We have certainly earned this sunny day after all that rain! The start of summer is still 3 weeks away, but never fear-- the Louis Engel Spray Park is officially open for the season! Until school ends, this is "weekends only" between 12PM and 7PM-- but once school is out, you can come to Engel Park to cool down every day until Labor Day! This season we are debuting our new splash pad thanks to a $100,000 grant from Senator David Carlucci. We are hoping to have an official ribbon cutting sometime this summer on a weekday when school is out – stay tuned!
Speaking of Parks, our guys have been running around Town to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the warm weather. They relined spots at the Waterfront...
... to ensure ADA accessibility for all of our park-goers.
They also updated the two ADA spots outside the Cedar Lane Arts Center/ the Organic Community Garden at Cedar Lane Park with the correct accessibility icon.
They still have to get to Gerlach and Ryder, which will hopefully be accomplished this weekend if the weather cooperates.
The rainy weather also gave them a chance to get back into the Caretaker's House at Ryder Park, where the remodel of the kitchen is allllllmost complete. This was a project they started over the winter at the behest of our Building Inspector-- there were some structural issues in the basement and the kitchen, as well as mold and termite damage.
Thought it has taken them a long time (as you can imagine, they hop around between projects, weather permitting), it is almost time to unveil the completed kitchen! Just another few weeks, and then Parks Foreman Mario Velardo will be doing one of his famous Powerpoints at a Town Board meeting sometime in June.
On Tuesday, our Assessor Fernando Gonzalez informed us that his office has completed the process to prepare the 2019 assessment roll and that 2,965 Change of Assessment notices went out in the mail earlier this week. Here are some highlights:
- 2,546 parcels increased and 419 parcels received reductions for a Town wide average of 1% increase in residential value.
- There was an approximately $97 million dollar increase in Taxable AV Town wide, $45 million of which is attributed to The Club at Briarcliff Manor, a Senior Living community that is partially completed.
If you disagree with your assessment, you are able to grieve through the Assessor’s Office directly—call to make an appointment with our Assessor and bring along any backup or comparable sales that you believe support your case. The last day to challenge your value on the 2019 roll is Tuesday, June 18th—Grievance Day will be held in the 1st Floor Boardroom of 16 Croton Avenue from 5PM until 9PM.
Last night, I attended the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation Annual Awards dinner because the Millwood-Ossining Go! Planning Initiative was being recognized with a Planning Commendation. Millwood-Ossining Go! or MOGO is the product of several years of hard work with our neighbors in the Town of New Castle and the Village of Ossining, with a lot of help from the Westchester County Planning Department, New York State DOT, and other important stakeholders including members of Westchester Cycle Club and other Cycling organizations, as well as community members. All together, they helped us to identify bicycle and pedestrian connections between the downtown Village of Ossining and the Empire State Trail/North County Trailway in Millwood. This project started in the fall of 2016, and we are already starting to see the fruits of our labor with the upcoming striping of North State Road for a bike lane, as well as funding from Westchester County thanks to County Legislator Catherine Borgia and perhaps from New York State to begin preliminary engineering for a bike lane along Route 133. I was joined by County Legislator Borgia, Councilmember Ivy Pool, Planning Director Sabrina Charney Hull, and Assistant Planner Kellan Cantrell from the Town of New Castle, Mayor Victoria Gearity and Planning Director Tracey Corbitt from the Village of Ossining, and Jane Daniels from Yorktown (who also received a Distinguished Citizen Planner Award from WMPF) as we received this prestigious recognition. Our partners were so instrumental in growing this initiative, especially Tracey who basically wrote the MOGO plan in her previous role with the County Planning Department.
Leaf blower legislation goes into effect today (Friday, May 31st) in the Town of Ossining.
Here are the highlights: from May 31st to September 30th of each year, gas powered leaf blowers are prohibited except in cemetery properties and on pavement when operated at half speed, during emergencies like storms when the Town Supervisor may declare a temporary moratorium, and with a temporary permit granted by our building inspector for a period not to exceed seven days. Well over a dozen municipalities in Westchester have already adopted this type of seasonal prohibition in an effort to improve quality of life for those who operate these machines (one local garden store owner let me know he had major hearing loss from operating these machines for so many years), those in the vicinity of machines being operated, as well as to improve air quality and do our part to combat climate change.
Now, onto the weekend! What better way to enjoy a sunny evening than with a parade? The Ossining Fire Department kicks off their Competition Parade Season tonight at 7PM, when they will march in the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department's 125th Anniversary Parade. Go stake out a good spot and cheer on the OFD!
Or, start your weekend off with some love tunes-- the Old Mill Singers will be performing "Aspects of Love" at the Clear View School tonight (Friday, May 31st) and tomorrow (Saturday, June 1st) at 8PM at the Clear View School. Tickets for the Old Mill Singers are $15, $12 for Seniors, and $5 for children.
Need to be out of the heat for a few hours? Roger that. The Ossining Public Library will be showing "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" at 7PM tonight as part of their Friday Night Flix series. Get to the (air conditioned) Budarz Theater at 6:45PM to get settled in with your free cold beverage and popcorn. Fun fact: the popcorn, for this show only, will be popped, in person, by Ossining's very own fire breathing dragon. I'm told it tastes better that way, you'll have to let me know.
Be sure to check out Theater O's elementary school production of the play based on the classic children's novel "A Wrinkle in Time." We know Theater O always helps kids bring their own special touch to all their productions, so you won't want to miss this. You have 2 chances left to check it out-- shows will take place at 7PM tonight (Friday 5/31) and tomorrow night (Saturday 6/1) at the Bethany Arts Community on Somerstown Road. Tickets are only $10 each. Purchase your tickets ahead of time here.
Get your tickets now for Saturday's continuation of Westchester Collaborative Theater's Jazz Master Series with internationally known and Grammy-nominated musician Enrique Haneine. His unique jazz style, influenced by Latin and Lebanese traditions, is sure to bring a crowd to both sets at 7:30PM and 9PM. Enrique Haneine has performed alongside some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time -- thank you to WCT for bringing him to Ossining! Buy your tickets in advance!
On Sunday, June 2nd, head down to White Plains to celebrate Westchester Pride-- Ossining's very own Christina Picciano of "All My Friends" is scheduled to perform! Check out the line up of events between 12PM and 5PM, including live entertainment, diverse vendors, and more. If you miss that, but still want to celebrate Pride month, come to Village/Town Hall on Tuesday, June 4th at 4PM when the Village will host its own flag raising to celebrate. Hope to see you there!
If you will not be joining the Town Board for our Work Session on Tuesday evening (you can always catch us later on Youtube!), head to the Ossining Public Library's Budarz Theater to learn about the Village of Ossining's upcoming Comprehensive Plan update, what that means and how you can get involved. Learn more here and see below or Tuesday's details.
One of the best things about this time of year? LOTS of live music. On June 5th, the Ferry Sloops Summer Concert Series begins with a performance by Endless Field, an instrumental guitar and bass duo, who will be at Shattemuc Yacht Club at 7:30PM. Learn more about this free concert, and the Series, here.
The Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series' June offering will be "Transmilitary," a look into the lives of four transgender individuals serving in the U.S. military who must conceal their gender identity in order to serve their nation. Make sure not to miss this thoughtful program which will include an expert panel after the film.
Check out the Opening Reception of the Ossining Arts Council's Annual Members' Show on Tuesday, June 11th starting at 6:30PM at the Ossining Public Library-- you can get a sneak peek at the art beginning on Thursday, June 6th.
Phenomenal yoga teacher (and Briarcliff native!) has announced she will be offering 4 free classes this summer in Law Park-- mark your calendars now! Having taken Shannon's classes, I can promise you will leave wondering how getting your butt kicked could have you feeling so peaceful and light!
Stay tuned for more free wellness classes in our parks as we once again offer Mind Body Spirit – Ossining, celebrating our beautiful parks, awesome wellness businesses and YOU. You can get a sneak peek and even sign up for these free classes if you go to the second page of the Ossining Recreation online registration offerings and scroll down to the MBSO page. Registration is strongly encouraged (even though the classes are free) so that the program instructor can notify you if there are any cancellations or changes of venue due to weather. This year we are partnering with Open Door Family Medical Centers, Ossining Schools and continuing to work with Club Fit and Ossining Parks & Rec to offer as robust a program as possible. Here’s the link.
The big day is just one week away! The 39th Annual Ossining Village Fair will take place next Saturday, June 8th from 10AM to 4PM. The Town will be represented well by our Environmental Advisory Committee, Green Ossining, the Cedar Lane Arts Center, and Forest O Fears Haunted Attraction, each with their own booth this year.
Bill T. Jones is coming back to Ossining with even more opportunities for community involvement. If you participated with them last year, you know what an incredible opportunity this is to get your dance on! Check out their offerings (many of them free!) below.
Please also note that on Tuesday, June 18th, we will be holding our Work Session at the Birdsall-Fagan Police/Court Facility at 86-88 Spring Street instead of our usual location of 16 Croton Avenue. We are devoting that Work Session to a Board discussion about the River Knoll project which has been proposed for the Stony Lodge site on Croton Dam Road, a project that is still before the Town Planning Board. We will begin at 7:30PM and, as an exception to our usual rule for Work Sessions, we will be allowing public comment. We hope you can join us-- if not, we will be filming the Work Session and it will be posted to the Town's Youtube channel the day following the meeting.
I hope everyone enjoys a warm, beautiful weekend-- Sunday may see a few showers and thunder rumbles, but otherwise it's looking pretty good. Make the most of your Saturday just in case-- the Ossining Farmers Market will be open for the last time until after the Village Fair, so make sure to stock up and freeze what you can! While you're at it, get yourself some flowers to light up a room at home. June is finally here!