Happy Fourth Weekend, everyone! Less happy: we had to postpone the first night of our much awaited Summer Concert Series and Food Truck Fridays with Craft Beverage Corral. The Thornwoods will be back with us on Sunday, July 25 for a performance starting at 5pm, and we hope to see everyone next Friday, July 9 for the Sleepy Hollow String Band. Join us at the waterfront each summer Friday for music, food, and drinks until September 3rd when we wrap up the summer with a fireworks show – and keep your fingers crossed for nice weather for the rest of our Fridays! Special thanks to the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce, Mike and Miriam Risko who helped line up the bands, and Sing Sing Kill Brewery for helping bring this summer Fridays tradition back to Ossining, plus support from Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison, our Town Park Dept and OPD. If you want to enjoy some music this evening, most performances from our 2020 Virtual Summer Concert Series are still available to watch on the Town’s Facebook page. Enjoy some music at home, and get ready for next Friday!
This weekend we are celebrating Independence Day! As a reminder, Town offices will be closed on Monday to observe the holiday. The sanitation schedule for unincorporated residents will also shift to accommodate the holiday. Regular Monday collection will be picked up Tuesday. Tuesday collection will be picked up Wednesday. Check your schedule with the ReCollect app or on the Town of Ossining website.
Metro-North has announced they will operate a regular schedule (with increased cars on Friday) for this weekend. On Monday, trains will run on the Sunday schedule. Between Saturday, July 3 and Saturday, August 28, Metro-North will honor all monthly tickets for travel to and from all Metro-North stations, regardless of what stations are printed on the ticket, and friends and family can travel with you for $1 each way on Saturdays! What a great deal. Further details can be found here.
Although the weather is kinda yucky today, the forecast looks like it will heat back up and be sunny for July 4th. As the weather has gotten hotter, our parks are getting used more, especially Louis Engel Park. The Spray Park at Louis Engel Park is open every day, 12noon to 7pm for people to cool off, and the hours are sometimes extended during heatwaves like earlier this past week, when we kept it open from 10am to 8pm. Please remember that swimming is not currently allowed at Louis Engel Park Beach. We are in the process of exploring permitting with the Westchester County Department of Health to allow for swimming at this beach, but this requires extensive water testing, planning and site work before swimming can be allowed at the park. Also, lifeguards would need to be hired to make sure everyone is safe, but that would not happen without our permit from the County. So please, follow the signs at the park, and please do not swim at the Louis Engel Park Beach until the Town can complete these processes to obtain permitting. Our Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison will be joining us for our Work Session next week to discuss how we can better communicate with park goers these rules and regulations to keep everyone safe while they enjoy a beautiful day on the Hudson. We did recently post additional signs which we hope will help.
The Community Equity Task Force held its July meeting yesterday. The Task Force re-released its survey to gauge community opinion on issues of equity in our community. Last year, this survey was distributed as the second COVID-19 spike began. Residents who completed the 2020 survey are encouraged to update the Task Force by completing it again in 2021. Take the survey here.
The Recreation Department has a lot of wonderful summer programs lined up for kids and adults. Check out their full catalog to register for pickle ball, kayaking, LEGO engineering, clay & sculpture, and so much more.
Did you know you can preorder your groceries with the Ossining Farmers Market? If you think the farmers market has only fruits and vegetables, you will be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful bread, dessert, meat, and cheese options available. Check out the list of vendors on the Down to Earth website or stop by tomorrow to make sure you don’t miss out!
The Cedar Lane Dog Park and pavilion will be closed starting on Wednesday, July 7. The access road to these sites is being repaved and this weather-dependent job will take a few days. The tentative reopening of these sites is planned for Monday, July 12th.
Speaking of our furry friends, the Clerk’s Office is mailing a dog census in an attempt to count how many dogs live in the Town of Ossining, Village of Ossining, and Village of Briarcliff Manor and remind all pet parents to license their dogs. As a reminder, New York State Law requires all dogs over 4 months old to be licensed. Get ahead of the census by registering your dog with the Briarcliff Clerk’s Office printable form or the Ossining Clerk’s Office online form.
The NY Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is currently accepting applications. This program was created by New York State to support households that are behind on their rent, have experienced financial hardship, are at risk of homelessness or housing instability, and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income. Once approved, eligible households will receive up to 12 months of past due rent. Those eligible could also receive up to 3 months of additional rental assistance, if the household spends 30 percent or more of its gross monthly income on rent. The program also will provide up to 12 months of utility arrears for eligible applicants. You can apply through the NYS website, but if you need some assistance you can dial 211 and you will be connected with a local non-profit agency who can assist you with your application.
$800 million in small business grants are available to help offset the impact of the pandemic. If you are a small business owner, or know someone who is, you can find more information about the program and small business recovery applications on the New York State website. Grant awards will be calculated based on a business’ annual gross receipts for 2019 and can be used to cover payroll costs, insurance, rent/mortgage payments, and more.
This week, Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and the NY Public Utility Law Project shared information about grace periods for all electric, gas, water, telephone, broadband, and cable shut-offs. Under the Parker-Richardson Act of 2021, consumers in arrears are eligible for an additional 180-day “grace period” from service terminations, but only if they notify their utility and “self-certify” to a change in financial circumstance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the utility refuses to honor a request to self-certify, call the New York Department of Public Service’s complaint line at 1-800-342-3377 and request they order the utility to honor the grace period and issue an affordable deferred payment agreement.
Gullotta House has continued weekly food distribution each Friday at the Stop & Shop parking lot. Thank you to Gullotta House and our local restaurants, they have truly gone above and beyond for the community during this pandemic. This week’s food grant is through County Legislator Catherine Borgia.
Playland was closed last year, but is open now for the 2021 season. The park hosts firework displays each Friday at 9:15 from July 9 through September 3, with a finale show on September 5th. The season’s full schedule and admissions information is listed at PlaylandPark.org.
On Tuesdays in July, the Ossining Recreation Department will offer family-friendly entertainment in a Village park. Shows start at 7pm, so call your favorite local restaurant, pick up dinner, and come by for the fun.
The Village of Ossining is hosting their Summer Acoustic Music Series in Market Square on Wednesday evenings starting July 7th. Shows start at 7pm and end at 8:30.
The Briarcliff Chamber of Commerce is also bringing the summer fun! Music fans are invited to Law Park Field for a concert series starting July 11th and continuing every Sunday until August 1st.
The Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps is offering Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. You can make an appointment here. OVAC has partnered with vaxupwestchester.org to help residents with the form or answer vaccine-related questions (Spanish speaking volunteers are available). Remember, it is okay to have questions – this past year has felt overwhelming and there is nothing wrong with speaking with a qualified professional. Local pharmacies are also offering the vaccine and willing to speak to you about the different options.
The Ossining Elks Club are hosting the “Big Dog Challenge.” It costs $25 to enter, so call ahead to reserve your spot at 914-941-1486.
The St. Augustine’s Italian Festival kicks off the weekend of July 24th. This event was cancelled last year and we are excited to see its return.
The Westchester County Health Department will be offering back-to-school immunizations to students who qualify at the County Dept of Health Clinic in White Plains. Ossining and Briarcliff residents can call the Health Department at (914) 995-5800 to find out if you qualify for an appointment.
Logrea Dance Academy is offering Summer Dance Camp beginning on July 13. Call 914-941-2939 to register.
The Ossining WCC extension is offering healthcare certification programs to be a Medical Administrative Assistant or Pharmacy Technician. Applications for these programs and the rest of the WCC catalogue is available online at the Westchester Community College website.
The next Town Board meeting will be a Work Session on Tuesday, July 6th. Governor Cuomo has lifted the state-wide state of emergency and Board members will be meeting in person again. Residents can join us in person, but can also continue to join us virtually via Zoom. The Meeting ID and link will be shared each week on our website. With not much time to pivot to this new format, our meetings through the end of August will all be held in the first floor boardroom at the Municipal Building at 16 Croton Avenue as this location is the only one currently outfitted to host hybrid in-person/Zoom meetings. Please remember that if you are not vaccinated, you will be required to wear a mask if you choose to join us in-person.
Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend!