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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.

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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.

Peekskill City Budget for 2013 Approved Unanimously by Common Council

City Cuts Spending by 2%, Minimizes Tax Increase and Job Reductions

City Meets Three Important Goals: Saving Public Safety Positions, Retaining Staff at Kiley Center; and Protecting taxpayers by staying within the tax cap

Peekskill Logo(Peekskill, NY.)………At a Special Meeting held Thursday, Peekskill’s Common Council unanimously passed the city’s 2013 Budget by a vote of 7-0. The $51.3 million budget cuts spending by 2% and protects Peekskill’s high municipal credit rating. In addition, the budget reduces an earlier proposed tax levy increase from 6% to 3.8%, keeping Peekskill’s plan within the State of New York’s Tax Cap. City leaders worked diligently this year to cover a whopping 21.5% increase in its employee pension bill, as mandated by New York State, and an additional 12% increase in health insurance premiums.

“We’ve approved a responsible budget that streamlines city services and saves public safety positions,” said Mary Foster, mayor, the City of Peekskill. She also notes that Council members responded to the concerns of the public and were able to retain staff at the Kiley Youth Center and spare city pre-school and recreation programs from elimination.

The city was able to significantly minimize layoffs overall by offering early retirement packages to some employees, Mayor Foster said. The 18 city positions that were eliminated were primarily white collar and managerial staff within City Hall. “The Council will work diligently to restore those positions in 2014 and in the future,” Mayor Foster added.

The city’s future lies in further economic development, Mayor Foster noted. “Our goal is to facilitate the creation of several thriving sectors throughout the city.” The Council intends to invest in public safety and economic development in 2013, which will ultimately generate new business revenues to the city. “Additionally, the city has issued an RFP for the lease and operation of the Paramount Theater, the crown jewel of Downtown Peekskill,” Foster noted.

Highlights of the 2013 City of Peekskill Budget include:

• The tax levy increase was reduced to 3.82% from 6% and remained within the State of New York’s Tax Cap. This will amount to a tax increase of $73 per year for the average homeowner, or approximately $6 per month;

• Spending has been cut by 2% and the budget has been balanced without dipping into the city’s fund balance;

• Police and fire positions have been saved;

• Total number of layoffs were reduced from 24 to 18 and are primarily managerial and white collar positions at City Hall;

• Full-time staff at the Kiley Youth Center have been retained, and the city’s pre-school and recreation programs have been restored.

The Council worked hard this year to cover a sharp 21.5% increase in the retirement bill, as mandated by New York State, and an additional 12% increase in health insurance premiums.

Mayor Foster also pointed out that to achieve savings, the city merged payroll, personnel, finance and cash collection functions. “This budget is based on the efforts of everyone in this city, from the input we received from the public on priorities, to the generosity of the employees who opted for early retirement. I am confident that we can continue to work together to create a vital, thriving Peekskill.”