Supervisor's Report

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 9/11/14

supervisorreportMailing

As you may have heard, we are working with an outside survey research firm to gather input from local residents about what they think is important to address in the master plan. Starting on September 18th, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted during the last two weeks in September and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and we would greatly appreciate your participation. After the interview process concludes and the data is consolidated, we will share the aggregated findings with the public. As an important member of our community, we want to keep you engaged throughout the process. When you receive the mailing you will note a return postcard. Please take a moment to "Tell Us How We're Doing". We welcome your feedback. Feel free to share any comments, concerns or suggestions with the Town Board.

Workers Compensation Renewal Savings

New Castle is proud to announce substantial savings on their workers compensation premium. The town now pays $222,525.00 less in Workers Compensation premium than it did for the same insurance in 2013-4. This is a 29.00% savings! This is a good deal for the taxpayers of New Castle, and I am very pleased with the savings. We will continue to pursue measures to reduce our costs as we try to increase the services provided to our residents."

Garbage Contract

At the last Town Board meeting, I announced a new garbage contract with savings for all services Town wide estimated to be $477,980 per year. Over the course of the seven (7) year contract, we are saving over $3,000,000.00. After this announcement, I received many inquiries, so I wanted to addresses them. First, we did not change companies. We are still using Sani-Pro. Services will not be cut. As far as the annual fee per household, we expect the $485 annual fee to be decreased. That $485 fee has held for at least 4 years. We have been heavily subsidizing it with fund balance to keep it constant. As we start our 2015 budget process we will be calculating the new annual fee per household. Well, how did we achieve such substantial savings? I will read to you a quote from Bart Carey, Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Works, "we did not maximize our savings when we went to once a week - that was a major criticism of the once a week transition. The original shift from twice to once a week garbage collection was in the middle of a negotiated contract. Sani-Pro provided some savings to the town but was actually not required to provide any. The idea of once a week garbage collection was a tremendous cost savings measure. When we finally had the opportunity to bid out once a week collection using Hudson Valley Bid Network, which has given our RFP's much wider exposure and increased responses from vendors, we were able to realize the results of increased competition. The inclusion of once a week and twice a week collection as options increased the competitive bid results for both of these options."

Millwood Task Force Name Change

Last night, we voted on and passed a resolution to change the title of the Millwood Task Force to "Millwood-West End Advisory Board". This Advisory Board will protect the interests of the residents on the West End of the Town of New Castle, as well as Millwood.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 9/5/14

supervisorreportDepartment of Public Works: Completed Tasks and Project

I am proud to report that since the appointment of Gerard Moerschell to lead the Department of Public Works ("DPW") four months ago, various tasks and projects have been implemented and completed. A large number of these projects have languished for years. This is in addition to regularly scheduled maintenance and daily operations by the various units within the department.

  • Repaved 10 Roads throughout Town of New Castle
  • Updated IT System at DPW
  • Installed a New Telephone System
  • Installed Security Cameras in DPW Buildings
  • Updated Wireless Communication
  • Secured Contract for Solid Waste Removal
  • Secured EPA Funding for Wash Bay
  • Secured Contract for Town Hall Carpeting
  • Secured Contract for Cleaning Service
  • Secured Contract for Purchasing of Vehicles
  • Placed Sign Holder in Chappaqua Triangle
  • Road Reclamation and Repaving (completed on time and within budget)
  • Application of Seal Coat Before Road Paving
  • Training in Ice & Snow Control Safety and Operations
  • Training in Worker Zone Safety
  • Training in Backhoe and Frontend Loader Operations
  • Secured Contract for Annandale Culvert Replacement
  • Completed the Annandale Culvert Replacement
  • Completed Alpine Tank Rehabilitation
  • Moved "Take It or Leave It"' Shed
  • Secured Contract for Road Pavement Marking
  • Erected Utility Shed for DWP Wash Bay
  • Installed Concrete Pad for Emergency Generator for Hudson Hills Sewer Lift Station

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 7/25/14

supervisorreportI first want to acknowledge that the Planning Board is working very hard on their comments regarding the Chappaqua Crossing application, and we look forward to hearing those comments. I believe another joint meeting with the Planning Board would be helpful and productive. This is the biggest application facing the town in decades and we must work together to get it right.

 We heard a presentation from Ben Lieberman on distracting driving, a topic that unfortunately is of great importance to him since the tragic passing of his nineteen (19) year old son Evan after a car accident caused by distracted driving. Evan's parents have set up an organization to combat distracted driving known as "DORCs"--"Distracted Operators Risk Casualties." DORCs is committed to changing behavior through educating the public, advocating for enforcement and fighting for legislation. Keep the DORCs off the road! Additionally, the entire Lieberman family has organized a non-profit called "Evan's Team", to raise funds and awareness for community concerns and issues. You can learn more about DORCs at http://www.dorcs.org

We approved the Amendment of Chapter 123 of our Town Code to change the free parking in town from two (2) hours to three (3) hours.

We approved the appointment of the following volunteers to the Mandate Relief Committee, each for a three year term:

Judy McGrath – Chair
Warren Gottlieb
Neil Skolnick
Enid Leikin
James McCauley – Alternate

We approved the upgrade of the Town's NIXLE contract to add features which include the ability to publish a NIXLE feed on the website, social media integration, and geographic targeting.

Congratulations to Mark Gallagher on his appointment to the position of Police Officer with the Town of New Castle Police Department.

Congratulations to Police Officer Kelly Close on his promotion to the rank of Sergeant.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 8/15/14

supervisorreportWaste Disposal contract

The Town Board has awarded Sani-Pro the waste disposal contract beginning 2015. This year – with old contract - we are paying $2,386,550 for once a week pick-up. Next year – with new contract – we are paying $1,908,570 for once a week pick-up. That's a $477,980 savings per year! If you recall, when we were preparing the RFP in March, I stated that we will revisit once-a-week garbage pick-up policy and renegotiate contract. Although I was criticized by many, I felt that an RFP requesting quotes for once-a-week and twice-a-week pickup will be helpful in contract negotiations. I believe that it was. Over the course of the seven (7) year contract, we are saving over $3,000,000.00. I would like to remind residents that financial assistance for in-driveway/backdoor service is available for residents age 75 or older and disabled residents age 70 or older. Please contact Town Hall for an application. With the new contract, residents will be able to monitor Sani-Pro directly. We have set up an easy to remember email for this purpose. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you to the SAB for their help in preparing the Request for Proposal and their recommendations.

Downtown Chappaqua

  • We have new icon on web site – Downtown Revitalization - to keep residents informed of the efforts to revitalize downtown Chappaqua. http://www.mynewcastle.org/index.php/helpful-links/downtown-revitalization
  • We are currently putting together a request for proposals to conduct geotechnical analysis and soil borings for the downtown town owned properties. This analysis will give us more information as to what the soil can support in relation to development potential.
  • WSP Sells, the contractor that the town has working on the downtown infrastructure and Streetscape Project, is currently conducting survey work of our town owned downtown properties which include the Town hall, the train station and the rec field.
  • WSP Sells is also moving forward collecting information and conducting analysis regarding the downtown infrastructure and Streetscape project. We are expecting preliminary designs for water lines, sewer lines, Storm water controls, Streetscape and traffic improvements this Fall.
  • The town retained AKRF, the company who conducted the Competitive Effects Analysis regarding the Chappaqua Crossing proposal on Downtown Chappaqua, to reexamine their previous report and findings in relation to most recent submission by SG Chappaqua.

Master Plan

  • The Town Board accepted a proposal from Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the company that conducted the Chappaqua school district survey, to conduct a survey for the town master plan process. PSB will begin working on the survey questions immediately with the full survey outreach to residents to occur in mid-September
  • Pace presented their Master Planning Public Engagement Report at the joint Town Board, Planning Board & Steering Committee meeting this past Tuesday.
  • The Town Board appointed Bob Lewis as the Master Plan Steering Committee Infrastructure Chair, fulfilling the remaining term of Hala Makowska.
  • TB will be soon issuing an RFP for consultant for next phase of Master Plan process

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 7/11/14

supervisorreportIn an effort to continue to improve communication with residents, we are proud to introduce the Supervisor's and Administrator's Report. These reports will highlight some of the actions of the Town Board over the past few weeks. I have also summarized the status of the Hunt's Place affordable housing project.

The Town Board heard from John Collins, Summit Greenfield's traffic consultant, for a second time.

Appointed Christopher Roberta to the Master Plan Steering Committee as the Commercial Work Group Chairman.

Awarded a Contract for Town of New Castle website redesign and implementation.

Set Public Hearing to permanently change the parking time from two (2) hour to three (3) hour in the downtown business district.

Passed a resolution allowing merchants within the parking district to obtain a maximum of ten (10) employee parking permits with proof of payroll.

Approved new town policies against harassment and discrimination as well as an equal employment opportunity policy and procedure

The Town Board unanimously decided to repeal the prior lease approval, reopen the application process for a train station lease award and reissue an RFP for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station in substantially the same form as the RFP that the Town published on March 19, 2014

Approved the appointment of a new Ethics Board. A new Ethics Code was previously adopted on April 8, 2014. The members of the Ethics Board are:

Evan Glassman
James Shanman
S. Kenneth Schonberg
Kyle-Beth Hilfer
David Browde

As far as the Hunt's Place affordable housing project, on July 2, 2014, the New York State Board of Review denied Conifer's variance application for its affordable housing project on Hunt's Place. Specifically, the Board of Review denied Conifer's request for six (6) separate variances from certain New York State fire and building code requirements. The Board of Review granted Conifer only one (1) variance involving the height clearance on Hunt's Place beneath the Saw Mill River Parkway bridge underpass.

The Board of Review explained that Conifer's desire to build from "lot-line to lot-line" on the project site is driving the need for so many variances. The Board concluded that Conifer had not met its burden of demonstrating that its project, as presently conceived, can satisfy the health and safety requirements of the applicable building and fire codes.

It's important to note that the Board of Review's decision has nothing to do with the need to build affordable housing, which remains a priority for the Town. The Town has approved the construction of 20 affordable housing units at Chappaqua Crossing. We should continue to encourage the development of affordable housing in our community.