Thursday, Jul 19th

Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 7am

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Good Tidings at Village Hall

santa1The good cheer of the holiday season was reflected at this week's BOT meeting, as the trustees discussed a number of positive developments and news in Scarsdale.

Mayor's Comments
Mayor Dan Hochvert began the session with a nod to Scarsdale High School's "City 2.0" students. Working in teams, students meet with community officials and residents to develop relationships, identify local problems, and design solutions. "They are interesting young people who want to find ways to improve our town. They're very admirable and hard-working and I'm delighted to just listen to them."

The mayor also congratulated the volunteers who coordinated last week's "Light the 'Date" event, which was attended by over 500 people, as well as those who worked on a smaller, similar event in Davis Park that was equally successful.

Hochvert went on to discuss topics covered at the recent Scarsdale Neighborhood Associations meeting, including ongoing interest in a Scarsdale dog park and proposed tree code changes. All but one village neighborhood association is in full operation currently, which represents the most activity in a long time. The mayor encouraged residents to become involved in their local association, noting that they, along with other Scarsdale organizations such as the Scarsdale Support Council, help people practically, socially and emotionally. "If you engage socially in your neighborhood, you will help alleviate each other's angst. There's a social aspect to neighborhood associates that is very helpful."

He concluded his remarks by reporting that the village had great progress in keeping leaves out of the street throughout the fall season, and that there were no citations issued to residents for noncompliance with village code.

Manager's Comments
Free Parking: Village Manager Steve Pappalardo announced that the village will provide shoppers with two hours of free holiday parking in Scarsdale Village Center at specific, clearly-marked meter locations from December 18 through December 25. The public is asked to adhere to the two-hour limit so that others may enjoy this benefit.

Prepayment of Taxes: Pappalardo also addressed recent resident inquiries with regard to proposed federal changes to the tax code that will affect homeowners' ability to deduct real property taxes. Scarsdale Village staff are trying to find ways to assist residents in prepaying 2018 taxes in 2017 to offset possible negative affects of this change. However, because of New York State restrictions regarding prepayment of taxes, the only tax that may be paid early is Westchester County tax. Since the county budget has not yet been adopted, the village has not received the 2018 county tax levy/warrant. Should the village receive the warrant in time, staff will prepare and distribute tax bills to residents to allow for prepayment. For more information, read the recent Village of Scarsdale statement on the subject.

Appointments to the Committee for Historic Preservation
Trustee Ross introduced resolutions regarding appointments to the Scarsdale Committee for Historic Preservation.  The entire committee resigned in November. New members will fulfill the unexpired terms of those members who recently resigned and/or relocated from Scarsdale. They include Lucas Meyer (Autenreith Road), who will serve as committee chair, Bana Choura (Church Lane), Adam Lindenbaum (Post Road), David Paul (Fountain Terrace), Robert Scheibe (Walworth Avenue), Bruce Wells (Chase Road), and Barry Meiselman (Post Road), who will serve as alternate member. The board approved all appointments.

Trustee Reports
Trustee Seth Ross reported on recent efforts of the Scarsdale Cable Commission to obtain the best possible terms in upcoming contract negotiations with Verizon and Altice (formerly Cablevision). Resident focus groups were held and yielded a number of interesting ideas to be considered, and the commission now is asking all residents to participate in the online "Cable TV Needs Survey" to gain feedback on current and future cable TV service. The survey may be accessed here.

Ross also noted that the Drake-Edgewood Neighborhood Association has once again become active and that residents in those areas are invited to join the group via email at drake.edgewood@gmail.com. He concluded his comments by mentioning that, after a request by the Friends of Scarsdale Parks, a "Heritage Tree" application was granted for the American beech tree located in Chase Park.

Deb Pekarek noted that the Scarsdale Police Department will be designated as a "Gold Standard Agency" by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. She thanked and congratulated the village's "highly professional chief, command staff and all officers on the force" and took the opportunity to mention the department's recent Holiday Crime Prevention Press Release that provides useful tips for residents.

Jane Veron reported on Friday's successful public library fundraiser, "Black, White and Read All Over." "It was an extraordinary community building experience; 400 residents came together to support something that will benefit the entire community. " With regard to the library renovation, Veron said that work continues on cost estimates, site engineers are coordinating with the village planning committee and the library loft transition is on schedule.

In addition, Veron discussed recent activity in the village center, including the well-attended "Light The 'Dale" event, stating that "December has been a real show of community spirit." She mentioned that the farmer's market has moved indoors and will continue in the winter months, and urged residents to visit and provide feedback on services.

Gifts
The board authorized acceptance of a number of financial gifts, including a $729,599 gift for the library renovation project, $5,000 for the fire department and $10,000 for the police department.

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