The following is a Rye City Council update from Mayor Doug French
From the desk of Mayor Douglas French
CITY COUNCIL UPDATES
Proposals to Re-Invent Playland
Twelve proposals to reinvent Playland have been received by Westchester County. As a member of the County's Citizen Committee to review the feasibility of each proposal, I have made my copies of the proposals available at City Hall for review by appointment through my office. The proposals range from including playing fields, an indoor field house, and an air dome — to amusements, restaurants, ice skating and nature walks to name a few. The proposals will be reviewed based on 5 criteria: Economic sustainability, environmental impact, entertainment value, experience of organization, and the expectation of project completion. The Committee will deliver its report back to the County around early July with a final decision by the County targeted by year-end.
1037 Boston Post Road Site
In 2006 the City acquired the old CVS site with the implied intent of developing a Police Station/Court House facility. In 2010, based on the up to $25M in development plus acquisition costs, the Council reversed that decision. With no public purpose intended for the site, the City is exploring its options which will be announced later this spring. In the meantime, the City took action at its last meeting to extend the current lease on a short-term one-year basis to allow for additional planning time.
The Hen Island Solution
Now that a lawsuit against the City has been dismissed, the City is pleased with the progress being made in discussions with Westchester County as our lead health agency and the Hen Island Corporation. Whereas issues such as mosquitoes and potable water are more specific to those that use the island and are being reviewed, sewage collection and disposal has a broader impact on the surrounding environs. Implementing composting toilets is a simple solution that is being explored. Given that these are recreational second dwellings where people do not reside but camp out there off-and-on a few months of the year, the City has no interest in installing and maintaining underwater sewer and water lines to the island.
Updating Rye's City Code
Where most municipalities update their local code every 10 to 15 years, in Rye it has been much, much longer. The Code of the City of Rye has been changed 174 times and as a result the City is embarking on a 2-year project to update inconsistencies, duplications and conflicts to make the code more efficient. A review of State statutes and best-practices from other municipalities will also be included. In addition, the re-organizational structure of the code will make the information more easily accessible in both print and online format.
Affordable Housing Project Update
As part of the affordable housing settlement and the consent decree between the Department of Justice and Westchester County, Rye continues to move forward with one of the qualified projects. Rye is one of the named 31 communities in which the County is required to build 750 affordable units over 7 years. The City has a project for 22 units at Cottage Street and has finalized an inter-municipal agreement and easement with the Village of Port Chester as the next step in the process.
Rye Town Park Dog Policy for Summer Season
It is the time of year when all user groups converge on Rye Town Park. In order to ensure a safe and friendly place for everyone, the Park Commission has adopted and will enforce a policy that allows for dogs off-leash prior to 9:00 am in a designated area, but must be on-leash after 9:00 am. This policy runs all days of the week through October 1st 2011. In discussions with the Rye Town Park Citizens Advisory Committee, the Friends of Rye Town Park, City and Park officials as well as many, many dog owners and residents who use the park, this is an amendable solution to all. The policy will be closely monitored and evaluated for compliance.
Water Rate Increases for WJWW
The City attended the public meeting of Westchester Joint Waterworks which serves about 400 homes in Rye. WJWW buys its water from New York City and is expecting another substantial increase this spring due to the pass-through cost from NYC. Roughly 90% of the increase will come as a direct result of the rate change from NYC. As more information is learned, WJWW will post updates on its website or they can be contacted directly. Public sessions will also be scheduled and held at the Mamaroneck Village Hall.
May 5, 2011