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The original item was published from 4/15/2020 3:18:41 PM to 4/26/2020 12:00:06 AM.

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Posted on: April 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Town Hall e-News

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020 Edition


Ivy Pool, Town Supervisor

COVID-19 Update

As of Tuesday, April 14th, 60,606 residents have been tested for COVID-19.  Approximately one-third, 20,191 people, have tested positive for the virus.  Here in the Town of New Castle there are 86 COVID-19 positive cases – although we fully recognize that this under-represents the number of positive cases since many residents who were in good health with only mild symptoms were told to self-quarantine.  

Sadly, we have lost 596 Westchester County residents to this disease, and we know that this number will continue to rise. There is however some positive news: with each passing day it appears more likely that we are flattening the curve. Whether we have in fact flattened the curve, or if this is a plateau remains to be seen, and depends on our actions, but we are hopeful.

In New Castle, we can take some measure of pride in our low number of positive cases, at 0.45% New Castle boasts one of the lowest percentage of positive cases when compared to the total population. I recognize that this is correlated population density and household income, and I am cognizant that the county numbers tell a sad story about racial and economic inequality.

Continuing to flatten the curve relies on all of you – staying home, continuing to practice social distancing, not becoming complacent or nonchalant.  We can do this New Castle!

 

Guidance on ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES and PPE:

On Sunday, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.16 which states that:

For all essential businesses or entities, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees. This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to section 12 or 12-b of the Public Health Law.

This requirement shall be effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 p.m.

If you know of an essential business that is not in compliance, please reach out to the police desk 238-4422 and we will follow-up.

 

Extension of Local State of Emergency

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law on March 17, 2020 New Castle Town Supervisor Ivy A. Pool issued a Proclamation of Local State of Emergency to protect life and health and to control the emergency situation. The State of Local Emergency, shall continue to be in effect for an additional thirty (30) days and shall terminate on May 14, 2020, unless sooner rescinded or extended. 

 

Property Taxes

County and local tax bills were mailed to residents on April 1st. The deadline to pay your taxes is April 30th.  The Westchester County Board of Legislators is currently considering legislation to greatly reduce penalties for late payment, to provide relief to all residents and those that have suffered economic hardship due to COVID-19.

The Town of New Castle has advocated for residents and supports this proposal. We will communicate with you when the details are known. However, we ask all residents – if you can pay on time, please do! Our local budget and the services we provide depend on these revenues. Unlike federal and state income tax, which is usually withheld throughout the year and sometimes refunded as a result of the annual filing, local and County taxes are collected through this annual process. 

We expect the results of the County BOL’s deliberations on Friday, April 17th. To learn more, I encourage you to visit the County BOL website: Westchesterlegislators.com

 

Think Twice about LEAF BLOWERS: Be a Good Neighbor

Be a good neighbor by limiting your use of leaf blowers to reduce harmful particulates and decrease noise pollution while we are all working from home! Many of our friends and neighbors suffer from seasonal allergies and other respiratory issues, and we know that 86 New Castle residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Do your part by limiting lawn maintenance to essential activities! While New York State has not weighed in on whether a leaf blower is considered an essential tool, each of us should think about whether a leaf blower is essential to maintaining your property at this time. Consider the health of your neighbors – we are all in this together!

 

COVID-19 Resource Guide

The Town of New Castle has created an online resource guide for residents, which compiles all of our guidance from previous e-Newsletters, and contains important links to State and County resources. 

 

Con Edison and Post Storm Power Restoration

Unfortunately, high winds had a negative impact on restoration timelines for residents with power outages due to the recent storm. However, Con Edison was able to restore power for all but 7 residents as of the estimated time of restoration of 11PM on Tuesday, April 14th. I would like to thank Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, Police Chief Jim Carroll, and the entire Town Hall staff for their collective efforts to coordinate restoration and road re-opening activities. Thanks!


Jill Simon Shapiro, Town Administrator

Con Ed Update

Monday’s storm closed six of our roadways. Four remained closed at the time of the Town Board Meeting on Tuesday but Con Ed crews were on site on all 4. Con Ed is hopeful to restore 95% of all outages by 11pm Tuesday evening. Although that is good news, it is not good news for everyone.  We will remain in contact with Con Ed pressuring them to restore all of our residents with power as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience.
 

Essential Operations:

Our Town essential operations continue uninterrupted. Police continue to patrol. Water quality testing continues daily as required by the Department of Health. Our meals on wheels program continues to serve our seniors. We have staff on site daily although compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders has reduced the number of staff members we can have in offices due to distancing constraints. 

Where ever possible, staff is working remotely to reduce the chance of infection. For those staff who are in Town Hall and the DPW/Parks Buildings - everyone has masks. We are having employees drive alone to work sites even though they may be working together. Town Hall staff who do report to work are directed to stay in their respective departments and not to socialize. We are doing our part to keep our staff healthy and working for our community. 

 

Construction Project Updates:

We have a number of construction projects that we are continuing to pursue as they are essential in nature. One involves issuance of a bid document for the roof replacement at the community center. Late last year the roof failed in a heavy rain storm and resulted in significant damage to the building. Although we were able to make emergency repairs, we are aware that this is a temporary fix only. If the roof is not repaired, significant structural damage will result going forward. 

We are also working on engineering services for the Millwood Recreation Field so that we are ready to proceed with planned improvements – lights! when the ban on non-essential construction is lifted. 

However, non-essential construction and  maintenance projects have been put on hold. The Basketball court and playground construction have been paused.  The scheduled replacement of the lightbulbs for the lights on the Recreation Field has been cancelled for now. This too will be rescheduled for a date after the Governor allows these activities to resume. 

We continue to press NYSDOT for approval of the foundations for the Pedestrian Beacons by Lange’s and the North County Bike Path where it crosses 133 in Millwood. 

We did finally get approval for installation  of signs along 117 indicating that the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center is located on the Chappaqua Crossing Campus. Similar signs will be posted along Roaring Brook Road. 

 

Board Meetings and Bid Opening on Zoom:

We have a bid opening on April 17 for a turbine engine.  The bidders were all notified that the bid would be opened live via “Zoom” and a  Zoom link was provided to them. 

The Architectural Review Board along with the Recreation Commission are meeting this week via zoom- the links for these meetings are on the master meeting schedule on the home page of the website.
 

Taxes – everyone’s favorite topic!

Tax bills have been mailed. If you, as opposed to your bank are responsible for property tax payments, you should have received your tax bill - if you have not or have any questions, please contact the Tax office at Taxes@mynewcastle.org.

AS has previously been reported, on April 20, the Westchester County Board of legislators is considering a change to the tax penalty structure to dramatically reduce the penalties for late payments – but does not change the April 30 due date.

View April 15, 2020 Issue
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