Putnam County Executive
March 5, 2014
Odell to Outline “Pathways to the Future” at State of County Address
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s pre-State of the County marketplace where County departments, area businesses, not-for-profits and restaurants were on display, County Executive MaryEllen Odell has announced there will once again be a festival of information and food sampling prior to her presenting the County’s annual progress report. Odell will deliver her State of the County address on Thursday, March 13 at the newly renovated Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street, Mahopac, NY where the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the address will start at 7.
“This year’s theme for the State of the County is “Pathways to the Future,” said Odell. “We will show this administration is focusing on our social and fiscal responsibilities. We will highlight the unique partnership formed by combining County personnel with those who have joined us from the private sector, and how each as learned from the other in sharing ideas and working side by side which has greatly enhanced our government and has set Putnam on a path for an even brighter future.”
In her address, Odell will outline precisely how tax dollars are spent and how, through partnering with the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce, businesses in the private sector and not-for-profits as well as with teamwork from within, Putnam County and its government has been greatly enhanced.
Among the various other topics of interest Odell will present will be consolidations of government functions and facilities, the Butterfield Project, the County’s updating of its public transportation service and the winner of the “Putnam Moves” logo design contest sponsored by the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce. In what she referred to as a “surprise to be unveiled,” Odell said she would encourage attendees to bring their cell phones.
“Putnam is positioned to move forward into the future on a very solid path right now,” said Odell. “And I would be remiss if I didn’t reach out and thank the Legislature. They have been most supportive of our efforts and have shared this administration’s vision for a better Putnam.
Putnam County Executive
February 26, 2014
Search for Outstanding Putnam Seniors Is On
Once again Director of the Office for the Aging Patricia Sheehy and the Putnam County Senior Citizens Advisory Board are seeking nominations from the public for this year’s Senior Citizen of the Year award.
“This year’s nominating theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow,” said Sheehy. “We are focusing on older New Yorkers who demonstrate the power to make a difference through civic engagement and volunteerism and how that impacts on the physical, mental and/or environmental health and safety of our communities,” she said.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has designated 2014 as the Year of the Senior Citizen and is looking forward to seeing who among Putnam’s many seniors will be nominated.
“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.”
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 in Albany on May 6. 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 of the Aging or downloaded from their website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/ofa.
Completed nomination forms must be received by Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Forms may be mailed to: Senior Award, Putnam County Office for the Aging, 110 Old Route Six Center, Building No. 1, Carmel, NY 10512 or faxed to (845) 808 1942.
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 request a nomination form, please call the Putnam County Office for the Aging at (845) 808-1700.
Spring will be here sooner than you think (I hope!!). With that comes sprucing up the yard and the County. This program provides a low cost way for you to promote conservation, control stormwater, provide food and habitat for wildlife and simple beautification. Please consider beautifying Putnam County by placing your order today.
2014 Tree & Shrub Seedling Program
- The trees and plants sold in this program are for conservation purposes only.
- Order early to get the species that you want. Quantities are limited and may be subject to substitution. We do not order surplus.
- You do not have to be a county resident to place an order, you just have to be available to pick up your order.
- If you are not sure what these plants look like, stop by the District office. We have a binder available for viewing pictures and descriptions of all of the items being offered in the sale or Google the scientific name.
- The pick-up station is located at the Putnam County Veterans’ Memorial Park, 201 Gipsy Trail Road in Kent. Notification postcards/emails will be sent prior to pick-up dates with directions.
- Putnam County SWCD is not responsible for seedlings after acceptance of your order at the pick-up station, or for seedlings not picked up on the pick-up dates. There will be no refunds for orders not picked up.
- Please make your check payable to the
Putnam County Commissioner of Finance
and mail to:
Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District, 841 Fair Street, Carmel, NY 10512.
Phone: (845) 878-7918
Order Forms available on Website: www.putnamcountyny.com
What’s New This Year?
We’ve added some exciting and different trees and shrubs this year. Most of them will attract and provide food and habitat
for birds and other wildlife for your enjoyment and some even offer the opportunity to make jams and jellies. American
Crabapple (Malus coronaria) is a vase shaped native, somewhat fountain like shrub that has showy pink flowers, similar to
Weigelia, and is deer resistant. Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) is highly recommended to anyone interested in
trying something a little old-fashioned, but still a little different. Paw Paw (Asimina triloba) an interesting native small tree
that is highly aromatic and the fruit, when ripened, tastes like a mixture of banana, mango, and pineapple. Prairie
Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) this native grass is excellent for soil stabilization, wildlife habitat and rain gardens as it can
stand up to periods of hot dry weather. Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) one of the first native trees to
bloom each spring with showy fragrant white flowers and wildlife. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is often referred to as the
native “forsythia of the woods” because its early spring flowering gives a subtle yellow tinge to many lowland woods.
Steeplebush (Spirea tomentosa) is an attractive small shrub with steeple shaped flower spikes of pink-rose colored flowers.
Great selection for low spots or other moist locations like rain gardens or water’s edge. Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
this slender upright native is ideal for narrow spaces and along foundations. It is deer resistant and can be pruned. Sweetbay
Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is a native ornamental
Extra blankets, warm clothing, may lead to dangerous overheating
Brewster, NY, January 14, 2014—The cold weather is here and with that comes an increased risk in SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, according to The National Institutes of Health (NIH). If you have a young baby or newborn at home, it is important to be aware of prevention tactics. Multiple layers or heavy clothing, heavy blankets and warm room temperatures may be to blame. Research has shown these factors increase SIDS risk. Infants are sensitive to extremes in temperature and cannot regulate their body temperatures well. Babies may
be at risk of overheating if they are sweating or feel hot to the touch. Experts advise dressing babies in light clothing for sleeping, keeping rooms at temperatures comfortable for adults and not using blankets. Other measures known to reduce SIDS include:
- Always place infants on their backs for naps and at night.
- Use a firm, CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) approved crib mattress with fitted sheets. Avoid using blankets, fluffy bedding, bumpers, positioning devices, pillows or stuffed toys in the crib.
- Never smoke around an infant.
- Use pacifiers when napping or putting down to sleep.
- For warmth, dress baby in one more layer than you would an adult and use a sleep sack or wearable blanket. Also, keep thermostat to 68°.
- Do not bed share with an infant. Room sharing such as having the crib in the parent’s bedroom is recommended instead.
Since the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) began its “Back-to-Sleep” campaign, the overall SIDS rate in the U.S. has declined by more than 50 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), SIDS is the third leading cause of infant death, claiming 2,063 lives in 2010.
121 MAIN STREET • BREWSTER, NEW YORK 10509 • (Ph) 845-808-1400 • (Fax) 845-808-1926 • CAC@putnamcountyny.gov
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.
Associate Broker J. Philip Real Estate LLC
Broker/Managing Partner J.Philip Commercial Group
Chairwoman Putnam County Chambers of Commerce
County Executive MaryEllen Odell interviewed on NYSAC TV at the State of State 2014, Recognizing the Year of the Senior and asking reform and mandate relief.
See the coverage below.
Putnam County Executive
January 7, 2014
With the Artic freeze continuing to affect the Northeast, the Putnam County Court House experienced problems this morning. At approximately 8:00 am a fire sprinkler head on the fourth floor east wing burst, partially flooding the 4th & 3rd floor. Commissioner Fred Pena said “due to the quick action of the Highway staff, crews who were in the building making rounds, when the sprinkler head burst, were able to shut of the water to minimize damage”.
Administrative Judge for the 9th Judicial District Alan D Scheinkman said “we’ve had a number of weather related issues in several of our court facilities around the district, including Putnam County. The County Executive and her team are on the situation and we expect that it’s going to be remedied very quickly and we expect to be operational tomorrow. All essential operations have alternative sites for the day using the County Office building and Historic Courthouse”.
As the temperatures continued to hover well below freezing, the County Executive convened the Incident Response Team in the Courthouse to evaluate the current situation and formulate a response plan. “The situation today is that we have closed the building while we are assessing the sprinkler system” said County Executive Odell. “We have to maintain safety as our first priority and because the fire suppression system is off line we don’t feel that occupancy at this time would be in the best interest of the safety and welfare of the employees and of course the visitors to our building. After we have evaluated the assessment we will make a determination on what the next step will be, whether it is reopening the building or reallocating court operations and personnel to other county facilities”.
Brewster, NY—Flu activity is now widespread in New York State, according the State Health Commissioner,
Nirav R. Shah, MD, with 45 out of 62 counties now reporting confirmed flu cases. In Putnam County, 18 cases
have been reported. This broad-based circulation in the state follows reports from Texas health officials of a
cluster of cases of severe influenza-like illness that put 8 people in the hospital, with 4 resulting in death.
Nationwide many cases have been identified among young and middle-aged adults and linked to influenza A
(H1N1), the same strain of virus that circulated widely in 2009, also known as “swine flu.”
“The bottom line is if you have not yet received a flu shot, get one,” says Allen Beals, M.D., Putnam
County Commissioner of Health. “It’s late, but not too late, and this year’s vaccine offers protection against the
H1N1 flu strain.”
Flu vaccine is widely available at health care provider offices and pharmacies. Residents can also
contact the Immunization Program at the PCDOH at 808-1332 to make an appointment for the shot for a $25
fee that covers the cost of the vaccine and its administration.
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, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health
education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health; or visit our
social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Putnam County Executive
January 2, 2014
Odell Joins Putnam Civil Air Patrol for Wreath Ceremony
County Executive MaryEllen Odell joined several members of Putnam County Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol (Putnam Mustangs) at noon on December 21 as they placed holiday wreaths at Raymond Hill Cemetery in Carmel as part of their Wreaths Across America Ceremony.
Wreaths Across America was initiated in 1992 when Maine resident Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, found he had an excess of holiday wreaths. With the help of Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, Worcester arranged to have the wreaths placed in Arlington National Cemetery. Over the next dozen years, others joined Worcester and the white crosses were quietly adorned each holiday season.
Then, in 2005 a photo of the wreath adorned headstones covered in snow received national attention after circulating on the internet. In 2006, the Civil Air Patrol and numerous other civic organizations followed Worcester’s example and began their own wreath laying ceremonies on the second Saturday of December in their communities.
Community Relations Officer Cpt. Elena MacDermant said the Putnam Mustangs fundraise annually to purchase the wreaths and then place them on the graves of veterans buried at Raymond Hill Cemetery in Carmel.
“This is the fourth year we have participated in this wonderful ceremony to honor our Veterans,” said MacDermant. “While the ceremony is always held at noon across the country on the second Saturday of December, we were snowed out this year and had to do it the following week.”
The Civil Air Patrol Squadron is open to young people ages 12-21 and is the auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force. Congress tasked Civil Air Patrol with Search and Rescue operations within the US borders, Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education. The Squadron trains with the Putnam Bureau of Emergency Services to serve the community wherever needed. For more information on the Putnam Squadron, contact Capt. MacDermant at (845) 228-4460.