Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Council honors three Hispanic residents

Part of Hispanic Heritage Month
Mayor Vivian McKenzie reading from a proclamation. Holding certificate is Luis Segarra and Roy Escobar behind him.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, three residents were acknowledged at Monday’s Common Council meeting for their contributions to Peekskill.  Luis Segarra and Roy Escobar received certificates from Mayor Vivian McKenzie as well as a standing ovation from the audience in attendance. Marisol Jimenez was also honored but was not in attendance.

Luis Segarra is a former President of the Peekskill Rotary Club, a chairperson of the Peekskill Housing Authority, and a member of the National Hispanic Group. Roy Escobar, also known as DJ Esco, is a popular disc jockey in the city of Peekskill – mixing up tunes for a variety of different events such as Cinco de Mayo, Hispanic Heritage Festival, National Night Out, and PHS varsity games. 

Absent from this week’s council meeting were Councilman Dwight Douglas, Councilman Rob Scott, and City Manager Matthew Alexander. Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer took over as acting City Manager in Alexander’s absence. 

Last week Kramer told council members that a draft local law regarding smoke shops in Peekskill would be presented at this week’s meeting. That was not the case but Kramer did state that the draft local law would be presented at the next week’s Committee of the Whole meeting on October 2nd. According to Kramer, along with draft legislation being presented, a potential moratorium for incoming smoke shops while the draft local law is being worked on will also be discussed.

Following the adjournment of the Committee of the Whole meeting, the Council went into the first of two executive sessions of the night. They returned for the Common Council meeting about a half an hour later.

Barton & Loguidice Water & Sewer Resolutions

At their meeting, the council passed two resolutions involving Barton & Loguidice Engineering, of Liverpool, NY. The first resolution allows the city manager to enter into an agreement with Barton & Loguidice to provide professional engineering services for the city’s water system improvement project at a cost of $621,000. Funds made available from the Water Infrastructure Act will pay for this.  

In May of 2022 the City was awarded a $3 million WIIA (Water Infrastructure Improvement Act) grant with a $2 million City match to replace: a 1922 drinking water storage tank, 4” water mains along with hydrants and valves, and two gate valves at the upper Wiccopee Dam. 

The second resolution passed allows the city manager to enter into an agreement with Barton & Loguidice to provide professional engineering services for the city’s sewer system improvement project at a cost of $718,000. The funds made available from the Clean Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant will pay for this. 

In 2022, the city was awarded a $1 million WIIA (Clean Water Infrastructure Improvement Grant) with a $3.2 million city match for sewer system improvements. This grant will be used to replace and rehabilitate sewer mains and manholes, along with the replacement of the Riverfront Pump Station (out of the Hudson River Flood zone).

Hollowbrook Dam Rehabilitation Project 

A resolution authorizing the water superintendent to request competitive bids for the Hollowbrook Dam Rehibilation Project was approved by council members. 

In 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the “DEC”) conducted an onsite inspection of the Hollowbrook Dam. The following year in July, the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Weston & Sampson Engineering to provide an engineering analysis of the current condition of the Hollowbrook Dam structure and prepare design and construction documents to address the deficiencies.

A screenshot from presentation Water Superintendent Dave Rambo made to Council at the September 18 meeting showing the need for repairs to the Hollowbrook Dam.

In March 2022, the estimated project total was $2.5 million. The city had been awarded $500,000 as part of a Community Development Block Grant. Westchester County indicated that it would allocate $1.1 million towards the project, and the City Council passed a resolution authorizing a contribution of $952,656 from the Water Fund for a total of $2.5 million. The estimated project total has now increased by $206,546 bringing the total Water Fund contribution to $1.1 million. The NYS DEC has issued a permit for the rehabilitation of the dam and the city is awaiting approval and permits from the Westchester County Department of Health.

Pro-Housing Community Designation

Council members moved to accept a resolution that authorized the planning department to submit an application to New York State for Pro-Housing Community Designation in order for the city to receive priority consideration for state funding programs. 

This topic was discussed with the Common Council at the September 18 meeting

NYSDOT Transportation Improvement Program Amendment 

In their final action of the evening,  the Council approved a resolution that authorizes the submission of supportive comments for adding a $3 million Bear Mountain Parkway/North Westchester County Corridor Study to the Transportation Improvement Program, (TIP) and to express the city’s intent to work with NYSDOT and the other involved municipalities to implement the planning study. 

The city of Peekskill, towns of Cortlandt and Yorktown, County DPW and NYSDOT completed a Bear Mountain Corridor Action Plan and Report, which includes an analysis of allowing large trucks on the Bear Mountain Parkway daily from 7am to 7pm to keep them off the downtown streets. 

Main Street is a major thoroughfare for large trucks. (Photo by Jim Striebich)

The city and other participating localities were notified that NYSDOT had allocated funding for a $3 million Corridor Planning Study Project and the New York Metropolitan Planning Council proposed an amendment to the TIP to include the $3 million Corridor Study and to invite public comments up until September 29, 2023.


About the Contributor
Jeffrey Merchan
Peekskill native Jeffrey Merchan is a 2022 graduate of Peekskill High School. He is the Collegiate Journalist at Peekskill Herald, funded by a grant from the DJ McManus Foundation. He is currently enrolled at Westchester Community College where he is studying journalism. As the inaugural recipient of the McManus grant, he will be covering city government, schools and feature stories with a focus on Peekskill’s growing Hispanic community.