Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Edition

Message from Deputy Supervisor Jeremy Saland

As we are inundated with headline after headline of the Coronavirus’ perils, it is understandable that some of us are anxious or scared. In fact, being a bit nervous is healthy. To have no concerns is to ignore sound medical advice and scientific realities. That said, fear based not on facts, but an irrational and emotionally driven response, is a different kind of virus and one that is detrimental to our mental health and that of our families and community. As valuable as social media can be, it is critical that we source our information neither from salacious soundbites nor irreputable sites.

By no means am I discouraging anyone from following the news, but be responsible when you share misinformation or that which is incomplete. It is not about “likes” or comments on a Facebook  post. Self-validation should be of no consequence. Far more is at risk. Two great resources that I encourage you to review on a regular basis, and linked below, are the websites for both the New York State and Westchester County Department of Health. Remember, Westchester County and New York State, as well as your New Castle elected officials, Town Hall staff and first responders, have a priority – you. Your safety and health are our top priority. Of this you should have no misgivings.

Please know that as your Deputy Town Supervisor I have been in regular communication with County Executive George Latimer, his office and the Westchester Department of Health. I have also been in contact with Superintendent Christine Ackerman of Chappaqua Central School District and will be in touch with neighboring school districts, fire departments and houses of worship shortly so that we can efficiently share information as needed. To that end, many of you have seen my posts on Facebook and we will be sharing additional information by way of email and on our website.
 

https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

https://health.westchestergov.com/2019-novel-coronavirus

Voluntary Town Hall Sign In Policy

We have instituted a voluntary policy that encourages any person who comes to Town Hall to sign in with his or her name, contact information and time they visited us regardless of the purpose. In the event there is a confirmed Coronavirus infection, this information will allow us to contact you. Please recognize that we have absolutely no intention to keep this information permanently. Our goal is a simple one. Efficient communication if, and when, necessary.

Chappaqua Train Station

I have asked the County to assist getting the MTA to install hand sanitizers in our train station waiting area. Whether or not this will happen, please keep the doors open to limit transmission of the virus from countless hands that go from mouths, noses and tissues to door handles, neighbors and back and forth from Grand Central Station. While a bit redundant, it should go without saying that we all must wash our hands, cover our mouths and nose when we sneeze or cough, stay home if we are sick, and call our health care provider before going to the hospital or urgent care. For that matter, please don’t feel compelled to shake another person’s hand. If it makes you feel better, there are plenty who didn’t want to shake mine - Now they have an excuse.

Cancellation of Events

If and when we need to make any closures or cancel events we will certainly do so. The guidance we are receiving from the County has not dictated that we shut down our events as a blanket policy. However, the following programs have been cancelled or postponed:

CANCELLED
3/16 Action Civics: A 21st Century Approach to Educating Youth for Democratic Participation sponsored by New Castle League of Women Voters
3/22 New Castle Recreation Senior Concert "Pablo Casals"
5/13 New Castle Recreation Senior Broadway Trip - Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

POSTONED
3/18 A Conversation with Christian Picciolini - Breaking Hate: Confronting the New Culture of Extremism, sponsored by Greeley's ENOUGH club and New Castle's Holocaust & Human Rights Committee - New Date to be Determined

Please remember, seniors or individuals with compromised health conditions should reconsider attending any group events and likely forego the same especially if they might be within close proximity to others.

Important Facts

While the number of infected people will likely increase due to ramped up testing, do not lose sight of the following: 

As of late afternoon, on March 10, 2020, there were 173 confirmed cases in New York State of which 108 are in the New Rochelle cluster. Of these, I am aware of only one or two hospitalizations. There have been no fatalities in New York State. Numbers aside, there are likely many people who have or had the virus and the infection has or will resolve itself without issue.

The containment zone in New Rochelle involves schools, houses of worship, and other large gathering facilities from March 12thto March 25th. The National Guard has boots on the ground not to enforce the zone – people can go in and out freely as businesses remain open – but to help with community-based needs and cleaning.

What is Next

As there is a push to increase testing and further efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus, numbers and statistics may change from day to day or even hour to hour. However, even if things appear to get worse – THEY WILL GET BETTER. If there is any further news worth sharing after my call today with County Executive Latimer, the Westchester County Department of Health, and other municipal officials, I will certainly share it with you.

We are a family here in New Castle. Your Town staff, police, fire department, first responders, teachers, businesses owners and neighbors care about you. Do not let irrational fear keep you from living and enjoying your life. New Yorkers are a tough bunch. Be vigilant and responsible.

Jill Shapiro, Town Administrator

Updated Protocols

The Millwood Water Treatment Plan and Suez have filed updated safety and staffing  protocols with the Westchester County Department of Health. 

Completing the Downtown Streetscape project!

ELQ subcontractors have returned to Town to install the remaining ADA compliant and required handrails along the stairs next to IBIZA, on steps throughout Town, by Starbucks and WAKA. Rails will also be installed on the new steps by Whispering Pines and the old Boswell Engineering Field Office. Additional work will also be performed on those steps.  There are punch list items also to be completed throughout Town- so expect to see the final streetscape repairs being completed this Spring. 

Upper Minkel Dam- Update

On February 25, 2020, the Town Board listened to a presentation on the Upper Minkel Dam, a level C – high hazard dam located in the Sunny Ridge preserve on the New Castle /Ossining Boarder.

Last Tuesday, town staff met with Town of Ossining officials including Supervisor Dana Levenberg, her assistant, Victoria Cafarelli, Paul Fraioli Village Engineer, Andy Tiess, Water Superintendent, and John Hamilton, Town Building Inspector and the Town’s Engineering Consultant Mark Lukasik, from Tectonic Engineering about the dam.

We answered questions posed by the Town/Village representatives and explained the process of evaluating the options of rebuilding or decommissioning the dam. Over the upcoming weeks, we will be continuing our conversations with adjacent and nearby property owners to the Upper and Lower Minkel Dams. 

Our Children’s Series starts with a “Sold Out” Success!

Paper Bag Players - last Sunday March 8 was “SOLD OUT!”
Thanks to all for a fantastic kickoff event for our free children’s series at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center. A special shout out to our Recreation Department- Ike Kuzio and Christine Grey! These terrific children’s programs offer something for everyone- starting with our “sold out ” performance of  the Paper Bag Players, (all 410 tickets were reserved!)

Missed Paper Bag Players? Or just want more fabulous children’s programming? There is still space at our upcoming programs:   Register today!

  • The Bossy Frog Band - April 19 at 2pm
  • Magician Scott Jameson - May 24, at 2pm
  • The National Circus Project - June 28, at 2pm -         with workshops for your budding gymnast or daredevil!

These programs are all free and open to residents and non-resident alike - but registration is required! Visit Chappaqua Performing Arts Center website for the latest events.
 
 We thank the Friends of the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center for co-sponsoring these events with us! 

Girl Scout Cookies have arrived!

Be on the lookout for our local Girl Scout Cookie sales throughout town starting this week!

Congratulations to NCPD for Accreditation

The New Castle Police Department was once again awarded accreditation for the period of March 5, 2020 to March 4 ,2025 by the New York State Law Enforcement Agency Accreditation Council. We were initially granted accreditation in March of 2005.

Here is the link to our accreditation page on the Town’s website. The page describes accreditation and the benefits it provides.

New Castle is the 3rd safest city in New York

New Castle has been recognized as the 3rd safest city in New York . We are described as an idyllic Westchester County town with wide lawns and historic 18th Century homes. With just one reported violent crime in 2018 and a property crime rate 13% of national levels, New Castle is a model community in terms of safety.

Signs of Spring – Mark your calendar


Census Day - April 1st

Take it or Leave it Shop Opens April 4th


The Take It Or Leave It free-cycling "shop" will open April 4, weather permitting (old-timers may remember that we had an April blizzard one year).  Drop-offs accepted from 8:30-11:30 a.m., the earlier the better.  Only New Castle residents may leave things.  Shoppers are welcome from 9-12, and need not be New Castle residents.  No books, clothes or cassettes.  No big or heavy furniture or equipment.  Items must be in usable condition!" More Take it or Leave it Shop information available here.


Earth Day 2020 is April 22nd


The New Castle Conservation Board has upcoming programs to celebrate Earth Day.

Town Wide Clean Up Day is April 25th 

The 2020 Shred Events will be at the Recycling Center from 10am-1pm on the following Saturdays.

  • April 25
  • June 6
  • September 12
  • November 
Please remember these events are for New Castle residents only, please bring proof of residency. 


2020 Town and County Tax Bills


Bills will be scheduled for mailing April 1. We will be sending out e-notices via our Codered system when the bills are mailed. 

Announcements:

Town Hall:  Learn More and Contact Us


Town Hall Meetings and Board Packets


To find agendas, supporting documents, and meeting minutes for Board meetings, click here.
To watch videos from recent meetings recorded by New Castle Community Media Center, click here.


Stay Connected


To stay informed about your local government and community, click here to create a mynewcastle.org account, sign up for Town Hall e-News and Community e-News, and sign up with Nixle and Code Red to receive text messages and/or emails for emergency alerts and community events.


Contact Us! - Email Your Town Council and Town Administrator

You may contact your town board members and town administrator by using the links below, or as a group. For a full list of town contacts, click here.


New Castle Community Calendar

Click here to view the calendar.
Click here to view the calendar guidelines.


New Castle First Responders


Storm Central

storm centralClick here for Con Edison's Storm Central including outage location maps, storm preparation, and recovery tips!

Click here for New Castle's storm FAQ.

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