaining that the board’s penchant for breaking projects into separate design and build bonds is inefficient.
“By doing that they’re helping create their list of things that aren’t getting done,” Oros said.
And the two sides are fighting in court over the process for placing projects on the capital plan, a required step before bonding. The case was filed in July in state Supreme Court.