Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

New city website features ‘report a concern’

Public hearing on smoke shop law scheduled
Jim Striebich

At their Tuesday meeting, Peekskill’s Common Council passed 17 resolutions, with the highlight setting a public hearing for October 23 at 7:30 p.m. on the newly proposed smoke shop legislation. Because of Monday’s Columbus Day holiday, the Common Council met on Tuesday, October 10. Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer was not present for the meeting. 

Before the start of the meeting, the council was presented with budget presentations from the water & sewer department, human resource department and the nutrition/seniors department. To watch these presentations, click here.

A screen shot of what the form looks like on the website.

City Manager Report 

During the City Manager Report, Matt Alexander informed council members that the city recently launched a new updated city website. Alexander also reported on the new features of the website.

“There’s a place called “Report A Concern” on the website and that’s where you [residents] can communicate concerns with city staff immediately and we can look to take care of things like potholes or anything else that is needed,” said Alexander. To report a concern, click here. 

Following this, Alexander reported that the Quality of Life committee is currently working with the building department and legal department, which includes Assistant Corporation Counsel Michael Hartman looking at the city’s public nuisance law and taking action against frequent offenders.

SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant 

The council moved to accept a resolution that authorizes the city manager to enter into an agreement to accept a SAFER grant from FEMA, for the amount of $1.6 million. This money would fully-fund six new firefighter/EMT positions for the next three years.  

Earlier in the Committee of the Whole meeting, Fire Chief James Seymour and Alexander provided the council with an analysis of the grant, referencing the benefits this grant would bring with it. Alexander also disclosed many details such as the amount the department and city would have to pay the six firefighters after the first three years when the funding from FEMA is no longer available. They are as follows: $873,000 (after March 2027), $1.2 million (2028), $1.3 million (2029), $1.36 million (2030) and $1.47 million (2031). 

Members of the fire department and volunteer corps were in attendance and applauded the council after passing the resolution. Read more about the SAFER grant here. 

Police Traffic Services Program and Child Safety Passenger Program 

Council members passed a resolution accepting a $14,402.00 grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in order to participate in a statewide “Police Traffic Services Program.”

The purpose of the “Police Traffic Services Program” is to reimburse the city for overtime expenditures dedicated in furtherance of reducing motor vehicle crashes, fatalities, and injuries by heightened enforcement of seat belt usage, distracted driver, speeding, aggressive driving and other New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law violations. This program is in effect for the period of October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024.

This is an interactive map that graphic designer Lise Prown created last December showing the number of pedestrian and car crashes for the year.

In addition, the council also passed a resolution accepting a $1,000 grant from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in order to continue participating in a statewide “Child Passenger Safety Program”. This program is in effect for the period of October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024.

Smoke Shop Legislation: Set Public Hearing 

For their last action of the evening, the council passed a resolution scheduling a public hearing on a proposed local law establishing a temporary moratorium on the issuance of permits and certificates of occupancy for businesses selling tobacco and related products through February 1, 2024. This resolution also refers the local law to the Planning Commission for a review and report prior to the scheduled public hearing. A moratorium is a temporary prohibition of an activity. 

The public hearing is scheduled for Monday October 23 at 7:30 p.m. To get more in depth description of the new legislation being proposed, click here for last week’s coverage. 


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.