- Last Updated: 06 March 2020 06 March 2020
Town Board Regular Meeting
Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7:30pm
Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility, 86-88 Spring Street
Ossining, NY 10562
All Board Meetings are televised LIVE on GO-TV, on Channel 78. Taped shows are repeated every Thursday at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Channels 78 and 18.
Watch the live webcast of Ossining Government Access Cablevision Channel 78 and Verizon Channel 43, including Town and Village Board Meetings, or stream them LIVE here.
- Last Updated: 17 March 2020 17 March 2020
As you can imagine, we have dedicated a large portion of this past week to addressing the Town's preparedness for the worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), as instances of the virus have begun to pop up within New York State, and Westchester County specifically. We participated in a conference call with County Executive George Latimer and the Westchester County Department of Health on Tuesday afternoon to receive further information about the initial diagnosis of a man in New Rochelle, followed up with a meeting of Town and Village of Ossining Emergency Management on Wednesday morning to discuss locally-specific plans to ensure continuity of service by both Town and Village departments and emergency responders. Later on Wednesday evening, I attended a forum led by Dan Blum, outgoing president and CEO of Phelps Hospital and big supporter of OVAC and the Mid Hudson Ambulance District, regarding steps they have taken to ensure the hospital can serve people effectively and efficiently, on and off the hospital campus, should cases of this illness significantly multiply in the area. They assured us they are well prepared for this type of emergency, with many back up opportunities available to them, should they need. The County Commissioner of Health, Sherlita Amler, was also in attendance to relay updated information, literally changing by the minute, as well as answer any questions. Information about this outbreak is ever changing, so I encourage you to frequently check the Westchester County Department of Health website for more information. We will also keep you updated with any developments that may affect Town of Ossining residents in the coming days and weeks. A message that was pushed out by both Town and Village government earlier this week with more information, is available here.
The most important thing we can do right now is stay calm, and take common sense steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, but also seasonal illnesses like the flu. You might see signs like the one below around Town offices, encouraging everyone to truly do their part by washing hands, covering sneezes and coughs, and most importantly, stay home when you are sick! To that end, Town departments have been re-stocked with cleaning supplies to regularly clean frequently touched surfaces like counters where the public is served, keyboards, and telephones. We have also been assured by the facilities staff at the Village of Ossining that proper cleaning supplies are being used within our shared buildings. Town staff have been encouraged to take a sick day if they don't feel well -- now is not the time to try and power through! We encourage you to do the same, please do not come to conduct Town business if you, your children, or close family members are sick, or may have been exposed to this virus. There are so many services you can access online, including dog license renewals, tax payments, FOIL requests, assessment records, and check your garbage/recycling schedule (if you live in the unincorporated Town you can even download an app that lets you check your schedule daily on your phone, specific to your address!). Most departments are also happy to work with you to find a way to conduct business via e-mail or over the phone, just give them a call. Contact information for each department is available on each individual department's page of the Town website.
- Last Updated: 04 March 2020 04 March 2020
March 4, 2020 -- Ossining officials take the health and safety of our residents and staff seriously. Ossining's Emergency Management team met in response to the recommendations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) this morning. This group of first responders, management, communications, and departmental leaders shared updates and confirmed continuity of operations in the unlikely event that a local outbreak was to be identified. Town and Village of Ossining staff have been in regular communication with the Westchester County Department of Health as well as leaders in neighboring communities. Representatives from Town and Village of Ossining management, as well as local law enforcement, will be attending a meeting at Phelps this evening to further connect resources that support local health and safety. As always, it is better to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recent updates on precautions that local communities can take in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Novel coronavirus is a new virus strain 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., including one in Westchester County, and it is expected that more cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the future.
The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 remains low. However, if widespread cases were to occur in our area, most people are likely to experience mild to moderate symptoms with a full recovery. 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.
By practicing healthy habits, you can protect yourself and those around you. The CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- CDC does not recommend for people that well to wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the virus to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern or have been in contact with persons who have traveled to these areas or believe they have been exposed to the virus should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.
New York State Department of Health has set up a web page (click here) as well as a Hotline Phone Numbers to call for more information:
- People under self-quarantine or exposure to known case, call (866) 588-0195
- NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (888) 364-3065
- Westchester County COVID-19 Information Call 211
The Town and Village of Ossining have continuity of operations plans for all of our public services, should a local outbreak be identified.
- Last Updated: 17 March 2020 17 March 2020
We started out this week with a press conference officially launching our food scrap recycling program here in the Town of Ossining! Along with our friends at Teatown Lake Reservation, Green Ossining, representatives from Town, the Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff, Westchester County, and state government, and other stakeholders, we cut the ribbon at our drop off site at Cedar Lane Park. You can now purchase your residential kit for $20 at Cedar Lane Arts Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9:30am to 4pm, or at Teatown from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week, and get started collecting! Food scraps that are dropped off at Cedar Lane Park will be recycled into compost at a commercial compost facility in Ulster County. This program is open to all Town of Ossining residents (including those that live in the Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff) so I hope everyone takes advantage of this exciting new offering. For more information, visit www.ossiningcomposts.org.
Huge thanks to our collective team from the Town of Ossining and Teatown for all of the hard work relating to this program.
Thanks to our Town Parks staff for their hard work getting the site set up and ready to go. Parks Foreman Mario Velardo attended our Town Board meeting this past Tuesday and shared some "behind the scenes" pics of what it took to get our new food scrap collection point set up, and all of the other exciting work they have been doing the past few months. Check out the YouTube video recording of the meeting to see his report, as well as a Departmental Report from our Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz.
At Tuesday night's Town Board meeting, we started off with a moment of silence in memory of Marilyn G. Scwartz who passed away on February 21. Marilyn served the Town of Ossining starting in 1978 as a member of the Town Board, serving several terms through the 1980s and early 1990s. Marilyn even stepped into the role of Supervisor for six months in 1993, filling the unexpired term of former Supervisor Richard Wishnie. We thank Marilyn for her many years of service to the Town of Ossining, and extend our deepest condolences to her friends and family, especially her children Janet and Bill, during this sad time.