The Putnam County Shared Services Panel will be conducting three public hearings at which the 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan will be Presented

The Putnam County Shared Services Panel will be conducting three public hearings at which the 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan will be Presented

  1. Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 2 pm Town of Southeast Town Offices 1360 Route 22, Brewster, NY
  2. Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 10 am Putnam County Training & Operations Building 112 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY
  3. Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 7 pm Town of Philipstown Town Hall 238 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY

The purpose of these public hearings is to present and explain the proposals contained in the County-Wide Shared Services Plan and to obtain public input of said Plan.

The 2018 County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan for Putnam County can be found in its entirety on the Putnam County Executive’s page of the Putnam County web site located at: www.putnamcountyny.gov

 

BEACH CLOSING LIST – No Swimming Due to Blue-Green Algae Bloom at Local Putnam County Beaches

List Revised as of 8/16/2018  9:00 AM

  • Beach Name: Lake Casse, Lake Name: Lake Casse, Town: Carmel 
  • Beach Name: Singers, Lake Name: Lake Peekskill, Town: Putnam Valley 
  • Beach Name: North Beach, Lake Name: Lake Peekskill, Town: Putnam Valley

A blue-green algae bloom that can make you sick is in the beach area.
Keep people and animals out of the water Don’t drink the water Rinse with clean water if exposed.

Consider medical attention if you have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

 

School Opens September 4th & School Days Bring Congestion! Here are some Traffic safety tips!

School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their charges, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

 

If You’re Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles

Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school

Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they’re walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus. A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

Don’t block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way

Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you’re driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children

If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop

The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus

Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist

When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass

If you’re turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals

Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this

Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods

Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars

Check side mirrors before opening your door

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones.

National Purple Heart Day

Today is National Purple Heart Day and I invite all of you to attend a special ceremony being held this evening from 7 to 8 p.m. by the New York Riders at the Purple Heart Monument in Putnam County Veteran’s Memorial Park.

On this day, we take the time to honor all Purple Heart recipients, past and present and to remember that all gave some, and some gave all. We have any number of veterans residing within our borders who have received this distinguished medal, the military award ‘sought by none but respected by all.

I am proud that in 2013, Putnam County was the first county in New York State to become a Purple Heart County. I was approached by the late Denis Castelli, who was then County Historian, and William “Willy” Nazario, the Judge Advocate and the Legislative Officer – Dept. of NY of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 21 respectively, to proclaim the recognition. The designation was approved by the national, state and local organizations of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council.

The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in present use. It was initially created by Gen. George Washington in 1782 as the Badge of Military Merit. It is awarded to any member of the Unites States Armed Services wounded or killed in combat with a declared enemy of the United States.

To further honor our Purple Heart recipients, the Putnam County Historic Courthouse will be lit purple for the remainder of the week.

Golfing in Putnam Open to the Public 2018

  • Putnam County Golf Course – Mahopac
  • The Garrison Golf & Country Club – Garrison
  • Centennial Golf Club – Carmel
  • Highlands Golf Club – Garrison
  • Vails Grove Golf Course – Brewster

For More Information Visit:

 

Summer Long Activities 2018

  • Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival – Boscobel, Garrison
  • Friday Night BBQ & Live Music Series – Putnam County Golf Course
  • Summer Film Series – Dockside Park – Saturday Nights – Cold Spring
  • Hello Again, Dolly! Festival – Garrison (and surrounding area)
  • Cold Spring Summer Music Series – Gazebo – Cold Spring

For More Information Visit

Major Events & Save the Dates from VISITPutnam.org

  • 1 Wild Night, Jon Bon Jovi Tribute Band – Aug 3rd – Putnam Golf Course
  • Hello Again, Dolly! – HVSF’ Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker – Aug 8th – Garrison
  • Nimham Pow Wow – August 18 &19th – 200 Gipsy Trail Road – Carmel
  • Putnam County Wine & Food Fest – August 25-26 – Patterson
  • Antique Tractor, Gas Engine & Farm Show – Sept 8-9th – Brewster
  • Putnam Valley Town Day – Sept 15th – Putnam Valley
  • Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day – Sept 22nd – Carmel

Find out more about whats going on around Putnam County by visiting

 

Metro-North Railroad on-track to meet federal deadlines

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was assured by Metro-North Railroad officials Monday, July 30, that the company will meet the federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) compliance deadline. Railroads have until December 31, 2018, to complete the installation phase of the PTC tasks.

Positive Train Control is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to make rail transportation safer by automatically stopping a train before certain types of accidents occur.

“Putnam County is fortunate to have two Metro-North railroad lines and seven train stations within its borders and many of our residents use them to commute back and forth to work,” said County Executive Odell, who served two terms as the president of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. “Railroad safety is important, and residents should be informed about the status of the Positive Train Control implementation.”

The four criteria that must be met Metro-North in accordance with the federal mandate are: 1) All hardware installed. 2)All radio spectrum acquired. 3) Over 50% of PTC territory or route miles implemented. 4) All required employee training completed.

According to Catherine Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad, the company is progressing to meet all four criteria. In fact, Metro-North has acquired all the radio spectrum needed to run the system. It has completed 80% of the installation of the required hardware on trains, waysides and offices. Metro-North is currently training its employees on being familiar with PTC and is expected to have this task completed by November 2018. In addition, the Revenue Service Demonstration (RSD) is up and running and among other things has been implemented on the Hudson Line from Tarrytown to Croton‐Harmon.

Railroads are mandated to have full PTC implementation through its network by December 31, 2020.

After 25 Years, Tom Honohan Steps Down From Library Board

Longtime Mahopac resident Tom Honohan will pull up stakes later this summer to move to Wappingers in Dutchess County, leaving behind a legacy of service and volunteerism.

“It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” Honohan said. “I have a lot of friends here, but I can still come to visit them. [The move] is a little bittersweet.”

One thing Honohan looks forward to with the move is condo living—no more backbreaking outdoor chores.

“They do all the work for you,” he laughed. “No more shoveling sidewalks or mowing lawns.”

Honohan and his wife moved to Mahopac in 1979. He had grown up in the Parkchester area of the Bronx and remembers a happy childhood there.

“There were lots of playgrounds; it was a great place to grow up,” he said. “The rents were unbelievable, which was great for the parents.”

He went to high school at Manhattan Prep (part of Manhattan College) and then to Notre Dame University where he earned degrees in electrical engineering and liberal arts.

His first job out of college was with Westinghouse Electric.

“My whole career was in sales—industrial field sales. I had a series of assignments that kept me in the New York area,” he recalled.

Then he received a job offer from General Electric of England (no relation to the American GE), which had its headquarters in Elmsford in Westchester County. He was living on Long Island at the time, so he began looking for a new home to better his commute.

“Mahopac was about a half an hour away [from Elmsford],” he said. “It happened to work out because we had friends there and we found a piece of property with lots of woods.”

Honohan was introduced to community volunteerism through his children and their interest in sports. He has four kids—two are now teachers, one a computer programmer and the other a mechanical engineer. He also boasts nine grandchildren.

“My son got involved in soccer when we were still on Long Island and I knew nothing about it,” he said. “So, I volunteered to coach and I studied it and got heavily involved. All my kids got involved in sports. So, when we moved to Mahopac, I brought that knowledge with me.”

Honohan got involved with the Mahopac Sports Association (MSA) to help get them more organized and he ran the soccer program for about two years. His work with the MSA led him indirectly to the library.

“When I was coaching, the guy who was helping had a wife on the library board and they were going through some renovation programs,” he said. “They were doing some relatively large renovations—lots of electrical work and I had some expertise in that area and felt I could help them with that. I was eventually appointed to the board and within two years I was president.”

Honohan was part of the board that oversaw the construction of the new library building, which was completed in 2002.

“I was involved with most of the process,” he said. “There are always a number of people who, no matter what, will say no. But people voted on it and said yes and we have always prided ourselves on that.”

Honohan said the nature of libraries has changed dramatically since he first joined the board of trustees.

“My motto is that the library ain’t just books anymore,” he said. “There are so many other things.”

Honohan cited the BAMM concerts, children and teen programs, blood drives and the Third Floor Gallery as just some examples of what the library provides to the community. He also noted that the staff has expertise on computers and other technology that they’ll share with the public.

“We have PCs, tablets, laptops,” he said. “Bring it in and people will answer your questions.”

Honohan said his wife once exhibited her artwork at the library’s art gallery and the space has been evolving ever since.

“We have fined tuned it over time,” he said. “We have a committee to make sure the exhibit is representable.”

Honohan has also been a volunteer for Putnam County’s Office for Senior Resources by driving seniors and veterans to doctors’ appointments and other activities.

“Putnam County has superb services for seniors and I found out they have a program where you drive to the county center and use a county car to visit older seniors,” he said. “Some are vets and there are some who just can’t drive anymore; I drive them to doctors’ appointments or to veteran facilities like Castle Point.

I found that to be a very rewarding thing for me,” he continued. “Instead of trying to solve their problems, I just listen and let them vent. I think that’s the medicine they need. I think it’s great that the county can do this. I felt it was spiritually uplifting and found it kind of rewarding.”

But now, Honohan says it is time to move in another direction and find some new challenges.

“It’s been 25 years now and a lot has happened,” he said. “I feel the need to do something else. I need to devote my volunteer life in another direction.”

And after signing the papers for his new home in Wappingers, he said he’s finally ready for that maintenance-free lifestyle.

“The pen is mightier than the lawnmower,” he chuckled.

Blue-Green Algal Blooms Persist; County Opens Beach for Affected Community Residents

BREWSTER, NY— Blue-green algal blooms have dashed many summer plans this year. Dozens of repeated beach closures have disappointed residents who enjoy cooling off in their neighborhood lake on a hot and humid summer day. While funding is coming from New York State to research solutions for the long term, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has taken immediate steps to open the Putnam County beach in Veterans Memorial Park on Gypsy Trail Road in Kent, free of charge to those residents living in affected lake communities.

“We wanted to do something right now for our community members who are dealing with these algal blooms on a daily basis,” says County Executive Odell. “This is a difficult situation. The blooms pose a serious health problem. Swimming, and even boating, can put you at risk.”

“Our public county beach at Veterans Memorial Park has fortunately remained unaffected by the blue-green algal blooms that have plagued many other Putnam beaches,” says Christopher Ruthven, deputy commissioner of parks and recreation for Putnam County. “We’re open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. until Labor Day, and for residents affected by the harmful algal blooms in their community lakes, the usual $8 fee for a day pass is being waived.”

Odell adds, “Being able to use the beach at Veterans Memorial Park provides a silver lining to an unfortunate situation. At the park individuals and families can enjoy the swimming in the lake, relaxing on the beach, barbecuing, hiking the trails, visiting the Veterans Museum or admiring the Gold Star Mothers statue or the military helicopter and tank.”

The increasing number of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in Putnam and around New York State is not completely understood. Staff at the Putnam County Department of Health have been busier than ever collecting and sending lake water samples for testing.

“We are working closely with town and beach personnel,” explains Michael Nesheiwat, MD, interim commissioner of health. “They are well-informed and able to quickly recognize these harmful algal blooms. When there is an overabundance, or bloom, of this cyanobacteria, the onsite personnel are able to shut down the beaches directly without a confirmatory visit by the health department. This is important as blooms can present a serious health hazard and these microscopic organisms are toxic to humans and animals if swallowed. At high levels, ingestion may cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, along with irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory tract.

“Needless to say, we are grateful to the County Executive who has stepped in to waive the park fee for residents in the affected communities,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.

Toxic bacteria are naturally present in low numbers in lakes and streams. However, in warm, shallow, undisturbed surface water that gets a lot of sunlight, the bacteria can grow quickly and easily, creating a bloom. When this happens, floating scums on the water surface may appear, along with discolored water covering all or portions of a lake.

The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) continues to monitor the county’s 32 permitted bathing beaches, while also responding to calls from town, village and summer camp personnel. Blue-green algae can range in color from green, blue, brown, yellow, grey, or even red. Contact should be avoided with any discolored water, with or without a floating covering or unpleasant odor. When the water clears, either naturally or by treatment, follow-up water testing must be conducted. Toxins can still be present even after the bloom looks like it has passed.

“After a satisfactory result on a water test, town and beach personnel can re-open the beach,” explains associate public health sanitarian Shawn Rogan. “And we work closely with the towns to reopen as soon as possible. The problem we are seeing more and more of is that the algae can ‘re-bloom’ shortly thereafter, making it necessary to close the beach once again.”

Some towns choose to apply an algaecide, but they have the same precautions as any pesticide.  Treatment methods, if any, are strictly a town decision, and application of an algaecide requires approval by the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Prevention efforts focus on ways to control the level of nutrients the algae receive. These include reducing plant fertilizer use, promoting efficient septic systems operations, and managing storm water. These tactics are supported by the DEC, but much is still unknown about the causes of HABs.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.