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Beautification Planned on Chappaqua's King Street

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - While major construction on lower King Street has been postponed until 2014, town officials may not wait as long to carry out beautification projects on the area.

Building on ideas discussed during a Jan. 26 meeting with King Street merchants, the New Castle Town Board discussed possible ways of temporarily beautifying the street at a work session on Tuesday night.

"The Beautification Advisory Board is going to take a look at that and see, and we're going to ask them to provide us with ideas," said Deputy Supervisor Elise Kessler Mottel. "We talked about possibly a bench, and possibly some plantings in the spring that would beautify the area, and I think that was very welcomed by the merchants."

Several merchants on lower King Street have also complained about the lack of lighting near their stores. Town Administrator Penny Paderewski said she has been in discussion with the landlord of the stores and is looking into solutions.

"It's a safety issue down there," said council member John Buckley. "You just want to make sure those areas are well-lit for people to actually make their way through."

Mottel said lampposts could be an issue due to the narrowness of the King Street sidewalks, and that sconces are the most likely alternative to the lighting issue. "That would provide lighting and it's a very nice look," she said.

With construction on hold for 2012, town officials will also look into promoting local businesses more. At the Jan. 26 meeting, several merchants raised the issue of advertising.

"This is the opportunity for us to see what signage would work," said Mottel.

Beautification on the street began immediately after last month's meeting when Mottel and Paderewski drove to the area to inspect signs that merchants had complained about. Three signs were eventually removed from the street.

"The signs that I think we pass all the time that we didn't realize were troublesome until one of the merchants raised it," said Mottel. One of the removed signs was a "Do Not Enter" sign that Breeze owner Susan Maher discussed at a Jan. 17 work session .

Officials are hoping to carry out the beautification at little-to-no cost to the town, as much of the work would only be temporary until construction on the street begins. The town and beautification advisory boards will continue to work together on the temporary improvements, which will be presented to merchants at future meeting.

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