- As you are aware, the Development Plan Steering Committee has been formed and is set to meet this month. The agenda for the first meeting will include a review of the Steering Committee’s role and responsibilities, a review of the existing development plan, review of land use and a tentative master plan update time frame. The agenda includes two important elements to move the master plan forward. The first is the identification of information that is currently missing from the 1989 Development Plan and the second is to review the draft background study and map related to land use.
Moving forward and as background studies are produced in draft form, Sabrina Charney Hull, our Planner, plans to recommend that the Steering Committee review the draft reports and identify the work groups who will focus on the policy formation related to each of the studies. For example, the current plan contains policies related to residential land use. Once the county has produced a draft background study related to residential land use, the Steering committee will appoint a work group to focus on whether or not the existing policies are still applicable and whether or not new policies are required. Solicitation for work group members can also occur through postings on the Town’s website. The plan is to have a master plan update email for folks to submit letters of interest as well.
With the first meeting of the Steering Committee about to occur, the process has officially begun. The next update should include information related to timeframes.
- The Town Board received word that FEMA and NYS will reimburse the Town for 100% of the costs related to the repair of the Annandale Culvert damaged during Storm Irene in the amount of $100,000. Design work is about to begin on this project.
- On Thursday, March 21, I am meeting with Con Edison’s Emergency Management Group and the Coordinator of the Municipal Liaison Program. They have produced maps reflecting the feeders that go through our Town and will be delivering these maps to us. We have asked for these maps and look forward to going over these maps with Con Ed. I will have lined up the appropriate staff to be present to review these maps with their team.
- The Town is coming into the home stretch in selling its $7,870,000 Public Improvement Serial Bonds and its $5,429,051 Refunding Bonds. We expect to meet with Moody’s within the next 10 days and will learn if we are able to maintain our Aaa rating. I look forward to reporting a positive outcome of our evaluation to the Board.
- I wanted to provide a brief update on ORBR. The NYS DEC has not yet approved the year 4 project, which includes ORBR. At a recent meeting of the EOH WC our Planner specifically raised the priority of ORBR and the Engineer for EOH VW confirmed that this project is considered high priority because of the attention that the Town has placed on the project.
The EOH W Executive Committee agreed that a municipality can move forward and contract with consultants to do some of the work on a project as long as the various components complied with public bid specifications. For us this would mean survey work and wetlands delineation. We have to approach private landowners to ascertain whether or not they will be cooperative and provde easements. There are two owners along ORBR whose property will be affected by drainage improvements.
Once DEC approves the project, the Town can start discussions with the property owners and then determine if we can move forward to get the survey work and wetland delineation underway. It is not in the Town’s best interest to start this work without knowing if the DEC supports the project. We now must wait to hear from DEC. Our Planner, Sabrina Charney Hull, has been following up on this with the EOH WC Engineer.
- Staff has been trying to place a new sign in the triangle in the middle of Town. We had proposed a three part sign, which DOT’s Department of Traffic, Safety and Mobility told us that “the only part of this sign proposal that would be allowed under the …Gateway Policy is the one sign stating Town of New Castle-Chappaqua. The events signing would not be allowed”. We had hoped to present to the Board a larger sign that would allow for the presentation of more events. But that is a no “go”. So the sign that DOT is now considering would be exactly like the one that appears in Millwood. In order to get approval for that sign, we have submitted a highway Work Permit and a Use and Occupancy Permit. We submitted this on February 19th. Approval, if granted, takes approximately 2 months.
- Last but certainly not least, we have posted on our website information that was provided to us by the Millwood Fire Department after they met with the Board shortly after Storm Sandy. At that meeting, the Chappaqua Fire Department was not able to attend because they were out on a call. But have since met with the Town Board. In the interim the Fire Departments had a great presentation about fire safety at the Library. Tonight, the Fire Departments are going to repeat that presentation for those present and for the viewing public. There is much good information and much to be learned.
That’s it for tonight.
Penelle M. Paderewski
Town Administrator, Town of New Castle