Free Rabies Clinic Saturday July 15th

Bring your dogs, cats and ferrets to a FREE rabies vaccination clinic on

Saturday, July 15th, from 10am – 12pm. Sponsored by the Putnam County

Department of Health, the clinic is being held at Hubbard Lodge, 2880 Route 9, Cold Spring, NY and is open to all Putnam County residents.

Please bring photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency, as well as proof of prior rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable. If you do not have proof of prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccine. All dogs must be leashed and cats and ferrets must be in carriers. For more information and directions, please call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.

Tilly’s Table Marks Fresh Start at Tilly Foster Farm

BREWSTER, N.Y. –  The opening of the Tilly’s Table, a farm-to-table restaurant and catering venue, at Tilly Foster Farm begins a new chapter at the Putnam County-owned property. ­­ Tilly’s Table, which is the latest public-private partnership for Putnam County, showcases local culinary talents and features ingredients grown in the Hudson Valley. It celebrated its grand opening the weekend of June 2.

“Based on the success we have had at Putnam County Golf Course, having a public-private partnership at Tilly Foster Farm with Homestyle Catering is a fiscally sound decision that allows the county to also be social responsible,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Chef Sandra Marinelli is working with Chef Christopher Devine, the corporate chef of Ace Endico, both of whom are Putnam residents to develop delicious menus that make Tilly’s Table be a culinary destination in the Hudson Valley.”

Marinelli of Mahopac, who is heading up the restaurant’s kitchen, has been trained at Marymount College, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and The Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan. She carved a niche for herself, nourishing and cooking for others as she does for her family. Her belief in the healing power of food and its ability to nourish not just physically but emotionally is based on the Ayurvedic principles of what you put into your body creates who you are, inside and out.  This holistic approach will be incorporated into all she creates at Tilly’s Table.

Devine, a Brewster resident, attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and has over 30 years of experience as a leader and pioneer in the culinary world.  Recently, he has held the role of executive chef and general manager at Trump Tower, where he directed numerous events and catering services for 15 years. During his tenure with the Trump Organization, Devine also opened and operated six restaurant divisions including The Trump Grille, Trump Café, Trump Bar, Trump Store and the Trump Ice Cream Parlor. As an esteemed colleague for the Trump Organization, he recently had the honor of working directly with White House staff to ensure a smooth transition of all culinary services and amenities. Following his respected career with the Trump Organization, Devine is currently the corporate chef and product specialist for Ace Endico, a Brewster-based fine foods distributor.

“I have been driving past the farm watching all the progress the county has made on the property and when they announced that they were opening Tilly’s Table I knew I wanted to be part of it,” said Devine. “Tilly’s Table will be a go-to destination in the Hudson Valley.”

Tilly’s Table opening manifests Putnam County’s vision to turn the deteriorated property into a treasured resource that all the people of Putnam can enjoy.

“Three years ago, we embarked on the journey of making Tilly Foster Farm an economically viable county asset,” said Odell. “After listening long and hard to the public about they wanted to have happen at the farm, we developed the farm’s mission, which is that the farm fosters financial, environmental, social and historical stewardship through a variety of program offerings by means of public-private partnerships.”

Putnam County purchased the 199-acre Tilly Foster Farm in 2002. The county took over management of the property in 2014. Odell and the Putnam County Legislature had the county utilized the strengths and talents within its own workforce to repair, modernize and rebuild the property.

“First, we brought the chicks back, then the pigs and the other animals,” said Odell.  We invested in our infrastructure because we understood that we needed a sound foundation if we were going to reach for the stars. Plus, we formed a partnership with BOCES and now have vocational training now being taught at the farm.”

Odell credits the Putnam County Highway and Facilities Department for most of the physical labor and craftsmanship that has done throughout the farm, especially in the rehabilitation of the lodge.

“Look at the flooring and chimney work in Tilly’s Table,” said Odell. “The creativity and skills of the highway department workers can be seen throughout the venue. It leaves a lasting impression. Generations from now will still talk about the craftsmanship and work that was put into this place.”

Fred Pena, P.E., commissioner of Putnam’s highway and facilities department is proud of his team as well. In addition to making the property achieve code compliance and have general safety and usability, the department had to enhance or replace things associated with the water supply, power supply and septic system.

“We found strength through every obstacle and grew from it,” said Pena. “We strategically outsourced and effectively used our resources to an extremely effective result.”

Legislator Ginny Nacerino, chair of the Putnam County Legislature, believes that the rejuvenation of Tilly Foster Farm is one of the government’s most significant accomplishments since she has been on the Legislature.

“The revitalization of Tilly Foster Farm is a true testament of what can be done when we work together toward a common goal,” said Nacerino. “I know that Tilly Foster farm will prove to be the jewel of Putnam County For generations to come. We affectionately call Tilly Foster Farm the people’s farm because indeed it is.”

Odell agrees.

“The success of Tilly Foster Farm does not belong to one person, but to all the people of Putnam County,” said Odell. “Together, we have been able to revitalize this property and make it a destination for everyone in the Hudson Valley to enjoy.  We have saved this historical icon of Putnam’s farming heritage, while making it an economically viable county asset.”

Tilly Foster Farm is located at 100 Route 312 in Brewster. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tilly’s Table is open for- Sunday brunch and private events. For reservations or for more information about Tilly’s Table, call 845-808-1840.

 

Row of Honor Stays through July 4th Weekend in Commemoration of Flag Day

CARMEL, N.Y. – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced today that the Row of Honor will stay in place through Independence Day weekend in honor of Flag Day. The United States flag was adopted on June 14th, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

Now in its fourth year, the Row of Honor is an installation of over 200 American flags on Lake Gleneida, which honors the men and women who served, or continue to serve, protect, and defend our freedom. Emblazoned with the names of veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders, The Row of Honor is on display twice a year in observance of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

“The United States flag is a portrait of our country’s historical past and symbol of freedom around the world,” said Odell. “Continuing to display the Row of Honor through Independence Day appropriately commemorates our history, our freedom and our service men and women who guard our freedom and uphold our democracy.”

PCDOH Offers Free HIV Testing on June 27

BREWSTER, NY—This year annual National HIV Testing Day encourages people of all ages to “Test your way. Do it today.” As in previous years, the main message is to take control of your health and find out if you may have the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which over time usually causes AIDS. In early stages a person often feels fine. In fact, approximately one in seven Americans infected do not know they are carrying the virus. In total, nearly 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in Atlanta.

“With early diagnosis, we can begin treatment sooner,” said Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County’s Interim Commissioner of Health. “This can make a big difference in the patient’s outcome. It can save lives and can help limit the spread of the virus.”

To encourage HIV testing, the Putnam County Department of Health, in partnership with Westchester Medical Center and Planned Parenthood, will be offering free rapid HIV testing and counseling on Tuesday, June 27. Mobile vans will be located at the Carmel Fire Department, 94 Gleneida Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and at Brewster Towne Plaza, 1620 Route 22 (near Value Village), from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Testing will also be offered at the main health department office, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Privacy and confidentiality are ensured. No appointments are necessary and results are ready in 20 minutes. Free condoms, giveaways and educational information will be available at all sites.

HIV can affect anyone regardless of age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender. In 2015, 22 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. were among youth aged 13 to 24 years of age. People aged 50 and older have many of the same HIV risk factors as younger people, but may be less aware of their risk. In 2014, people aged 50 and older accounted for 17 percent of those living with HIV infection.

Today people with HIV and AIDS are living longer, healthier and more productive lives. New research is promising, but there is still no vaccine or cure for HIV. Safe sex is the best “primary prevention,” but early testing and diagnosis saves lives too. Testing and early results are part of what is called “secondary prevention” in public health terms. Older Americans are more likely than youth to be tested later in the course of their disease. This means delayed treatment, often more health problems and shorter survival. Despite medical advances, HIV/AIDS is still a significant cause of death for some age groups. It was the 8th leading cause of death for those from 25 to 34 years of age in 2014 in the U.S.

For more information about HIV testing or HIV/AIDS education and prevention, contact the Health Department at (845) 808-1390.

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

Help Putnam County Secure Veteran Stories with Vet Scan

Help Putnam County Secure Veteran Stories with Vet Scan – An initiative of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, Historian’s Office, and the Southeast Museum

Putnam County Veteran’s and their families are invited to participate in a free digital scanning initiative to secure military memories of the past for future generations.
Local families with military memorabilia are invited to make appointments through the County Historian’s Office to have old letters, documents, photographs and assorted military memorabilia scanned and recorded on a memory device such as a USB or burned to a disk, free of charge.

Qualifying materials include:
▪ Photographs ▪ Slides
▪News clippings ▪ Service Records
▪Commemorative Programs and souvenirs, etc…

Don’t lose your loved one’s story of service, participate in Vet Scan today!
HELP PUTNAM COUNTY SECURE MILITARY STORIES WITH
VET sCAN
An initiative of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency, Historian’s Office, and the Southeast Museum
Thank you for your service and story.
For more information on Vet Scan, please contact the Putnam County Historian’s Office 845-808-1420
email historian@putnamcountyny.gov

County Executive Chairs First Panel Session to Work on Putnam County Shared Service Property Tax Savings Plan

County Executive Chairs First Panel Session to Work on Putnam County
Shared Service Property Tax Savings Plan

Meeting at TOPS Center Draws Quorum of Representatives from County’s Six Municipalities

CARMEL, NY – On Thursday, May 18th, 2017 Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell initiated a county-wide planning session designed to save money for taxpayers through increased efficiencies across government services. As mandated by Governor Cuomo, Thursday’s panel included supervisors and mayors or their designated representatives from Putnam’s six towns and three villages. Representatives from the Carmel, Mahopac and Putnam Valley Central School Districts, municipal Highway Departments, and the county legislative body, were also in attendance among others at the public hearing.

County Executive Odell presented details associated with the initiative, which includes a narrow execution timeline. An initial Shared Services Plan, including certification as to the accuracy of tax savings, must be collaboratively developed with the panel and submitted to the county legislature before August 1, 2017.  Upon review, the legislature will provide an advisory report and the County Executive may modify the plan and resubmit it no later than September 15, 2017.  Also within this timeline, the panel, Putnam County Legislature and County Executive will accept input and testimony on the plan from the public via two additional public hearings, which are scheduled for June 20th and July 18th, 2017 at the Putnam County Training & Operations Center (TOPS) in Carmel, NY.

“Putnam County has the lowest portion per tax dollar of any of New York State’s 62 counties, and my administration is proud of that fact,” said Odell. “We got there through diligent fiscal responsibility, including sharing services wherever possible. I am optimistic that by working together toward a shared objective that Putnam County will continue to drive innovative cost-saving strategies that reduce duplicative services and share resources wherever practical.”

The County Executive opened the meeting by asking the municipality representatives if they were already implementing shared services strategies.  The overwhelming majority of panel members raised their hands in the affirmative.

Odell raised the issue of school taxes, which comprise 0.71cents of every tax dollar paid by Putnam County residents.  “As co-chair of the New York State Association of Counties, our goal is the reduction of property taxes in New York State, but in order for a realistic discussion to take place, school taxes and how public education is funded must be part of the discussion,” said Odell. “We keep chasing the small money and we need to address the areas that cost big money.”

Several current initiatives and new ideas were discussed, including the East of Hudson Watershed Corp., which is a collaboration of 19 municipalities charged with meeting storm water regulations in a cost effective and efficient manner; the Putnam County Commission for Fiscal Vision and Accountability, which has been focusing on fiscal vision for Putnam County since 2014; and Video Court Appearances, a new alternate method of arraignment that was started by the Commission for Fiscal Vision and Accountability. The county has implemented this on a limited basis successfully and has proven that it will save the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“In order to fully implement an electronic video court appearance option across the county, we need legislation from Albany,” said Odell. “We have two bills awaiting the Governor’s approval to move forward on this plan, which will significantly reduce overtime, and wear and tear on transport vehicles while ensuring safe, judicially sound, and efficient arraignments.”

A video recording of Thursday’s panel meeting and a copy of the slide presentation is available on the Putnam County website at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/. Additionally, a copy of the New York State Shared Services law is available at: https://www.dos.ny.gov/lg/countywide_services.html.

click here for presentation and more!

Create a Pollinator Paradise Supporting Pollinators in our Backyards and Gardens

Did you know that your backyard can offer habitat and food for pollinators? The choices you make in planning and caring for your landscape can affect pollinator abundance and species diversity. Just like us, these insects need shelter, food, and an environment safe from harmful chemicals. Below are four steps you can take to make a pollinator paradise.

The Bee-Friendly Backyard

New York is home to over 450 native bee species. Along with the imported honeybee these native bees pollinate agricultural crops and wildflowers. Bees aren’t the only pollinators. Specialized flies, beetles, butterflies, birds and bats pollinate our flowering plants too. But honeybees are familiar and many people have heard about honeybee colony collapse disorder and its possible impacts on our food supply. In 2015, Governor Cuomo established an interagency task force on Pollinators, with several goals, including pollinator habitat enhancement. That’s where you come in.

Click here to learn more!

Senator Terrence Murphy speaking

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by state Senator Terrence Murphy and other government officials for an information session about the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s County-wide Shared Services Initiative.

On Thursday, May 18, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by state Senator Terrence Murphy, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and local government and school officials for an information session about the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s County-wide Shared Services Initiative. The Initiative, included in the enacted FY 2018 Budget, requires county officials to develop localized plans that find property tax savings by coordinating and eliminating duplicative services and propose coordinated services to enhance purchasing power.

The meeting was the first of three sessions scheduled for the governor-mandated panel. The next date is Tuesday June 20 at 4 p.m. The final session will be held on July 18. All sessions are held at the Tops auditorium.

The public is invited to the meetings and is encouraged to provide Putnam County’s administration feedback and suggestions on shared services.

Click here to visit the shared Initiatives Page for more information & the video presentation

Having financial problems with your house? We are here to help! Putnam County Housing Corp.

PUTNAM COUNTY HOUSING CORP.
A non-profit corporation, we hope to assist you with all your housing needs regardless of your income.
We offer a comprehensive housing program serving both renters and homeowners.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
WWW.PUTNAMHOUSING.COM

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

By Karl Rohde, director, Putnam County Veterans Service Agency

In 1991, Governor Mario Cuomo attempted to reduce his New York State budget by cutting services to the Veterans of Putnam County.  Today, the legacy continues as his son and current NYS Governor, Andrew Cuomo, attempts a similar strategy.

First, a bit of history — Back in 1991 the New York Division of Veterans Affairs announced that they were going to close the Putnam County office for budgetary reasons.  The closing of the office was going to save about $50,000 out of a $5 Million Budget that had to be cut by $500,000.  Fortunately, Putnam succeeded in mobilizing its Veterans and won a reprieve. As part of the new deal, the Putnam County office would remain open, but the County would foot the bill to house the NY State Division Service officer, and provide secretarial assistance for the two days the service officer was on site.  In addition, the County would also provide clerical assistance on the other three days of the week to schedule appointments, as well as providing phone service and computer access at no charge to the State.

After the State’s second attempt to close the Putnam Office in April 2015 was thwarted, I formally requested, as Director of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency and provider of free office space, clerical support and amenities to the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs, that we receive notification when and if the Putnam Office would be closed. That following January of 2016, the Division closed the office.  Putnam Veterans Services had to reschedule an estimated 50 Veteran client appointments to other dates at a location in Castle Point, which is about 25 miles from our office in Carmel.  Again, we fought and won to reopen our office, so our Veterans, many of whom are elderly and disabled, would not have to bear the burden of inconvenient, costly and unnecessary travel to meet with a Veterans Service Officer to apply for compensation due to military service.

The punishment continued in 2016 when the Division tried to limit Putnam to one day per week with a Veterans Service Officer.  That was also stopped when we proved the need in Putnam for at least two days per week, if not more.

Now in May of 2017, just weeks before Memorial Day, and the New York State Division, at the insistence of Governor Andrew Cuomo, is keen on denying services to the Veterans of Putnam County again.

In order to save money, the Putnam Office will be closed.  This is nonsense. The Division has to save $300,000 in the current budget.  Notwithstanding that the Governor wants to cut his budget on behalf of Veterans, this closing makes little sense.  Our Veterans Service Officer, Brennan Mahoney, will still be employed 5 days per week by the Division.  He will do all those days at Castle Point alongside another fulltime service officer at the same location.  The Veterans of Putnam, Northern Westchester and Southern Dutchess will now be forced to commute to Castle Point to see Brennan even though there is a second service officer already covering the Castle Point location – and where is the cost savings?  It should also be noted that while the clerk at Castle Point is paid by the State of New York, the clerk in Putnam County still costs the State of New York nothing.

The travel expense and inconvenience to these Veterans has not been considered in the least.  The age of the Veteran or the disability that makes travel difficult has not been weighed in this decision.

Why are these statewide cuts being aimed at the very group of people that the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs is mandated to serve?  To put a fine point on it, why is the Division targeting its own clients?  There are no suggested cut backs in management headcount or salary.  No mention of trying to lower the costs in areas where they rent and or lease office buildings.  Rather than a knee jerk response, why weren’t the cuts more thoughtfully vetted?

Veterans and family members who wish to learn answers to these questions should contact Eric J. Hesse, director, New York State Division of Veterans Affairs at (518) 474-6114.