County Executive Odell Confirmed as NYMTC Co-Chair for Second Consecutive Term

County Executive Odell Confirmed as NYMTC Co-Chair
for Second Consecutive Term

CARMEL, NY – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that during the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s (NYMTC) February 22, 2017, Annual Meeting, she was confirmed as the NYMTC Co-Chair for a second consecutive term.  NYMTC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for New York City, Long Island, and the lower Hudson Valley, which qualifies our region to receive federal transportation funds.

As per NYMTC’s Memorandum of Understanding, the co-chair is rotated annually among the three Transportation Coordinating Committees (TCC): Mid-Hudson South TCC (which includes Putnam County), Nassau/Suffolk TCC, and New York City TCC.

“In light of my recent appointment as NYMTC’s Executive Director and to keep the continuity of the current planning process, Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell will remain the NYMTC Co-Chair for the 2018 program year,” said Jose M. Rivera, P.E., Executive Director, NYMTC.

NYMTC held its Annual Meeting at New York University – Kimmel Center, with primary focus on the theme, “Making the Case for Infrastructure Investment”.  The NYMTC members adopted its $44 million Unified Planning Work Program for State Fiscal Year 2017-2018.

“County Executive Odell brings much energy and foresight to our metropolitan planning organization and her initiatives in Putnam County, particularly in the Village of Brewster, exemplify the region’s efforts in addressing current and future transportation needs.”

“I look forward to another year of collaboration with County Executive Odell, and other NYMTC principals in making the case for additional infrastructure investments that will further enhance the region’s economic competitiveness and livability.”

NYMTC members are elected officials and heads of transportation and environmental agencies responsible for establishing and implementing transportation plans, projects and programs. Working together, Council Members develop a vision for the region, setting the direction for the organization and determining desired outcomes for their established regional goals.

County Executive Odell Co-chairs NYMTC alongside Matthew Driscoll, Co-chair and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. Principal NYMTC voting members include Purnima Kapur, Executive Director, NYC Department of City Planning; Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation; Fernando Ferrer, Acting Chairman & Veronique Hakim, Interim CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive; Ed Day, Rockland County Executive; Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive; and Robert Astorino, Westchester County Executive.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Announces All County Facilities Are Closed Wednesday March 15, 2017 To Allow Crews To Continue Snow Cleanup Efforts

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Announces All County Facilities Are Closed Wednesday March 15, 2017 To Allow Crews To Continue Snow Cleanup Efforts
While the worst of the storm is behind us, cleanup remains a major concern. “With the heavy snowfall and wind gusts our highway crews have been fighting a steady battle that began late Monday night” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “while our County highways are passable there is still much work that needs to be done”. Highway Commissioner Fred Pena said “County parking lots remain a concern as heavy equipment will need to be brought in to remove the snow”. To allow the Highway crews the time needed to effectively clear the County parking lots all non-essential County facilities will be closed today, Wednesday March 15, 2017.
Today’s weather conditions include mostly cloudy skies with temperatures that will remain below freezing and wind gusts of up to 25 MPH. The Putnam County Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor this event
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep your vehicle clear of snow and ice including vehicle rooftops
  • Keep your vehicle gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up
  • When shoveling snow
    • Push snow rather than lifting
    • If you do lift use a smaller shovel or only partially fill the shovel
    • Lift with your legs not your back
    • Do not work to the point of exhaustion
    • Don’t shovel or do other work outside without your doctor’s permission if you have a history of heart disease
  • Cold weather can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and it can make blood clot more easily and constrict arteries, which decreases blood supply. This is true even in healthy people. Individuals over the age of 40 or who are relatively inactive should be particularly careful
  • If you feel tightness in your chest or dizziness stop immediately and call 9-1-1
  • Stay hydrated and consider taking a break every 20 or 30 minutes
  • If your snow blower jams turn it off by removing the key and do not reach into the blower assembly with your hands
  • Do not run any gas powered devices such as a snow blower or generator in an enclosed space due to carbon monoxide

Don’t forget to check on your neighbors, relatives and vulnerable friends. “If you know of someone that may need some help please take a moment and make a quick visit or call to ensure they’re okay” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

Putnam to Live Stream State of the County Address on March 9th

Putnam to Live Stream State of the County Address on March 9th

2017 Putnam State of the County to Celebrate Year of the Millennial

MAHOPAC, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that for the first time, the Putnam County State of the County Address will be available for live viewing via the county website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/SOC2017. News12 is also expected to cover the event. The address, which celebrates the Year of the Millennial, takes place on March 9th at 7pm at the Putnam County Golf Course, located at 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY. Attendees must reserve a seat via the website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/SOC2017.

“We are excited to offer the public – for the first time — the option to remotely view the State of the County Address via live stream,” said County Executive Odell. “This presentation represents a significant summary of the work that has been accomplished on behalf of Putnam taxpayers, as well as our direction moving forward. It’s only fitting that we incorporate technology that will reach the widest network of citizens as possible,” added Odell.

Focused on the Age of Technology and its impact on the Putnam County community, the State of the County will be preceded by a Technology Marketplace from 5:30 – 7pm.

According to Odell, the generation of young people returning to Putnam County is reliant upon the internet and all forms of technology throughout their daily lives to shop, find the best restaurants and entertainment, for travel and to locate housing and employment.

“We expect to have several presentations and technology exhibits from those in our community who are focused giving millennials more reason to choose Putnam as a place to live, work and play,” said Odell.

2017 State of the County Marketplace

 

This year, The Year of the Millennial, the Marketplace which will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 just prior to the presentation of the Putnam County Legislature and the County Executive’s State of the County Address will be focused on the Age of Technology and its impact on the Putnam County community.  The generation of young people returning to Putnam County is reliant upon the internet and all forms of technology throughout their daily lives to shop, find the best restaurants and entertainment, for travel and to locate housing and employment.  If you are a business or agency who has developed new and innovative means of accessing technology to market to this consumer group, then we would love to hear from you.

We hope to have several presentations and technology exhibits from those in our community who are focused on reaching the younger generation of Putnam County residents in the hope that they choose to live, work and play right here in our community.

So, if you are a Putnam County business who is focused on social media and other new and exciting technological platforms to reach the new generation of consumers in our community, and you would like to offer advice to others on the best ways of doing so, we would love to have you participate.

If you have participated in previous Marketplaces and are interested in joining us this year, you will find contact information below.  We are hopeful that you will focus your exhibit on the ways in which your organization utilizes technology and social media to market your business or cause.  We are looking for our local businesses and agencies to provide an innovative display of the manner in which they use technology and web-based targeted marketing to reach our younger generation of Putnam County residents in an effort to encourage them to remain and thrive in Putnam County.  Should you have particular needs for technical equipment, be sure to let us know so that we may accommodate you.  We will do all we can to ensure that your presentation is as exciting and successful as possible.

We look forward to an innovative and state-of-the-art Marketplace!

Kindly contact Heidi Kuhland or Maureen Bernard at the Putnam County Law Department for more information and to make arrangements for your presentation: heidi.kuhland@putnamcountyny.gov; maureen.bernard@putnamcountyny.gov.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Supports the Search for Putnam County’s Outstanding Seniors of the Year

County Executive MaryEllen Odell Supports the Search for
Putnam County’s Outstanding Seniors of the Year

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is supporting Director of the Office for Senior Resources, Patricia Sheehy, and the Putnam County Senior Citizens Advisory Board as they seek nominations for this year’s SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD.

“We are fortunate to have a very active senior population,” said Odell. “Selecting one man and one woman from among so many seniors who do so much to make a difference and enhance the lives of Putnam residents will be an exciting challenge.”

Do you know a senior who is very active in our community volunteering their time, being a role model to others and is an all around citizen of Putnam County? If so, please nominate that person.

Candidates must be 60 years of age or older and residents of Putnam County.

Two seniors from each of New York’s counties will be honored at a luncheon on May 9th in Albany. Putnam’s winners will also be honored at the annual Putnam County Senior Volunteer Ceremony this spring.

Nominations should be made on an official form which can be obtained from the
Office for Senior Resources or downloaded from their website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/osr.

Completed nomination forms must be received by Friday, March 3, 2017. Forms may be mailed to: Senior Award, Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, 110 Old Rt. 6, Building No. 1, Carmel, NY 10512 or faxed to (845) 808-1942 or emailed to: sherrie.gilmore@putnamcountyny.gov.

Employees of federal, state, county, or local municipalities who provide services to senior citizens are not eligible to be nominated. Previous recipients of this award are also ineligible.

For more information or to Fill Out a nomination form, CLICK HERE or please call the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700.

 

500 Comfort Packages Shipped to Soldiers Overseas Thanks to Putnam County! Take a Look at the New Video!

500 Comfort Packages Shipped to Soldiers Overseas Thanks to Putnam County

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell presented Jim Rathschmidt, the founder of United For The Troops, with the donations collected from the county’s Defend the Holiday campaign.

Comfort packages to 500 men and women serving overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces will be sent through United For The Troops. Defend the Holidays, was the initative of County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“During the season of giving, it was important to remember that our greatest gift is that of freedom,” said Odell. “I launched the Defend the Holiday program, a joint effort with United for the Troops and the  Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, to supply comfort packages to those serving overseas in the U.S. Armed Forces.”

United For The Troops is a 501-c-3 that sends care packages to troops serving overseas. It was started by Mahopac residents Jim and Pat Rathschmidt. The couple along with their friends and neighbors launched the organization in 2007 when Rathschmidt’s son, Luke, was serving with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army in Iraq.

Following numerous conversations with service men and women, the group found out that while the military provides soldiers with the essentials for day- to-day life, many of them miss the extra amenities that they enjoy while at home. The organization’s purpose is to make the soldiers’ lives a little better while serving overseas by sending items such as cookies, DVDs, CDs, snacks and t-shirts.

“While all of our comfort packages are made up of donated items, it costs us about $15 to ship a care package overseas,” said Jim Rathschmidt. “Through the great efforts of MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam County Sheriff Department we will be able to pay the shipping for 500 gift boxes being sent to our men and women serving our country overseas. Thanks to the generous support we received, our mission to ‘Bring A Little Comfort To Our Troops’ will continue on.”

While many of the county employees contributed toward the giving campaign, one person in particular went the extra mile. Putnam County Sheriff Deputy Corinne Pitt, who is a school resource officer at Putnam Valley High School, collected donations totaling $350 from the school staff to support the Defend the Holidays initiative.

“It was such a pleasant surprise to have Deputy Pitt come to my office to present us the money she had collected from the generous families from Putnam Valley High School,” said Odell.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell stands with Jim Rathschmidt and members of the Putnam County Sheriff Department.

In addition to the donations received from the county employees, county Seniors and the residents of Putnam County,  the campaign received $610 from the N.Y.C Firefighters Hudson Valley East and $500 from the Putnam County PBA.

United For The Troops has sent over 16,000 comfort packages to the troops since its inception.

To learn more about volunteering or making donations to United for the Troops, visit their website at www.unitedforthetroops.com

County Renews and Amends Camp Herrlich Lease to Ensure Long-term Care of Property and Infrastructure Improvements

County Renews and Amends Camp Herrlich Lease to Ensure Long-term Care of Property and Infrastructure Improvements

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that the legislature passed a resolution to amend the County’s lease with Camp Herrlich. Amendments, featuring a guaranteed 20- year lease term, were sought by Camp Herrlich to ensure long-term care of the property and to secure funding for facility improvement and expansion to increase the camp’s capacity.

“Camp Herrlich has been a long-time partner of the County, as well as the Carmel Central School District and other local service agencies,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are pleased with the outcome of the resolution and look forward to improvements at the Camp that will benefit Putnam County and our children through high-quality, safe and enriching childcare and summer camp options.”

“By amending this lease we will be able to secure the donations needed to improve and expand the camp facilities and program offerings,” said Bob Gentile, Executive Director, Camp Herrlich.

“Through a generous donation and partnership with H. G. Fairfield Arts and an anonymous donor, we are beginning the process of constructing a new, 5,000 square foot, multipurpose building and an outdoor amphitheater. This new construction will enable us to serve more people in the comfort of our traditional camp environment, through the inclusion of new dormitory facilities, classroom, bathroom space, open indoor space, and a performance venue. We hope to break ground this fall,” added Gentile.

Camp Herrlich provides childcare and camp programming for and with a wide range of organizations, including the Putnam County Youth Bureau, the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, the Carmel Central School District, Brewster Schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension & 4-H, H. G. Fairfield Center for Arts and the Environment, and others.

“Camp Herrlich has always been a jewel in the Town of Patterson and has served as an asset to all of Putnam County. As a longtime resident of the Town of Patterson, I am elated that an agreement has been finalized which will ensure that Camp Herrlich will continue to grow and foster wonderful programs for our children”. Said Ginny Nacerino, Chairwomen of the Legislature.

Brewster Mayor and County Executive Announce Phase I of Brewster Revitalization

Brewster Mayor and County Executive Announce Phase I of Brewster Revitalization

Massive Transit Oriented Development Seeks to Bring Back Millennials and
Brewster’s Distinction as Hub of Harlem Valley

BREWSTER, NY – At a press conference last Thursday, January 5th, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Village of Brewster Mayor James Schoenig with Covington Development, LLC, principal, Harold Lepler, announced details on the implementation of Phase I of a multiphase Transit Oriented Development (TOD)project  designed to revitalize the Village of Brewster.  The initial construction phase is supported in part by a recently awarded $2M Empire State Development Grant.

“The Empire State Development grant of $2 million dollars has been provided to support Putnam County and the Village of Brewster’s joint efforts over the past few years to revitalize downtown Brewster,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  “This is a priority economic growth initiative that will spur population growth and vitality in the community by attracting millennials, which will in turn attract businesses and jobs, ultimately bringing Brewster back to its 19th century distinction as the hub of the Harlem Valley.”

The funding will offset the costs for acquisition, demolition and to begin construction in Phase I of multiple phases of reconstruction along the Village’s Main Street corridor.  For Phase I, a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is proposed to be built in the area bounded by Main Street, Railroad Avenue, Marvin Avenue and the Southeast Museum.  Construction, which is expected to begin in late 2018, entails a shared subsurface parking structure for up to 550 cars, with mixed-use buildings above and built around a central open space plaza. The buildings will provide approximately 290 apartments and 32,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

“This long-term revitalization initiative creates economic value for the entire Village and greater Brewster area, said Mayor Schoenig. “The TOD is part of our plan to attract and retain millennials in Putnam County, giving them attractive live-work-play surroundings and easy access to Grand Central Station via commuter rail.”

According to Schoenig, the development is currently funded through grants and or private sources. “There will be no outlay of funds by the Village.”

According to Harold Lepler, prinicipal, Covington Development LLC , the master developer for the Brewster Revitalization effort , Phase I of the TOD project is expected to revitalize an economically distressed community, create new jobs and a higher quality of life for village residents, improve tourism and improve regional economic opportunities  by turning the Village of Brewster into a place where people want to live, work and play.

NYSAC Update on the Veto of the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act

January 3, 2017

Dear NYSAC Board,
As you know, this weekend the Governor vetoed the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act (S.8114/ A.10706). This bi-partisan bill was sent to the Governor after being passed unanimously by the Senate and the Assembly as they recognized the importance of both strengthening the criminal justice system as well as providing impactful mandate relief for our local taxpayers.

The Association will not stop advocating for this legislation and for mandate relief, and we plan to use our resources to combat this veto in the 2017 Legislative Session. We anticipate you will be asked locally about this veto and how it impacts your county. Attached to this letter is the Governor’s Veto Message #306 for your review. As you can see the message is clear: the Governor states this bill is only a cost shift from county government to the State.

If you have an opportunity, it would be helpful if you could please define this veto action from the county property taxpayer point of view.

Property taxes are too high in New York State, and those high taxes are driving population out of our state. Unfunded state mandates, which are Albany’s way of creatively shifting the costs of state programs on to the backs of local governments and their property taxes. Nine state mandates equal 90% or more of the county property tax bills that will arrive in New Yorker’s mailboxes this week. If the state starts to take back the costs of state programs, which they could have done with the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act, then counties can lower county property taxes.

It is the State, through their laws and regulation, that controls how programs such as indigent defense operates. They don’t lower the costs of these programs because they do not have to pay for these programs. When the State takes on the fiscal responsibility for their programs they will also change current operational requirements, find efficiencies, and save taxpayer money. We have already seen this blueprint with the Medicaid Cap, and it has worked. After the State took over larger portions of Medicaid
payments from the counties, the State changed the operational structure resulting in billions in savings to the overall program.

Our local governments are operating under a property tax cap. When it passed in 2012, we did not oppose the property tax cap based on the State’s promise that as we locally cut services, consolidate operations, and cut spending, they would provide mandate relief and lower the costs the state imposed on counties. The counties have stepped up and fulfilled their end of the bargain for all New Yorkers. The State Legislature unanimously passed the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act, proving they are willing to help.

Please know that we will continue to work with the Governor and Legislature to support this legislation, and advocate for state mandate relief proposals that are introduced in the 2017 Legislative Session, which begins tomorrow.

Sincerely,

William E. Cherry
President
New York State Association of Counties

Tilly Foster Farm Gets Two New Goats for Christmas

 Tilly Foster Farm Gets Two New Goats for Christmas

SOUTHEAST, NY – Tilly Foster Farm, a long-time destination for children and families to enjoy and experience furry and feathered creatures, adds two new Nigerian Dwarf goats to its growing collection of exotic farm animals.  The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat breed of West African ancestry, reaching an average height of 17” to 21” and weighing up to 75 lbs. Known for their diminutive size and low maintenance, the colorful breed is a popular pet, as well as a producer of rich milk, which dairies use to make cheese.

“The County is excited to add “Calvin” and “Hobbes” to the Tilly Foster Farm family, said Teresa De Angelis, Tilly Foster Veterinary Technician and animal caretaker. “The breed’s small stature means they do not require as much space or feed as their larger dairy goat counterparts and their gentle and friendly personalities make them good companion pets. Right now we are starting with two but hope to add to the herd in the spring.”

Easy to handle, even for children, Nigerian dwarf goats graduated from The Livestock Conservancy’s priority list in 2013.  Goats are not only fun to watch and interact with but can be utilized on the farm to clear trails and other areas where brush needs to be removed.

The goats will be joining the herd in the next couple of weeks and will be available for viewing shortly thereafter.

Revitalizing Tilly Foster Farm
As part of the revitalization of Tilly Foster, the farm has welcomed the return of small farm animals, including a beautiful array of chicken breeds, including Frizzle Cochin Bantams, Silkies, Polish, Red Stars, Barred Rock, Austrolorps , Brahmas and Ameraucanas, which lay blue eggs.  In the four-legged category, the new goats, Calvin and Hobbes, will find company with Kunekune pigs, Penelope and Ginger, Lucy and Levi, four Huacaya Alpacas named Honey, Isabella, Sinbad and Raphael, and Sultan and Sunny, two miniature horses.

For more information about Tilly Foster Farm visit www.putnamtillyfoster.com.

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