The countdown is ON! School tax payments for anyone living in the Ossining or Briarcliff Manor school districts are due by close of business on Monday, September 30th. If you still need to pay, the Tax Office will be open extended hours on Monday the 30th (8AM to 6PM), you can pay online, or make use of the designated mail slot at the Ossining Post Office (if you get it there before 5PM, it will be postmarked for the current day and sent right to our office). By law, we cannot waive penalties on late payments, no matter the reason, so please plan ahead!
This continues to be a busy time for our office, as we are heading into budget season AND finishing up our Discrimination and Harassment Training. Working with our insurance company (NYMIR), we have created a distinct login for each of our employees to complete the interactive training online. During an impromptu visit to the Highway Department on Tuesday, we stumbled upon Superintendent Connolly completing his training, and he was gracious enough to share his score... 100%!
The reason for the visit? Well, we have been sharing with you all of the site upgrades that Pete and his team have been working on over at the Highway Department-- new floors in the office and kitchen, fresh coat of paint, and a huge whiteboard to keep projects on schedule-- but they also painted the outside of the garage building, which was sorely needed after many years.
On Tuesday night, we had a full dance card at our Legislative Meeting-- 3 departmental reports! We were joined by Town Assessor Fernando Gonzalez, who gave us some updated information about the Town-wide Reappraisal Project currently underway, as well as our Engineering Team Paul Fraioli and Andy Tiess.
Paul and Andy had a lot of exciting news to share with us about a variety of projects, including our generator replacement initiative for our sewer lift stations, the paving work planned for late October in conjunction with the Town Highway Department (so far, Studio Hill Road and Haymount Terrace are on the list), and also the McCarthy Drive Restoration work, which will likely go to bid this winter for a Spring 2020 start. Finally, we had our Recreation Superintendent Bill Garrison to talk about the end of camp, the upcoming Fall Family Fun Day, and how well the Cedar Lane Arts Center did this year (woooo!)
However, we also got a chance to discuss with Bill a project we are working on in the Supervisor's Office. The Town has 7 parks: Litt Park (off of Tappan Terrace) and Sally Swope Park (Hawkes Avenue) are passive parks, Cedar Lane has a large sports field, a pavilion, our dog park and our art center, and then we have four other parks that all have some form of playground equipment. Ryder Park has two jungle gyms (one large, one small) that are both in good condition. However, at Buck Johnson, Gerlach and Engel, we are looking to trade out some of the aging equipment for something new to address changing demands for how parks are used. We have a few ideas, most of which involve adult fitness equipment (think fixed kettlebells on posts, TRX straps, etc.), all weather sports surfaces, and we are even considering a pickleball court! We will be putting something formal together for the Recreation Advisory Board to weigh in on and then (hopefully) you will be seeing some new pieces in our parks! In the meanwhile, we hear pickleball has gotten very popular at the Rec Center-- see below for how you can learn more about the sport or find friends already playing!
Did you know that Ossining is about to launch a food scrap composting program? Thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s 2018 Municipal Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Programs, the Town of Ossining will be establishing a pilot program for all Ossining residents, including those in the Villages of Ossining and Briarcliff Manor! We will be partnering with Teatown on Education and Outreach, so today, Deputy Comptroller Dale Ferreira, Victoria from my office, and I were joined by Nadya Hall and Phyllis Bock from Teatown to learn from the experts – Ron Schulhof and Michelle Sterling from the Village of Scarsdale. Scarsdale was one of the first municipalities to establish a program like this, and Michelle and Ron have helped these types of programs grow across Westchester with their vast knowledge and resources. Once we have all of our materials in place, you will be able to purchase a start-up kit (like the one Victoria and I are modeling here), start collecting food scraps, and drop them off at Cedar Lane Park to be brought to a commercial composting facility – easy as that!
We are so excited to get started and hoping you are too. Stay tuned for more information about how to get involved – our friends at Green Ossining will be assembling a team of volunteers to help get the word out once we launch. Thanks Ron and Michelle for all of your sage advice!
Finally, we continue to work on preparing for the 2019 Haunting at Cedar Lane-- sets are being built, costumes are being sewn, student volunteers are assisting and getting community service credit, and food trucks are heading in for their permits. Only a few weeks left until our cast of goblins and ghouls get their annual crack at getting a few screams out of you! All proceeds benefit the SPCA of Westchester this year, so make sure to grab your tickets soon.
So much going on around Town this weekend! Take a look and see what activities really jump out at you-- there are certainly a lot to choose from!
September is the annual Hudson River Valley Ramble and this is the last weekend to take advantage of the great events scheduled throughout the region. I encourage you to check out the many ways you can get outdoors with your family and enjoy all of the recreational and cultural resources right in our backyard. Here in Ossining, you can join in on the Ramble fun by participating in the last Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining class for the season scheduled for tomorrow (September 28th). Sue Radparvar of Studio95 Zumba will be at Louis Engel Park from 4PM to 5PM with Zumba for all ages. The end of Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining means it’s time to draw the winners for our raffle with prizes from our partners at UMAC Briarcliff and Club Fit Briarcliff. We will be drawing from all Mind, Body, Spirit – Ossining participants who registered for a class in an advance. Keep an eye out next week for a call or e-mail from us…you might just be the lucky winner!
Then tomorrow, head over to the Maryknoll Sisters Center for their fall festival from 11AM to 4PM. All of the proceeds from the festival will benefit the elderly Maryknoll sisters living here in Ossining.
Then on Sunday, the Ossining Boat and Canoe Club is holding its Annual Family Fun and Fishing Day from 12PM to 4PM with fishing, crafts, food, and fun – just for $10 per family.
We have a Climate Change March coming to Ossining, and this one is led by a bunch of future leaders. Join a dynamic group of Ossining youngsters, who were inspired by Greta Thunberg’s urgent message for climate change! These kids believe in a healthy Earth for all. The March begins at 10AM on Tuesday, October 1st at Market Square and will continue down Main Street to Louis Engel Waterfront Park, where these youngsters will put words into action by cleaning up the waterfront beach. Be a part of this inspiring initiative by our Ossining Youth to “put the Earth first”. Learn more, and sign up, here.
This coming Tuesday, October 1st from 6PM to 8PM, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia, the Westchester County Department of Planning, and the Village of Ossining in cooperation with the Town are hosting a Town Hall discussion on the 2020 Census at the Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theater. Westchester County Department of Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond will be the keynote speaker. Ensuring an accurate count during the 2020 Census is extremely important – population counts determine so much on the federal level including our representation in Congress and, significantly, allocations for funding, including school district funding. I hope you will join me for this informative and critical conversation (yes, you can still make our Town Board Work Session just down the street that evening starting at 7:30PM!).
Check out the next segment of the Ferry Sloops Fall Lecture Series when our friend (and Town Historian) Scott Craven will present on the history and ecology of Haverstraw Bay on Wednesday, October 2nd at 7:30PM at Shattemuc Yacht Club. This is a free lecture and Captain Craven is one of the best storytellers around-- you may even want to take notes!
Also on October 2nd, Good Choice Kitchen will be one of more than a dozen restaurants participating in Woodstock Farm Sanctuary's first annual "Dining Out for Farmed Animals" to raise awareness for World Farmed Animals Day-- 10% of their proceeds on Wednesday will go towards the cause. Please consider grabbing a delicious smoothie, crunchy salad, or hearty bowl and help fund the Sanctuary's efforts to rescue and care for neglected farm animals. Learn more here.
Are you or someone you know expecting a baby or have a small child in the home? Put the Early Literacy Baby Shower on your calendar! On Saturday, October 5th at 11AM, the Ossining Public Library will host this program in partnership with Neighbor's Link, Ossining Children's Center, Open Door and St. Matthew's Head Start-- head to the Budarz Theater to learn about programs at the Library for children younger than 18 months, have a snack, meet other new parents and enjoy a peaceful storytime. What could be better on a Saturday morning?