A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, January 5, 1998 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Daubney
Village Manager Herbek Trustee Grant
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee Rickles
Village Treasurer Campbell Trustee Watkins
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Minutes of the December 15, 1997 meeting were not available.
Note: The Public Hearing for the Special Permit for Metro Enviro LLC for the operation of a recyclables handling-recovery facility was reopened at this time.
Village Attorney Waldman gave an explanation of the need for these Public Hearings. Trustees were asked to comment: Trustee Daubney suggested rules to regulate the manner of accepting comments for tonight’s Public Hearing since there were a large number of residents wishing to speak. Trustee Grant stated that no one should have the idea that the Board is on one side and citizens on the other side; everyone is in this together and all are trying to do the very best for Croton. Trustee Rickles stated that environmental issues are on top of the concern list and the Board shares the public’s concern; he further commented on the impact of necessary scrutiny of the special permit and listed steps that must be followed. Trustee Watkins stated that it is the job of the Board to determine if the application is appropriate under the applicable Village law.
Those who spoke were:
Daniel Dashman, 6 Dailey Dr., questioned: why is the applicant a limited liability company? Is this their only site or do they own others? If so, what is their reputation? Is this the best use for the land? Who will monitor the site on a daily basis? Who will bear this cost?
Elise Yates, 40 Quaker Hill Dr.: had environmental concerns, asked if the EPA was brought in; concern about the high level of cancer and respiratory diseases and if this has been taken into account; stated need facts and need to take a new direction; asked if this is a complete industrial zone.
Dr. Richard Olson, Journey’s End Rd.: disagreed that it is strictly a legal issue; do not vote because fear of a lawsuit, vote what is best for Croton.
Josephine Vanesco, Irving Ave.: lived through the dump era and doesn’t want to go through this again; this is not a good thing for the Village; think about using the property for something else.
Joel Klein, Old Post Rd. N.: questioned what the consequence of the Village being sued and what would happen if the Village lost a suit. Village Attorney Waldman respond that he would estimate any suit would be in the several million dollar range that would include purchase price, the land, the cleanup and the improvements already made and the lost profits during the years of litigation; if they win they will get the permit anyway.
Chris Rufer, Cleveland Dr.: discussed monetary aspects relating to lawsuits, tax revenue and reduction of the value of real estate; feels the property has possibility of other uses.
Larry Mazzolo, Church St.: has an environmental assessment been submitted and if so, has it been reviewed? Very high environmental impact that should be enough to refuse this application.
James Moore presented a petition with approximately 1,200 signatures asking the denial of a special use permit; he read the petition aloud; asked how Croton got into this situation when it could have been stopped prior to the purchase.
Barbara Cotter, 36 Grand St.: it is obvious most residents do not want this special permit approved; why have they been encouraged to open business here? Such businesses should be discouraged in the future.
Laura Seitz: are there other legal grounds? Previous record of performance elsewhere that could be reviewed? Possible condemnation? If so, get a price; gather a number of people in Croton to volunteer to do a thorough research.
Steve Bayer: asked the Board to be more vigilant than with the golf course; hire best attorneys and best consultants to kill this application.
Debbie Yurchuk-McCarthy: has researched Village files; issue is to protect health and safety of community; sees potential problems with materials that are to be handled; still is a non-conforming use and this should be kept in mind; quoted a letter from Mr. Gunshor and Mr. Waldman December 22, 1997, regarding a meeting at DEC offices in December 1996. Mayor Elliott replied that the purpose of that meeting was to get the site cleaned up which was done at no cost to the Village.
Hugh McLean, (an Environmental Attorney): aware of what the Village must address; construction has begun and a DEC permit is required which cannot be issued unless the business is in compliance with local laws; traffic assessment should be done as well as review of possible runoff collection; SEQR compliance is a variety of regulatory requirements; the Board should be very careful; suggested hold future meetings in a larger room when this issue is going to be discussed.
Jane Schafrann, Arlington Dr.: urged the denial of the special permit; condemnation is a good idea; could use this site for a Village garage; do not run scared by threat of a law suit; the Village could be sued by residents for malfeasance. Trustee Rickles replied that no one is scared of a lawsuit, but if there is one, the Village will win.
John Perillo, resident of the Village of Ossining and owner of property on Croton Point Ave.: acting on the merits of the application and offered clarification of facts: the new owners removed large amounts of hazardous material voluntarily; applicant has received the Planning Board okay with conditions and a DEC permit; people should visit the site, there is very small part of the property being used for processing materials; supports a well planned development; the owner has not had any violations for their operation in Ossining.
Regina Montana, Ackerman Ct.: sequence of events, confused by allowing a transfer station; emotions are one of fear of long term effects of a dump and potential health issues.
Carolyn Whiting: the previous owners and the DEC allowed the problem to go on; has concern about how this would be monitored.
Michele Celarier, Nordica Drive; feels residents do not want the dump-period.
Roger Solomuzzi, Old Post Rd. N.: what data is needed to grant or deny the permit. Trustee Rickles replied that environmental data must be gathered: air, water, dust leachate and truck traffic.
Jim Jaffee, Nordica Dr.,: presented more signatures for the petition; should not allow a dump; many other businesses would be more appropriate.
Matthew George, Melrose Ave.: is medical data allowable; and will it be weighed at the same degree of influence as environmental data.
Len Shatzkin, Old Post Rd. N.: didn’t want Golf Course, Indian Pt., Half Moon Bay or the dump; believes the Board will come to the right conclusion after weighing the facts.
Richard Rothrock, Benedict Blvd.: has a tree service in Croton and knows firsthand the need for an organized recycling center; recycling is the future and everyone must think of the future.
Sid Huckvale: concern about residents’ not having proper notice; please have a better mode of informing people about future Public Hearings.
John Sarcone: his view that an expanded operation is not needed in the Village; asked Trustee Rickles to excuse himself from voting on this issue because of his past service on the Planning Board.
Bob Wintermeier, Radnor Ave.: the Board has been successful in solving other issues, please put the same effort to get rid of this dump; Metro Enviro is “persona non grata” in the Village; glad to hear lawyer’s comment that the Village can win on this issue; make it hard to bring debris, etc. in the Village through fines, fees, etc.; why expand a special permit; could continue the prior agreement; asked about a timetable to get this finalized.
Fred Carr, Ridge Road: has been at three meetings, previous Board actions were appropriate; has sent a letter to Mayor Elliott with his concerns; the legal issue is important, but a social issue is important also; questions remain, do we want it, do we need it and is it appropriate?
Christopher Shaw, 6 month resident: suggested talking with the village attorney in Hastings to get guidance and insight of what can be done to avoid problems with such special permit applications.
Scott Johnston, Half Moon Bay: believes the Board is well intentioned, but this is a new opportunity to explore all possibilities on how to keep the recycling plant from being resurrected and offered to serve on a committee to research this special permit application.
Bob Edelstein, Franklin Ave.: agrees the need for a recycling site, but NYMBY appropriate for Croton after the experience with the Croton Point dump and the number of years it took to get that corrected.
Inez Andrusek, Farrington Rd.: health concerns most important; issue is not about money or lawsuits.
Mayor Elliott adjourned the Public Hearing at 10 P.M. Residents will be notified of the date of the reopening of the Public Hearing on this issue.
Trustee Watkins asked representatives present from Metro Enviro what is going on at the site regarding a pile of debris. Mark Millspaugh replied Metro Enviro brought in material last week to do a noise and vibration assessment as requested; this study will soon be available; the material has been removed. Trustee Watkins asked if Mr. Liguori maintains containers on the site, if he has an agreement with Mr. Apollonio but does not have a permit for this storage; he added that a letter was sent from Village Manager Herbek to Mr. Liguori advising him to remove that material. Mr. Millspaugh asked for a copy of this letter and said he will do his best effort to have Mr. Liguori comply. Trustee Grant added that Mr. Liguori is a tenant of Mr. Apollonio. Mr. Millspaugh stated that the purchase contract provided for Mr. Liguori to stay at the site for the period of one year on a landlord/tenant basis. Trustee Watkins stated that he would like to look further at this matter to see if Mr. Liguori is violating the Village code by keeping containers on the property. Village Manager Herbek added that Peter Liguori informed him that the containers would be removed this week. Village Attorney Waldman replied that he believes the agreement stated that this is not an operation, but just a parking of trucks and empty containers and is simply a storage agreement. Trustee Grant stated that she would like to see a best effort made to break the contract with Mr. Liguori before April, 1998.
3. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Daubney and approved unanimously.
General Fund $37,510.40
Water Fund 1,852.79
Trust & Agency 31,662.42
a) Local Law Introductory #5 of 1997, regulating telecommunications towers.
Mayor Elliott opened the meeting for public comment
1. Jim Moore stated that he felt a small sector of residents have convinced the Board that the planned tower should not be placed as proposed. Mayor Elliott responded that a lot of research has been done on the telecommunications tower.
2. Valerie Leis asked if the law takes into consideration any adverse visual impact on nearby property. Village Attorney replied that the applicant must try to locate any tower in an area that would have the least impact, therefore, it does take that into consideration.
3. Sid Huckvale, representing the Scenic Ridge Homeowners Assn., a survey of residents indicated most did not know about the Public Hearing tonight; but they are opposed to the proposed location.
4. A resident asked how the Village would prevent telecommunication giants from placing towers wherever they want to put one. Mayor Elliott replied that this law is designed to do the best to address this.
A resident asked if Cortlandt has a law regulating towers and mentioned that there are appropriate sites in Cortlandt near the Croton border where fire towers are already located.
Robert Gaudioso, Attorney, Snyder & Snyder, on behalf of Sprint Spectrum, presented a letter from David Snyder listing concerns his client has with this proposed law . He added that if there are preferred locations, they should be discussed at a Public Hearing and be included in the ordinance; he said that subdivision status should not be required when the towers are unmanned and they would not create a noise, traffic, odor or water impact. Village Attorney Waldman replied that the subdivision law applies to all property owners in the Village and is an independent set of regulations that have been on the books for years.
7. Barry Schneer commented that the Board is using a common sense approach to regulate all companies that may consider servicing Croton; that it might be beneficial to add incentives for all those companies that may come into the Village to commingle towers; that one or two towers would cover all additional. Mayor Elliott stated that the County administration, along with the Municipal Officials Assn., is in the process of gathering the names of all companies that have approached any community and will plot out where these proposals are located in order that one community can be aware of what is going on in other communities and possibly coordinate these proposals.
Trustee Rickles made a motion to adopt Local Law #5 of 1997, regulating telecommunications towers (full text attached). The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant.
Discussion: Trustee Daubney stated that he has not had time to review the suggestions given tonight and would like to put off the vote to see if any of these suggestions have merit. Trustee Grant stated that the ordinance could always be amended; she would like to get it on the books; some things may have to be incorporated through amendment. Trustee Watkins stated that the Board had the opportunity to pass a moratorium, but chose to present the law and vote on it; adjournment of placing a law on the books may be harmful; the applicant may be attempting to lessen the strength of the law. Attorney Waldman replied that these suggestions should be considered; however, the principle substance of objections from Snyder & Snyder are regarding height; the proposed law does have reference to height and this can be amended readily if necessary; 85-90% of the ordinance has not been questioned; the alternative is to have no regulations in place.
Vote was taken, with Trustees Grant, Rickles, and Watkins voting “aye” and Trustee Daubney voting “nay”.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A proposal for a sculpture, “The Bridge” from Jeffrey Schrier and Wilfredo Morel. This will be referred to the Public Art Committee with recommend- ations for some change in wording. Members of the Public Art Committee are Marcy Friedman, Paula Correale, Erica Schenker, John Imbiano and Gregg Schmidt.
A letter from former County Executive Andrew P. O’Rourke regarding the continuation of the 911 program asking for a response in writing as soon as possible. It was the consensus that Village Manager Herbek should respond positively.
A Notice of Final Special Franchise assessments for 1998; there is an increase on all assessments.
A letter from Ann Phelan , 17 Lower North Highland Place, regarding the closure of the extension. Village Manager Herbek stated that he has been checking on this and that the chains are still in place.
A letter from Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., regarding the structure being built at 13A Emerson Avenue. Trustee Grant stated that she spoke with Joe Sperber who reported that the owners of the house are having some problems with the contractors and no C. of O. has been issued. Village Manager Herbek added that there have been two surveys submitted; there is a discrepancy and the ZBA has not yet issued a decision on the variance.
A letter from Lawrence H. Keon, 2 N. Highland Place, regarding River Landing and the paving of the N. Highland Place extension where grass pavers were recommended and asking that grass pavers be installed as a permanent, more appealing material, but will still alert drivers to stop. Village Manager Herbek will respond to this letter.
A letter from Barbara Notarius and Brenda Barta requesting a sign for the Alexander Hamilton House to be placed at the corner of Hamilton and Grand Streets. Trustee Rickles stated that he thought that asking for directions from the Shenfields was no longer an issue. Ms. Notarius replied that they have said this is still occurring and she would like a little sign alongside the Municipal Building sign to remedy this problem. Trustee Rickles stated that he would like to refer this back to the Planning Board as this may be setting a precedent since it would be a sign for a commercial establishment in a resident neighborhood. Trustee Grant added that there are still some open issues regarding the B&B and would like to refer to the code enforcement officer for determination.
Fred Carr asked for an update on funds being allocated for a consultant for the operations of the Village Offices. Mayor Elliott replied that this is ongoing now and a report should be coming in about a month. Mr. Carr referred to the suggestion of splitting the Treasurer’s duties between two municipalities after Mr. Campbell retires; he stated that he agrees with Village Manager Herbek that this is not a good idea. He added that Rts. 9 and 129 have tires and litter which does not look good. Trustee Watkins replied that these are state roads; the Village has obtained help from the state prison system for cleanup. Mr. Carr suggested looking at the Adopt-a-Highway program.
Mike McElroy asked to make a statement regarding Mr. Apollonio. Mayor Elliott suggested he come back when the Public Hearing is continued. Trustee Daubney stated that if he felt more comfortable, he could write a letter.
Mike Caputo spoke regarding statements made against Mr. Apollonio. He stated that Mr. Apollonio’s record speaks for itself, that he is a retired police officer; these were unfounded, uncalled for allegations accusations and comments and stated that unless there is proof of these allegations, people should not be allowed to continue speak along these lines.
Elaine Baxter, Farrington Road stated that Senasqua Bridge has red paint and there is graffiti in the Village, which should be cleaned up as well as the road litter to which Mr. Carr referred.
Debbie Yurchuk-McCarthy questioned budget items on the agenda tonight. Treasurer Campbell responded to her questions. Ms. Yurchuk-McCarthy also questioned the item about elimination of Village registration of voters. Village Manager Herbek explained the reasons behind this resolution. Ms. Yurchuk-McCarthy encouraged the Board to seek input from local residents in the matter of Metro Enviro application; some are Environmental Attorneys who may provide names of appropriate qualified firms to be considered as consultants.
a) Trustee Rickles made a motion to approve the following budget modifications:
From: 1-34109.0470, Vehicle/Equipment Repairs
To: 1-3410.0471, Radio Repairs $1,500.00
Trustee Grant seconded the motion; unanimous in favor.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution. The motion was seconded by Trustee Daubney, approved unanimously.
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with Hudson National Golf Club and Environmental & Turf Services, Inc. for the water quality monitoring program.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve the following resolution; seconded by Trustee Grant.
WHEREAS, the Village has previously designated a registration day for Village elections; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 15-118(3) of the Election Law, the Village may adopt a resolution providing that there shall not be any Village registration day; and
WHEREAS, in that event, the County Board of Elections would provide a register of eligible voters, thereby saving the Village unnecessary time and expense. Now therefore, be it
RESOLVED, the Village Registration Day for Village elections in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, is hereby eliminated pursuant to Section 15-118(3) of the Election Law.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek stated that he has consulted with both parties in the Village and they agree with the procedure. Trustee Rickles asked if this would disenfranchise anyone. Village Manager Herbek replied that persons could register to vote the same way by filling out a county registration card which can be done in the Village Office; if needed, help in the filling out of the card is available.
Vote was taken, with all voting “aye”.
Village Manager Herbek read the proposed resolution authorizing the Village Manager to enter into an agreement with Malcolm Pirnie to provide professional service with respect to the Special Permit application filed by Metro Enviro. Trustee Rickles made a motion to adopt the resolution. No second.
Discussion: Trustee Rickles: this is only for the application itself, does not speak directly to the SEQRA process. Village Manager Herbek stated that he did receive a recommendation from Savin Engineering. In 1997 the Planning Board hired Weston to prepare a report and the Board may want to review this as well as additional items incorporated in the report.
Trustee Rickles withdrew the motion pending further review.
Village Manager Herbek read the proposed resolution regarding entering into an agreement with Saccardi & Schiff of White Plains to provide professional service in regard with the SEQRA process in its review of the Special Permit application filed by Sprint/Spectrum.
Discussion: should add “subject to funding provided by Sprint/Spectrum”. Trustee Grant asked about the recommendation for this firm. Village Manager Herbek replied that he is familiar with the work of David Schiff for some time and this is consistent with the policy of recommending different firms. Sprint has committed to $2,500. Robert Gaudioso, representing Sprint/Spectrum, stated that $8,000 is an extreme and unreasonable fee; he requested the proposal be bid out and document the work to be done.
No motion was made; further review is necessary.
Trustee Rickles made a motion to classify Metro Enviro as Type 1 Positive Action. Trustee Grant seconded the motion.
Discussion: There is a SEQRA record on file from 1995 whereby the Planning Board was declared Lead Agency and they issued a negative declaration
finding no significant environmental impact. What occurred in 1995 was a site plan amendment; the current request is for a special permit; the nature of the business is substantially different from that proposed in 1995. Mr. Gunshor stated that on 1/13/95, three applications were submitted, 1 to the Planning Board, 1 to the Village Board and 1 to the Waterfront Commission; 1/23/95, same application went to the DEC, outlining the contents which included permit modification, rail haul, site improvements, increased capacity, application to change the permitted DEC permit from wood with C&D attached to full C&D processing facilities in addition to that which was previously permitted. Mr. Gunshor stated also that he feels this is a Type 2 action and changing to Type 1 is improper. Trustee Rickles replied that different types of materials would not be handled; now there will be no wood, just C&D and recyclable materials. Mr. Gunshor asked for a review of the previously submitted documents. Discussion continued about the clarification of tons vs. yards and the amount of material that will be handled. Trustee Rickles stated that there are a number of unanswered questions. Trustee Grant stated that she is bothered by the fact that, regarding household recyclable materials, in 1995 no one saw any danger of infestation; she is opposed to the recycling of cans, bottles and newspapers at that site and would like a professional to determine if there is a negative impact.
Trustee Rickles withdrew the motion pending further review and retaining the environmental consultant.
Trustee Rickles reported that there would be a joint meeting of the Teen Council, School Board, Village Board and parents on January 26, 1998 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building meeting room.
Trustee Daubney reported that the new Library area is occupied and the date of the dedication will be announced. Trustee Daubney reported that the cable increase has amounted to 26.6% in 16 months. He asked if the Village has advertised for a Police Officer yet? Village Manager Herbek replied that he would be recruiting from the County Police list. Trustee Daubney stated that early on tonight he was opposed to the advancement of the recycle center; he wrote to the DEC in September and sent a letter of concern to each Board member; he stated that he was dismayed by foot dragging of the Board when action could have been taken prior to the community getting hotly involved.
Mayor Elliott announced that Andy Zelman has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by Norman Sheer’s resignation from the Planning Board; also Ann Gallelli has been appointed Chairperson of the Planning Board.
Village Attorney Waldman indicated to the members of the Village Board that he would like an executive session to discuss a matter of litigation. Trustee Grant moved to go into executive session to discuss a matter of litigation involving Half Moon Bay, phases 3, 4 and 5. The motion was seconded by Trustee Rickles and approved unanimously.
In executive session, the following motion was moved by Trustee Rickles, seconded by Trustee Daubney and approved unanimously.
Resolved: that the Village Attorney is hereby authorized to sign the settlement agreement with HMB Acquisition on Corp. Inc. in the matter of the bankruptcy proceeding with respect to the unpaid taxes for Half Moon Bay, phases 3, 4 and 5.
The meeting was adjourned at 1 a.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Village Clerk/Deputy Village Clerk