- Last Updated: 03 February 2017 03 February 2017
Before I get started, I want to remind everyone that tonight, many of our friends and neighbors will be joining together in a demonstration of unity at Market Square. I am proud of Ossining-- while sometimes we disagree, we also collectively realize that we are all in this together, and that crafting a better, brighter world is our responsibility. I hope you will join me and my colleagues, along with our community and religious leaders, to share a positive and hopeful message this evening.
We have a packed agenda for this coming Tuesday's Special Meeting and Work Session, which will take place at 7:30PM at 16 Croton Avenue. We will start with several public hearings, the first of which will be a continuation of our Public Hearing on Local Law #1 of 2017, which proposes zoning changes in the Unincorporated Area of the Town-- there is an updated draft that you can find here. We will also open a public hearing on pdf Local Law #2 of 2017 (8 KB) , which would extend our development moratorium by several weeks so that we can finish the important work described in Local Law #1. We also have two cabaret license renewals who will enter the Public Hearing process: Maya Riviera and Westchester Ballroom, both on North State Road.
Once we have ended our Special Meeting, we will move into our star-studded Work Session to discuss several important topics, the first of which being alarm fines and the cost of a Certificate of Occupancy issuance in the Town of Ossining. We will be joined on the alarm topic by our Building Inspector John Hamilton, through whose department the program is run, along with Ossining Police Chief Kevin Sylvester and Highway Superintendent Michael G. O'Connor. After discussing these two issues, we will ask Superintendent of Recreation Chris Soi and our Parks Foreman Mario Velardo to join us to discuss our new Pavilion and Picnic Rental application, and then we will move into everyone's favorite topic: capital needs borrowing.
The Town Board has been discussing, for several months, the need to improve our open spaces, including many of our Town Parks and Dale Cemetery. We, like every other municipality, are constrained by the tax cap, and if we budgeted for these upgrades in the operating budget, it would take us many years to get our parks up to snuff, in which time other areas would likely deteriorate. At the advice of our Finance Team, we have decided that the best way to approach this work is through a bond issuance, so that we can spread the cost of the work over several years to smooth the impact on our Town General budget. We will be making our final presentation to the Town Board at Tuesday's Work Session, where we will hopefully get the green light to have bond counsel begin to draft a resolution and the documentation to get us started. Finally, we will hear from Comptroller Tom Warren about the Village water liens, which are added to the Town tax bill annually. I hope you will visit us at 16 Croton or watch us live on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:30PM for this exciting meeting.
As you know, the Town of Ossining is an incredibly environmentally-minded community, as evidenced by our many initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint through Energize, Solarize, and our LED lighting program, through the hard work of Green Ossining and our Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC), and our ongoing work towards the purchase of electric vehicles and the use of solar charging stations, to name just a few. What you may not know is that the Town, by order of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, has for many years participated in a program to ensure the proper processing of our stormwater-- if you are a regular watcher of our meetings, you may recall that every year in May, we present our annual MS4 report to the Board and the public, which is then filed with the State, which documents the efforts the Town has made to educate residents about how to prevent the contamination of stormwater on their property, as well as the actions we've taken as a Town to monitor our outfalls and prevent contamination whenever possible. However, we have received notice that for the coming year (April 2017- March 2018), these requirements are proposed to be significantly increased in ways that are as of yet unmeasured. Based on feedback from our stormwater consultants and our staff who handle these programs, the proposed changes are likely to cost the Town many tens of thousands of dollars each year if we wish to be in compliance (which, of course, we do!) While we are glad to work in any way we can to protect our environment, we cannot bear this burden alone-- New York State will not be chipping in to support our efforts. Earlier today, my office sent out correspondence in support of a consortium of Westchester County municipalities who have offered detailed feedback on these proposed changes. We will certainly keep you posted on any new information that comes our way on this topic.
There are many events coming up this weekend, but I want to draw special attention to some interesting events at Teatown on Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow, Saturday February 4th at 1PM, the "Playin' Possum" program will offer a unique opportunity to meet Teatown's resident possums, Pip and Squeak, and learn about how they manage to tolerate winter's harsh conditions. And then on Sunday, February 5th at 11AM, you can catch "Built to Fly", a program that will demonstrate the mechanics of flight- some of Teatown's very own birds of prey will make a special guest appearance. Pre-registration is required for both programs-- you can also register for NEXT weekend's Eagle Fest while you're at it. Thanks to Teatown for offering our residents such wild adventures!
These next two items are a few weeks away, but I hope you will consider attending in honor of President's Day and get a glimpse into our history, on both a local and national level.