That was the amount spent on two Harmon reports? The answer is, “Not much.” $6,500 of it went to Saccardi & Schiff for a plan that includes the destruction of the oldest building in Harmon and for a controversial scheme for residents and customers to play musical chairs with parking behind a huge, blocky building that would replace the Village-created “eyesore” of the Dodge dealership.
Don’t let the Harmon committee tell you that this large building of nearly 25,000 square feet and its 47 parking spaces are only suggestions for what could occupy that space. Their intention clearly is to demolish the Clifford Harmon former sales office. In their exhaustive 44-page recommendations to the Village Board, the building is shown in Appendix 2 as an “affected property,” and is glaringly absent from plans 4c and 4d. Why doesn’t the Harmon committee fess up and admit they were not aware of the building’s history?
Another $15,000 went to Danth Inc. for a report that claims Harmon is ripe for a host of businesses, based on its “unmet demands.” Among these are stores selling furniture, family clothing, women’s clothing, radio-TV-electronics, jewelry, sporting goods, used-merchandise, and full- and limited-service eating places. The report then winnows these and recommends for Harmon a cell phone store, a pet shop, stores offering knitting, women’s clothing, prepared meals, and full- and limited-service restaurants. Whew!
The report’s author was unfamiliar with the study area and its retailing history. He says the nearest pet shop to Harmon is in Montrose, 4.7 miles away. Montrose has no pet shop. Choice Pets in Ossining, 3 miles away, is the nearest pet shop. Knitting? The Niddy Noddy, even with world-famous knitter Irene Miller at the helm, had to close. Women’s clothing? Remember the Import Corner, a lovely store? Same fate.
The Harmon committee obviously neglected to provide the author of the report with a copy of the 2004 Gateway Law banning fast-food restaurants. How embarrassing! He recommends a McDonald’s for Harmon, but points out that they would probably want to be closer to the Expressway. Another example of that law excluding revenue-producing businesses. And, despite the awkward presence of two shuttered Harmon restaurants, his report sees great hope for full-service restaurants there. Tell that to the owners of the Riverside Café and Tutto Bene.
All in all, this report is a huge disappointment. One has to wonder whether the Harmon committee believes that Croton taxpayers got their $21,500 worth from these two flawed reports.
— Robert Scott