84% of voters say 'no' to a multimillion-dollar village referendum
An overwhelming majority of residents in Irvington voted "no" on a proposed village referendum that would have raised taxes by almost $1,000 per family.
Opponents of the plan say it offered no real solutions to the village's problems.
“I don’t think it's just about the $32 million tax hike on only 1,800 families in the historic village although that wasn't popular,” explained Jeffrey Dueck, of Taxpayers for Irvington’s future. “But it was about a vision for revitalizing our historic village.”
Residents simply didn't like the vision proposed.
First, the Irvington fire house would see desperately needed expansion and renovation.
A massive municipality complex would be built on the same campus as the fire department. And there would be changes to the theater, the justice court and the police department.
All this would have added about $760 to the average homeowner's yearly taxes, says residents, without focusing on what the village actually needs.
“Like more foot traffic for our struggling small businesses, traffic problems, parking problems and affordable housing for middle-class workers as well," says Dueck.
They also say there just simply wasn't enough information about the plan out there for residents to consume, and that’s something that the mayor agrees with.
“Frankly, I just don’t think that the village did a good enough job of getting the story out there about everything this project would have solved for” says Mayor Brian Smith. “We did it too late and we didn’t do it forcibly enough to be honest.”