3.4.20 ‒3.17.20 ‒ vol. 16

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Village of Pelham Fire Chief James DiNapoli (left) and promoted Fire Captain Robert Benkwitt III.

Two New Firefighters Sworn In; Lt. Benkwitt Promoted to Fire Captain

By Stephen E. Lipken


Village of Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen convened the Tuesday, February 25th Board of Trustees meeting, swearing in new firefighters Anthony Borsella, Christopher Paolercio and promoted Lieutenant Robert Benkwitt III to Fire Captain.  Significantly, Borsella was awarded Badge Number 8, the number that his grandfather George Cottrell wore in the Pelham Fire Department for 28 years.


Earlier, Mullen reported meeting with Maggie Peters, Senior Vice President, Economic Development and John Ravitz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Business Council of Westchester, Rye Brook.  “We are constructing new buildings and want to get some fantastic new businesses to move in,” Mullen said.


“Finally, you heard the news that Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and State Senator Alessandra Biaggi are partnering to give the Village a $350,000 grant for work to be done on the intersection of Wolfs Lane and Sparks Avenue, identified as a location that can use some traffic calming. There is a missing crosswalk on one side that needs significant work,” Mullen concluded.


Trustee Ariel Spira-Cohen stated that Pedestrian Safety and Traffic Calming Committee (PSTCC) first met on Tuesday, October 22 with the goal of “3 E’s,” Engineering, Education and Enforcement, making the Village more “walkable.” According to Spira-Cohen, there were two phases 1) School-Based Commuter Survey; 2) walking assessment of Lincoln Avenue.


Resident Todd Cross gave results of PSTCC survey of all grade schools, Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School.  Overall results were 80% of people questioned sometimes or always walked; 33% did not feel safe and 50% observed bad driver behaviors.


On a related note, Resolutions were passed, setting the maximum speed limit on Sparks Avenue to 25 miles per hour and officially documenting school speed zones, adding portions of Nyac Avenue and Franklin Place.


The Board then approved Elk Homes Chairman Gary D. Hirsch’s request for Amended Site Plan Application for 8 Boulevard West, including changing fencing color from white to dark gray.