The will begin to transform Jim Martin’s and small airplane base into 27 acres of public park land available for all residents to enjoy this spring. At Tuesday night’s board meeting, officials voted to rename the property “Cortlandt Waterfront Park.”
The boat launch should be open by late spring and the aviation themed playground equipment has been ordered, Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi said. “We are hoping for late summer,” for the playground to be open.
The town will also convert two old airplane hangers into storage buildings for residents to store their jet skis and small boats for a fee.
One part of the Martin property remains off limits for town development for another four years. Martin made a deal with Cortlandt that he would trasfer his land to the town as long as they agreed to allow the people living in the mobile home park in Verplanck to stay on the land for ten years after his death. Martin died six years ago this July, which gives the mobile home owners about four years to move. The Town originally offered the owners $8500 each to vacate the land and about five or six owners took advantage of that plan, Puglisi said. The price has now gone down to $2,500.
Also at the March 13 meeting:
Representatives of the Director Debbie Costello, her daughter Jamie and Connor Briggi, explained their May 5 event, which raises money for cancer patients and families. They have raised more than $250,000 in the past for various organizations and people. This year half of the money raised will go towards Happiness is Camping, a camp for children affected by cancer that has medical resources needed for treatment while they enjoy camp. The other half of the money will go to the which provides quality treatment right here in the community.
“We encourage people to create a team or just show up on May 5,” Connor Briggi, a Leo member, said.
Veterans Hospital Saved from EUL, for Now
Supervisor Puglisi announced the “good news” that the Montrose VA would not be downsized by an Enhanced Use Lease, which was proposed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, but expired in December 2011.
“Veterans need the services and many still live at the VA,” Puglisi said, noting that it has been in existence since 1950.
“However, the VA has said they may go back to Congress for a second EUL…We are going to be guardedly optimistic.”
The Town has fought with veterans groups for years to prevent the Montrose VA from being affected by an EUL.
Councilman Francis Farrell thanked the Mohegan Lake Fire Department for having him at their installation dinner and said it was nice to see a vibrant and active department. He also thanked the St. Patricks’ Day Parade committee in Buchanan for throwing a great parade this weekend.
Farrell also mentioned that the new Cortland train station is an asset, but the bathrooms are locked. Puglisi said that is the first she had heard of it and would find out how to fix that.
Board member Ann Lindau commented on the importance of the Hen Hud Leos and how they really help community members with cancer. She also mentioned the Hudson Valley Gateway Experience happening this March 24.
Councilman John Sloan responded to some comments that Sen. Ball’s Chief of Sttaff Jim Coleman made following the Women of Distinction presentation. Sloan said that although the two percent property tax cap does not effect Cortlandt, which is always below that anyway, it is a “bogus law” and is not imposed on the state legislature which imposed it on municipalities. He also noted that the town still has to pay the MTA payroll tax, which cost the town about $50,000, Puglisi noted.
Margaret Connaughton was appointed as new court clerk II. The town authorized a resolution to delcar March 3 as Star Spangled Banner Day and another resolution in support of the Heroes to Hometown program.
The Town Board passed all resolutions, which you can find here. Councilman Farrell abstained from voting on “authorize the settlement of the following tax certiorari’s: Howard Martin, Appian Way Ventures Inc., Buchanan Executive Park, Inc.”