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Peekskill Selects Contractor for ‘Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing,’ Multi-Million Dollar Waterfront Revitalization to Begin Early Fall

An artist's rendering of Peekskill Landing.

An artist’s rendering of Peekskill Landing.

Mary F. Foster, Mayor, City of Peekskill announced today that City Manager Anthony Ruggiero will recommend Eastern Excavation, Inc. of Elmsford, New York to the Common Council Monday night, as general contractor for Phase One of the city’s major waterfront redevelopment project Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing. The project, which includes an elevated walkway, pedestrian bridge, and multi-use trailways will bring new uses and connectivity to Peekskill’s waterfront. In total, six contractors placed bids ranging from $4.3 million on the high end to Eastern’s low bid $2.55 million.

“This is great news for Peekskill,” says Mayor Foster. “The City’s riverfront always had a great deal of potential. Now our residents, businesses, and visitors will be able to enjoy it even more. Redevelopment efforts have been a longtime in coming,” she adds.

Since 1998, city officials have had to navigate a complex web of state and federal regulations—and a series of difficult funding gaps—to get the waterfront redevelopment project off the ground. But now, approvals are in place and recent support from the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council helped get the ball rolling with funding from Empire State Development.

“We expect to see groundbreaking in early fall,” notes City Manager Ruggiero who first worked on the Peekskill Landing project in the early 2000s as an assistant city planner.

Ruggiero adds that Peekskill Landing construction will take approximately a year. The Common Council will vote to move forward with Eastern Monday night at 7:30 p.m. during their regularly-scheduled meeting at City Hall.

About the Project
The project plan for Scenic Hudson Park at Peekskill Landing calls for the construction of an elevated walkway along the City’s legendary Hudson shoreline, a pedestrian bridge, gazebo and trellis, and multi-use trailways for jogging, biking, walking, and other outdoor activities. Amenities, like the installation of utilities and lighting, signage and trash receptors, a drinking fountain, and concrete pads and landscaping, are also included in the plan.

This is the second project Eastern Excavating has landed with the City of Peekskill. In 2011, Eastern successfully completed a $1.1 million infrastructure project at River Point.


Municipal Redevelopment Experts Edward Dunphy and Brent VanZandt Join City of Peekskill Leadership Team

Former White Plains Corporation Counsel and 22-Year New York State Department of Transportation Civil Engineering Expert to Apply Proven Insights and Experience, as Peekskill Works to Accelerate Its Renaissance.

Ed Dunphy

Ed Dunphy

Mary F. Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill, announced today the appointment of Edward P. Dunphy as Corporation Counsel, and Brent W. VanZandt, P.E., as City Engineer/Director of Public Works. Dunphy most recently served as Acting Corporation Counsel for the City of Yonkers, and VanZandt was previously a 22-year civil engineering veteran with New York State’s Department of Transportation.

“The City is thrilled to have two highly qualified and highly motivated professionals join our already solid leadership team,” says Mayor Foster. “We look forward to leveraging both Ed’s and Brent’s proven insights and strong relationships as Peekskill works to transform its Waterfront and Downtown Historic Districts, and raises the bar on the level of services provided in the City.”

Dunphy began his legal career as Law Secretary to an Associate Judge with the State of New York Supreme Court Appellate Division. He then spent the next 15 years in private practice before joining the City of White Plains as Corporation Counsel (1998-2010) at a time the city underwent a transformation. Prior to joining the City of Peekskill leadership team, Dunphy worked as Acting Corporation Counsel for the City of Yonkers, researching and drafting legislation for the City on a range of municipal matters.

“We’re seeing significant interest and activity in Peekskill that, based on my tenure with Yonkers and White Plains, marks the beginnings of a city’s true economic growth and redevelopment,” explained Dunphy.

Brent VanZandt

Brent VanZandt

Similarly, Peekskill’s new Director of Public Works has a body of experience that spans more than twenty years in the Empire State. VanZandt also has strong ties to the City he will now serve.

“As a NYSDOT engineer responsible for managing the Route 9 reconstruction project from 2008 through 2010, I gained important familiarity with the inner-workings of the City of Peekskill,” VanZandt said. “I look forward to working more closely with the City and with all those who provide the broad range of services so vital to Peekskill residents.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honored VanZandt for the Route 9 reconstruction project in Peekskill, which addressed structural and safety concerns in the City, improved traffic flow and made it possible for goods to move efficiently in and out of Peekskill. He also coordinated work with the cities of Fishkill, Beacon and Peekskill to construct new water and sewer mains and drainage infrastructure, and was instrumental in the redesign of the cobblestone retaining wall that now runs along Peekskill’s Hudson Avenue.

Fifty miles north of Manhattan, The City of Peekskill is among the historic Hudson River towns in Westchester. Formerly one of New York’s manufacturing bases, Peekskill today is home to many small businesses and medical facilities, as well as a thriving downtown hub that has attracted galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and artists’ studios. Visit for more information.

City of Peekskill Passes New Fund Balance Policy Aimed at Accelerating Economic Development

Mayor Foster and Common Council to Make “Big Three” Credit Rating Agencies Aware of the City’s New, More Fiscally Prudent, Fund Balance Policy.

Peekskill Bay: A rendering of the City's redeveloped Waterfront District

Peekskill Bay: A rendering of the City’s redeveloped Waterfront District

The City of Peekskill announced that it has approved a modification to its Fund Balance Policy that requires maintaining a Fund balance of between 15 to 25 percent of operating expenses. The policy, which will ensure that Peekskill maintains a solid, positive credit rating, took

effect on January 2, 2013.

“This is a great day for economic development in Peekskill,” says Mary F. Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill. “By maintaining our credit worthiness, we open the door wide to economic development, more jobs and new revenue sources. A solid Fund balance also shows that Peekskill is taking proactive steps to be fiscally responsible.”

The Mayor explained that a prudent Fund balance is viewed favorably by credit agencies reduces the cost of borrowing. “This can help save Peekskill taxpayers millions of dollars.”

Peekskill officials passed the resolution to modify the City’s Fund Balance Policy during the December 27 Special Common Council meeting. During the meeting, Mayor Foster indicated that she and the Peekskill Common Council would immediately contact the world’s “Big Three” credit rating agencies — Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Group – to make them aware of the policy change.

Once it takes effect, the new Fund Balance Policy will bring Peekskill’s Fund balance in line with other, similar municipalities in the area and reflect best practice guidelines from the New York State Comptroller and Government Finance Officers Association.

Fifty miles north of Manhattan, The City of Peekskill is among the historic Hudson River towns in Westchester. Formerly one of New York’s manufacturing bases, Peekskill underwent economic revitalization in the 1990s. It is home today to many small businesses and medical facilities, as well as a thriving downtown hub that has attracted galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and artists’ studios. The Paramount Theater is an important component of that hub. Visit for more information.

Mayor Foster, Officials Urge City Residents to Heed Caution as Powerful Winter Storm Arrives



(Peekskill, New York)……………..As a powerful winter storm takes aim at the Northeast, The City of Peekskill urges residents to heed caution and make necessary preparations. The strong Nor’easter that hit the city late this afternoon, will bring high winds and a few slippery inches of snow and ice before changing to all rain overnight.  Crews are out clearing roads and sidewalks and additional public safety personnel are on standby.

“In addition to creating hazardous travel conditions, this storm is expected to bring heavy winds to Peekskill that could down tree limbs and cause widespread power outages in the region,” says Mary F. Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill.  “We’re urging residents to secure trash cans, holiday decorations, and other outdoor items to prevent damage and injury,” she notes.

At 1:00 p.m. today, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory lasting through 6:00 a.m. Thursday for Northern Westchester County calling for snow and ice this evening through late tonight with snow accumulating to 2 to 4 inches and about a tenth of an inch of ice.  Sustained winds are projected to be between 20 and 30 M.P.H. with strong gusts up to 50 M.P.H.  The advisory also warns that snow and ice accumulations will make for dangerous travel into Thursday morning and that strong winds could down ice-covered tree limbs, power lines, and holiday decorations and cause minor damage and power outages.

“We urge motorists to limit travel and for residents to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly as overnight temperatures will be near freezing.  In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1,” says Mayor Foster.

For updates from the city throughout the storm, please tune in to local media or follow the City’s Twitter feed at (@CityOfPeekskill).

Response From the City of Peekskill to the E-Mail Broadcast by The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce

Bob Knight, spokesman for The City of Peekskill, responded today to a widely-circulated e-mail written by the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce to its membership, expressing disappointment that The Chamber was not named to the City’s Review Committee to examine applicants responding to Peekskill’s Request for Proposal to operate and lease the Paramount Theater:

“The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce is an important voice for area business and we deeply respect and appreciate the work it does.  In this particular instance, Mayor Foster and Common Council Members felt the Chamber’s close ties to the Paramount’s former operator might compromise their ability to bring a fresh approach to the project. Once the new operator is named, the City looks forward to collaborating with the Chamber and other groups to further Peekskill’s economic growth.

“The City received proposals from three parties interested in the Paramount Theater and will begin the review process shortly,” added Knight who notes the deadline to submit proposals was at 11:00 a.m. yesterday.

City of Peekskill Awarded $425,000 in Regional Economic Development Grants

State Funding for Three Projects Will Help Renovate Buildings in the Downtown Historic District; Design the Southernmost Portion of the City’s Riverwalk and Update the Waterfront Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan 


Riverfront, water, people nightThe City of Peekskill announced today that it has been awarded $425,000 by New York State’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) for three projects aimed at enhancing the City’s Downtown Historic District and waterfront. The funding was secured through a successful partnership between the City of Peekskill, New York State Senator Greg Ball (Patterson-R, C), Governor Cuomo, the REDC and its local partners.

“This is another positive step for economic development in Peekskill,” says Mary F. Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill. “The City lobbied virtually every resource for the funds necessary to restart our successful Main Street Grants Project. We look forward to once again working with our downtown property owners to create a more vibrant business and arts district.

“And, we thank the Governor, Senator Ball and the REDC for demonstrating their support of our vision for the waterfront through this funding. Our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program promises to create opportunities for Peekskill that extend beyond the City’s shoreline.”

Peekskill’s Downtown and Waterfront projects were among seven key projects throughout the Mid-Hudson Region advocated by Senator Ball, who noted: “We didn’t get every penny we fought for, but we got a good share and we will continue to lobby for an even greater share as the process moves forward.”

REDC funding for projects in Peekskill was allocated as follows:

1) $250,000: Peekskill Downtown Project — Funds will be used to assist property owners in Downtown Peekskill on Bank Street and South Street from South Division to Nelson/Union Ave, and Main Street for building renovations. Funds will also be used for streetscape improvements on South Street from South Division to Nelson/Union Ave, as part of a comprehensive sidewalk, lighting, and infrastructure improvements project to be undertaken by the City of Peekskill. The project anticipates participation by six or more property owners in the area with approximately four residential units and six commercial units to be assisted. All buildings being proposed for assistance are contributing buildings to the Downtown Historic District. Funding will be administered by the Peekskill Facilities Development Corp.

2) $125,000: Peekskill Multi-Use Waterfront Trail — Funds will be used by the City of Peekskill to design a multi-use waterfront trail and related amenities along its Hudson River shoreline from Charles Point Pier Park to the Charles Point Marina and parking lot. This trail segment will advance the Westchester County’s planned Riverwalk with the City.

3) $50,000: Peekskill Waterfront Revitalization — Funds will be used by the City of Peekskill to update its Local Waterfront Revitalization Program adopted in 2004 to refine its vision for its waterfront area and adjacent downtown.  Since the completion of the LWRP, the City has successfully implemented many of the projects and initiatives it set out to advance.  In addition, this update will incorporate a waterfront “Blue Plan,” which will focus on issues and opportunities extending beyond the City’s shoreline and into the Hudson River.

“With its diverse community assets and key cultural attractions, the City of Peekskill is already attracting new businesses and interested developers,” Mayor Foster explained. “We view these grants as a wonderful opportunity to accelerate our efforts to bring new investment and more job opportunities to Peekskill.”

Howard Goodman Photo



Meanwhile, Notices Issued for the Formal Dissolution of the Paramount Theater’s Former Operating Entity


The City of Peekskill announced that it is moving forward as planned in the RFP process to identify a new entity to assume leadership of the Paramount Theater, one of the city’s key cultural attractions and community assets. The 1025-seat theater, which is owned by the City of Peekskill, was closed temporarily in October when its management was unable to meet expenses.

According to Mary F. Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill: “There has been significant interest from both for-profit and not-for-profit entities as the City works to identify the right operator for the Paramount Theater in 2013 and beyond.”

Separately, a legal process to formally dissolve the theater’s former operator – a nonprofit corporation known as the Paramount Center for the Arts – was initiated by the State of New York Supreme Court.

“Notices surrounding the theater’s former operator will continue to be published in the press until that entity is legally dissolved,” Mayor Foster advised. “Rest assured, that is a wholly unrelated process that has zero impact on our search. The City of Peekskill is deeply committed to the successful renewal of the Paramount Theater and is on track to deliver a qualified and experienced theater operator-manager candidate in mid-January.”

Last month, the City of Peekskill issued an RFP for the lease, management, and operation of the Paramount Theater. As outlined in the RFP, the City has fielded questions from interested parties with experience in “theatrical management involving live performance, music, and conference activities” since a guided facility tour on November 29.

The following schedule for proposers remains in effect:

  • Proposal Submission Deadline — December 19, 2012 at 11am
  • Presentations/Interviews — January 7, 2013
  • Selection — January 14, 2013

“Transitions provide new opportunities and the Paramount is no exception,” Mayor Foster continued. “We look forward to partnering with the theater’s new leadership team in order to create a thriving downtown and a prosperous Peekskill.”