Welcome to our Town
In New York State, the title of Supervisor is given to the Town's chief executive officer. The position is a two year elected position. As Supervisor since March of 2009, I head up a five-member Town Board at all Town Board meetings. Prior to working as Supervisor I was employed with IBM for 32 years.
The Supervisor and Council members propose legislation and make policy decisions that directly affect our Town and it's residents. The Town Board and staff handle things from short-term issues to long-term goals responding to the needs of the community and represent the Town in its dealings with County, State, and Federal Agencies. Let me tell you a little about our special Town of North Salem.
About North Salem
North Salem and its hamlets of Purdy's and Croton Falls is a very special place. Just 45 miles from Grand Central Terminal with direct access to I684 and with two MTA train stations on the Harlem line (Croton Falls and Purdys Stations), it is an easy commute to New York City and lower Westchester.
North Salem is still very much the town I grew up in and it has been my pleasure to work as Town Supervisor. Large open spaces are available for walking or if you are interested horse riding it is the place to be. If you work in NYC and deal with the hectic pace there, you can come home to North Salem where you are in a different world.
The Town is 24 square miles (14,400 acres) - actually the size of Manhattan - with a population of around 5,300. There are many large parcels that are undeveloped and accessible for people to walk, ride, bird watch and fish on. Our residents love the open spaces and we have a lot of them with over 50% of the County's Agricultural Lands situated in our Town. The following are a few examples of what makes us such a special place.
The North Salem Open Land Foundation has more than 1,222 acres of property under their stewardship that can never be built on. On it are uninterrupted views of rolling countryside, miles of post and rail fences, stone walls, numerous meadows and horse paddocks that create the rural character we love.
Mountain Lakes Park is owned by Westchester County and is the location of the Town's award winning day camp. The 1,082-acre Park is Westchester County's northernmost park. It is characterized by a rugged landscape and native hardwood forest with miles of trails. The park boasts five lakes and the highest elevations in the County with a spectacular overlook, which makes for breathtaking hiking destinations.
Originally donated to the National Audubon Society, the Bedford Audubon Society is now steward of the Ruth Walgreen and Franklin Winifred Fels Bird Sanctuary in North Salem which contains 204 acres with 3 miles of trail in North Salem. The property is mostly low deciduous woodlands, red maple swamp, and shrub swamp, which Barred Owl, Wild Turkey, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Great Crested Flycatcher, Pileated Woodpecker, Louisiana Waterthrush, and Worm-eating Warbler call home.
The New York City DEP owns the Titicus Reservoir and more than 1,000 acres in North Salem. If you like to fish, you try for Brown and Rainbow Trout and other native fish species. The North Salem Fish and Game Association has a number of access points along the Titicus River. The Croton River, the stem of the Muscoot Reservoir which runs through Croton Falls, can be fished with a 1 minute walk from the Croton Falls or Purdy's train station. The rivers are stocked each April by the NYS DEC with hundreds of Brown and Rainbow Trout. The Titicus Reservoir was stocked with 13,000 Walleye in 2016.
The Town has over 50% of the County's Agricultural lands which includes a large number of horse farms. If you are a horse aficionado, North Salem is the place to be. The Town has more than 56 horse facilities. Each year, the America's Gold Cup is held at Old Salem Farm, a 120-acre boarding and training facility in our Town. The famed Goldens Bridge Hounds call North Salem their home. Making it all work is our Town zoning and our local organizations including the North Salem Bridal Trail Association, which maintains and develops an historic system of trails which extends and connects more than one 100 miles of riding trails in the towns of North Salem and into Ridgefield, CT.
Fall apple picking is close by with two orchards in North Salem, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard and Outhouse Orchards. Harvest Moon is open year round and you can enjoy music on a Saturday evening sipping their hard cider and other NYS brewed beverages at Hardscrabble Cider. We have some great eateries in Town; The Creek and Primavera in Croton Falls, Farmer and the Fish and The Blazer Pub in Purdy's and 121 Restaurant in North Salem. Hayfields is another eatery that has a variety of programs including spectacular car days where people show off their old and new cars while drinking the morning coffee. We also have a number of wonderful deli's including Kingsleys, Gordon's Deli, Peach Lake Market and BBQ as well as Salem Pizza and Pasta in North Salem, Frank's Pizza in Croton Falls and Who's Cooking right across from the Croton Falls train station where you can get meals to go.
The Town has a number of great volunteer organizations in addition to the ones already listed that are run by our residents and they make the Town a special place. Getting involved is easy. All of our organizations are very welcoming and joining one or more helps town residents to get to know one aother well. There are too many to list here but we have our North Salem Historical Society and their Strawberry Festival in June, our Croton Falls Fire Department and North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps and our Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, to name just a couple. There are a lot of things to get involved with in our Town with organizations such as the PTO, and others which are part of our award winning North Salem School District.
The Town has two parks; Joe Bohrdrum Park and Volunteer Park where we run soccer, lacrosse, baseball, tennis, basketball and other activities. The Town's summer camp runs for five weeks ending in the beginning of August and is a phenomenal outdoor camping program for children of any age.
Commuting to NYC and never having to get in your car makes Croton Falls the perfect location.
The Town also boasts Peach Lake which has great fishing and also great summer water sports. There are no motorboat limits on the lake which covers 224 acres. Nineteen percent of the Town's homes are around Peach Lake and have water access. If you like boating or water skiing consider looking here for a home. Peach Lake waters are very clean with new sewers around the lake in 2012 and a variety of other work done to improve the lake's water quality. Peach Lake was one of a few lakes in the State to receive millions in water quality improvement grants over the past few years from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Because of the work we have done on improving water quality, Peach Lake has a special designation as is on the List of Coastal Waterbodies and Designated Inland Waterways for New York State, which provides additional grant availability. Here is a bird's eye view in this Peach Lake YouTube video.
It is also important to support efforts outside our Town to reduce greenhouse gases and conserve energy and at the same time save money for our residents. Toward this effort, the Town of North Salem has worked for, and has been designated, a Clean Energy Community by the State of New York. The Town continues to work on energy efficiency programs and to this date has completed a number of designated action items including;
- Passing legislation for Community Choice Aggregation where the entire town defaults to getting electrical energy from only renewable sources through contracts with Westchester Power.
- Town has passed the Unified Solar Permit legislation making it easy to install residential solar in the Town.
- The Town has replaced all NYSE&G streetlights with LED streetlights. The initial payback is under 1 year.
- The Town has passed legislation supporting PACE, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing.
- Building inspectors have been educated in energy code best practices.
The Town is rank highly by the New York State Comptroller with regards to fiscal policy and being able to handle fiscal stress. The most recent Fiscal Stress Score given to North Salem by the NYS Comptroller's office, on a scale of "0 through 100", was "0", the best possible score available. The Town also has a AA+ bond rating with Standard and Poor's, making future bonding rates lower.The Town's current budget is also available online.
Thank you for taking the time and reading about our Town and welcome to North Salem.Sincerely, Warren J. Lucas, North Salem Town Supervisor