Supervisor's Report

Print

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 11/18/14 (2)

supervisorreport

By Rob Greenstein

 Chappaqua Crossing

Since April 2014 when Summit Greenfield changed the layout and design of its proposed retail center, we have conducted seven (7) public hearings, all of which have been lengthy and well-attended. In terms of next steps, the Town Board is working on what it anticipates will be a final version of the Retail Local Law. The Board is considering certain changes based upon the work and input that has gone into this application. For example, we are exploring ways to limit the overall amount of commercial and retail space that is allowed at Chappaqua Crossing. We may consider prohibiting certain retail uses at the site, particularly given its proximity to Horace Greeley High School. We welcome comments from residents tonight on those issues. I still anticipate that the Town Board will be able to complete its work on the draft Retail Local Law and be in a position to vote on the legislation by the end of the year. I would encourage residents to stay informed by checking our Town website for updates about the public hearings and any further revisions to the draft Retail Local Law. Our next, and eighth (8), public hearing will be held on December 2nd.

Chappaqua Central School District - Finance Advisory Committee

This week both myself, Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz & Town Administrator Jill Shapiro will be meeting with the Chappaqua Central School District Finance Advisory Committee, along with School Superintendent Dr. Lyn McKay and a few members of the School Board. The purpose of the meeting is to seek out and take advantage of collaboration opportunities between the school district and the town.

Town Supervisor's Report 11/18/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

Print

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 11/10/14

supervisorreport

By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

The Town Board is continuing its work on a draft local law and preliminary development concept plan that could allow a Whole Foods supermarket, a gym, restaurants and retail stores to be built at Chappaqua Crossing. With input from our Planning Board, we've persuaded Summit Greenfield to move away from its original proposal to build large format retail stores, and instead to design a more community-oriented, walkable retail development. Each side has compromised and the current proposal, while not perfect, has been significantly improved.

The Board also is working with its Town Planner and consultants to do everything it can to ensure that the type of retailers and amenities we might see at Chappaqua Crossing are the best for our community. Perhaps most importantly, the Board continues to press Summit Greenfield to commit itself to taking the steps necessary to ensure that the impacts of any retail development are avoided or mitigated to the fullest extent possible. These steps may involve limiting not just the allowable retail space at Chappaqua Crossing, but the overall amount of commercial space on the property. The Board also is exploring ways to create new open space on the property and other improvements that could benefit nearby residents. Next week, I expect that the Town Board will be discussing some of these possibilities at its Work Session on Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

Business Development Advisory Committee

The Downtown Business Development Committee ("DBDC") is being established to assist the long-term economic stability of the Town's downtown business district while maintaining the small town values and community spirit that assure New Castle is a great place to live, work, play, invest and conduct business.

The DBDC will engage with the business community to attract desirable new community investment, help existing businesses expand, recruit targeted new businesses and enrich the life of the community. The DBDC will also make recommendations to the New Castle government regarding strategic redevelopment opportunities for Town-owned downtown property and make recommendations regarding the highest and best uses based on current market conditions. DBDC is committed to the revitalization of downtown Chappaqua. The vision for the revitalization of downtown Chappaqua will be the catalyst for a dynamic and growing partnership among members of the community, business owners and local government.

Town of New Castle Winter Preparedness

 

  • We have our contract in place for weather notifications from Universal Weather Service
  • We have on hand a salt supply to handle 6 to 9 storm events
  • We have a contractual relationship with the same NYS Office of General Services salt supplier as last year
  • Liquid anti-icing/de-icing solutions on-hand to handle 4 to 5 storms
  • All plow trucks are current on service
  • All drop-in spreaders have been serviced and ready for installation by Friday November 14
  • Spare plow blade inventory is adequate
  • 2 new F-550 salt spreaders are on order to be delivered by end of November
  • One replacement plow truck is being added to our fleet
  • All 17 designated primary plow operators have received the Cornell University Snow-Ice Operations and Safety Training; additionally, all 5 back-up drivers have received this training
  • Rental Bobcat for sidewalk clearing will arrive shortly
  • Currently working with NYS Department Of Transportation on obtaining space in Millwood Salt Shed to supply our "west-end" trucks

 

Town Supervisor's Report 11/10/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

 

Print

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 10/14/14

supervisorreport

Town Events

During the Pace public outreach sessions, participants expressed an interest in Town government hosting more events, such as parades and festivals. Here are a few such events being planned:

  1. New Castle Recreation & Park Department and Camp Connection are proud to present the Ragamuffin Parade & Carnival on Sunday, October 19th, Carnival begins at 12:30pm and the Parade steps off at 3:30pm
  2. New Castle Recreation & Park Department and Kiwi Country Day Camp are proud to present The Fall Festival is scheduled for Sat., Oct 25th from 11a-4pm.
  3. New Castle Halloween House Decorating Contest. Prizes will be given in two categories: family-friendly and scariest house. Email submissions to Samantha Levine from Chappaqua Hamlet Hub @ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. New Castle Recreation & Park Department and Kiwi Country Day Camp are proud to present "Downtown Chappaqua Halloween" on Wed, October 31st. Celebrate with your favorite local BOO-tiques. Trick or treat, photo booth, fun characters & giveaways.

Chappaqua Crossing

I'd like to provide residents with a brief update on the Chappaqua Crossing project. On September 8, the Town Board received several comment memos from our Planning Board that have been posted on the Town's website. On September 23, the Town Board adjourned the public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing while we awaited receipt of further information and comments from our professional consultants and Town Planner. Specifically, the Town Board expects to receive an updated Competitive Effects Analysis from its outside planning consultant, AKRF, and review memos from its traffic consultant and Town Planner. The Town Board intends to adjourn the public hearing to October 28. By then, I expect the Board will have received all outstanding materials on Chappaqua Crossing, which will be posted on the Town's website. I encourage all residents to review the information that is available on the Town's website and to attend our next public meeting on October 28, when I expect that our public hearing on Chappaqua Crossing will resume. Once the public has had an opportunity to review and comment on this final round of materials, I expect that the Town Board will entertain a motion to close the public hearing.

Update on Westchester county sewer diversion project

Westchester county sewer diversion project involves the connection of Random Farms, Riverwoods, Yeshiva and Chappaqua Crossing to Yonkers' treatment plant. The Town of New Castle has secured 16 million dollars in county and state funds to help defray construction costs of this major infrastructure project. Unfortunately, due to the county's delay in approving this project - prior to County Legislator Kaplowitz assuming leadership of the County Board - the cost of this project has skyrocketed. Current construction estimates now project that diversion for these three districts will cost between $24 to $26 million dollars. This leaves the town with a $10 million shortfall. The Town has sought additional funding from the state and the county to further defray the cost of this project to these three districts. Needless to say, these additional funds are not easy to come by; we are one of many worthwhile projects competing for limited state and county resources. We have explored state, federal and county grants that may be available to the Town for this project and have filed a number of state grants. We are hopeful that one of those applications will be granted.

ChapLine

Also during the Pace public outreach sessions, participants overwhelmingly expressed an interest in enhancing the pedestrian experience and improving trail and bicycle path connections. In today's enewsletter there is a presentation from Daniel Googel regarding the ChapLine. There is an existing undeveloped pathway extending between Horace Greeley High School to downtown Chappaqua. Developing this path would create a great walking/bicycle path from the high school to downtown Chappaqua. You can also watch the presentation here.

The Chappaqua Bike/Walkway (The "ChapLine") from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

Master Plan Update Survey

As you may have heard, the Master Planning Steering Committee is working with an outside survey research firm to gather input from residents about what they think is important to address in the updated master plan. In the near future, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted over the next few weeks and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and we would greatly appreciate your participation. After the survey results are collected, we will share the findings with the public. We are committed to keeping residents engaged and informed throughout the process. You can also watch the Supervisor's Report here.

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 10/14/14 from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

 

 

Print

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 10/28/14

supervisorreport

 

By Rob Greenstein

Chappaqua Crossing

We continued the public hearings on the Chappaqua Crossing project. Since the last hearing, the Town has received four review memorandums from the Planning Board. We have received additional correspondence from the Applicant concerning traffic, as well as its position paper with respect to the Town's review of the application. We have received our Town Planner's Review Memorandum. We have received the Town's Traffic Consultant's Review Memorandum. We have received the Competitive Effects Analysis prepared by the Town's Retained Consultant, AKRF. The relevant project documents and review letters have all been posted on the Town's website. We have had over five public hearings since the revised submission in April 2014. This matter has been discussed at Town Board work sessions. Our Planning Board has discussed the matters referred to them at several meetings. We have had several joint Town Board and Planning Board meetings. We have consulted the Master Planning Steering Committee. The Town has asked its consultants - especially our traffic engineer - to make public presentations. The Town has asked the Applicant's consultants - especially their traffic engineer - to make public presentations. There has been numerous questions from both the Board members and the public asked of the Town's and the Applicant's consultants.

Budget highlights

The Town could raise the total tax levy by $390,043 and remain under the cap. The Preliminary Budget raises the total levy by $34,771.00 (.17%). The combined town/special district tax increase is $9 per household! This is the lowest tax increase - by far - in 6 years!

Increased BAB from $500 to $25,000.
Rec & Parks watering intern - $10,500.
Town Board/Special Projects from $10,000 (2014) to $25,000 (2015). +$15,000.
Town Board/Special Events - Added budget line for 2015, +$10,000.
Town Board/Boards & Commissions from $100 (2014) to $10,000 (2015).+$9,900.
Master Plan Consulting - Added budget line for 2015, +$50,000.
Proposed Hire - Assistant Town Planner, +$50,987.
Proposed Hire - Public Relations (Part Time), +$18,000.
Road Paving/Permanent Improvements $400,000 (2014) to $600,000 (2015). +200,000 .
The Preliminary Budget increases general highway department staff from 12 to 15 employees in order to provide appropriate support levels to highway projects and snow removal duties.


Public Information Officer

The Town is looking for a Public Information Officer. The position is responsible for all areas of public relations. In addition, the position is responsible for the maintenance of the Town's various social media outlets, including its Facebook page. The successful candidate will have a broad range of experiences in public relations and the use of social media; will be detail oriented and will make it a priority to develop positive relationships with Town staff, volunteers, contractors and the general public. The Public Information Office provides an ongoing information program to citizens about their town government's policies, services and activities.

Chappaqua Millwood Chamber of Commerce

The Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce is looking for a few community-minded volunteers to help with organizing community events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Solveig McShea.

Master Plan Consultant

The Town of New Castle is seeking to retain a qualified consultant to assist the Town with facilitating its five-member Master Plan Steering Committee through the identification of goals, objectives and strategies which will be compiled with other sources of information to form the Town's Master Plan Update. The Town's last plan was compiled in 1989. It has been 25 years since the Town's Master Plan has been updated and much has changed.

Train Station Lease

The Town received 1 response to the RFP, and the Town Board will hear a public presentation from the applicant on 11/5.

New Castle Supervisor's Report from New Castle Media Center on Vimeo.

 

 

Print

Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 9/23/14

supervisorreport

New Castle Launches Zero Tolerance for Distracted Driving

New Castle will have zero tolerance for distracted driving. New Castle is taking a leadership role in fighting this growing destructive behavior. We have begun implementing initiatives we hope surrounding areas will consider as well. We are also working with Chappaqua residents Ben and Debbie Lieberman, who know all too much about this topic. They lost their nineteen (19) year old son Evan following a car collision caused by distracted driving. The Lieberman's set up an organization to combat distracted driving known as "DORCs"--"Distracted Operators Risk Casualties." You have seen the banners throughout town, and we will be giving out car magnets at the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival. There will also be decals on all police cruisers. The Secretary of Transportation has called Distracted Driving "a national epidemic". Lyn McKay, Superintendent of Chappaqua Central School District, has requested additional banners for inside the high school and we have ordered more. Our message is simple: 5 points on your license / 0 tolerance for distracted driving / 1 choice in New Castle!

Speed limit

On Tuesday, the Town Board approved a resolution requesting NYSDOT to reduce the speed limit on certain areas of King Street, South Greeley Avenue and Quaker Road. As we all know, these areas in downtown Chappaqua generate significant pedestrian traffic of middle school children. Town of New Castle Police Chief and Police Department support the recommendation that the speed limit be reduced to 25 miles per hour in the downtown Chappaqua business hamlet. If you recall, NYC recently lowered the default speed limit from 30 to 25 mph in order to reduce pedestrian accidents. Likewise, in our continuing effort to keep our kids safe, Community Resource Officers have been speaking with students about using crosswalks, paying attention to crossing guards and being aware of their surroundings, particularly in the downtown business area where crossing is more challenging than most New Castle neighborhoods.

Coyote Management Task Force / Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee

On Tuesday night the Town Board established two different committees to address our coyote problem. Both committees recognize that coyote sightings have noticeably increased in the Town of New Castle over the years. Town residents have reported having their dogs attacked and killed by coyotes. The Town recognizes the need to educate residents about the presence of coyotes and seek input from the community as to coyote sightings and interactions. We recognize that there may not be unanimity between these advisory boards on all issues. They clearly have different approaches. The Town Board encourages the Coyote Management Task Force and the Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee to work in a collaborative fashion to provide residents and the Town Board with a full range of information and perspectives on dealing with the presence of coyotes in our community.

Survey

As you may have heard, we are working with an outside survey research firm to gather input from local residents about what they think is important to address in the master plan. In the near future, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted during October and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and we would greatly appreciate your participation. After the interview process concludes and the data is consolidated, we will share the aggregated findings with the public. As an important member of our community, we want to keep you engaged throughout the process.

Millwood A&P

Councilman Adam Brodsky & I met with the owner of the Millwood Shopping Center where the A&P is located. The A&P lease is expiring next year, and a few of the tenants in that shopping center were concerned about losing their anchor tenant. It is unclear if the landlord will renew with A&P - although A&P has expressed interest - but the owner is 100% committed to a grocer at that location. He is also committed to sprucing up the look of the shopping center.

King Street

I am happy to report that a new restaurant will be opening at 76 King Street replacing King Street Restaurant and Bar. Councilman Adam Brodsky, Town Administrator Jill and myself have all reached out to the new owners and welcomed them to Chappaqua. We have provided them with our cell numbers. They operate the Darien Social in Darien, CT, which prides itself as bringing "back the classic American bar and restaurant from an era gone by".

Emergency Planning Committee

In order to prepare for a community emergency, we are in the process of forming the Emergency Planning Committee. This committee is being established to assist the Town Board with planning, preparation, coordination and communication during an emergency. At our first meeting, we have Chief Ferry from New Castle Police Department, as well as members of Millwood Fire Department, Chappaqua Fire Department, Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corp and a representative from Red Cross/Westchester County Animal Response Team. We are committed to ensuring that our community is prepared.

Train Station RFP

We have released our RFP for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station.  The proposed initial lease term is five (5) years. The deadline for responding to the RFP is 12pm on October 22, 2014.

 Rob Greenstein, Town Supervisor

 You can also watch the Supervisor's Report here.