Village Manager's Special Report 3/25/20

Village  Manager’s  Special  Report

25 March 2020

VBM Alerts and Action:

Revised Rules and Updates

From the Recreation Department: Regarding the continued expansion of COVID-19 pandemic, we have revised our rules for covering public use of facilities and parks.

NEW Revisions: All Village Basketball Courts are now CLOSED. Unfortunately, the CDC’s rules concerning minimum social distancing of 6 feet are just not being followed by users. We have directed the BMPD to enforce these additional restrictions.

In the meantime, here follows a recap of ongoing restrictions throughout VBM’s recreational facilities ... fully in effect:

  • The Following indoor facilities are closed until further notice.  This includes the Youth Center, the WJV Community Center, and the Recreation Department’s administrative offices. The best way to communicate with Recreation staff members is through email. 
  • All Village Playgrounds are closed until further notice.  This includes the playground pieces at Law Park, Chilmark Park, Jackson Road Park and Neighborhood Park.  
  • All Village Athletic Fields are closed for Group Use until further notice.  This includes the Club Field, McCrum Field, and the playing fields at Chilmark Park and Neighborhood Park.  No Permits have been issued for the Spring 2020 season to date.  
  • All TENNIS Courts are open: We are to pick up new clay for the annual rehab of our clay courts by Friday.  The actual clay court work is DPW personnel and weather driven ... hopefully starting next week.

Parkland and trails use remain open but subject to the following limitations:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers

Recreation is still attempting to answer all calls to their office number, 941-6560, during regular business hours. Lastly, everyone knows the benefit of getting out of confirmed spaces and enjoying the outdoors in warmer, sunnier weather.  Following the rules and restrictions is to protect you and minimize contact with other people.

Re-capping previous operations, guidelines and other information.

Mayor / Board of Trustees Sessions.  Last night the M/BOT successfully held its scheduled BOT session via “Zoom”.  The recording of the meeting will be available on our website ( and on cable TV once an upload of the file is completed. Only required or necessary actions were taken.  As an example, the 4 previously noticed and scheduled Public Hearings were adjourned to Tuesday, 14 April. Separately, official resolutions designating the new Village Election cycle set for Tuesday, 28 April, and the confirmation of 4 new firefighters (!).

Village Hall Related:  VH is closed to the public but fully functional in the many levels of administrative services. Daily mail and package delivery continues without interruption. Payments on line are being accepted and the “night drop” in the VH parking lot is checked several times a day. 

The NYS Office of Court Administration (OCA) has ordered local courts (VBM’s Village Court) to close until Monday, 4 May 2020. The court continues to function normal while addressing and dealing with all other court related issues. If you have any questions or need to reach the court, you may leave a voicemail at 914-944-2788.  Voicemail will be checked periodically. Please send faxes to 914-944-4007.  You may also email the court clerk at [email protected].

Dispersal of Village Personnel and Equipment. VBM Department Heads and Staff are addressing CDC requirements to provide for “social distancing” of our municipal work force. Each department has implemented phases of our contingency plans. Physical contact between and among the work force is to be minimized on a daily basis. This is especially the case where teams of employees provide various levels of daily service throughout the village let alone within our facilities. The rapid spread of the virus and guidelines to meet this challenge are changing all the time. Especially subject to ongoing orders from the Governor and/or County Executive. 

Department of Public Works (DPW).  Given the current weather patterns and the suspension of team sports, we are accelerating and expanding the weed/feed/super-seeding and aeration of our playing fields.  Normally we only get to do a limited version of this work.  Given current closure of the fields during this pandemic, we intend to take advantage and blitz them so by late Spring a major uptick in their collective improvement can be achieved.

Library/Community Center and Recreation: While the Library and the William J. Vescio Community Center are both closed to the public, the facilities are staffed with Village employees working on specific projects. We have responded to calls and e-mails. We are sending daily Monday-Friday eee-mails to the community to keep in touch, provide contact information and share helpful resources. Reminder: please remember that the Library has online music, movies and books that you can access through our website: Email [email protected] if we can be of assistance.  We request that you do not return books and other items at this time. There will be no charge on items returned after the due date.  Holds throughout the Westchester Library System have also been suspended and most other Libraries are closed.  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 on line.

From the Department of Recreation and Parks:  Great things are happening!  Briarcliff Manor 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! 

From the Briarcliff Chamber of Commerce.  During this difficult time, we want to lend our assistance in any way possible.  The Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce remains committed to our member businesses and the support we offer you.  To keep Briarcliff and surrounding communities informed, we'd like to promote retail and restaurant member's offerings (i.e. online ordering, call ahead/pick-up in store, curbside pickup, delivery).  Please reach out to us ([email protected]) with some of the following details:  

  • Website
  • Special packages
  • Hours of Operation
  • Delivery, Curbside Pick-up, Both
  • Best way to order:
    • Online (which website)
    • Call directly (best #)
    • 3rd Party (GrubHub, Seamless, UberEats...)

The Chamber will continue to monitor this situation closely on behalf of the business community.  We continue to be available to help with any questions or concerns you may have.  Please keep us advised on how your business is being impacted. We will get through this.
Current information and pending actions are subject to change.  Please note that all policies, guidelines and recommendations are subject to change based upon further recommendations and/or directives that may be received or passed down from the Village Board of Trustees, County/State/National governmental entities and regulatory agencies.


Philip E. Zegarelli,
Village Manager

Report 428C – 25 March 2020