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 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.

Odell’s State of the County Address focuses on Debt Reduction Success, Key Capital Improvement Projects and Storm Recovery Efforts

CARMEL, NY – For her seventh State of the County address, which was held at Putnam County Golf Course on Thursday, March 15, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell proudly proclaimed that the county was moving in the right direction, highlighted by dramatic reductions in county debt obligations, stable tax rates, key infrastructure investments at various points along the Route 6 corridor and with the construction of a new senior center in Cold Spring and the renovation of the Carmel senior center. A large portion of the beginning of the speech was dedicated to county employees, first responders and many volunteers who worked together in the recovery efforts following two major nor’easter storms that wreaked havoc on the Hudson Valley region earlier this month.

“The two-fisted winter storm punches that we received over the last two weeks showed the fierce dedication of our volunteers and first responders,” Odell said. “Highway workers, police, fire, EMS and the many, many, volunteers and public servants that responded ensured that our residents were protected. That’s what we do in Putnam County.  We all pull together during times of adversity.”

Putnam County had its Emergency Command Center open for eight days continuously beginning March 2. By the end of Day 1, Putnam 9-1-1 had received 1,135 calls for assistance and had dispatched 818 police, 150 fire department and 40 EMS calls.

The storms caused more than 25,000 homes and businesses to lose their electricity. Odell thanked the organizations that set up comfort stations, overnight shelters and hot meals for those suffering without power.

She officially declared 2018 the Year of the Volunteer in Putnam County to show her appreciation for the impact on our community that the volunteers have throughout the year and especially stepping up when the Putnam County residents need it most.

When discussing how her administration has kept Putnam County moving in the right direction, Odell noted that in addition to delivering budgets that are under the tax cap, the total debt summary of the county has decreased by $30.4m or 29%, since she took office in 2011. Putnam County also continues to have the lowest tax bill of any of the 62 counties in New York State, while maintaining its Aa2 Moody’s Bond Rating.

“We have been able to do this without major layoffs or tax hikes,” she said. “We found efficiencies and still found ways to invest in our county assets—Putnam County Golf Course and Tilly Foster Farm, so they can be sustainable and be enjoyed by all the residents.”

Looking ahead, Odell spoke about the renovation of the Carmel Senior Center and the building of the new Cold Spring Senior Center. She also mentioned the sewer and wastewater treatment projects in Lake Carmel, Brewster and Mahopac as ways to protect the environment and allow responsible commercial development and protect the residential neighborhoods.

“We continue to move Putnam County in the right direction, with smart growth and key investments all while maintaining a solid financial operation,” said Odell.  “We do this by finding efficiencies and communicating with the Putnam County Legislature and our department heads to provide the highest quality of services at the least expense to the taxpayer. It’s a successful and responsible model that we look to continue in 2018 and beyond to maintain and build upon the great quality of life we all enjoy here in Putnam.”

1,575 NYSEG customers without power-All PC Government Offices Open-www.putnamcountyny.gov

NYSEG & Central Hudson crews continue to correct the damage that was inflected to the electrical distribution system from two major winter storms received within a week. Currently NYSEG reports that 1,575 customers are without power. Customers that wish to report continued outage should contact NYSEG at 800-572-1131 or Central Hudson Gas & Electric at 845-452-2700.

All Putnam County Government Offices have resumed normal operations. “In order for us to continue to address the many issues facing our residents following these major storms, it is important that County Government be open to our residents who have needs or desire to conduct county business”. Residents requiring assistance are encouraged to reach out to their local or county government offices on Friday.

Comfort facilities will also be available on Friday, March 9, 2018 at:

  • Town of Southeast town Hall from 7:00 am till 5:00 pm
  • Kent Public Library from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Patterson Recreation Center from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Temple Beth Shalom in Mahopac from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Please take the time to check on family, friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay.

Putnam County 9-1-1 remains fully manned and should be used for any emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS.

Please continue to monitor NY-Alert for updates

the Plumbing Board meeting for tonight March 8th 2018 is canceled.

the Plumbing Board meeting for tonight March 8th 2018 is canceled.

14,420 NYSEG customers without power-All PC Government Offices, with the exception of essential services closed 3/8/18

After the second storm, NYSEG reports that 14,420 customers are currently out of power.  NYSEG remains in the field with mutual aid crews working towards 100% restoration. NYSEG number for outages is 800 572-1131.
 
Central Hudson Gas & Electric crews are also teamed with mutual aid crews and are working in Continental Village area.  Please call 845-452-2700 for outages.
 
All Putnam County Government Offices, with the exception of essential services, will remain closed Thursday, 3/8/18
“With this second winter storm in our area just 5 days after the first one, we still have residents without power that are now facing a second hurdle” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Our highway crews have been working non-stop since Friday as have our emergency responders” she continued.
 
County Executive Odell reminds residents that comfort facilities are available for Thursday March 8, 2018 at:
  • Town of Southeast town Hall from 7:00am till 5:00pm
  • Knight’s of Columbus, 10 Fair Street, Carmel NY from 9:00am to 4:00pm
  • Patterson Recreation Center from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Temple Beth Shalom in Mahopac from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • PV Senior Center from 10:00am to 6:00pm
 
Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac will be open tonight 3/8/2018 to the public from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. They will be providing soup and a place to charge electronic equipment.
 
The travel ban on all Putnam County roads and Interstate highway restrictions has expired as of 9:00am 3/8/18. While the travel ban has been lifted some roads may be closed for work crews, so please drive with caution due to down trees, wires and debris.
 
“With the second storm finally over but additional outages and trees down in our area I remind everyone to check on family, friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay during this difficult time” said County Executive Odell
 
Putnam County 9-1-1 remains fully manned and should be used for any emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS.
 
Please continue to monitor NY-Alert for updates

All Putnam County Government Offices, with the exception of essential services, to remain closed on Thursday, March 8, 2018

As the most recent winter storm continues in Putnam County, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has ordered all Putnam County Government Offices, with the exception of essential services, to remain closed on Thursday, March 8, 2018. “In the best interest of public safety it is important to keep all non-emergency traffic off our roadways into Thursday” said County Executive Odell. She continued “This heavy snow combined with high winds has caused numerous trees and large branches to fall creating an extreme hazard, if you don’t need to go out please stay indoors, if you do go out be mindful of the trees and branches”.

The County closing also includes Putnam County Moves, our public transportation system, Croton Falls Commuters, any fixed route PART System, ParaTransit, Veteran’s Transports and Pre-K/EI Transportation to schools in Putnam and Westchester Counties.
 
The monthly meeting of the Transportation Advisory Council will be rescheduled and is also canceled.
 
The closing also includes all senior activities operated by the Office of Senior Resources.
 
Earlier in the day County Executive Odell issued an executive order to ban all non-emergency traffic from roadways in Putnam County.

“As predicted the wind speeds have picked up and we are seeing dangerous conditions due to poor visibility and falling trees, we need to keep the roadways clear so the highway crews and emergency workers can do their jobs” said County Executive Odell.


This ban mandates that employers within Putnam County release all employees that are not essential to the continued operation of their business


“With this second winter storm coming into our area just 5 days after the first one, we still have residents without power that are now facing a second hurdle” said County Executive Odell. “Our highway crews have been working non-stop since Friday as have our emergency responders” she continued.


County Executive Odell reminds residents that comfort facilities will be available Thursday March 8, 2018 at:

Town of Southeast town Hall from 7:00am till 5:00pm 

Knight’s of Columbus, 10 Fair Street, Carmel NY from 9:00am to 4:00pm

Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association located at 15 Mt Ebo Road, Brewster NY from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Patterson Recreation Center from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Temple Beth Shalom in Mahopac from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac will be open to the public from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. They will be providing soup and a place to charge electronic equipment.


For Wednesday March 7, 2018 and Thursday March 8, 2018 the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association will remain an overnight shelter. The shelter is located at 15 Mt. Ebo Road in Brewster NY. This is being coordinated by the American Red Cross with Putnam County Emergency Management and the Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association.


The NY State Police report that Interstate 84 is closed from Connecticut to Pennsylvania for Commercial vehicles, tractor trailers, this includes box trucks, high profile trucks and buses.


Interstate 684 is closed from Interstate 84 to RT 287 for Commercial vehicles, tractor trailers, this includes box trucks, high profile trucks and includes buses.
 
“With the second storm currently in our area I remind everyone to check on family, friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay during this difficult time” said County Executive Odell.

Putnam County 9-1-1 remains fully manned and should be used for any emergency requests for Police, Fire or EMS.


Please continue to monitor NY-Alert for updates