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HomeMy WebLinkAboutTown of Ithaca February NewsletterTown of Ithaca Newsletter February 2023 Town Supervisor’s 2023 State of the Town The Town of Ithaca is doing well on all fronts. Perhaps one way of determining our efficacy is to assess if we are living up to our mission and vision statements which were adopted by the Town Board in 2022 (see below). I believe that we are. The Town of Ithaca is a unique municipality and recognizes and embraces that (some refer to us as a “croissant” around the City of Ithaca). We honor our history and seek out ways to highlight the land’s Indigenous past and present. We seek innovative ways to engage with our constituents and are pleased to report that our monthly newsletter is well received. Our new website is much easier to navigate than the previous site and is visually more pleasing. We hope that Open Gov will continue to be embraced as a tool by residents (as we continue to work on a few lingering issues). We are bemused by the attention that the tree in our historic lobby received in 2022 so be sure to come in and see the Valentine’s Day decorations. While you are in the lobby, look at the display cases as we regularly post new material. We have: • An engaged Town Board • Excellent department heads and committed staff • Collaborative relationship with sister municipalities We are: • Financially sound and prudent • Excited about South Hill’s Traditional Neighborhood Development plan • Motivated by our new Inlet Valley Overlay Zone opportunities • Nimble for when unexpected issues arise • Committed to making our facilities more energy efficient • Implementing and exploring additional initiatives from a sustainability perspective • Jazzed about our parks, trails and preserves as we continue to seek ways to improve them • Setting the stage to be more proactive in fostering economic development • Known for being a good employer • Innovative The list of 2022 work and initiatives is voluminous. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Rod Howe, Town Supervisor Vision The Town of Ithaca will be a desirable place where any person can live, work, learn, and play, offering a vibrant mix of rural, suburban, and urban features, including treasured natural resources. Mission We promote quality of life, equity, and safety of all Town of Ithaca residents through planning, innovation, and continual adaptation to change. The Town strives to: • provide responsive services • be fiscally responsible • protect and preserve its open spaces and water resources • implement sustainable initiatives • pursue beneficial intermunicipal collaborations. New Real Property Tax Exemptions Adopted (Briefly described below – qualifications and/or other requirements apply) The Town Board adopted the following exemptions from certain real property taxes: “Infrastructure Exemption” – Applies to certain new subdivision projects where residential single- or two-family residences are being built and which includes infrastructure intended to be dedicated to the Town, for up to 3-years or when a certificate of occupancy is issued, whichever is less. “Capital Improvement Exemption” – Applies to certain capital improvements to residential buildings. “Members of Volunteer Fire Companies and Ambulance Services Exemption” – Applies to the primary residence of a volunteer (2-year minimum or lifetime member) in the Town’s volunteer Services for up to 10% of assessed value, exclusive of special assessments. Did you know there are other exemptions already in effect – Alternative veterans exemption – Disability - Improvements for disabled – Senior Housing Trust – Agland for special Levies Contact Tompkins County Assessment, or go to NYS Tax Property Owners Welcome Justice Bergin The Honorable Justice Kathleen Bergin being sworn in by the Hon. Seth Peacock, City Court Judge Kathleen Bergin joined the Town of Ithaca Court on February 1st, filling the remaining term of Retired Justice Klein through December 31st with the intention of running for office in the November Election. Join the Sustainability and Climate Justice Commission Applications Due Friday! The City of Ithaca is seeking individuals to help shape and implement its ambitious climate and social justice goals by serving on a Sustainability and Climate Justice Advisory Commission. Positions are available for non-City-residents, and we encourage Town of Ithaca residents to participate. The commission will play a key role in supporting and advancing sustainability initiatives related to the City’s Green New Deal. Interested? Complete the application for membership by Friday, February 17. For additional information, visit https://www.cityofithaca.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=907. “How Deer Shape Forest Ecosystems and Current Management Options” The Finger Lakes Land Trust sponsored a Zoom event featuring “How Deer Shape our Ecosystems and Current Management Options” by NYSDEC Biologist, Brendan Quirion. To learn more and/or see more events: https://www.fllt.org/events/ecology-series-how-deer-shape-forest-ecosystems-and-current- management-options/ Susan Ritter Retirement Party Town Supervisor Rod Howe presented Susan Ritter with the Board’s Resolution of Appreciation ….our in-house musician composed a song just for her …. And Staff had our own Resolution containing our best anecdotes of 20+ years working with Susan Greetings from the Planning Department! The Inlet Valley Overlay District zoning was approved by the Town Board on February 13th after many years of dedicated research and analysis by Town staff and consultants. The Inlet Valley Overlay District applies special land use and design standards to the lands along Elmira Road (NY 13) between Robert Treman State Park and Five Mile Drive to help shape the corridor's development future. (maps and zoning details are available at Inlet Valley Overlay District) A special thanks to former Director of Planning Sue Ritter for her contributions to this work; congratulations on her retirement! The Planning Department provides professional planning and technical services regarding the Town’s land use, infrastructure, and cultural and natural resources to appointed and elected officials as well as the Town residents and the general public. We invite you to email us at planning@town.ithaca.ny.us, call us at 607-273-1747, or stop by Town Hall with questions or concerns about maps, housing, land development, transportation, conservation and natural resources, agriculture, economic development, energy and utilities, and parks and recreation. We reaffirm our commitment to the Town's Comprehensive Plan and its vision for connectivity, sustainability, and focused, coordinated growth, and to advance the community's vision of a high quality of life for all. C.J. Randall, Director of Planning Joe Talbut, Parks Manager works with Cornell Landscape Architecture Students beginning a “site analysis and concept design” for our Saponi Meadows and West Hill properties. Tompkins County Youth Advisory Board Is looking for a representative from the Town of Ithaca. The Advisory Board meets virtually the last Monday of each month at 5pm, to discuss the needs of the youth and families in Tompkins County. It is vital to have representatives from all areas of the county to ensure all youth and their needs are adequately represented. Town of Ithaca residents interested should contact Kate Shanks-Booth, Director of Youth Services, Tompkins County at (607) 274-5310 Spring Break Activities The Learning Web will be hosting activities for youth ages 11-18 next week, Tuesday the 21st through Friday the 24th! If you would like to sign your young person up for any of the activities below but they are not already a Learning Web participant, please contact us for enrollment forms by this Thursday the 16th. All sign-ups must be complete by this Friday the 17th, as there are only 10 spots available for each day. Themes are: Tuesday- “Fun with Finances”- Come play games, win prizes, and receive a swag bag, all while learning important money management life skills with Visions Federal Credit Union. Pizza for lunch, 9-12 at the Learning Web offices Wednesday- Tour of Trumansburg Fire and Ambulance- Learn about first responder careers and get hands on experience using EMT and Firefighting equipment. Subs for lunch, 9-12 at Trumansburg Fire and Ambulance Thursday- Volunteer Day- Give back to your community by helping out the Family Reading Partnership, learn about the importance of community service. Cider and donuts for a snack, 9-12 at the FRP location in the Shops at Ithaca Mall Friday- Cooking Class - Come learn how to make spaghetti, meatballs, pasta sauce, salad and brownies with a group of your peers. 9-12 at the TCA Amici House kitchen Email David at david@learning-web.org or Rebekah at rebekah@learning-web.org for more information Tompkins County Library “Meet the Sewing Machine: An Introduction” on Thursday, March 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm Teens and adults ages 16 and up are invited to an introductory class about sewing machines led by Makerspace Librarian Cady! Cady will talk about the parts and functions of a modern sewing machine and demonstrate the basics of machine sewing. Attendees are invited to stay for Makerspace open hours from 5:30 to 7:30 pm or return to sew on another day. The Library has many activities for everyone – check it out! Calendar of Events The “infamous” Lobby Tree There’s still time to snap a picture with your own Valentine…..