Yonkers Economic Development Program Awards $25,000 in College Scholarships to Ten High School Seniors

Ten seniors in Yonkers High Schools were awarded $25,000 in college scholarships today under a program sponsored by the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA) that promotes higher education as well as economic development.

“These scholars will get a financial boost from this program, thanks to their hard work as well as the generosity of the donors,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, who chairs the YIDA and presented the scholarships in an afternoon ceremony at City Hall.

Under the program, the YIDA awarded tax incentives several years ago to the Wishcamper Group to build the Parkledge Apartments, and Wishcamper agreed to annually fund $25,000 in scholarships for ten years.

The students, who must be graduating in 2017, are chosen according to academic standing and faculty and community recommendations.

“This is a great program that gives students a welcome financial boost to start their college careers,” said Spano, “We know they will make their families and Yonkers proud as they go forward.”

This year’s Scholarship winners include:

Stefania Quarcoo, Lincoln High School

Josmerlyn Santos, Lincoln High School

Daron West, Lincoln High School

Victoria Callender, Palisades Prep

Keyla Melendez-Bonilla, Palisades Prep

Lisette Lantigua, Riverside High School

Jason Burgos, Roosevelt High School

Ashia Lee, Roosevelt High School

Maya Anderson, Saunders High School

Yamilka Restituyo, Sacred Heart High School

 

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Contact: Christina Gilmartin

(914) 377-6300

Christina.Gilmartin@yonkersny.gov

 

MAYOR MIKE SPANO ANNOUNCES 2017 SUMMER FILM AND CONCERT SERIES LINE-UP

MAYOR MIKE SPANO ANNOUNCES 2017 SUMMER FILM AND CONCERT SERIES LINE-UP

City of Yonkers Parks Department to Offer Family-Friendly Outdoor Movies & Music Every Week in July & August

YONKERS, NY – June 12, 2017 –Mayor Mike Spano today announced the schedule for the City’s 2017 Summer Film & Concert Series that will run during July and August at several Yonkers parks.  The family-friendly series is free of charge and open to children of all ages.

“With more than 70 dynamic parks and playgrounds in Yonkers, there is no better way to spend your summer nights than to enjoy an outdoor movie or concert with family and friends at your local neighborhood park,” said Mayor Spano.  “Our Summer Film & Concert Series has been a hit with Yonkers residents and we’re excited that it’s returning again this summer.”

Movies will be screened on Thursday evenings in July and August.  The films will begin at dusk at various locations throughout the City.   All movies are family-friendly and are rated either PG or PG-13.

Music begins promptly at 7PM on Wednesday nights throughout the summer. Genres range from Jazz to Latin, to Pop, to Irish & Mexican Folk, Swing, R & B and more.

Music and movie performances are subject to change and City residents are strongly encouraged to bring their own seating.  In case of rain, residents should call the City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation at 914-377-6450 to confirm cancellations.

The full movie and concert schedule is as follows:

MOVIES

July 6 at Georgia Avenue – Secret Life of Pets (PG)
July 13 at Culver Street – Lego Batman (PG)
July 20 at Welty Field – Sing (PG)
July 27 at R. McLaughlin Park – Storks (PG)
August 3 at Pelton Park – Ghostbusters 2016 (PG-13)
August 10 at Fitzpatrick Park – Moana (PG)
August 17 at Schultze Field – Dr. Strange/Edited (PG-13)
August 24 at Trenchard Park – Finding Dory (PG)

MUSIC

July 5 at Grant Park – FDR Drive – Pop/Rock/Motown/Swing
July 12 at War Memorial Field – Marachi De Flor Toloache – Mexican Folk
July 19 at O’Boyle Park – Trombonazo –  Latin/Jazz
July 26 at Coyne Park – McLean Avenue Band – Irish Folk/Pop
August 2 at Boo Wilson Park – Sage  – Jazz/Blues
August 9 at JFK Marina – Showtime Dance Band – Pop/Motown/Dance
August 16 at Trinity Park – Swingadelic – Big Band/Swing
August 23 at Lennon Park – Jonny Hirsch Band – Rock/Funk/Jazz
August 30 at Skating Rink – Strawberry Fields – Beatles Tribute

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CITY OF YONKERS EARNS CLEAN ENERGY COMMUNITY DESIGNATION FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO CUT COSTS AND REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

CITY OF YONKERS EARNS CLEAN ENERGY COMMUNITY DESIGNATION FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO CUT COSTS AND REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION
 

YONKERS, NY – May 8, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.

 

Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.

 

Yonkers received the designation for completing 4 of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Yonkers an opportunity to apply for up $150,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.

 

“Thank you to Governor Cuomo and NYSERDA for recognizing the various sustainable initiatives we have undertaken over the last five years and designating Yonkers as a Clean Energy Community,” said Mayor Spano. “We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished and we look forward in continuing our commitment to a more sustainable, cleaner and greener Yonkers.”

 

“Under Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy and efficiency initiatives, local governments across the state are taking a leadership role in reducing energy use and cutting costs in their communities,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Congratulations to the City of Yonkers for this noteworthy accomplishment and its commitment to a more sustainable, cleaner future.”

 

To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Yonkers completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Clean Fleet – Installed 2 new electric vehicle charging stations
  • Energy Code Enforcement Training – Trained compliance officers in energy code best practices
  • LED Street Lights Conversion
  • Unified Solar Permit – Streamlined the approvals process for Solar

 

Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 with no local cost share with the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects. At least two of the four actions must have been completed after August 1, 2016. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through September 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.  Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

 

Clean Energy Community Coordinators are also available at no charge to support cash- or resource-strapped communities to develop and prioritize clean energy goals; access easy-to-use resources such as guidance documents and case studies; and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.

 

For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec. Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance navigating the program.

 

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CITY OF YONKERS NAMED 5th MOST DIVERSE MIDSIZE CITY IN U.S.

CITY OF YONKERS NAMED 5th MOST DIVERSE MIDSIZE CITY IN U.S.

Leading Personal Finance Outlet “WalletHub.com” Ranks Yonkers as 2017’s Most Diverse Midsize City in New York State

YONKERS, NY – May 9, 2017 – One of the most respected personal finance voices in America, WalletHub.com, has tagged the City of Yonkers as 2017’s fifth most diverse midsize city in America in a recent study.  Yonkers is ranked the most diverse midsize city in New York State and ranked 19th overall amongst all U.S. cities.

 

“Our City brings a diversity that is so enriched that I believe it is our greatest strength” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “Yonkers is filled with an array of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, religions and races of all ages.  Our diversity is what makes us unique and I’m pleased to see that we are being recognized nationally for these qualities.”

The population of midsize cities is typically between 100,000 and 300,000 people. To determine the study’s rankings, the demographic profiles of more than 500 of the largest cities were studied across five major diversity categories:

  1. Socioeconomic
  2. Cultural
  3. Economic
  4. Household
  5. Religious

Statistical data resulting from the study include:

Diversity in Yonkers  (1=Most Diverse; 250= Average)

  • Income Diversity – 157th
  • Educational-Attainment Diversity – 110th
  • Racial & Ethnic Diversity – 39th
  • Linguistic Diversity – 14th
  • Age Diversity – 136th
  • Household-Type Diversity – 57th
  • Household-Size Diversity – 194th

The new study from WalletHub.com is another example of how diversity has grown in Yonkers during Mayor Spano’s tenure.  According to the U.S. Census, just over 31 percent of the City’s residents were foreign born from 2010-15, nearly 9 percent of the city population is Asian and almost 18 percent of the population is African American.  Hispanics represented almost 19 percent of the population in 2016.

To further celebrate this ever-growing diversity in Yonkers, Mayor Spano last year, along with City officials, dedicated the fountain at Yonkers City Hall as the “Unity Fountain.”  The Unity Fountain aims at representing all ethnic backgrounds, genders, and religions coming together and celebrating diversity as the City’s greatest strength.

The complete study of 2017’s Most Diverse Cities in America can be found at: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-diverse-cities/12690/

WalletHub is a personal finance website that launched in early August 2013 and is owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. – parent company of the credit card website CardHub.com.  Initially positioned as a “personal finance social network” with a focus on reviews for financial advisors, it has since branched into producing research reports and surveys on topics with varying degrees of relevance to personal finance.

 

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YIDA GIVES BOOST TO TWO APARTMENT PROJECTS

 

YIDA GIVES BOOST TO TWO APARTMENT PROJECTS

 

More than 200 new apartments will be built at two locations on Bronx River Road with assistance from the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA), which gave initial approval to the projects at its meeting on Wednesday.

 

One of the locations consisted largely of a long-empty building, while the other was  a vacant lot. Both will become market rate rentals. Both are being constructed by the Stagg Group. Site work has already commenced at both locations.

 

The larger of the two developments, at 705 Bronx River Road, has been owned by Stagg since 2013 and has been the subject of various proposals. After negotiations with the City,  which resulted in a rezoning by the City Council earlier this year, Stagg has agreed to build 160 apartments in a project that will cost approximately $28 million to construct. The YIDA will  provide assistance in the form of a sales tax exemption on construction materials, a mortgage tax exemption, and a temporary property tax reduction.

 

Besides reducing the number of units from the original proposal, Stagg also agreed to provide on-site parking for tenants of the building.  The project is also within walking distance of the Fleetwood and Mount Vernon West train stations, however, and thus conforms with the City’s policy of promoting transit-oriented development.

 

The other development, at 411 Bronx River Road, will consist of 44 apartments. The property has been the subject of various development proposals for the past several years, many of which pre-date its more recent acquisition by the Stagg Group.

 

The construction cost is estimated at $8.2 million. The YIDA is assisting by providing a sales tax exemption on construction materials and a temporary property tax abatement.

 

“Yonkers continues to attract market rate housing development, which is testimony to the faith that developers and potential residents have in the City’s future,” said Mayor Mike Spano who chairs the YIDA. He added, “These two new buildings in particular are important because they are both within walking distance of commuter rail stations. The more we can provide homes that allow people to use mass transit rather than cars to get to jobs, the more attractive Yonkers becomes to new residents, and the more we reduce our city’s carbon footprint.”

 

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CITY OF YONKERS ADOPTS 2017-2018 BUDGET

CITY OF YONKERS ADOPTS 2017-2018 BUDGET

Adopted Budget Contains Lowest Property Tax Increase in 20 Years;

No Cuts in Essential Services or Municipal Layoffs;

Stays Within State-Mandated 2% Tax Cap

 

City Provides Largest Contribution in History to Yonkers Board of Education

 

Yonkers, NY – June 1, 2017 — Following weeks of budget hearings and public advocacy meetings, the City of Yonkers 2017-2018 Budget tonight was adopted with a 7-0 vote by the Yonkers City Council. The Budget increases funding for the Yonkers School District for the sixth consecutive year, stays within the state-mandated tax cap with the lowest property tax increase in 20 years and contains no cuts in services or layoffs.

“Overall, this year’s Adopted Budget is a lean, balanced budget that provides greater funding to our schools and students and maintains the level of quality services our taxpayers deserve,” said Mayor Spano.

The City of Yonkers is increasing the Board of Education’s (BOE) operating budget to $557.3 million, which includes $15.7 million from sales tax revenue which will be dedicated to education funding and an additional $400,000 towards funding five guidance counselors, which increases the City’s Maintenance of Effort. This is the largest contribution to the BOE in the City’s history. The City’s combined contribution to the Board of Education has increased by $42.6 million since Fiscal Year 2012.

On the municipal side, the Adopted 2017-2018 Budget maintains all departments and City services, funding vital services and restoring vacant positions in police (5), fire (5) and parks (4).

Additionally, tonight’s vote includes the decision to stay within the state-mandated tax cap, allowing for a 0.23% property tax levy increase, the lowest property tax increase in 20 years and qualifying taxpayers for the State’s tax relief credit program.

The tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed value would increase by $4.60, an increase in the tax rate of 0.61%. Under the proposal, a typical one-to-three family home at the median assessed value of $11,200 would see their annual property tax bill increase by $51.52, or less than $4.30 per month.

Additional items restored in the Adopted Budget include funding for Untermyer Performing Arts Council (UPAC) and anti-violence program SNUG.

Mayor Spano commented, “This year’s budget is a tough one, one that contains tough choices. We will have challenges as we move ahead towards next year’s budget because although our revenues continue to grow, they are being outpaced by our labor union contracts, pensions and healthcare costs. In the meantime, I plan to address our needs to our state and federal government and to pledge to continue the progress we made the last six years by proposing greater efficiencies and savings for our residents.”

Budget Snapshot:

  • $1.154 billion total budget
  • Eliminates most vacant positions; does not contain any municipal layoffs
  • Proposes 0.23% increase in property tax levy (lowest in 20 years)
  • City of Yonkers stays within state mandated 2% tax cap
  • City provides largest contribution to Board of Education in the City’s history

 

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MAYOR MIKE SPANO APPOINTS JASON BAKER TO ASSUME THE DUTIES OF YONKERS DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY

YONKERS, NY – June 6, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced that Jason Baker, Special Assistant to the Mayor, will assume the responsibilities of the Yonkers Director of Sustainability. In the role, Baker will facilitate efforts to achieve Yonkers’ sustainability policy goals of improving public health and quality of life, reducing costs, and expanding access to green jobs and businesses, within municipal government, homes, neighborhoods, and businesses throughout the City.

“Jason is a natural fit for this position as he expands his role in my administration,” said Mayor Spano. “He has deep knowledge and experience in environmental initiatives and, as a City we look forward to continuing our efforts to make Yonkers a greener, more sustainable place for today and future generations.”

In his role as Special Assistant to Mayor Spano, Baker has directly overseen the Office of Sustainability since 2015. He has been managing a broad-based portfolio of facilities and asset management projects, including the City-wide facility security initiative; the three-phase Vehicle Fleet & Fuel Efficiency Program; and the downtown art-light installations.

Since Baker began overseeing the Office of Sustainability, its successes have included:

 

  • The Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations Program
  • Implementation of the Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy (EPP)
  • Expansion of the LED Lighting Replacement Project
  • Expansion of the City/YPS Facilities Energy Conservation Projects

 

“This is an exciting time for Yonkers, which under Mayor Spano’s leadership is accomplishing transformative conservation measures, resulting in significant energy reduction and cost savings,” said Jason Baker.  “I look forward to the opportunity to continue building on the City’s progress and advance innovative, sustainable practices that promote environmental and economic prosperity.”

 

Jason Baker joined Mayor Spano’s administration in 2012, where he has held the positions of Deputy Communications Director and Director of the Yonkers Film Office.  Baker began his career has a Regional Coordinator in the New York State Assembly Department of Communication & Information Services.

 

Since Mayor Spano created the Director of Sustainability position in 2012 when he entered office, the City of Yonkers has launched one of the most ambitious and comprehensive energy plans of any city in New York State. Notable initiatives include the award-winning LED Street Light Replacement Program, which is expected to save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce Yonkers’ carbon footprint by 3,000 tons annually;  the passage of the Yonkers Green City Buildings Ordinance, ensuring the City designs and constructs its facilities to be sustainable; the establishment of the first Styrofoam recycling program in New York State, which has resulted in residents recycling the equivalent of 2.5 million Styrofoam coffee cups in just one year; and streamlined solar permitting, which has allowed for more solar rooftop installations in Yonkers than the previous 10 years combined.

 

Generation Yonkers in the Wall Street Journal

The ad in my Facebook feed was the most intriguing I’ve seen in a while. It featured celebrity chef Christian Petroni—a large, bearded man attired in camouflage pants, a red tribal-print jacket and a pink scarf—declaring, “THERE’S A RENAISSANCE HAPPENING HERE.”

 

Read the whole story: https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-yonkers-ready-for-its-renaissance-1491298204

Yonkers Leading the Way in Transit Oriented Development

The City of Yonkers is on the cutting edge of one of the hottest trends in real estate – transit oriented development. For the second straight year, the City’s Department of Planning & Development showed off its most impressive transit oriented developments under construction by hosting an exclusive tour for brokers.

More than 30 commercial and residential brokers were on hand for the tour on June 16. The tour, sponsored by Ginsburg Development Companies, Collins Enterprises, National Resources and Simone Development Companies, included stops at the following sites:

  • River Tides at Greystone, a 330-unit, 10-story luxury rental complex overlooking the Hudson River. The project, which is being developed by Ginsburg Development Companies, will have a direct walkway to the Greystone Metro-North train station.
  • Hudson Park Club, the latest addition to the Hudson Park luxury rental complex. The 230,000-square-foot building features 213 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. It’s being developed by Collins Enterprises and is located just blocks from the Yonkers Metro-North station.
  • UNO Micro Unit Apartments, a $15 million development project transforming Building 2 at iPark into 100 micro-unit apartments. Developed by National Resources, the project is a short walk to the Yonkers Metro-North station.

“Transit Oriented Development is a fast-growing trend in urban planning that is creating vibrant, livable and sustainable communities,” said Mayor Mike Spano, who welcomed the brokers after the tour at a cocktail reception at the Boyce Thompson Center, an 85,000-square-foot, mixed-use complex being developed by Simone Development Companies. “We are very pleased to have shared with the brokerage community these important transit oriented developments that are bringing new energy to downtown Yonkers.”

Focus on Yonkers

Yonkers is in the midst of a renaissance, and the transformation has been eye-opening. Commercial and residential development are booming, and millennials and artists are flocking to Yonkers as they did to Brooklyn and Hoboken a decade ago. With cultural, dining and transportation options aplenty, more and more people are seeing the boundless possibilities New York’s fourth largest city has to  offer.

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