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!
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.
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.
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.
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.