Council Acted on New Bus for Seniors & Gifting Fire Equipment to Ukraine

Matt Alexander Appointed to City Manager Post


Some of the outdated equipment that Peekskill will send to the Ukraine.

By Regina Clarkin

Matthew C. Alexander went from ‘acting’ to ‘official’ City Manager with the ‘ayes’ of all seven Common Council members at Monday’s meeting. Alexander had been the acting city manager for Peekskill since March 4, when former City Manager Andy Stewart’s resignation took effect.  He and the deputy comptroller – who has been in the position for 17 years – and the city’s human resources director will be the search committee to fill the comptroller position being vacated by Alexander. 

Matt Alexander after his appointment as Peekskill’s City Manager. (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

When Alexander, who lives in Wappingers Falls (where he was the mayor for 14 years), was questioned by resident Lee Esther Brown at Monday’s meeting about his residency in the city, he replied that he was looking to move here.  In an interview after the meeting, he said he had viewed properties in Peekskill over the weekend, and intends to buy a home here. He and his partner own an antique shop in Wappingers Falls, and are looking to perhaps have a second location in Peekskill – which is why he was looking at a mixed use building. The council voted to extend the usual six month window for a new city manager to establish residency to nine months, given the currently hot real estate market in Peekskill. 

In other business at the meeting, the council voted to accept a $228,000 bid from RE Landscapes, Inc of Brewster for improvements at Fort Hill Park. The construction will see a new hiking trail installed, along with timber puncheons, new construction and repair of existing steps, and installation of new interpretive and kiosk signage. The funds for this project were awarded from a SAM (state and municipal) grant through the Dormitory Authority of New York. 

These steps into Ft. Hill Park off Decatur Ave. will be part of the restoration project. (Photo by Jim Striebich)

The purchase of a new 24-passenger bus with a wheelchair lift was approved by the Council, for use by members of the Peekskill Senior Citizens Club. The city will spend an additional $50,000 in addition to the already earmarked $150,000 for the purchase of the bus, which is expected to be delivered between November of this year and next January.  Of this $200,000, $150,000 is matched by a community development block grant from the County of Westchester. 

Starting May 1, roads in Depew Park will be closed to cars from 7 am to noon on Sundays. This is the second year of the closures, allowing residents to bike and walk freely on the roads in the Park. The program ends on Nov. 6. 

Transit Construction Corporation (TCC) has been hired by the NYS department of transportation to reconstruct the sidewalks on the Jan Peek bridge over Annsville Creek. In order to make the repairs to the underside of the bridge, the company needs to set up operations in Annsville Preserve Park which is owned by the city. The Common Council authorized a temporary license agreement with TCC to use the park, and in return the company will repair potholes in the entrance drive, re-grade an eroded area under the bridge, and make improvements to Annsville trails. 

The city rejected a bid for the work at Fleischmann’s Pier because the bidder noticed unintentional clerical errors and omissions of a substantial quantity of work, labor, materials and services in their bid submission; and it was noted that the only other bid submitted exceeded the current proposed budget for the project. The Council authorized the Planning Department to reopen the bid process. 

The city is opening the bid process again to restore this pier.  (Photo by Regina Clarkin)

April 11 was set as the date for a public hearing at 7:30 pm on a special permit for an 85-spot child daycare in the One Park Place with 30 teachers. The special permit will allow a childcare facility on the first floor in new commercial space. The property is located in the C-3 (General Commercial) Zoning District. 

When Fire Chief Jim Seymour took office in January one of the first things on his list of ‘to do’s’ was to take inventory of the fire equipment the city had in its possession. He discovered a 40-foot container at the former Centennial Hose Fire Company building on Washington Street that is under consideration for an incubator kitchen. 

He discovered 80 firefighting garments, helmets, boots and other gear that wouldn’t meet current National Fire Protection Association regulations, but that are in working condition. He learned there was a large Ukrainian population in Clifton, NJ and the fire department there was collecting equipment to send to Ukraine. At Monday’s meeting, the Council authorized Semyour to donate the equipment to the Ukrainian Fire Relief effort. Members of the Clifton NJ Fire Department will come to Peekskill to pick up the items to be shipped to the Ukraine.