Due To the Severe Storm All Putnam County Offices With the Exception of Essential Services Are Closed For Wed 5/16/18

With the impact of this fast moving thunderstorm being felt throughout the County, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has closed all County Offices with the exception of essential services for Wednesday, May 16, 2018. “At this point there is limited power, roads are impassable and we have no ETA on NYSEG”, said County Executive Odell. “I cannot take the risk of putting not only the public but our employees on to roads that have downed wires and dangerous debris, without NYSEG here to help assess we are restricted to how much progress we can make”. The County remains in a State of Emergency with our police, fire and EMS personnel responding to numerous calls for service.

The County Offices closing includes all senior services, public transportation and Pre-K/Early Intervention transportation.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps. Both utility companies are in the process of evaluating the damage and do not have a restoration time available.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.

Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Audio Recording URL:  http://jic.nyalert.gov/Public/DownloadAudio.aspx?parentid=5212140&type=3

Putnam County police physical agility scheduled for Wednesday, May 16 at the Putnam Valley high school has been canceled

The Putnam County police physical agility scheduled for Wednesday, May 16 at the Putnam Valley high school has been canceled due to damage from the storm and impassable roads..Candidates will be contacted once a new date has been scheduled.

Putnam County EOC Open. Numerous Roads Impassable. Large Scale Power Outages

The line of thunderstorms that continue to pass through Putnam County have left a trail of destruction with most major roads experiencing hazards with some being impassable. Our State, County and local highway crews are working to clear roadways. Many of the downed trees involve power lines and that creates an additional safety hazard. “Our dedicated highway crews and first responders are working with the local utility companies to ensure that the downed trees can be safely removed” Said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “This is a coordinated effort that is being addressed by the Command Staff at the EOC”.

Putnam County Incident Command was activated by Commissioner Clair at the direction of County Executive Odell at 5:00pm, who declared a State of Emergency shortly thereafter.  We have requested that NYSEG dispatch a representative to the EOC where they are required to work with EOC staff allowing our highway crews to begin cut and clearing to open roads. NYSEG has indicted that there will be at least a 3 hour delay. Until NYSEG provides a representative our highway crews will be unable to complete the road clearing process.

Residents are reminded that to report a power outage or downed wires you should call your local utility company; NYSEG 800-572-1131. Central Hudson 845-452-2700 or use their apps. Both utility companies are in the process of evaluating the damage and do not have a restoration time available. We currently have over 29,000 NYSEG and 440 Central Hudson customers without power.

Please remember to be safe when there are downed power lines. Wires that look dead may still be live and power could be restored at any time making those wires life threatening.
Please call 9-1-1 if you need immediate police, fire or EMS response.

Audio Recording URL:  http://jic.nyalert.gov/Public/DownloadAudio.aspx?parentid=5212058&type=3

Milling and Resurfacing Project from Rte 6 to Rte 52 and Rte. 6 to Rte 312

From the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department and Traffic Safety Board

Milling and Resurfacing Project from Rte 6 to Rte 52 and Rte. 6 to Rte 312

The long awaited road work and paving for the roads mentioned above is about to begin and you might have already seen the Variable Message Boards flashing

Roadwork Ahead  9 am – 4 pm.

Preliminary work has begun in the catch basins with the expected milling and filling work to begin approximately June 11th. This project is expected to take between 3-5 weeks, working during the day and some nights, and is dependent on weather conditions and construction unknowns. As we have been told by the NYS DOT Project Engineer, be prepared for some traffic inconveniences, loud noises, dust/dirt and general frustrations. However, please remember, as with most construction renovations, the outcome will be well worth it. The safety of our residents, our local businesses, school schedules and emergency services have all been discussed as to keeping the impact of the project at a minimal.

For up-to-date information, please look at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department website and Facebook page, the Putnam County Traffic Safety Board’s website and Facebook page, the Town of Carmel website and your local newspapers.

Happy Birthday Putnam County! Celebrate Putnam County’s History June 12th

CARMEL, NEW YORK, May 10 — Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Historian Sarah Johnson, Ph.D., invite the public to celebrate Putnam County’s 206th birthday on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, at the Historic Courthouse, 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY, from         10 – 11:30 am.  During the annual birthday ceremony, the County Historian will debut highlights from the Historian’s Collection and discuss the importance of contributions of records, letters, photographs, and other ephemera from local families, politicians and organizations.

This year the Putnam County Historian’s Office will honor residents and organizations for their outstanding contributions to local history including:

Exemplary Public History in Schools:  Haldane High School History Club

Innovative Interpretation:  Ed Illiano & The Master Gardeners, “Hike Putnam”

Digital History Award:  Putnam History Museum

Preserving Local History: Peter Bruenn – “Putnam County Playhouse”; Dan Birmingham, Heather Reid & Bonnie Groat – Moses Fowler Family Papers 1765-1927

Local History Publication:  Dolores Beal Stephens, “Water for the Troops”

Lifetime Achievement – Local History:  Louise Andres, The Milltown Association

In Memoriam:  Dr. Samuel Ross, Jr., Green Chimneys

Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to join the County Historian and honorees in the lobby of the David D. Bruen County Office Building for the traditional County birthday cake and refreshments.  The public is welcome, no RSVP required. For more information about the event, please contact the Historian’s Office at 845-808-1420 or historian@putnamcountyny.gov

 

# # #

About The Historian’s Office

The Historian’s Office preserves, interprets, and promotes the history of Putnam County as a local government office.  New York’s Town and Village Historians began serving public history since 1919, in part to document World War I Veterans back into civilian life.  The New York State Legislature authorized the appointment of county historians in 1933.  County Historians are appointed by the Putnam County Executive and confirmed by the Putnam County Legislature.  New York State defines the work of County Historians in four broad categories: research and writing, teaching and public presentations, historic preservation, and organization, advocacy and tourism promotion. To support these efforts, the Putnam County Historian’s Office has been collecting historical records, maps, books, photographs, and periodicals since 1953.  In 1992, the Putnam County Archives was established in the Historian’s Office to preserve, arrange, describe, and make accessible the governmental records of Putnam County.  The Archives and Historian’s Collection are used as a resource for people in Putnam County and elsewhere.  Finding aids are available at www.putnamcountyny.com/countyhistorian and are also linked to OCLC’s Archives Grid.  The Historian’s Office is a consortia member of SENYLRC’s Hudson River Valley Heritage digital initiative www.hrvh.org/putnamcounty and can be found on Facebook at Putnam Historian and historic sites on History Pin.

Free Hepatitis C Testing at PCDOH on May 18; All Baby Boomers Advised to Have One-Time Test

BREWSTER, NY—The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is offering free hepatitis C testing in recognition of National Hepatitis C Testing Day. Testing will take place on Friday, May 18, especially targeted to New York State baby boomers. Anyone can get “Hep C,” but those born from 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with the virus. Testing starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the main health department office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster. No appointment is necessary and results are ready in 20 minutes.

“Health officials encourage everyone in this age category to get tested once. You can have Hep C infection without knowing it,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“More than 3 million Americans are living with this viral disease, and nearly 75 percent don’t know that they are infected,” says Interim Health Commissioner, Michael Nesheiwat, M.D. “The reason baby boomers have high rates is not completely understood. Most are believed to have been infected in the 1970s and 1980s when infection rates were highest—before the widespread screening of the blood supply. Because this virus can live in your body for decades without producing any symptoms, it may go untreated and long-term it can cause liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer.” The longer an individual lives with the infection untreated, the more likely they are to develop life-threatening liver disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis C causes more deaths among Americans than any other infectious disease.

Hep C is primarily spread through contact with infected blood. Baby boomers may have gotten infected from contaminated blood and blood products before routine screening started in 1992. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if they did it only once in the past. Many baby boomers don’t know how or when they were infected.

There is no vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C. Getting tested is the best way to know if an infection exists and then treatment can be started as soon as possible. For many, treatment can cure Hepatitis C.

Residents who are unable to make the Free Testing Day on May 18, can call the health department at 845-808-1390 for information about other free testing opportunities.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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 our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY

PCDOH Confirms Measles Outbreak, Three Cases Confirmed With More Exposures Possible

Brewster, NY— The Putnam County Department of Health has confirmed three positive cases of measles. Two are Putnam residents and the third lives in Connecticut. All have been isolated to avoid spreading the disease further. Measles is a serious, highly contagious disease that can be spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. In rare cases it can be deadly.

“Before these individuals were isolated, they may have exposed other people,” explains interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD., “and we are working with local partners to identify all possible contacts.”

Anyone who was in the Subway restaurant, 3101 Route 22 in Patterson, on Sunday April 29, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., or in DeCicco & Sons in Brewster at 50 Independent Way (at Route 312 and I84) on Tuesday, May 1 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., may have been exposed. They should call the Putnam County Department of Health as soon as possible to understand their possible risk and what action to take. Public health nurses will be available by calling at 845-808-1390.  Those individuals who were born before 1957, or who have had measles disease or who have been vaccinated with MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) may still retain full or partial immunity.

“Measles symptoms begin with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. “It is followed by a rash that spreads over the body. If anyone has these symptoms, call the doctor or emergency room first. Do not go directly to a medical facility.

Isolation procedures need to begin immediately upon arrival.”

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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 our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Twelfth Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held; Eight Putnam County Food Establishments Honored

Brewster, NY— More than 135 attendees—chefs, caterers, owners and operators of Putnam County’s food establishments—were in attendance for the twelfth annual Food Operator’s Seminar on April 16 and 17. This year the event took place in the newly renovated Tilly Foster Farm venue, and showcased food prepared by the BOCES culinary students at the farm who have honed their skills under the direction of their instructor chef Christina Holic over the past year.

The seminar had representation from all types of restaurants, delicatessens, food shops, institutional food services and other food vendors. They gathered again, as has become tradition, to learn about new topics and trends in the food industry. The event also offers an opportunity for the health department to recognize food establishments for both “lifetime” achievements, as well as those of the past year.

One “hot” topic on the agenda this year was food waste reduction, which is not only good for the planet, but also helps cut food establishment costs. Other practical topics included restaurant branding and social media, and the top ten critical violations and how to avoid them. The health department also took the opportunity to discuss food safety and operations during the recent power outages this past winter. Presentations given by outside speakers included a talk        about food safety measures, and another on dining choices such as the paleo diet, “clean 30” and gluten-free options. A demonstration on knife skills and sharpening given by the culinary school students.

The recognition side of the program included the presentation of two Health Inspectors Commendation Awards for distinguished performance to Mia’s Pizza and North Brewster Deli & Market. The department’s highest and most stringent honor, the Commissioner’s Gold Award for operational excellence was presented to six food establishments: The Arch Restaurant, Austin Road Elementary School, Countryside Kitchen, Henry H. Wells Middle School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School and Matthew Paterson Elementary School.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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 our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Complete Award Listings

Commissioner’s Gold Awards

  • The Arch Restaurant – George Seitz
  • Austin Road Elementary School – Robert Campisi, Aramark Food Service
  • Countryside Kitchen – Lee and Christina Vataj
  • Henry H. Wells Middle School – Cathy Ashe
  • John F. Kennedy Elementary School – Cathy Ashe
  • Matthew Paterson Elementary School – Patrick Rodia

Health Inspectors Commendation

  • Mia’s Pizza – Dante Mazzotta
  • North Brewster Deli & Market – Saverio Zuccaro

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.