Reconstruction 45% Over Budget

(Greenburgh, NY) -- County Legislator Tom Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) today called on Westchester County to sell 450 Saw Mill River Road in Greenburgh, the building which the County purchased just a year and a half ago to house voting machines.

Abinanti’s move comes amid reports that building renovations are 45% over budget. It also follows today’s authorization by the Board of Acquisition and Contract for the new administration of County Executive Rob Astorino to rebid some of the remaining work for which it has rejected bids.

“Those of us who opposed purchasing the building said the cost estimates were too low, the building had mold and asbestos, the roof needed to be replaced not repaired,  - and we’ve been proved right,” said Legislator Abinanti.  “The operating costs will be far too expensive. Transporting machines around the County from that location is geographically extremely difficult.”

Earlier this week, the Public Works Department revealed to the Board of Legislators that the cost of the renovation project was $3.3 million more than the $6.8 million budget - for a total $10.1 million. The Department said that the additional cost would not be bonded but financed with a loan from the New York Power Authority to be paid back monthly from energy “savings” from the newly installed state of the art energy-efficient heating and cooling systems which replaced systems the Department had originally claimed would not need to be replaced.

The purchase of the building has been fraught with controversy. Former County Executive Andrew Spano administration’s purchase followed more than a year of controversy over whether the County should purchase the building.  There have been several complaints by workers in a neighboring business during construction of airborne contaminants which affected their breathing and caused damage to their vehicles.

“This building is nothing but trouble,” said Abinanti, ”we need to cut our losses and sell the building.”