Town of New Castle Administrator’s Report – 03/13/18

New Castle Administrator’s report – March 13, 2018

Jill Shapiro
Administrator, New Castle

After the Storms, a Note of Thanks

Our staff has been working diligently since the lights went out on Friday March 2 to get the power restored to our residents. I would like to give a special shout out, in no particular order, to:

Pam Thorton and the Chappaqua Library staff who stayed open late Saturday night to offer the library as a warming center until 7pm Saturday night and open early and stayed open late on Sunday for our residents as well.

Superintendent Christine Ackerman and the CCSD community for opening their facilities to our residents for hot showers.

To our DPW crews, who worked tirelessly not only keep our roadways and sidewalks clear of snow, but assisted every cut and clear Con Ed Crew to clear roadways of downed trees and wires and helped to get our electricity back on.

To our Parks staff for manning the community center 24/7 as overnight accommodations for our residents who needed a warm place to stay.

Our police department for their outstanding work, as usual, throughout this ordeal.

The Con Ed liaison assigned to New Castle during the storm, Michael Jones–Bey, was an effective advocate helping to secure dedicated resources for New Castle and coordinating those resources once they arrived in Town.

Geri Shapiro from Senator Gillibrand’s office, Pat Keegan from Congresswoman Lowey’s office , Assemblyman Buchwald, TJ McCormick from Senator Murphy’s office, County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz, we appreciate all of their help in helping us to get the lights back on.

Tax Receipts

Tax Receipts for pre-payment of 2018 town taxes are available from the tax office by calling 238-4773 or by emailing TaxReceiver@mynewcastle.org.

Winter Tips

Our DPW crews do a terrific job keeping our roads clear. A reminder to those people with private plow companies: it is illegal and dangerous to dump snow from your driveway into the road. Please ask your plow driver to push it to the side of your property and not in the road.

And while we are at it, please remember to clean your car off from the snow before you head out, especially snow and ice on the roof of your car. When that snow flies off the roof of your car, it is a hazard to the driver behind you and is also illegal! So please be courteous!

Reminders regarding Tree Care after the recent storms

The recent storms have caused a lot of tree damage and we wanted to remind you that the Town does have a tree ordinance that regulates the removal of trees. We also wanted to let you know that Town residents are permitted to bring storm damage related tree debris (branches, cut up sections of trees, limbs, etc.), to the Town refuse and recycling department at Hunts Lane. Residents will need to provide proof of residency.

Please be sure to not place tree related debris at the curbside, unless you are arranging for private pick up and disposal. The Town DPW will not be picking up any tree related debris that has been stockpiled along the road edge. Tree related debris that is left as a result of Con Edison work within utility wires, will likely not be picked up and disposed of by Con Edison.

General Maintenance

Removal of trees that have significant storm damage (major limbs fallen and tree is not structurally sound, or uprooted, etc) are permitted to be removed without a tree permit. In addition, general tree maintenance including the pruning of snapped branches, limbs, etc., and normal pruning are also permitted without a tree permit.

When a tree permit is required

If you anticipate having to remove trees, the Town does require a tree permit application for the removal of healthy trees. If the tree is completely dead, or presents a serious hazardous condition, no tree permit would be required. However, we strongly advise that you work with an Arborist to make this determination. The Town also reserves the right to evaluate the hazardous condition of the tree prior to removal.

The Town requires a tree permit for removal of trees based upon the following criteria:

  • Any clearing (10 or more trees).
  • Within the regulated landscape buffer zone, any removal of a tree with a diameter of four inches or more.
  • Outside of the regulated landscape buffer zone, any removal of a tree with a diameter of eight inches or more.

Please note that if you plan on removing healthy trees, the ordinance does include a tree replacement provision. The Tree Ordinance is Chapter 121 of the Town Code and the tree permit application and Chapter 121 can both be downloaded from the Town’s website.

Town right-of-way Trees and Trees within Utility Wires

The Town maintains a right-of-way, which on average is approximately 25 feet on both sides from the center of the road. (Note- this distance may vary depending on road history, etc.)

Within the right-of-way the Town is responsible for maintaining existing trees. In addition, the right-of-way usually includes existing utilities that are maintained by various utility services such as Con Edison, Verizon, Cable, etc. Regarding utility maintenance, these entities are responsible for management of trees within their wires. These utility companies (mostly Con Edison performs periodic and routine line maintenance of all of their utility lines throughout the Town. This involves tree pruning and removal of trees when determined a potential risk to utility wires. They also take care of any emergency removals associated with trees in wires.

The Town also performs routine maintenance of trees within the right-of-way that are not related to the utility company’s role and function. We routinely survey existing trees and remove trees that are considered hazardous within the right-of-way. We often rely upon residents to inform us of potentially dangerous or dead trees that may be within the right-of-way. The Town will review and assess and then if the tree needs to be removed, will either be removed by Town staff, or the work contracted to outside tree professionals. If you observe any trees that you are concerned with, please call the Department of Public Works at 238-3689.

Tree Maintenance and Prevention

The recent storm events illustrate the importance of proper routine tree maintenance, and we strongly encourage you to have your existing trees properly managed and maintained by tree professionals. Prevention is often the best strategy for protecting your home and property. During storm events it is not possible to predict which trees will be impacted, often trees that cause problems have no outward visible signs that they are unhealthy or a hazard. Routine maintenance annually is one of the best strategies to hopefully minimize the potential impacts from trees being damaged during storm events. The Town actively manages the trees within their right-of-way areas and also relies upon utility companies to perform routine maintenance. Please feel free to reach out to the Town if you see trees that you may feel are a potential issue along our road ways. We will do our best to address the situation. Our Environmental Coordinator Steve Coleman can be reached at 238-4723.