By Eileen Gallagher
In the wake of the fire on Bedford Road, the safety presentation given by First Assistant Chief Russell Maitland during the town board meeting on Tuesday, April 8, holds special significance. Maitland cited safety tips as well as the most effective installation and maintenance techniques of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors during his “community segment” presentation.
Many people have their detectors in the wrong location, according to Maitland. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in bedrooms at the level of one’s head while reclining in bed because most incidents of poisoning occur while the victim is asleep. Smoke detectors should not be placed in kitchens, bathrooms, or near fireplaces, and should be at the highest level of a room or hallway. Whenever there is an emergency, Maitland reminded the audience of the importance of calling 911.
Too often people call their local police department, who in turn must call the fire dispatcher. Calling 911 connects the caller directly to the central dispatch center in Valhalla. Most importantly, everyone should practice fire escape routes from their homes with the entire family. For these and other tips, please go to www.chappaquafd.org.
Community Voices Heard
Community, board, and town staff collaboration led to the rescue of the program seasonally located at the recycling center known as Take It Or Leave It (TIOLI).
According to Supervisor Rob Greenstein, there have been contentious encounters between non residents “taking” several items each week (purportedly to sell elsewhere) and DPW employees stationed at the recycling center. To remedy the situation, Greenstein and the town board discussed removing the “take it” portion of the program, and having the “leave it” handled by Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The charity would issue receipts for donations and ensure that “nothing winds up in the landfill,” assured Greenstein.
Some residents defended TIOLI, touting its charm, earth friendliness, and sense of community. Members of the board reacted quickly, with Elise Mottel apologizing for their “short sightedness.” Agreeing to relocate the program, Greenstein suggested the structure near the former skate park, a location beneficial to the Farmer’s Market as far as enticing people to the area.
Hunts Place decision on hold, “Spa” becomes “Homes”
Greenstein relayed the results of Tuesday’s NYS Board of Variances hearing during which Conifer presented additional testimony. The state board held off making their decision and agreed to provide 10 days for town residents, fire and safety personnel, and the building inspector to review and respond to the latest iteration of Conifer’s request for eight variances. Greenstein reiterated the town’s commitment to building more affordable housing. The next scheduled hearing date is June 10, 2014.
The proposal known as the “Spa at New Castle” is now tentatively called “Homes at New Castle.” After the outcry from residents in the surrounding neighborhood, Greenstein conveyed their preference for residential rather than commercial development. Now on the table are 60 condominiums, a clubhouse, pool, and theater.