YONKERS, NY – December 8, 2017 –  This week, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano joined the Yonkers Board of Education, Yonkers City Council and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Edwin M. Quezada to present the School of the Month Award for November 2017 to the deserving administration, faculty, staff, parents and students of the Enrico Fermi School. Under the leadership of Principal Mark Ametrano, Enrico Fermi is achieving great success and is at the forefront of inquiry-based learning by engaging students in rigorous academic curriculum, at the same time exposing them to real world experiences to prepare them for the future.

Enrico Fermi was recognized for their signature CORE program – Careers, Opportunities and Real World Experience.  Students from Kindergarten through 8th grade not only research various career options for their future, but also study the skills and education necessary to be successful in that chosen field.

“Enrico Fermi, under the leadership of Mark Ametrano, is impacting Yonkers students with the school’s diverse methods of education,”said Mayor Mike Spano. “The administrators, teachers and staff should be proud of the work they’ve accomplished by exposing their young ones to so many real-life experiences at a very early age.  Through their CORE program, technology and art, the teachers and administration are cultivating an environment that promotes confidence, success and a curiosity of the future.”

“Enrico Fermi is a great example of inquiry-based learning,” noted Dr. Edwin Quezada, Superintendent of Schools.  “Principal Mark Ametrano fosters a diverse environment of creativity and their CORE program is successfully exposing our young people to real world experiences outside of the classroom.”

Board of Education President Rev. Steve Lopez added:  “The students, teachers, staff and parents of Enrico Fermi are experiencing success in the classroom, while also soaking in a tremendous amount of knowledge about possible future careers through their CORE program.  This school exemplifies the Board’s goal for creative learning that leads to academic success in our school district.”

Mayor Spano’s School of the Month recognition program began in January 2014 as a way to celebrate the significant academic success, extracurricular achievements and community volunteerism of Yonkers’ students, teachers, administration and staff at Yonkers Public Schools.


Race Day Includes Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K Race on Sunday, September 17

YONKERS, NY – August 1, 2017 – Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano today announced the City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation will host the 92nd Yonkers Marathon onSunday, September 17, 2017.  The day will also include a Half Marathon and 5K, all beginning at the Yonkers Riverfront Library on the Yonkers Waterfront at 8:00AM.  Registration for all races is available at

“Each year the Yonkers Marathon continues to grow and establish itself as a prominent event in the region,” said Mayor Mike Spano.  “This year is extra special as we celebrate the rich history of our city with the 92nd running of the marathon, the same weekend as the 25th Annual Riverfest.  This is going to be a fun-filled weekend in the City of Yonkers.”

The Yonkers Marathon has a long and storied history, and was once home of the national championships and Olympic team qualifiers. Marathon legend John Kelley called it a “marathoner’s marathon,” and New York City Marathon founder Fred Lebow cited it as one his favorite marathons, stating, “You haven’t run a marathon until you’ve run Yonkers.”  The first Yonkers Marathon was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1907.  The Yonkers Marathon, which is the 2nd oldest marathon in the country, is USA Track & Field certified and is a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

For more information, please contact the City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation at 914-377-6450.

Yonkers downtown business group doing more street cleaning

A Yonkers business group has boosted its efforts to keep downtown’s streets and sidewalks cleaner.

Members of the Yonkers Downtown/Waterfront Business Improvement District celebrated their two new maintenance vehicles Tuesday at an event marking the group’s new branding and revamped website.

One of the new vehicles looks like a golf cart outfitted with a giant vacuum cleaner. It was put into service earlier this year and it turned heads.

“When we first took it out people asked what the hell is that thing,” said Jaime Martinez, the downtown BID’s executive director.

Martinez said the contraption is a Tennant all-terrain litter vacuum that cost about $17,500. The vehicle has a capacity of 100 pounds of trash and it easily fits on sidewalks and narrow alleys.

“Essentially is goes at the speed of six people,” said Martinez of the vehicle’s trash sweeping.

The other vehicle is a Polaris GEM electric car that looks like a golf cart with a rear flatbed and it will also be used for maintenance and cleaning.

The BID is a nonprofit group created in 2002 to build partnerships, encourage investment and support commercial initiatives downtown.

The group is funded through a special tax on property owners in the district.

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Downtown Yonkers: A Cleaner, Greener Place to Call Home

On a recent Friday afternoon, Nathan Hunter, dressed in a carrot costume, supervised the weekly farmers’ market on the grounds of the historical Philipse Manor Hall in downtown Yonkers.

Across Warburton Avenue, recent graduates of nearby Sarah Lawrence College gathered in a new art gallery, using computer modeling to design bike racks for the city.

And behind the bar at the Yonkers Brewing Company, Joe Minkler was preparing for the busiest night of the workweek. “I’m making sure everything is clean and organized,” he said, “so when the chaos begins, I’m ready.”

Some call it revitalization, others gentrification. But no one can deny that change is sweeping the once sleepy downtown of Yonkers, which lies directly north of the Bronx, in Westchester County, and has long been regarded as a blue-collar stepchild of New York City.

The changes started along the Hudson River a dozen years ago, with apartment buildings going up on old industrial sites.

And now another, smaller river — the Saw Mill, which meanders into the Hudson, but was paved over in the 19th century when it was fouled with industrial waste — is drawing development inland.

The river, now cleaner, is being uncovered, bit by bit, in a process called “daylighting,” and public spaces are being created around it. A parking lot across Buena Vista Avenue from the Beaux-Arts train station was peeled up; in its place is a park with cascading waters.

Developers are digging in on either side of the new Van der Donck Park, constructing high-rises and retrofitting old factories, adding residences to what was once strictly a business and government district, and banking on the greener look of downtown to lure people priced out of New York — or simply looking for a change of pace.

Brigitte Griswold, the executive director of Groundwork Hudson Valley, a Yonkers-based environmental group, moved to Yonkers with her Chihuahua in February, trading a studio in a Harlem brownstone for a studio in an apartment building on Main Street called 66 Main. She pays $1,675 a month, which is $300 less “for almost exactly the same square footage,” she said. Her building has a terrace overlooking the new park, as well as geothermal cooling and heating. Ms. Griswold, 40, likes the minimal “hustle and bustle” and enjoys being able to walk into a restaurant and know the owner, she said, citing La Bella Havana, a Cuban restaurant, as one of her favorites.

Granted, would-be residents may find downtown Yonkers lacking a few things — a good coffee shop, for one. Also, there are no health food stores or hip yoga studios — at least not yet. “Walking around,” Ms. Griswold said, “you get the sense that if it’s not here now, it will likely be here soon.”

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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




Contact: Christina Gilmartin

(914) 377-6300




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:


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)


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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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 Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance navigating the program.


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Leading Personal Finance Outlet “” 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,, 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 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:

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  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.








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.”






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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