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2016 Goals for the Town of Cortlandt

Release Date: March 02, 2016

Town of Cortlandt
2016 Goals
By Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Town Board
1)      Our Excellent Financial Record:  We will continue our financial record that includes very low debt, a surplus at the end of each year, never a deficit, very low town tax increases (on average for the 25 years only 1% increase), kept way below the state tax cap mandate which resulted in tax refund checks being sent to our property owners from the state. Note: The checks would not have been sent if the Town Board and I did not come under the tax cap. We also have completed over 135 millions of dollars in capital improvement projects including having spent $4 million in the past two years on paving/resurfacing.  No borrowing took place to cover the costs of paving nor for the one million dollars spent in the purchase of new trucks, vehicles and heavy equipment lasts year.  We WILL CONTINUE this EXCELLENT FINANCIAL PRACTICE and RECORD to Benefit OUR TAXPAYERS!  (In the year 2016 town taxes only went up .6% for unincorporated property owners and 0% if you live in our two Villages (that’s because they receive less services from the Town of Cortlandt since they have their own Village governments).
2)      We will continue to fill vacancies in our town government where we hire skilled Cortlandt residents and Veterans FIRST.  We hired 22 new employees during the past two years, many due to retirements.  We are very proud of this employment policy and record and are in the process of filling some additional positions in 2016. All without impacting our town taxes
3)      We were able to “STOP the Buzz” – a 50 foot high converter station by a private company that wanted to buy property in Verplanck, owned by Con Edison.  However, the Town Board and I decided to purchase this property from Con Edison, which was approved by the NYSPSC to block this project.  A closing date on these 100 acres next to the Hudson River will take place in early 2016.  The Town will then use this property for additional recreational purposes (fields, handball court, a dog park, a river beach area and for the new home of a consolidated D.E.S. facility for our operating departments).  The properties currently being used by our division of sanitation, water, park and highway will be sold or exchanged for other beneficial properties.
4)      The cost of the 100 acres (Con Ed property) $2.75 million will be covered by the easement monies the Town of Cortlandt will receive from the Spectra gas company, which was approved by F.E.R.C. in March of 2015.  They need to cross these 100 acres for their new expanded gasline project and F.E.R.C. has approved this access.  We fought this gasline expansion for two years, however, F.E.R.C. supercedes a local government.
5)      Our new Master Plan – named “Envision Cortlandt” will be adopted by the Town Board in early 2016 and plans to implement these important recommendations for the next ten years are all ready underway.  They include more sustainability throughout the Town, and an increase in creating vital hubs such as a medical oriented district near the NY Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital and by the Cortlandt Town Station.  We thank all of the residents who volunteered their time to produce this excellent plan and our staff who worked with our consultants for our community.  This Envision Master Plan can be read in depth online on our website.

6)     Recreation Projects, Fields and Parks:
  1. A new lacrosse/all purpose field is under construction at the former Sprout Lakebed.  The cost is $850,000, of which $500,000 came from the developer of Hanover Farms.  The remaining funds came from our town treasury and various accounts.
  2. A new water spray park located in one corner of our town pool will be constructed in the Spring of 2016.  It will include several new water spray features that will add to our pool’s attractions for our youth.
  3. We will continue our outdoor concert and movie series at the Town’s Waterfront Park near the Hudson River.  There is no charge for these events.  The list will be on our website in the next couple months.  All events are family oriented.
  4. Once again our Recreation Department will host our Cortlandt Family Fun Day (with fireworks), the 5K Run and the Charitable Golf outing at the Hollow Brook Golf Course.  We are considering a Halloween Parade for our residents and their dogs at our Town’s Dog Park off Sprout Brook Road.  Anyone interested in assisting please contact our Recreation Department at (914) 734-1050.
  5. Our very popular “C.U.E.” for teenagers and well supervised next to the Cortlandt Town Center’s movie theater remains open on weekend nights.  Also our Youth and Recreation Center near the NY State Police offices is well managed and has many new and exciting programs and activities.  Check our recreational booklet that is mailed quarterly to our households and/or drop in to see our center that is for Cortlandt youth ages 11 to 18.  Sunday afternoons is for younger children.  It opened in 2009 and we are very proud of this center.
  6. We also have a very active Senior Citizen Center off Westbrook Drive that provides many educational and informational programs, recreational activities and fun-filled trips for our Seniors.  Please contact the center for more information at 914-528-1572.
  7. An important program that we take very seriously is the continuation of substance abuse prevention.  It is critical  to offer forums, meetings and panels with experts in this field to prevent substance abuse that can lead tragically to overdoses on drugs and alcohol.  We provide a secure drop-off location at Town Hall with the Westchester County Police having the key to this lockbox at our Purchasing Building at Town Hall.  So, please discard your outdated and unused prescription drugs at this safe location.
7)      New infrastructure capital projects are being developed in our town including another water storage tank, replacement of water lines, additional sidewalks on our major corridors and of course ongoing improvements for our town roads and a pro-active resurfacing plan for 2016, as we have done in past years.
8)      We launched our Otocast/Town of Cortlandt app for historic sites (approximately 30 locations) with various individuals explaining these locations.  Cortlandt has a rich history.  Just download the app on your phone and learn about our historical sites.
9)      We will continue supporting new energy initiatives that are efficient including Solar Energy.  We are one of six communities in NY State that has the distinction of being a climate smart community.
10)    We use various forms of communicating with our residents including the town’s website, Facebook, streamed Town Board meetings, the recreation brochure, the annual water report on our website, numerous Supervisor press releases and press conferences, as well as, the Code Red calls for emergency and weather related notices only.
11)    This year the Town Board and I will be supporting a new indoor soccer facility privately owned near the bowling alley off Crompond Road and the new proposed shopping center off Cortlandt Boulevard (Route 6), which has been reduced in size by 30,000 sq. feet, and will install a new traffic signal at Baker Street, which was approved by the NYS DOT.  This property owner demolished the small, outdated structures in this vicinity which cleaned up the corridor and this project will provide additional jobs, revenue and sales tax for the Town of Cortlandt and school districts.  It’s called “Cortlandt Crossing”.
12)    A town hall open house will be towards the end of the year.  The date to be determined will be on our website and Facebook.  This will be on a Saturday, or on an evening and will give our residents an opportunity to meet all of our staff that services our community.
13)    As always, we support our Veterans and are very proud of all of the ceremonies we host during the year, of our monthly Veteran’s meetings held at Town Hall, of our ongoing lobbying we do for increased Veteran’s services and of our beautiful Veteran memorials (the Purple Heart Memorial and the flags honoring our branches of the service at Town Hall and of the lovely Veteran’s memorial at Cortlandt Waterfront Park near the Hudson River in the hamlet of Verplanck).
14)    We continue to support our local businesses and hold a “Shop and Dine and Do Business in Cortlandt” month each year in the Spring. However, we encourage you to go to our over 200 businesses in Cortlandt.  They are outstanding!
“Most importantly we thank all of our volunteers, our emergency service providers, our town employees and all of our residents and their families for making Cortlandt a wonderful place to live. 
It has been a great honor to serve as Cortlandt’s Town Supervisor for the past 25 years.  I thank you all for your support over the years and pledge to always do my best to help you and you families.”
Linda Puglisi