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FIRE DISTRICT ARCHIVE

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NEW CASTLE FIRE DISTRICT #1 REFERENDUM

On Tuesday, February 7th New Castle Fire District #1 will hold a $2.6 million referendum to acquire the Chappaqua Animal Hospital property and demolish the existing building.

Voting will be open to district residents at the Bedford Road firehouse, at the corner of Route 117, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Absentee ballots will not be available.

Information Sessions will be held as follows at the Bedford Road Firehouse:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2017 10:00 AM to NOON

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2017 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

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On December 13, 2016, the New Castle Fire District No. 1 (Chappaqua Fire District) and the Millwood Fire District will hold their annual elections for Fire Commissioners. To determine which District you are in, check your tax bill, call the New Castle tax office at 914-238-4773 or go to http://www.mynewcastle.org and do the following:
1. Click on "Receiver of Taxes" under "Departments"
2. Click on "Public Tax Status Lookup!" in the right hand column
3. Click "I Accept"
4. Enter your name or address
5. Click the button "Bill Detail" on the "2016 Town" line and your Fire District will be listed

All voters registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections on or before November 21, 2016 and who reside in New Castle Fire District #1 or the Millwood Fire District are eligible to vote in their District.

NEW CASTLE FIRE DISTRICT #1

Fire Commissioner Positions Open

1.One Fire Commissioner for a five (5) year term, commencing January 1, 2017 and terminating on December 31, 2021
2. One Fire Commissioner for the remaining three (3) years of a five (5) year term, commencing January 1, 2017 and terminating on December 31, 2019

Voting Information

The election is Tuesday, December 13, 2016 between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Bedford Road Firehouse located at the intersection of Route 120 and Route 117. No Absentee Ballots are available for this election.

Candidates

John Buckley is running uncontested for the 5-year term and Nancy Zezze is running uncontested for the 3-year term. Write-in candidates are also permitted.

Read our New Castle Fire District Voters Guide

MILLWOOD FIRE DISTRICT

Fire Commissioner Positions open

1.One Fire Commissioner for a five (5) year term, commencing January 1, 2017 and terminating on December 31, 2021
2. One Fire Commissioner for the remaining one (1) year of a five (5) year term, commencing January 1, 2017 and terminating on December 31, 2017

Voting Information

The election is Tuesday, December 13, 2016 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the Millwood Firehouse at 100 Millwood Road (Route 133). No Absentee Ballots are available for this election.

Candidates

Charles Canero, Robert Nesbit and Michael Wolfensohn are running for the 5-year term. Jason Lichtenthal is running uncontested for the 1-year term. Write-in candidates are also permitted.

Read our Millwood Fire District Voters Guide _____________________________________________________________________

THE TWO BOND PROPOSITIONS FOR NCFD #1 DID NOT PASS

Below is information that was available for the vote

On October 25, 2016, New Castle residents in Fire District #1 will be asked to vote on two bond propositions totaling $15.37 million:
1. Purchasing property adjacent the Bedford Road Firehouse, demolishing the animal hospital building, and preparing the site for expansion: $2.67 million
2. Renovating the current station & constructing a two-story addition with three drive-through bays: $12.70 million

You can vote yes or no on #1 and yes or no on #2. If #2 is approved, it is only effective if #1 was also approved.

To determine if you are in Fire District #1, check your tax bill or call the NC tax office at 914-238-4773.

LEAGUE COMMENTARY

Underlying all League positions is a philosophy that emphasizes citizen participation in the electoral process. We are dismayed that there has been no attempt to extend the voting hours on October 25th, even though the League repeatedly requested longer hours and offered to help with staffing. The relevant New York Town Law states that such a vote "shall be conducted and scheduled in a manner that maximizes voter participation." We do not believe that this was achieved in this referendum process. Because the League believes all taxpayers should be able to cast their vote on this important matter, the League is working diligently to make known the availability of and process for obtaining Absentee Ballots.

In addition, the League is concerned that all relevant information about the proposed Bond Referendum has not been made easily available to the public in a timely manner, so we are providing the information here on our website.

VOTING HOURS

Voting hours are 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Bedford Road Firehouse.

HOW TO OBTAIN AN ABSENTEE BALLOT

If you are not available to vote on October 25, 2016 during the hours of 6-9 pm, you can request an Absentee Ballot from the Fire District using this APPLICATION FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT. Your completed Application must be mailed to: New Castle Fire District No. 1, PO Box 64, Chappaqua, NY 10514. Mail the Absentee Ballot Application by October 18 to ensure that you have enough time to receive the Absentee Ballot and mail it back to be received by October 25th. Absentee Ballot Applications and Absentee Ballots can also be picked up in person at the Firehouse.

The criteria for obtaining an Absentee Ballot is decided by the following factors - you are unable to physically appear at the polling place for reasons due to: 1) Duties, Occupation, Business, Studies or Vacation, 2) Illness or Physical Disability or 3) Permanent Illness or Permanent Disability.

BECOME INFORMED

The League of Women Voters of New Castle believes that information and community engagement is critical in making an informed decision on such an important matter, especially since it will affect the taxes for approximately 3,100 New Castle households.

The Board of Fire Commissioners adopted a resolution regarding the bond at a Special Meeting held on September 20, 2016.

Residents can become informed voters by:

Watching the September 18, 2016 Information Session (also posted below)

Watching the October 5, 2016 Information Session

Watching the October 5, 2016 New Castle Planning Board Meeting

Reading the League summary of the September 18, 2016 Information Session

Reading the materials posted on the Fire District's website

Watching the September 13, 2016 New Castle Planning Board meeting

Reviewing additional information:

NCFD #1 Referendum Soft and Hard Costs

NCFD #1 Proposed Expansion Brochure

NCFD #1 Proposed Expansion Fact Sheet

NCFD #1 Referendum Date Brochure

"For district homeowners, the tax rate increase per $1,000 of assessed value (not market value) on the FIRE TAX portion of your annual Town tax bill is projected to be $1.20. This means that for a home with an assessed value of $180,000 the increase in fire tax would be $215." (Excerpt from FD brochure)