Thank you Madam Supervisor and good evening everyone.
1. Tomorrow night there will be a Community Seminar presented by Lynsey White Dasher, who is an Urban Wildlife Specialist with the Humane Society, called "Living with Coyotes in New Castle". I understand from the Chief of Police, Charles Ferry, who arranged for this presentation that although Ms. Dasher may cover some of the ground we previously heard earlier, she will have some other information in this workshop for us. It's tomorrow night at 7 p.m. in the Chappaqua Library.
We are not the only municipality that needed to learn more about coyotes and how our own Police could better help our residents. Our Chief arranged with other municipal police departments to get trained along side our department. Tomorrow training for police departments will take place here so that police personnel here and in surrounding communities can aid their residents when they get calls about coyotes. This was a great initiative taken by our Chief.
We promised a map for tracking of coyotes! It is up and running. Lyle Anderson, our ever wonderful volunteer who helps us with so much and our Chief, worked together and if you go to our regular website, mynewcastle.org, you can get directions how to get to the coyote tracker website or to go directly, just use coyote.mynewcastle.org.
2. Our Beautification Advisory Board has been busy. Perhaps you have been by Marion Place. Have you noticed a new structure there? The BAB has recommended a kiosk to acknowledge merchants and others who want to help beautiful New Castle. The kiosk was designed by Wally Toscano. It was built by our own carpenter, Chip Fowler and Patrick Morrissey Contracting donated and installed the beautiful copper roofing. We are waiting for the center board to come in and then it will be complete. It is a lovely addition to our little seating area and a great way to let others know who is helping to make the Town look good!
The BAB is also having a Beautiful Landscape Contest. It is asking you to submit photos of your front garden or your neighbors by July 31st to Town Hall.
3. Highridge/Croton Water District is scheduled to go "live" on Monday, July 1st in the afternoon. For those of you who are not aware, this area of New Castle has been getting water from Mt. Kisco for years and been paying double rates. Earlier this year we were able to work with both the residents of this area and Mt. Kisco to bring our residents home. You can read my earlier reports on line for the history of this transaction.
4. Con Ed is planning to repair gas mains on both Marcourt and Chappaqua Mountain Roads. This project has been planned to replace gas mains that have had suspected gas leaks. We have been informed by Con Ed that these leaks have not considered hazardous at this point but this is their proactive approach to any future problems. The Marcourt work will start first.
5. As a result of the new Quaker Bridge, the Town inherited a new island that requires some degree of maintenance. Robert Snyder, our Superintendent of Recreation and Parks, tells me that this island was never included in the inventory of islands that require maintenance and that the only plant material that was included in the landscaping plan was Tulips. But there are several short and long term goals going forward. In the short term, the Parks department has hand weeded the island and carefully removed the dying Tulip stems and has not placed wood chips in the entire area. For the long term, Bob has spoken to the Garden Club and they have indicated that they would be interested in creating a beautiful landscape for all the residents to enjoy. So we can all look forward to this.
6. On Friday the NY Department of State announced over $12 million in Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program (LGPEP) grant assistance in recognition of the recurring financial saving generated by 13 projects. The grants will be distributed in equal parts over three years and are contingent upon continued demonstration of savings. A competitive program. LGPEP rewards local governments for undertaking significant and innovative actions that reduce the property tax burden confronting residents. The Town saves $200,000 per year by going to 1x per week garbage pickup and we are receiving $194,313 over three years in our grant award.
7. On June 18th I attended the Westchester County Municipal Executive Tabletop Exercise called Hurricane Leslie. Westchester officials went through a three part problem solving exercise on how we would handle another large storm. What we learned from our past experience and what we would do now. We shared experiences and discussed new technology, as well as improved relationship with Con Ed, Verizon and asked for more support from DOT. We also had a good opportunity to network with our neighboring communities and had some helpful takeaways.
8. Governor Cuomo announced, in a letter we received on June 25th, a new Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist local governments mitigate the risks of loss and damage associated with future disasters, and reduce hardship. Over $500M is expected to be available for the program. A Letter of Interest is due by July 5th. Staff met this morning and reviewed what types of mitigation initiatives we could apply for. We will be applying for a generator for the Community Center (and have sent the information to the Library since they may also want to apply), funds to rebuild the slope embankment and retaining walls along Hawkes Avenue to protect the road and prevent road failure; funds to repair and increase capacity of drainage along Allapartus Road, near NYS Route 134 and Spring Valley Road, to reduce flooding and icing conditions (increased drainage capacity is needed to meet drainage needs); and funding to increase drainage capacity and upgrade outdated drainage (catch basins and pipe) along spring Valley Road, near town of Ossining border, to reduce flood conditions.
That's it for tonight.
Penelle M. Paderewski
Town Administrator, Town of New Castle