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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.

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 

MAYOR FOSTER: ‘ANOTHER POSITIVE STEP FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN PEEKSKILL’

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

REBIRTH OF THE PARAMOUNT THEATER MOVES FORWARD

CITY OF PEEKSKILL ACCEPTING PROPOSALS FOR THE LEASE, MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF REVERED CULTURAL LANDMARK THROUGH DECEMBER 19 AT 11AM

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

12/19/12 at 3:00 p.m. UPDATE:  THE CITY OF PEEKSKILL RECEIVED PROPOSALS FROM THREE INTERESTED PARTIES AND WILL BEGIN THE REVIEW PROCESS SHORTLY.

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.”

City Issues RFP for the Lease, Operation, and Management of the Paramount Theater

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Hope Springs Anew in Peekskill as City Issues RFP for the Lease, Operation, and Management of the Revered Paramount Theater

(Peekskill, New York)…. The City of Peekskill announced it has issued an RFP for the lease, management, and operation of the Paramount Theater, one of the city’s key cultural attractions and community assets. The Paramount closed in October when management was unable to meet expenses. The 1025-seat theater, originally constructed by a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures, is owned by the City of Peekskill and is located in the Peekskill Downtown Historic District. Over the years, the Paramount has attracted thousands of patrons from Westchester and surrounding counties, and has been an economic generator, stimulating investment and development throughout the city.

According to the RFP, the City of Peekskill will entertain proposals from for-profit as well as not-for-profit entities that have experience in “theatrical management involving live performance, music, and conference activities.” According to Mary Foster, Mayor of the City of Peekskill: “The Paramount Theater is an essential member of the downtown Peekskill business community. We are committed to selecting the right operator and management which will lead to a successful renewal of this theater.”

The Paramount Theater has long been a true jewel in the city’s crown and will be again, according to James Slaughter, Director of Economic Development, City of Peekskill.  “This is a wonderful opportunity to assume responsibility for an attractive, fully-renovated facility,” he said. “We firmly believe that if properly managed and operated, the Paramount Theater can prosper and be profitable.”

The RFP announced the following schedule for proposers:

Pre-submittal Meeting and Guided Facility Tour: November 29, 2012
Questions received by City Contact: December 4, 2012
Responses e-mailed to appilcants: December 4, 2012
Proposal Submission: December 19, 2012 at 11 am
Presentations/Interviews: January 7, 2013
Selection: January 14, 2013

Pre-submission questions and inquiries regarding any aspect of this Request for Proposal or any other matters related to this RFP may be directed in writing to the City by December 4, 2012. Contact:

Mr. James Slaughter
Director of Economic Development
City of Peekskill
840 Main Street
Peekskill, New York 10566
jslaughter@cityofpeekskill.com

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 artist’ studios. The Paramount Center for the Performing Arts is an important component of that hum. Visit www.cityofpeekskill.com for more information.

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.”