Supervisor’s Report—September 23 Town Board meeting
September 26, 2014
• New Castle Launches Zero Tolerance for Distracted Driving
• Limiting Speed in Downtown
• Coyote Management Task Force / Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee
• Millwood A&P—Keeping a Grocery
• Replacement of King Street Restaurant
• Emergency Planning Committee
• Train Station RFP Released
New Castle Launches Zero Tolerance for Distracted Driving
New Castle will have zero tolerance for distracted driving. New Castle is taking a leadership role in fighting this growing destructive behavior. We have begun implementing initiatives we hope surrounding areas will consider as well. We are also working with Chappaqua residents Ben and Debbie Lieberman, who know all too much about this topic. They lost their nineteen (19) year old son Evan following a car collision caused by distracted driving. The Lieberman’s set up an organization to combat distracted driving known as “DORCs”—“Distracted Operators Risk Casualties.” You have seen the banners throughout town, and we will be giving out car magnets at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. There will also be decals on all police cruisers. The Secretary of Transportation has called Distracted Driving “a national epidemic”. Lyn McKay, Superintendent of Chappaqua Central School District, has requested additional banners for inside the high school and we have ordered more. Our message is simple: 5 points on your license / 0 tolerance for distracted driving / 1 choice in New Castle!
Limiting Speed in Downtown
On Tuesday tonight the Town Board approved a resolution requesting NYSDOT to reduce the speed limit on certain areas of King Street, South Greeley Avenue and Quaker Road. As we all know, these areas in downtown Chappaqua generate significant pedestrian traffic of middle school children. Town of New Castle Police Chief and Police Department support the recommendation that the speed limit be reduced to 25 miles per hour downtown Chappaqua business hamlet. If you recall, NYC recently lowered the default speed limit from 30 to 25 mph in order to reduce pedestrian accidents. Likewise, in our continuing effort to keep our kids safe, Community Resource Officers have been speaking with students about using crosswalks, paying attention to crossing guards and being aware of their surroundings, particularly in the downtown business area where crossing is more challenging than most New Castle neighborhoods.
Coyote Management Task Force / Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee
On Tuesday night the Town Board established two different committee to address our coyote problem. Both committees recognize that coyote sightings have noticeably increased in the Town of New Castle over the years. Town residents have reported having their dogs attacked and killed by coyotes. The Town recognizes the need to educate residents about the presence of coyotes and seek input from the community as to coyote sightings and interactions. We recognize that there may not be unanimity between these advisory boards on all issues. They clearly have different approaches. The Town Board encourages the Coyote Management Task Force and the Coyote Awareness and Safety Advisory Committee to work in a collaborative fashion to provide residents and the Town Board with a full range of information and perspectives on dealing with the presence of coyotes in our community.
As you may have heard, we are working with an outside survey research firm to gather input from local residents about what they think is important to address in the master plan. In the near future, you may be contacted by a representative at PSB Interviewing to participate in the telephone survey. The phone interviews will be conducted during October and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. This is a great opportunity to share your opinions and we would greatly appreciate your participation. After the interview process concludes and the data is consolidated, we will share the aggregated findings with the public. As an important member of our community, we want to keep you engaged throughout the process.
Councilman Adam Brodsky & I met with the owner of the Millwood Shopping Center where the A&P is located. The A&P lease is expiring next year, and a few of the tenants in that shopping center were concerned about losing their anchor tenant. It is unclear if the landlord will renew with A&P – although A&P has expressed interest – but the owner is 100% committed to a grocer @ that location. He is also committed to sprucing up the look of the shopping center.
I am happy to report that a new restaurant will be opening at 76 King Street replacing King Street Restaurant and Bar. Councilman Adam Brodsky, Town Administrator Jill & myself have all reached out to the new owners and welcomed them to Chappaqua. We have provided them with our cell numbers. They operate the Darien Social in Darien, CT, which prides itself as bringing “back the classic American bar and restaurant from an era gone by”.
Emergency Planning Committee
In order to prepare for a community emergency, we are in the process of forming the Emergency Planning Committee. This committee is being established to assist the Town Board with planning, preparation, coordination and communication during an emergency. At our first meeting, we have Chef Ferry from New Castle Police Department, as well as members of Millwood Fire Department, Chappaqua Fire Department, Chappaqua Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corp and a representative from Red Cross/Westchester County Animal Response Team. We are committed to ensuring that our community is prepared.
Train Station RFP
We have released our RFP for leasing the Chappaqua Train Station. The proposed initial lease term is five (5) years. The deadline for responding to the RFP is 12pm on October 22, 2014.
Click HERE to see the Supervisor’s Report of two weeks ago on:
• Master Plan mailing explaining phone survey, a return “How-are-we-doing?” card
• Workers Compensation Renewal, savings of $222,525 for 2014-15
• Garbage Contract, savings of $477,980 per year of seven-year contract
Would the Town allow self storage units to be built as a second floor on top of the entire A&P? Ideas like this help keep residential property taxes down. Could we allow the A&P to build a Hess Gas Station in their parking lot, or allow a PAD SITE for a King Cone type operation? How can we get the owner of the A&P property to increase his density of “USE,” and allow new and additional construction and coverage on this site? Would the Town of New Castle allow the owner of this property to cut the Chase Bank in HALF and create space for a Chinese restaurant? Team Green are you thinking about these kinds of issues for the A&P? What are your ideas, who are you introducing, what calls are you making. If you as a sitting Town Supervisor called up Public Storage and said we will approve you to build a second floor on the A&P: are uou allowed to be this proactive in throwing out ideas and promises to approve such projects in under 6 months or less? Would it make sense to give the owner of the A&P property the soon to be vacated Firehouse building in exchange to build a two or three bay Ambulance center of operation facing Mobil Gas Station?
By no means should the owner of the Millwood Shopping Center renew the A&P lease. That market is sub-par. I have written two times to the corporate office and none of the issues I addressed were solved. They do not care about their employees or their customers. Please put in a market like Di Cicco’s! We deserve better.
The Millwood A&P is a filthy disgrace. The management should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately it is the only show in town.
Self-storage units on a second floor? So people can carry stuff up stairs? Duh.
There are two gas stations in the A&P area. A third is the last thing needed.
Now cutting Chase Bank in half is a good idea, as is a restaurant.
The vacated firehouse should be sold and developed, the money going to all those who are footing the bills for the new extravagant firehouse.
The employees of the Millwood A&P are fine, but the management of that store is a disaster.
The Briarcliff A&P, however, is not treat. Basically A&P is bankrupt.
Gee, I do not think that the Millwood A&P is filthy or a disgrace. I do not know how they treat their employees, but their employees always treat me respectfully.
Sure it could be updated but it is not so bad now.
To: By really? Maybe you haven’t gone too far to do marketing. Have you ever been to a Whole Foods or Kings Supermarket in New Jersey or Di Cicco’s? Now, those are real supermarkets. Most times I go to the Millwood A&P I have to end up going to another market because there is something there that I need that they don’t carry. I wold not even think of buying meat or fish or anything from the deli counter. Next time you are there, look at those areas and look at the ceiling which looks disgusting. Basically anything that is not wrapped and in a box is off limit to me!
To: By idea? Are you kidding me? A second floor storage facility? The owner of that shopping center needs to remodel and pave the parking lot before thinking of adding on a second floor. They just put in a new roof and the person that installed it used the wrong adhesive and the health department had to be called in. I don’t think the owner really cares about his property and we deserve more than what we are getting in Millwood!
Millwood could be a really atrractive area of town, but we need people who care – like the owner of the new gas station. Now there is an example of someone who takes pride in what he has.
You have never seen self storage built on top of a shopping center like the A&P? If not, you need to look into this a little bit more. They have elevators that lift your loaded cart to be pushed right into the storage unit. How much more would the Chappaqua School System be able to collect in property taxes due to this type of an expansion that does not impact the School System or the community (Think about it)? The soon to be former Firehouse should be either kept by the Fire District for Municipal related functions, left demolished and landscaped, or used to house a first response ambulance unit. How is the budget of the construction of the new Firehouse going? Are we within budget, under budget, or over budget? Do we have an outside auditor checking the numbers? I don’t think the few nickles the community would get for the firehouse would give the type of bang for the buck that you seek. We may as well just keep it for Government use or for movies in Millwood during bad weather days. Run a shuttle bus from the A&P parking lot or from Gedney Park to accomodate the movie goers since the site itself is way too small. Ideas like this cause the registers to ring throughout Millwood; do you understand this? Do you understand how this is all connected? Come to store stuff, buy a cup of coffee, get gas, come to see a movie step into a deli, or pizza place, restaurant, Hardware store, Drugmart, Dodds liguor store. Think about it bob, maybe even get Insurance while in town. Open the road from the Millwood business district so that parents can circle around to pick up their children from the movies that would be played inside the vacated firehouse. We all need to think!
That new gas station looks like it belongs on a Long Island 6 lane highway- Is that the “look” you want for Millwood. Whoever approved that abomination should be fired.
“They have elevators that lift your loaded cart to be pushed right into the storage unit.”
Now there’s something truly practical! Maybe your movie theater could go on top of A&P.
Oh right. The movie theater, open only on rainy days, is going into the old firehouse, along with an insurance broker.
The planning board really needs “ideas” like this.
I think the idea of keeping the soon to be former Millwood Firehouse for community service is an excellent idea and should be discussed. It would be great for this building to serve the boys and girl scouts, community functions, emergency shelter, Park and Recreation functions and gatherings. A place for Cultural events and happenings, and when the weather does not allow; it without a doubt would be great for movies in Millwood. Did anyone ask Devereux School if they needed additional space from time to time? This needs to be discussed. This could be a center to keep so that as a community we can do our part on this side of town to provide good events for those who have special needs.
To: By a Millwood Shopper
I guess you did not see the gas station that was there before the new one!