Moving the Department of Public Works to the Boston Post Road, across from the Rye Country Day School playing fields, may be an excellent idea. In the early surveys it is an outstanding favorite. If so, the concept will stand up to a thorough community discussion that could involve some of the following questions:
This move might well be the largest capital expense the City has ever undertaken. It also might well raise our City borrowing to the highest level ever reached. How does this fit in the City’s annual capital plan? Assuming this capital project proceeds, what effect would this expense have on the City’s other capital needs? Would the money be better spent on resurfacing roads, on repaving the Metro-North parking plaza, on building sidewalks, on reducing pollution flowing into Long Island Sound?
Moving the DPW to this new location would impact significantly on the Boston Post Road, where the City for generations has discouraged development, and locate it on a major gateway to Rye, another subject of long-term protection. Are we ready to commit to this at this time?
Does the whole City population benefit from this largest-ever expenditure? Or is the benefit limited to certain groups?
Is there a study of existing field utilization? Could existing playing field capacity be increased by converting more fields to turf?
In simple terms, maybe the most important question is: How many new playing fields would be created by moving the DPW facilities against how much will this cost? What is in effect the cost per field?
Again, moving the DPW to the Boston Post Road may be the best move the City can make. But let’s take the time to examine it thoroughly.
— Edward B. Dunn
(The author served as Rye’s Mayor from 1993-1997 and on the City Council from 1991-1993.)