Village Manager's Interim Report 4/29/20

Village  Manager’s  Interim  Report

Advisories and Updates

29 April 2020

First things first  

Weather Alert.  Mother Nature just doesn’t think that this is Spring Time !  Current forecasts call for a strong storm system arriving later today with initial light rain. It carries over to tomorrow morning with more of a steady rain working itself up to scattered thunderstorms at times. The temperature should near 60 ... great grass/lawn growing conditions.  Winds are in the 15-25 mph range.  This storm continues all the way into Friday morning with possible thunderstorms into the afternoon. Rain totals could reach 2” overall ... hopefully spread out over 48 hours avoiding localized flooding. It’s not until late Saturday morning that we may see sun and temperatures in the mid-60’s. Power outages should be directed to Con Ed at (1-800-75-CONED)

Census 2020.  Quick update ... Your cell phones and e-mails to friends and family have had an effect. We hit a 68.9% return rate from the early mailings the Census Bureau sent you. In 2010, our final count was a 77.9% return rate. VBM is at a firm top 3 ranking. We really need your help for another 2020 Census response push. Questions ... just visit

Project Restarts.  Coronavirus pandemic notwithstanding, we are attempting to get various agencies to re-start projects ... or finish them  ... as NYS organizes for a phased “re-opening”.  I have talked with WCDOT, NYSDOT, NYSDEP and others to attempt/push them to nail down open projects/issues. Setting up meetings when we can to do status/existing conditions for projects still open or not completed.

VBM Water Department Hydrant Flushing. We began Phase I of our annual hydrant flushing project. Weather and personnel demands notwithstanding, this five-day, Village-wide flushing program, multiple crews will be mobilized to flush hydrants on water mains throughout the Village.  This will run to Friday, 1 May 2020.  The phase is primarily oriented to the major, wide diameter transmission mains. However, depending on weather conditions and worker variability, we hope to work our way along Long Hill Road (East + West), Scarborough, South State, Pleasantville, North State and Chappaqua Roads ... then from our 1 MG Water Tank off of Old Briarcliff  to North State Roads.  Since these pipelines carry water to all portions of the Village, discolored (turbidity) water resulting from flushing a hydrant could extend beyond the immediate work area. Please understand that you may wish to alter such activities such as your laundry routine: avoiding these time periods in particular.  However, even if discolored, continuing laboratory testing has indicated that in the past the water has contained no harmful bacteria. 


In the meantime ...

From the Village Treasurer.  Please take notice that any outstanding water bills due before 1 May 2020 will be forwarded to the tax office to be re-levied onto your first installment of the 1 June 2020 property tax bill.  In addition, delinquent accounts that are added to the tax roll shall be assessed a penalty of $50.00.

Tree Plantings at Law Park Play Areas.  We are getting proposals for replacement and expansion of tree plantings along the buffer of Pleasantville Road and the downslope areas of the Law Park Tennis Courts and playground. This will be a vital enhancement to the entire Law Park facility.

Check your lawn sprinklers now. One more time ... as you reactivate your lawn sprinklers this Spring, be sure to check (or direct your plumber) your whole system with a test flow of all your zones.  This Winter had several freeze and warm periods causing heaving of the soil which could have cracked or split the sprinkler distribution system.  Basically check for leaks now for Winter damage ... this could save you a lot of agita or sorus (especially $$$’s) later.

Scarborough Park.  Scarborough Park is looking great: moist, cooler temperatures are enabling the new lawn to take hold. There are still more enhancements to be completed. The temptation is great to get into the park: we have posted signs for everyone to please keep out. Reports of violations should be forwarded to the BMPD at 914-941-2130.  It’s important to just let nature take its course: everyone benefits in the long run.

Getting out of the House.  Some day we will have better weather ... so as a reminder for better outdoor times, get out of your house and “Take a hike (in our parks and trails) ... but keep your distance”.

  1. Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading out to parks or trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not go out if you have symptoms of illness, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  2. Observe at all times the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Maintain it as you walk, bike, hike or otherwise enjoy the outdoors.
  3. Make sure other park visitors and trail users are aware of your presence as you pass to provide for proper distancing.  Step off trails to allow others to pass while keeping minimum distances at all times.
  4. Not all parks have public restrooms and/or drinking fountains — be prepared before you leave and time your outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.  Bring water or drinks, as public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  5. Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out with you: protect other visitors and our park workforce.

Our Recreation Department continues to respond to all calls to their office number, 941-6560, during regular business hours. Following these rules and restrictions is to protect you and minimize contact with other people.

From the Briarcliff Manor Fire Department (BMFD).  The Fire Chief would like to remind everyone, that when seconds count, locating your house quickly is important.  It’s a scary thought that in an emergency, if the Responders cannot find you, vital time is lost.  Emergency Services do struggle with finding numbers from a street view and it is highly difficult to see at night.

Please, HELP us by making sure your House Number is Visible from the street.

Some common questions and suggestions regarding House Numbers:

  • Q:  What is the best size for house numbers?  A: The number should be at least four inches tall if displayed on a house or sign.
  • Q: What colors are best?  A. The color of the numbers should be in sharp contrast to their background.   White on Black or Black on White is an ideal combination of colors when displaying the number on the house, mailbox, or post.  Brass or bronze numbers should be avoided – they don't offer optimum visibility at night.
  • Q: Where should you put your house numbers?  A:  The house number should be visible from the road or street in front of the property. The house number sign should be placed on the side of the house that faces the road. If the house is too far from the road, the house number should be displayed on the mailbox.

Basic Guidelines:  A house number should be visible from whatever thoroughfare is used to approach your home.  If your home is not visible from the street due to distance or vegetation, the house number should be mounted near the street on a post or fence.

Consider becoming a VOLUNTEER Firefighter or EMT.  Simply, click the link  You can follow us on Facebook, click to follow link, and on Instagram at

Library/Community Center:  We’ve added new resources to our web page

For Kids, Families & Teens:

  • Chat online with Ms. Amy
  • Family activities to get kids off their screens  
  • Storytime videos
  • Chess and TAB continue online

    For Adults:

  • Online art exhibit: Oils by Ken Okin
  • For National Poetry Month: Poems, by Lorraine Joy McLeod
  • Links to useful services
  • Remote book groups and favorite programs

    For all ages:

  • Streaming services for Movies and TV shows
  • Booklists to use with our eBook and eAudiobook collections
  • Sign up for Library cards and get reference help by emailing [email protected]  

Or, call the Library at 914-941-7072

Please do not return items at this time.  All Westchester Library System Libraries are closed, holds are suspended and fines are being waived.  The Recreation Department will be on site.  Program cancellations are on their website and sign-ups and payments for Spring and Summer programs can be made directly over the phone or online.

Briarcliff Cares: We are still extending ourselves ... VBM Senior Citizen Shopping Assistance.  The VBM normally provides a free, weekly grocery shopping trip for all interested resident Senior Citizens utilizing our 16 passenger Senior Bus.  In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, and with concern for the health and safety of our older residents, the Village's Senior Bus transportation program has now been postponed for the foreseeable future. In lieu of providing mass transportation type Senior Citizen bus service to the supermarket, we are now working to identify Senior residents who may need someone to do their essential weekly shopping for them.  As these Seniors are identified, we are pairing them up with volunteers who have already stepped forward to offer their assistance.  If you are a Senior, or you know of a Senior who could benefit from this service, please call the Recreation Department Office (914)-941-6560 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM to request “Senior Shopping Assistance”.  You may also email Henry Jamin at [email protected] to be included as a participant or to check if any more volunteers are needed.  Thank you in advance for your assistance with this endeavor, and please feel free to share this information with anyone who may benefit!  

Special Events.  The Coronavirus pandemic has had lasting and pointed hits to our lifestyle fabric.  One hit is to our ability to meet, mingle and celebrate special events with ... and for ... our kids, family and friends.  Several groups have organized and we have held “drive-by-type events” to mark in lieu of traditions centered on end of school year threshold. The BMS event was held last week while the Todd School event just went by VH today. Weather conditions permitting, Friday, 1 May 2020, is the Class of 2020 BHS Senior Car Parade where parents will be driving their senior class members through our Village.  Our PD and FD will be assisting.  This is a test of resiliency and lasting memories as we face down the coronavirus pandemic.  The flyer at the bottom of this letter gives you all the details you can possibly need from Jodie Smoler and her team.  Briarcliff spirit and tradition lives on.



The next M/BOT scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, 5 May 2020, commencing with a W/S at 6:00 PM followed with our BOT Meeting at 7:30 PM.  Given the current CDC-related restrictions and NYS Executive Orders in effect, it is anticipated that all sessions will be via our ZOOM connection.


All changes to this notice are subject to change and will be duly noticed to the public.


Philip E. Zegarelli,
Village Manager

Report 433-A – 29 April 2020BHS Parade Route