Summer to Fall & Beyond

One more week to claim you actually took a summer vacation this year. Wait long enough and you can say you’re taking a fall jaunt for foliage and pickings of the harvest. Closer to home and within Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Briarcliff Manor many events are planned by local governments in the forms of projects and celebrations.

Photo: The Tarrytown Lakes

Tarrytown, followed by Briarcliff Manor, are reporting a plethora of accomplishments in ongoing and completed endeavors. What follows is a Q & A report from Richard Slingerland in Tarrytown, Phil Zegarelli in Briarcliff Manor and Anthony Giaccio in Sleepy Hollow. The Village of Irvington did not respond, after multiple attempts by this publication, which is uncommon for them.

…In Tarrytown

By: Richard Slingerland, Village Administrator

1. Prioritize projects either ongoing, commencing or completed within your Village. Give scope of the work, time until completion and goal of the project.

Comprehensive Plan – This 18-month process is nearing completion, based on work and public workshops coordinated with the team consisting of the Village, WXY Design Studio, Westchester County Planning Department, The Regional Plan Association and the Pace Land Use Law Center.  After working on the draft since approximately April 2017, the Village’s team has finalized the draft after 3 or more public meetings and workshops.  September 4, 2018, we anticipate that the Board of Trustees will declare their intent to act as Lead Agency and circulate the notice of this action, along with a notice of the public hearing that will be scheduled to open in October on the official draft Comprehensive Plan.  Residents and other concerned persons are encouraged to comment on this draft, a copy of which is available on Tarrytown’s website at www.tarrytowngov.com; just click on the link at the right hand side of the page under Village News.  Key aspects of the plan that will have implementation items for the Village to keep track of over the next 3 to 5 years include the following main topics:

1. Economy

2. Mobility and transportation

3. Built Environment of existing housing and commercial space

4. Community, Culture and Education

5. Natural Environment and Open Space

6. Sustainability and Resiliency

Other major projects taking place in Tarrytown are:

Losee Park Improvements – Through over $1.2 million in State and County grants, with the remaining costs matched by the Village, Tarrytown is performing a series of major repairs and upgrades to Losee Park down on the Tarrytown Waterfront, which will be completed over the next 3 to 6 months. These include:

• Losee Park ballfield lighting upgrade, to replace poor lighting with modern and shielded LED ballfield lighting by Musco Sports Field Lighting.  This will improve playing conditions, and eliminate light pollution to surrounding areas and neighborhoods

• Losee Park ballfield repairs – after decades of accumulating mounds of clay on the infields, and related field-drying compounds, the Village’s Parks Department staff will be upgrading the ballfields, removing excess clay, setting down new sod, installing more modern and safe bases, safer bleachers, and new mesh on the backstop.

• Losee Park RiverWalk – working with the County and the State, the Village will be installing a new segment of RiverWalk from the commuter lot by the Parks Garage all along the water front.

• Losee park shoreline stabilization – with a 50/50 grant from the State, the Village will replace a corner section of the rusted-out bulkhead, and has applied for another State grant for Phase 2 to finish off the shoreline and replace the eroding concrete rubble between the bulkhead and the kayak access ramp with new stone shoreline and a concrete ramp to allow kayakers easier access to the Hudson River.

• In 2018 the Village installed kayak racks for the first time in the park near the kayak ramp, and spaces are available to rent for the season running from April to November each year.

Loh Park Stormwater Project – The Village’s project to address decades-old problems with flooding and erosion in the Loh Park area is approximately half done at this time.  The collapsing bridges were replaced with pre-cast structures, the stream-bed has been widened to manage stormwater flows, a new field of water detention tanks to control the water flow will be installed beneath the Loh Park field, a bypass to take the old stormwater culvert away from flooding homes has been installed, and at the end of the project the contractor will be cleaning out the Village’s pond in Tappan Court to clean up the water and remove years of accumulated silt and sand.

Paving to complete Water Main and Gas Main Replacement Project in the Paulding  and Van Wart neighborhood.  – This past Spring and Summer, the Village replaced the old and clogged water mains, and in order to coordinate the work and complete it all before the road is repaved, Con Edison accelerated their scheduled gas main work and upgraded the gas mains in this neighborhood.  Curb replacement work will begin the week after Labor Day, and after the curbing rehabilitation is done, the roads in that entire neighborhood will be milled and paved, except by the State Police Barracks, so that they can finish their scheduled construction, after which the Village will repave that last section of the damaged streets.

Old Croton Aqueduct improvement project – Working with the State, upon receipt of a $300,000 grant from the New NY Bridge’s Community Benefit Fund, the Village is cooperating with the State Parks Department to repair damaged portions of the Old Croton Aqueduct, install landscaping and remove pavement from areas that had inadvertently been converted to asphalt over the past 30 years, to make the area more natural and keep unauthorized vehicles from parking on the aqueduct.

Patriot’s Park Improvement Project – With a grant of $300,000 from the State’s New NY Bridge Community Benefit Fund, administered by the Department of State, the Village will be upgrading and modernizing the playground equipment, and landscaping the park to improve the overall look of Patriot’s Park, which is enjoyed for regular use by the TASH Farmer’s Market and other popular Village events like the Rotary Duck Derby, the YMCA Healthy Kids Day, the annual Egg Hunt, and the Winter Tree Lighting in December.

Tarrytown Lakes

• Lake Clean-up to remove waterborne plants and algae – completed for 2018; will be reviewed each year as part of the Village’s organic lake management practices for the Upper (smaller) of the Tarrytown Lakes.

• Phase 1 – Skate Shack Demolition completed to remove the rotting and collapsing skate shack structure.

• Phase 2 – Design and construction of new viewing deck by the parking lot will take place over the next 1 to 2 years, and will include the Village researching and applying for grants to help fund the project.

RiverWalk extension over Metro North Railroad Tracks

2. Where do the BOT (Board of Trustees) and the Mayor stand with regards to your Comprehensive Plan (if currently under consideration)? Please give specific issues that are being actively addressed and their status at this time. Also, list priorities for the many areas looked at by the Boards and the volunteer committees that presented their findings.

At this time, the Mayor and Board of Trustees are finishing up the review of the Final Draft Comprehensive Plan.  Any concerns or comments from the public, from residents or local business owners, should be submitted now as the Village Board is shaping the plan for the future of Tarrytown.

3. Offer any information that you deem helpful to our readers regarding your Village’s efforts for the remainder of 2018.

For the remainder of 2018, there are many fun activities and events taking place in and around Tarrytown.  These include:

• Regular Saturday TASH market in Patriot’s Park until Thanksgiving,

• Annual Scarecrow Making on Saturday, October 13th,

• “Trunk or Treat” Halloween trick-or-treating event on Saturday, October 20th at Pierson Park,

• 17th Annual Halloween Parade that will take place on Saturday, October 27th,

• Annual 5-K Tarrytown Pilgrim Run that will take place on Sunday, November 18th, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, with a start and finish at Pierson Park,

• Annual Winter Tree Lighting and Winter Market that will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1.

…In Sleepy Hollow

By: Anthony Giaccio, Village Administrator

1. Prioritize projects either ongoing, commencing or completed within your Village. Give scope of the work, time until completion and goal of the project.

PRIVATE

See Edge on Hudson (#3)

PUBLIC

1) East Parcel:  East Parcel Site work will begin this fall.  The project will include a new DPW facility, passive and active parks and a natural buffer along the Pocantico River.

2) Beekman Avenue Improvements:  Bids for new decorative lighting for Beekman Avenue will be received next week.  We will have the lights installed by the end of the year.  Also planned for Beekman Avenue will be new sidewalks and traffic signal. This work is scheduled in 2019.

3) Statue Island Improvements:  The Village received a grant to beautify the Horseman Statue traffic island on Route 9.   The work will include a new walking area, pavers and landscaping.  Many tourists take photos of the statue, so we’re glad to get funding for this project.

4) Tri-Village Water Consolidation:  Sleepy Hollow has been working with Briarcliff and Tarrytown on several water projects.  We received a joint grant to study ways in which we can consolidate water services.  We are also doing a joint project to connect to the UV water treatment plant in Valhalla.

2. Where do the BOT (Board of Trustees) and the Mayor stand with regards to your Comprehensive Plan (if currently under consideration)? Please give specific issues that are being actively addressed and their status at this time. Also, list priorities for the many areas looked at by the Boards and the volunteer committees that presented their findings.

The Village of Sleepy Hollow is in the process of updating its comprehensive plan and Local Waterfront Development Program (LWRP).  BFJ Planning has been retained to help with this project.  Several community meetings and focus group meetings have been held.  The next public meeting will be on October 2 from 6pm to 9pm at the James Galgano Building.  The plan should be completed in the Spring of 2019.

3. Offer any information that you deem helpful to our readers regarding your Village’s efforts for the remainder of 2018. This is particularly relevant to Sleepy Hollow and the Edge-on-Hudson site.

Phase one of the Edge-on-Hudson project has been approved for 308 housing units.   We anticipate the first construction of town houses to begin this fall to be completed early next year. We’re expecting occupants by late next year.  The town houses are being built by Toll Brothers.

Edge-on-Hudson is also currently in front of the Planning Board for phase two of the project.  Estimated 300 more units.

The reconstruction of the Beekman Avenue Bridge should be completed early next year (if not sooner).  Improvements to lower Beekman Avenue will also happen, including paving, sidewalks, lighting and completion of the roundabout.

… In Briarcliff

By: Philip Zegarelli, Village Manager

1. Prioritize projects either ongoing, commencing or completed within your Village. Give scope of the work, time until completion and goal of the project.

Last year we embarked on an $8-million series of road, bridge, drainage and sidewalk projects financed by WC (Westchester County) all in anticipation of VBM (Village of Briarcliff Manor) taking over control of several miles from the County. We are at about 80% completion of this work which is laid out in about 6 separate segments. We have furloughed the completion of the Pocantico River Bridge replacement segment to next year due to NYS DEC regulations governing access to designated rivers.  That work will resume in the Spring of 2019.  Anther major project is the Route 9A and North State Road intersection, which was a one-of-a-kind joint venture of the NYS and DOT, WC and the TOS funds all spearheaded by the Mayor and Board.  We were the agent of the project and it is virtually complete. Those who frequent this intersection have been very pleased with the finished product that was probably debated for 30 years, but out of reach of a viable solution, until local intervention. Still separate work and funded by grants is the Safe Routes to Schools project at Ingham and Pleasantville Road –  near completion and requiring landscaping and repaving.  Lastly, late Winter storms severely damaged Law Park Playground.  With insurance proceeds and Building permit/contractor-driven Recreation fees, we were able to totally redesign and build the playground in time for the opening of our summer camp programs.

2. Where do the BOT (Board of Trustees) and the Mayor stand with regards to your Comprehensive Plan (if currently under consideration)? Please give specific issues that are being actively addressed and their status at this time. Also, list priorities for the many areas looked at by the Boards and the volunteer committees that presented their findings.

The VBM has its own Comprehensive Plan that has been under extensive review.  Citizen studies concerning our downtown business district have identified short-medium and long term targets to enhance this important business area that reflects the heart of Briarcliff Manor.  Additional segmented studies and planning is currently underway as an outgrowth of the original citizen’s committee work.  Other extensive citizen and Trustee work has also been devoted to how to address the changing nature of vacant buildings and acreage within our corporate business zone.  Like most of Westchester, the costs and restrictions of older corporate properties have triggered the sale of these large tracts of property and older buildings.  The Sony Corp building on Route 9, the Mearl property on Old Briarcliff Road and the Philips Labs facilities on Scarborough Road all have active developers primarily interested in residential housing – not currently permitted by our zoning codes. Lastly, we have commissioned and started a total review of our recreation and parks facilities focusing on where and how to meet the changes, demands and recreational needs of the Village – an update of the existing 25+ year study.

3. Offer any information that you deem helpful to our readers regarding your Village’s efforts for the remainder of 2018.

What we are doing now is the outline and scoping out of projects for 2019.  Targeted for 2019 is the dredging of the Law Pond in the Law Park complex.  Since the last work on the park was in the 2000-2001 timeframe, the pond has been silting up.  We are working on a BUD (Beneficial Use Determination) from NYS to enable us to rejuvenate the pond.  Quickly in succession is the upgrade and realignment of our existing parking lot layout, adding drainage facilities and enhancing traffic flows.  The Law Park complex with our pool, pavilion, Library/WJV Community Center and offices of our Recreation and Historical Society has become the centerpiece of VBM activities and family enjoyment.

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