- Last Updated: 09 October 2018 09 October 2018
We are moving into the first weekend of October, and things are picking up speed here at 16 Croton Avenue! We had another exciting week, starting with the final day of the first half School Tax collection, which wrapped up on Monday. Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz and her staff collected nearly 90% of the warrant this go around, which is fantastic and shows that the economic health of our community is on the rise. Special thanks, once again, to Holly, Patti and Martha for holding down the fort for what turned out to be an unexpectedly complex collection. Also, thanks to the Ossining Postamster Lorenzo Robinson for coming through in the clutch and helping to get payment reminders to our residents, many of whom seem never to have received the first mailing. We are a great community and we are made stronger by these exemplary community servants-- thank you all for your patience with us during this challenge.
Speaking of the Tax Office, we have been getting a lot of phone calls from folks regarding the tax rebate checks coming from New York State, and we wanted to offer a short explanation for those who are still wondering if and why they are receiving rebate checks. Homeowners who are enrolled in New York State's School Tax Relief Program (STAR) will get a property tax rebate check if their school district stayed under the property tax cap. The size of the check will depend on whether or not your local government also complied with the tax cap. To qualify for a rebate, your local government (city/town/village) must stay under the state's property tax cap. Additionally, your school district must have had an efficiency plan approved by the state, which demonstrates that they are working to reduce the amount of taxes they levy. I am glad to share that the Town of Ossining was in compliance with the tax cap last year and our plan is to do the same this year as well, as we are now well into budget season planning for the 2019 Town Budget. We are committed to making the most of our taxpayer's dollars whenever possible, and that fiscal responsibility now pays off in more ways than one.
Also at 16 Croton, we have been hard at work preparing for Organ Donor Enrollment Day on Wednesday, October 10th! Did you know that New York State is in LAST PLACE nationwide for percentage of population that is a registered organ donor? We all know New York is number one, so on Wednesday the 10th, we are partnering with LiveOnNYto participate in the 4th Annual Organ Donor Enrollment Day. Last year, “Team Ossining” secured the highest number of enrollments for a municipal team and is looking forward to reaching that goal once again this year. Join me, my fellow elected officials, organ donors and those whose lives have been saved by organ donation by signing up. If you have already registered, please talk to your family, friends and coworkers about organ donation—one person signing up could save up to 8 lives. Learn more about LiveOnNY and about the nationwide organ shortage here. We will be holding a press conference at 16 Croton Avenue at 9:30AM on Wednesday the 10th in front of Town/Village Hall to kick off this effort, and we will be posting volunteers around Ossining to encourage folks to sign up. Won't you join us?
This is perhaps the most exciting news of the week. Earlier this week, we had folks come here from Minnesota and Ohio to to install the new flooring at the Engel Park spray deck. Here's a little reminder of what the design looked like on paper:
...and here's how it looks now! (Check out this cool aerial photography, courtesy of our multi-talented Parks Foreman Mario Velardo):
And here's a close-up-- yes, those are fish and bubbles!
We can't wait for next summer to come around so we can do a formal ribbon cutting and invite the little ones in Ossining to come check out our new design. I want to thank Senator David Carlucci for this help in securing the DASNY grant that made this work possible with very little expense to the taxpayers of Ossining-- we are sure that this installation will serve our community well for many years to come.
While the installers from Life Floor were hard at work down at Engel Park, our staff was working on a different project on the other side of town. If you frequent Ryder Park by foot, this may be familiar to you-- at the very bottom of Stonegate Road, this is a little cut-through path that folks use to access the park, whether to walk dogs, play basketball, or just take a stroll. As years have gone by, this route has become more popular, but it's still been a litle bit wild and overgrown.
Besides cleaning up the grass and brush, there was also work to be done underfoot-- the ground wasn't level and there were drainage issues, all of which made it a less than ideal place to go for a walk.
The good news is that it is all ready for you now! Our guys widened the path, installed some drainage measures to keep the pathway dry, and smoothed it out with millings.
This new path opens out right onto the Stonegate Road dead end, and now, the space is beautified but not intrusive.
Our Highway staff also pitched in and did some curb work next to the path-- it looks like a plow or another piece of heavy equipment did some damage years back, but now there is a smooth new curb in place, which will also help with road drainage.
It's fantastic to have such a great crew working all together-- thanks to Michael G. O'Connor, our Superintendent of Highways, Matteo Velardo, our Highway Foreman, and their team, for lending their talents to this project-- although it's small in the grand scheme of things, it will definitely go a long way towards improving the quality of recreation for our park goers.
Also happening in our parks? A lot of Haunted Hayride preparation. Chief Zombie Wrangler Fern Quezada has been hard at work getting Cedar Lane Park ready for the event on October 26th and 27th (get your tickets here!) and, with the help of several dozen volunteers, is slowly transforming our quaint, rural park into a Halloween Haunt the likes of which you have never seen.
Next weekend is the last call for youth and adult volunteer sign-ups! Stop by the park this Saturday between 8AM and 2PM, or Sunday between 12PM and 5PM and speak with Fern. Not able to participate but still want to help out? Consider sponsoring the event-- learn more here.
We have a cool, dry weekend on tap-- what could be better than a visit to the Farmer's Market? Visit Down to Earth Markets in Market Square first thing on Saturday before making your rounds to the Green Ossining Town-wide Tag Sale (a map can be found here). Who knows what treasures you will uncover when you visit your friends and neighbors around town? You know what they say, one person's trash...
Once you've unloaded all your new and exciting purchases from your car, consider hitting the kitchen with all of your farmer's market goodies and whipping up a dish to share. The Forest o' Fears Potluck will take place at the Cedar Lane Park Pavilion on Saturday night between 5 and 7PM. Come learn more about the event, meet the organizers, and find out how you can get involved. Might I suggest something made with pumpkin? It only seems right.
Finally, end your night with some live music right here in Ossining. Weschester Collaborative Theater will host Lynette Washington and Dennis Bell as part of their Jazz Masters series on Saturday night-- doors open at 7PM for a 7:30PM show. Get your tickets here and relax, knowing your whole Saturday has been planned for you!
It's also not too late to sign up for the first of three workshops at the Bethany Arts Community-- on Sunday, you can learn how to grow garlic at home. Save a few bucks and sign up for all three-- I, for one, would love to learn how to cultivate my own mushrooms, right now I just grab them whenever I can find them!
There are still some tickets available for the Crossover Yoga Project's annual fundraiser, which will take place at our very own Cedar Lane Arts Center. The proceeds from the event, and all of Crossover's work, goes towards empowering young women through yoga, mindfulness and art, many of whom have suffered trauma. We are so pleased to host this special event, and I hope that you will join me in supporting this worthy effort.
On the evening of Sunday, October 14th, come out for Happy Hour on the Hudson benefitting the Ossining Children's Center! Between 5PM and 7PM, the OCC will host at Factoria at Charles Point in Peekskill-- come for the craft beers, live music, and delicious appetizers, and stay for the amazing view, all while raising funds for the Children's Center's tuition assistance program. Visit ossiningchildrenscenter.org to grab your tickets today.
Also at Cedar Lane Park? The Ossining PBA's Foot Pursuit 5K Race is coming up on Saturday, October 20th. The race starts and ends in our very own Cedar Lane Park before heading on to the local roads—included with the price of registration is a beautiful view of the Hudson. If you are one of the first 3 finishers (you’ll have to “Beat the Chief” and he just completed a Half Iron Man race, so you’d better start training now) could win a 3 month membership to Club Fit and lots of other prizes, so enroll your family today! Click here to visit the registration site—the first 50 people to sign up get some PBA swag, and all proceeds go to benefit a scholarship fund for Ossining children.
Please be reminded that both Town and Village of Ossining offices will be closed on Monday, October 8th, We will be back and ready to serve you first thing on Tuesday, October 9th. Please also note that Tuesday night's Town Board Meeting will begin at 7PM instead of the regularly scheduled 7:30PM.
Also, please join me in wishing Maddi Zachacz in my office a very, very happy birthday on October 8th! She is phenomenal. Just in case you didn’t know!
Hope to see you out and about in Town this weekend.