Man, is it cold out there. The good news is we seem to be past the threat for snow over the weekend, so we will just stay bundled and thank our lucky stars-- so far this season, we have avoided a lot of the white stuff, let's hope it continues!
We had our re-organizational meeting this week, which is one of the most important meetings of every year-- it gives the Board a chance to set wages, policies and procedures, and make assignments to vendors that we use throughout the year. I am pleased to share that we were able to accomplish a great deal during our evening together and get the 2019 year started off right. I look forward to seeing what this year brings to the Town, we certainly have lots of work to do!
Please remember the 2nd half of school taxes is due by January 31st for both the Ossining and Briarcliff School Districts. You can come drop off your payment in person (the Tax Office on the 3rd floor of 16 Croton is open Monday through Friday, 8:30AM- 4:30PM, and will be open until 6PM on Wednesday the 30th and Thursday the 31st for your added convenience). You can also pay your bill online, which is an easy and inexpensive way to get instant proof that your payment was received (subject to collection from your bank) for the $1.50 e-check. As of last fall, you can use the dedicated postal slot at the Ossining Post Office, which will get your bill delivered to us directly, or you can mail your payment to us. Please keep in mind that, if you choose to mail your payment, we can only accept a payment as timely if it has a postmark made by the United States Postal Service (USPS) dated on or before 1/31/2019. If you use "Bill-Pay" from your bank, please be aware that the date you process your bill-pay request is not a valid USPS postmark, so you must recognize the risk of timely payment. Make sure you leave plenty of time for your payment to arrive at our office!
As the holiday season winds down, you will see the holiday decorations around town being put away for next year. On that same note, we have heard from our Superintendent of Cemeteries that there are still many seasonal decorations at Dale Cemetery. We respectfully request that you remove seasonal decorations at Dale Cemetery by February 1st or they will be removed by cemetery staff, weather permitting, the first week of next month. Thank you for helping us to keep our beautiful spaces clean as we get the grounds ready for snow.
Speaking of beautiful spaces, our Parks crew has been out in the cold this week working on their "winter list" of projects, which includes the installation of LED lighting at the upper restroom at Ryder Park (they will complete the lights under the pavilion next week), and finished fabricating the drain covers for our Spray Park. When we had the new surfacing installed, we went back and forth about how, from a safety and also aesthetic viewpoint, to handle the drain covers. As you can see, they did not fit in terribly well with our concept of a soft and attractive surface for our kids to splash around!
With some quick thinking, our Parks staff worked with the tile company to get some slightly larger tiles that could be attached to the grates in order to fit in better with the design, but also cushion any sharp edges. They are looking awesome and we are excited to get them installed in plenty of time for the re-opening of the spray park in May. We are also planning a ribbon cutting, details of which will be shared as the weather gets warmer. We also received the Grant Disbursement Agreement from the Dormitory Authority of New York State this week to help offset the costs of the Spray Park improvements, thanks again to NYS Senator David Carlucci.
The guys also spent some time fabricating something a little bigger...
After two of our boats were damaged by a falling tree this past winter, we had two donated boats sent our way for use by the Ossining Sailing Club. Hooray, right? Well, kind of. One of them did not fit our boat trailer, and we were going to have to pay to store it for thr winter, since there was no way to safely move it to one of our parks for safekeeping. Unless...
With a few hours and some elbow grease (and a welding torch and mask), our crew was able to convert one of our former boat trailers into one that safely and securely transports the sailboat.
Now she can safely be driven to dry storage and we know we have a way to get her down to the water this summer. Ahoy! Thanks again to our intrepid and innovative Parks crew-- Mario, Marco, Mark and Mike-- for another job well done.
Our neighbors at Fable Farm have a favor to ask-- will you participate in their "Chickstarter" and help them raise more baby chicks? They successfully raised about 50 chicks this past December in their heated greenhouse and are looking to raise 400 more who will start laying by early spring 2019. Consider helping them by supporting their Kickstarter campaign, or by signing up for a Farm Card and shopping at their weekend market. Check out their website for more information on these and other initiatives taking place right in our backyard.
This kind of weather can make ANYONE want to hibernate or fly south for the winter. Don't have the luxury of trying either? This Sunday (January 13th), take a lesson from the pros. Sign up for "Animal Adventures- Do I Stay or Do I Go?" and find out how some of our animal friends make the best of the chilliest days this, and every, winter. Pre-register and learn more here.
Sign up now for the first workshop of the Ossining Innovates! Inclusive Entrepreneurship series entitled, "Marketing Demystified: How to Market When You're Spending Your Own Money." Learn how to brand your business and advertise what your small business can offer customers. Even if you're still dreaming about the business or nonprofit you want to launch, this three part workshop is for you. The event is free, but please register in advance.
On Saturday, January 19th, Ossining's Cooperative Scholarship Fund will be holding their annual fundraising event in the Ossining High School auditorium at 3PM. This event honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and is dedicated to closing the achievement gap. Ossining educators and elected leaders will be joined by guest speaker Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey to celebrate this year's honorees, including William Broadnax, Mary Rainey and the late Kadoza "Woody" Worthy. Tickets are $30 each.
Also on Saturday, January 19th, something special is coming to Good Choice Kitchen. Come at 7:30 to hear live jazz by Rio Nova, a trio comprised of local musicians Martin Aronchick, Richard Brooker and Ossining resident Nancy Carmichael. Treat yourself to an evening of jazz standards, tropical tunes, and more. Come hungry-- the kitchen will be open and ready to serve you. This will be a very cool way to wrap up your weekend for just a $5 cover charge at the door.
We have two important dates coming up this week. This coming Tuesday, our Work Session will be held in a special location-- we will be in the Art Room at the Community Center at 7:30PM. We will be joined by the development team for River Knoll, who will be giving a presentation on their proposed development for the old Stony Lodge site off of Croton Dam Road, which is still before the Town Planning Board. If you can't join us, you can always stream the Town meetings live here.
Also, this Thursday (January 17th), we will be holding two sessions to offer further insight into some of the survey results from Project Forward! our initiative to look at ways to offer savings and streamline services in the Town. We will be at the Ossining Public Library from 12PM-1:30PM and 7:30PM-9PM, and will also have GO-TV there to videotape, and hope to hear from more of you about what you think of some of the ideas for savings. These include reducing some of our non-policy setting elected offices to allow for departments to be more easily maximized. Please take a look at the Project Forward webpage which can be accessed from the Town of Ossining Homepage, or directly here before you come, to have a little more background, or watch our work session when we reviewed the survey results, which was on November 7th and can be found on our Youtube channel (it starts around the 46 minute mark).
I hope everyone has a great weekend-- it's going to be a cold one!