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Irvington Mayor: Affordable Housing Is A Priority

IRVINGTON, N.Y. ? Irvington Mayor Brian Smith writes a semi-regular column for the village. He has allowed The Daily Voice to republish them. Submit your own letters to the editor to

Affordable Housing Last night, I attended a community meeting in Village Hall to discuss the basics of forming an Affordable Housing Committee. My colleagues and I on the Board of Trustees have identified the creation of affordable housing as one of our top priorities.  There is no disputing the need for affordable housing in our community and I am confident that our residents will be supportive of efforts to create more of it. There are many misperceptions about affordable housing, especially in a small village like Irvington. In the coming months, I hope to share our vision; a vision that makes it easier for young families to come to Irvington and easier for residents to be able to stay here.  One thing was clear from last night’s meeting – there is a lot to be done if we are going to do it right. Like all of our successful volunteer committees, we will need high energy people to get behind the cause and move it forward in our community. If you have any interest in volunteering your time and talents for a worthy cause, I urge you to contact me. A second meeting is planned for later this month and I will let you know as soon as the date is set. I am certain that Irvington can become a leader in affordable housing that will make our community an even more dynamic and welcoming place. O’Hara Nature Center On September 22, I welcomed several of our local legislators, including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, to the grand opening of Irvington’s O’Hara Nature Center.  Located in the northern part of our Village on Mountain Road, the O’Hara Nature Center is the product of nearly a decade of cooperation at all levels of government, the private sector, and generous volunteers and donors from our community. Village Administrator Larry Schopfer may have characterized it best when he said the opening was similar to an “old-fashioned Barn Raising.” There were literally dozens of local volunteers who contributed their sweat equity to move this building from the drawing board to reality. Even the drawing board was donated! Please take the time to explore our extensive network of trails on 400 acres and take advantage of programs that will be run in our new Nature Center in the months and years to come. Aquefest What is Aquefest, you ask? This Saturday (10/6), the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct will run a series of special events up and down the 26-mile-long Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park. As you probably know, a small piece of that State Park is right here in Irvington, and special events are planned. Here’s what’s going on: In Irvington: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, October 6. Village Hall will be open for tours of the newly restored Tiffany Reading Room and the historic Town Hall Theater. Visit with costumed guides on Main Street, across from the Main Street School, on the Old Croton Aqueduct trail. Pick up an OCA detailed map ($5) and a discount coupon for selected Irvington restaurants. Go to for complete information on bike rides and entertainment in Dobbs Ferry and Hastings.As always, please contact me with any questions or comments about things going on in the Village.Brian C. Smith, Mayor

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