Putnam County Accepting Applications for 2020 PILOT Program Student Internship Program

Carmel, NY – Putnam students may soon apply for paid and unpaid summer internships in county government through the Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) Program.  Accepted students gain hands-on professional experience in areas such as finance, criminal justice, engineering, communications, information technology, law, health, psychology and more.

The concept of the PILOT Program was first introduced by County Executive MaryEllen Odell in 2013, with support of the Putnam County Legislature.  “The PILOT program is one of the most important investments that Putnam County makes in its future,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We are introducing the workings of county government to the next generation and giving our youth a professional experience that may impact the career they choose to pursue.”

Eligible participants must be Putnam County residents who are graduate, college, or high school students in their junior or senior year.  For college students, a GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.

Applicants must complete and submit all application materials online beginning November 25, 2019 through January 31, 2020. Filing instructions are posted on the Putnam County website at www.putnamcountyny.com/internapply.

For more information, contact Adriene Iasoni, Putnam County Personnel at 845-808-1650 ext. 46625 or adriene.iasoni@putnamcountyny.gov

World-Renowned Performance Artist To Take Cold Spring By Swarm

Putnam County Tourism is excited to announce a free interactive performance art piece designed by world-renowned, multimedia artist Marinella Senatore. The event, hosted by the Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, will be taking place on Nov. 16 in Cold Spring — just a hop, skip OR jump away from the train station (north on the Hudson 851 line). Senatore has exhibited her art installations in museums across the globe from Paris to Cape Town to Rome, and her street performances have reached just as many amazing places far and near (as near as Queens, NY — pictured below)! Come join Italian renaissance woman Senatore and her troupe as they perform a 3-hour set of sequences on a tour of the village.

Come join us for what is sure to be the experience of a lifetime! When Senatore’s sequence ends, you’ll be sure to find plenty more to explore in the Village of Cold Spring. At just over an hour north of Grand Central Terminal, the village is recognized as one of the best day-tripping locations in the Hudson Valley, and for good reason. It’s home to a variety of fun, cozy shops, restaurants and B&Bs, serving as a popular getaway for many stressed out city-dwellers. It’s also designated as the drop point for many nature cruises coming out of New Jersey and New York City; the sightseeing ships dock near a beautiful open courtyard with plenty of riverfront seating. Cold Spring’s winning combination of natural beauty and vibrant community make it a must-visit destination any time of the year.

Come out to witness (and maybe take part in!) this priceless, one-time-only event, in a priceless, one-of-a-kind place. Did we mention that admission to the Magazzino Italian Art Foundation is free to the public year-round and offers a free shuttle from the village train station? With all of its charm and activity, it won’t take long before you find yourself back in Cold Spring.

 

Vance Lovett, Freelance Writer

Vance graduated Carmel High School in 2011 and studied Dramatic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he was granted the prestigious Jack Nicholson award. In addition to his creative pursuits, he enjoys good lumbar support, the improv comedy scene, and spending time with his family, their four giant dogs, and one talkative kitty.
He’s happy to be living back in Carmel, NY.

Putnam To Announce Formation of the Putnam County Domestic Violence & Sexual Violence Task Force

WHERE: The Putnam County Historic Court House, 44 Gleneida Avenue
WHEN: Monday, November 18 at 1 pm
The Putnam/Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center in collaboration with the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and Probation Department will be announcing the formation of the Putnam County Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Task Force.

The purpose of the task force will be to inform and make the public aware of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking—and the problems and tragedies that result from them. The goal is to empower people to seek help for themselves or others whom they feel may be in need of assistance.

The Task Force agencies will share statistics, aggregate data, and perform educational awareness and training in the community including high schools, social organizations, and various other organizations within the community who may have need of services for their members.

Involved agencies will collaborate in order to effectively communicate with each other to help improve services to victims.

Victim awareness, safety, and confidentiality are vital in domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking cases, and the Task Force will place a priority on these issues.
For further information, contact the Putnam Northern Westchester Women’s Center at 845-628-9284 or the Putnam County District Attorney at 845-808-1050.

19-03 – PUTNAM DA PRESS RELEASE – DV Task Force

 

NYSEG Falls Short

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell blasted NYSEG for its poor performance and lack of communication during a windstorm that left thousands of residents without power and without a clue as to when it would be restored.

Even Putnam’s Bureau of Emergency Services couldn’t reach NYSEG during the height of the windstorm, which began Thursday evening.

“NYSEG’s response is completely unacceptable,” Odell said. “The company left residents in potential danger and left our emergency response teams without support.  This is a public utility and communication with the emergency service agencies that protect the public is paramount. Not to mention that the company is obligated to let residents – their ratepayers — know where the power is out and when it will be restored.”

NYSEG reported to the state Office of Emergency Management that only five customers were out in Putnam County, when there were actually 2,709 customers without power as of 11 a.m. Friday.

Odell said she expects NYSEG to provide a complete accounting of its slow response and breakdown in communications before the winter storm season begins.

“Every storm we get, it’s the same thing,” State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne said. “The utility’s lack of response is, unfortunately, not unusual.”

State Sen. Pete Harckham called NYSEG “the poster child for bad performing public utilities.”

 

“I would have hoped that experiences from several prior storms, all much more severe than what occurred last night, would have resulted in better preparations for downed lines, better communications with affected municipalities and better responses for customers,” Harckham said. “Again, NYSEG has failed to achieve a proper standard of emergency management, which threatens our public safety while inflicting personal and economic misery on thousands of residents.”

 

NYSEG’s response was outrageous, Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Ken Clair said.

“At one point, the 911 supervisor called me because 911 couldn’t even get through to NYSEG,” Clair said. “We normally have a special number we call for power outages, and they weren’t answering it. I reached out to our NYSEG spokesperson and asked what I should do and he gave me the 800 number that the public calls to report a power outage. It’s an automated phone line! Can you imagine? They want the 911 center to call an automated phone line. That does not work.”

The storm, which brought winds up to 40 mph from Thursday night through Friday, had been forecast well in advance. NYSEG notified Putnam County on Thursday afternoon that 21 mutual aid companies would be available to help, but that aid was nowhere to be found.

Several emergency responders throughout the county had to guard over downed wires for hours during the storm before NYSEG responded. In Kent, it took two hours for NYSEG to respond to the fire department’s calls. In Putnam Valley, fire department volunteers had to stand guard over live wires on Peekskill Hollow Road all night before NYSEG sent a crew to shut off power.

“Our volunteer first responders were managing live wires for seven hours, from 9:20 p.m., when the first call came in, until 4:30 a.m., when NYSEG finally cut the power so that the road could be passable,” said Larry Cobb, Chief of the Putnam Valley Volunteer Fire Department. “That is unacceptable.”

In Lake Carmel and Patterson, the fire houses were still out of power as of 11 a.m. Friday morning, as were the Patterson Library, much of the Carmel schools and an untold number of residents.

County Legislature adopted a $165.1 million budget for 2020 that remains within the state property tax cap and maintains the county’s conservative approach to spending

The Putnam County Legislature adopted a $165.1 million budget for 2020 that remains within the state property tax cap and maintains the county’s conservative approach to spending.

The Legislature made minor adjustments to the budget proposed by Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell earlier this month, shortly after receiving notice that Moody’s Investor Services had upgrading the county’s bond rating to the coveted Aa1 status. That proposal represented a conservative $5.9 million, or 3.7 percent, spending increase over the 2019 budget.

“This is an outstanding budget,” Legislature Chairman Joseph Castellano said. “I’m really excited about the bond rating, the Aa1 rating. It’s great for residents. Going forward we can save some money when we borrow. It’s a testament to all the hard work done by Putnam County employees. This year we briefly touched on the possibility of losing a few employees, but I am very grateful to note that there were absolutely no layoffs this year. I’m looking forward to 2020.”

Some of the Legislature’s changes included reductions to the Planning Department budget, the Transportation Fund Balance and Sheriff’s Department overtime.

“This is a team effort and this is a bare bones effort, which is the reason there is not a million cuts,” Legislator Ginny Nacerino said at the Tuesday night meeting. “You can do that when you have a good budget handed to you. “

The Legislature also put several items into a contingency fund, holding the money for future use or while the board seeks more information.

Among the items held in contingency are $15,000 for maintenance in Parks and Recreation, $30,000 for special services in the District Attorney’s office, $15,000 for license plate readers requested by the Sheriff’s Department and almost $18,000 for a promotion to sergeant.

“We want to have clear policies and procedures around the use of data in the license plate readers,” Legislator Neal Sullivan said. “We want to know how long they are going to keep in and who is going to be able to see it. There are a lot of questions regarding the use of data and we want to know we have the correct policies in place.”

The personnel committee is awaiting clarification on whether the promotion to sergeant involves a road patrol officer or a school resources officer and will discuss the matter in its November meeting.

“My question is, if the SRO is partly paid for the by the school district and we move an SRO to a sergeant position, who is paying for it?” Chairman Castellano asked. “We can’t just impose a cost on the schools or we need to know if the county is footing the bill.”

The board held the Sheriff’s Department to a 2 percent increase in overtime. The Legislature agreed to fund $520,000 in overtime, an increase of $12,000 over the department’s 2019 spending, but $242,000 short of what the department sought.

Route 6 and Route 52 road repair to begin

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced that the second phase of a major milling and repaving project on Carmel’s main roads is about to begin.
The project, which will run from Route 6 at Belden Road to Route 52 at Vink Drive, will begin the evening of Sunday Oct. 27 and continue for seven to 10 days.

“The state DOT has a lot of competing projects to consider,” Odell said. “State Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and Putnam County Legislator Carl Albano worked hard to get the state to focus on making the corridor between Carmel and Kent as safe as it can be.”

Odell’s administration will stay in contact with the New York State Department of Transportation to ensure the work is done with as little disruption to traffic as possible.

Paleen Construction of Somers was contracted by the state DOT to carry out the project, which requires milling the existing surface before pouring and grading the new asphalt. The work will be done in sections and each section will be useable as soon as completed.

The first phase of the project, which repaired Route 6 from Route 312 to the Reed Memorial Library was finished last year.

‘Over the years, the state has patched the road, but it hasn’t been entirely repaved in almost 20 years,’ Albano said. “This is the main thoroughfare through the Hamlet of Carmel and we’re very happy that the state recognizes the need to fix it. We hope that they will later continue the work on Route 52 all the way to Route 311 in Kent.”

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens Set for Tuesday, October 29th, 2019, at 10:30 AM

Entergy is conducting a full-volume test of the Indian Point siren system in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties on Tuesday, October 29th, at approximately 10:30 AM.
During the test the sirens will sound for four minutes. WHUD Radio (100.7 FM) will test the Emergency Alert System immediately following the siren test.

County officials will use the siren system to alert the public during an emergency at Indian Point. A sample of the Siren Sounds can be found at our website. www.putnamcountyny.com/pcbes/oem/indian-point/
In an actual emergency, all the sirens would sound at full volume for four minutes. Sirens are not a signal to evacuate; but to alert the public to tune to their local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or TV station for important information. The EAS stations are listed in the booklet “Are you Ready ? Putnam County Indian Point: Emergency Guide,” which was distributed, as well as available online.

#PutnamRecycles Plastic Bags; The Health Department Challenges Residents to Recycle

Brewster, NY-  Are you recycling all that you can? Leading up to America Recycles Day on November 15, The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) has launched a plastic “film” recycling challenge. Plastic film consists of flexible polyethylene packaging such as grocery bags and bread bags. It is also the wrap around many products including bathroom tissue, diapers, and more. Plastics such as these, commonly considered single-use, unnecessarily head to landfills. They can instead be dropped off at specified locations to be recycled.  To join the challenge, head to a drop-off location in Putnam to recycle plastic bags or film and share a photo online with the hashtag #PutnamRecycles.

“Because they are not part of curbside pickup, plastic bags and plastic film are often forgotten about when we talk about recycling. Many people are unaware that the plastic wrap surrounding their paper towel rolls is actually recyclable. Recycling these plastics has positive environmental and economic impacts, and it can be as simple as bringing the bags back to the store with you on your next visit,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“The health department works in partnership with every retailer in the county that is required to accept plastic bags and films. Currently there are more than 20 drop-off locations throughout Putnam,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD.

Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, Acme in Mahopac, and Foodtown in Cold Spring are a few participating retailers. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website at https://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

“It takes up to 500 years for plastic items to decompose in landfills,” adds Dr. Nesheiwat. “And many plastics never decompose completely— they just break down into smaller and smaller pieces. Daily we may not witness the impact plastics have on human health, but we do know that plastics can pose a danger to animals, especially marine life. We are hoping this recycling challenge calls attention to this important issue.”

While many residents in Putnam participate in curbside recycling, recycling today is vastly different from the recycling of the 1990s. The Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle have since been updated to the Five R’s, which now includes Refuse and Rot.  Refuse means not accepting and not purchasing items that will later end up in recycling centers or landfills. While rot refers to food items that can decompose in a compost pile or bin. If consumers regularly follow this motto, they will have less to sort through as they determine what is recyclable and what is trash.

Rinsed plastic containers and glass bottles, cardboard, and food and beverage cans are almost always accepted for curbside recycling. Paper, plastic, or foil with remains of food— think greasy pizza boxes, are not recyclable. Attempting to recycle items that cannot be recycled can contaminate an entire batch of recyclables and actually does more harm than good. Recycling experts have coined this well-intentioned, yet detrimental recycling misstep, “wish-cycling.” They urge consumers, “when in doubt, throw it out.”

While recycling has some challenges, the environmental impacts of recycling remain true and measurable, from reducing CO2 emissions to conserving natural resources and more.

New York State’s ban on plastic bags, set to go into effect March 2020, prohibits retailers from providing customers with single-use plastic bags. While there are some exceptions, including deli meat bags and film, produce bags, and bags for individually delivered newspapers, the ban aims to reduce widespread plastic waste. The ban has an additional component allowing counties to opt in to a 5-cent fee on paper bags; revenue that would go to the state’s Environmental Protection Fund as well as a separate fund to buy reusable bags for consumers.

Even after the ban is in place, plastic bag and film drop-off locations will continue to operate. To search for your nearest drop-off location, visit: www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/.

The mission of the PCDOH, 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.

 

Putnam County and the Town of Kent Highway Department working together

Legislator Carl Albano, Kent Highway Superintendent Richard Othmer Jr. and Putnam’s Deputy Commissioner of Parks Chris Ruthven at Smalley’s Corner Cemetery in Kent. When a tornado ripped through Kent in May 2018, it cut through the middle of the historic cemetery and tore down 18 Norwegian Pine trees. The trees, 60 feet high and five feet in diameter, had likely been planted as part of a public works project during the Great Depression. The Putnam County Legislature, Putnam County Highway, Parks Department and the Kent Highway Department worked in partnership to remove the trees and clean the cemetery of the storm damage.

Legal Notice – Public Hearing on Tentative 2020 Budget 10/24/19

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Legislature of the County of Putnam will hold a Public Hearing on the Tentative Budget for the year 2020, as presented by the County Executive and the Report of the Budget & Finance Committee of the Legislature, on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 7:00 P.M. in the Historic Courthouse, Carmel, New York.

NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that any interested persons may review a copy of the Tentative Budget for the year 2020 at the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature, Room 321, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, New York, any time during regular business hours after October 1, 2019. A copy of the Tentative Budget may also be found on line at putnamcountyny.gov under the Department of Finance.

PURSUANT TO SECTION 359 OF THE COUNTY LAW, the maximum salary that may be fixed and payable during the fiscal year 2020 to the members of the Putnam County Legislature and Chairperson, thereof, respective, is as follows:

Legislator’s Compensation _______________________ $40,839
Chairperson’s Stipend ___________________________ $ 8,959

BY ORDER OF THE PUTNAM COUNTY LEGISLATURE

Diane Schonfeld
Clerk