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In Clearing Homeless Camps, Mount Kisco Officials Mull Side Projects

Mount Kisco Village Manager Edward Brancati speaks at a recent meeting. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
A wooded conservation area off of Lieto Drive in Mount Kisco, which is near a homeless encampment. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- Although the objective of clearing out a pair of homeless encampments is to eliminate them, Mount Kisco officials are considering whether the work presents an opportunity to take care of other projects.

In an update last week with village board members, Mount Kisco Village Manager Edward Brancati noted that clearance of a camp near Lexington Avenue could also allow for adding a trail that drawn interest from the local historical society. Brancati said he reached out to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about the prospect.

A trail project could potentially be paid for with a Hudson River Valley Greenway grant, Brancati added. Mount Kisco could vie for grant funding of up to $60,000, if was noted.

Brancati also suggested that the clearance of an encampment near Lieto Drive - it gained news attention last month as the site of Jose Sanchez's death - could allow for fixing a broken pipe and to help with flood mitigation in the downtown area.

The village manager told officials that the DEC needs to sign off of clearance; expedited approval is being sought.

The clearance proposed would be conducted by a company called Servpro and also entail reducing brush to make it harder to hide.

Assistance for the homeless was not clarified at the meeting, however. Mayor Michael Cindrich noted that Westchester County's homeless shelter has “strict regulations," which entail not allowing people with alcohol or drug-abuse problems, nor admitting people who are disorderly.

Brancati, citing a report he got from village Police Chief Joseph Spinelli before he resigned last month, remarked that people in the encampments did not want to go to the county shelter due to the restrictions.

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