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Recycling Center on Chopping Block in Eastchester

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – It wasn't the layoffs of roughly 18 Town of Eastchester employees or the tax increase associated with the proposed $34 million town spending plan that led at least one family to speak out against the budget.

Instead, resident Nancy Manister and her husband Todd came out to the Eastchester Town Board's public hearing on Tuesday to ask the town to keep the town recycling center open.

The proposed budget will close the recycling center, which is now open every day.

"We pick up the garbage and bring it to the recycling center, " said Supervisor Anthony Colavita. "Closing the drop off is a way to save some money."

But Manister said that she and her family are very environmentally conscious and would like to see the center open at least some of the time."Perhaps we can have it open for just a few hours," Manister said.

In addition to closing the recycling center, the board is considering privatizing services at Lake Isle, the three-acre park that features a golf course, tennis courts and five swimming pools.

"If we decide to go ahead with that, and it is still up in the air, nine people will lose their jobs and the town will save between $300,000 and $400,000," Colavita said.

Colavita said in it's current form Bronxville residents, who have a home assessed at the average assessment of $22,000, will see a tax hike of $5.20 per year.

Tuckahoe residents whose home is assessed at the village average of $8,000 will see a tax increase of $1.89 for the year.

The highest tax rate will go to residents of the unincorporated portion of the town, where the average home is assessed at $10,000. Those residents will see a tax hike of $123.05 for the year.

"We are talking about $10 per month for all the services we have here, garbage collection, Lake Isle, the Recreation Department, police and courts," Colavita said of the tax hike for Eastchester residents.

But the low tax increase, which keeps the tax levy under the 2 percent state cap, comes at a cost for town employees. Three civilian workers at the Eastchester Police Department will lose their jobs. Three laborers, one in the Parks Department and two in the Highway Department, will also lose their jobs. Colavita said the town will consider laying off one or two police officers.

An office assistant for senior services is facing layoff and a second staffer in that office will have full-time hours reduced to part-time hours.

Colavita asked that some numbers be presented that will allow the recycling center to remain open at least part time.

The Town Board is expected to adopt the budget at the last meeting of the year to be held on December 20.

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