"Hello, this is an important message from the Town of Mamaroneck" is a phrase many town residents are familiar with, or at least they should be.
Over the past three years, officials have activated its emergency notification system just 18 times to alert all residents of the unincorporated town about storms or other emergencies, a judicious use of the system that Town Administrator Steve Altieri says has resulted in very favorable reviews.
But roughly one-third of the residents and businesses in the unincorporated areas never receive these alerts, and the town is encouraging them to sign up by providing cell phone numbers or e-mail addresses.
The statistics on the system were discussed Wednesday at the Town of Mamaroneck Board meeting, when the $18,000 a year contract with Blackboard Connect came up for review.
As Altieri was quick to point out, the system has been used for many more functions than these 18 general alerts, as it has the capacity to set up contact groups for various needs, such as paramedics, fire fighters and department heads. The system can also send notices to specific areas of town, as was the case in March when Weaver Street area residents received storm alerts.
The three-year renewal was approved unanimously at the meeting.
In other actions, the board:
- Adjourned until its October 6 meeting a public hearing on proposed changes to the off-street parking law in order to receive suggestions from the Planning Board. The current regulations are anachronistic, Town Attorney William Maker Jr. said, as they were enacted when few houses had more than one automobile.
- Set two public hearings: September 15 on a proposal to require that bonds be posted to cover the cost of damage when a gas or oil tank is removed, and October 6 on the Section 8 Housing administrative plan, which is available for review at the town offices.
- Granted a tax exemption to the Village of Larchmont for property the village owns on Byron Place and uses to store water storage tanks and pumping equipment. The exemption, which will save the village $4,000 a year, is not retroactive and will remain in place only if the use of the property does not change.
- Approved $8,821 in expenses for the fire department, including $1,142 for dress uniforms and $282 for one month of cell phone service.
- Approved the appointment of a temporary laborer for the Highway Department and an intern to update the town's Carbon Footprint Project data, both at a rate of $12 an hour.
- Authorized hourly salary increases, retroactive to Jan. 1, for the paramedics (from $27.50 to $28.50) and the EMTs (from $15.50 to $16.50).
- Heard that the Duck Pond project is continuing on schedule and will be completed at the end of October, and that the Planning Board is reviewing the plans for Petco to occupy the building on Boston Post Road that was previously occupied by Duane Reade.