I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people involved in moving our great Town forward: from the staff who take pride in their jobs, to the department heads who work with their employees to ensure our residents get the services they need and deserve from their local government, the result is a high level of customer service and responsiveness. We pride ourselves on our transparency and our goal is to serve our residents the best we can, making what can sometimes be complicated processes as clear as we can and answering any questions to the best of our ability, whether they’re selling a home or starting a business.

The Town of Ossining takes its responsibility very seriously when it comes to making sure we protect the interests of all of the taxpayers of Ossining. We believe that it is our responsibility to reduce the liability of the taxpayers whenever possible- this is not politically motivated, but rather, in the interest of fairness to all of our residents and protecting them from needless risk.

Town Hall Meeting

July 15th, 2014

Ossining Library

7:30 PM

Agenda: Presentation and discussion on the RFP for Police Services

RFP for Police Services for the Unincorporated Area of the Town of Ossining

3 ½ years ago, the Town of Ossining determined that it was in the best interest of the taxpayers of the Unincorporated Area to consolidate their Police department. Westchester County Department of Public Safety was chosen and we have not received any complaints about the services. To the contrary, we have gotten compliments on response times and the attentiveness of officers to Town concerns. Since this was a four year contract, we decided that we should release an  pdf Request for Proposal (RFP) (140 KB) for the next contract- it was hand delivered to our two Villages (Ossining and Briarcliff Manor), and was also delivered to Westchester County.   The RFP was advertised as required and several security companies have picked up the RFP, but one of our requirements is that only established police departments may submit a proposal.

The RFPs are due back NO later than June 30th, 2014, at which time they will be reviewed by the Board. We will post these returned RFPs on the web page and they will be available in hard copy at the Town Clerk’s office (first floor of 16 Croton Ave.), and our July 15th, 2014 Town Hall Meeting will have this item on as its major agenda item. We want to hear from the residents of the Unincorporated Area after we do a presentation of what each department has proposed to perform our required services, and at what cost. We know this time of year finds many of you away on vacation, so I encourage residents to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with opinions and comments concerning this matter (or any other!). The entire Board looks forward to hearing you weigh in on this issue as we evaluate the proposals.

Dale Cemetery

Our commitment to all the families with relatives in Dale Cemetery, as well as to those who may wish to purchase plots in the future, is to bring the cemetery back to the beautiful memorial park Ossining deserves. Dale Cemetery has been running self-sufficiently for the past 4 years, in large part due to multiple plot purchases by Chinese community groups- the hillside facing south with a stream at the bottom fit their requirements perfectly, and several hundred plots were pre-sold in areas that been appropriately scouted and landscaped for their purposes. These funds have been sufficient to keep the cemetery running up until now, but there will not be enough to continue running self-sufficiently beyond the 2014 budget.

We have the utmost respect for the site and want to make sure it receives the care it deserves. We owe a speedy effort to our residents with buried relatives and friends, as well as our taxpayers, and so it is essential that the Town Board act quickly and responsibly to secure funding to improve the quality of Dale and continue operations. This sensitive subject must be dealt with in the businesslike manner to accomplish these goals. At our Town Board Work Session this past Tuesday, we met with representatives from the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn/ Queens to discuss a possible partnership. Widely recognized as being a success story in turning around troubled cemeteries and managing them to realize enough income to create perpetual care funds, their track record shows a lot of promise and we’ve asked them to do some research on how they can help the Town do better. The Town is not in the cemetery business- it may be prudent for us to enter into a partnership with an organization that is, and that has been so successful in making cemeteries solvent. We are also investigating other alternatives to the current system of the not-for-profit company that has been running the Dale for the past 10 years. This is not a question of the Town not supporting Dale Cemetery, but rather of making this “department” of the Town be responsible for its spending, just like any other.

Proposed Annexation of Election Districts 17 & 20 to Briarcliff Manor from the Unincorporated Area

Your right to know!

  • Town of Ossining chooses a law firm to represent the Town in the proceedings. (Done) 
  • The Town of Ossining has chosen the Law Firm of Zarin & Steinmetz. (Done)
  • The Village of Briarcliff Manor has chosen the Law Firm of Wormser, Kiely, Galef & Jacobs, LLP. (Done)
  • The Town will establish two budget lines for the subsequent fees: 50% of the charges will be applied to the Town General fund (10 Fund), and 50% to the Unincorporated Area budget (20 Fund). (Done)
  • We received the notification from the Appellate Court  giving us a case number 2014-04282. (Done)
  • The two law firms have agreed to the following:
    • The Town’s responsive papers from Zarin and Steinmetz shall be filed no later than May 30, 2014, with copies delivered to Wormser, Kiely, Galef, & Jacobs LLP (WKGJ) by noon on May 30th as well. (Done)
    • WKGJ will have until June 9th, 2014 to file any reply papers. (Done)
    •  The return date will be June 10, 2014. (Done)
    • The Town filed its responsive papers from Zarin and Steinmetz on May 28, 2014. (Done)
    • Next steps:
      • Both parties will be called in by the Appellate Court for the purpose of exchanging information know as Discovery.   We believe this will be done anytime between now and September.
      • Both parties will learn the next steps in the process at that time.

507 North State Road

The time has come to pay the bonds we are permitted to repay! We have completed the 2013 audit process, and our Unincorporated Fund Balance has increased by $220,592 (see page 63 of the folder audit report ), which we will be using to pay off the remainder bonds that are “callable” for 507 North State Road (the old Town Police Station) that were not covered by the building’s sale of $1,475,000.

Deputy Comptroller Dale Ferreira

The breakdown of savings & payment plan can be found pdf here .

Town of Ossining 2013 AUDIT

Also at our Work Session on June 17th, 2014, Rob Daniele from the firm of O’Connor Davies came in to review the results of the pdf Town's 2013 audit  with the Town Board. He reviewed the three largest funds, including the Town General (10), Unincorporated (Town Outside the Villages) Fund (20), and the Highway Fund (31). He reported that the Town of Ossining and all of our funds are in good shape and that we should continue with our conservative and businesslike approach to government.

To get a quick snapshot of where we stand financially, please find the report on all of our funds and their balances below:

Fund Balance Amounts unallocated and available for use:

       
             

Change from

Fund Bal

Fund

Description

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2012 to 2013

% Change

                 

10

General

31,515.19

758,647.14

1,022,444.00

1,063,927.00

1,854,062.99

790,135.99

74.27%

20

Town Outside Village

435,570.66

846,266.29

980,987.00

1,263,883.00

1,530,206.45

266,323.45

21.07%

31

Highway

198,090.22

420,913.92

480,890.18

578,673.00

692,204.00

113,531.00

19.62%

32

Dale Cemetery

28,678.63

29,482.34

17,854.53

221,552.02

177,309.59

(44,242.43)

-19.97%

45

Consolidated Sewer

445,337.94

532,491.72

610,176.54

660,601.00

681,728.66

21,127.66

3.20%

50

Water

19,129.52

18,477.89

18,276.00

19,463.00

19,417.18

(45.82)

-0.24%

51

North State Sewer

0.00

921.97

1,880.63

1,432.00

2,111.91

679.91

47.48%

63

Lighting District

17,818.99

31,242.61

32,330.07

30,082.00

23,680.70

(6,401.30)

-21.28%

64

Fire District

26,634.48

94,690.39

77,251.15

55,400.00

50,436.12

(4,963.88)

-8.96%

65

Refuse & Recycling

123,976.10

150,455.57

181,987.99

161,606.00

183,225.97

21,619.97

13.38%

66

Ambulance District

13,618.22

14,901.98

15,461.09

4,392.00

24,995.07

20,603.07

469.10%

                 
   

1,340,369.95

2,898,491.82

3,439,539.18

4,061,011.02

5,239,378.64

1,178,367.62

 
             

Total Increase

 

Foreclosure Auction

On August 13th, 2014 we will be auctioning off three properties:

  1. 94 State Street
  2. Priestley Street, Lots 4 & 5
  3. Thornton Hill Lots (a 10-lot subdivision)

The bid packages for these properties will be available by the end of next week , which will contain pictures and descriptions of the properties and will announce the opening bids on each property. Please contact the Tax Receiver’s Office for more information at:

Phone (914) 762-8790
Fax (914) 762-0635
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Town has no interest in entering the real estate business (which would be the likely conclusion if we did not move forward to auction these properties or find some other solution), so there are several properties that the owner of record (sometimes a bank, but also the family themselves) asked for an extension to sell the property in order to pay the taxes (plus penalties, interest and other fines). We have granted these extensions to these property owners, under the following conditions: the property must be listed with a real estate agent, it must be readily available for inspection, and the property must have a signed contract by September 1st, 2014.

Should any of these properties not comply with the above, we are prepared to hold another auction in November 2014.

Projects going on in the Town of Ossining

PARKS

John Chervokas Spray Park at Louis Engel Park should be ready to go VERY soon. There was quite a bit of work to do on the floor of the Park, and we discovered some work that needed to be done to the plumbing as well. Watch for a special announcement as to the opening of the Spray Park for the 2014 season!

We are making progress on the design for the water recycling system at the Spray Park- the engineering contract is signed, and once the design is ready, we’ll go out to bid. Between the planning, the bid process, and Department of Health approvals, we will not have this done for 2014. The plan is to get all the paperwork done and award the project by September 2014, have the work done in the fall, and have a grand opening in spring of 2015.

Why this project?:

  • Environmentally smarter to recycle water, as opposed to the “spray and dump” method we currently use.
  • We anticipate an annual savings upwards of $20,000 due to the reduced volume of water necessary to operate the Spray Park, with a return on investment (ROI) to be less than 5 years based on our projected costs. We will have a comprehensive ROI after we go out to bid and have accepted a proposal for the project.
  • We can keep the Spray Park open for longer hours due to the reduced cost of the water.
  • State Senator Carlucci won us a grant for $100,000 to get moving on this project, which will account for about half of the total expense!

The stage at Louis Engel Park is just about done. While we won’t use it for the first concert on July 3rd on the evening of the fireworks, it will be ready for all of the Friday night concerts this summer. We are in the process of setting up food vendors for these concerts, so keep an eye out for another poster to pop up all over Town!

The playground equipment sets for Ryder and Buck Johnson Parks have been ordered, and we are awaiting their arrival. Get ready for an exciting summer of grand openings in the Town of Ossining.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The “Old Albany Post Road Dead End” project is moving along. This major project will result in an improved and stable road that will be able to withstand storms and will provide a safer means of access for residents. In addition to the new road, included in the project are retaining walls to prevent any further erosion.

Our “Cedar Lane Drainage” capital project is finishing up with a few final tweaks. We have been watching the area through this rainy season for any issues and are glad to report that there have been any problems.

The Highway Department is keeping up with maintenance of storm drains and catch basins, as well as fixing potholes. They also continue to assist the Parks Department with the repair of crushed pipes and walkway resurfacing.

The Lakeville lift station system upgrade project will enhance the efficiency of the gravity system and reduce the ongoing maintenance to the station. After a competitive bidding process, the project has been awarded to ELQ, and will be paid for out of the Sewer Fund Balance. We are committed to solving these infrastructure problems quickly and with as little expense as necessary, helping to improve the quality of life in the Town of Ossining.

REVAL

The Town-wide revaluation is moving forward as the exterior and interior inspections get into full swing.  Keep an eye on your mailbox for the pamphlets letting you know when Tyler will be in your neighborhood. Information sessions are still going on- please get in touch with the Assessor’s Office if you’d like to schedule one for your organization!

Sue

Town Board Contacts

Town Supervisor: Dana Levenberg - phone (914) 762-6001 - fax (914) 762-0833

Council Members: Elizabeth Feldman, Gregory G. Meyer, Jackie Shaw, Northern Wilcher Jr.