New Castle Supervisor Quarterly Update – 1st Quarter – 2018
Supervisor, New CastleI have said it again and again: it is truly an honor to serve the citizens of New Castle. From the start, I have believed that your Town Supervisor should be guided by rights and obligations. The rights of the community to be heard and to be informed are critical to a responsive Town Government. And we must always be conscious of our obligations to listen and communicate effectively as we work to address current concerns and problems while at the same time improving our Town and planning for the future. I also recognize that while town-wide issues are my focus, no individual matter is too small for a responsive town government. I welcome those opportunities for more personal contact with residents. As we look ahead, there remains much work to be done, and I will continue to work hard for the entire community. It is my pleasure, then, as Supervisor to provide a quarterly report – 1st Quarter of 2018 – to the community about current Town projects and initiatives.
- 2018 Swearing-In Ceremony
- Chappaqua Restaurant Week – April 9th – 14th
- Coffee & Conversation with George Latimer
- Power Outage
- Gun Violence
- Raising the Age for Tobacco & Vape Product Purchases
- Chappaqua Downtown Revitalization
- AAA Bond Rating
- Chappaqua Crossing
- Millwood Sewers
- Millwood Sidewalk Improvements Project
- Electric Shuttle Bus
- RBI Summit
- Resolution Requesting The Introduction of Home Rule Legislation To Allow the Leasing of Space on Sports Field Fences in Certain Town Parks
- Town Hall Basketball Court / Playground Project
- North County Trailway
- Westchester County Airport Advisory Board
- Railroad Crossing Safety
- Safe Exchange Location – A Safe Place for Craigslist, eBay & Other Online Exchange Sites
- Getting Started with Backyard Poultry
- Old Diner Space
- New Diverse Housing – 91 Bedford Road
- Habitat for Humanity
2018 Swearing-In Ceremony
Thank you President Clinton for conducting our swearing in, and for standing up for all Americans. I welcome you on behalf of the community. Thank you for sharing your time with us. We are truly honored. I would also like to welcome a few other representatives. Pat Keegan & Mike Alter on behalf of Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office, Peter Harckham on behalf of Gov Cuomo, Michael Jefferson on behalf of Senator Terrence Murphy’s office, Assemblyman David Buchwald and Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz.Congratulations Ivy, for joining our collaborative government, and working to make our community a better place to live and raise a family. Congratulations Lisa. Another 4 years (look at her). Thank you for leading the efforts to create this wonderful venue – which is already a regional destination. I am proud to have been elected to a 3rd term as Town Supervisor. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last four years – and I look forward to accomplishing more. With the help of our greatest resource – our residents – we have made great strides in the areas of public safety, inclusion and diversity, and public participation. Together, we have advanced the causes of sustainability, arts and culture. We have built a better, more responsive town government that never shuts down and always keeps our residents informed. We are rebuilding our public infrastructure and playgrounds. We created affordable housing right here at Chappaqua Crossing that will enhance our community and will help individuals and families enjoy the benefits of living in our town. We will continue to work hard so our community remains a welcoming, prosperous and safe place to live. We will continue to be leaders with respect to the environment. We will continue to speak out about fairness, respect and tolerance. And, most importantly, we will continue to put people and community ahead of partisanship. Video is available here.
Chappaqua Restaurant Week – April 9th – 14th
Our 1st Chappaqua Restaurant Week is scheduled for April 9th – 14th. So far, Le Jardin, Aesop’s Fable Restaurant & Chappaqua Tavern are taking part. Click here for details.
Coffee & Conversation with George Latimer
Please join us on Sat., April 14, 10:00-11:30am for a casual conversation over coffee with County Executive George Latimer and Legislator Michael Kaplowitz. Town Hall, 200 S. Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua. Coffee and snacks will be provided.
At the peak 3,600 New Castle lost service. Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz & myself went to Con Ed headquarters in Rye to personally express our outrage about the delay in restoration crews arriving in New Castle. We worked with all elected officials, including Congresswoman Lowey’s office, the Governor’s office, Senator Murphy, Assemblyman Buchwald, County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz, to advocate for us with Con Ed. Thank you to our first responders – our volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps – who are always there for us. While we were safe at home, they were away from their families working on our behalf. They were on our roads, working tirelessly in often dangerous conditions to keep our communities safe. As always, they were there for us when we needed them most. Our DPW department did an incredible job. They worked round the clock with Con Ed cut & clear crews, and did an incredible job clearing snow from our roads. Our Town Administrator, Jill Shapiro was a fierce advocate for our residents! The worst in our utility brought out the best in our Town. We live in a special community and so many of you have pitched in to help others. The outages in the middle of winter put incredible strains on people. But as temperatures in many homes dropped our residents rose to the occasion. Whether it’s offering a warm place to stay, a hot cup of coffee, rides, checking on neighbors or just sharing WiFi, there were so many examples of support. Neighbors helping neighbors. We take so much for granted until it’s taken away from us. But the understanding and compassion that permeated our Town was so impressive. It was great to see the community rally with support for each other during difficult times. Councilwoman Ivy Pool hosted a Community Conversation on the Winter Storm Emergencies. Video is available here.
As a Town Board in New Castle, we must protect our communities from gun violence. More can be done. More must be done. More will be done. We wrote letters to Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman David Buchwald about supporting legislation to prevent gun violence. Our letters noted that twenty-two years ago, two people were fatally shot in a domestic dispute in Chappaqua. Twelve years ago, a beloved Chappaqua Central School District member was killed by her husband. The shooting occurred in the Town of New Castle. Less than two years ago, a disgruntled former faculty member shot and wounded a fellow colleague. Again, it happened in our Town, right outside a popular store where families and children congregate for good food and conversation. Our letters noted that we understand that so much is in the hands of Congress concerning proper gun control. But here, in New York State, we have the potential to act on certain measures.Governor Cuomo has proposed that all who are convicted of domestic violence charges, including misdemeanors, cannot possess a firearm. He has also proposed legislation mandating the surrender of shotguns and rifles when an order of protection is issued in a domestic violence case. The statistics support these changes in the law. The facts mandate the enactment of these laws. We have urged our Albany representatives to support these proposals and to do all you can to protect our residents. Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz has been meeting with CCSD Superintendent Christine Ackerman to discuss working with CCSD & our police department to keep our kids safe. CCSD is committed to protecting our students and has already instituted a number of safety measures and protocols. We look forward to working together. Here is the LoHud article.
Raising the Age for Tobacco & Vape Product Purchases
We are looking into raising the legal age to purchase cigarettes, other tobacco products, as well as vaping products, from 18 to 21. We previously passed a new local law regulates the location of vape shops. We are committed to protecting young people from all nicotine delivery systems. We opened the public hearing on 04/10. The Rockland County Legislature recently approved a bill that raises the legal sales age from 18 to 21 to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Hopefully Westchester County will follow our lead.
Chappaqua Downtown Revitalization
Early this year, Con Ed finally completed their gas main replacement project! We completed our water main replacement. New water main installed from the library to North Greeley and Lower King and is now in full operation. The largest and most critical & important sewer manhole has now been installed at Starbucks. The new sewer lines on lower King were installed pursuant to the engineering design which was approved by the Board of Health. Recent tests, however, have determined that some design adjustments would improve performance. We will be making those design adjustments. We started installing stormwater drainage along South Greeley Avenue and behind Dunkin Donuts. Storm water system will continue from the gas station to the post office and up on King Street to Senter Street (Community Center). Then the fun part – revitalize downtown streetscape! The good news is that the asphalt plants opened on April 1st. During the winter our potholes were filled with “cold patch” — a temporary fix that involves filling the hole with pre-mixed asphalt and tamping it down. Weather, traffic & snow plows take their toll on the repair causes the asphalt to crumble. Click here for weekly updates & two weeks forecast. If you would like to receive daily updates, please email me – RGreenstein@MyNewCastle.org.
AAA Bond Rating
I am happy to report that Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a AAA rating to our $17.1mm bond offering. This will reduce our borrowing costs.
Back in December, 2015, the Town Board approved housing in the Cupola Building. This is how affordable housing should be – integrated with work force and market rates units – and woven into the fabric of our community. This is affordable housing we can be proud of! The first residents started moving in. 15 families have already moved in. They expect full occupancy, including the market rate units, by June 1. Whole Foods has announced their grand opening for Nov 7th! Some have asked for an update on the retail construction at Chappaqua Crossing:
- Building A: Whole Foods is now beginning to work on the interior.
- Building B: Building shell will be complete by mid-April.
- Building C: Foundation work to begin by mid-April
- Building D: Steel Frame Complete, trusses being installed this week then framing will begin. Building Shell is expected to be complete mid-June.
- Building E: Steel Frame complete, metal roof deck currently being installed. Building shell expected to be complete mid-May
- Building F: Lifetime Fitness building. Foundations complete steel has been delivered.
As far as interior roadways, they are currently working on all roadway utilities including electric, sewer & water. They expect all interior roadways to be complete by mid-June and parking lots complete by mid-summer.
Woodard and Curran presented their Millwood Hamlet Sewer Feasibility Study to the Town Board last week. This is the first step in the process of bringing sewers into that Millwood Hamlet. Their presentation can be found here.
Millwood Sidewalk Improvements Project
We continue to work on the proposed Millwood Sidewalk Improvement Project. All of the design features that were requested by the Millwood-West End Advisory Board have been incorporated into the plans, which includes the following:
- Pedestrian access will now be provided between the termination of the existing sidewalk located along Station Road (southerly entrance to the shopping center, DeCicco & Sons) and the existing sidewalk located at the southerly side of the Millwood Town Plaza (Spaccarelli’s).
- The existing posted speed limit along Saw Mill River Road is presently 40 MPH. Due to the volume of pedestrian traffic which crosses over Saw Mill River Road (NYS Route 100) a lower speed limit of 30 MPH would be requested from the NYSDOT.
- The existing crosswalk located at the northern side of the intersection of Saw Mill River Road (NYS Route 100) with Station Road (NYS Route 133) would be moved southerly and closer to the roadway intersection, which would now include a new traffic loop, pedestrian signal and signal timing. A second mid-street crosswalk would be installed at the southerly entrance to Millwood Park.
Electric Shuttle Bus
In December 2016, the Town of New Castle became the first community in New York State in its size range to receive the designation of a Clean Energy Community (“CEC”). On December 19th, a prior Town Board passed a resolution directing Town staff to modify and resubmit all applicable grant administration documents to reflect that the Town intends to use the CEC grant exclusively for the purchase of an electric shuttle bus. Town staff was directed to proceed with identifying a vendor for the purchase of an electric shuttle in accordance with the Town’s procurement policy. I am happy to report that Town staff found a smaller & less expensive 9-16 passenger electric bus. After the state rebate, the electric shuttle will cost $88,000. After the $100,000 grant, we will have $12,000 left over for LED street lights. The electric shuttle bus will 7be handicapped accessible and have a 145 mile capacity on a single charge. I look forward to seeing our electric shuttle on the roads of New Castle.
We authorized a food scrap composting pilot program. A drop-off site located at the Town Recycling Center on Hunts Lane will be created. The program is only for New Castle residents. We also established an ad-hoc committee to coordinate program implementation, provide public program education and outreach to residents, monitor program success and make recommendations as to the continuation of the program. Thank you to Suzi Novak & Dick Goldsmith, and our entire incredible Sustainability Advisory Board, for their work on this initiative.
I was honored to take part in the Reusable Bag Initiative Summit sponsored by our incredible SAB (Sustainability Advisory Board). Our SAB chair Steve Wolk & member Jennifer Mebes Flagg discussed the challenges and positive results of our program so other communities can follow our lead. Thank you to John DeCicco, Jr. for taking part in the discussion.
Resolution Requesting The Introduction of Home Rule Legislation To Allow the Leasing of Space on Sports Field Fences in Certain Town Parks
We are requesting that the NYS State Legislature introduce Home Rule Legislation to allow the Town of New Castle to lease space on its sports field fences at Gedney Park, Millwood Park and, the Recreation Field for the purpose of advertising with the revenues derived therefrom to be used solely for maintaining these and other Town parks and supporting recreational activities and programming therein. We sent our resolution to the New York State Senate and Assembly Home Rule offices of Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman David Buchwald.
Town Hall Basketball Court / Playground Project
We created the capital account for the town hall basketball court / playground project. As many are aware, with assistance from New York State Senator Terrence Murphy, the Town has secured a $200,000.00 SAM Grant (State and Municipal Facilities Program towards the funding for this project. In addition, due to the efforts of New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald, the Town will be receiving $125,000.00 towards the playground area. We have been working with our Environmental Review Board to finalize the location of the basketball court. The revised plan is currently being reviewed.
North County Trailway
As part of the Empire State Trail initiative, NYSDOT is proposing to make improvements to the North County Trailway on Route 100, between the Route 9A interchange in Mount Pleasant and Route 133 in New Castle. The time frame for construction is spring 2020 with completion fall 2020. We are also talking to the County about our replica train station and the possibility of including funding for it in their bonding.
Westchester County Airport
Thanks to Rob Fleisher, we learned that New Castle has a right to have a member appointed to the Westchester County Airport Advisory Board. We have been interviewing potential candidates & will be nominating someone. That person would then need to be interviewed & appointed by the County Executive Latimer subject to confirmation by the County Board.
Railroad Crossing Safety
I contacted County Executive Latimer to request his help as a member of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Council. We are encouraging the council to sponsor a bridge over the Metro-North Railroad grade crossing at Roaring Brook Road and its intersection with the Saw Mill River Parkway.
Safe Exchange Location – A Safe Place for Craigslist, eBay & Other Online Exchange Sites
We want residents purchasing items on Craigslist, eBay and other online exchange sites to feel safe when making the exchange. We established a safe exchange location outside the police headquarters which is under 24 hour surveillance. This would offer residents a safe alternative from the obvious risks of meeting a stranger for an online sale.
Getting Started with Backyard Poultry
We hosted a great introductory program to help residents get started with keeping their own backyard flock of poultry. In case you missed the presentation, here’s the video.
The Town Board will once again be revisiting the ChapLine. The ChapLine would connect over 400 houses to downtown Chappaqua. It’s consistent with our updated comp plan! The previously studied ChapLine was located directly within two separate NYSDEC wetlands. It required an elevated boardwalk. We have another option. We can use the existing Westchester County trunk line as a surface for a trail. It runs the entire length of the proposed ChapLine. This issue was explored previously with Jerry Faiella. It was feasible at the time, subject to securing easements from the property owners along the trunk line where it extended into their properties.
Old Diner Space
Happy to report that the lease has been signed for the old diner space. A Trattoria is coming! Please keep in mind that lots of restaurants passed on the space. It’s challenging for a restaurant – no basement for storage & a walk-in refrigerator and extensive work (and money) to make it ADA compliant. We are very fortunate to have a local resident willing to invest in our community.
New Diverse Housing – 91 Bedford Road
The New Castle Planning Board has recently approved a new multi-use building to be constructed at 91 Bedford Road, the former location of the Whispering Pines flower shop, just north of Quaker Tavern. The new building is proposed to be 3 stories, with retail on the ground floor, 14 rental apartments on the 2nd & 3rd floors above, and basement-level parking below, all connected by elevator. The project received final Planning Board approval in December, and they hope to start construction sometime this summer or early fall, and be completed by 2019.
Habitat for Humanity
We had a great meeting with Habitat for Humanity. Support them on Monday April 16th. Contact Jim Killoran, Executive Director Habitat for Humanity of Westchester – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn More here.
Builder’s Camp here
For More News
For those on Facebook, please follow my Supervisor’s Page which can be found here. https://www.facebook.com/TownSupervisorRobGreenstein/ This is just another avenue to interact with the community, as well as share news, events and updates. These are the highlights of the matters of Town-wide concern that we have been addressing recently. As I noted at the beginning, a responsive Town government listens, responds and communicates. We work for you, our fellow residents! As we look ahead, I will continue to work hard and get things done that benefit our entire community.