Supervisor, New Castle
Assemblyman David Buchwald
Thank you to Assemblyman David Buchwald for appearing at our Town Board meeting tonight. I also want to thank him for testifying on Monday at the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. They are studying the “Textalyzer. And thank you for bringing great news……..thanks to his efforts we will be receiving a $125,000 grant to be used for our new playground behind Town Hall. This will be an inclusive playground – accessible to children of various physical abilities. I also appreciated that he recognized and discussed many of our priorities here in New Castle – like paving, railroad safety and mandate relief.
Thank you to Beth Hungden from Whispering Pines for our Fall decorations – in both Chappaqua & Millwood.
Chappaqua Hamlet Infrastructure and Streetscape Project
As part of New Castle’s continuing outreach regarding the Chappaqua Hamlet infrastructure and streetscape project, there will be an informal information session on Wed, September 27th from 7pm – 8 pm at Town Hall to discuss, among other topics, the general project scope, nighttime work and scheduling. Please join us. As many know, we have applied for three grants for our downtown Infrastructure/streetscape project. The three grants are:
- Consolidated Funding Application – 2017 Climate Smart Communities Grants
- Consolidated Funding Application – ESD Strategic Planning and Feasibility
- Mid-Hudson Downtown Revitalization Initiative
Last Thursday we were notified that we did not receive the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant. Only one award was available per region. We are still waiting to hear about our two CFA grants.
Millwood InterGenerate Community Garden
The ground is wet! To keep the surface as firm as possible throughout the season, Town staff has applied 40 yards of gravel. We need more! We are ordering another 45 yards. Once that is complete, garden boxes can be placed on the site.
Westorchard Elementary School – New Nature Trail
A few weeks back, I was honored to attend the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Westorchard Elementary School with Deputy Supervisor Adam Brodsky for the official opening of the school’s new nature trail. The trail was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Thanks to three incredible Girl Scouts – who attended our Town Board meeting to talk about their project – the trail is now back in service! The girls held bake sales to raise money and obtained donations. They had services donated by Keith Krepil of Tree Monsters Land Clearing, a local tree removal company. Mike Velardo of Velardo Landscaping help create an outdoor classroom. Rocky’s donated food. Chappaqua School Foundation and CCSD Board of Education approved their grant request to help pay for these services. They held workshops to teach local children how to make bluebird nesting boxes. They installed the birdhouses along the trail. In 2016, Alison Guerra, a Westorchard teacher, passed away unexpectedly. As a tribute to her, the girls also created a kindness garden on the trail filled with rocks painted with encouraging words by community members. They have stalled over 400 rocks to date. Really incredible!!!!!
Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to study new “Textalyzer
Governor Andrew Cuomo directed his Traffic Safety Committee to study the “Textalyzer”, which would be used to detect if a cellphone was used immediately before a crash. I was honored to speak before the committee on Monday, along with Ben Lieberman, Chief Charles Ferry, New Castle Police Officer Chad Golanec and many New Castle residents. I also would like to thank Senator Terrence Murphy’s office and Assemblyman David Buchwald for speaking before the committee.
Gabby Rosenfeld Award
Last year we presented the family of Gabby Rosenfeld with a plaque to honor Gabby’s dedication and service to the Town. Starting this year, we will be presenting the Gabby Rosenfeld Award to honor a resident for their dedication and service to the Town. Both Marion & Gray Williams have been nominated to be the 1st recipients of the Gabby Rosenfeld Award. Our Volunteer Appreciation Dinner scheduled for November 1st, 6:30pm, Kittle House.
As I’ve mentioned many times, we are working with CCSD to install an electronic message board near the exit of the commuter parking lot. We are currently working on a base for our new electronic message board. Thank you to Keiko & Bill Spade for designing the base. Residents may soon see a mock-up as we are testing the visibility from many directions.
I attended the Westchester Board of Legislators meeting on Monday night and read the letter that was sent to each legislator, as well as County Executive Rob Astorino. I reminded them that when I addressed them four 4 years ago regarding Hunts Place, my efforts were only temporarily successful. They initially denied the funding. Unfortunately, they ultimately approved the funding. I expressed my hope that this time my efforts would have a more lasting impact. As our letter indicates, the Town Board has many serious concerns regarding any airport privatization and expansion. Our first priority must be protecting the quality of life for the residents of New Castle and other communities. We are concerned that privatization will negatively impact the environment by causing increased air, water and noise pollution in Westchester County and the surrounding region. We are also concerned about changes that will negatively affect residential property values in our community. I also had a long conversation with Westchester County Legislator Dave Gelfarb, who represents Harrison, Rye Brook, Port Chester. The good news is that he recently broke with the County Executive and his fellow Republicans by opposing any privatization deal. Not only do I plan on voicing my opposition to privatization but the problem with the increased number of private jets, and their low flying altitudes.
Your Tax Dollars at Work – Paving
There is no doubt we have a lot of catching up to do in regard to paving. Over the last 3 years, we’ve spent close to $3,000,000 but many more roads need to be paved. We are committed to paving our roads but we must also face the reality that we live with a tax cap. We are revitalizing downtown Chappaqua, and that counts toward the tax cap. Having said that, we pay a lot in taxes and our residents deserve smooth roads. It’s a balancing act. We are doing our best. Here is an update on the Town roads being paved this year:
- Whippoorwill Crossing
- Turner Drive
- Turner Drive South
- Shingle House
- North Place
- South Place
- East Place
- West Place
- Mid Place
We have one more road to re-surface: Shinglehouse between Route 100 & Pinesbridge Road.
Here’s an update on the renovation of the Millwood NYSDOT yard:Garage bay doors will soon be repainted brown.
- Fence Installation Around Fuel Tanks – installation anticipated to begin this week.
- Perimeter Fencing Painted Black – anticipation to be completed October 13, 2017.
- Landscaping – fall planting season started on 9/15/17. Installation anticipated to be complete by Mid – November
Mill River Rd and Douglas Rd just south of the traffic light
After receiving a complaint from a resident regarding the danger to pedestrians at Mill River Rd and Douglas Rd, just south of the traffic light, New Castle Police along with NYSDOT investigated the intersection. We have decided to order a “Stop Here on Red” sign as well as a “Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrian” at the location.
Chappaqua Performing Arts Center – Prospector Theater
I would like to thank Andrew Corsilia, Principal Seven Bridges Middle School, for introducing me to Mike Santini, Director of Development at the Prospector Theater. For those who don’t know, the Prospector Theater is located in Ridgefield, CT and provides employment opportunities to people with disabilities. Two years ago, Mike, with a team from the Prospector, visited Seven Bridges to run a program on understanding and valuing all of our differences. I told Mike that we hope to follow the model of the Prospector Theater for our Chappaqua Performing Arts Center. I told Mike about our incredible Exceptional People Committee whose mission is to find ways to better the lives of those with special needs. I’m looking forward to our tour of the Prospector on Thursday November 9th with Councilwoman Lisa Katz, Chair of our Arts & Culture Committee, Shannon Mrazik, chair of our Exceptional People Committee and John Fanelli, our theater manager.
Keeping of Chickens
We continued our public hearing of the proposed local law on chickens. We heard from our Environmental Review Board, as well as our Environmental Coordinator. The public hearing was adjourned to 10/10. The Planning Board will be reviewing the proposed local law at their meeting on 10/13/17. Rachel Herschman, a Greeley student, will be doing a basic chicken ownership presentation at the Chappaqua Library on Sunday October 1st from 1:30-3:30pm. Her presentation will include where to get chickens (hatcheries, incubation), chick care, feed requirements and management, proper coop requirements, predator protection, chicken illnesses/diseases, chicken breeds, how to tell a female from a male, chicken development, chicken terminology, proper waste management, etc.