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What is the Train Station Parking Lot Really Worth to the Village?

March 20, 2008

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
To the editor:

Each year I make it a point to review the proposed budget to see where my tax dollars are going, and each year this exercise raises the same question for me; “What is the train station parking lot really worth to the village?” One would think that in reviewing the village budget this simple question could be answered, but it cannot.

In order to determine what the train station parking lot is really worth to the village, we need to calculate its net annual profit or loss by subtracting its expenses from its revenues. This seems like a very easy calculation since the village budget is made up of two main components; revenues and expenses.

Unfortunately the village budget only isolates the revenue side of the train station parking lot equation. Its expenses are spread throughout a variety of expense appropriations making it impossible to calculate its net profit or loss.

I would argue that the operation of the train station parking lot carries significant expense to the village in the form of but not limited to:

We really need to take apportionments of these expense appropriations applicable to the operation of the train station parking lot and finally understand the true benefit of the village being in the parking lot operation business.

Some may argue this is a daunting exercise that in the end cannot be accomplished accurately. To those I say how do we do it for the Water and Sewer fund in the village budget each year.

How can we make any intelligent decisions about future expenditures regarding the train station parking lot without being able to compute the return on investment?

Let this serve as a challenge to our newly elected village board to finally determine “What is the train station parking lot really worth to the village.”

— Kieran Murray

On March 20, 2008 8:55 PM, crotonres said:

To waffels:

While the day you saw the floding may not have seemed bad; on a day with heavy rains I have seen the water go over the main road and blocking it. I think looking into a parking structure makes sense but you will have those people who complain if someone too tall stands by the water, let alone build something of significant height. How many years have we been waiting for the cell towers to get built?

On March 20, 2008 8:32 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

If all of the expenses mentioned above totaled $400 a day (which seems like a very low estimate), then based on 2006 revenue, the parking lot actually LOST money.

We should sell this thing to professionals (i.e., Meyers Parking in NYC) and be done with it.

Governments should not be in the parking lot management business at all!

P.S. Lets add dept service to the equation as well.

On March 20, 2008 3:12 PM, waffels said:

I was walking my dogs out at Croton point the other day and from the upper roadway before going across the bridge you get a great view of the parking lot. I was very surprised to see just how little an area the “flood zone” is. How much loss of revenue would there be to eliminate these “danger spots” so there would be no more flooded cars. Also many years ago there was a proposal/idea of building an elevated multi leveled parking area on the north side of the older/original lot with the access being from the upper road. 2-3 levels with many more spots than the current flood area. If the board is looking to spend 1-2 million to try and “repair the flood area how much more would it cost to build a multi tiered parking area. This may be money well spent.

On March 20, 2008 3:02 PM, weewill said:

Excellent proposal Kieran. I think we should urge the Mayor and each board member to make this one of their top priorities before we spend one more cent on the parking lot. I have never seen it broken down in such detail and agree with Mr. Murray. I must admit to viewing it all these years as a treasured cash cow without having a grasp of the total cumulative black and red side of the ledger. I marveled at the money coming in and “sort of knew” what we spent over the years. It looks good to me but I agree we need to know have deeper knowledge of exactly what total revenue since the get-go has been vs total cumulative capital and operating expenses.

The flooding is a huge problem and a tremendous expense facing village taxpayers and - to all the Cortlandt and out-of-town commuters, I stress the key words here - - Village Taxpayers. We’re the ones paying the tab and should be reaping significant benefits.

If we’re not ……. ????


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