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Home Government Buildings Dept Shutting All Construction: Rye City COVID-19 Update (March 31, 2020)

Buildings Dept Shutting All Construction: Rye City COVID-19 Update (March 31, 2020)

Oakland Beach Home Tear-down during COVID-19(PHOTO: A home tear-down continued last Thursday, March 26, 2020 on Oakland Beach Avenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. All building sites now need to be shut down, by NY State directive.)

Rye City issued another coronavirus update Tuesday morning. Highlights:

  • All building sites in Rye will be shut down by NY State directive. The buildings department is working with contractors get sites closed this week. A reader may have actual stats, but construction has to be the single biggest employer (collectively) in the city of Rye;
  • More warnings about #socialdistancing. Please, please listen – 6+ feet or you put the rest of us at risk and threaten the closure of parks and golf courses.

The full update follows:

Coronavirus Update – March 31, 2020

Post Date: 03/31/2020 9:51 AM
As of March 30, City of Rye has 33 confirmed positives.  Affected residents are located in every part of Rye. Westchester County is up to 9,326 cases, with 19 fatalities. We mourn each loss, while being grateful that there are still relatively few.
As more people test positive, the official mechanism for tracing back the recent contacts of those carrying COVID-19 may be falling behind.  As a result, we must ask those who have tested positive and remain well enough to do so to please share their news to the extent they can with people they have come in contact with in recent days. These may be awkward conversations, but they will be important in slowing the spread of the virus.
Social distancing remains an issue. Yes, those who reside together can walk and play together, but everyone else, please do the one single thing that every MD on TV tells us is our best collective defense. Maintain social distance! Please adapt.  If the path is too narrow, walk on the grass! Etc.!  Relatedly, the City has kept Rye Golf open, subject to social distancing directives.  As social distancing is not being observed on the practice putting green, we are obliged to close it.  We hope not to have to consider further facility closure.  Rye Town Park is also asking for greater cooperation in social distancing and is considering an undesirable negative decision if that cooperation is not apparent.  It is a people thing to want to be physically close to those with whom they are interacting (most of the time, anyway).  But let’s please shelve that for the duration.
Per NYS directive, construction is being shut down as non-essential. Our Buildings Department is working with contractors to get building sites closed in the  course of the week with as little harm to the projects underway as possible.  This is yet another hardship for residents, contractors and workers.  The City is sorry to have to take this step. Please direct any questions to the Building Department building@ryeny.gov
I am pleased to report that most of us adapted immediately to the new garbage/recycling collection schedule. Those who missed a step typically caught up by dropping bagged garbage in the truck parked for this purpose weekday mornings by the Disbrow recycling center. A small group (but still too many), however, buried our recycling center in garbage over the weekend. This surprised me.  I was even more surprised to learn that a smaller number of people regularly do this in regular times.  It seems there is consistent dumping of garbage at the recycling center.  Friends, this is not ok.  It is not ok to demand that our hard working DPW people clean up after us like this during normal circumstances, let alone when we are so strained. Protecting our staff against this will inevitably mean sacrificing some degree of convenience for the vast majority of residents  who don’t dump.  The City will do this without joy.  Don’t dump!
I know how hard it is for everyone doing their best to stay at home. Our not-for-profits may be able to help.  Many in our array of not-for-profits serving all age groups and interests are expanding their online presences to support us now.  Please enjoy their services and remember to support them.  We need our not-for-profits with us as good as before, when we have put COVID-19 behind us.
News from New York State – the State’s presidential primary has been rescheduled to June 23. The State will be backdating unemployment insurance claims to the date of unemployment and will pay those eligible all benefits due.  There are new paid leave benefits for those subject to a COVID-19 order of quarantine or isolation.
The County informs us that the stir around the County Center is construction both in the Center and in the nearby parking lot of a temporary hospital for non-COVID patients.
As before, stay strong.  There’s still a bumpy road ahead, but it will get better.
Mayor Josh Cohn


  1. Well surprise, surprise. A letter moved just this morning to public officials – about one of Rye’s endemic corruption centers – Hen Island – so they apparently make everyone else (honest builders) suffer. The letter informs officials that there is presently a major un-permitted & illegal construction project underway out on Rye City’s Hen Island. A cottage is being rebuilt without any Rye City approvals or permits. It should be noted this structure has been abandoned for over 20 years – which would require a “use variance,” a Rye City building permit & inspection(s), County Health Department permits as well as NYS DEC and Army Corp approvals. The construction team is apparently out there on a fast track taking advantage of the present Coronavirus quarantine orders enacted by state and local officials. The actions of these workers are thus jeopardizing the health & safety of our Rye City Marina staff. The construction workers are using the Rye City marina dumpsters to dispose of their improper & possibly toxic construction material. Isn’t it interesting that George is no longer there to spot & stop this? Now honest Rye builders must suffer. Who’s getting the payoff for this? Someone is.


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