Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report September 6, 2017

Town of New Castle Supervisor’s Report September 6, 2017

Rob Greenstein
Supervisor, New Castle
 

9-11 Ceremony

Please join us on Mon., September 11th as the Town of New Castle marks the sixteenth anniversary of 9/11. We will commemorate this solemn day with a memorial service, honoring and remembering all those affected and the thousands who lost their lives, including three New Castle residents. We will also pay tribute to the immediate response and contributions from New Castle’s first responders and residents on September 11th, 2001, and in the days that followed.Almost 3,000 names are engraved on the 9/11 Memorial. Those victims represent the full spectrum of our great country. The acts of terror 16 years ago were not aimed at any specific race, any specific religion, any specific sexual preference. It was aimed at Whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians. Protestants, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, transgender, gay, female, male. The terrorism of 9/11 was aimed at America. The targets were people who chose to live and work in America. Equally diverse were the first responders who rushed to the scenes of horror in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It was, quite plainly, Americans sacrificing their own well-being for others. Those who served and those who perished were lost because they considered themselves Americans. Being an American is not dependent upon where you came from, the God you pray to or who you are. The symbols of our memorials are there for all. Please join us on September 11 at 6:30 P.M, Gedney Park, Millwood Road (Route 133).

 

Hunts Place

During the month of August, I’ve provided three updates on the brownfield remediation being done at 54 Hunts Place. This is the site near the Quaker Street Bridge and Saw Mill River Parkway. As I’ve mentioned before, for residents who think that a residential apartment building doesn’t belong sandwiched between the Harlem Line railroad and a busy parkway off-ramp – every member of the current Town Board agrees with you!! By way of background, this project was approved by a prior Town Board in 2013. The first phase of the construction involves remediating the environmental contamination on the property, which was used to run a kerosene, fuel oil and gasoline supply business between roughly the 1930s and 1960s. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”), not the Town, has jurisdiction over the environmental clean-up.My first update addressed the presence of unacceptably strong odors. New York State Department Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) ordered the contractor not to perform any additional excavation of contaminated soil until a revised odor control plan was submitted. The Town retained our own environmental consultant, WCD Group. NYSDEC agreed to allow our environmental consultant the opportunity to review and comment on the air monitoring plan and revised odor control plan. Clickhere for my report of August 9, 2017.

My second update addressed the recommendations made by our environmental consultant. These recommendations were all approved by NYSDEC. Among other things, the recommendations included additional air monitoring stations, and the use of odor suppressing foam and spray. We requested that NYSDEC, as well as our environmental consultant, maintain a continual presence on the site during the remainder of the excavation activities. We requested that daily air sensor reports be reviewed by NYS Department of Health, as well as our environment consultant. All air sensor reports have been uploaded to the Town’s web site under latest news. Lastly, a Hunts Place Odor Complaint Hotline was established. Click here for my report of August 18, 2017

My third report addressed continued concerns and questions. Our environmental consultant attended our work session on Wed, August 23rd and answered questions from Town Board members & residents. Here’s the video of the work session. Following the meeting, I asked NYSDEC a number of questions. Click here for the questions and answers. I reminded residents that our environmental consultant’s opinion has consistently been that only low grade organic vapors were being generated in the immediate vicinity of the excavation, and that these vapors were not travelling any measurable distance from the site. The air monitoring readings were all well below the site guidance level. Click here for my report of August 25, 2017

I would like to thank our environmental consultant for speaking with World Cup parents last night. I think everyone who attended, including myself & Deputy Supervisor Adam Brodsky, found it very helpful. I would also like to thank him for attending our work session tonight.

I would also like to address the possibility of encountering contamination soil during our downtown infrastructure & streetscape project. It is not uncommon to come across contaminated soil during construction projects involving trench excavation. Our contractors are prepared for this contingency, and it will be handled promptly, professionally and pursuant to the law. For example, in early June, Con Edison encountered contaminated soil at 61 North Greeley Ave. As required by law, it was immediately reported to NYSDEC. NYSDEC concluded there was no connection between the spill and the Hunts Place site. The cause was likely from a leaking buried electrical transformer.

As far as the Hunts Place site, the next intrusive work will be when a 3.5’ deep trench is excavated along the Saw Mill Parkway side of the site. This is scheduled to begin in mid-September. After that, the next significant intrusive event will be the installation of micropiles.

We have asked our environmental consultant to prepare a proposal to evaluate the remedial plan, and advise as to off-site impacts. We have also asked him to attend tonight’s Town Board meeting to explain the full remediation plan and future monitoring. We will continue to monitor for any potential hazards. We will continue to work with NYSDEC and environmental consultant. We will continue to make sure our residents are safe, all questions are answered and concerns addressed.

 

Chappaqua Crossing

The Horace Greeley High School entrance was re-constructed to ease traffic into the campus. It is now three lanes wide. These improvements were paid for by Summit Greenfield, the owner of Chappaqua Crossing. Lower Roaring Brook Road was repaved – that too was paid for by Summit Greenfield. The final piece of the high school entrance project – a traffic light at the intersection of Roaring Brook Road by the Education Center – will be installed during summer 2018. The rest of Roaring Brook Road will be paved at that time. Whole Foods has received their building permit. 

Paving

Our roads are in bad shape. They were neglected for a long a time. We have a lot of caching up to do. In my 1st year, we spent more than in the 3 year prior years! Our residents deserve smooth roads! It’s a safety and quality of life issue. 1.6 miles of Route 120 was recently paved. It looks great! We also paved another third of our commuter lot. Over the last 3 years, we’ve spent close to $3M. We are well aware that MANY more roads still need to be paved! These are the Town roads being paved this year:

  • Whippoorwill Crossing
  • Turner Drive
  • Turner Drive South
  • Glendale
  • Inningwood
  • Shingle House
  • Kitchel
  • North Place
  • South Place
  • East Place
  • West Place
  • Mid Place
  • Curtis Place

 

Basketball Court

We decided on a layout nearest to the recreation field. We thanked Senator Murphy for securing a $100,000 grant which allowed us to engage an engineer and create construction drawings but we need additional funding. We have asked both Senator Murphy and Assemblyman Buchwald for additional funding.Senator Terrence Murphy – Request for Additional Funding – 08-15-17. You can learn more here.

Assemblyman David Buchwald – Request for Additional Funding – 08-15-17. Learn more here.

 

Westchester Airport

We wrote to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Chairman of the Board of Legislators Mike Kaplowitz expressing our concerns, and the concerns of residents, regarding any airport privatization and expansion. We stressed that our first priority must be protecting the quality of life for the residents of New Castle and other communities. We expressed our concern that privatization will negatively impact the environment by causing increased air, water and noise pollution in Westchester County and the surrounding region. We also expressed concern about changes that will negatively affect residential property values in our community. We made it clear that we do not support an increase in the number of flights. We do not support larger aircraft. We do not support an increase in the maximum number of passengers allowed in the Terminal Use Agreement. We do not support an increase in the total capacity of the airport’s runways, taxiways, ramps, gates, hangars, terminal, motor vehicle parking areas or access. We requested that any agreement include a no expansion policy and keep in place any and all restrictions in the current Terminal Use Agreement. We believe the current footprint of the airport must be maintained. The number of gates must remain at four. The current passenger caps must remain in effect. Current curfew regulations must remain in place. We also mentioned our concern with current operations at the Westchester County Airport. Over the years, residents have noticed a substantial increase in the number corporate aircraft using the facility. These charter/corporate jets are not under the passenger cap or flight cap. They fly at low altitudes and continue flights into the night. Corporate and private operators are not subject to any sort of penalty for breaking their curfew. They are creating noise pollution, and our skies are being polluted with jet fumes. The expansion of corporate and charter flights is having a negative impact on our health, quality of life and property values. We requested that the County provide us with a briefing on the Master Plan and privatization as it stands now. We also requested continued public involvement, public access to information, and an opportunity to comment on any potential privatization and expansion of the Westchester County Airport. Lastly, we expressed hope that there be strong bi-partisan support from the Board of Legislators before moving ahead with significant changes. Check out the master plan here

Hurricane Harvey

The importance of unity, caring and community is the theme we turn to most in this eNewsletter. Our community of New Castle is part of the larger community of the United States. Just as we rally around our local neighbors when they are in need, we want to find ways to support our neighbors further away in Texas. We are a generous and caring community.In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Senator Terrence Murphy & The Town of New Castle held a community blood drive. A request was made for blood donors to meet the immediate and future needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Our community answered the call, in a big way! I’m so proud to be part of such a generous and caring community. For those who couldn’t make last week’s blood drive, you’ll have an opportunity at the yearly blood drive at Community Day, Saturday, September 16th from 9:00AM to 3:00PM. A

supply donor box has been placed in Town Hall. Here’s a list of suggested items that people can donate to help out folks in Texas. I would also like to give kudos to the Rotary Club of Chappaqua for making a $1,000 contribution to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund to assist in the area affected by Hurricane Harvey.

 

Comprehensive Plan Implementation

The Town Board is now working on identifying our priorities for Comprehensive Plan implementation. My top 6 are as follows:

  • Strengthen zoning code to encourage the provision of mixed-use, multi-family, condominiums, townhouses, apartments, senior and workforce housing, and accessory dwelling units in or in proximity to the hamlets and their amenities, including retail, health care, and transportation.
  • Examine the feasibility of sidewalks on all major routes including Rt. 117, 100, 120, 133, 128.
  • Investigate the feasibility of extending sewer service to the Millwood hamlet, areas of higher density, and where septic systems are failing.
  • Undertake an analysis of development/infill opportunities in the hamlets consistent with community needs, public vision, and environmental and infrastructural constraints. This analysis should determine the net economic benefits of potential mixed use development and associated revenue forecasts of hamlet land use scenarios.
  • Analyze feasibility of Business Improvement District

 

Ethics

On May 9, 2017, we had a joint meeting with the Ethics Board to discuss potential changes to the Ethic’s Law. After adopting a new Ethics Code in 2014, in October, 2015, we requested that the Ethics Board study and make recommendations on whether the Town’s Code of Ethics could be amended to improve and clarify its provisions. The Town Board’s resolution suggested a number of specific subjects for the Ethics Board to consider, and further requested that the Ethics Board consider any other areas that might merit review. The Ethics Board recommended only a single change, which involves their ability to receive ethics complaints directly from residents. I personally support that change. We opened the public hearing tonight and continue the hearing next week. And, of course, we will accept written comments.