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It May Be Summer, But Not So Lazy At Village Hall

roadrepavingWhile most of us now are on “summer time,” work continues for Scarsdale Village staff and trustees. This year’s BOT meeting focused on how the village is moving ahead on several fronts and initiatives, and acknowledged that a valued colleague is moving on.

Manager’s Memo
After brief opening remarks by Scarsdale Mayor Marc Samwick, Village Manager Steve Pappalardo discussed ongoing infrastructure work, including always-eagerly anticipated road resurfacing projects.

He reported that the capital road-resurfacing program began this week and the village will rehabilitate those roads that are in greatest need of repair. Exactly which roads qualify is determined based on independent reviews and inspections by public works staff, and the village’s pavement management survey. Approximately 5.5 miles of roadway will be resurfaced during this summer and fall, along with a number of walkways throughout the village.

Over $1.2 million was initially budgeted for the work, with the trustees approving another $220,000 allocation to help meet the village’s goal of resurfacing roughly five miles of roads annually. New York State will contribute another $490,000 to the effort, along with Con Edison, which will provide $90,000 for restoration work related to recent gas line upgrades/repairs. Papallardo reported that the village also is considering allocating additional unused funds up to as much as $500,000 if needed.

He then discussed ongoing sewer flow monitoring work to determine whether recent repairs are effectively mitigating infiltration of storm water into the village sanitary system. Village staff also will continue to repair cracks/loose joints in pipelines throughout the water district, and attend to a collapsed water pipe near Wynmor Park.

Pappalardo also was pleased to the announce that, after years of discussion, negotiation, and planning, the Hutchinson River tri-municipal storm water project will begin this summer. The flood mitigation project, involving Eastchester, New Rochelle, and Scarsdale, will include replacing four drainage culverts, and de-silting and clearing thousands of linear feet of the riverbed that runs through all three communities. The work will result in much better flow of water and decreased flooding during rain events.

Finally, the village manager provided music to the ears of village resident Bob Harrison, announcing that village staff are working with school district staff to build a comfort station at Scarsdale Middle School. The group has agreed on a plan and has identified a preferred location at the northeast corner of the tennis courts. Exact timing of the project will be determined by the New York State Education Department’s review and approval process.

Library Lowdownlibraryconstruction
Pappalardo then invited Diane Greenwald, Scarsdale Public Library board member, and Beth Bermel, the Library Director, to provide an update on the renovation and construction work at the facility.

“(Over) the last six months we’ve seen a enormous amount of work,” Greenwald began. “There was demolition and, then, it got hard to see anything happening. (But) there was a ton happening; it just was underground. There was plumbing going in and electrical wiring going in, and you really couldn’t see much.” She went on to say that the space is beginning to take shape, with framing and roofing for the addition complete, doorways and hallways defined, a new, more efficient staircase constructed, and the new children’s program room and quiet reading room fleshed out. The library construction committee also has selected interior finishes and furnishings that reflect value, comfort, and function. A variety of furnishings will provide “a seat for everyone,” accommodating numerous users and activities. “Comfort is a funny word. What may be comfortable for me may not be for the next person… Beth and her senior staff (helped us) to really think about the different ways that people use the library… making sure we had a tremendous amount of variety for different tasks and different kinds of bodies … that might use public space.”

Bermel then provided more practical information about schedule and budget. “We’re about 40 percent through the project and the costs are tracking commensurately with the budget plan… There have been some minor delays but nothing significant. We didn’t find any unknown conditions… that I had nightmares about.” She reminded the trustees that, since the renovation is a “Wicks Law” project, it requires significant oversight and well-documented activities and updates, so residents and village management can be confident in overall project management. In summary, Bermel said, “We’re pretty much on track and on budget and we remain hopeful for a summer 2020 opening.” She also added that the library’s paver fundraising campaign has been completed, and the overall Capital Campaign has over 500 donors participating.

Mayor Samwick commented afterward, “(The library project) really is a model of dedication; it’s a model of professionalism and collaboration, of unprecedented generosity… This is overused, so I hate saying this, but this really does take a village.. And, we’re getting to the point that we’re starting to visualize… what a phenomenal community hub it’s going to be for generations to come.”

Public Comment
Madelaine Eppenstein (Autenrieth Road) and Kay Eisenman (Brewster Road), representing Friends of Scarsdale Parks, discussed the five white swamp oak trees recently planted in George Field Park as part of Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science’s tree hybridization trial. They thanked the village’s public works staff for planting the saplings, which will be analyzed to determine how well they thrive in the wild.

Bob Harrison (Fox Meadow Road) encouraged Scarsdale residents to register children between the ages of 6 and 18 to participate in the village’s youth tennis program. The program begins Monday July 15 and runs for three weeks at the Scarsdale Middle School tennis courts. Applications are available at the Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Department or; the cost is $50.

RingelFond Farewell
Tuesday marked Josh Ringel’s last BOT meeting as assistant to the village manager. His departure is bittersweet; both the village administration and residents who have worked with Ringel are sad to see him leave Scarsdale, but are pleased to see him advance his career. As reported earlier, Ringel has accepted a new role as assistant village manager for Tarrytown.

In the first of a number of tributes, Mayor Samwick said, “(He) has really done an exemplary job. He’s going to Tarrytown; he got a fantastic job there. Josh, we’re going to miss you.”

Pappalardo stated, “I want to thank Joshua Ringel for his four years of dedicated service to the Village of Scarsdale. Josh has really grown into this job and made it his own, and he’s, certainly, at a point now where he can move on and take on a larger role in a wonderful community, Tarrytown.” “You did a great job, Josh. I hope you learned something here. I hope your memories of the village are fond. And, never shut the door… some of us have come back.”

Trustee Justin Arest, “Our loss is certainly Tarrytown’s gain… I’ve heard from many of our residents about how great it has been to work with you. While we don’t always agree on everything, your ability to listen, and engage in a thoughtful and respectful dialogue is noted… I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors.”

Trustee Jane Veron chimed in, “Josh… You have been instrumental in moving our village forward… Residents perceive you to be the problem solver. You are the person who is solution-oriented; you listen; you make things happen… Thank you for the contributions you’ve made to Scarsdale Village; it has been a pleasure working with you.

Trustee Seth Ross followed, “The great joy of serving as a trustee is the people we work with, the people we serve, and you’ve really been a standout among the people I see as my coworkers.. You’re very effective at what you do… and, as your tenure ends, I add to our gratitude. I join the others who have worked with you here in Scarsdale in wishing you the best… wherever life takes you.”

Trustee Lena Crandall then said, “Josh, I have to agree with everything I’ve just heard from my fellow trustees. I greatly appreciated your enthusiasm, your willingness to work hard, and your ability to take care of so many things… I expect to see great things from you… you’re special.”

“Scarchella” in September
Move over Coachella; here comes Scarchella. Trustee Veron announced that the Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA) will host its own version of the famed Coachella music festival this fall in the village center. The first-ever “Scarchella” is scheduled for Saturday, September 14, and will feature various musical acts in Chase Park, as well as food trucks, wine tasting tents, and children’s activities in and around Boniface Circle and Chase Road.musicfestival

Veron said, “One of the things I hope residents understand is that we care so much about bringing community together…The Scarsdale Business Alliance, a newly formed entity of merchants in the 10583 area, have come together to promote foot traffic and vitality (in our village), and bring (residents) together.” Mayor Samwick followed by stating, “I’d like to send a special thank you to the Scarsdale Business Alliance. In a very short period of time, it has done a really exceptional job, and is really helping to bring vitality into our village center, and we really appreciate all you’re doing.”

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