Supervisor's Report

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

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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.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 9/11/14

supervisorreportMailing

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. Starting on September 18th, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted during the last two weeks in September 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. When you receive the mailing you will note a return postcard. Please take a moment to "Tell Us How We're Doing". We welcome your feedback. Feel free to share any comments, concerns or suggestions with the Town Board.

Workers Compensation Renewal Savings

New Castle is proud to announce substantial savings on their workers compensation premium. The town now pays $222,525.00 less in Workers Compensation premium than it did for the same insurance in 2013-4. This is a 29.00% savings! This is a good deal for the taxpayers of New Castle, and I am very pleased with the savings. We will continue to pursue measures to reduce our costs as we try to increase the services provided to our residents."

Garbage Contract

At the last Town Board meeting, I announced a new garbage contract with savings for all services Town wide estimated to be $477,980 per year. Over the course of the seven (7) year contract, we are saving over $3,000,000.00. After this announcement, I received many inquiries, so I wanted to addresses them. First, we did not change companies. We are still using Sani-Pro. Services will not be cut. As far as the annual fee per household, we expect the $485 annual fee to be decreased. That $485 fee has held for at least 4 years. We have been heavily subsidizing it with fund balance to keep it constant. As we start our 2015 budget process we will be calculating the new annual fee per household. Well, how did we achieve such substantial savings? I will read to you a quote from Bart Carey, Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Works, "we did not maximize our savings when we went to once a week - that was a major criticism of the once a week transition. The original shift from twice to once a week garbage collection was in the middle of a negotiated contract. Sani-Pro provided some savings to the town but was actually not required to provide any. The idea of once a week garbage collection was a tremendous cost savings measure. When we finally had the opportunity to bid out once a week collection using Hudson Valley Bid Network, which has given our RFP's much wider exposure and increased responses from vendors, we were able to realize the results of increased competition. The inclusion of once a week and twice a week collection as options increased the competitive bid results for both of these options."

Millwood Task Force Name Change

Last night, we voted on and passed a resolution to change the title of the Millwood Task Force to "Millwood-West End Advisory Board". This Advisory Board will protect the interests of the residents on the West End of the Town of New Castle, as well as Millwood.

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 8/15/14

supervisorreportWaste Disposal contract

The Town Board has awarded Sani-Pro the waste disposal contract beginning 2015. This year – with old contract - we are paying $2,386,550 for once a week pick-up. Next year – with new contract – we are paying $1,908,570 for once a week pick-up. That's a $477,980 savings per year! If you recall, when we were preparing the RFP in March, I stated that we will revisit once-a-week garbage pick-up policy and renegotiate contract. Although I was criticized by many, I felt that an RFP requesting quotes for once-a-week and twice-a-week pickup will be helpful in contract negotiations. I believe that it was. Over the course of the seven (7) year contract, we are saving over $3,000,000.00. I would like to remind residents that financial assistance for in-driveway/backdoor service is available for residents age 75 or older and disabled residents age 70 or older. Please contact Town Hall for an application. With the new contract, residents will be able to monitor Sani-Pro directly. We have set up an easy to remember email for this purpose. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you to the SAB for their help in preparing the Request for Proposal and their recommendations.

Downtown Chappaqua

  • We have new icon on web site – Downtown Revitalization - to keep residents informed of the efforts to revitalize downtown Chappaqua. http://www.mynewcastle.org/index.php/helpful-links/downtown-revitalization
  • We are currently putting together a request for proposals to conduct geotechnical analysis and soil borings for the downtown town owned properties. This analysis will give us more information as to what the soil can support in relation to development potential.
  • WSP Sells, the contractor that the town has working on the downtown infrastructure and Streetscape Project, is currently conducting survey work of our town owned downtown properties which include the Town hall, the train station and the rec field.
  • WSP Sells is also moving forward collecting information and conducting analysis regarding the downtown infrastructure and Streetscape project. We are expecting preliminary designs for water lines, sewer lines, Storm water controls, Streetscape and traffic improvements this Fall.
  • The town retained AKRF, the company who conducted the Competitive Effects Analysis regarding the Chappaqua Crossing proposal on Downtown Chappaqua, to reexamine their previous report and findings in relation to most recent submission by SG Chappaqua.

Master Plan

  • The Town Board accepted a proposal from Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the company that conducted the Chappaqua school district survey, to conduct a survey for the town master plan process. PSB will begin working on the survey questions immediately with the full survey outreach to residents to occur in mid-September
  • Pace presented their Master Planning Public Engagement Report at the joint Town Board, Planning Board & Steering Committee meeting this past Tuesday.
  • The Town Board appointed Bob Lewis as the Master Plan Steering Committee Infrastructure Chair, fulfilling the remaining term of Hala Makowska.
  • TB will be soon issuing an RFP for consultant for next phase of Master Plan process

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 9/5/14

supervisorreportDepartment of Public Works: Completed Tasks and Project

I am proud to report that since the appointment of Gerard Moerschell to lead the Department of Public Works ("DPW") four months ago, various tasks and projects have been implemented and completed. A large number of these projects have languished for years. This is in addition to regularly scheduled maintenance and daily operations by the various units within the department.

  • Repaved 10 Roads throughout Town of New Castle
  • Updated IT System at DPW
  • Installed a New Telephone System
  • Installed Security Cameras in DPW Buildings
  • Updated Wireless Communication
  • Secured Contract for Solid Waste Removal
  • Secured EPA Funding for Wash Bay
  • Secured Contract for Town Hall Carpeting
  • Secured Contract for Cleaning Service
  • Secured Contract for Purchasing of Vehicles
  • Placed Sign Holder in Chappaqua Triangle
  • Road Reclamation and Repaving (completed on time and within budget)
  • Application of Seal Coat Before Road Paving
  • Training in Ice & Snow Control Safety and Operations
  • Training in Worker Zone Safety
  • Training in Backhoe and Frontend Loader Operations
  • Secured Contract for Annandale Culvert Replacement
  • Completed the Annandale Culvert Replacement
  • Completed Alpine Tank Rehabilitation
  • Moved "Take It or Leave It"' Shed
  • Secured Contract for Road Pavement Marking
  • Erected Utility Shed for DWP Wash Bay
  • Installed Concrete Pad for Emergency Generator for Hudson Hills Sewer Lift Station

 

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Town of New Castle Supervisor's Report 7/25/14

supervisorreportI first want to acknowledge that the Planning Board is working very hard on their comments regarding the Chappaqua Crossing application, and we look forward to hearing those comments. I believe another joint meeting with the Planning Board would be helpful and productive. This is the biggest application facing the town in decades and we must work together to get it right.

 We heard a presentation from Ben Lieberman on distracting driving, a topic that unfortunately is of great importance to him since the tragic passing of his nineteen (19) year old son Evan after a car accident caused by distracted driving. Evan's parents have set up an organization to combat distracted driving known as "DORCs"--"Distracted Operators Risk Casualties." DORCs is committed to changing behavior through educating the public, advocating for enforcement and fighting for legislation. Keep the DORCs off the road! Additionally, the entire Lieberman family has organized a non-profit called "Evan's Team", to raise funds and awareness for community concerns and issues. You can learn more about DORCs at http://www.dorcs.org

We approved the Amendment of Chapter 123 of our Town Code to change the free parking in town from two (2) hours to three (3) hours.

We approved the appointment of the following volunteers to the Mandate Relief Committee, each for a three year term:

Judy McGrath – Chair
Warren Gottlieb
Neil Skolnick
Enid Leikin
James McCauley – Alternate

We approved the upgrade of the Town's NIXLE contract to add features which include the ability to publish a NIXLE feed on the website, social media integration, and geographic targeting.

Congratulations to Mark Gallagher on his appointment to the position of Police Officer with the Town of New Castle Police Department.

Congratulations to Police Officer Kelly Close on his promotion to the rank of Sergeant.