New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 10/23/2018
Supervisor, New Castle
We are a nation of laws and freedom of ideas. We must be a nation of tolerance. And we should be a nation of peaceful and intelligent debate of important issues. In New Castle, we have demonstrated again and again that we are a community. When one family in our community is the subject of hatred, we are all victims. Hillary and Bill Clinton have sacrificed much to serve our country. They are our friends and our neighbors. We stand beside them in the face of angry rhetoric; we support them, as we do all in our community, when they are the subject of attempted violence.
An Evening of Conversation and Music with Modern Warrior Live – October 24th
The Mental Health Association of Westchester presents “An Evening of Conversation and Music with Modern Warrior Live” TONIGHT at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center. Modern Warrior LIVE is a theatrical musical performance about one veteran’s experience of returning to civilian life and the role of the arts in his recovery from trauma. Doors open 6:00 p.m., reception with drinks, dinner-by-the-bite and silent auction. Program begins 7:15 p.m. Proceeds from the event help The Mental Health Association of Westchester. October 24th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, Chappaqua PAC, 480 Bedford Road Chappaqua, NY.
Click here to get tickets.
Fall Festival / Ragamuffin Parade
Due to the forecasted coastal storm on Saturday, our Fall Festival has been cancelled. The Annual Ragamuffin Parade has been rescheduled for next Sunday, October 28, 2018. Carnival begins @ 12p. Rides, food & music. Parade starts @ 3:30p. Chappaqua Train Station
First Annual New Castle Fire Explorer Recruitment Fair
Do you have a son or daughter between the ages of 14 and 18? The Millwood and Chappaqua Fire Departments would like to invite you and your son or daughter to the first annual New Castle Fire Explorer recruitment fair. No experience necessary. Please feel free to come by Millwood Fire Station#1 (100 Millwood Road) on Sunday October 28th from 10 am-1 pm.
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
Final drainage work on North Greeley from lower King to Maple will continue this week. After spending weeks trying to get Verizon to relocate their underground conduits, we have decided to redesign drainage to go under the conduits. Granite curbing was installed on North Greeley from Bischoff to Maple – sidewalks will be installed soon.
Granite curbing was installed on North Greeley from Maple to Post Office – sidewalks will be installed soon. Granite curving is currently being installed on South Greeley from Washington to Woodburn (library side). The first light pole footings have been installed. Sidewalks will be installed soon.
Work has begun on the removal of all of the existing trees from the Bell School parking lot to the corner of Allen Place. This is part of the planned streetscape improvements. Once the trees are removed, the area will be regraded and then a total of 8 new sugar maple trees will be planted next week along this corridor, along with planned landscaping around the new electronic sign.
The trees that were removed were primarily Norway Maples, which is considered an invasive tree species by NYS, over half of the trees had structural defects and were in various states of decline. These trees will be replaced with native sugar maple trees which will create a nice tree lined corridor of trees all the same height and of course will provide amazing fall color! Con Edison continues transferring over the services. All this work is being performed overnight. Please remember to check the Town of New Castle website for all updates. If you would like to receive daily updates, please email me at RGreenstein@MyNewCastle.org
As I mentioned several times over the past several months, many have noticed the change in the timing of the traffic lights that affect the grade crossing at the intersection of Roaring Brook Road (RBR) & the Saw Mill Parkway (SMRP). In short, on June 20, 2018, NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), & Metro North activated railroad preemption on the traffic signal at the SMRP & RBR intersection. Essentially, when a train is detected, west bound RBR receives 34 seconds of green time to clear the train tracks, after this interval the remaining time is allocated to the SMRP. The signal will not return to normal operation until the train clears the preemption area. During the preemption event, the signal is prevented from giving a green signal to east bound RBR, as motorists would be directed toward the train tracks. Preemption was causing excessive delays for EB traffic. We wrote to DOTrequesting observation of the above intersection and implementing possible mitigation measures. DOT listened! DOT approved timing changes to the traffic light on the SMRP. The changes were instituted a few weeks ago. Here’s a summary:
- E/B green light was increased from 16 seconds to 35
- S/B left turn was increased from 10 to 20 seconds
- They changed the settings on their traffic detectors on the SMRP so less cars travelling on the SMRP means less green time for them.
As well, Summit Greenfield will be making improvements to SMRP & RBR intersection. Preliminary plans have been developed. Work will include a widening & additional travel lines for both the eastbound and westbound approaches to the SMRP. Changes also include installation of a new traffic signal system, pavement resurfacing and signage. DOT wants the SMRP/RBR work to be completed by Labor Day. As far as the work on 117, Summit Greenfield will soon be installing new northbound and southbound turning lanes at intersection of Route 117 and RBR. We have been advised that the 117 work permit will be issued soon.
The opening for Whole Foods is 12/12. The opening for Lifetime Fitness is 12/20.
2019 Tentative Budget
The 2019 Tentative Budget marks the 8th straight year that New Castle will stay within the 2% tax cap. We are staying within the cap while managing the $14.1 million borrowing necessary to replace water, sanitary sewer and storm water infrastructure in our downtown Chappaqua Hamlet. With carry-overs from prior years, the law allows us to raise taxes by more than one million dollars. Our tentative budget only proposes a tax increase of $484,336. This amounts to a $62 increase to the average resident. We have maintained almost a million dollars for our paving budget. The League of Women Voters will hold a Conversation with the Supervisor and 2019 Budget Discussion with Town Comptroller Robert Deary on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, from 9:30 – 11 am New Castle Town Hall, 200 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua. Our public hearing will be scheduled for Nov. 27. Rob Deary will be attending the public hearing & will conduct his annual Budget Presentation. The Town Board will vote on the budget at our Dec 11th meeting. You can find the 2019 tentative budget here.
Westchester County Airport
Happy to report that included in the recently passed FAA Reauthorization Bill are key provisions to address excessive aircraft noise concerns. The Bill directs FAA to designate a regional ombudsmen in each FAA region to serve as a point of contact with the public, including community groups, to address noise, pollution, and safety issues. It also includes a provision to require the FAA to finalize its study of alternative metrics for measuring aircraft noise. In addition, the bill directs the FAA to conduct a study on health risks that noise and aircraft flights on residents exposed to a range of noise levels from such flights. Locally, I would like to thank our New Castle Airport Advisory Board for working with the Town Board to draft 2 very important letters.
New Castle letter re Good Neighbor Policy – Letter to CE Latimer and BOL Kaplowitz dated 10.11.18. Click here to read the letter.
New Castle letter re Request for Proposals – Supplement to the Westchester County Airport Master Plan Letter to CE Latimer and BOL Kaplowitz dated 10-11-18
You can read the litter here.
Leaf Blower Legislation
As I mentioned several times since June, our Sustainability Advisory Board (“SAB”) has proposed legislation setting forth seasonal limitations regarding the use of motorized leaf blowers. The noise, emissions of gases, and blowing of dust particles and other airborne pollutants into the air, and health hazards caused by leaf blowers, especially gas-powered, mandate some sort of action. Like many other towns, our SAB is recommending prohibiting the use of motorized blowers from May 15 through September 30. Our 1st public hearing was held last night, October 23rd. Our next public hearing is November 13th. Here’s the draft legislation. Public comments and suggestions are encouraged and welcomed. You can contact us directly here.
Federal Limitations State and Local Tax (SALT) Deductions
As many are well aware, in response to the new $10,000 cap on State and Local Tax (SALT) imposed by the federal government, NYS enacted legislation that authorizes charitable contributions to the state and local governments. Unfortunately, last month the IRS proposed an amendment to limit these charitable contributions. New Castle joined the newly-formed Coalition for the Charitable Contribution Deduction to challenge the proposed regulation before it’s finalized. The public hearing for the proposed IRS regulation is scheduled for November 5.
Con Ed is installing the conduit to provide electricity to our electronic community sign. DPW crew is currently installing the facia stone.