Last Updated: 31 May 2020 31 May 2020
We have aggregated and/or streamlined all prior communications on this page as follows. Updates will be made regularly, so please check back frequently if you are interacting with Town departments. Please visit our COVID-19 Publications folder for downloads.
NY State Governor Cuomo has put NY State on PAUSE (click here for Details): All non-essential workers are directed to work from home, and everyone is required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public. - Sign up for NYS Coronovirus Updates
Information for Small Businesses from the Small Business Association regarding the Economic Injury Disaster Loan
What to Know About Town Services THIS WEEK: May 25 - May 31 (updated May 31, 2020)
By Dana Levenberg, Town Supervisor
Ossining is part of the Mid-Hudson region, which has entered Phase 1 of the reopening process. This phase does not include retail or indoor seating at restaurants. Naturally, many businesses have questions about how they can prepare for the eventual reopening and when that date may come. Reopening is going to look different for every business. New York State has released guidelines for Phase One businesses, including templates for workplace safety plans, affirmations that are required to be signed by business owners, and a lot more helpful information. The current requirements place a two-week monitoring period between each phase so a sharp increase in case numbers can be prevented. Employers will be responsible for providing all necessary protection for employees and operate at reduced capacity in order to maintain social distancing practices.
**Important Update Regarding Town/County Taxes Due April 30, 2020**
We are pleased to announce that thanks to special emergency authorizations issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, County Executive George Latimer and the County Board of Legislators, the Town of Ossining is offering property taxpayers relief on their 2020 Town/County taxes due April 30, 2020. Options are available for late payments made on or before July 15, 2020. While the deadline for payment remains April 30, 2020, penalties for late payments have been substantially reduced for all taxpayers to .5% if payment is received in May 2020 and 1% if payment is received in June or through July 15, 2020. And for those who qualify for a hardship based upon criteria established by the County Executive, penalties will be waived in their entirety for payments received by July 15, 2020. Please note, these modified late penalties are only for payments made or postmarked by July 15, 2020 and those payments made after July 15, 2020 will be subject to standard penalty rates set forth in State and County law.
This only applies to those taxpayers who have not yet paid their Town/County taxes and no refunds can be given for payments already received.
Please visit the links below to see if you qualify for the hardship waiver during these difficult times.
Town services represent only one of the many aspects of your life that you likely have questions about in light of the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. As we all work together to overcome this challenge, we ask for your continued patience and support for the Town’s employees, some of whom are still ‘on the job’ as essential service providers, and most others who are working remotely, in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order that municipalities should only have 50% of staff in-person at this time.
We know the strain has put many people in difficult situations. The Town is here to help! Please call, email, or reach out online if you have any questions or concerns. As community support groups continue to offer services, we’re participating in managing an additional resource page with frequently updated information.
For some good news: vital services remain intact, starting with our dedicated emergency services and garbage pickup. Our Senior Nutrition program continues to offer home delivered meals and daily R-U-OK calls. However, senior citizen programs have been cancelled and congregate meals are not being offered at this time. The Caputo Recreation Center has been temporarily repurposed and remains closed to the public. In addition to home delivered meals for seniors, we have been working with the Village of Ossining and Feeding Westchester to offer food pickup at the following locations with the following schedule for this week (click image for high resolution view):
This week’s Town Board Meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Click here to join us at 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Members of the public can listen to the meeting by dialing in via phone: (929) 205-6099. The Meeting ID is 872 1306 7268. Please note, your phone number will be visible to the hosts, participants, and attendees. As a reminder, the Town has suspended Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings.
Curbside pick-ups for the Food Scrap Recycling program is ongoing. Last week, we announced that we were resuming sales of Residential Starter Kits for the Town's Food Scrap Recycling Program with online payment and curbside pickup. So far, many of you have taken advantage of this new offering -- we are so excited! Click here to purchase your residential kit. A few important notes:
- Orders placed online before 5pm will be available for pick up between 10am and 12noon the following day at Cedar Lane Arts Center.
- Please include your telephone number in the “Instructions to Seller” on PayPal so you can be reached by Town staff.
- Pick up orders outside of Cedar Lane Arts Center. Your order will be labeled with your name. Please do not go inside the Arts Center as it remains closed to the public. If you have any questions about your delivery, please call (914) 762-6001.
- This service will be available 6 days/week from Monday through Saturday.
- Food Scraps can continue to be dropped off during park hours (dawn to dusk, 7 days/week). Please be cautious and exercise social distancing during drop offs. If someone else is currently at the drop off site, consider waiting in your vehicle until that person has finished dropping off their food scraps. Be courteous of others during this difficult time. If you have any issues, please let us know.
Online payments are an exciting (but unexpected) new offering, so please be patient as we get this off the ground!
The Town Clerk's Office has also launched a new online application. You can now submit an application for a Marriage License. Click here to fill out the application. The Town Clerk will be in touch with applicants for specific follow-up instructions.
Services and resources that are currently closed include parks and recreational areas to gatherings of people, the Cedar Lane Arts Center, the cemeteries, and the Town Justice Court which has been administratively closed by New York State.
Town residents have continued to call our departmental offices with inquiries and requests for items like documents. The current Executive Order requires that only essential services can be fully-staffed at this time; however, the remainder of our employees are working from home, and most tasks may be able to be accomplished remotely. Please call the appropriate departmental office – all main office phone numbers are being forwarded to a staff member at home. However, please be patient, and leave a message and wait for a return call if staff is not immediately available.
Thank you to all our residents for cooperating during this difficult time. I continue to be inspired by your commitment to slowing the spread and protecting our first responders, essential workers, and vulnerable populations in our community.
Frequently Asked Questions from our Residents
Yes. All departments are either having phone calls forwarded to a staff member working from home or messages are being monitored regularly and your call will be returned within 24 to 48 hours. If you have difficulty reaching any department via phone, please call the Town Supervisor’s Office at (914) 762-6001. Here are the main phone numbers for Town Departments:
- Assessor: (914) 762-8274
- Town Clerk: (914) 762-8428
- Senior Nutrition Program: (914) 762-1350
- Town Supervisor: (914) 762-6001
- Tax Office: (914) 762-8790
- Building Department: (914) 762-8419
- Highway: (914) 941-2241
- Recreation Department/Community Center: (914) 941-3189
- Dale Cemetery: (914) 941-1155
Has the exemption deadline of May 1st been extended?
Not at this time, if it changes we will post it on the Town’s web site.
How can I submit my exemption application while the offices are closed?
How can I update a mailing address or escrow account?
How can I get a copy of my deed?
Land records are the responsibility of the County Clerk, you may obtain deeds online at: https://www.westchesterclerk.com/land-records
Are property tax due dates impacted by the Coronavirus disruption?
No. The next property tax due date of April 30 is still intact. Property tax regulations are set by the State of New York and as of this writing, no collection date changes have been mandated by the Governor’s Office. The Town of Ossining does NOT have the authority to make any collection changes.
How are property tax payments impacted by the current shelter-in-place rules?
Most important to know is that our offices are closed; please do not attempt to make payments in-person. You can drop a payment into the Town’s dedicated mail slot at the Ossining Post Office, mail your tax payment to our offices, use your bank’s bill pay service (include parcel # on the check) or, as many do, simply make an electronic payment using the Town of Ossining Tax Bill Online Payment.
I heard Dale Cemetery and Sparta Cemetery are closed. Can I still visit the gravesite of a loved one?
Yes, similar to our parks, the cemeteries are closed to avoid large gatherings of people. If you would like to visit a loved one, please do so alone and not in a large group. Attendance at burials is also limited at this time.
Is St. Augustine’s Cemetery closed?
St. Augustine’s Cemetery is not Town-owned property, so the Town has no jurisdiction over closing St. Augustine’s Cemetery, especially in light of the Governor’s orders that municipal government closures could not supersede State closures. However, Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE New York rules still apply – gatherings of people of any size are restricted at this time, even on private property.
I need certain personal documents that only the Town can provide, but the offices are closed. These are critical documents that can’t wait; how do I get what I need?
I have an upcoming court date but the courts are closed. What does this mean? Will I be penalized?
The courts are currently closed but any pending cases postponed by this closure will not result in financial penalties. We hope the courts will reopen by roughly May 1, and new scheduling notices will go out to all individuals with pending cases.
Are parking rules suspended?
Parking rules remain in effect so garbage pickup and street cleaning can continue. There is an extension until further notice for expiring permits. Leave your tag in the window.
I live in the unincorporated area of town. Are highway services still being provided? What happens if we have a major storm and heavy equipment is required?
All highway services continue to be provided. If there is a major storm, we are currently prepared to deploy as many essential staff members as necessary to ensure the safety of the community.
Is refuse and recycling pick up continuing?
Yes, Suburban Carting continues to provide regular refuse and recycling pick up to the unincorporated area of the Town. You can view the refuse and recycling collection schedule online or download the app to your phone.
Why are the parks and recreation areas closed? What areas of the parks are closed?
All tennis and basketball courts, playgrounds, pavilions, dog parks, and other gathering areas are closed. This change is intended to enforce Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE New York rules, which restrict gatherings of any size. The parks are still open for solitary activities, like running, walking, hiking, cycling, etc. We encourage our community to get out and get fresh air through solitary activities. Social distancing rules are still in place and masks should be worn to avoid community spread.
Is the Food Scraps Program at Cedar Lane Park open?
The drop off site at Cedar Lane Park is still open. However, we encourage you to sign up for the Ossining Composts mailing list in the event the drop off site needs to be closed. Residential kits are available for online sale and curbside pickup. Click here to purchase your kit online.
Please note that according to Executive Orders by Governor Cuomo, all non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job.
How can I access a Building Department Application or Permit Form?
Our Building Department Applications and Permit Forms are available on our website. The forms are available online.
How can I submit an application if offices are closed?
Applicants can mail in application and permit forms with required documentation and a check. Please provide an email and phone number with your submittal.
Are inspections going on as scheduled?
Currently, only outdoor inspections are being scheduled. Indoor inspections are on a case by case basis. Call the office for information.
How are meals currently being provided to seniors?
Home delivered meals are being provided to seniors that live alone. To learn more about the program, please call the office at (914) 762-1350.
What is the R-U-OK Program? How can I sign up?
The R-U-OK Program are daily calls to seniors to check up! To learn more and sign up, please call the office at (914) 762-1350.
Can I still obtain taxi coupons?
Coupons can be purchased by mail, please call the office for more information (914) 762-1350.
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19
The State is partnering with the company Headspace to provide New Yorkers with free meditation and mindfulness resources. We can't underestimate the impact this public health crisis has on mental health. New Yorkers can access a collection of free guided meditations, along with at-home mindfulness exercises and additional resources to help address rising stress and anxiety. Visit www.headspace.com/ny
Department of Labor
The State Department of Labor will immediately make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers. New York is also extending the period covered by unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks, for a total of 39 weeks. A reminder for those who have difficulty enrolling for UI: any claim you file will be backdated to the date you became unemployed. If you are eligible, you will be paid all benefits due.
Support First Responders
To help support our First Responders, New York created the First Responders Fund. The fund will assist COVID-19 health care workers and first responders with expenses and costs, including child care. The State Department of Health is accepting donations for the fund, and received an anchor $10 million contribution from Blackstone. Donations can be made electronically at www.healthresearch.org/donation-form or by check mailed to "Health Research, Inc., 150 Broadway, Suite 560, Menands, NY 12204." Donors should specify the donation is for "COVID-19 NYS Emergency Response."
Student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services' website for more information about available student loan relief.
Advisory For Those Being Released From Isolation
New York State has released an additional advisory for persons being released from isolation. This document indicates when exposed persons can safely return to work. Westchester’s Department of Health has updated its coronavirus help page to include this advisory, as well as a series of frequently asked questions regarding isolation. These documents can be found here.
If a person exposed to or infected with coronavirus finds that their employer requires proof that they are eligible to return to work, letters may be requested here.
Governor Cuomo has issue an Executive Order to ensure New Yorkers can vote by absentee ballot in the June 23rd elections. No one should have to choose between their health and their civic duty.
Westchester County’s effort to connect small businesses with federal resources continues. Bridget Gibbons, Director of Economic Development, is soliciting volunteers to help staff this program. If you are interested in supporting this endeavor, more information is available here.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer, through the Office of Economic Development, is conducting a survey to assess the economic impacts related to COVID-19. We strongly encourage Westchester businesses to take the survey. The survey results will inform strategies to speed recovery and will shape emergency relief programs and support. The survey window closes April 10. The survey is available here.
For the latest information on COVID-19 in Westchester County, visit the Health Department Website https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus
NY State Department of Financial Services issued a directive to mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus.
The directive includes:
- Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
- No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
- Grace period for loan modification;
- No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
- Postponing or suspending foreclosures.
Additionally, DFS has instructed state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.
A copy of the DFS mortgage directive is available at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/industry_guidance/industry_letters/il20200319_coronavirus_mortgage_relief
A copy of the fee directive is available at https://www.dfs.ny.gov/industry_guidance/industry_letters/il20200319_consumer_support_coronavirus
An online tool to help you determine what is recommended for your Safety
The Westchester County Department of Health has added an online tool to help residents determine whether they should be in quarantine, isolation or exercise caution, depending on their potential exposure to COVID-19. The tool, known as the COVID Determination Tree, will ask a series of questions to help people define if they are subject to an Order of Isolation, an Order of Quarantine, or if it’s recommended that they Self-Quarantine.
Access the COVID Determination Tree https://coviddeterminationtree.westchestergov.com/covidDeterminationTree/
Upon answering a series of seven questions, participants will be prompted with cautionary measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The survey only takes a few minutes.
While there are known cases of COVID-19 in New York State, including Westchester County, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains low. If widespread cases were to occur in our area, most people are likely to experience mild to moderate disease with full recovery. In addition to staying informed, you can reduce your risk of becoming infected by taking proper prevention measures similar to what is recommended to avoid the common cold and flu.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause either mild illness, such as a cold, or can make people sick with pneumonia.
A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Recently, a novel (new) coronavirus called COVID-19 was detected in thousands of people worldwide, primarily in China. Multiple cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. and it is expected that more cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the future. For the most recent case information, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary webpage.
Many of the initial patients with COVID-19 in China had links to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, cases being reported at this time have been occurring through person-to-person spread. The virus is thought to spread mainly:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The most common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Anyone who has traveled to a CDC Level 3 destination (one that is experiencing widespread sustained transmission of COVID-19) should self-quarantine at home for 14 days following their return. For the most recent travel alerts, visit the CDC Coronoavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage. You should monitor your symptoms and call your health care provider if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing. If you need to go to your doctor’s office or an emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. The same precautions should be taken if you have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19. You should also avoid contact with others.
New York Sate is now able to perform testing for COVID-19. All testing performed on patients in Westchester County must be approved by the Westchester County Department of Health. The CDC has developed specific criteria for who can be tested for COVID-19. As the situation evolves, the criteria may change. For the most current testing criteria, visit the CDC Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation (PUI) webpage.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. There is also no specific treatment for COVID-19 disease at this time. However, most people will recover on their own after resting and drinking plenty of fluids. To relieve symptoms, people with the virus can take pain and fever medication, use a room humidifier or take hot showers to help ease a sore throat and cough.
You should take the same precautions that you would during cold and flu season:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue (not your hands), then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wear a mask in public spaces
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a cleaning product that contains bleach
Surgical and homemade masks (thick enough to not be see-through) reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 infection through respiratory droplets. Due to the number of people who due not present symptoms, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in public spaces. In addition, N95 respirator masks are not recommended for the general public and should only be worn by health care workers who have been properly fitted for them.
If you are planning to travel, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel webpage for the latest travel advisories related to COVID-19.