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Eat Smart Restaurant Week: September 7th- 21st

Eat Smart Restaurant Week is coming. During the weeks of September 7 – 21, participating restaurants will be offering 2 to 3  delicious and healthy menu entrees that make the best of fresh ingredients in appropriate portion sizes. Health Department nutritionists will work with restaurant chefs to perfect the entrees of their own choosing and ensure they meet healthy guidelines for fat, calories and sodium. To date, over 40 local food establishments have signed up to participate.

With the increasing concern for weight management and health, the ultimate purpose of the two-week event is for residents to enjoy a wonderful dining experience, and at the same time, have an opportunity to learn about healthy eating.

What is Eat Smart Restaurant Week? Read More

Click here for Participating Restaurants

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In attendance for the logo reveal were from left: President of the Putnam County EDC Meghan Taylor; Director of Tourism Libby Pataki; chef Rich Parente, owner of Clock Tower Grill; Commissioner of Health Allen Beals, M.D.; County Executive MaryEllen Odell; nutritionist Kristine Boyle, Health Department, and sanitarian Shawn Rogan, Health Department.

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Supervising public health educator Barbara Ilardi welcomes group.

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Logo reveal

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Logo reveal

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Rich Parente, left, owner/chef of Clock Tower Grill and Dr. Beals, Putnam County Commissioner of Health

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Clock Tower Grill chef and owner Rich Parente

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PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE WARNS RESIDENTS OF TELEPHONE ‘SCAM”

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Friday, August 1, 2014

PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE WARNS RESIDENTS OF TELEPHONE ‘SCAM”

First Deputy County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti today warned Putnam County residents of a telephone scam which claims the phone call recipient will have a warrant for their arrest if they fail to dial an out-of-state phone number by 5:00 p.m. that same day and make payment.  In this current scam, the caller ID appears as a number from the County Clerk’s Office and the fraudulent person identified herself as calling from the Putnam County Clerk’s Office.  In a message left to one resident, the phone number to return the call was (423) 536-6354 which is a telemarketing agency in Tennessee.

“It is very important for residents to know that the Clerk’s Office does not make phone calls pertaining to warrants or demanding that anyone make payment over the phone,” said First Deputy County Clerk Michael Bartolotti.  “If you receive this phone call, do not return the call and never send money to an unknown caller who demands payment.”

The Putnam County Clerk’s Office has been notified by a resident who received this type of call.  “We are alerting residents to be aware of this scam so others won’t be sending their hard earned money to these criminals,” added Bartolotti.

Bartolotti provided further guidance on how to handle these types of scams.  “People should never provide personal information over the phone when receiving these types of calls.  If you do get a phone call from any purported government agency requesting personal information or a credit card payment over the phone, hand up immediately and contact the government agency’s public telephone number for clarification.

Bartolotti also urges those receiving these fraudulent calls to contact the Putnam County Clerk’s Office at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49301 and file a report.  Bartolotti has also alerted the New York State Attorney General’s Office for further review of these types of scams.

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Country Fair Welcomed Folks to Tilly Foster Farm

In spite of the wet weather on the 4th of July, crowds drove to Tilly Foster Farm in Southeast in the evening when the skies dried to enjoy the carnival, the band and watch the Town of Southeast fireworks show. Then, with the sun shining bright all day Saturday and Sunday, the carnival was THE place to be in Putnam County. Rides, games, a petting zoo, good food, a live band, and fun were had by all who came to the Tilly Foster Country Fair.

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Tim Fletcher, Mickaela Fletcher and Keri Churchill, all of Mahopac, enjoy a round of Hit the Mole. Michaela won!

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Emma, Matthew, Lauren and Kayla Westcott of Mahopac had a blast in one of the funhouses at the Tilly Foster County Fair.

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Kicks 105.5 Morning Show host Mr. Morning and his interns were giving away tickets to see Brad Paisley at the Tilly Foster Country Fair.

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Brian and Tommy Menton of Mahopac share a father-son moment on the Merry-Go-Round.

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Lucas and Grace Dela of Bethel, Conn. Beat the heat with some snow cones.

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See how many you can fit in the Spinning Dragons.

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Sisters Jamie, Jenna, Jessica Iannacchino of Unionvale loved the thrill of going down the Super Slide.

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Olivia and Madeline Bucci of Carmel could not wait to use those tickets to go on rides.

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The band Slick Trixie rocked the stage on Sunday during the Tilly Foster County Fair.

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Stephen Brett of Carmel took the wheel and imagined he was driving out on the open road.

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Overview of the Tilly Foster Country Fair

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Overview of the Tilly Foster Country Fair

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Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

June 13, 2014

Historic Courthouse Turns 200 in Carmel 

A 200th birthday is certainly a milestone and last night the Historic Courthouse in Carmel was filled with invited guests and history buffs as County Executive MaryEllen Odell and the Putnam Legislature hosted an evening celebration commemorating the event. A special unveiling of new outdoor lighting donated by Entergy replaced the traditional blowing out of birthday candles at the conclusion of the hour long festivities.

Odell, who was away attending a NYSAC Board Meeting sent her regrets in a message read by Legislative Chairman Carl Albano.

“The evening of June 12th will be a history lesson for all of us and a salute to Denis Castelli whose love of history and talent as a photographer will be greatly missed. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at the Historian’s office,” she said.

Albano, who filled in for Odell, welcomed the judicial dignitaries who included District Administrative Judge Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, New York Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, Hon. John W. Sweeny, Jr., Putnam’s Supreme Court Justice Hon. Victor Grossman, Putnam County Court Justice Hon. James F. Reitz and James T. Rooney and Kent Town Justice J. Peter Collins.

Once again members of the Mahopac Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5491 served as the Color Guard for the ceremony. Albano presented the group with a proclamation thanking them for their service and volunteerism.

“There is nothing more moving than watching a well-trained color guard and the volunteer members of VFW Post 5491 add a solemn and dignified display to any occasion,” he said.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance led by Sweeny, Albano introduced Deputy County Historian Sallie Sypher who gave a condensed but enlightening history of the Historic Courthouse whose construction costs in 1814 was $6,000.

“The courthouse was a 30 x 40 unadorned rectangle until the 1840’s when it was gussied up some,” she said referring to the addition of the Corinthian columns that still stand today and to other decorative measures that were made. Sypher recounted the 1924 fire at Smalley’s Inn when sparks of fire ignited the courthouse roof and the 4-to-2 vote by the supervisors to rebuild the charred structure. In the 1970s and ‘80s New York State officials declared the courthouse unsuitable and the county was instructed “to build a new one.”  In 1988, preservationist, notably Brewster’s Eleanor Beach Fitchen, banded together and eventually won their battle to have the original courthouse restored.

Christina Micciolo, a clerk in the Historian’s office, gave a brief talk on the many trials of Henry Warren whose stagnant and foul smelling dykes on Constitution Island were blamed for numerous cases of malaria in the village of Cold Spring.

Albano thanked the staff of the Historian’s Office, Archivist Reginald White, clerk/researchers Catherine Wargas and Tim Crawford, along with volunteers Elizabeth Allison, Joseph Gyscek and Fred M. Sturzenbecher for their efforts in preparing the evening’s program and historical displays.

Richard Shankowitz, a longtime friend and fishing buddy of the late County Historian Denis Castelli, paid tribute to “the smart kid” his father predicted would be a great success. Shankowitz noted that Castelli, who passed away unexpectedly in April, “enjoyed a second career of public service” and “doing many random acts of kindness” following his retirement as a computer analyst in 2000. Castelli’s widow, Athena Arvan, was also present in the audience.

Afterwards, Angelina Mendez sang “God Bless America” and the indoor ceremony concluded. Guests enjoyed a birthday cake and sparkling cider before going outdoors to watch as Entergy Representative Brian Vangor of Carmel led the countdown and threw the switch to illuminate the new lighting.

Indian Point Site Vice President John Ventosa sent his regards. “Entergy is pleased to celebrate with Putnam County the 200th anniversary of the historic County Courthouse. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with County Executive MaryEllen Odell and her initiative to enhance and beautify the courthouse with new lighting.”

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Putnam is Paying for the Perks of New York City with New Energy Capacity Zone

Dear Editor,

As of May 1, residents in Putnam and the rest of the Hudson Valley will have double digit increases on their utility bills without any new benefit or service being provided to the local communities. The implementation of the new Energy Capacity Zone, which was brainchild of the New York Independent System Operator and approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, attempts to resolve the future energy shortfall caused by the consumption in New York City and Long Island by allowing energy generators to increase rates to communities in the Lower Hudson Valley now.

Residents can anticipate up to a 10 percent rate hike and business owners are expecting up to an 18 percent increase.

As the county executive for Putnam County, I know all too well how the needs of New York City and Long Island fall on the backs of the people in the Lower Hudson Valley. We are already subject to the MTA Payroll Tax and the MS4 regulations which cause extra expenses and few benefits to our communities. The new capacity zone is expected to impose a $230 million increase in energy costs for Hudson Valley residents in the coming year and almost $500 million over the next three years.

Our residents cannot afford this and they should not have to bear this burden. The only ones benefitting from the NYISO’s insistence that the zoning start now is the existing energy generating companies that already charge the highest rates in the state.

Technology has forced our society to rely on energy, but charging more will not help deliver a better product or control consumers’ usage. Instead the higher rates will force residents to have less discretionary income and could stall any growth in the region’s economy.

Alternative ways to generate and transmit energy need to be explored and a comprehensive plan should be in place before communities are forced to pay for hypothetical solutions.

In March, I joined Senator Charles Schumer, Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, Chris Gibson and State Senator Terry Gipson in urging the FERC to delay the implantation of the new capacity zone until 2017 when more information would be available and other solutions considered. We need all of our local representatives to unite with us for the sake of our constituents.

I have called on Albany to take action. I am still waiting. We need our representatives in the NYS Senate and Assembly to work on putting a stop to the new capacity zoning. They need to be our voice and we are saying, “We cannot afford to pay for the needs of New York City.”

This is not a partisan issue. The issue is simple. Residents and businesses in Putnam County and the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley should not have to pay higher energy bills just because their neighbors to the south will one day use more energy than can currently be generated.

Contact your local, state and federal representatives and urge them to join the fight against the new capacity zone.

Sincerely,

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive

 

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Opt Out

PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK REMINDS ALL PISTOL PERMIT HOLDERS “IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO FILE YOUR OPT-OUT FORM”

March 26, 2014
PUTNAM COUNTY CLERK REMINDS ALL PISTOL PERMIT HOLDERS “IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO FILE YOUR OPT-OUT FORM” 

To All Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders:

Putnam County is continuing to fight for the right to protect our citizens from an unwarranted invasion of their safety and personal privacy. Putnam County Clerk Dennis J. Sant and First Deputy Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti have one thing to say to all Putnam County Pistol Permit Holders; that is, “It’s not too late to file your opt-out form.”  RUN, don’t walk, to your Putnam County Clerk’s Office so you can help us help you.

During our latest wave of community outreach to our pistol permit holders to assist in the filing of their opt out forms, we learned that this provision in the law, more notably the 120 day moratorium period, was very confusing to the public it was designed to protect.  The wording of the law, along with its misinterpretation by certain media outlets, led to confusion by the public that once the moratorium period ended no opt out forms would be accepted.  We just want to stress to all pistol permit holders that is not the case and nothing could be further from the truth.

Again, we urge all pistol permit holders that if you have not done so already, please remit an Opt-Out form to this office as soon as possible.  Currently, the only protection you may have from disclosure is to have an approved Opt Out form in your permit file.    The sooner you get this completed form back to our office, the sooner your personal information will remain confidential.  Contact Michael Bartolotti, 1st Deputy County Clerk, at 845-808-1142 Ext. 49303 to file your opt-out forms and with any questions or concerns you may have. 

 

Putnam County Pistol License holder FOIL “Opt Out” Form

If you are a pistol license holder or know of somebody who is this may be of interest to you;

As you may be aware New York State has made available an “Opt Out” form for all pistol license holders who wish to exempt their name and address from disclosure. County Clerk Dennis Sant and County Executive MaryEllen Odell want to make sure all pistol license holders have the opportunity to take advantage of this new provision.

If a pistol license holder wishes to “Opt Out” of disclosure they may do the following:

  • Please download the attached form
  • Complete all relevant parts of the form
  • Sign and date the form
  • Return the completed form to the Putnam County Clerk’s Office either in person, or via U.S. mail at 40 Gleneida Avenue, Room 100, Carmel, New York 10512

Should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact us at 845-808-1142 extension 49307.

 

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Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Well, what do you know? According to data from the Hudson Gateway MLS footprint of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties, the Putnam County housing market is holding its own.

A year to date comparison over 2012 indicates a 13.8% percentage increase in closed transactions and a 2.8% median sales price increase in Single Family Houses. Our inventory shows a slight decrease 0f 3.8% while neighboring Westchester boasted a 9.5 % decrease in inventory. All in all the numbers point to a market going in the direction of a steady recovery.

Breaking down the data by price ranges gives a little more insight into Putnam County’s strengthening market.

By the end of the 4th quarter, 316 homes were sold at prices ranging from $100k-300k, which means there were 316 REAL buyers. Currently, there are 227 active listings with an absorption rate of 8.63 months.

This is quite a contrast to homes in the $850k to $1million range with 34 currently active and 16 sold in 2013, which means 16 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 25 months.

Continuing with homes in the $300k to $500k range with 231currently active and 274 sold in 2013, which means 274 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 10 months.

And lastly homes in the $500k to $800k range with 124 currently active and 95 sold in 2013, which means 95 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 16 months.

The contrasting numbers by price range are a reflection of the market boom in the early 2000s, where the shortage of higher end homes in Westchester caused a price hike and a new construction boom in Putnam and perhaps an oversupply of homes over $500k before the economy took its downturn.

That said, Putnam County does possess some things in its favor when it comes to attracting buyers in all price ranges.

•We have a low unemployment rate of 5.8%.

•We are an affluent community with an median household income of $92,711.

•Since 2009, Putnam County’s crime rate has decreased 34.2% making it the most improved county in New York State in this metric.

•Our home ownership rate is 83.4% which is much higher than surrounding counties.

•We are still a small, closely knit community with our population just under 100,000.

There is room for even more optimism. Our current County administration works hand in hand with our EDC/IDA, Chambers of Commerce, and Tourism and is focused on quality of life issues such as infrastructure improvements, revitalization, smart development, and transportation improvements. The county has even partnered with local Realtors to sell county owned properties. Putnam County is a place that has astutely avoided overdevelopment and over commercialization and instead is famous for its bodies of water, parks and mountains. As we well know the county still lies within a short, easy commute to Manhattan.

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year as far as sales volume is concerned. We know that the health of the housing market relies heavily on the greater economy. National political debates involving Health Care reform, the recent government shutdown, the sequester and debt ceiling surely do not help things. The fact that Putnam County shares the region’s issue with continually increasing taxes, offers less services than neighboring counties, and has a less developed infrastructure makes it a challenge to attract more buyers to the county.

Luckily, these issues are balanced by the pleasant lifestyle offered by the open, green spaces, bodies of water and privacy we have to offer. Putnam County is poised for growth. We have many revitalization and infrastructure improvements in the works such as Envision Brewster, a new sewer district in Kent, improvements in downtown Mahopac being discussed. Coupled with our beautiful surroundings and demographics we will continue on our path of housing recovery.

This is where we as the Realtor community come in. I encourage more fellow HGAR members to get involved at a local level to watch dog our municipal governments and partner with our

elected officials to slow down the tax increases, and foster sustainable improvement to the quality of life.

We can make a difference. While we face our challenges, Putnam County should enjoy a favorable real estate market in the near future, while active community leaders work together to build an even stronger community and an attractive place to live, work and play.

Jennifer Maher,

Associate Broker J. Philip Real Estate LLC

Broker/Managing Partner J.Philip Commercial Group

Chairwoman Putnam County Chambers of Commerce