New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 7/11/17
Supervisor, New Castle
Chappaqua Infrastructure & Streetscape Groundbreaking Ceremony
Please join us as we celebrate the groundbreaking of the Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project on Thursday, July 13, 10:00a. in front of New Castle Town Hall, 200 South Greeley Ave, Chappaqua. We are very excited to get started on this monumental project that will include replacement of critical infrastructure and new, wider sidewalks, attractive new public spaces, and charming details throughout Chappaqua’s Downtown. Most importantly, the streetscape work will also have new crosswalks and traffic/parking improvements that will make it safer for residents to walk around our downtown. You can sign up for project updates here
High School Improvements
As part of the approval of retail at Chappaqua Crossing, Summit Greenfield (“SG”) was required to pay for improvements to the Horace Greeley High School entrance drive. That work has started.
2017 Comprehensive Plan
Now that we have adopted the 2017 Comprehensive Plan it’s time for the current Town Board to prioritize our goals. This process has already started in the context of preparing the 2018 budget. Our department heads our prioritizing their goals/action items on the implementation table. Many, if not most, of their goals/action items will require funding. The department heads will then present their priorities to the Town Board. Coordinating the analysis of the implementation tables with the 2018 budget is the best way to ensure that the Board is able to move ahead with the action items contained in the Comprehensive Plan’s implementation table. Here’s a link for the adopted 2017 Comprehensive Plan.
Railroad Crossing Safety
We wrote a letter to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, and, once again, reiterated our request to be added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) list. We pointed out the need for design and construction of a bridge over the Metro-North Railroad grade crossing at Roaring Brook Road and its intersection with the Saw Mill River Parkway. This letter was sent to: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Senator Terrence Murphy, NYS Assemblyman David Buchwald, County Executive Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, New York State Department of Transportation, MTA & Federal Railroad Administration Region. . In response to our letter, we have received calls from Senator Charles Schumer’s office, Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office and New York State Senator Terrence Murphy. They are willing to help with our efforts. Our efforts were recognized on the front cover of the Journal News.
Also, proud to introduce our Red Flashing Lights graphic to remind drivers that a controlled railroad crossing usually has red lights along with a crossing gate. Wait for gates to rise AND for the red lights to stop flashing – that’s the law.
You will see crews on Route 120 doing prep work for the upcoming paving of Route 120. The paving will be from the Route 133/120 traffic signal and proceeding south on Route 120 for 1.6 miles. The paving should take 4-5 days.
We have a great meeting today with six representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), the President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, as well as Jacy Good and Steve Johnson of Hang Up And Drive. One of the representatives from the NHTSA who attended today’s meeting oversees their national distracted driving program. They wanted to hear about our efforts here in New Castle so that it can be replicated on a national level. I was also happy to hear that Yonkers Police Department has been using our distracted driving police training video.
Trail Crossing Ahead
Last year I reported that we met with representatives from NYSDOT to discuss bicycle & pedestrian safety where the North County Trail Way crosses over Route 100. Among other things, we discussed a new bicycle warning sign would be installed along the Taconic State Parkway Exit ramp (south-bound) to alert motorists to bicyclists. I am happy to report that thesign has been installed.
Clean Energy Community
The Town of New Castle is incredibly proud to have been the first community of its size range in the state and the first of all municipalities in Westchester County to receive the Clean Energy Community (CEC) designation. The designation highlights the importance placed on climate change mitigation, clean energy and sustainability. Over the past several years, New Castle’s Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB) has executed a number of very impactful sustainability projects in the community. Our recently adopted 2017 Comprehensive Plan reflects the Town’s continued commitment to climate change mitigation, clean energy and sustainability. Among other goals, it directs the Town to promote the use of alternative transit services, alleviate traffic congestion in the hamlets, and to adopt a Town green fleet policy. Since the Town was notified of its CEC designation, Town staff and the SAB have worked diligently to develop potential projects that are consistent with the 2017 Comprehensive Plan and our commitment to clean energy efforts and sustainability initiatives. The Town intends to contribute its CEC funds to the purchase of an all-electric or hybrid shuttle bus to provide residents and patrons with a no-cost transportation alternative between the Chappaqua Metro-North Railroad Station, the Chappaqua hamlet, and Chappaqua Crossing. Any remaining CEC funds will be put towards an LED streetlight retrofit in the Chappaqua hamlet. Both projects will result in a reduction of GHG emissions and the Town’s energy costs.
Electric Vehicles | Sustainable Westchester
The Town of New Castle as a member of Sustainable Westchester, is delighted to announce an energy-saving and cost saving program. Sustainable Westchester, through its electric vehicle consultant, EarthKind Energy, has secured a special offer for a $10,000 discount on the 2017 all-electric Nissan Leaf. The program is available to all constituents who live, work, or do business in Sustainable Westchester communities, including students or employees of Westchester colleges who live outside the county. Combined with state and Federal tax credits, the total discount is $19,200 ($10,000 off MSRP Sustainable Westchester discount + $1,700 New York State rebate + $7,500 Federal Tax Credit = $19,200 total discount on a NEW 2017 Nissan Leaf). Go here for more information.
We are working on addressing a safety issue with NYS Route 117 by the intersection of Whippoorwill Road. The blind curve on Route 117 leaves southbound drivers approaching the intersection with Whippoorwill Road with insufficient time to brake to avoid a car stopped on Route 117 in anticipation of making a left hand turn on to Whippoorwill. NYS DOT has removed some of the overgrowth in the stone retaining wall and rock outcroppings that create the blind curve along the state right of way to help the sight lines but the improvement was negligible. Caution lights and curve signs warning drivers are obscured by heavy vegetation. We requested that the state 1) immediately remove this vegetation along the State ROW and 2) take action to remove sections of the curve to straighten the road to improve the sight lines 3) site visit followed by a meeting at Town Hall with members of the Region 8 traffic and safety Division to discuss ways to improve the sight lines and the safety of this heavily traveled corridor. Our police department also did a speed survey. They are setting the area up for speed enforcement at prime hours. A radar speed sign was also installed. The State allowed the sign as long as it is only a temporary installation.
NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia
New Castle sent 2 motorcycles and 6 officers – all on their own time – to the funeral yesterday of NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia who was assassinated in the Bronx earyl Wed morning. Nice video, courtesy of Yonkers PD.
Double Utility Poles
Besides being unsightly, double utility poles are an immediate and ongoing hazard to motorists, pedestrians, and property throughout the Town. Double poles also increase the hazard of falling poles due to storms, snow, rain, wind or other weather related events and increase the chance of power outages. We have started compiling a list of double utility poles and we will be requesting that the utility companies work with the Town to remove their double poles and eliminate this public safety concern. We’re also researching whether the Town can address the double poles located in the State and County Right of Way, but we’re not optimistic about being able to regulate in those areas. Generally, the Town can only control its own right of way. Lastly, we are looking into fining utility companies who have double poles in the Town’s right of way.
Congratulations to Dianne Kleimann for being a recipient of Senator Terrence Murphy’s 2017 Women of Distinction Award. Dianne is a retired social worker. She has been a member of the Beautification Advisory Board since 2001. Dianne has served on the Millwood West End Advisory Board since 1999, and has been co-chair since 2008. She continues to be an advocate for seniors in her community by serving on the Senior Council of the New Castle Senior Citizen Center.
Keeping of Poultry
Over the past 4 years, many residents have expressed interest in having backyard chicken. We currently only allow chickens in New Castle on lots of at least 10 acres. We have studied laws from neighboring municipalities towns. We consulted with our environmental coordinator. We have set the public hearing for September 6, 2017.
Coming to pole near you.
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