Governor Cuomo and County Executive Odell Survey Storm Damage in Putnam County

PUTNAM VALLEY, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell led Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state representatives through the storm ravaged areas in Putnam Valley to show the damage incurred from the Tuesday evening’s storms that left a trail of destruction throughout the Hudson Valley. At a press conference held in Putnam Valley, the Governor and County Executive gave an update on the recovery efforts.

Odell activated the incident command structure at Putnam County Government at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. By 6:36 p.m. she declared a state of emergency. The 9-1-1 dispatch center fielded more than 1,800 calls Tuesday night. There were 30,000 customers without power and 144 roads closed.

County Executive Odell said that NYSEG and Central Hudson have been embedded in the EOC and are in communication with the county and local officials. The county is working on its priority list of critical points, which includes getting power back on at Putnam Hospital Center, so it can be off its generator.

“It’s our hope today after the utility companies complete their safe mode and assessment that the county and local highway crews will begin to cut and clear the downed trees and poles,” County Executive Odell said. “Let’s be courteous, let’s be respectful and let’s remember we are all in this together and we will keep everyone in our prayers. We have been lucky in Putnam County. We did not suffer any fatalities.”

County Executive Odell added. “I want to thank our first responders, including our highway crews, which I think now with all of their experience we can include them in our first responder community have been on the ready and on the go. Keep in mind that they leave their houses and their families to get out there to try to get the roads open and to try to make sure that the community stays safe. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for sending his best and brightest again. We’re all getting to know each other I think too well over the last several months and storms. But we are working together on this. That’s important for everyone to know.”

As part of the recovery effort, the Governor has deployed 125 members of the New York National Guard and to further assist communities with recovery efforts. Currently, thousands of state and local personnel are on site in the affected areas with pre-deployed equipment to clear transportation corridors of debris and assess damage throughout the affected areas. In addition, a mobile command center is also en route that will be staffed by Department of Financial Services personnel to assist Putnam Valley residents with insurance claims.

“As these extreme weather events continue, New York is committed to stepping up our preparedness and ensuring that all impacted New Yorkers receive the assistance they need to recover and clean up after the storm,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re on the ground and are working tirelessly to restore power and help the affected communities recover as quickly as possible. The rain is expected to continue. That’s going to make the cleanup more difficult, not less difficult.”

Governor Cuomo added. “We’ll be bringing in an additional 1,100 to help clean up the mess. Department of Transportation is on site. They have hundreds of pieces of equipment. They’ll be working with the County Executive to coordinate resources as well as the local town supervisors. Department of Homeland Security for the state has hundreds of generators, 60,000 meals for people who may be displaced, et cetera. The Department of Public Service is working with the utilities. There has been an issue in terms of utility response and when you’re without power, any delay is too long and we understand that.”

Motorists are reminded that State Law mandates that if an intersection is “blacked out” and the traffic signal is not operational, the intersection is automatically a “four way” stop. In the event of closed or blocked roadways due to flooding, downed power lines or debris, motorists are advised to exercise caution and obey all traffic signs or barricades in place, regardless of whether a roadway looks clear.

The Department of Public Service has extended Call Center Helpline hours starting today, Wednesday, May 16, until 7:30 p.m., to assist consumers in their storm restoration efforts. The Department of Public Service Call Center Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-342-3377. If you are without power and you have an emergency, there are emergency generators, meals and water available, so call the hotline if that situation exists.

“Thank you very much and I’d like to thank the County Executive and Supervisor Sam Oliverio and all their teams that did extraordinary work,” said Governor Cuomo. “You know we tend to focus on the negative in these situations. What hasn’t been done, what power hasn’t been restored. We also need to remember that you had people out all night long in the storm starting early yesterday afternoon, putting themselves in danger. Leaving their families and working tremendously hard so the damage wasn’t worse. And we thank all of them and we truly appreciate their service.”

Metro-North Service on the northern Harlem Line between Southeast and Wassaic will resume this afternoon with the departure of the 3:43 p.m. train from Grand Central to Wassaic.

Putnam EOC Open-County Announces Comfort Stations-Electric and Roadway Restoration Efforts Continue

As Putnam County’s EOC remains open the focus is on providing comfort stations for those without power. All comfort stations have bathroom facilities and will provide an area to recharge your electronic devices. “With so many without electric I spoke with our community leaders and we were able to immediately open 3 comfort stations while we continue to work on restoration efforts”, says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are continuing to assess the situation and are working to open additional sites”.

The comfort stations for Wednesday May 16, 2018 are as follows:

Putnam Valley Friendship Center  9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

117 Town Park Lane

Putnam Valley NY

Patterson Recreation Center    7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

65 Front St

Patterson NY

Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association    7:00 AM – 4:00 PM

15 Mt Ebo Rd S

Brewster NY

Highway crews remain on full duty working with NYSEG and Central Hudson crews to cut, clear and make safe. NYSEG and Central Hudson will continue systematic electric restoration with emphasis on priority areas like Putnam Hospital Center. “As I traveled around the County this morning to assess the tremendous damage, I was awed by the site of our emergency responders and highway crews that remained on the job to ensure that the public remained safe”, said County Executive Odell. “I know last night was a difficult commute for many and I can only imagine what it would have been like if our highway crews weren’t out in full force clearing roadways”. There are currently 128 road closures in the County. The NYS Police, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and local police are providing traffic control at numerous intersections where traffic signals are not working.

County Executive Odell remains at the EOC coordinating the many agencies providing assistance. At the request of the County Executive the National Guard is onsite to assist throughout the County. “We are working with our school districts, medical providers like Putnam Hospital Center and other critical care providers to ensure that the people of Putnam County continue to receive essential services”, said County Executive Odell.

During the storm and in the hours immediately after, Putnam 9-1-1 handled almost 2,000 calls in a 7 hour period.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Due To the Severe Storm All Putnam County Offices With the Exception of Essential Services Are Closed For Wed 5/16/18

With the impact of this fast moving thunderstorm being felt throughout the County, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has closed all County Offices with the exception of essential services for Wednesday, May 16, 2018. “At this point there is limited power, roads are impassable and we have no ETA on NYSEG”, said County Executive Odell. “I cannot take the risk of putting not only the public but our employees on to roads that have downed wires and dangerous debris, without NYSEG here to help assess we are restricted to how much progress we can make”. The County remains in a State of Emergency with our police, fire and EMS personnel responding to numerous calls for service.

The County Offices closing includes all senior services, public transportation and Pre-K/Early Intervention transportation.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps. Both utility companies are in the process of evaluating the damage and do not have a restoration time available.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Audio Recording URL:

Putnam County EOC Open. Numerous Roads Impassable. Large Scale Power Outages

The line of thunderstorms that continue to pass through Putnam County have left a trail of destruction with most major roads experiencing hazards with some being impassable. Our State, County and local highway crews are working to clear roadways. Many of the downed trees involve power lines and that creates an additional safety hazard. “Our dedicated highway crews and first responders are working with the local utility companies to ensure that the downed trees can be safely removed” Said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “This is a coordinated effort that is being addressed by the Command Staff at the EOC”.

Putnam County Incident Command was activated by Commissioner Clair at the direction of County Executive Odell at 5:00pm, who declared a State of Emergency shortly thereafter.  We have requested that NYSEG dispatch a representative to the EOC where they are required to work with EOC staff allowing our highway crews to begin cut and clearing to open roads. NYSEG has indicted that there will be at least a 3 hour delay. Until NYSEG provides a representative our highway crews will be unable to complete the road clearing process.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps. Both utility companies are in the process of evaluating the damage and do not have a restoration time available. We currently have over 29,000 NYSEG and 440 Central Hudson customers without power.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.
Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Audio Recording URL:

Happy Birthday Putnam County! Celebrate Putnam County’s History June 12th

CARMEL, NEW YORK, May 10 — Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Historian Sarah Johnson, Ph.D., invite the public to celebrate Putnam County’s 206th birthday on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the Historic Courthouse, 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY, from         10 – 11:30 am.  During the annual birthday ceremony, the County Historian will debut highlights from the Historian’s Collection and discuss the importance of contributions of records, letters, photographs, and other ephemera from local families, politicians and organizations.

This year the Putnam County Historian’s Office will honor residents and organizations for their outstanding contributions to local history including:

Exemplary Public History in Schools:  Haldane High School History Club

Innovative Interpretation:  Ed Illiano & The Master Gardeners, “Hike Putnam”

Digital History Award:  Putnam History Museum

Preserving Local History: Peter Bruenn – “Putnam County Playhouse”; Dan Birmingham, Heather Reid & Bonnie Groat – Moses Fowler Family Papers 1765-1927

Local History Publication:  Dolores Beal Stephens, “Water for the Troops”

Lifetime Achievement – Local History:  Louise Andres, The Milltown Association

In Memoriam:  Dr. Samuel Ross, Jr., Green Chimneys

Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to join the County Historian and honorees in the lobby of the David D. Bruen County Office Building for the traditional County birthday cake and refreshments.  The public is welcome, no RSVP required. For more information about the event, please contact the Historian’s Office at 845-808-1420 or


# # #

About The Historian’s Office

The Historian’s Office preserves, interprets, and promotes the history of Putnam County as a local government office.  New York’s Town and Village Historians began serving public history since 1919, in part to document World War I Veterans back into civilian life.  The New York State Legislature authorized the appointment of county historians in 1933.  County Historians are appointed by the Putnam County Executive and confirmed by the Putnam County Legislature.  New York State defines the work of County Historians in four broad categories: research and writing, teaching and public presentations, historic preservation, and organization, advocacy and tourism promotion. To support these efforts, the Putnam County Historian’s Office has been collecting historical records, maps, books, photographs, and periodicals since 1953.  In 1992, the Putnam County Archives was established in the Historian’s Office to preserve, arrange, describe, and make accessible the governmental records of Putnam County.  The Archives and Historian’s Collection are used as a resource for people in Putnam County and elsewhere.  Finding aids are available at and are also linked to OCLC’s Archives Grid.  The Historian’s Office is a consortia member of SENYLRC’s Hudson River Valley Heritage digital initiative and can be found on Facebook at Putnam Historian and historic sites on History Pin.

Putnam County Gets Additional $1.7 million from New York State to Repave Route 6

CARMEL, NY – After the County Executive met with Regional Director of New York State Department of Transportation Lance MacMillan, Senator Terrence Murphy, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, along with Commissioner of Highways & Facilities Fred Pena, P.E. and other officials regarding the condition of state roads and the funding necessary to begin repairs as soon as the season allowed, we were notified that additional funding of $1.7 million would, in fact, be allocated to repair and resurface the area of Route 6 from the turn on Willow Road located at the Putnam Trailway hub and continuing to the intersection of Route 301 in the Hamlet of Carmel.

This funding is in addition to the previously announced allocation of funding to repair the Brewster Ave section of roadway starting at Reed Memorial Library and continuing to Route 312 in Southeast.

“My No. 1 priority continues to be the safety and well-being of the people of Putnam and repaving this section of Route 6 will make the roadway safe once again,” said Odell. “I appreciate Regional Director MacMillan taking our concerns seriously and expediting the process to repairing the state’s road. We are excited to know that the construction will begin in late May or early June.”

Legislator Carl Albano, who is Chairman of the Physical Service Committee and represents the area benefited by the repaving project, agrees with Odell.

“Driving along the Carmel portion of Route 6, east of the Reed Library, has been a concern for many in recent months and our hands were tied on a county-level,” said Albano. “I am pleased that our state representatives were willing to listen to County Executive Odell and make this a priority project for the DOT.”

“We appreciate the New York State DOT acknowledging the importance to our community, repairing one of our main business corridors and mostly traveled roads in the County” said Neal Sullivan, Chairman of the Rules, Enactments & intergovernmental Relations Committee.

Murphy and Byrne have supported the project helped make it a priority.

“This is welcomed news that we have been advocating for,” Byrne said. “Investing in our infrastructure, especially our roads, benefits all New Yorkers. More resources are needed for the Hudson Valley and I hope this is just the beginning.”

“The safety of our roads and infrastructure is directly tied to our economic growth and quality of life.” Murphy said. “I want to thank our partners at DOT for hearing our concerns and acting on them.  This is how government should work.”

The monies are part of more than $100 million in state funding to repave and enhance roadways impacted by the harsh weather this past winter. Funding will support 84 projects and the renewal of nearly 1,000 lane miles of pavement across the state, including at least one project in every county and New York City.

Photo:  Putnam County Commissioner of Highway and Facilities Fred Pena with MaryEllen Odell, County Executive.

Putnam County has Lowest Unemployment and Highest Home Sales Increase in the Hudson Valley

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that recent reports indicate that Putnam County has the lowest unemployment rate and highest home sales increase in the Hudson Valley, which provide evidence of county’s economic vitality.

“The numbers validate that the efforts we are making to drive Putnam County forward are working,” said County Executive Odell. “Our residents are highly qualified and well-trained, professional and non-professional alike. People are choosing to live and raise their families in Putnam County because we have a beautiful community that provides the highest quality of services to our residents while remaining fiscally responsible for our taxpayers.”

The New York Department of Labor’s monthly labor report showed that Putnam County had the lowest unemployment rate in the Hudson Valley region at 4.4% with the region’s average being 4.7%.

The Dutchess-Putnam Metropolitan Statistical Area saw a private sector job increase of 3.1% over the past, which made it the second fastest area of private sector growth behind Sullivan County. Sullivan County increased by 9.7%, which was largely the result of the recent opening of Resorts World Catskills Casino.  The Orange-Rockland-Westchester labor market area grew by 0.4%. Over the past year, private sector jobs in the Hudson Valley increased by 8,300 or 1.1%, to 786,700.

Education plays a significant role in Putnam’s high ranking for low unemployment as Putnam’s Director of Personnel Paul Eldridge pointed out.

“For many years Putnam County has enjoyed an educated and skilled workforce, with a high percentage per capita of persons with a Bachelor’s degree or highly skilled training. This makes them more attractive to employers both in Putnam County and neighboring areas.  With the added advantage of availability to the Metro-North Railroad and two superhighways, our residents have easy access to employment opportunities in surrounding counties,” said Eldridge.

Putnam County also had a 7.2% increase in home sales in the first quarter of 2018 as compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to the “2018 First Quarter Residential Real Estate Sales Report for Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties, New York” report authored by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service Inc. It was the only county in the Hudson Valley to have an increase in home sales in a quarter to quarter comparison. In addition, it had the largest percentage increase in price (9.4%) for a single-family home—for a median price of $323,750 as compared to $296,000 for the first quarter of 2017.

Odell Calls on Putnam Legislature to Mull Charitable Trusts

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is asking the Putnam County Legislature to consider whether the use of charitable trusts would be advantageous to residents after
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation related to the fiscal year 2019 NYS Budget, which offers it as an alternative to the traditional tax code for local municipalities and school districts.

“I request that this alternative be brought up for discussion at the next Rules Committee meeting, so that the Legislators can thoroughly vet the charitable trust option and together can determine the best course of action for Putnam County,” said County Executive Odell is a memo send to Leg. Neal Sullivan, chairman of the Rules Committee.

New York State is authorizing local governments to establish charitable gift reserve funds and to offer real property tax credits to incentivize contributions to these new local charitable funds. Under the State Law, such funds may receive unrestricted charitable contributions for the purposes of addressing education, health care, and other charitable purposes. This is an optional program available to counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts. Local governments and school districts may also establish charitable funds.

Putnam’s Commissioner of Finance William Carlin said that he will work with the Legislature to learn more about the charitable trusts that the state is proposing. “We will do our due diligence regarding the charitable trusts, including the fact that we will need to be able to assure our residents that the Internal Revenue Service will permit these deductions,” he said. “Putnam and other counties throughout the State are waiting for IRS guidance on this issue.”

Odell concurs. “The New York State Association of Counties, to which I am its President, released the report “Federal, State, and Local Taxes in New York State,” which provides a breakdown of the income, property, and sales taxes that New Yorker’s pay to which levels of government,” she said. “Before creating these new charity foundations, we need to consider its administrative complexity, how many of our taxpayers will be impacted, and its IRS implications, among other critical issues.”

Leg. Sullivan, who in addition to a County Legislator is a certified public accountant, has agreed to put it on the agenda for the next Rules meeting, but is not optimistic about the legislation. “It seems like a scam put through by the State to try to help people avoid paying Federal taxes. I do not see the IRS seeing these are legitimate charities,” he said. “The new tax code helps a lot of seniors and young families by offering a higher standardized deduction. With a larger standardize deduction and overall lower tax rates, it has yet to be determined how many people will be negatively impacted. There is more research that needs to be done about the effects of the Federal Tax Code and the State Legislation.”

Legislator Joseph Castellano, Chairman of the Putnam County Legislature is committed to finding answers before jumping to unfounded conclusions. “There are two things people don’t like change and taxes,” he said. “The Putnam County Legislature looks forward to working with the Odell administration and learning more about the various scenarios and determining the best remedies for Putnam County residents.”

The discussion on charitable trusts will be on the agenda for the May Rules Committee meeting, which will be held on Monday, May 14th in Room 318 of the Putnam County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Road, Carmel, NY 10512.

Odell Demands State DOT Fix Route 6

CARMEL, NY – With safety being the No.1 priority of her administration, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell demanded the repairing of Route 6 be a priority in a recent meeting with the New York State Department of Transportation. Senator Terrence Murphy and Assemblyman Kevin Byrne also attended the meeting.

“State roads are the responsibility of the New York State,” said Odell. “Brewster Avenue (Route 6) past Reed Memorial Library is a State road and the responsibility of repairing that road lies with them.”

New York State has allocated $1.7 for the repaving of Route 6 from Reed Memorial Library to Route 312.

“I am assured by the DOT District leadership that the repaving of that road will begin this summer,” Odell said.


Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti and County Executive MaryEllen Odell will be partnering with Donate Life NYS during Donate Life Month to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Donate Life Month is a national month-long observance aimed at raising public awareness of the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donation, as nearly 9,500 New Yorkers currently wait for transplants.

“April is National Donate Life month, and we are delighted to continue working with Donate Life NYS on a countywide basis to encourage residents to become an organ or tissue donor.” Mr. Bartolotti said, “Putnam County is proud to be one of the many counties throughout the state participating in this important program and I am pleased to partner with County Executive Odell in bringing this program to the attention of our residents.”

There are over 19 million New Yorkers; yet only 30% of adults in New York State are registered donors, compared to the national average of more than 50%. Bartolotti stated that, “While 41% of Putnam County residents are registered donors, we believe we can do better!”

During the entire month of April, the Putnam County DMV office in Brewster will be encouraging New Yorkers to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and the impact it has on thousands of New Yorkers. County Clerk Bartolotti will be filling the office with promotional items that urge New Yorkers to make a difference and give the gift of life by registering as donors. Enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry is a way to ensure that an individual’s wishes about donation will be known at the time of their death.

“400 New Yorkers die every year due to the lack of available organs. 98% of New Yorkers enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry through local DMV offices which makes our efforts on this behalf even more important.” County Executive Odell said, “We can make a significant difference in increasing the numbers of donors through our constant contact with residents, and I am happy to work alongside County Clerk Bartolotti and Donate Life NYS to make their goal of a significantly increased registry a reality.”