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Putnam County Moves Forward on Commitment to Butterfield Development

Putnam County Moves Forward on Commitment to Butterfield Development

PUTNAM COUNTY, NY (June 14, 2016) – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announces progress towards the redevelopment of the former Butterfield Hospital Center in Cold Spring.  Architectural design firm, Todd Zwigard Architects (TZA), was awarded the contract to redesign the Lahey Pavilion, which will house a new state-of-the-art senior center.  The first round of draft plans will be submitted to the county by early July.

“Based on the productive work session at last Friday’s Cold Spring Planning Board meeting, we are anxiously looking forward to moving ahead on this long overdue project,” said Odell. “A design firm has been hired and they will begin work this week.”

“By offering seniors the option of using county bus service to get to the new center, we were able to collaboratively establish a resolution for the parking concerns on the Butterfield site,” adds Odell.

Final project approval is anticipated at the planning board’s June 23rd meeting.

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Putnam’s Hopes Raised Again for Back-to-School Tax Free Holiday Shopping

Putnam’s Hopes Raised Again for Back-to-School Tax Free Holiday Shopping

A bill that would eliminate the county portion of sales tax in Putnam over a 10-day period in August passed the State Senate this week.

The legislation, which was requested by the Putnam County government, would mean shoppers enjoy a 50 percent sales tax reduction, from 8.38 percent to 4 percent, when shopping in the county from August 20th-31st, for clothing and footwear under $110.

“I am proud to have delivered the sales tax holiday for the people of Putnam County for the second year in a row and urge my colleagues in the Assembly to do the same,” said State Senator Terrence Murphy.  “County Executive Odell has made this a priority for the residents of Putnam County and we will not stop until this becomes a reality. The people of Putnam County and the surrounding communities deserve this as a way to make back-to-school shopping more affordable.”

Earlier this year, the Putnam County Legislature passed a home rule request signed by County Executive MaryEllen Odell, requesting enactment of the measure in Albany.

“While I am grateful to Senator Murphy and the County Legislature for their continued support to enact the 10-day reprieve of the county’s portion of sales tax during the back-to-school season, we still need the Assembly to pass the bill,” said Odell. “Putnam has requested the tax holiday in previous years, but it has not been OKed by the Assembly. This year, we hope they will vote in accordance with the needs of Putnam constituents.”

“Due to high taxes and Connecticut retail centers less than 20 minutes away, Putnam County retail businesses are up against the stiffest competition in New York State,” said Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman of the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce. “Our retail stores rise to the occasion with excellent customer service and unique offerings. This sales tax free week would give them an edge on sales and be an effective “thank you” for their commitment to our county. “

Of the total 8.38 percent sales tax rate in Putnam County, four percent of the generated revenue goes to the state and the remaining 4.38 percent goes to the county. This bill would eliminate the local share during the 10-day period. After passing unanimously through the Senate, the bill now heads to the Assembly.

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CARMEL SPORTS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH DEDICATION TO THE SULLIVAN FAMILY AND MURIEL CORNISH CARMEL, NEW YORK- JUNE 18, 2016

CARMEL SPORTS ASSOCIATION CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY WITH DEDICATION TO THE SULLIVAN FAMILY AND MURIEL CORNISH CARMEL, NEW YORK- JUNE 18, 2016

Upon its 20th anniversary, the Carmel Sports Association, in conjunction with the grand re-opening of Camarda Park, will hold its NO PLACE LIKE HOME celebration on Saturday, June 18th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm, with a Coach’s game at 5:00pm.Current and past CSA members are welcome for a day of games, food, music, and activities.

“The Carmel Sports Association has done tremendously well over the past twenty years  in ensuring that our youth have access to positive, structured, sports activities,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “In addition to physical activity, our youth have learned valuable life lessons and skills, due to the tireless effort of CSA members and coaches.”

New dugouts at Camarda Park are dedicated in memory of Thomas Sullivan and family, and the pavilion is dedicated to Muriel Cornish. Speeches and dedications will be held at 1:00pm to honor those who have invested time and effort into the success of the Carmel Sports Association, and community.

Mike Berg, President of the CSA stated, “This event commemorates Carmel Sports Association and all those who support community sports and recreation.  The NO PLACE LIKE HOME event celebrates CSA’s 20th year anniversary and well deserved recognition, dedication and remembrance to those who committed so much to the fruition of Camarda Park and the longevity of CSA.”

Registration for the NO PLACE LIKE HOME event is available at http://www-csa20years.eventbrite.com . All registered families will be entered into the raffle. Parking is not available at Camarda Park. Parking is at the Paladin Center/ 39 Seminary Hill Road, Carmel, NY 10512, and roundtrip bus transportation will be provided.

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Ken Clair Named Putnam County Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services

Ken Clair Named Putnam County Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announces the appointment of Ken Clair as Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services.  This is a second Deputy position added to improve workload management associated with Putnam County’s 911 Center, Fire & EMS Training, special teams, as well as representing the county both regionally and statewide.

“I am pleased to announce the selection of Ken Clair as Deputy Commissioner,” said Odell.  “As a former Fire Chief of the Brewster Fire Department and volunteer fire fighter for more than 25 years, Ken’s experience is a highly valued asset to our BOES team.”

“Mr. Clair was selected from a strong group of candidates applying for this position” said Commissioner Anthony W. Sutton.  Sutton recommended Clair for the appointment after interviewing a number of qualified applicants. “We are anxious to have Ken get onboard and look forward to utilizing his skills and enthusiasm to the upmost as the Bureau continues its mission to protect the health and safety of Putnam’s residents and to serve the County’s first responder community.”

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Ken Claire

Ken is a former Brewster Fire Chief and currently serves as a Fire Commissioner in the Brewster-Southeast Joint Fire District. Ken serves in the Bureau of Emergency Services as a Deputy Fire Coordinator or “Battalion”.

Deputy Commissioner Clair has served as Assistant Fire Inspector in Southeast from 1997-2003 and more recently as the Emergency Preparedness Officer for the Town of Southeast from 2003-Present.  Mr. Clair will assume his new position on July 5th.

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PUTNAM COUNTY ROW OF HONOR TO FLY THROUGH JULY 4TH

PUTNAM COUNTY ROW OF HONOR TO FLY THROUGH JULY 4TH

CARMEL, NEW YORK – JUNE 8, 2016

Due to overwhelming popularity and support, the flags lining Lake Gleneida, known as the Row of Honor, will continue to fly until July 4th this year instead of Flag Day, on June 14th. 240 flags will be flown to represent the 240 years since the United States of America was established.

“The Row of Honor is a beautiful way to show gratitude to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and freedom,” says Putnam County Executive, MaryEllen Odell, “This biannual tradition means so much to both veterans who have risked their lives for their country, and the families who have lost their loved ones.”

A flag can be sponsored for $100 dollars in the name of a loved one lost in the service of our country. All proceeds are given directly to VET2VET, a program that helps veterans suffering from PTSD, depression, and other difficulties, reintegrate into society.

Flags can be ordered at (845) 808-1620 or at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/roh/  . Checks are payable to:

Joint Veterans Council c/o PC Veterans Affairs

Donald B. Smith Government Campus

110 Old Route 6 Bldg. 3 Carmel, NY 10512

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2016 PUTNAM PILOT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM BEGINS

2016 PUTNAM PILOT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM BEGINS

CARMEL, NEW YORK – JUNE 6, 2016

Marking its third year, the Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow (P.I.LO.T) Internship Program has returned for the summer of 2016, beginning with orientation at the Donald B. Smith Campus.

“By investing in our high school and college students, we are investing in the future of our county,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “The P.I.LO.T Internship Program provides students with a wonderful opportunity to gain real world experience and make valuable connections within the community.”

The selected high school, undergraduate and graduate interns joined County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Putnam County Personnel Department staff to learn more about the program, review forms and policies, and connect with new and returning interns.

Paul Eldridge, Putnam County Personnel Director says, “The P.I.L.O.T program has developed into a terrific investment in Putnam County’s youth.  It is a win-win situation for both the County and the students involved.  It seems each year the caliber of students is incredible.”

Popularity of the P.I.L.O.T Program has grown tremendously over the past three years, as demonstrated by the high volume of competitive applicants. Shannon Cooke, a senior at Binghamton University majoring in human resources said, “I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about human resources but so far, interning at the Personnel Department has been a great experience.”

Emily Giordano, an undergraduate student studying civil engineering, was very enthusiastic about her upcoming internship at the Highway Department. “It is such a great opportunity and I am very excited to gain experience,” says Giordano, “My internship at the Highway Department is relevant to my major, so this is a perfect way to explore my potential career path.”

The idea of the Putnam County P.I.L.O.T Program was introduced by County Executive MaryEllen Odell in 2013 and continues to be supported by the Putnam County Legislature. In cooperation with the Putnam County Personnel Department, with a special thanks to Adriene Iasoni, coordinator of the P.I.L.O.T Program, selected interns are matched with county departments that align best with their interests and fields of study. Through their internships, interns are able to gain hands-on experience, learn more about how the county government functions, and potentially validate their career paths.

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Seventy Veterans and Residents Attend Row of Honor Kick-Off on Armed Forces Day

CARMEL, N.Y. – Armed Forces Day, a national commemoration of Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches, marked the kick off of Putnam County’s annual Row of Honor season at the Carmel VFW Hall, located on Route 52 in Carmel, N.Y. Preceded by a pancake breakfast organized by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council and sponsored by Kevin Byrne, the event drew 70 veterans and residents to remember the men and women who lost their lives in service to the United States. 

“The Row of Honor tradition that has been established in our county means so much to our vets and to the families who have lost loved ones in service to our country,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are so grateful for the freedom and safety that our military protects every single day. These flags, emblazoned with the names of many of those brave men and women, honor their sacrifice.”

More than 200 flags, which carry the names of beloved Veterans, will continue to fly until Flag Day, June 14th. With a $100 donation, the name of a loved one can appear on a flag. The proceeds will go toward Veterans Peer-to-Peer projects, which assist vets who are suffering from isolation, depression, PTSD and other issues associated with the readjustment to civilian life.

To order your flag, call 845-808-1620 or visit PutnamCountyNY.gov/ROH. Checks can be made payable to the Joint Veterans Council to PC Veterans Service Agency, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, N.Y. 10512.

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PUTNAM COUNTY’S AGRICULTURAL & FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARD RELEASES NEW “KEEP PUTNAM FARMING” REPORT

PUTNAM COUNTY’S AGRICULTURAL & FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARD
RELEASES NEW “KEEP PUTNAM FARMING” REPORT

Original Research Includes Current Data on Farmers, Farmland and Local Community
Access to Farm Products; Recommendations Identify Opportunities for a Vibrant and
Diverse Agricultural Sector in Putnam County

Cold Spring, New York – May 9, 2016 – Founded in 1997, the Putnam County Agricultural and
Farmland Protection Board advises the County Legislature on actions that impact farms located in
the County’s Agricultural District. As such, a need for updated, “real time” data on the current state
of Putnam County’s agricultural landscape was identified by the Board as a way to inform the
County and local municipalities on opportunities, challenges and strategies to cultivate and
embolden its food and farming sector. Following two years of convenings and surveys, the Board is
releasing this research in its new Keep Putnam Farming report.
Based on Glynwood’s Keep Farming protocol, a community-based research method used in areas
throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond, the Keep Putnam Farming process began in earnest in
April 2014 with a Farmer Forum, a gathering to inform local farmers about the program, provide
them an opportunity to meet one another, and offer a venue in which to share their concerns.
Farmers reported that, prior to this meeting they had never met as a group with one another.
Glynwood’s role as an advisor and participant continued throughout the survey, data-gathering
and reporting process.
“There is a renewed energy regarding farming and accessing locally grown fresh healthy food,”
said MaryEllen Odell, County Executive. “Through the Keep Putnam Farming program and the
new Tilly Foster Farm Educational Institute we expect to bring state of the art training
opportunities to our local farmers, residents, and students as well as showcase Putnam County
farm products.”
In May 2014, letters were sent to Town Supervisors announcing the official launch of the project in
Putnam County. After informing farmers and community members about Keep Putnam Farming,
the next step was to begin the data collection phase of the program. By gathering current data
using surveys and interviews we are then able to enhance knowledge of local farming and
improving market connections.
“Through the efforts to Keep Putnam Farming Initiative we have identified active farms in
Putnam County so that we can work on strengthening the economic viability of our farms by
enhancing the awareness of all our local agricultural products and services for all our residents,”
said Lauri Taylor, District Manager, Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation. “Through the
new Hudson Valley Farmlink Network we can work on matching new farmers with existing
agricultural land. Putnam County plans to be at the table for the farm to table experience – do
you?” Ms. Taylor provided technical and outreach assistance on the Keep Putnam Farming
process.

Research (Excerpts)
Thirty-eight farms participated in the Keep Putnam Farming research process. Data and insights
into current farming activities were gleaned from surveys that described existing conditions,
challenges and opportunities for farming in Putnam County. The findings have been used as the
basis for recommended actions, including:
● Formalize the Putnam County Farmers Network
● Training, education and technical assistance programs for farmers
● Solutions to existing needs for processing service in Putnam County
● Increase and diversify market opportunities for Putnam County farms
● Update the Putnam County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Program

Four different agricultural sectors were covered by the survey process: Food, Food and Equine,
Equine and Nursery, and a demographic profile of respondents is included. Extensive results are
provided in the full report, but some highlights include:

Local Farmers:
● Almost one-third of the farmers who responded indicated they have been in the County for
10 years or less. Most are farmers growing food products and looking to build their business
and take advantage of the increased demand for local products;
● 58% of respondents own 20 acres of working farmland or less;
● Several equine farmers report that they are diversifying their farm operations to include
other types of livestock, vegetable and fruit production;
● 50% of respondents indicated they provide agritourism activities on their farms;
● Importantly, 83% of respondents were over the age of 50 years, with 63% of these farmers
over the age of 60 – suggesting that farmland succession is a pressing issue for this group of
farmers. Over 40% of farmers also indicated that the types of assistance they had the
greatest interest in receiving relate to farmland preservation and succession planning.

Local Residents:
To better understand the degree to which local food is purchased and consumed in Putnam
County, surveys were conducted with Putnam residents and food service providers:
● 75% of respondents indicated they look to see where their food is grown when grocery
shopping. However, they most frequently shop at large supermarkets and only 11%
participate in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.)

Institutions & Restaurants:
Seventy-two restaurant owners and chefs completed surveys at the annual Food Operators
Seminar conducted by the Putnam Board of Health in March 2015. These food businesses
represent a large potential market for local products.
● While only two of the restaurant owners indicated that their establishment has a policy for
purchasing local products, all indicated that they would like to purchase local food from
Putnam farms. The two items they are most interested in purchasing are vegetables and
eggs. They would also like greater access to local meat and poultry.
The full report is available online at putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamfarming.

About Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District:
Established in 1967, the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District provides technical
assistance and programs to residents, landowners and units of government on the conservation,
wise use, and development of soil, water, and related resources. The District is a resource
management agency, coordinating and implementing resource and environmental programs at the
local level in cooperation with federal and state agencies. For more information visit:
www.putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamgreen.

About Putnam County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board:
Putnam County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board was formed in 1997 to advise the
County Legislature on actions that impact farms located in the Putnam County Agricultural
District and develop plans and programs to assist farmers throughout Putnam County. For more
information visit: www.putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamfarming.

About Glynwood:
Glynwood’s mission is to ensure the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food, where farming
thrives. The organization works to advance regenerative agriculture that benefits the natural
environment, energizes local economies, enhances human health and strengthens rural
communities. The agricultural nonprofit’s Keep Farming program is a community-based initiative
that engages a diverse set of stakeholders in gathering and analyzing data about the current state of
agriculture in order to better understand current conditions and challenges faced by local farmers.

CLICK HERE TO SEE REPORT

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Contact info:
Lauri Taylor
Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation
(845) 878-3480 ext. 48104
lauri.taylor@putnamcountyny.gov

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County Executive MaryEllen Odell is once again pleased to invite Putnam County residents to the Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, on Saturday, May 14th

Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day

Brewster, NY, April 26, 2016—County Executive MaryEllen Odell is once again pleased to invite Putnam County residents to the Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, on Saturday, May 14th from 11 to 3 at the County’s TOPS (Training and Operations) building on the Donald B. Smith Campus, 112 Old Route 6 in Carmel. Admission is free.

“Putnam County is a great place to live,” said Odell. “Our county is frequently cited as one of the best counties in the state to raise children and that’s because we are committed to keeping Putnam safe through the efforts of police, local government, social service agencies, private partnerships and extraordinary volunteer fire departments and service groups.”

This year, Putnam Hospital Center has joined long-time sponsors Eric Gross and Durant’s Party Rentals as an Expo sponsor.  “Putnam Hospital is an integral part of this community,” said Odell. “As a leader in the health care industry, it recognizes the benefits of being proactive in protecting and promoting children’s health.”

“This event is about community, meeting and celebrating all the people and organizations who give so much of their time to serve children and families,” added Anthony Sutton, commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services. “We’re looking forward to showing residents the latest in Fire Prevention and Safety Services.”

The Children’s Expo is co-presented by the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County (CAC) and the Bureau of Emergency Services of Putnam County. “It’s an easy way to educate families on health and safety issues, as well as the supports and services available to them in the community, all while having fun,” said Marla Behler, program coordinator of the CAC.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will once again be offering Operation SAFE CHILD.  Operation SAFE CHILD cards contain a child’s name, biographical information (date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.), and a fingerprint image of both index fingers. The card is made in less than two minutes and can be easily carried in a wallet or purse.

This year’s event will also include Home Depot’s free Kids Workshops which offer fun and useful building projects.  The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety while they help to instill a sense of accomplishment. In addition, more than 40 exhibitors will be on hand to offer a wide range of: activities for children (camps, theatre, martial arts, etc.,), programs including social media safety, medical, physical and mental health services, car seat checks, emergency services programs as well as live demonstrations (jaws of life and underwater rescue, tanks, fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, canine units and more).

This year’s entertainment features performances by nationally acclaimed Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk, crowd favorite All About Animals, magician and balloon artist, Jocko, and DJ Ron Blanco. In addition there are games, a giant bouncy house, face-painting, raffles, food and lots of free giveaways!

“The CAC is dedicated to preventing child abuse and ensuring safety and treatment for abused children. By increasing the public’s knowledge, our hope is to promote safety and prevent tragedies,” said Behler.  “The Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, now celebrating its eleventh year, was organized with this objective which continues to be the primary goal of the event.”

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The Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County opened in 1999 to handle child abuse allegations in a coordinated way in order to minimize additional trauma to the young victims. A multidisciplinary team of child protective service workers, prosecutors, law enforcement investigators, medical care providers, victim advocates and therapists work together to provide all necessary services in one place. The CAC also provides education for the community to reduce the incidence of serious childhood injuries and death.

The Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services helps protect residents by operating the 911 Communications center. The Bureau is also host to Fire, EMS and Emergency Management training in the County. BES has a state of the art Emergency Operations Center where officials manage natural and man-made emergencies. BES also fields special teams to investigate cause and origins of fires, a Team to respond to Hazardous Materials Incidents, Fire Police to provide traffic control, security, and preserving evidence. There is also a Communications Team that uses specialized equipment to assure that County agencies and agencies providing mutual aid can speak on the same radio frequencies. The Bureau works closely with Senior Services, The Department of Health and the CAC to be a force multiplier in keeping Putnam safe.

 

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Odell to give State of the County Address March 10 at Putnam County Golf Course

Odell to give State of the County Address March 10 at Putnam County Golf Course

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will present the State of the County address at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.  Prior to the address, there will be a Putnam County Market Place which will open at 5:30 p.m.

As she has in the past, Odell has chosen to highlight a particular theme for the year. Odell has decided that 2016 will be “The Year of Business Development.”

“One of the greatest secrets out there is that Putnam County is the perfect place to live, work and play,’” said Odell. “We can no longer keep the secret to ourselves.  Putnam County has so much to offer the business community. Business development is about promoting and supporting our existing businesses, encouraging companies to consider expanding or relocating to Putnam County and identifying solutions to the obstacles, such as infrastructure, sewer and water, which have previously prevented growth in our business community.”

Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton will be joining Odell to unveil a partnership between Putnam County and the City of Danbury for a Regional Economic Initiative.

In addition, the Putnam County Market Place will highlight businesses, organizations and not-for-profits from throughout county that make Putnam the place to live, work and play.  Organization that would like to participate in the Putnam County Market Place can contact Heidi Kuhland at 845-808-1150 x49406 or Heidi.kuhland@putnamcountyny.gov.

For further information about Putnam County’s many services and departments, residents may visit the County website at: www.putnamcountyny.com/soc2016.