Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

What’s Happening Around Town

Week of December 11, 2023

 Peekskill hires Carol Samol as new Planning Director

The City of Peekskill has hired Carol Samol to serve as Director of Planning. Samol succeeds Jean Friedman who is retiring after 22 and a half years with the city. Friedman is working with Samol during the transition period and her last day in the office is Dec. 22.

Carol Samol at last Monday’s work session of the Common Council.

Samol started her career as a program associate at The Atlantic Philanthropies in 1992, where she worked for eight years. In 2000, she joined St. Nicholas NPC as the Deputy Director for Planning and Development.

In 2002, Samol joined the NYC Department of City Planning, initially as a City Planner and later as a Deputy Director. She served as the Director of the Bronx Office from 2007 to 2022, during which she played a key role in applying land-use policies and goals to meet the needs of the borough’s residents.

Samol also held the position of Director of Business Process Reform at NYC Department of City Planning from 2011 to 2014, where she led efforts to streamline application review processes and improve service. Samol comes to Peekskill from New Rochelle where she served as Chief of Economic and Strategic Planning and Deputy Commissioner since 2022.

Samol has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature from Berea College, a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Fordham University and a Master of Urban Planning degree from New York University. She has an additional certification from the American Planning Association’s American Institute of Certified Planners.


Rooftop solar project at Spare Cube providing clean, lower cost energy

The solar panels on the roofs of the Spare Cube self-storage site on Highland Avenue in Peekskill are one of four projects in New York operated by Ampion, a community solar subscription and revenue management company, and UGE, a developer that owns and operates community and commercial solar and battery storage projects.

Aerial view of Spare Cube on Highland Avenue.

Approximately half of the electricity generation is reserved for low-to-moderate income residents, who will receive a 10-15 pecent discount on their monthly utility bills. Collectively, the four New York sites will produce 3.37 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 15 acres of U.S. forest.

UGE owns and operates the solar array panels and acquired the commercial subscribers, while Ampion completed the residential subscriber acquisition and will handle ongoing subscription management.

ConEdison customers who enroll in community solar are assigned to a solar farm and are allotted a share of clean energy based on their electricity usage. The amount of energy produced by their share of the solar farm appears on their ConEdison bill as credits, which replace their current charges on their ConEdison bill. The subscriber receives a discount on these credits compared to the standard offer rate.


 Peekskill hiring Fire Inspector trainee

The City of Peekskill is seeking a full-time Fire Inspector.  The trainee for the Building Department will begin on a provisional basis. The candidate must pass the Fire Inspector Trainee civil service examination when it is next given, and be reachable for appointment from the resulting eligible list to continue employment with the city.

Candidates are asked to submit a letter of interest and a City of Peekskill application and resume to the City of Peekskill Human Resources Department, 840 Main Street, Peekskill, NY 10566 or via e-mail ([email protected]).

Starting Salary: $62,189.00. Preference may be given to qualified candidates that have been the City of Peekskill residents for at least 30 days before the effective date of appointment. Application Deadline: Dec. 15, 2023.


Rotary awarding DeNoia Professional Development Grant to Chamber member

 The Peekskill Rotary Club Foundation, Inc. will select the recipient of the Lawrence J. DeNoia Professional Development Grant next month.

Larry DeNoia was a past president of the Peekskill Rotary Club. He died Dec. 9, 2019.

A one-time cash award of up to $1,500 is given by the Peekskill Rotary Club Foundation to a member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce who
registers and completes a program of professional development. Programs may include college courses, industry specific curricula, leadership or management training.

The grant is offered to continue the highest level of professionalism and community spirit in the Hudson Valley business community as exemplified by Larry DeNoia; highlight and encourage the importance of continuing professional growth and skills development; enhance the Chamber’s and Rotary’s Spirit of Service; and further ties between the two organizations.

Grant recipients will attend a Rotary luncheon meeting as a guest following completion of the program to give a verbal report of his/her experience, and its value in development.


Mayor honored by Westchester Multicultural Chamber

Mayor Vivian McKenzie (in green dress) surrounded by friends and council members at the Westchester Multicultural Chamber award.

Mayor Vivian McKenzie was honored with the Moxie Award from the Westchester Multicultural Chamber last month. Mayor McKenzie was one of ten women who received this award, recognizing the positive ripple effect created in the community and empowering others.


Bailey enters Westchester County Seniors Hall of Fame

Marsha Bailey was honored by Westchester County when she was inducted into the county Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

Peekskill resident Marsha Bailey has been inducted into the Westchester County Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Marsha is active at the Peekskill Senior Center, serves on the Mayor’s Senior Advisory Council, and loves working with youth and seniors.


Westchester County Tourism reached $2 billion in 2022

Aerial view of The Abbey Inn and Spa on the grounds of the former St. Mary’s in Peekskill.

Westchester County visitor spending reached $2 billion in 2022, following a challenging period for the tourism industry. Westchester County saw a 99 percent recovery from the pandemic loss.

The Tourism Economics report released by New York State (NYS) ESD shows Westchester represented 43% of all visitor spending in the Hudson Valley region, significantly contributing to New York State’s visitor volumes and spending that year. This was driven by increases in Retail (+39 percent), Lodging (+27 percent) and Food & Beverage (+23 percent).

The County wages generated by visitors amounted to at $1.1 billion, the most significant in the region. Local taxes (hotel occupancy, sales and property) and state taxes generated by the industry were $243.5 million. This represents $668 in local and state tax savings for every county household.


Hampton Oaks Shopping Center sold for $5.5 million

The 20,000-square-foot Hampton Oaks Shopping Center at 1099 N. Division St. was sold for $5.5 million according to a deed filed with the Westchester County Clerk’s office on Nov. 2

View of Hampton Oaks shopping center where Save A Lot grocery store is located.

The seller was Anthony Kasper and his company 1099 North Division LLC in Deer Park, N.Y. The property was purchased by 1922-44 Boston Road Corp. in Valhalla.

According to the buyer’s real estate broker Raj Whadwa from Global Realty Services USA Inc., the new owners are Vinny Vig and Goldy Whadwa.


Peekskill Community Kitchen Pilot Program 

A community dinner was held on Nov. 15 to commemorate the Peekskill Community Kitchen pilot program, which was organized by the Youth Bureau and Nutrition Department.

Members of Peekskill’s Common Council and city officials with the 14 students who completed a certificate program focused on food management.

Fourteen youths age 16 to 24 participated in a 12-week mentoring and training program focused on food management that culminated in a delicious meal they prepared.

This pilot program was made possible thanks to a $50,000 grant secured by Senator Pete Harckham, with participants in the program receiving ServSafe Certification upon completion that qualifies them for employment with local businesses.



About the Contributor
Jim Roberts
Jim Roberts has been in this business for more than 35 years (hard to believe) and still learning every day. A third-generation Peekskill resident, he started as a lowly researcher at the Westchester Business Journal in 1986 and learned how to be a reporter from many veterans in the field. He’s worked in private companies, Connecticut state government and wrote for the Co-op City Times for 10 years before retiring from full-time work in 2019. Roberts wants to contribute to building the Herald into a news website for residents who care about what’s happening in Peekskill.