Improving Parking in Harmon

The following letter was published in this week’s issue of the Gazette.

To the editor:
I recently attended the Village-sponsored affordable housing workshop. There were approximately 25 residents in attendance, a rather small turn-out.

One of my takeaways from the meeting was the lack of parking for visitors to any new apartments, especially in the Harmon area. There are two very slow-moving projects underway and I would like the mayor and the board to consider the following proposal. I believe it would be a win for the Village, the Fire Department and the residents and business owners. My experience has shown that many problems have simple solutions and with a little cooperation great results can be achieved.

 The current location of the Croton Emergency Medical Services.

The current location of the Croton Emergency Medical Services.

I propose the following: The current EMS building on Wayne Street should be razed. The EMS staff can be moved back into the Harmon firehouse—it was their former headquarters and it's where their vehicles are already located. The reclaimed land should be converted to parking to support the commercial businesses in the area. I recall this being the original plan from years ago, when the village purchased the building where EMS is currently located.

 From the Harmon Zoning Change Recommendations, August 26, 2008.

From the Harmon Zoning Change Recommendations, August 26, 2008.

My hope would be that the Croton Fire Department would cooperate with the Village and not push back, which can happen in these situations. The department has always resisted sharing the space in the Harmon firehouse. They are, however, part of the municipal government and taxpayers pay the cost of maintaining the firehouses, purchasing equipment, providing insurance and many other expenses.

Now is the time for cooperation and compromise. Moving the EMS and creating a new parking area in the Harmon business district will be a positive change, benefiting everyone in the village.

If you think this is a good idea you need to let the Board know, because if you don’t speak up, they won’t hear you.

Bob Anderson
Bob is the former Deputy Mayor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson