First off -- you have a few short hours to get your 2nd half School Tax paid on time! The Town Tax Office will be open until 6pm tonight, January 31st for taxpayers. You can also still pay your taxes online until the clock strikes midnight tonight. If you have any questions, please call the Receiver of Taxes Office -- (914) 762-8790, they are happy to help.
On Monday, I joined County Executive Latimer and many local elected officials and representatives (like my friends Jaimie Hoffman and Mayor Victoria Gearity from the Village of Ossining) from Westchester municipalities for an official kick-off of US Census 2020. As we discussed at our first work session of the year, the Census is mandated by the US Constitution to take place every 10 years. Over $880 billion federal dollars are distributed based on Census figures, and I do not believe that even includes what happens at the state and county levels. Also, our representation in the county, and in New York State and Washington is determined by the census count. State aid to schools also uses the census count as a part o its formula. So it is critically important that when you get your letter in the mail in March, you respond and answer the nine simple questions you will be asked.
We also learned that there may be some grant funding coming to municipalities and the county to assist with outreach regarding the census, so stay tuned for more details about how the Town will be performing outreach to our residents. In the meantime, check out these informational events in Briarcliff and Ossining regarding the census:
The Census is also hiring! Learn more about potential job opportunities at a job fair here in Ossining hosted by Ossining's Census Committee, Ossining Counts, coming up on February 12th at the Community Center.
We learned some exciting news this week from County Executive George Latimer about how the county is going to be assisting communities in the future with composting food scraps. As you might remember, the Town received a grant from the New York State DEC to start a food scrap recycling program in Ossining (we are so close to the official launch!) modeled after our neighbors in Greenburgh, Scarsdale, and others. As these programs have grown throughout the county, County Executive Latimer announced that the county will soon launch a county-wide transport and disposal program for food scraps. Similar to their current role in regular garbage collection, the county will establish a transfer station to collect and haul food scraps from all participating municipalities to the nearest commercial composting facility, currently in Ulster County. This will hopefully cut back on the costs to individual municipalities to recycle food scraps and encourage more municipalities to participate. This new offering was an action step identified as a result of a recent Food Waste Study completed by Westchester County.
This was all extremely exciting news to us as we are on the cusp of launching our food scrap recycling program with a drop off site at Cedar Lane Park. Our new part-time staff member, Marcus DaSilva (check out his shout out on the Green Ossining Instagram page), started this week preparing kits for residents to purchase to make it easy and smell-free to collect these scraps in your own home, and laying the ground work for the program. We still have a few more items on our "to-do" list before we can officially start accepting food scraps, but I encourage you to check out the dedicated Ossining Composts webpage set up by our partners at Teatown to learn more about this upcoming offering.
More good news from Westchester County this week -- we will be receiving $120,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding to renovate the kitchen at our Senior Nutrition Program! Our current kitchen has seen better days, and requires some upgrades to be a more appropriately designed "commerical kitchen" to service our evergrowing program. The Town's Senior Nutrition Program feeds dozens of seniors, including the homebound, with meals on a daily basis and they deserve the best! We will be having preliminary meetings with an architect and the staff at the Westchester County Planning Department in the coming weeks to get this project started.
We are also gearing up for New York State's plastic bag ban, which goes into effect on March 1st, 2020. Start the habit now -- make sure you always have a reusable bag (or two!) with you when you go to the grocery store. Did you know that New Yorkers use over 23 billion plastic bags every year? That is simply unacceptable and devastating to the environment. Learn more about the plastic bag ban and do your part to help our planet!
There is still time to check out this event, hosted by Ossining Parent Leadership --
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 1st from 10am to 3pm is the Lantern Gift Shop's Valentine's Day and Bake Sale. The Lantern Gift Shop will have many unique gifts for Valentine's Day including cards, handmade items, and lots of yummy baked goods. The shop is located on the grounds of St. Paul's on the Hill Church at 40 Ganung Drive in Ossining.
Ossining School District's Saturday Explore and Learn series continues this Saturday. Check out the many fun offerings they have for the whole family!
Make sure to head to the Ossining Farmers Market this weekend for all of your Super Bowl Sunday goodies! PickleLicious has a special offer this Saturday -- spend $20 and get a free pint of pickles. You can also get locally sourced meats from Sunset View Farm, and much much more. We have gone vegan here in the Supervisor's Office, so we will certainly be stocking up with hummus and other Mediterranean dips from Nana's Home Kitchen this weekend. The Farmers Market is at Market Square on the corner of Main Street and Spring Street every Saturday from 9am to 1pm all winter long.
Starting February 3rd and ending April 15th, IFCA Housing Network will be providing free income tax preparation services at their offices on Spring Street and at Ossining High School. This program is for New York State residents, who work in New York State, have incomes less than $56,000 per year, and who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. You can start making appointments now by calling (914) 941-5252 for sessions at IFCA's headquarters at 138 Spring Street and appointments are available Monday (12pm-3pm), Tuesday (10am-3pm), Wednesday (1pm-5pm), Thursday (10am-3pm), Friday (1:30pm-3:30pm), and Saturday (12:30pm-3:30pm). There will also be walk-in hours on Mondays from February 3rd through April 6th at Ossining High School (Room 202) from 4pm through 8pm. Please note the walk-in hours at OHS will not be held on February 17th, April 6th, and April 13th. This program is sponsored by Wells Fargo Foundation.
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef's annual Town Meetings have kicked off and will include a meeting scheduled at the Briarcliff Manor Library on Thursday, February 6th at 7pm.
There are quite a few events scheduled for next weekend highlighting Ossining's many cultural arts offerings. Plan on checking out one -- or more -- of these next week!
Our very own Receiver of Taxes, Honorable Holly Perlowitz and Town Clerk, Honorable Susanne Donnelly are the guests of honor at the Greater Ossining Chamber of Commerce's February 11th Business B4 Business Breakfast at The Tasty Table. Come, meet your local elected officials, and learn all about the services provided by their offices to the entire Town of Ossining.
Save the date, Saturday, February 15th, for Gullotta House's 3rd annual Escape from Sing Sing Plunge! Register now, or become a sponsor -- the proceeds fund the Gullotta House's many deserving causes. And yes, I am still planning on plunging!