PUTNAM POSTING: Reopen Putnam Safely Task Force Gets to Work With County, Towns, Villages, Businesses, Elected Officials

Jennifer Maher | May 2020

Jennifer Maher

On Friday, May 8th, the Putnam County Business Council launched a “Reopen Putnam County Safely” Task Force, which gathered a cohort of town, village, and business stakeholders for an initial meeting to discuss the reopening of Putnam County.

Representatives from Carmel, Southeast/Brewster, Kent, Patterson, Philipstown/Cold Spring and Putnam Valley were joined by retail and service businesses, as well as non-profits, to give input to the Reopen Putnam Safely Task Force.

In support of the county’s Small Business Advisory Committee and the latest Phase 1 Reopening Guidelines set forth by New York State, the mission of the task force in the initial reopening phase is to help businesses understand and adhere to the guidelines, access training and other support that is available to them, so the business community is in a state of compliance and readiness when Putnam is set to reopen.

There is Good News

As of this writing, the North Country will join the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley in reopening on Friday, May 15th. These regions have met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan.
Phase one includes reopening construction, manufacturing, retail for curbside and in-store pickup, agriculture, forestry, and fishing. On May 13th, Governor Cuomo released clear and specific guidelines for Phase 1 industries.

We are confident that similar guidelines are forthcoming for all industries across all reopening phases.

What You Need to do Now

Businesses, particularly those designated as a Phase 1 industry, should view the summary guidelines, affirm the Safety Plan Template, Print and Display your plan so it is visible to the public. Adopting the industry Phase 1 guidelines will work towards preparing your business NOW. To date, Putnam County has achieved five out of seven benchmarks to enter Phase 1. Other regions are beginning to open and we believe we are right behind them. If we continue to practice social distancing, wear masks and use hand sanitizer, as recommended, I think we can get to Phase 3, possibly by the end of the summer.

Access the new Reopening Phase 1 Industry Guidelines here: https://forward.ny.gov/

 

Next Steps For Task Force:

● Town & Village Supervisors/Mayors will collaborate and meet to share strategies and unite on reopening guidelines and tactics.

● Weekly calls with County Executive on Fridays with the supervisors, mayors, Board of Health, EDC, and Tourism.

● Develop a list of needs from the municipalities and businesses, including masks, gloves, shields, signs, training, technology, etc.

● Source items and create an online list of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other small business resources that are available.

● Investigate if towns and the county can purchase equipment in bulk to reduce costs.

● PCBC will provide training and education opportunities.

● The Task Force will host a Public Town Hall Forum Monday 5/18 at 9 a.m. via ZOOM to hear from as many businesses as possible on what their needs are to re-open safely. Go to Putnamcountybusinesscouncil.com to register.

TASK FORCE MEMBERS

Town and Village Representatives

Richard Williams, Town of Patterson NY-Supervisor
Sam Oliverio, Town of Putnam Valley NY- Supervisor
Kenneth Schmitt, Town of Carmel Supervisor
Village of Brewster, Mayor Jim Schoenig Mayor
Maureen Fleming, Town of Kent Supervisor
Robert Flaherty, Trustee Town of Philipstown
Fran Murphy, Trustee Village of Cold Spring
Lisa Mechaley, Trustee Village of Nelsonville

County Representatives
Bill Gouldman, Putnam County Legislator/ Chair of Economic Development

Business Leaders

Bill Nulk, Putnam County IDA
Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman Putnam County Business Council
Nat Prentice, Putnam County Business Council/Cold Spring Chamber of Commerce
Rose Aglieco, Breswter Chamber of Commerce
Michael Celestino, CEO of the Mahopac Carmel Chamber of Commerce

Businesses and Not For Profit Representatives

Caryn Cannova, Kismet Owner, Retail
Joe Ciatto Business, Owner, Worlds Gym
Jim and Patty Rathschmidt, United For The Troops
Sabrina Cruz, Ultimate Auto Dealing
Stacy Tompkins, Tompkins Excavating
Nick D’andrea, Business Owner, Park Ford
Candice Sciarrillo, Non-Profit Organization, Equestrian Therapy
Rick Megna, Business Owner Restaurant, Savor Restaurant
Johnny and Nicky Crecco, Villa Barone Owner
Tina Sherwood, Owner, Downey Oil Company

Jennifer Maher
Jennifer Maher is chairwoman, the Putnam County Business Council and currently serves as the president of the Putnam/Westchester Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors.