The Peekskill Common Council will vote on a resolution to provide an early retirement incentive program to city employees during the Oct. 22 Common Council meeting.
The program would be made available to all municipal workers 55 or older, or police officers and firefighters with 20 years of experience. Workers must also meet state retirement requirements.
City officials are offering the program to try and offset the layoffs looming in acting City Manager Brian Havranek’s $35.6 million budget proposal for 2013. Havranek’s proposal would cut 31 full-time jobs, seven which are currently vacant, and nine part-time jobs in the city.
One stipulation in the program is that the incentive is limited to the first three police officers and first two firefighters who apply and qualify for the program. This limitation was added to better maintain public safety staffing levels.
A change to the original draft of the incentive proposal is that program will be extended to workers eligible for retirement in March, not just the end of the year.
“I think there may be some who may hit their eligibility in January or...clearly before the end of the pension year, which is March 31,” Mayor Mary Foster said during Monday’s work session.
Employees would have until Nov. 9 to decide if they want to sign up for the retirement incentive.
Tattoo Parlor Proposed on Main Street
The Peekskill Planning Commission has received its first application for a tattoo studio since it passed an ordinance last month allowing them in certain areas of the city.
Patrick Conlon, who is applying for a special permit for the studio, has already signed a lease for a ground floor space on 25 North Division Street, which is adjacent to Westchester Community College’s Peekskill Extension.
As part of the special permit process, the studio is required to meet a number of stipulations including: being a minimum of 500 feet away from any schools containing students in grade kindergarten through 12; not being located on Main Street, between Nelson Avenue and North Division Street, and on South Street between Depew Street; and having a minimum of 200 square feet of the tattoo studio dedicated to displays of art. .
Anthony Ruggiero, the city’s director of planning, said the proposed studio met all of the laws requirements.
Since the studio would be located in the city’s historic district, its signage will have to be approved by the Landmark and Historic Preservation Board. The Planning Commission and Common Council will schedule separate public hearings for the tattoo parlor next month.
Gallery on 115 North Water Street
Noted antiques collector Steve Erenberg has purchased the building at 115 North Water Street and he wants to convert it into a showroom, studio and workshop.
Erenberg, whose collections can be seen at earlyelectrics.com and radio-guy.com, specializes in light fixtures, industrial masks and other ‘oddball and scary scientific stuff.’ Erenberg said that he also an artist and sculptor and he plans to work in the building once it’s completed.
The majority of the clients that pass through will be interior decorators, set designers and architects.
His plan is to bring the two-story building back to the 1800s.
“It’s going to have a real life street presence,” Erenberg said. “We’re going to have antique lighting, obviously. I have some cast iron elements from Manhattan that will be brought in for a new entrance, so that will be nice, and we’re going to open up a balcony in the entrance with a spiral staircase.”
Ruggiero said the building doesn’t have any site plan issues, but a special permit is needed from the council to meet city guidelines regarding antique galleries and professional office spaces. A resolution for the special permit and a public hearing will be on the agenda for the Oct. 22 Common Council meeting.