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City Update on Golf, Tennis & Boating Expected Monday & Other COVID-19 Updates

It is expected the city of Rye will issue an updated policy related to golf, tennis and boating on Monday, April 20, 2020. This comes in the wake of the State reversing its mandated shut down of these activities.

The golf, tennis and boating news is more recent than the city’s coronavirus update from Friday night, but digging thru that update, a few highlights:

  • Monday will see the start of Rye’s Up, an effort to help local businesses in Rye;
  • The city is still figuring how its meetings are “public” (to meet the spirit and letter of the open meetings law, now under COVID);
  • The leaf blower ban has gone into effect;
  • A reminder of the new State rule on masks (wear one!);
  • Rye Rec (and many other community groups too) are doing what they can to provide virtual programming. Construction at the Rec in a hopeful anticipation of being ready for the summer camp season continues slowly.

And there are some COVID-19 number updates but these are more recent.

Rye City Council Wednesday, April 15, 2020

(PHOTO: The Rye City Council met last Wednesday via Zoom conference. They are seen here receiving a presentation from Matt Anderson, president and CEO at The Osborn home, in regards to a possible zoning change for the facility.)

The full city update:

Coronavirus Update – April 17, 2020
Post Date: 04/17/2020 8:24 PM

The City Council met Wednesday by video.  Although the medium is challenging, we did manage to get some business done, which felt good. The missing vital ingredient is direct public input and we are trying to figure out the if and how of that under the State’s emergency changes to the Open Meetings Law. We set a public hearing for April 29 on the extension of the deadline for the annual filing of senior citizen tax exemptions. If you would like to comment please send an email by 4:15 pm on the date of hearing, including your name and your street address, to PUBLICHEARINGCOMMENTS@ryeny.gov, with a subject line reading “chapter 177 comments.” You can of course watch video of the meeting as usual through the good offices of Rye TV. (It is a rare opportunity to see your City Council members cameo-framed in their native habitats or against backgrounds of choice.)

Before turning to numbers, it was very encouraging to hear from George Latimer today that the County views us as “plateaued” in the progress of Coronavirus through our population. (George and his County team, by the way, continue to do a terrific job for all of Westchester.) If we can be said to be resting on a plateau as a County, however, we are resting in tough terrain. As of yesterday, the County has tested 65,268 people and found 21,818 positives.  Of those, however, only 10,241 likely remain “active” in terms of current infection. We have 1,185 in the hospital.  Six hundred sixty-eight of us have been taken by COVID-19.  I am sure that each of us knows someone whose memory personalizes this tragedy.

Today’s number of positives for the City of Rye is 107.  As always, treat that number as a rough indicator, affected as it is by the limitations of the testing and information transfer process, let alone by the aging out of positive individuals who have recovered and moved from isolation to the mere house arrest we all enjoy.

Monday begins RYE’sUP, the virtual marketplace assembled by the Chamber of Commerce and others, featuring the electronic presence of an array of Rye merchants.  It is so very important that on Monday we all go to www.ryechamberofcommerce.com and find a way to support the merchants who help make our City the gem it is. We NEED to help them, not only because they deserve our support, but at the end of the day because them is us.

An indicator of how tough the small business environment is, is the news that the current funding of SBA loans has been exhausted, with still many not having received funds.  It appears that many of those not helped are smaller businesses without the banking and advisory relationships to help them through the paperwork that has been required.

I would be remiss not to mention again our Rye not-for-profits, many of which have crafted wonderful online offerings for adults and children to enjoy.  Please use their services and support them financially.

Summer of course is coming full-tilt at us.  If we can speculate that Governor Cuomo’s new tentative Pause end date of May 15 holds meaning, that could mean that Rye Rec will be able to have summer camp.  The City is permitted to continue construction of the new facilities at Rye Rec  to be used by the camp, though progress is slowed by health safety limitations on our work crews.  The City hopes to be ready and hopes that the kids can come.  We are signing up campers, subject to situationally appropriate refund policies. Please go here for more information.

Rye Rec, too, has created an enhanced virtual presence for the duration. Please click here to enjoy Rye Rec’s efforts.Yes, the seasonal leaf blower ban kicks in tomorrow. After fruitless efforts to get an overall State position and to secure voluntary landscaper cooperation, I declared a state of emergency and published an emergency order to end what has been viewed as a great annoyance by many confined to their homes, and perceived as a health threat by some.  Enforcement of this ban is always difficult, but I hope we can, literally, keep the peace.

Responding to the census:  I know I have mentioned it before, but I am not hearing that Rye has edged up into the top dozen municipalities in the County in obtaining census participation. You and I know we have to do it! You and I know that we will do it!  There’s not a drop of suspense here to enjoy.  Let’s just do it.
We have a new State mask rule kicking in today.  The rule focuses on wearing some kind of nose and mouth face covering in public settings where social distancing may not be maintained. All the City can ask is that Rye residents respond as sensibly and cooperatively as they already have to the much harder demands that COVID-19 has imposed. Can we view the mask rule as a new opportunity to make a fashion statement?
Here, again, comes a weekend! We start grey, but expect to find Sunday well-named. I hope you and yours get some rest for what I hope will be vigorous downhill skiing from our plateau in the weeks to come.

Mayor Josh Cohn

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