Beginning Nov. 15, Yonkers will stop removing trash for commercial businesses in the Downtown/Waterfront Buisness Improvement District, which will save taxpayers $300,000 a year, Mayor Mike Spano announced today.
The city has been providing the services for free— twice a day weekdays— for more than 10 years to the more than 200 businesses, he said.
“Yonkers can no longer subsidize the Downtown BID with free City services that no other businesses in the City receive or are entitled to,” the mayor said in a statement. “What was supposed to be a temporary bridge to support the BID when it was formed in 2001 has continued for more than a decade and has cost City taxpayers millions of dollars. While we value the businesses invested in our downtown redevelopment and are committed to working with them, this practice is unsustainable.”
Spano said his administration discovered the city was paying for the service during a “top-down evalution” of city services and budget obligations. The city notified the Downtown Business Improvement District of its decision in an Aug. 15 letter.
“In uncovering this past practice, and putting a swift end to it, our administration continues to take action and demonstrate to City’s taxpayers that we are committed to addressing the fiscal crisis which threatens the City’s long-term solvency,” he said.
Spano said the free service likely violates the state and U.S. constitutions “as it raises concerns relating to gifts of public funds and equal protection.” No other private businesses in the city have free trash removal.