This week flew past for us, and I am happy to share that it was a productive one!
My office has continued to push forward with our application to be a "Cleaner Greener Community," which requires us to document two recent environmental actions that the Town has undertaken, along with embarking on two new ones. The first of the new initiatives was a resolution passed by our Board a few weeks ago, where we agreed to participate in Benchmarking, which consists of keeping track of the Town's energy use and costs in our buildings and measuring the change (hopefully, the reduction) over time. The second will be our Clean Fleet Initiative, which will begin shortly when we sign the lease for our first true electric vehicle. The Town will be leasing a Nissan Leaf to replace our Building Inspector's Chevy Impala, which had been on track for replacement in 2018. However, the incredibly competitive price we got ($22,000), coupled with the substantial incentives from New York State ($5,000), will allow us to lease this vehicle with no impact on the budget in 2017. Furthermore, we were offered a 0% lease and a $1 buyout, so our all-in cost will still be $17,000, but staggered over several years. We are excited to sign the lease and get this vehicle into service, which will happen next week. Keep your eyes peeled for this new vehicle around Town (hopefully, the first of many!) Ron Kamen from Sustainable Westchester visited the Town Board on Tuesday evening and gave a great presentation on the Town's plan, as well as on electric cars in general. You can watch the video to hear the whole thing (jump ahead to the 1 hour and 46 minute mark), or view the presentation at your leisure here.
We are officially within the 30 day window of the grand re-opening of the Shine House, now called the Cedar Lane Arts Center (CLAC), and the progress continues to astound everyone who visits the site. This past week, with the beautiful (although quite cold) weather, the crew was able to get a lot of sitework done, including preparing the road into the park and towards the Art Center for paving in the coming weeks, including widening the road bed by several feet on each side. We had alerted you last week that the entrance to the Park would be closed so this work could continue uninterrupted, and I am pleased to share that the road is now open again. Furthermore, the work inside the Ice House continues to prepare for the pouring of a new floor and the installation of the kilns. And outside? Our master mason, Matteo Velardo, has been hard at work rebuilding the stone wall around the edge of the pond, and outside the door of the Ice House. Watching this process is truly like watching an artist at work-- Matteo does not use cement to hold his walls together, but instead employs the "old school" method-- fitting smaller rocks together, like a puzzle, to hold everything in place. We are so very lucky to have this kind of talent on our staff.
Next week, we will be sharing the official invitation for the grand re-opening, but we do have some exciting news to share. Yesterday, we met with Laurie Gershgorn from Good Choice Kitchen, who has agreed to cater the event for us with a variety of snacks, juices and other small bites. We are excited to be able to showcase an Ossining business while also sharing delicious, healthy, local food with our visitors. Please be sure to mark your calendar for this great event on the afternoon of Friday, April 21st.
We have so much going on this weekend around Town, including the last weekend of Westchester Collaborative Theater's run of "Lot's Wife." I have already attended this excellent show twice, and encourage those of you who have not yet seen it to attend.
Also, tomorrow night is the Ossining Matters Big Soiree event-- you can still buy a ticket here and help Ossining Matters to reach their millionth dollar in funded grants. Hope to see you there!
Also tomorrow, Saturday March 25th, marks the annual celebration of Earth Hour. All around the world, families, businesses and landmarks turn off their lights for one hour to take a stand for climate change action, and at 8:30PM tomorrow, it’s our turn. Flip the switch and raise your voice for our planet. You can learn more about this initiative through the World Wildlife Federation here.
I do also want to bring some other events to your attention. For our senior citizens, on the evening of Wednesday, March 29th, the Ossining Schools and the Ossining National Honor Society will be hosting the Senior Citizen's Prom and Dinner Theatre. Seniors are invited to a 4PM performance of "Sister Act" in the Ossining High School auditorium, followed by dinner in the gymnasium from 6PM to 8PM. If you are a senior and are interested in some first-rate local entertainment, please RSVP to (914) 762-5760 so they know to expect you for this free event. If you are not a senior but would still like to see Sister Act by the talented Ossining High School Performing Arts students, the show will be performed again on Thursday (the 30th), Friday (the 31st) and Saturday (the 1st) nights at 7PM.
Also on that very same evening, Relay for Life will be holding their Ossining Kickoff Event at the Ossining Public Library at 6:30PM. The Town and Village joined together last year to form Team Dodge Against Cancer in honor of former Town Supervisor Martha Dodge. This year, cancer has once again hit close to home for Ossining staff, as the young son of our Parks employee Juan Toribio was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma. Gio completed several rounds of chemo and is now cancer-free, and we are ready to celebrate. For the 2017 event, Town and Village staff are joining Team GioStrong to support the Toribio family and raise awareness in our community. We will be represented at this kick-off meeting, and hope to see you there, either as a member of Team GioStrong or for your own team.