New Castle Supervisor's Report - 10/29/2019
Town Supervisor, New Castle
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
Tonight we will hold our 4th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. New Castle is a wonderful community with great small businesses, first-class schools, great parks and nature preserves. But the life blood of our town flows because of our volunteers. Above all else, our greatest resources are our residents who give their time and energy to civic and community causes. Our volunteers are not compensated for their contributions, but their efforts are what makes our town a community.
As we have done in the past, we’ve chosen a volunteer whose work is emblematic of the spirit we all admire. Jim McCauley’s resume brings to us a lifetime of service. Jim served in the US Army from 1966 to 1971 as a Captain in US Army Special Forces serving two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star, three Army Commendation Medals, one for Valor, as well as other medals. Jim has been a resident of the Town of New Castle since 1978. Jim served as the Chief of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) from 2003 to 2011. Jim is known to so many residents for all he’s done over the years in our famous march down King Street hill to the train station. He has been the Marshal of the New Castle Memorial Day Committee since 1998. For the past 19 years, Jim has kept the community laser focused on the meaning of Memorial Day. A day to remember and honor those who died in active military service. There are no political speeches, just special recognition of our fallen heroes. Thank you, Captain McCauley, for your service to your county and your community.
Thanks to all the Candidates in the Arena
Running for political office is a major commitment of time and energy. Those who brave the slings and arrows deserve our respect and gratitude, even when we disagree with them. We must be thankful to those who throw their hats in the ring. As I have done before, I offer this quote from President Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Best of luck to all the candidates. Information about our local election & early voting can be found on our incredible League of Women Voters website.
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
They completed the bluestone in front of Ibiza. They competed the stairs on the side of Ibiza (to the back parking lot). They installed the brick pavers on South Greeley from the alley to Great Stuff, from Great Stuff to Ibiza & from George’s Men Shop to Waka. They installed new stoops at Villarina’s, Compass Realty & The King’s Scribe. Steps for Sotheby’s will be poured next week. Next week they will be fabricating temporary steps at 1 South Greeley. Our new signs will be installed next week. Final paving was completed. Road striping has started, and will continue next week, weather permitting. This week they started to peel & remove the temporary white cap joints in the sidewalks. Next week they will start caulking. They have not installed brick pavers by Starbucks as that sidewalk will be modified. Additional bollards were installed. The 5th pedestrian pole will be installed next week. Once the 5th pedestrian pole is installed, they can power up the traffic light. We finally received DOT approval to install our solar powered pedestrian beacons by Lange’s & the North County Trailway in Millwood. They have been ordered. Decorative street lights have been powered up. The charging station on the sides of the sitting wall by Great Stuff were installed. Tables & chairs have been placed on lower King. In the Spring, we’ll add umbrellas. There are also plans to replace the trees at the end of lower King. We will remove existing trees and replant trees that are more appropriate for the area & provide better screening from the railroad track. As many have noticed we paved a portion of Allen Place, next summer we plan on paving the Allen Place parking lot. Tables & chairs have been placed on the pedestrian plaza by Great Stuff. We are looking into commissioning a mural on the white wall near the seating plaza. The benches & our 27 new planters have been placed. Grass was replanted were needed. They continue to work on punch list items. We are aware of some cracked sidewalks, and those will be repaired or replaced.
I just wanted to give thanks again to our incredible Streetscape Committee for all the design elements that residents are finally able to see & appreciate. They patiently waited for the infrastructure improvements to be completed before the fruits of their labor came to fruition. The Streetscape Committee, under the leadership of Adam Brodsky, was responsible for the decorative light poles, traffic pole, pedestrian poles, bollards, benches, planters, sidewalks, brick pavers, plaza layouts, clock, sitting walls, brick alleys, trash & recycle bins, tree grates, signage, tables, chairs, umbrellas & charging stations. Their efforts will be appreciated for decades to come. They should all be incredibly proud. Thank you!
- Adam Brodsky
- Robert Schenkel
- Beth Kuck-Hundgen
- Phyllis Furnari
- Dana Berk
- Monica De Janosi
- Lauren Lagman Levin
Ribbon Cutting for the Infrastructure & Streetscape - Sat., Nov 16th
Our ribbon cutting for the Infrastructure & Streetscape Improvement is scheduled for Sat., Nov 16th,11am – 3pm. The event will include sidewalk sales, music, art, food, a scavenger hunt & more. A celebration of everything local! Come celebrate our wonderful community! This event will coincide with the launch of DiscoverChappaqua.com. This new website that will highlight all that Chappaqua has to offer - a great place to shop, eat & live. The web site will also highlight the streetscape improvements. Thank you Dana Berk, Linda Fears, Peg Sackler & Ivy Pool for their work on the web site, and Monique Banks for her expertise with the festival.
Downtown Chappaqua Rezoning
Our consultants have been moving forward with compiling our draft Form-Based zoning Code. The rezoning is specifically to address the goals of the 2017 Comprehensive Plan focused on revitalizing the Chappaqua Hamlet and providing different types of housing and varying income levels. We have already learned that 3 story buildings are not economically feasible to redevelop. If we are to revitalize Chappaqua, building heights of at least 4 stories must be considered. It’s expected that by the end of the year the Downtown Working Group will be reviewing the first draft of legislation which will be the basis for developing a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SEQRA). Once SEQRA is complete and public hearings are held, the new legislation will be considered for adoption - most likely Spring of 2020. Read more about the Chappaqua Hamlet Rezoning Project and watch the meetings here.
Inclusive Playground / Basketball Court
We received bids from 6 contractors. We hope to award the contract next week. Construction is planned to start in 2020 & complete spring/summer. This will be New Castle’s first all-inclusive playground. This playground will allow kids of all ages and all abilities to play & have a good time together. The 84-by-50-foot basketball court will be located in the back corner of the lot near Recreation Field. We plan to use the basketball court for pickleball as well. Additional parking will be added to the front parking lot at Town Hall to offset the loss of spaces in the back.
Our New EPIC Ambassadors!
Our incredible Every Person is Connected (“EPIC”) Committee works to promote inclusion within our community no matter what our neighbor's ability or disability. Consistent with their mission, at their recommendation, last night the Town Board authorized the creation of the EPIC Ambassador program. EPIC Ambassadors are kids, teens and adults with special needs who live in our community, and volunteer their time to be our advocates for inclusion. Their role is to participate in town and school events to shine the spotlight on their abilities and show how inclusion can work more robustly in our community. They have created a Facebook Page to introduce and showcase our EPIC Ambassadors, to keep the community informed of the events they are participating in, and as a springboard for ideas on how to continue to build inclusion in our community.
Please join us on Wed., November 6th, @ 6pm, at the Gazebo in downtown Chappaqua, to dedicate the New Castle Holocaust Memorial. The New Castle Holocaust Memorial will be opened in conjunction with the brand new New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee. The opening of the Memorial will coincide with and commemorate Kristallnacht. The New Castle Holocaust Memorial will serve as a place where individuals and families can come together to learn, to remember, and to reflect on lessons from the Holocaust. Last week many residents came out to plant 760 daffodils at the memorial. The Daffodil Project hopes to plant 1.5 million Daffodils in memory of the children who perished in the Holocaust. Thank you Ali Rosenberg, Stacey Saiontz & Manzer Landscape Design & Development.
New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee
Last night we created the New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee. This committee will work to educate our children and create community awareness about the Holocaust, other genocides and human rights violations. This committee will work with other groups and organizations to educate the children of the community to never forget the horrors of the Holocaust and other genocides. They will also work to promote the teaching of Human Rights in our schools. This committee will be co-chaired by Alexandra Rosenberg & Stacey Saiontz. If interested in serving on the New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee, please email Town Administrator Jill Shapiro.
Barton and LoGuidice attended our work session last week to present the preliminary plan for the ChapLine, a multiuse trail that connects downtown Chappaqua with Chappaqua Crossing. Here’s their presentation. We also discussed a resolution retaining Barton & LoGuidice for grant writing services to complete the Hudson River Valley Trail Grant Program. The ChapLine would help revitalize downtown Chappaqua! This path would connect over 400 households to downtown Chappaqua. It would make downtown Chappaqua more walkable & environmentally friendly by encouraging biking and walking. It would allow more people to walk/bike to the train station, and allow more kids to walk to school – both Bell & Horace Greeley High School. It’s also 100% consistent with our 2019 Comprehensive Plan! If done right, this can & should be a win for the community and a win for the resident who live near the trail. That must be our goal!
2020 Preliminary Budget
The budget hearing will likely be scheduled for December 3, 2019. This budget proposes 1.78% percent increase in the tax rate which translates to a $29.68 annual increase for the average homeowner. We have increased paving by $200,000 bringing the total to $1.1 million dollars.
We have also budgeted for a Hamlet Caretaker for the newly installed downtown street improvements. Funding has been maintained for the following:
- BAB budget: $25,000
- Arts and Culture Committee: $5,000
- Boards and Commissions: $5,000
- Public Safety: $10,000
- Special Events: $36,000
I would like to thank Rob Deary & Jill Shapiro for their guidance & experience throughout this budget process, as well as the 5 prior budgets. It is my privilege to work among these professionals and the Town is fortunate to have such dedicated staff working tirelessly on its behalf.
Happy to report that Market Place will be coming to Chappaqua Crossing , Market Place is a farm to table restaurant. Verizon Wireless will soon be opening as well. Starbucks is currently doing their build-out.
Use this email to report downtown construction issues and potholes. For potholes, residents can still use Pothole@MyNewCastle.org Residents or a new pothole report form on the website.
Double Pole Legislation
Last week we held a public hearing for our Double Pole legislation. A double utility pole situation occurs when an old or damaged utility pole is left in a municipal right-of-way after a replacement utility pole is installed. We had originally introduced this legislation local law in 2017, and held a public hearing on the proposed law. The public hearing was then adjourned to provide an opportunity for the utility companies to remove the poles. While the utility companies have removed a number of double poles over the last two years, there are still hundreds that remain. Thank you to Councilman Jeremy Saland for pushing this legislation
Inningwood Pump Station
Due to NYC DEP repairs to the Catskill infrastructure, the Inningwood Pump Station will soon be put into service. During these repairs, our water source will switch from the Catskill Aqueduct to the Croton Aqueduct. I want to thank our incredible DPW Department for working diligently to complete upgrades to the Inningwood Pump Station to handle the switch. Testing will take place this week with a change-over date of Nov 9th.