Fiscal responsibility

No, not on the part of the town, which voted overwhelmingly last night to fund the Performing Arts Palace we don’t need and can’t afford, but the residents of Cobb “Island”, that small development of expensive homes on the water and just off Exit 4, who want a noise barrier installed at their own expense! 

These people all bought their homes with full knowledge that the highway was nearby, so had they been looking to use other people’s money to mitigate the traffic roar (like everyone else up and down the Thruway) I wouldn’t be sympathetic, but no, all they want is P&Z approval for the residents to do it themselves (the State will erect the barrier and bill Cobb Island). That’s putting your money where your ears are and I’m impressed. I can’t imagine why the P&Z wouldn’t approve this, quickly, but you never know with the P&Z.

11 Comments

Filed under MISA

11 responses to “Fiscal responsibility

  1. Island Surveyor

    Belle Haven started this fad at the local level almost 20 years ago. Jo Conboy hired me to assist them with design models of sound to build out around the “inspection plaza” at the old toll station. To my knowledge, there is Federal funding and cost-sharing for this.
    Cobb Islanders – call me.

  2. Just the Facts!

    C’mon Chris. I know you consider yourself a contrarian but resorting to hysterics about what the town can and can not afford is beneath even you. Yes, things are bad in Europe and the macroeconomic picture in this country is not good either. Though, in the grand scheme of things MISA is not going to bankrupt us and is a decent attempt at giving this Town’s infrastructure a nice shot in the arm. When is the last time this Town really spent some money on a luxury item….schools, fire stations, police stations do not count. You are a broker…you can’t keep selling this Town as NYC North with exorbitant real estate prices without sprinkling in a few high end amenities once in awhile. This ain’t Mayberry anymore….let’s stop pretending. JTF!

  3. jb

    “I can’t imagine why the P&Z wouldn’t approve this, quickly, but you never know with the P&Z.” – They didn’t provide a reason? Seems like a clear win-win for Cobb Island residents and the town which would benefit from higher home values. Are they concerned about the views for I-95 drivers?

    • No, I didn’t mean to give the impression that P&Z has rejected the plan – it’s on tonight’s agenda, so they haven’t acted on it at all. I was just saying that, with the P&Z, you never know.

  4. NRA

    Someone please explain how a “performing arts palace” adds value to local properties?

    Is this being developed at private expense and private risk, or will this “luxury item” become a long-term fiscal liability to Gwch?

    Are these services not already provided (for amateur production) by Gwch HS and (for professionals) at the nearby performing arts center in Stamford?

    It sounds more like a nice, expensive shot in the foot. WTF!

  5. dogwalker

    From my small sampling of acquaintances whose children pursued the arts, church music programs were a huge factor. Never heard any mention of the public schools programs. And, of course, if the kid is REALLY serious, many are trekking into NYC for lessons/classes in middle school . . . certainly by high school.

    The RTM did vote to retain this item in the budget. But remember, the money is not spent until they write the check. There is still a glimmer of hope. Where we have no hope is the cost of cleaning up the GHS property. I cannot find any good estimates on how much that might cost.

  6. Georgie

    I agree….impressive that they don’t go crying for OPM, but funding this themselves. It sounds like an approval that had lapsed so I agree that P&Z wil surely approve. Rightfully so.

  7. Anonymous

    I hope this proposed noise barrier does not somehow make the north side of 95 louder?

  8. jb

    Thanks for the clarification. Should be interesting to see what P&Z does.

    Regarding the proposed Performing Arts Palace, sounds lovely but I’d suggest focusing on the “have to have” vs the “nice to have”. Way too much uncertainty out there in the near term or long term. I realize not close, but just look at Stockton, California. I’m sure that spending sounded delightful before the troubles. There’s a big difference between “high rate of return” investments vs unclear rate of return. Too many politicians gloss over.

  9. CatoRenasci

    Dogwalker – you are essentially correct that kids who are serious about music are a) active in church music programs, b) participate in local youth orchestras and honor choral groups, c) study privately beginning in middle school, and, d) in the case of the most serious, spend most of the weekend in New York doing a pre-college program at Juilliard or Manhattan School of Music on Saturday and the highly competitive New York Youth Symphony on Sunday afternoon.

    I do support the auditorium/classroom project, because I’ve dealt with that auditorium and classroom space and it’s one of the worst performance spaces I’ve ever been in. Avery Fisher Hall is better, and it’s terrible. I have issues with the design, and I think people need to understand the crowding out that will occur. We can’t do everything. I’m also more than passing angry that no one did any environmental testing before the project was put up for approval.

  10. pulled up in OG

    The state previously built a berm along that stretch and planted a screen of trees. Curious if this eyesore is going behind that work on THEIR side of the berm.