Life is full of decisions. Some are easy – should we stop and get ice cream? Umm… YES! But others are much more difficult, filled with internal struggle and anxiety. At last night’s Town Board meeting, Town Councilmember Tara Kassal announced that she intends to resign from office in the near future. Tara explained that this was a very difficult decision for her and her family, but it will become necessary because she is planning to relocate out of state to live closer to her family.
These were her words to the Town:
“I would like to share with the residents of the Town of New Castle and my esteemed colleagues on the Town Board that our family has made the difficult decision to relocate to New England in the next few weeks to be near my family, at which time I will be resigning from my position as Council member.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this very special community and to participate in shaping the future for a warm, welcoming, resilient, and thriving town. I thank you all for the opportunity to do so.
The commitment and dedication this group brings to New Castle is truly extraordinary, and I am excited to see what this Board will achieve in the months and years ahead for our residents.
Thank you all so much!”
I know that this was a very difficult decision for Tara, and I respect it. As I said last night, family always comes first. We on the Town Board will certainly miss Tara, both professionally and personally. I believe that her insight has been invaluable, and the Town is better for having had her as its elected official.
Right now, Tara remains seated as a Town Councilmember and remains committed to representing New Castle for as long as possible. When and if her seat on the Town Board becomes vacant, we will look to fill the vacancy at that time. We will certainly keep you all updated as to next steps.
So, let’s wish Tara and her family well for all that the future may hold.
Happy 4th birthday to EMILIA COSCIA!
Happy 12th birthday to ARJUN JANGI!
Happy 8th birthday to CLAIRE HORST!
Happy 14th birthday to SAKET REDDYJARUGU!
Happy birthday to NOAH KAMBERAJ!
Happy 1st birthday to DARA ELISE!
Look for the community’s best wishes to you all on the electronic sign across from the train station! We love the sense of community (and the smiles) that this brings!
If you have a community shout-out (birthdays or otherwise), please send an email to CommunityCorner@mynewcastle.org. We make our Community Corner announcements at each of our public meetings. And you can see your name in lights!
Tunes in the Town
Back by popular demand, this Saturday from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM at the Plaza at the corner of King Street and Greeley Avenue in the Chappaqua hamlet, come listen to Crossfire Hurricane! They play classic rock, and you won’t want to miss their amazing 9-year-old drummer!
Grab a coffee and let’s show them some New Castle love!
The 9/20/22 Town Board Work Session and Meeting Recap
Last night was a busy one! We had to contend with some technical streaming difficulties during the meeting, but the wonderful folks at the New Castle Community Media Center got us up and running. Thank you!
We began by meeting with members of the New Castle Planning Board to discuss the potential engagement of the Urban Land Institute to perform public engagement for the Chappaqua hamlet. The discussion was productive and insightful. A majority of the members of the Town and Planning Boards acknowledged that a full-scale rezoning is NOT what we want or need. The Chappaqua hamlet is now thriving, and nothing is “broken” that needs to be fixed. Rather, we have the opportunity to explore options to further enhance the hamlet, such as exploring the possibility of building a community center on Town-owned land. But we want to solicit substantive input from our residents and merchants. The Town Board will first look at public engagement through surveys, meetings, and mailers and then will look to hire a group like ULI to bring our collective vision to life, and to understand the feasibility of our top community wants.
We appointed Sarah Stern as a new member of the Holocaust and Human Rights Committee. Sarah's grandparents were Holocaust survivors who were saved by Oskar Schindler. Congratulations and welcome! We know you will bring enthusiasm and new ideas to the Committee.
We also discussed an issue for which I (among others) have been advocating for years. We have been approached by the MTA for a letter in support of their efforts to eliminate the grade crossing at Roaring Brook Road. The MTA is working with the State and Federal government to secure funding to eliminate the grade crossing.
We have been advocating for a bridge in this location since the fatal 2015 MTA accident in Valhalla that claimed the lives of many, including two New Castle residents. The Roaring Brook Road grade crossing is unique because it is tied into a ramp interchange with the Saw Mill River Parkway and lies less than 1⁄2-mile from the Horace Greeley High School in the Chappaqua Central School District. During the morning and evening rush hours, traffic converges at this location and routinely backs-up over the grade crossing and onto the Saw Mill River Parkway. Because of the proximity of Horace Greeley High School, the morning rush hour traffic typically includes a large percentage of young and relatively inexperienced drivers. It is clear that improvements to the Roaring Brook Road grade crossing and Saw Mill River parkway interchange are long overdue. Recommendations to create an elevated interchange at the Saw Mill River Parkway and Roaring Brook Road grade crossing date back to the Town’s 1963 Development Plan, and have been reiterated since then. Indeed, the founders of Reader’s Digest, DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace, had the foresight to donate land to the Town in the 1930s near the Metro-North railroad Line to facilitate the future construction of a vehicular bridge over the Saw Mill Parkway. Needless to say, the Town Board unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of this project.
Last night we also celebrated being named a silver status Climate Smart Community. This is the highest honor available. Here are my words of congratulations to all of us:
“This week is Climate Week in NY, and the theme is Getting It Done.
And New Castle definitely is Getting It Done. I am proud that New Castle has been a leader in our actions and policies that place importance on climate mitigation, clean energy, and sustainability. The Town of New Castle was the very first community in New York to adopt the Climate Smart Community pledge. We understood then that we must be stewards of our environment, so that we may pass on a healthier and more beautiful earth to our children and future generations. About a year ago, we achieved certified bronze status.
That wasn’t enough for us though, and we accomplished a number of important initiatives since then like increasing recycling opportunities, installing EV charging stations at the train station, instituting a waste reduction education campaign, adopting environmentally friendly purchasing policies and highlighting our conservation efforts through tree plantings and management of land use as reflected in our zoning code. And on July 8th of this year, New Castle earned silver status certification, which is the highest level of certification currently available, again proving us to be a leader in the fight for a cleaner, greener future
Many thanks to town staff and our Climate Smart Community Task Force of Sabrina Charney Hull, Kellan Cantrell, Alicia Molloy, Bart Carey, Jennifer Mebes Flagg, Kent Thomas, Owen Platt, Tara Kassal, Tracy Stein, Victoria Alzapiedi and Zachary Wolk for all your work to support New Castle’s efforts to meet the environmental challenges posed by climate change. It has taken a lot of work and a true team effort.
Tonight, on behalf of the Town Board, I congratulate all of you, as well as the entire Town of New Castle, in achieving silver status, and in combating local climate change, reducing our carbon footprint, and being true stewards of our environment.”
Speaking of the environment, the Town Board unanimously agreed to participate in a new program administered by the Hudson Valley Regional Council to update New Castle’s 2005 government operations greenhouse gas inventory, 2010 community greenhouse gas inventory and components of our 2011 Climate Action Plan to a new baseline year of 2021. We will do this at no cost to the Town. It is based on a two-year grant to be administered and supported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservations Climate Smart Communities Coordinator.
And finally, the Town Board unanimously passed alocal law to deal with certain property maintenance issues in our community. The new law establishes a procedure under which the Town could, as a last resort, perform essential maintenance on “zombie” or otherwise neglected properties that have failed to cure significant maintenance issues that violate New York law and are endangering public welfare, jeopardizing the security of private property, and adversely impacting the value of surrounding buildings and properties. The law allows the cost of the work to be allocated as a tax lien on the property. It also provides for the fact that residents may wish to intentionally plant flower and pollinator gardens on their property, and we encourage those plantings. A copy of the adopted legislation can be found HERE.
Want to See for Yourself?
For more information on any of these items, I urge you to watch the recording of the Town Board meeting HERE.
Given upcoming religious holidays and budget meetings, our next full Town Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 18th.
Community Day Thanks!
Last weekend’s Community Day is what a true community should feel like. A true community cares about each other and has a sense of camaraderie and belonging. We laugh together, share together, and respect each other. Thank you to the Chappaqua Rotary Club, Town Staff, and all who planned and participated in New Castle’s wonderful Community Day!
I am thrilled to announce the ribbon cutting for GREEN & TONIC on S. Greeley Avenue in Chappaqua will be held this Friday, September 23rd at 3PM! They will be offering delicious, plant-based, crave-able food like salads, juices and smoothies designed to nourish the mind, body, and soul. Come join us to welcome our new neighbors!
2022-2023 School Tax Bills Have Been Mailed
The 2022-2023 School Tax Bills have been mailed. The first half of the 2022-2023 school taxes are due without penalty on or before Friday, September 30. If you, as opposed to your bank, are responsible to pay school and town taxes, and you have not received your tax bill or you have any questions, please call the tax office 238-4773.
DRAFT New Castle Natural Resources Inventory Available for Review
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program (NYSDEC HREP) defines a Natural Resources Inventory (NRI) as a compilation of a town or region’s naturally occurring resources (e.g., forests, wetlands, streams, aquifers, parks and open spaces). Funded by the NYSDEC HREP grant awarded to New Castle in 2022, the DRAFT NRI is complete and ready for public review and can be found at the hyperlink below. Comments will be included and as appropriate, incorporated into the final NRI document. Public comments shall be accepted until the close of business on October 14, 2022. Your comments should be submitted to Dennis Corelli, Town Environmental Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, the Town of New Castle Holocaust & Human Rights Committee had its’ first committee meeting of the year. We are already hard at work and are excited to share the dates of our annual community events:
December 7th at 7:30pm Human Rights Day Program
January 25th at 7:30pm International Holocaust Remembrance Day Program
April 19th at 7pm Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony
The Town of New Castle strives to identify sustainable policies, practices and procedures that promote equal access to civic involvement opportunities to all its citizens regardless of race, gender, or other protected class, thereby creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive systems of community governance. All qualified and interested residents are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Town of New Castle is looking for volunteers to serve on a new committee for LBGTQIA+ advocacy.
If interested please complete the Committee Application at the link HERE.
Environmental Review Board
The Environmental Review Board (ERB) is governed by Chapter 137 “Wetlands” of the Town Code of New Castle. The ERB is the primary approving authority for applications submitted in connection with the Town’s wetlands regulations.
Members are expected to be familiar with the regulatory thresholds and requirements of the Town ordinances relating to environmental protection, including steep slopes, trees, and especially wetlands and wetland buffers. They are also encouraged to develop skill in reading blueprints, maps, and draft plans, as well as the basic science underlying environmental evaluation.
The Environmental Review Board was established on November 14th, 1989. The term of office is three years.
If interested please complete the Board Application at the link HERE.
The Ethics Board renders advisory opinions on specific situations or when requested, on the conduct of an official or employee, in accordance with the provisions of the adopted Code of Ethics (PDF).
The Ethics Board was established on June 25th, 1970. The term of office is three years.
If interested please complete the Board Application at the link HERE.
The Recreation Commission is currently accepting applications to fill a vacancy.
The purposes and objectives of the Commission are available HERE.
To plan and provide opportunities for the residents of the Town for recreation, relaxation, and enjoyment through participation in a wide variety of programs of a recreational nature.
To study the recreational and parks needs and resources of the Town.
To achieve maximum return from moneys expended for such programs by encouraging broad use of such programs, by good management and prudent selection of such programs, and by establishing an appropriate division between tax-supported, partially tax-supported, and self-sustaining programs.
To encourage recreational programs and activity, whether directly sponsored by the Commission or otherwise.
To encourage broad community participation in its programs and coordinate its policies and activities with those of the Town Board.
Members of the Recreation Commission serve a term of seven years.
If interested please complete the Board Application at the link HERE.
09/20/2022: 3,334 Countywide, 54 New Castle
09/14/2022: 2,840 Countywide, 46 New Castle
09/08/2022: 2,755 Countywide, 41 New Castle
08/30/2022: 3,205 Countywide, 35 New Castle
08/21/2022: 3,674 Countywide, 61 New Castle
08/16/2022: 4,104 Countywide, 67 New Castle
08/11/2022: 4,694 Countywide, 67 New Castle
08/09/2022: 4,957 Countywide, 82 New Castle
08/02/2022: 5,285 Countywide, 107 New Castle
07/26/2022: 5,555 Countywide, 99 New Castle
07/19/2022: 6,007 Countywide, 103 New Castle
07/12/2022: 5,618 Countywide, 98 New Castle
07/5/2022: 5,054 Countywide, 83 New Castle
06/28/2022: 4,667 Countywide, 90 New Castle
06/22/2022: 4,519 Countywide, 94 New Castle
06/15/2022: 5,015 Countywide, 89 New Castle
06/07/2022: 5,629 Countywide, 101 New Castle
05/31/2022: 6,698 Countywide, 172 New Castle
05/24/2022: 8,093 Countywide, 247 New Castle
05/18/2022: 8,304 Countywide, 282 New Castle
05/10/2022: 6,944 Countywide, 248 New Castle
05/03/2022: 5,411 Countywide, 160 New Castle
04/26/2022: 4,683 Countywide, 127 New Castle
04/20/2022: 4,834 Countywide, 126 New Castle
04/13/2022: 4,074 Countywide, 106 New Castle
04/05/2022: 2,751 Countywide, 87 New Castle
03/30/2022: 2,279 Countywide, 66 New Castle
03/24/2022: 1,875 Countywide, 39 New Castle
03/22/2022: 1,696 Countywide, 38 New Castle
03/17/2022: 1,550 Countywide, 38 New Castle
03/15/2022: 1,516 Countywide, 43 New Castle
03/11/2022: 1,463 Countywide, 47 New Castle
03/08/2022: 1,469 Countywide, 48 New Castle
03/03/2022: 1,337 Countywide, 46 New Castle
03/01/2022: 1,559 Countywide, 46 New Castle
02/24/2022: 1,784 Countywide; 45 New Castle
02/17/2022: 2,600 Countywide; 50 New Castle
02/15/2022: 2,837 Countywide, 58 New Castle
02/10/2022: 3,797 Countywide, 69 New Castle
02/08/2022 4,614 Countywide, 86 New Castle
02/03/2022: 6,982 Countywide, 135 New Castle
02/01/2022: 8,779 Countywide, 174 New Castle
01/26/2022:16,093 Countywide; 276 New Castle
01/24/2022: 20,176 Countywide, 324 New Castle
01/19/2022: 34,213, Countywide, 491 New Castle
01/18/2022: 37,378, Countywide, 513 New Castle
01/12/2022: 48,574, Countywide, 659 New Castle
01/05/2022: 43,469, Countywide, 563 New Castle
01/03/2022: 38,802, Countywide, 538 New Castle
The Westchester County Covid-19 Dashboard can be viewed HERE
The Town uses the eNewsletter to keep residents informed about community news, meetings, events, initiatives, announcements and other important information. In addition, civic groups, not-for-profit and charitable organizations are welcome to submit time, place and date announcements for their upcoming events for inclusion in the eNewsletter free of charge.