Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report October 10, 2017

Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report October 10, 2017

Rob Greenstein
Supervisor, New Castle
 

Westchester Magazine

Very proud that Chappaqua was featured in Westchester Magazine. Here are some highlights:

  • Recent Reno: An infrastructure project is making upgrades and widening sidewalks.
  • Trending: Up at the lower price points. In the $700,000 to $1M price point, inventory is down 42 percent compared with last year, according to Houlihan Lawrence brokerage manager Brian Murray.
  • Best Thing About Living Here: “We love that we are within walking distance of the town, train, library, and the elementary and middle schools.” —Chris Madden, longtime resident
  • Selling Points: lovely homes, close-knit community, fabulous schools, proximity to Greenwich, NYC, and points north and south
  • Trade-off: temporary inconvenience due the construction and infrastructure effort

For more information, click here

2018 Tentative Budget

We have been holding budget meetings will all department heads. Once again, our tentative budget provides residents with the essential municipal services they expect and deserve, repair the long neglected infrastructure and respect the tax cap. Our bond issuance and the debt corresponding service will not have any effect on the tax levy or tax rates. As we have discussed in the past, we intend to use fund balance to pay for new capital costs in 2018. We were presented with the opportunity to raise the total tax levy by $691,063 for 2018 and still remain within the tax cap. However, the tentative budget contemplates increasing the levy by 1.09% or an increase of $224,043, less than one-third the amount allowable under the tax cap for this year.

Our tax increase is on par with our prior 3 budgets.

  • 2015 – $9 increase per average household
  • 2016 – $20 increase per average household
  • 2017 – $28 increase per average household
  • 2018 – $23 increase per average household

Our paving budget is on par with our prior 3 budgets, but was increased by another $100,000!

  • 2015 – $1,014,455 -more than in the three prior years combined!
  • 2016 – $897,026
  • 2017 – $822,452
  • 2018 – $922,000

In addition, the Town has maintained our $25,000 funding for beautification.

 

Chappaqua Downtown Revitalization

John “Kaz” Kazawic from Boswell Engineering provided an update to the Town Board last night. The project is a little ahead of schedule. They have not encountered any unexpected problems or delays. That’s great news as far as our $1.2M contingency! We’d love to add back in components of the project, like extending sidewalks in some areas. The 10-17 Schedule Update has been posted to the Town website. Residents should be receiving a mailing which includes information about the project, a QR code for an interactive web map which includes updates on affected work areas, schedule and links to the website, as well as information about the field office located at 79 S. Greeley Ave (former EZ Sports location).

 

EpiPen Legislation

Last night we honored a group of incredible kids who pushed for new legislation that allows school bus drivers across New York State to administer epinephrine to a child having a severe allergic reaction. This legislation was sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman David Buchwald, and recently signed into law by Governor Cuomo. This legislation will ensure that children, especially those who are very young, have additional adults that will be able to intervene should a child experience a reaction or anaphylaxis while on a school bus. I commend this incredible group of kids and their parents for their work advocating for this legislation, and commend Senator Murphy and Assemblyman Buchwald for their responsiveness. Last night, the children received proclamations from Senator Murphy, Assemblyman Buchwald and the Town of New Castle.

 

Town Hall Basketball Court – Inclusive Playground

Last night, after Senator Terrence Murphy awarded proclamations to the children involved in the EpiPen legislation, he announced that New Castle received an additional $100,000 grant to be used for our new basketball court and inclusive playground. To date, we have received $325,000 in grants ($200,000 from Senator Murphy & $125,000 from Assemblyman Buchwald) for these projects.

 

Chappaqua Crossing – Work Force / Affordable Housing

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. Community amenities will include a large gym and separate exercise room, club / multipurpose room with a kitchenette, community lounge, reading library, package concierge and an outdoor playground area. This is affordable housing we can be proud of! Here’s a virtual tour. I was proud to attend the lottery last week and honored to pull the 1st five work force housing applicants. Occupancy will begin in early January (half the building) and finishing it in late February / early March.

 

Our Seniors

In our 2018 Tentative budget, senior recreation programming will see an increase of 30.49% or $34,956 to reflect a significant increase in senior programming. Our increased programming for seniors will be announced shortly. We have ordered new carpet for the Senior Center and hope to have it installed in the next two weeks.

 

120 Sidewalk

We finally began the long anticipated replacement work on the Route 120 sidewalk from Grafflin School to Ridgewood Terrace. This segment of sidewalk replacement project was originally scheduled to be completed by end of November. It’s expected to be 95% complete by October 13 and we expect to finish this section 3 weeks ahead of schedule. The Town expects to continue the last segment of the Route 120 sidewalk replacement project in the Spring/Summer of 2018. This project is also expected to be constructed in conjunction with the continuation of the Con Ed gas main replacements in this area.

 

Distracted Driving

American Automobile Association has issued an analysis of New York ticket data and recommendations for public officials and police departments. New Castle was listed as a success story! See page 16. As the article mentions, the 2011 death of 19-year-old resident Evan Lieberman as a passenger in a distracted driving crash sparked a conscious effort to educate the community. “I thought we should become leaders in the area,” says Supervisor Robert Greenstein. The Town announced its “Hands Off the Phone and On the Wheel” initiative in September 2014, complete with branded banners and magnets, a PSA, and multiple high-visibility enforcement weeks – all with the full support of the Board, the Police Department, and the community. To learn more, click here.

 

Chappaqua Performing Arts Center

We received a very nice letter from Joel Seligman, President & CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital, congratulating the Town of New Castle on the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center. As many know, Northern Westchester Hospital is a tenant at Chappaqua Crossing. It was noted that a community that provides opportunities for social interaction, and supports education through diverse arts and cultural programming, is one that is acting in the best interest of its citizens and their overall well-being. To read more, click here.

 

Westchester Airport

Back on August 15th, we sent a letter on behalf of New Castle to County Executive and the Chairman of the Board of Legislators (our own Mike Kaplowitz), expressing our concerns about any airport privatization and expansion. We made it clear that we must protect the quality of life of the residents of New Castle and other communities against any increase in air, water or noise pollution. We also brought their attention to issues with the current operations of the airport including the increase of corporate and charter flights and the problems this creates for communities in terms of increased noise and air pollution and the operation of these flights at lower altitudes and during overnight hours. http://mynewcastle.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Westchester-Airport-Letter.pdf. To date, we have not received a response to our letter. For anyone who is subjected to airport noise, please report it using the following form: https://airport.westchestergov.com/about-us/environmental-management-system/noise-complaint-form. I would encourage anyone who shares these concerns to contact our representative on the Board of Legislators, Michael Kaplowitz (kaplowitz@westchesterlegislators.com) so that he can best represent his constituents. Feel free to copy the town board on any correspondence so that we have a record of community concerns as well. We will continue to make sure that New Castle’s concerns are heard. To read the letter we sent, click here

 

Assessor’s Page

Thanks to the suggestion of Assemblyman David Buchwald, we’ve updated our Assessor’s page on the Town web site. We have listed all partial tax exemptions.

  • Senior Citizen Partial Tax Exemption
  • Volunteer Firefighters/ Ambulance Workers Exemption Application
  • Veterans Partial Tax Exemption
  • Disabled Person Partial Tax Exemption
  • STAR (School Tax Relief)

More information is available here

Millwood InterGenerate Community Garden

Town staff installed 85 yards of gravel. We have a “pad” for the garden beds and we created a gravel walk way into the area. The building of the garden beds is next. We are building 30 vegetable garden beds, each 16 feet long by 40 inches wide. We also are building two beds for plants that will attract pollinators and beautify the entrance to the garden. We are also purchasing soil.

 

Millwood – 200 Years at the Heart of Westchester!

We’re having a big celebration for Millwood’s 200 Year Anniversary on Sat., October 28, 12-5p, Gedney Park (back). We’re having a big stage and band. We’re also planning on having food trucks, as well as rides/bouncy castles, face painting, pumpkin painting, and other fun activities for kids – admission to event is free – pay for food & beverages. We will have a shuttle bus to get people from the parking in the front field and overflow parking at WestOrchard school to the back of Gedney. I would like to thank Ike Kuzio, our new Superintendent of Recreation & Parks, Suzanne Kavic, co-chair of the Millwood West End Advisory Board, Councilwoman Hala Makowska, Town Administrator Jill Shapiro & Ciara Gannon for their work on planning this event. I would like to thank our sponsors:

  • DeCicco & Sons
  • Millwood Plaza
  • Rocky’s Millwood Deli
  • Sunshine Children’s Home & Rehab Center
  • Mavis Tire Supply
  • Summit Grossman
  • Kiwi Country Day Camp
  • Drug Mart of Millwood
  • Millwood Animal Hospital
  • Sari Shaw, Platinum Drive Realty
  • Tazza Cafe
  • New Castle Physical Therapy & Personal Training
  • Dodd’s Liquor City
  • Matero Fine Jewelry & Design Inc

 

Youth Civics Action Committee (“YCA”)

We hope you can join us on Monday, October 16th, 7:00pm, Town Hall, for two exciting presentations.

  • Israel Defense Forces (“IDF”) soldiers – we are very fortunate to have a group IDF soldiers visiting our area. The soldiers bring an unique perspective to everyone they meet with, talking about life in the Middle East, and serving their country against terrorism.
  • A day Of Kindness (“AOK Day”) – Evy Rosen, the creator and organizer of AOK Day, will be present to discuss her brand new initiative. AOK is about bringing awareness to the emotional, social, and physical benefits of performing acts of kindness. This year, October 23rd has been designated AOK Day! Our community can serve as a model for performing acts of kindness and help to spread the joy of being kind. Post cards will be disseminated throughout our stores, restaurants, town hall, etc. If each one of us does their act of kindness, we will all benefit. Let’s not be spectators. Please read her message and join her.

 

Busy Weekend

  • Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival is Saturday, Oct 14th, Sat, October 14, 10– 4pm, Bell Middle School, rain or shine
  • Chappaqua Performing Arts Center – NWAG opens their show, Method & Melody on October 14th, 5-8pm, Chappaqua Performing Arts Center located at 480 North Bedford Road, Chappaqua in conjunction with the musical performance with Sō Percussion. Tickets for Sō Percussion, ($30 – $60) can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000or in person on show day at the lobby box office.
  • 1st Annual Oktoberfest at First Congregational Church, October 14, 5-10p – German Beer, German Food – Tickets $25 (includes 1 bratwurst, 1 pretzel, 1 beer)