September 24, 2015
To My Rye Brook Friends and Neighbors:
I hope you had an enjoyable summer! I would like to bring you up to date on some issues that your Board of Trustees has undertaken since my last newsletter. We are working on some fantastic initiatives right now, and I’m excited to share this information with you.
Energy Initiatives –
- Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) – Get ready to lower your cost for electricity and natural gas! The vast majority of village residents currently purchase their electricity and natural gas from Con Edison, which has no incentive to get the best price available for these energy sources. That is about to change. Rye Brook is participating in CCA, which is a county-wide energy purchasing model. CAA enables communities to put out for bid the total demand for electricity and natural gas of participating homes and small businesses, and purchase energy on their behalf. Aggregating consumers on a large scale creates the market clout necessary to negotiate lower rates with private suppliers. Over five million customers nationwide are served by a CCA program.
Con Edison will continue to deliver reliable power, maintain power lines, and respond to service outages. They will still provide the same customer service to all residents regardless of whether they are in the CCA program. They are required by law to do so. Customers will still receive only one bill each month, and it will still come directly from Con Edison. The new bill will reflect the change in supplier and new, lower supply rate. If you don’t want to participate in this program, you will be given the opportunity to opt-out. We have been told to expect that most customers participating in a CCA program will experience a four (4%) to five percent (5%) savings on their utility bills. Look for a CCA mailing in the near future.
- Solarize Rye Brook – A group called Solarize Westchester will be helping Rye Brook residents obtain lower rates on rooftop solar equipment from a select list of installers, making solar installation cheaper and more widespread. The Solarize Westchester Team will assist Rye Brook to select competitively chosen solar installers to make residential and small commercial solar energy more accessible and affordable for residents and businesses.
Solarize Rye Brook is an initiative funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that is making solar technology more affordable for all New Yorkers. Stay tuned for more information about Solarize Rye Brook!
- LED Streetlight Program – In the coming weeks, village staff will be meeting with New York Power Authority (NYPA) staff to select the model of our new LED energy-saving street lights. This program will allow the village to purchase the LED lamps at a lower cost as we are aggregating our purchase with that of other Westchester communities, which helps to command a lower price for the street light fixtures. Furthermore, NYPA will be providing extremely competitive financing for this purchase.
Other Initiatives / Information
Online Access to Property Records – By the end of September, the village website will have a new feature that allows the public to access property records. The program is called “docsRB” and it will include most general property records on file with the village. Please note that while many documents will be available, certain items such as open building permits, open violations, and fire inspections are not yet included. This is a great way for residents to access historical information about their property.
Affordable Housing – There are currently three affordable housing applications before the Village Board and Planning Board. The locations of these three proposed developments are:
- 80 Bowman Avenue – 16 units of affordable housing (modifying a previously approved project)
- 259 N. Ridge Street – 8 units of affordable housing
- Reckson/Sun Homes – 10 units of affordable housing
Village Board and Planning Board deliberations and public hearings for these applications are open to the public. Check the village web site for dates and times, or sign up at www.ryebrook.org/alerts
to receive emails of meeting agendas as they are posted.
Video Tour of Rye Brook –
A new video tour of the village has been posted on our homepage at www.ryebrook.org
. There are informative videos about Rye Brook’s quality of life, parks and recreation programs, senior activities, education and community services, and community organizations.
?We are proud that the Village continues to be in sound financial shape. Our debt level is very low and our fund balance (savings account) is consistent with our adopted financial policies. Our most recent audit report for the Village’s fiscal year was a clean audit. Rye Brook maintains a healthy fund balance and low debt.
This is the fourth year that the New York State tax cap legislation is in effect for local governments. In our most recent adopted budget, the village stayed well within the tax cap. That means that eligible property owners will be able to receive a property tax freeze credit check from NY State. Our goal is to maintain (and increase where necessary) the current level of municipal services. The restrictions of this tax cap continues to make budgets extremely difficult to prepare without a reduction in unfunded state mandates. The fiscal year 2015-2016 village budget (which began July 1, 2015) allows for the continuation of our high-quality, full service municipal operation, which simultaneously strives to continually meet resident expectations, while maintaining one of the lowest tax burdens in Westchester County.
Blind Brook Community Coalition –
They say that it takes a Village to keep the youth of our community safe and healthy! The Blind Brook Community Coalition unites all parts of the community to increase awareness, advocate for our youth, and provide resources to support alcohol and drug-free youth. Join them in helping our kids make healthy decisions that will last a lifetime. For more information, visit: www.BlindBrookCommunityCoalition.org
Get the latest news from Village Hall –
Help us reach you! Being able to immediately communicate with our residents is critical. The village has the ability to send out “email blasts” to inform residents of items of interest throughout the Village, and GovDelivery (formerly Nixle) for immediate critical notification via text message and cell phone calls. We currently have approximately 886 people subscribed to our community email blasts and approximately 1,198 people subscribed to GovDelivery. If you would like to sign up for important Village-wide information, please go to www.ryebrook.org/alerts
. The Village also has a Facebook and Twitter account, which you can access through our web site.
Port Chester-Rye Brook Library – The Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library has many excellent programs available to Rye Brook residents:
For additional information, please call 914-939-6710 or visit www.portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org.
- Children's programs such as Storytime for toddlers and preschoolers, Yoga Tots (ages 2 ½ to 5), Making Music Together (babies and children to age 5), You and Picasso Art Program (school age children), and Game On video game program (teens and tweens).
- On Thursdays, from 11am to 2pm, a Senior Benefits Information Center assists people over 55 find eligibility for Medicare benefits and other senior programs.
- The first Wednesday of each month a nurse from the Community Health of Fairchester offers free blood pressure screenings from 9:15am to 11am.
- Programs on topics such as adoption, insurance, computer classes, and book discussions.
- All six Star Wars movies will be shown on Saturdays this fall in anticipation of the release of the new Star Wars movie in December.
Police Department News –
- As of July 31, 2015, the Rye Brook Police Department has welcomed Police Officer Linda Delonski who is currently attending the Westchester County Police Academy. When she completes her academy training, she will then begin her field training program with a veteran Rye Brook Police Officer.
- Each year you must renew your alarm permit. Alarms that are not renewed after June 1 are subject to a $35.00 administrative fee, if you have not already renewed your alarm permit, please do so to avoid the administrative fee which will be billed starting in September.
- In an effort to better reach the community, promote the good work of the members of the Rye Brook Police Department, prevent and solve crimes, and to share alerts and press releases, the Rye Brook Police Department is now on Twitter! You can follow us at @rye_brook_pd.
Did you know?
- Stop unwanted solicitors – The Board of Trustees has passed an ordinance creating the Do Not Knock Registry to prohibit private companies from approaching residential homes that have requested to be listed on the village's Do Not Knock Registry. Unfortunately, not-for-profit agencies cannot be required to follow the Do Not Knock registry or get a permit, but they do need to register with the Village. To place your home on the Do Not Knock Registry or to see a list of permitted or registered solicitors, go to our homepage at www.ryebrook.org. If the private or not-for-profit company is not listed, they should not be soliciting in Rye Brook.
- Memorial Blood Drive – In memory of Rye Brook resident Joey Touri, there will be a blood drive on November 18 from 2:00pm-7:00pm at the Anthony J. Posillipo (AJP) Community Center.
- Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting – Although summer just ended, we are very excited for our upcoming village Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting which will take place on December 3 at 6:00pm in Pine Ridge Park.
- Check out the new Pine Ridge Park Playground – This summer, we replaced our 20+ year-old playground with exciting new equipment. So far, the response has been fantastic! Additional funds are in this year’s budget to replace the playground equipment at Garibaldi Park.
- Winter Parking Rules – Unless otherwise posted, parking is prohibited on all public streets or highways within the Village of Rye Brook between 2:00am and 6:00am from November 15 to March 15. This allows our highway department to plow and salt our roadways overnight. Commercial, taxi or livery vehicles are not permitted to park on the street from 2:00am to 6:00am at any time throughout the year.
- Parking Overnight at Municipal Parking Lot on Garibaldi Place: During the winter months, residents can apply for a parking permit to park their vehicles at the municipal parking lot on Garibaldi Place. Permits cost $25 for the season and up to two permits can be issued per Rye Brook address. Permits will be issued on a first come, first served basis.
- Fall Leaves: Last year, the Village purchased a one-person leaf vacuum truck to assist with leaf collection. To make this program as efficient as possible, it is very important that the rows of leaves be stretched across the front of your home in rows that are not too deep (max. 4 feet) and free of branches, logs, rocks, grass and other yard debris.
- Snow Removal – When shoveling and/or plowing your driveway after a snow event (or clearing off snow-covered cars), please do not deposit snow in the street. It freezes overnight, creates a traffic danger, and is a violation of the Village code.
- Sanitation – You don’t have to bring your trashcans to the street the night before your scheduled pick-up. The Village provides garbage pick-up outside your garage door. Either let your sanitation driver know that you will be leaving your trashcans by your garage door, or contact our Public Works department at 914-939-0753. Also, this year’s sanitation calendars are available at www.ryebrook.org/sanitation.
Residents are reminded of the following green waste (grass clippings, branches, twigs) collection guidelines:
- Place green waste curbside between 6:00 p.m. Tuesday and 6:00 a.m. Wednesday in open containers or biodegradable bags weighing no more than 50 lbs.
- Tie brush and branches with twine into bundles no thicker than 4” in diameter and no longer than 3’ long.
- Logs, stumps and large debris will not be collected and must be disposed of by homeowners.
I encourage all village residents to take advantage of some of the fantastic village programs and opportunities mentioned in this letter. We really have something for each everyone! As always, we welcome your feedback about our progress and initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to us with any ideas or suggestions.
Paul S. Rosenberg
www.ryebrook.org/alerts Sign up for Village alerts and important newsletters
www.ryebrook.org/sanitation Access the Village sanitation calendar
www.ryebrook.org/video Watch streaming video of Village meetings
www.ryebrook.org/streetlight Report a streetlight out, blinking, etc.
www.ryebrook.org/pothole Notify village Public Works of a road repair issue