Dana Levenberg, Town Supervisor
phone (914) 762-6001
fax (914) 762-0833
16 Croton Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562
The Supervisor's Office is located on the third floor of the Town offices. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
Happy Friday, Ossining! This last week absolutely flew by, it's hard to believe we are already done with our first week in October! It has been beautiful out and sometimes you just have to take a beat to stop and enjoy it-- check out this great sunset pic taken at 16 Croton this past Tuesday.
That picture was taken while we were on our way to the Town Hall Meeting at the Ossining Public Library. After a short Special Meeting (during which we adopted our Zoning Law, at long last,) we hard from the folks responsible for Scarsdale's Food Scrap Recycling Program. Michele Sterling and Ron Schulhof are volunteers who wanted to get a large-scale composting program going in their community. They walked us through the extensive research they have done to get it just right and gave us some advice on how it can be duplicated or possibly even improved upon right here in Ossining. The meeting video is available on Youtube (Michelle and Ron's presentation begins at the 30 minute mark) or you can check it out pdf here (1.41 MB) .
After hearing from Michelle and Ron, we had planned to move right into a short presentation on the Request for Proposal (RFP) that the Town will be putting out shortly for refuse and recycling services for the Unincorporated Town. However, we had many members of the audience who had expressed that they wished to hear an update from the Town Board on the Homestead Issue after the mailing that had been circulated by private residents a few weeks ago urging the Board to enact Homestead for 2018. Although Homestead was not a scheduled topic on the agenda, I shared the following statement:
"This board continues to question the supposed benefits of enacting homestead. We are not convinced that it would be fairer or better for our community to adopt this legislation because of the negative impact it has had on other communities throughout NY State that have adopted it. If it has a negative impact on the commercial tax rate, as it certainly has had elsewhere, and is irreversible, it could in fact be worse for taxpayers rather than better. Expanding our business community is the fastest most enduring way to hold down residential taxes, where as a shrinking commercial base costs everyone more. We have lined up some experts who have studied the impact of Homestead in other communities in New York State to discuss their findings with the greater Ossining Community. We have them tentatively scheduled to come to us on Monday, November 20th (stay tuned for final date and location) and look forward to seeing all of you again then. The location will be announced shortly."
Here we go, full steam ahead into another beautiful Ossining weekend! I am looking forward to delicious apples at the Farmer's Market-- now is the time to get your hands on a wide variety and get chomping (or baking, now that the heat has broken.) You can also check out some great live music at the Ossining Elks Lodge tomorrow night (Saturday, September 30th) as part of the Second Saturday Jazz Series. Although food will be provided at the event, I am sure they won't mind if you sneak an apple or two in with you.
Work continues this week at the intersection of Route 9A/ 134. Yesterday, I took a drive to the job site and spoke with the foreman from the NYS DOT, who told me that they believe they will probably be on site for another two weeks. We have added some of the detour info to the Town's Homepage for easy access, and I will continue to keep you updated here when we hear about how the work is progressing.
Well, today is the day that some of us have been waiting for and some have been dreading-- the first day of fall! We had a fairly mild summer and it sounds like the warmer weather will continue for at least another few weeks, but the calendar tells us that today is the day to break out the Halloween decorations and brew up some pumpkin spice coffee. Looking for a slightly less commercial way to celebrate the day? The Mariandale Center at 299 North Highland Avenue will be celebrating the Autumnal Equinox tonight at 6:30PM-- come learn about the Equinox, take an Autumn Labyrinth prayer walk, and enjoy seasonal refreshments while the sun sets. Visit www.mariandale.org for more information on this and the other fantastic programming offered right here in Ossining.
On Tuesday, my office, along with Village of Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity, Village Manager Debbie McDonnell and Village/Town Engineer Paul Fraioli were joined by representatives from the Westchester County DOT, Green Ossining, the Village's Downtown Redevelopment Working Group, Pace University's Land Use Law Center and Open Door for an Idea Accelerator Workshop; this full-day workshop was brought to us by Bloomberg Philanthropies as part of their Mayors Challenge competition, which is a chance for a community to win up to $5 million to implement a project. Ossining was one of 300 communities across the country to participate in one of these workshops. The "problem" we chose to examine was transportation, and we spent the whole day “unpacking” problems related to transportation in our community, in an effort to better identify ways to increase connectivity utilizing alternative approaches to transportation methods, such as jitneys, technology, and multi-modal approaches to transportation for cyclist and pedestrian access. This exciting opportunity came up with very short notice, so we look forward to bringing more stakeholders to the table over the course of the next few weeks to develop an “idea” to submit to the Mayors Challenge. In addition to helping us develop a competitive application, this workshop was a great exercise in problem solving and thinking outside the box on tough issues facing Ossining and ways we can innovate solutions that can be replicated nationally and internationally to help other communities combat similar challenges. Here we are with our facilitator, Elias Alcantara, who helped us stay focused throughout the day! (Admittedly, the meals provided by Good Choice Kitchen were deliciously distracting at times.)
We had another great week here in the Town of Ossining, and are working hard on a variety of projects I am excited to share with you. Before we get to that, though, I want to share with you the great Ossining weekend we enjoyed last week.
Marc Berger & Ride finally made it to the Engel Park stage and performed a great show-- it was a little chilly, but the audience had a great time listening to them play against a gorgeous backdrop.
On Saturday evening, Jigsaww played a benefit concert at Engel Park in honor of their former band leader, Phil Ishmael. It was very touching to see everyone get together and rally around Phil's family and it was a fantastic way to honor his memory.
Finally, I was incredibly honored to attend the annual Ossining and Briarcliff 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Engel Park on Monday, September 11th. Thanks to the Ossining Fire Department for organizing such a beautiful tribute to those who were lost on that fateful day, and as a thank you to those who continue to serve us so bravely.
I hope all our students are settling into the new school year, and I want to make everyone aware of a few infrastructure projects that may make the commute to school and work a little difficult for our second week of the new school year. As we announced a few weeks ago, this Monday, September 11th, (weather permitting) the New York State Department of Transportation will be working on the replacement of a culvert at just west of the intersection of Route 9A and Route 134 (and offering our Highway Department an opportunity to replace a stormwater pipe while the road is open), resulting in the closure of Route 134 at this intersection until September 22nd and possibly extending to September 29th. Please see this post from earlier today for detailed detour and closure instructions. We also received word that the Town of New Castle will be paving Glendale Road this Monday and Tuesday as well, weather permitting. Stay tuned to the Town of New Castle website for more updates on this project.
Great news -- the summer concert series has been extended tonight! Marc Berger & Ride have re-scheduled for tonight at 7PM. This is not Marc's first time in Ossining-- he and his band have played for us in the past, and this is one show you should be sure not to miss. Marc has played Austin's SXSW Music Festival and the Kerrville and Falcon Ridge Folk Festivals, and has opened for some of the industry's greats including Bob Dylan. You will be instantly transported to the American West from your spot on the lawn at Louis Engel Park. Greecy Gyro will be there cooking their specialties, so don't waste time in the kitchen-- come eat with us!
For some more live music in Ossining tonight, the Ossining Arts Council is also hosting Joe Duraes and the Skills at the Steamer Firehouse on Main Street.