I am just back from visiting Albany, where I was invited to attend the 2016 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards, and congratulations are certainly in order. The Sing Sing Historic Prison Museum project was awarded a $500,000 grant from the State of New York! We are so incredibly proud of all of the hard work that went into this proposal, and I hope you will join me in congratulating the team on this incredible honor and testament to the countless hours that have gone into this project thus far. It is only the beginning!
On Monday evening, I was joined by Councilwomen Jeffrey, D'Attore and Feldman at the kickoff of the Ossining Basics initiative at the High School. It was wonderful to see so many Ossining families learning about how to get their children, and the children in our community as a whole, ready to learn and engaging with the "classroom" all around us. We learned all about the program, how the initiative extends from our homes to our local businesses, and we even got to sing a few songs. Not bad for a Monday night! (Thanks to Councilwoman Feldman for the great photo!)
I want to thank Superintendent Ray Sanchez, Director of Elementary Teaching and Learning Carrieann Sipos,and Ossining Public Library Director Karen Larocca-Fels for partnering to spread word of this event, and this campaign throughout our community. We are so fortunate to be part of a community that embraces learning at such an early age, and I am honored to participate in shaping the next generation of Ossining in such an innovative and exciting way.
Earlier this week at our Town Hall Meeting, the Town Board gave a hearty “thank you” to the volunteer Boards that so often go unrecognized. We honored members of the Town Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Board of Ethics, the Board of Assessment Review, our Environmental Advisory Committee, the Recreation Advisory Board, the Mid Hudson Ambulance District Board, and Green Ossining with a certificate, and we asked the Chair of each Board to prepare a few words about their peers and the work that they contribute. We honored over 60 people on Tuesday night for their regular service to our community, proof that Ossining truly is “the Volunteer Spirited Town.”
This coming week, the Town Board will be holding a Regular Meeting at the Courthouse on Tuesday, December 13th at 7:30PM, where one of our agenda items will be to adopt the 2017 Town Budget. This has been a lengthy process that was not without challenges, but the Town Board will be adopting the Town of Ossining’s sixth tax cap compliant budget, providing for the continuation of the fine services that the Town offers without causing undue burden on our property owners. The Town General Fund will see an increase of roughly $0.02 per thousand assessed for the average Ossining household, or an increase of about $21.94 on their tax bill. The combined Unincorporated Funds (20 and 31) will see a 5.24% rate decrease over 2016, which will equate to around a $46.50 savings for the average Unincorporated household. We also have modest increases in our Special District funds (Water, Sewer, Fire, Lighting, Refuse and Ambulance).
We were able to see an ever lower rate than previously anticipated as the results of the “phase in” legislation came through—in the Tentative Budget, we estimated that everyone eligible for the phase in would apply and be approved. Since the actual numbers turned out to be much lower, thus raising our assessed value, the tax rates were even lower than anticipated. For a look at what changed between the Tentative and Adopted budget, you can look pdf here (76 KB) —aside from the Mortgage Recording Tax shift into the Unincorporated Fund, the changes were minimal, and we are pleased with the results. I want to thank all of our Department Heads and all of the Town’s staff for the hard work they do every day for our community—I truly believe that our services are exceptional, and they are the reason. Congratulations to all on a job well done.
Before I remind you of the excellent events about Town this week, a few reminders. There are still several affordable units available at Harbor Square. Please share the information below with anyone who you believe may be interested.
Also, there are still tickets available for Thursday’s All Ossining Party, to be held at Antipasti di Napoli. I hope you will join me in celebrating another wonderful year in Ossining!
Here are some great events coming up-- I hope you are enjoying this festive holiday season in Ossining.
Come check out Ossining author Robert Stava's great new book and take home a signed copy!
Down to Earth Farmer's Market: Come celebrate!
We will celebrate our 25th year in Ossining at the Farmers Market on Saturday. Please join us for free cider and doughnuts, 10AM-12PM!
NEW at the Farmers Market this week:
Welcome Pahucki Produce to the market and be sure to stop by their stand if you are looking for mushrooms. Add spice to someone's life this year by giving them a giftbox of Bombay Emerald chutney or Ayurvedic spices.
The outdoor market runs through 12/17/16, the winter market opens 1/7/17 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ossining!
Mike Risko Music Production of The Lion King Kids
What: Come see an amazing production of The Lion King Kids starring Mike Risko Music Students. This 45 minute musical will take you on the adventures of Simba and the Circle of Life. This is a great show for kids of all ages. Four shows to choose from. Admission is free but reservations are required.
When/Where: Sunday 12/11 @ 6 PM (Mike Risko Music) Sat 12/10 @ 1 PM & 3:30 PM (Ossining Library Budarz Theater)
Contact: www.mikeriskomusicschool.com Please specify which performance you would like to see.
Ossining Trainer Enrique Rosario is offering this great opportunity for a workout that gives back this holiday season!
Finally, the Ossining Public Library has several events going on this weekend that will certainly get you in the spirit of the holidays. On Saturday, December 10th at 1PM, come make your own unique gift wrap and wrap one gift for a special someone! Call (914) 941-2416 to register for this free event. On Sunday, December 11th, the Library will welcome the Hudson Bells back to the Budarz Theater for a mix of acapella and piano-accompanied tunes, including some Christmas and Hanukkah favorites. The show is free and begins at 2PM. What better way to close out a great weekend?
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016- 7:30PM
Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility
86-88 Spring Street, Ossining NY 10562
pdf 12-13-2016 Agenda (124 KB) (Updated 12/13)
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.
Last week, the Town Board announced their decision to add an extra Work Session for Friday, December 9th to discuss the progress on the draft of Local Law #10 of 2016 with our Planning Consultant, David Stolman of F.P. Clark. Due to scheduling conflicts, this Work Session has been cancelled.
Mr. Stolman will instead come before the Town Board on Tuesday, December 20th in a regular Work Session.
A Work Session of the Planning Board of the Town of Ossining, will be held on:
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
7:30 P.M. at the
John Paul Rodrigues
Ossining Operations Center
101 Route 9A
Ossining, New York
· Bethany Arts Center, 40 Somerstown Road, Site Plan
· Artis Senior Living, 553 North State Road, Site Plan
· Parth Knolls, 87 Hawkes Avenue, Site Plan
I have just returned from the Village and Town Holiday party, and we had such a nice time! The Village CSEA generously invited all of the Town staff to attend, and I was so pleased to see everyone enjoying one another’s company. The Recreation Center gym was filled with delicious food, festive holiday music courtesy of our very own DJ Johnny G, and a whole host of door prizes donated by the Town and Village CSEAs. Interim Village Manager Paul Fraioli invited all new Village and Town staff to come up and sing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” together (apparently it’s a Village tradition)—here we are, making Rudolph very proud indeed! Special thanks to Paul and Jaimie in the Village Manager’s Office for inviting us Townfolk, and to Jamie Faiella and Al Closi of the Village and Town CSEA for throwing such an excellent party!
Before we talk about all of the wonderful activities going on in Ossining this week, I wanted to thank the officers of the OPD for keeping us safe this week as we heard reports of an aggressive coyote in the area of St. Augustine's/ Mystic Pointe/ Eagle Bay. We were incredibly relieved to hear that the coyote had been caught yesterday morning. Although the behavior of this animal was peculiar and it was determined that the animal was ill, it is important to remember that wild animals do live among us and while they are usually more afraid of us than we are of them, they have potential to be dangerous if they feel threatened. We urge you to take particular caution when walking dogs and to keep food garbage covered-- these are your best bets to keep a safe distance between you and our animal neighbors.
The Town Board did not meet this past week, as we were at home celebrating the rare 5th Tuesday, but we have an exciting meeting coming up on Tuesday, December 6th. While you are probably familiar with the Town Board, we have so many Boards composed of volunteers who spend endless hours working to better our community. While we all benefit greatly from their efforts, they are rarely recognized and we wanted to spend our last Town Hall Meeting of 2016 celebrating the people who so often go unsung. We will have representatives from the Town Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Ethics, Board of Assessment Review, Environmental Advisory Committee, Green Ossining, Recreation Advisory Board, and the Mid Hudson Ambulance District Board, and we look forward to celebrating them and all of their accomplishments that help to make Ossining great! I hope you will join us at 7:30PM at the Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theater for this exciting evening. We will end with a short Special Meeting.
That’s not it for the Town Board next week, however. We will be having a Work Session with our Planning Consultant, David Stolman of FP Clark, on Friday, December 9th at 9AM in the Board Room at 16 Croton Avenue to review the newest draft of our next local law. David has been working on converting an analysis of some recommendations from our Comprehensive Plan into the form of a law, which we decided will need to be completed before we can lift the development moratorium that the Town Board passed in June 2016. Hopefully Friday’s Work Session will be our last before we begin the Public Hearing process and asking for feedback from our advisory Boards. I hope you will join us—you can see the most recent version of the Local Law, which David discussed with us on November 15th, here.
The Town of Ossining will be a busy place this weekend, starting with the Tree Lighting tonight at Market Square-- Ossining High School’s “Gimme the Mic!” sudents and the Mike Risko Music School will kick off the evening with some tunes at 6PM, followed by the tree lighting and Santa’s arrival at 6:45PM. I hope to see you there for cookies and hot chocolate. Many thanks to the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce and Senator David Carlucci for co-sponsoring this annual event with the Ossining Recreation Department.