Environment Dominant Topic of Village Board Meeting

By Stephen E. Lipken


Village of Pelham Mayor Chance Mullen called their January 24th Board meeting to order and issued Commendations to outgoing Arts Council members Jessica Solomon and Jeff Watkins, who not only contributed to the Juneteenth Program but also worked with the Steering Committee on Police Reform.    


“I have been told that some folks are still skeptical about whether or not our climate is changing,” Mullen continued.  “Among those who are not skeptical are our scientists, military, every international relief organization, nearly every major business that operates globally and local homeowners after the flooding that we had last year.


“The hard part is figuring out how to address this crisis, in an environment where climate change is present.  Back in 2019, our Sustainability Advisory Board recommended that we adopt the Climate Smart Communities Pledge and create the Climate Smart Communities Task Force.


“We are now certified as a Bronze Level Climate Smart Community and installed the first of five electric vehicle charging stations downtown.  We replaced all streetlights with LED lights, launched a food-waste recycling program, partnering with Sustainable Westchester in energy-smart homes, Solarize Pelham, Healthy Yards Campaign and Community Choice Aggregation Program.”    


Mullen went on to say that on February 5-7, he, Deputy Mayor Michael Carpenter and Administrator Christopher Scelza are headed to Albany for New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) winter legislative meeting, an opportunity to learn some of the things the State is doing. Mullen will be on a panel regarding housing development, noting that the Village is ahead regarding NYS housing targets.


Odis Guerrero, advisor to NYS Senator Nathalia Fernandez mentioned that she will be attending NYCOM, accepting budget requests. 


Trustee Russell Solomon reported being in contact with the Hutchinson River Watershed Plan Steering Committee.  Solomon discovered that the watershed spans 12,394 acres in Westchester County and the Bronx, flowing into Eastchester Bay of Long Island Sound. 


“Hutchinson River is on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) 303 (d) list of impaired waters,” Solomon stressed. 


The Committee Objectives are:


Follow US EPA 9 Element Planning Process to:


• Identify existing water quality issues.

• Consolidate previous and ongoing

 efforts under one plan.

• Engage watershed municipalities and the public.

• Develop a set of unified goals for watershed protection and restoration.

• Prioritize water bodies and projects to improves and protect water quality.

• Ultimately de-list impaired waters – 

improve water quality.