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Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi Looks Back, Ahead

Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi gets ready to snip the ribbon during the grand opening of the town's new lacrosse field last year. She counts the field among the town's accomplishments for 2016.
Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi gets ready to snip the ribbon during the grand opening of the town's new lacrosse field last year. She counts the field among the town's accomplishments for 2016. Photo Credit: Town of Cortlandt/Facebook

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi recently took a look back at what went on in the town in 2016 and liked what she saw.

The town was able, the supervisor said, maintain its financial footing with low taxes, a “strong” fund balance and low debt.

It was also able to complete several important projects, she said.

These included a new lacrosse/ball field at Sprout Brook Park off Highland Avenue, a water-spray park at the Charles J. Cook Recreation Center on Furnace Dock Road and a new dock in Verplanck that is used by the Cortlandt Community Rowing Association.

The town also spent about $2 million on paving 8.5 miles of road, about 9 percent of the town's 70 miles of road, but didn’t have to borrow any of the money to do it, Puglisi said.

Adding new vehicles to its “fleet,” she added, cost about $1.4 million. They included: a garbage truck ($184,000), two snow plows ($80,000), three utility trucks ($120,000) and, the biggie, Puglisi said, a VacAll, leaf-vacuuming truck, which cost a whopping $428,000. Part of the VacAll's cost, $170,000, was covered by a grant, she added.

The town was very "economical" during the Recession years of 2008 and 2009, Puglisi said, and it had a lot of catching up to do relative to its vehicle fleet.

Cortlandt also received awards from the state and the county planning federations for its Master Plan and its “Sustainable Envision Master Plan.”

A master plan is a guide for growth; a sustainable plan emphasizes things such as green energy, economics as well as housing and employment opportunities.

The town’s Master Plan was put together by a committee of residents, staff members, representatives of local committees, councils and board, and consultants who were paid through a state grant.

The supervisor and town Councilman Seth Freach also served on the Master Plan committee.

Puglisi, who, at more than 25 years of service, is the town’s longest sitting chief.

The former councilwoman, on the town’s website, claims controlling taxes and costs as one of her most important achievements.

Last year, the town bought 100 acres from Consolidated Edison for $2.75 million.

Part of the reason for the purchase was to halt a project, proposed by a private company, that would have had a 50-foot-tall electric converter on the Verplanck site. Residents fought it, saying that the facility would have emitted a constant and loud buzz, affecting their quality of life.

The land is located on the banks of the Hudson near an existing ball field and beach. It also contains an old quarry.

Possible uses for the property, the town said, include: additional sports fields, a walking/jogging/biking path, a dog park, a bigger beach and the consolidating of the town’s Department of Environmental Services’ operations there.

The town now has more than 3,000 acres of land preserved for public use, Puglisi said.

These include the Steamboat Dock, Cortlandt Waterfront Park, boat docks for small watercraft, rowing dock, Veterans Memorial, the flags and historical panels at the Overlook and a nature preserve.

Puglisi plans to release a list of the town’s goals for 2017 this week.

"We still have more to do," she said Wednesday.

It will be posted on the town’s website and on its Facebook page.

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