As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to take a few moments to update each of you on the hard work we have been doing here for residents of Orangetown. During my first year in office, we have tackled some very large projects, and are taking on an equally hefty load for 2019.
Orangetown has received its Downtown Revitalization and Transit Oriented Development (TOD) study for Pearl River. The study, commissioned in September, finds that, “Pearl River is well positioned physically and economically for some kind of infill redevelopment, especially in and around the station area” which “should keep in line with the current character of the community.” The Town Board and I have been reviewing the study’s findings and will shortly put forward a plan on how to move forward based on the study’s recommendations.
The Town Board approved initial concept drawings and decided to move forward with issuing a full design and engineering RFP to replace the current dilapidated Town Hall building which has substantial structural issues. The cost to repair the current structure would be equal to the amount it would cost to build a new one. Building a new Town Hall on the same property, connected to the Police Department by an atrium, would allow the Town to consolidate departmental operations and to sell the building on Greenbush Road, where the Orangetown Building Department is currently located.
In an effort to enhance the beauty of Orangetown, we has revamped and re-activated the Town’s Adopt-a-Spot program, where local volunteer professionals improve and maintain key gateway parcels in town, as giving our neighborhood a fresh, clean cut appearance is an important step that will help to give breadth to the Town’s efforts to capture and improve the first impressions of visitors. Appropriately, the very first “Spot” chosen for enhancements as a part of this program was Braunsdorf Park, centralized in the heart of Pearl River, right next to the Pearl River Train Station.
In early December we were able to announce the lowering of the speed limit on Route 9W in Palisades from 45 to 40 miles per hour. Residents have long complained about safety issues along the 9W Palisades corridor for good reason. While the ultimate goal is to see a full reduction to 35 mph, this is a good first step in the right direction after over a decade of resident complaints. The new speed limit will be strongly enforced by the Orangetown Police Department.
Finally, we were able to negotiate with the Pearl River and South Orangetown school districts to have a full time School Resource Police Officer in each of our high schools, with the school districts paying half the tab. This effort ensures that we can keep our kids safe from threats of violence and the continuing opioid epidemic.
Looking forward to the New Year, make sure to keep up with all town events with Burbio.com. The town recently announced the partnership which allows residents to select calendars to follow, to create a personalized community event feed, sync events to their Google or Apple calendar and be notified when things change. Burbio is free for residents and free for non-profits to stream their events.
Importantly, we will be moving full speed ahead with our planned community center as presented in the summer of 2018, with the goal of awarding the design contract in January and pushing for a groundbreaking in the summer of this year.
Also coming in 2019, the Town of Orangetown is installing eight electric vehicle charging ports, construction of which was partially paid for by a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rebate, split evenly between two key parking areas across the town. These new stations are located in downtown Pearl River and downtown Sparkill in easy and convenient locations with access to major arterial roadways. Use of the charging equipment will be available to all users for a fee of 25 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh).
Finally, As part of my overall strategy here in office since day one, we have worked to increase levels of efficiency and productivity through digitization and automation efforts with the goal of direct savings to Orangetown’s taxpayers, along with increased convenience and a higher standard of service. We have made significant progress internally towards this goal, and will be aggressively expanding these efforts in the coming months.
As always, please reach out to my office if you have any questions at 845-359-5100 or Supervisor@Orangetown.com.