Updated Message from Village Manager Christopher D Steers
Dear Village Residents:
As the National, State, County, Town, and local state of emergency evolves we want you all to know that we are here working for you. The Village continues to work with its staff determining how we can best institute practices to proactively limit the spread of this virus into our community. We continue to remain in close communication with the Westchester County Health Department, the State of New York, local elected officials, and are actively reviewing information disseminated from the CDC. Thus far, The Village of Port Chester has been able to maintain normal levels of service to the community under the executive orders from the County and State, however, that will likely change as the situation progresses.
As you may imagine, all of our staff is in a heightened state of awareness as they continue to provide services at the levels we can, while making sure that their families are safe as well. Our first responders are following all recommended protocols, as are our other essential personnel. Our DPW workers are still out there doing their jobs in the midst of the crisis and any assistance you can give them would be greatly appreciated (bringing your garbage to the curb if you can, etc.). Please note further, that I have also instructed my DPW staff that street sweeping will now occur every other week moving forward, and until such time that I deem so necessary, alternate side of the street parking is suspended. Village street sweepers will navigate around parked vehicles.
As of this afternoon, we currently have 45 positive cases reported to be within the Village of Port Chester (this number has grown from just 2 cases last week to the current number). As the virus is expected to spread, public awareness is important and breakdowns provided by County can be found at the following link.
We share all of the concerns we that have been hearing, and as this public health emergency begins to hit home, we believe it to be paramount that we remain aware and be as proactive as we can in implementing any initiatives in accordance with the Governor’s directives. We have limited several services and updates to same can be found in detail on the front page of our website. Generally, Village Hall and its services are closed to the public with some exceptions available by appointments only.
We have also heard concerns about residential parking as the Governor has ordered 100% of all non-essential employees to stay home. Recognizing this I have directed that parking enforcement be relaxed in these areas with instructions only cite egregious violations, only (blocking driveways, fire lanes, handicap parking, obstructing traffic, and the like). I ask you to work together in your neighborhoods and to keep the peace by being good neighbors during this crisis.
On Sunday morning, I drove around the Village checking the parks and speaking to a few business owners. After sending our police department out on Saturday afternoon to disperse gatherings in the park that contravened social distancing protocols, I was happy to see that the parks were either relatively empty or being utilized by individuals, enjoying a walk or other outdoor activities, and while practicing the CDC’s recommended social distancing. Even though we always enjoy seeing our residents take advantage of our green spaces, I have had to instruct our DPW department to place caution tape around our playgrounds in the interest of the public’s safety. I believe that we must remain mindful that an effort to sanitize this type of equipment regularly after the public’s use, each day, is just not a service that we can provide to the degree necessary to combat the spread of this virus; sometimes we need to make tough decisions in the interest of the public’s health and safety, especially during times of uncertainty. Local restaurateurs whom were open were providing their takeout and delivery services, only; La Marketa had an attendant working with customers maintaining the six-foot distancing and were limiting the number patrons permitted to enter their store at any one time, as were other grocery stores. These practices were a tremendous improvement in comparison to days prior and I want to thank the Port Chester Police Department for doing such an excellent job in getting the word out to our local businesses about these issues while simultaneously maintaining the order in our village as needed.
Additionally, the Village has received considerable guidance from various County, State, and Federal agencies of how to contain the spread of COVID-19, which is shared on the Village’s website and the links below:
As the Village continues to work to ensure the safety of residents, we need your help especially in avoiding public gatherings and maintaining social distancing protocols. As a precaution, I will continue to have the police department patrol our parks to disperse any crowds in accordance with the Governor’s orders. Also, I cannot fully express just how extremely important it is that our families with young children need to understand that it is best for them to stay home to avoid exposure to the virus instead of taking a chance outdoors and risking the chance that they could bring this virus home to their family.