After repeated requests from the Mount Kisco Village Board, the state Assembly has unanimously passed legislation to end an unpopular unfunded mandate for the village.
The bill authored by Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-Goldens Bridge) proposes to eliminate the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency, which he described as a moribund public authority. It is now headed to the state Senate where it is sponsored by Sen. Greg Ball.
“For years now, many lawmakers have talked about reducing the size of government and curbing wasteful public authorities, and by passing this bill, we have finally taken a step in the right direction,” Castelli said. ”I hope this will be the start of a chain reaction. This measure is an important step for the taxpayers of Mount Kisco, gives more control to the town/village board and allows them to eliminate an extra layer of government that has become unnecessary.”
Castelli said the urban renewal agency has become obsolete since its creation in the 1970s. However, unlike some defunct authorities, the Mount Kisco Urban Renewal Agency still functions through the village board.
Currently, applications must first be approved by the planning board, then by the village board in its capacity as the urban renewal agency, Castelli noted. Abolishing the agency will save taxpayer dollars by eliminating an unnecessary layer of government, Castelli said.
Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich, who began the effort locally to stamp out the agency, last week thanked Castelli for his role in moving the legislation along and for recognizing that the agency had outlived its purpose.
It is one of about 113 dormant or partially defunct authorities that still have statutory authority to function and even issue debt, Castelli said.
Ball said the action taken by the Assembly and hopefully soon by the Senate is the start of necessary action to get rid of outdated mandates.
“This bill is a step in the right direction to eliminate wasteful government spending and to help streamline job-creating projects in the Village of Mount Kisco and the Hudson Valley area,” Ball said.