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Nyack Village Board Update for October 2018

by Mayor Don Hammond
To best serve you, the members of our village, our strategy is “Focus and Finish” those projects that will improve your quality of life as residents. As part of this plan we concentrate on the following issues:

  • sustainability
  • affordable housing
  • infrastructure repair
  • parking
  • development
  • Memorial Park

Memorial Park shines thanks to the Parks Conservancy, Parks Commission, DPW, Sustainability Coordinator and all those who help continue to improve our park with amenities like landscaping around the Gazebo, the Splash Pad, Playground, Music in the Park, and use by sports clubs.
Our Celebration of Remembrance for Victims of September 11th was a moving event as we celebrated the lives of Stacey Sennas McGowan, Welles Remy Crowther, John Albert, Harry Wanamaker and Joseph Stach. We will never forget.
On September 15th, we hosted our 2nd Annual Great Nyack Get Together in Memorial Park. This free event included activities for everyone featuring live bands, drama groups, amusement rides and a human foosball tournament.
Special thanks to the amazing group of individuals who made this event possible. Thank you Melody Partrick and Kim Cross, Co-Chairs and committee members: Ken Sharp, Shakira Chin, Donna Davies Timm, Bob Timm, Susan Wilmink, Tom Lynch, Lisa Sharp, Meg Mayo, Bonnie Timm, Mark Mangan and our amazing MC Elliott Forrest.

Sustainability Agenda:

The Sustainability Task Force, under the leadership of Marcy Denker continues to push our agenda to create a more environmentally sustainable community.
We just installed our first Electric Vehicle charging station in the parking lot behind Veteran’s park.
We are moving forward on replacing our current street lights with LED fixtures. These new lights will lower our energy consumption and our energy bills.
Marcy and I met with teachers and students at Nyack High School to discuss launching an education initiative on recycling plastics and eliminating single use plastic bags. This is an exciting opportunity to encourage our community towards a sustainable future, led by the next generation. Watch for more on this initiative.

Affordable Housing:

A committee including Trustees Donna Lightfoot-Cooper, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Village Staff, and the Rockland Housing Action Council have reviewed our current code requirements for affordable housing and have made several recommendations for change. These include lowering the income levels for acceptance into the program from 80% Average Median Income to 60% and raising the affordable housing buyout amount to $50,000 with increases tied to inflation. The buy out allows builders to pay into a fund in lieu of providing the 10% affordable housing requirement that is in our code.
We will discuss these recommendations at Public Hearings before the legislative changes are set in place.
The Village Board is also discussing how to operate the Buy Out Fund and manage the increase in affordable apartments that will be available as current residential development is completed.


We continue to work on our street paving plan. Spear and Liberty Streets have been repaved. The trenches that were created by Orange and Rockland gas main repairs on Depew Avenue between Piermont Ave and Head Start as well as Burd Street between Broadway and Cedar will be milled and paved in the coming days.
Sidewalk work on South Midland was completed last week. Work continues on North Midland on installing driveway cutouts and handicap accessible corners. This work (weather permitting) will be completed by the end of October.
Jim Politi and I met with the Orangetown Supervisor, Chris Day, and his staff from the Sewer Department to begin discussions on how to mitigate and hopefully eliminate issues of overflow at the Spear Street pumping station during periods of heavy rainfall. Town staff stated that there is not a capacity shortage in the sewer system, and that overflows are occurring because of infiltration due to rainwater in heavy storms, not overuse of the sewer system.


We continue to discuss the parking recommendations from Elijah Reichlin-Melnick’s parking study. Our goal is to provide additional overnight parking options for village residents in or near our downtown.
The Village Board took action at our last meeting to open up some additional spaces on Franklin (both N. and S), High Ave. between Broadway and Franklin, Lydecker, and Broadway north of Third Ave. where there are no muni meters]for overnight parking. These changes will be announced and implemented in the next couple of weeks.
Village Parking Authority and DPW staff have reviewed the recommendations and are actively working on providing options that will result in additional overnight parking.
The village is working towards a decision to replace our current muni meters with new technology that is called Pay by Plate. These meters would allow people to pay remotely using their phones in addition to payment with coins or credit cards. The new muni meters will be similar to the meter installed in Nyack Library’s parking lot. We will have another workshop session on the implementation process in the next couple of months.


Our village planner Bob Galvin, presented a report to the board on potential construction based on current zoning in the DMU-2 (Downtown Mixed Use 2) and RMU districts (Residential Mixed Use). You can find the study here.
After discussion, the board will be considering legislative changes to our building code that will lower the sustainability bonuses available for residential development. Currently the building code allows for up to a 40% increase in density bonuses. It will be recommended that this be lowered to 20 or 25%. We will also begin a process to refine sustainability requirements in our building code.
These two potential changes will require additional sustainability practices and lower potential density bonuses.


As your mayor, I was asked to participate in a Rockland County symposium on Fair Housing. I was honored to represent our village that is a leader in offering low income and affordable housing in New York State. It is my commitment to continue that leadership and develop opportunities to model our commitment to diversity in practical and meaningful ways.
We are currently forming the Community Development Block Grant Citizen’s Committee. This committee reviews potential projects for the village within CDBG requirements and makes project recommendations to the board. Please reach out to Jim Politi if you are interested in serving on the committee.
We are finalizing a Transit Options Survey to gain a better understanding of public transportation needs and concerns in Nyack. Trustee Marie Lorenzini and Deputy Mayor Louise Parker have drafted the survey and are seeking additional input before the survey is conducted.
Last month we received partial payment of funding from FEMA for work related to Hurricane Sandy. These funds will allow us to partially pay off an anticipation bond and lower our interest payments in the future. There are more funds to come.
We would like to remind everyone that on Saturday, October 20th, at 4pm the annual Brinks Memorial Ceremony will be held at the Route 59 entrance to the NY State Thruway. In 1981, two Nyack Police Officers, Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly Brown and Brinks Security Guard, Peter Paige lost their lives in service to our community. Please join us, their fellow officers, families, friends, and members of our community as we honor their memory, celebrate their bravery and mourn their ultimate sacrifice.

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