VILLAGE OF CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK
VILLAGE BOARD MEETING MINUTES - MONDAY, MAY 4, 1998:
A regular meeting of the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Monday, May 4, 1998 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Elliott
ALSO PRESENT: Village Manager Richard F. Herbek
Village Treasurer Robert Reardon
Village Attorney Seymour Waldman
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 8:10 P.M. by Mayor Elliott. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.
Approval of Minutes:
Trustee Daubney moved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on April 13, 1998 as amended, seconded by Trustee Grant and carried by a vote of 4-0.
Trustee Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on April 20, 1998, seconded by Trustee Grant and carried by a vote of 4-0.
Trustee Daubney moved to approve the minutes of the meeting held on April 27, 1998, seconded by Trustee Watkins and carried by a vote of 3-0, Trustee Grant abstaining.
Approval of Vouchers:
Trustee Grant entered a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. Motion was seconded by Trustee Daubney and carried by a vote of 4-0.
General Fund $ 24,285.63
Water Fund 1,866.45
Capital Account 2,637.32
Trust & Agency 3,933.25
PUBLIC HEARING - continued
Special Permit Application for Metro Enviro LLC for the Operation of a Recyclables Handling Recovery Facility:
Mayor Elliott related a brief history of the application to those present. He informed those present that there will be a presentation from the Committee that worked on this application for a long time. He noted that experts have reviewed this application in detail and have reported back to the Village Board. They will also hear this evening from the consultants. They will then also hear any public comment from those present. The Board will then decide whether or not they will make a decision this evening, and if they do, what that decision will be.
Mayor Elliott then called upon Mr. Seth Davis, Chairman of the Metro Enviro Citizens Review Committee to address those present.
Mr. Davis stated that he wanted to share some thoughts with those present as to what happened with the Metro Enviro Citizens Review Committee and how it came about. They were formed as a response to public outcry that decisions were being made without public input. The Committee’s charge was to look at the entire proposal in regard to SEQRA and to make a recommendation as to what should be done. The ultimate decision, however, has always been with the Village Board. The Committee consisted of residents of the Village. Some were picked for their expertise in the area; he stated that he is an environmental lawyer. Included also as members were an environmental activist; a former project manager for the EPA, two former Planning Board members, a former Trustee and a real estate appraiser. Most of these people were picked because they spoke out against the application by Metro Enviro. He added that the Committee was not highly thought of by the applicant. Mr. Davis then read a letter sent to the Mayor by the applicant’s counsel which was against the appointment of certain people to the Committee. All of them had their points of view, but their job was to be objective and do their best to make a recommendation to the Village. There was not a single person in favor of the application at the beginning. They visited several similar sites. Most of the time, the Committee was involved in free discussion of the issues. They did come to a consensus in their report. The decision now as to whether the application proceeds is up to the Village Board. In the Committee’s report are conditions that the Committee feels should be put in place should the Village Board decide to approve the application. The Committee felt that the SEQRA process would be satisfied by applying certain conditions to the site. He stressed that they did not negotiate as a Committee. They knew that the ultimate resolution would come from the Village Board. Mr. Davis stated that he assisted the Village Attorney in negotiating with the applicant. It is important to state that the Committee took no stand on the negotiation itself. If the Village Board agrees to accept this report as their own, the Committee will give their support.
Mr. Davis continued, stating that the applicant has agreed to fully enclose the processing area. In addition, they have agreed to pave all of the roadways on the site, and implement special landscaping provisions to alleviate the visual impact on Half Moon Bay. The applicant has agreed to extensive changes in the Operating Manual. The Committee basically re-wrote the operating manual for them. This manual sets forth the procedures that will be done on the site to prevent a whole host of situations. Should materials considered hazardous happen to arrive at the site, there is a specific procedure to deal with this promptly. An enhanced inspection procedure is called out in the manual. A compliance officer, from the DEC or the Village, can come in to see if things are being done properly. The Village will have an unlimited right of inspections. There will also be inspections being done by the citizens. They have placed additional limits to their operations on Saturdays, additional financial limits have been placed in regard to a closure bond, and they have drastically limited the amount of material that they will take in. Under the terms of the agreement that Mr. Zarin, Mr. Waldman and he negotiated, the facility would start at the level of 600 tons per day. The application had been written on an average weekly basis. When the railroad spur is operational, the limit will be increased to 750 tons; however, it will be decreased if they are not sending out shipments by rail. The Committee proposed that that there will be an increase to 800 tons in the second year and 1000 in the third year. The Village Board, however, has the power to decrease those limits depending on the actions of the facility.
Mr. Davis continued, stating that this is from the negotiation, and not something that the Committee has formally endorsed. They are concerned about the risk of litigation and the threat of such on the Village in this situation is a threat that is taken seriously. Sometimes doing what is right is not always popular. No one on the Committee would like something new like this to come in. This is an appropriate resolution. He stated that he would like to call on another Committee member, Mr. Dan Dashman.
Mr. Dashman stated that he is reserving what he wants to say of the entire process until the public hearing opens. In terms of the Committee, the group was very diverse. The Committee had one thing in common – they all felt that they had enough with dumps in this community. In the process all of them realized that this is a deeper and complex question than the old dump. This is a different situation. Personally, he has children and has lived in the area since he was two years old. He is as grounded in the community as anyone can be, and as all of the committee members are. He wanted to make it clear that this was not a group of people who carried one single thought in their minds, except that they wanted to do what was best for the Village.
Mr. Mike Lee of Allee King Rosen and Fleming spoke next. He informed the audience present as to what they have been doing with the application and the work that they have done with the Committee. He stated that he was selected by his firm because he has worked with these types of sites. The firm was hired by the Village Board to help them with this environmental review. He wrote a report and final summary after working many nights with the Committee. After viewing the site, he met with the Committee to find out what the past history was of the site. There was a wealth of information and history on the site. There were actions taken back in 1995. There were problems in 1995 – now there was an application coming in after the site had been cleaned up. This is what the report summarizes. They went through all of the items if they were to do an Environmental Impact Study (EIS). After becoming aware of the comments being made on the issues, he went through all of the materials available at the Village Offices. He noted that previous to 1995, the site had a wood chipping operation. In 1995, an application was made to the Planning Board to change the type of materials processed and the amount of those materials. A deviation from the previous use, they were now looking at a C & D operation. This could be a whole mix of materials. There are limitations as to what that is. There are limitations as to what can be taken in. At the same time that the Village and the Planning Board were looking at this, the DEC was also issuing permits for this facility at the same time. The permits that the DEC was issuing were not always consistent with what the Village Boards were approving. The DEC opened their files and let him examine their files on how they issued the permits and the issues that they were looking at.
Mr. Lee continued, stating that what was actually happening at the site could be different as to what was permitted. They looked at that and at the 1995 application that had been before the Planning Board. The changes at that time were considerable. It also looked at changing the type of material coming into the facility. The Planning Board did hire a consultant and went through the SEQRA process. Then came the 1997 proposal which was different from the 1995 proposal. The critical change was in how they would determine the capacity of materials. This was the key issue that they were asked to look at in the beginning. They went through all of the materials. There were engineering reports that they went through for the Village Board. They then came to the critical point of what is the capacity of the facility. They also went through the assumptions that people were looking at including the rail connection and what effect that would have on the environment. At the same time, they did a review of the 1995 assessment. There were some things that the Planning Board should have looked at a little harder, in his firm’s opinion. A lot of the planning improvements that Metro Enviro is proposing would eliminate a lot of the issues from the prior approval.
Noise, traffic, visual effects, and odors were all discussed by the Committee members. One of the immediate issues was that of traffic impact. A reasonably worse estimate has to be done. Metro Enviro hired a consultant and spent more time with the traffic estimates and did an assessment. The critical areas closer to the site as well as other areas in the Village were looked at. They also went to another facility for traffic counts. They looked at the traffic situation during the peak commuter traffic times at the railroad station; early morning and late evening – late evening was not really a problem. What would be the impact during the middle of the day when school is recessed for the day? It was found that there are a lot of poor traffic conditions in the morning at the area of the site. They did an estimate of 10 to 12 trucks during 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. However, the site does not open until 8:00 a.m.
Mr. Lee stated that they also looked at the visual impacts and identified the potential for dust from these operations. The plan for an enclosure and paving roads addressed these problems, as well as putting these things in writing. Some additional studies were done on noise. They didn’t see, given the hours of operation they were limited to, that there would be a noise impact from a SEQRA point of view. They looked at the vibrations, and the test that they performed showed no impact. All of these things lead into the public health impact – if all of those things are met, they would not see a problem there. They then looked at the maximum allowed materials into the facility.
Mayor Elliott stated that at this time they would like to enter any additional correspondence.
Mr. Herbek stated that he has a letter from Mr. Zarin dated 4/30/98 with regard to their application. The next one is from Mr. Sarcone, dated 4/23/98. The last is from Mr. Rooney and Maria Cudequest which came in today. The last letter received was read to the public present by Mr. Herbek. Mr. Rooney writes that at one time, he lived next to a similar facility in Queens. His letter cited the large amount of traffic due to trucks going to the site. He noted that there is already a great deal of traffic on Route 129 and Route 9. If they cannot adequately monitor the traffic already present, he felt that that they could not do so with the added traffic from the facility in question. They requested that the permit be denied.
Trustee Daubney requested that Mr. Sarcone’s letter be read into the record. Village Manager Herbek read the letter to those present. Mr. Sarcone wrote his personal position on this issue, stating that he attended most of the meetings of the Metro Enviro Citizens Review Committee. However, it is his firm position that Metro Enviro is bad for the Village. He also cited the character of the Village and that this application is inconsistent with the Greenway plan. In his letter, he urged the Village Board to deny the permit.
Village Manager Herbek stated that there was another letter received from a Matthew Correale.
Mayor Elliott stated that they will now take comments from the public. He asked that the comments be limited to five minutes, and that names and addresses be stated.
Ms. Karen Ford asked if there is any legal basis for getting out of this permit dilemma. She asked if this were a Title Two situation.
Mayor Elliott replied that the Committee, as they worked through the facts, would have considered this. There may be some areas of debate; however, the majority of the opinion in regard to this is ‘no’.
Ms. Ford stated that from everything she read, it is not legal to get out of something because it is something you do not like. No one likes trucks on the road – she asked the Village Attorney if there were any legal basis for preventing trucks from traveling on the road?
Village Attorney Waldman stated that there are highways where trucks are not permitted, but this is not within the jurisdiction of the Village. This is a County road – the entire focus has been on Route 9. The Route 9 ramps both discharge onto Croton Point Avenue, go a short distance and then go to the facility. The other environmental concerns had been basically resolved by the proposed enclosure and the other improvements that the applicant has made and has formally agreed to make. Essentially, roughly from 7:00 to 7:49 in the morning is the time for concern for additional truck traffic while there is considerable traffic to the railroad station. He did not think that anyone anticipates any appreciable amount of trucks going through the Village. There is not total agreement on the likely number of truck totals. They do not have the power to say that they may not travel these roads. The applicant has agreed that there will be a limitation on trucks that will be allowed to line up before they open. That limited number can well be absorbed on the applicants own property.
Mr. Roger Solomozy of Old Post Road North stated that he was on North Riverside Avenue and the air was filled with the scent of lilacs. He was wondering whether next year at the same time they would be smelling that or diesel fumes. As we are here tonight, we can look at the Village Board and say in your decision lies the future of this Village. Will it be citizens who are relegated to stay here because they cannot afford to move? He was shocked that Village Attorney Waldman has focused on 49 minutes in the morning. He sarcastically commented that the truckers won’t be coming down Route 129 because there is no demolition coming from the surrounding area, and they will pass by Mr. Apollonio’s facility in Ossining – all of the traffic is only going to come off Route 9 and turn into the Metro Enviro property. He stated he is interested in how big the proposed enclosure will be. He didn’t think that this is the issue, however. There is nothing that the Village can do that says one cannot drive the truck on Route 9A, or drive around until the facility opens. He did not think that this is a situation that can be kept under control. He also commented on the operating rail yard that this would become. Finally, with all of these recommendations, he predicted that if this application is granted, the applicant will be back here and Mr. Zarin will be requesting to increase the capacity. Despite all of the best efforts, there is nothing they can do to protect the Village from the truck traffic except deny the permit. He stated that he has not seen an analysis by a traffic safety expert. This type of analysis would show that this permit cannot be granted.
Mrs. Regina Carroll of Young Avenue stated that the previous speaker stated everything that needs to be said. The Committee has illustrated that this is not the type of facility needed in the Village. Every problem that the Committee has brought up will be magnified over time.
Mr. William Ryder of Cleveland Drive stated that he would like to commend the Committee for doing such an excellent job, however, this is something that should have been done by the Planning Board before it was brought to the Village Board for approval. The previous operation emitted a lot of odors, and someone that had lived nearby should have been on the Committee. The residue that is found on the highway is left by the current dump trucks and garbage trucks that traverse that area. There will be more that will be found. He also has to question the potential of a lawsuit and whether the applicant would have standing and be successful. If the Village Board does not want to grant the Special Permit, it has the option of refusing. He felt that the Village stands a stronger chance of winning such a lawsuit because the Village has already experienced this type of facility at this site. The Community does not want an operation of this type. Any number of conditions, inspections and concerns can be eliminated by denying the permit.
Mr. Jaime Salles of Lounsbury Road stated that he lived in Williamsburg, next to a lot of dumps. He stated that he hasn’t had time to understand a lot of the legal issues, however, it seems to him if it is a foregone conclusion that they have to grant the Special Permit, he would be racing to find out when they could deny the permit. He stated that he did not see the viability of such a facility. With the processing of the C & D materials, you have a release of possible contaminated materials. From the sandblasting alone, in the area of Williamsburg, you are not allowed to eat anything from the soil. These things accumulate and before you know it, you cannot turn it around. He would be more comfortable in hearing that if the permit has to be issued for three years, if there isn’t a way in the process that they take their medicine now and go for denying the permit.
Mayor Elliott stated that there are extensive provisions in the conditions to take the permit away.
Mr. Salles stated that if they need to issue the permit for a limited period of time, in the end they should be calling to end any dumping.
Mr. Richard Pellicci of 65 Radnor Avenue stated that he has lived in Croton for five years and Manhattan for 16 years. At a dump nearby him in Manhattan, there was massive trucking going down the streets every Thursday evening. The amount of trucks was endless, at least 20 blocks long. He stated that he takes his wife to the station every morning. A truck was stalled one morning and it was absolutely chaotic. It is a beautiful town, and it is mind blowing to him that it has gotten this far. He begged the Board to not permit this to happen.
Mr. Gary Freedman stood next, stating that he is representing Mike Kaplowitz, County Legislator. Mr. Kaplowitz could not be here this evening, however, he was asked to read the following statement. The statement read noted that the issue of Metro Enviro’s application is up for discussion by the Village Board and that it is a local issue. He was recently briefed on the environmental details of the project and he is convinced that the Board will make the correct decision. New York State has made its decision on the permits already. It is not a County issue. He stated that he will continue to monitor the Metro Enviro condition. The County will be voting on the railroad solid waste landfill at Croton Point.
Ms. Jane Schafrann stated that in regard to vehicular traffic, it is ridiculous to look at just the early hours of commuting, there are children walking to school and children allowed to go out for lunch. There are a lot of traffic safety implications -- is the Village prepared to hire more police to make sure everyone is safe? The odors are horrendous in the Harmon area coming from the open container vehicles. Also, In Croton, there has been an unduly high incidence of cancer, asthma and emphysema and she is sure that there are reasons for these incidences. She respectfully requested that the Village Board deny the special permit.
A resident of Nordica Drive stated that he has a question as to who will be the inspector of the site. Will there be any foodstuffs in this recycling center and what would be done with the rats that would be attracted to this? In regard to the truck traffic, does the Village have an insurance policy for traffic related accidents? The residents will be back and talking about funding the disaster they will create by giving the permit to the applicant. It will be a complete disaster.
Another resident of Nordica Drive stated that she has read the report and she is concerned that there is a lot of discussion about the traffic, but she has not seen anything that addresses the impact of the traffic. If you are talking about 200 trucks per day, that would be 3 trucks per minute – what is this going to do to our roads? In regard to the Waterfront Revitalization Project, this facility will make a mockery of that project. There was some mention about Route 9 being a scenic road - apparently the Village has not requested this status, and can this be done at this time? Every step we take, we get into a situation that we cannot get out of. If the Board doesn’t turn this down, then the citizens should join her and sue the Board and the Village under an Article 78. She stated that she heard that the Planning Board did not take this information into consideration, and this, in her opinion renders them derelict in their duties. In regard to the additional money the applicant has agreed to for closure, she stated that she is skeptical about having negotiations with them. The number and form of that security was not mentioned, and she would like to know what that is.
Mr. Lawrence Arturo of 80 Hastings Avenue spoke as a father of four children under the age of seven. There are about 19 or 20 children under the age of 15 in his neighborhood. This facility has been spoken of as being a sealed processing plant. There will be leakage – there is no way of guaranteeing that these materials will not become airborne. He is worried about the health effects on the children, especially in the Harmon area. In one of the comments made by the Citizens Committee, the point was made that there might be a lot of litigation before them should they deny the permit. If this is to go forward, they might be looking at some serious litigation from health problems from residents.
Mr. Dan Dashman of 6 Dailey Drive, a member of the Committee, quoted a line from the Serenity prayer. He stated that when the Committee started reviewing this application, they looked and looked and looked at all of this issues. Someone has to say what is the truth - there needs to be some wisdom. We are not talking about sixth graders turning down a drug deal. We have to look at the current state of this application. You can ask any lawyer and they will tell you that the Village will not win if they say no – what would those lumps be? The thing that they would lose is control – if they go to court, and they beat us, the DEC has already decided that this man is a white knight because he has cleaned up the site. If you want to spend the money that it will cost, pay the damages that it will cost, and have no control if you deny the permit. It has to do with what has been done – there are file cabinets full of this. When it comes to the control of the site, the Committee was very aware of that. They have had massive changes because they were looking at the enclosure. In terms of the changes, the people don’t realize what was done. He showed those present the original O & M Manual that they were handed. He then showed them the current
O & M Manual. There is also another engineering book of that size. The applicant was still handing them agreements to the great majority of their conditions. He stated that his family moved here in 1952. This is where he lives, and it is where he raises his kids. One of the wealthiest communities in this County is Bedford, which has two prisons and a major waste transfer site in it. They have to let their heads rule and not their hearts – what this would cost them and what they cannot pay should litigation occur. If we couldn’t stop it, which was the first place the Committee stopped -- they found out what would happen and the stopping of it is not something they could do.
Ms. Elise Yates stated that she was the second person to speak when the application first came up. She had lost a 2 ½ year old child to brain cancer. She became a volunteer on the Committee to make sure that this would not go through. She stated that she walked into the first meeting and stated at that time that she was there to make it go away. For her, this was a learning process. One of the things she learned during the entire process was it didn’t seem that this was going away. They struggled in so many ways as a Committee and the one thing that Mr. Dashman said, is that the issue of control for the Village is so important. She wanted to say that she is still very fearful. These people started to work with them and addressed every issue that they had. They had to try to have some control. She wanted everyone that is not part of the Committee to understand this. She also wanted to say something about Mr. Sarcone, noting he was only at three meetings and it annoyed her that he had to position himself for political reasons.
Mr. Michael Goetz stated that he is very opposed to this application. He stated that he has met many people of the Committee and spoken to them. Did the DEC ever take a soil sample of the mounds of dirt where the pine trees are? He was told by underground sources that these are shredded rail road ties. Is that true?
Mr. Dashman stated that the DEC did take samples and there were no shredded rail road ties.
Mr. Goetz stated that he remembered the dump – he played there. The trucks were rolling through for years. The truck traffic issue is a difficult one. The previous owner of this site processed railroad ties.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that there are penalties for breaching the conditions of the permit. The DEC will have its monitor, the Village will have its monitor, as wells as a combination of staff and citizens. The applicant will furnish to the Village within 45 days at the conclusion of each quarter an operational report. The trucks will have to go over scales and have tonnage measured. All of this will be reviewed and there will be visual on-site inspections.
Mr. Goetz asked what the penalties are for breaking the rules.
Mayor Elliott stated that the simple answer is the revocation of the permit.
Mr. Goetz asked if there would be legal grounds to revoke the permit.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that if there were serious breach of the conditions the permit could be revoked. The inspections are not limited to only the outside of the enclosure.
Mr. Goetz stated that they should be looking at whether they can shut the operation down if there are violations of the permit.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that there is a specific provision that if garbage is inadvertently brought on site it can not remain more than 24 hours. There are about 13 pages in 36 separate paragraphs with regard to controls.
Mr. Goetz asked if the Village would get any profits from this operations. He added that with a metal building of this size with a concrete floor that is being proposed, with the traffic going in and out, the noise will be tremendous.
Ms. Carol Mann of 26 Amber Drive poke next, stating that she has been a Village resident for 14 years. If the State already issued the permit, she asked why is anyone having a question about this. Whether we want to issue it or not, it is already issued. She would go with Mr. Dashman’s comments in that they should have control. Why are we wasting our time? She does not want it, but she agreed with Mr. Dashman in that at least we will have some control.
Ms. Maura Quinn of Scenic Drive stated that it sounds to her like the applicant has the control. In regard to the planning for emergencies booklet – how many ways are there to get to the reception center for this area? She would not want to be behind one of the trucks blocking her because something has happened at Indian Point.
Ms. Phyllis Morrow stated that she just won a 12 year lawsuit that she was told she could not win. If you want to win, you can win. As for the traffic, she is concerned about the immediate congestion in that area. There is no way you can guarantee that there will be no environmental hazards as a result of this operation. She is concerned about the issue that the community does not want this. She stated that she would be more than willing to write a check for the lawsuit now. She stated that it is not that she doesn’t honor the Committee, or the right for the applicant to do business, there are just too many unknowns here. She felt that if the community does not want it, the Village owes it to the community to find out how to do this. There should be a community referendum. The situation has too many negatives. The community just doesn’t want it.
Mrs. Ann DiCioccio stated that she would like to know that happens when you join a Committee – you go in thinking one thing and come out thinking another. She stated that she hasn’t changed her mind. Twelve hundred people signed these petitions, and they don’t want the facility. She did not think the Village Board could do this to their own people.
Mr. Bob Wintermier of Radnor Avenue stated that he gotten some information relative to Metro Enviro. The information is in relation to Karta in Peekskill. In looking at the two operations, the staff at Karta is 60-65 people. It is a fully automated facility and is currently overflowing. The municipality is trying to get them to build a larger facility. The Metro Enviro staff is about 30, and they are not fully automated. The load, however, is larger. With 140 trucks over a nine hour period, there is one truck every nine minutes. He is not as happy with the results of the Committee. There were still a lot of unanswered questions. By the same token, there are a lot of legal negotiations that took place. There were no creative solutions to get them out of the bind. It would be possible to condemn the property. They should stop this application now. There is nothing that says a lawsuit means you loose control. The financial resources of the people of Croton are far larger than the applicant. He stated that he is thoroughly opposed to the application. He opts for the courage to try to take these guys out.
Mayor Elliott stated the condemnation had been discussed.
Mr. James Moore spoke next, stating that the people in Ossining are unhappy with the situation they have at the facility there. The Metro Enviro application has not been honest with the Village -- some of Mr. Clay Tiffany’s remarks at an earlier meeting had merit. If we say yes to Metro Enviro, we will probably be in the courts anyway because of violations. He would rather say no before they begin and be in the courts. He felt that a referendum would be a good idea.
Mr. Peter Tsagarakis stated that it is beautiful to be here, he has been here for 27 years now. He pointed out the picture above the Mayor which symbolizes the freedom of the people to speak. He lost his daughter a year and a half ago to cancer. When you make a decision, you have to make a decision for your children and for your grandchildren. Everyone is suing everybody today. You have to stand up and say what is right. In regard to political issues, this is not a political issue. The Board’ decision should be based on what would happen to their children and their grandchildren should this facility be allowed to operate.
A resident of Half Moon Bay spoke to lifestyle and property values. She stated that Half Moon Bay would be seriously affected. They should get Village Manger Herbek to get grants for the property instead.
Mr. Joel Klein of Old Post Road North stated that he would like to say that he read through the Committee’s report. In regard to traffic, he wanted to read some of the statements that are in the Committee’s report. There is a statement in a letter to the Chairman of the Planning Board where the engineer for the applicant attempted to show that the increase in capacity would not increase traffic for the facility. The report does not say that the 50 truck trips was the existing truck traffic. Their proposed application stated that there would be no net result in truck traffic. Mr. Klein continued by stating that the applicant did deceive the Planning Board. Calculations have been done trying to translate cubic yards into truck trips. If there should be a conditioned SEQRA finding, trucks should be limited by number of truck trips which should be 50, the number put before the Planning Board in 1995.
Mr. Klein stated that he was a little disappointed by the conclusions by the Committee. It did address SEQRA thoroughly, but it did not address condemnation, and it did not go into litigation details. Before a decision is made, the residents should know what the answers are to these questions. The Committee should be reconvened to look into these issues and the results be given to the Board and to the community before a decision is made.
Trustee McCarthy stated that Mr. Klein was a member of the Planning Board and therefore speaks of personal knowledge of what transpired in 1995.
A resident of Old Post Road South stated that this is a very difficult issue. He stated that he is confused as to which side of the issue is right. When the Committee was first conceived, his recollection was that the people would discuss the merits of all the various options. In his opinion, it has become a negotiation committee. The applicant has become an active participant and they are getting a statement of compromise. They need to speak with their hearts a little bit. Do we need to say that it is wrong and operate under that belief? He then referred to page 10 on Table 1 - in that it is evident that the Planning Board never intended Saturday to be a working day at the site. Does that mean that there is no truck traffic on Saturdays?
Village Attorney Waldman stated that they would be allowed to operate normally to the extent of 300 tons from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. only. Whatever else may be said about that, Saturday is the one day where you are not facing that traffic problem on Croton Point Avenue.
The resident asked to what extent is the Village bound by the findings of the Metro Enviro Citizens Review Committee.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that there is not a consensus on this.
A resident of Farrington Road stated that they don’t have to worry about monitoring the location -- the kids from the high school could monitor the site. The Village of Croton-on-Hudson is like a battered woman that doesn’t know that she can say no.
Mr. John Perillo stated that he is the property owner of 43 Croton Point Avenue and a resident of the Village of Ossining. He also noted that he is a personal friend of Mr. Apollonio. He thanked the Village Board for democracy in their various Boards. He stated that he did have reservations about the Committee that was formed. When he spoke to Mr. Apollonio, he had reservations as well and Mr. Perillo stated that he convinced Mr. Apollonio that the due process worked. He had to say in all honesty that he respects the Committee’s report. Metro Enviro cannot be compared to the site in Peekskill. Metro Enviro will not stockpile debris such as the Liquori site did and the Peekskill facility does now. He agrees with Mr. Dashman in regard to control, having served on Boards in Ossining. If this was to go into litigation and the community lost, you would probably loose most of the controls that you now have a handle on. If Mr. Apollonio is ever derelict in the conditions of his permit, there will be a reason to revoke the permit. Mr. Apollonio voluntarily cleaned up the site. In his opinion, Mr. Apollonio is an honorable person and if there is a concern that is not listed, he would comply with whatever the concerns are. The Village Board should consider the due process of democracy. This should not be a political springboard. In all honesty, the Board would have the control of a three year period. He stated that he has had projects before the Board in the past, and his operation at 43 Croton Point Avenue is a better project because of the controls of the Board. He asked everyone to proceed with caution, and think with their heads, not their hearts - every person in this room is bright – consider the permit and watch it as close as possible.
Mr. Larry Mazzola of 13 Church Street asked if the Board would make the determination this evening to grant the permit.
Mayor Elliott stated that the Board will take a five minute break after all the comments have been made, come back and decide whether or not a determination will be made this evening.
Mr. Mazzola stated that he felt that they needed to take a further look at this matter. He stated that he is also concerned about the negotiations, and this means to him that the Village is entering into an agreement to approve the application.
Mayor Elliott stated that this was merely to find areas of agreement between the Village and the applicant.
Mr. Don Michelson stated that he was a former member of a group called CHOPA and it was a group that they should be proud of. A lot of esteemed residents, such as Gabriel Frayne, Tom Watkins and Dan Salzberg were members of this group. Dr. Salzberg single-handedly saved the Croton River from destruction. In regard to the operation proposed here, he is not equipped to state whether or not the Village could put this application to rest. Having been a resident of the Village for 30 years, we do not have the controls that we think we may have. He hoped that the Board will consider what has been said this evening.
Trustee McCarthy asked if they did not go to decision this evening, would there still be opportunity for public comment.
Mayor Elliott stated that the public could still comment.
Trustee McCarthy stated that since this is the last time the residents may speak, the residents should be allowed to speak again if they like.
Mayor Elliott then asked for second comments from those present.
Ms. Valerie Leis of 74 Radnor Avenue stated that the Committee has a great deal of her respect. She stated that she is torn. She wonders about people that think that there is only one answer to this. She would like to hear more about condemnation.
Ms. Morrow stated that she recognized that they have to believe that they would not just be sued and loose, there are many other possibilities. Regardless of how we move forward, she did not want the permit decision to be made tonight. She did not think the Board was ready to judge the application this evening.
Mayor Elliott stated that the Committee did not negotiate with the applicant, nor did they think it was in their charge to do so.
Mr. Michael Goetz stated that there are about 7,000 homes in Croton and several of them would easily write out a check for $100, giving a pool of $700,000 to help buy the property out from the applicant. Mr. Hickey might be willing to take that up if he did not want to go through a lawsuit. He further stated that he was told that the materials were sent to Pennsylvania and stuffed down mine shafts. His question to the Board is what happens if this facility looses its dumping ground?
Village Attorney Waldman informed Mr. Goetz that the applicant will not be allowed to stockpile materials.
Mr. Goetz asked if the applicant is shut down, how do they turn the trucks away?
Village Attorney Waldman stated that he could not conceive that the trucks would arrive at a place that would be shut down.
Mr. Goetz stated that the biggest concern for him is based on their status as a small Village, do they have the resources to enforce the conditions?
Village Attorney Waldman stated that he is confident that the Village has the resources and the will. There will be a monitoring system.
Mr. Goetz asked why the former site got out of hand.
Village Attorney Waldman replied that the DEC did not take control of the situation.
Mr. Goetz stated that the Village has final and first control on shutting down the facility.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that if the Village finds the site in violation of their permit, then the Village has clear power to shut it down. There are two permits and the operator will have to abide by both of them.
Mayor Elliott stated that they are following a procedure prescribed by law.
Ms. Schafrann stated that she brought up condemnation at a prior meeting as well as a Village Board member did. She stated that it seemed to be a big surprise to the Board that the agreement was signed by Greentree Realty and that the paperwork was signed by James Hickey. She stated that she did not know how much digging the Village Board has done to find out about the association of Mr. Apollonio and Mr. Hickey. Additionally, Mr. Ligouri is still doing something on the property. It has been her experience that if they are talking about organized crime, then they will never have controls.
Mr. Zarin informed Ms. Schafrann that she should be careful about what she is saying on television and defaming people. They have not received any information that Mr. Apollonio is connected with organized crime in any way.
Ms. Schafrann stated that she is being careful and she is just concerned when the operation is located on a site owned by someone like that. The community has already said ‘no’ to McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts.
Ms. Michele Selernia of Nordica Drive stated that she has a question about the process here. She understood that the Committee made their recommendation – if there is a Negative Declaration with conditions, wouldn’t there have to be a public hearing on this? She stated that she would like to know what the process is.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that the negotiations have dealt with the conditions that would be placed in the permit, and those are every condition that have existed since 1988. The Planning Board in 1995 recommended additional conditions, all without eliminating anything. All of those would be part of the permit and all of those are what was discussed with the applicant. It was taken as a given that all of the other conditions in all the other documents so far would be part of the permit. If the Board decides to vote this evening, there is the question of the SEQRA compliance and if there is a Negative Declaration, the conditions would be the conditions that would be in the draft of a special permit and they are the conditions largely that the Committee has recommended, some of which have relatively minor modifications.
Ms. Selernia asked if there would be a thirty day period.
Village Attorney Waldman replied that there would not necessarily be a 30 day period.
Mr. Moore stated that based on the previous statement from a member of the Planning Board, the applicant had stated that there would be 50 trucks and now there will be 140 – he has no trust in the applicant. They should be stopped now.
Mr. Michael Zarin, special environmental counsel, and the applicant’s attorney stated that he would like to thank the Board for letting him speak. He stated that he would like to speak to the concerns raised this evening. Some of the concerns are misguided in several ways, albeit in an emotional way. They have tried to lay out the legitimate issues that needed to be taken into consideration. It is not the purpose of the applicant to intimidate the Village. There is no way that this process could be characterized as riding roughshod over the municipality. The Committee had over 10-15 meetings and required them to revise the O & M manual almost entirely, among other items. This is not a perfect facility, but they have worked together to make this work and correct some of the illegalities and flaws that existed. His client put in over $3 million to clean up the property. They were encouraged by not only the DEC but many other people to come in and clean up the site. Many of you have argued that this site should be gotten rid of – this site has been a transfer station for over 15 years now – this is a Light Industrial zoned area. When we talk about legal issues, we have a very strong case that they would probably have an ‘as of right’ use. If you read the cases submitted, where there is any ambiguity in the law, it should be construed on behalf of the landowner against the municipality. They never expected that this would be caught up for this length of time and during an election process. With the Committee, they were able to discuss the mitigation techniques and all of the issues that were brought up. In regard to how can they negotiate with the applicant, the negotiations were very short – the bulk of their work was sitting in front of 12 or 15 people and getting reamed by every single person on the issues. The traffic analysis was done by a former traffic official with the County and cost $17,000. The traffic consultants went back five times to address not only the peak hours of traffic, but off-peak as well. They addressed the level of service at the intersections, and how they will impact it with or without rail. He stated that he was brought in after seven months to litigate, a couple of months before the Village election. The Committee was then formed. Mr. Zarin urged that community outcry alone will not justify the denial of a permit. Based on the history of this case, there is a lot of exposure if this application is just rejected and turned down. A special permit is tantamount to a finding that the use conforms to the use in that area. Just by the fact that this has been a special permit for a number of years increases your burden. When people speak of traffic impacts, the Board of Appeals has spoken on this also. You have a right to demand more of your Boards. There was a permit for 1450 cubic yards, and that is where you start. He stated that he knows that they have disagreed on what those numbers are. The only action in front of this Board as a matter of law is the issue of a significant environmental impact. There is a lot of blame to go around as to what happened before. It was six years of accumulated waste that went unchecked. They will be lucky if they go two weeks without being inspected and checked under these conditions. There are three Committee members that can visit the site at any time. Records must be kept as to truck trips, noise levels have to be recorded and all of these records are open to public inspection at any time. The only waste that can be outside is a total of 400 cubic yards. The maximum height of materials they can have outside the enclosure is ten feet. The facility will be a 17,000 sq. ft. enclosure. Much of the material will be in enclosed containers in the facility. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars building a leachate system. They have hooked into the DOT drainage system. There is a 20 ft. wall that is up now and they will pave all the roadways so truck traffic will never go on any dirt or gravel. They will do a landscaping plan with Half Moon Bay and limit the truck traffic to 10 in the morning. He then showed those present the traffic analysis and the peak times. They agreed to open at 8:00 A.M. At Route 129, there will be 21 trucks per day, that makes up 5% of the total truck traffic that uses that intersection currently - approximately two per hour. They already come in on Route 129. With the advent of their facility, there will be no additional trucks coming down Route 129, and the ones that do come up 129, already do and go to the Karta facility. They identified where all the sources are in the northern part of the County. He stated that he is not saying that the conditions are good, those are already an F level of service, but they are not going to significantly exacerbate this. That is the analysis. There has been some discussion that the Board was mislead. They did the study because they wanted to be credible. The 1995 application was not Metro Enviro. It is unfair, however, he did not blame the Village residents for wanting to avoid the same situation, but it was not Metro Enviro that either made those analysis or violated the permit to the level that they did. The did a credible traffic analysis. In some documents where you see 50 trucks, it may have been true under the Liguori site, but that is not the legal capacity. Mr. Zarin ended by stating that if they do not comply with their permit, they will be closed. There are no ifs, ands or buts. The Committee had a chance to visit the site, they got to see the extra money that went into the site. The scales are computerized. If there are odors, and there are complaints, they will be held accountable. Mr. Apollonio deserves the chance to operate the facility.
Mr. Goetz stated that the truckers start their day about 6:00 A.M. in the morning. His concern is where they will park until the site opens.
Mr. Zarin stated that on site, there is enough room for twelve trucks before the scale, and room for twenty trucks past the scales. The maximum amount of trucks permitted on the site to wait will be ten. Every carting station in Westchester County is permitted to open before 8 am. There has been some discussion as to process. They have offered these modifications as part of their permit application. These came out of two hundred and fifty five days of public hearings and in the give and take were discussed. This did not come out of thin ice. We are voluntarily offering to amend the application as part of the give and take. People should appreciate that these modifications are not inconsequential.
Mr. Goetz asked how the trucks would line up in the site before 8 am if they are not open yet.
Mr. Zarin stated that the trucks, up to ten, will come up to the scale and they will wait there.
At this time, 12:00 A.M., Mayor Elliott called for a five minute break from the meeting. The meeting resumed at approximately 12:15 A.M.
Mr. Moore asked Mr. Zarin about traffic on Route 129, and how many trucks per day would travel on Route 129.
Mr. Zarin estimated 21 trucks per day. There are an existing 250 trucks per day without any operation. They would be 6% of the traffic. Twenty one per day is not insignificant, but one won’t notice it.
Mr. Moore stated that the DEC gave Metro Enviro the approval to clean up the site and that people in the Village had told them to do so. He would like to know who told them this.
Mr. Zarin stated that he would not get into this. They cleaned up the site because they felt that this was the thing to do. This clean up took months. Not once did one person come down to the site and say ‘don’t clean up the site’. No one objected when this was done. They were encouraged and deserve some fairness in return. There was a special permit for years for this site. There are engineering reports that were put out in 1997 that stated there were 15 trucks per hour.
Mr. Bob Wintermier of 43 Radnor Avenue stated that in regard to no comments made about the improvements, Mr. Apollonio was advised that he did the work at his own risk. He asked if those letters were written.
Mr. Zarin stated that he did not state that they relied on any representation and that is why they did it. They went into this, investing 3.5 million dollars, and if that could be taken into consideration, it should be. There is no comparison between this site and the Karta facility. If they look like Karta, they will be shut down immediately.
Mr. Wintermier stated that the people want to take you on now rather than get to that situation. How do you control a third party who is a trucker?
Mr. Zarin stated that they certainly will have agreements with the truckers and can very easily turn someone away.
Mr. Klein of Old Post Road North stated that the queuing issue is something he is hearing for the first time. What size are the trucks?
Mr. Zarin replied that the trucks could be any size. They can handle 12 of the largest from the scale to the gate. We would then turn them away.
Mr. Klein asked if the truck counts would account for this.
Mr. Zarin stated that he would not be able to answer every operational issue this evening.
Mr. Klein stated that he brought these up because these are environmental issues that have not been brought up. It seems to him that anything related to that needs to be considered.
Mr. Zarin stated that he believes that they looked at the bulk of all the issues. They did a first class traffic study.
Mr. Klein stated that in regard to the previous application before the Planning Board, the same engineer was involved in both cases. All the stipulations made in 1995 were presumed to still apply.
Mr. Zarin stated that he feels confident that the traffic analysis that they did and the conversion rates is a credible document.
Ms. Morrow of 61 Nordica Drive asked the Village Board if the letters were sent to Metro Enviro regarding the clean up at their own risk.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that he did not recall that sequence of events. Before the application came before the Board, the clean up had been accomplished. The photographs were shown very early in the process before this Board.
Village Manager Herbek stated that there was no communication to that effect. He stated that he and Donna Conkling, the Planning Board secretary, checked the Planning Board minutes and Village Board minutes that stated that in regard to a statement to the applicant that they were cleaning up at their own risk, they could not find anything in the minutes. There was no evidence that anything of that nature was said.
Ms. Morrow stated that this is an ambiguity that is surfacing.
Mayor Elliott stated that this subject came up several times at meetings. He did not ever recall anyone ever asking them to communicate in writing. It came out in discussions and he recalls Mr. Sarcone stating that no promises were made.
Mr. Klein stated that those statements were in the record made by Norman Sheer, Chairman of the Planning Board several times and he did not know why it was not in the record.
Ms. Morrow stated that she would like to know what type of maintenance would be done to take care of the roads and the ramps off the highway. The other issue is that if they have contracts with their suppliers, then they should be able to scrutinize the contract. They should not be allowed to bring in a truck two minutes before a train comes in the station. Something should be specifically put into the contract as when the trucks can come in.
Mr. Perillo stated that he felt compelled to make a statement in regard to the mentioning of the applicant’s possible connection to organized crime and a connection to Mr. Hickey. Mr. Appollonio is a retired police detective. He has several documents regarding Mr. Tiffany and his credibility. When you talk about organized crime, that is damaging. He has been a local businessperson for thirty years and owns several parcels of land -- this does not put him in the classification of organized crime.
Mr. Wintermeir of 43 Radnor Avenue stated that one of the things that Mr. Klein alluded to is that the Board owes the Village some kind of analysis as to what type of legal exposure is involved here. There are a lot of factors that go into it. His calculations indicate that at a $100 million dollar payoff, it would come to $2,000 per family per year for 20 years, which he would be up to. Also, the Board should classify light industrial zoning.
Mr. Don Michelson a resident of Dailey Drive stated that there was some discussion earlier by Mr. Zarin as to the $17,000 traffic study. In that study, how many additional vehicles do we anticipate on Dailey Drive and how many are there that traverse Route 129 into the heart of the Village this date?
Mayor Elliott replied that currently, 350 trucks pass every day on Route 129 based on information given by Mr. Zarin earlier.
Mr. Michelson stated that when they number the amount of trucks – what should be made clear is that there will be 21 additional trucks versus the existing 300 trucks that come in. He stated that he would venture that they have more small trucks than large trucks coming in.
The applicant’s consultant stated that the trucks range in size from a vehicle with six wheels, to ten to 16 wheelers. There are not as many 16 wheeled vehicles.
Mr. Michelson stated that he begged to differ – he did not think that there were that many trucks passing by at this time. Regarding the traffic study at the train station, his question is have they taken into consideration weather factors, and what does that do to the existing traffic that goes in and out?
Mr. Zarin stated that they did two traffic counts, on a Tuesday and Wednesday. They were told that these were the worse two days of the week. You are supposed to use the peak traffic conditions for a typical day.
Mayor Elliott asked for any further public comment. There were none.
Mayor Elliott called for a motion to close the public hearing. Motion to close the public hearing was moved by Trustee Grant, and seconded by Trustee Daubney.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she will not be in favor of closing the public hearing if they do not vote on it and the public would not be able to comment again.
Mr. Zarin stated that he would like to make clear that this applicant has waited over eight months for a determination. This hearing has been open for 250 days. The law states that there be 60 days for public hearing. There will always be other questions and issues. At this point, he urged the Board to vote it up or down. They have had a fair opportunity to hear the public, and the Committee met 10-12 times. Not every question has been answered. He respectfully submitted that it is not fair for the applicant to wait any longer. They have been as responsive as they can be. If the application is voted down, let the chips fall where they may. They have been fair and patient. He stated that they deserve a vote today. They are already exceeding the SEQRA requirements.
Trustee Grant stated that she is not concerned with fairness to the applicant, but did not see what additional information they could gather. She did not know what else would surface. The Committee spent many hours considering this application, and the Board will have to make their recommendation based on the information that they have given the Board.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she is uncomfortable with not letting the public speak any more if the Board does not go to a vote tonight.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that they can close the public hearing and not make a decision, close the public hearing and make a decision or not close the public hearing at all.
Mayor Elliott stated that if they were to go to another meeting, the Board would raise the issue of opening another public hearing.
All voted in favor to close the public hearing.
Mayor Elliott asked for any comments from the Board.
Trustee McCarthy asked the traffic consultant how he arrived at the truck trip numbers on Route 129.
He replied that he received this information from the State’s records. They did a visual count during the peak hours and they corresponded with the State’s records. They did the morning and lunchtime hours as well.
Trustee McCarthy stated that in regard to the one hour counts, how many trucks did they see in that period?
The consultant replied that it was probably 25 trucks in the morning and a similar number in the afternoon.
Trustee McCarthy stated that the trucks coming down Route 129 are going to go to Karta or Metro Enviro.
The consultant replied that not all trucks are going to Karta, some are making deliveries. The most appropriate route to take is Route 129 to Route 9.
Trustee Daubney asked if the Committee recommended that there be no intake of materials of Saturday.
Mr. Davis stated that this was the Committee’s recommendation, but not in the negotiations.
Trustee Daubney stated that his main objection to this application is that it does not fit in this Village. Metro Enviro is seeking to get 1,000 tons a day into a 17,000 square foot building. With a building of 17,000 square feet, if there is a problem, you would not be able to take anything in anymore. He stated that he did not think that the site fits there, or in the Village. It does not fit the Greenway plan, and there will be traffic problems. The Board was guaranteed last fall that Liguori would be out in April. We still do not know what Liguori is doing. It is not the type of operation that belongs in Croton. He mentioned several types of waste that he was concerned about going into the site.
Trustee Grant stated that there is an indication that the Village will be sued if the permit is denied for significant amounts of money. The important part for everyone to know is that when we go to court, that we also get the facility.
In reply to an earlier question, Mr. Zarin stated that they are not taking in any household recyclables.
Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Zarin if commercial waste would be accepted.
Mr. Zarin stated that they are not taking municipal solid waste.
Trustee Watkins stated that there is a specific prohibition regarding the exempt pile size.
Mr. Zarin stated that it is 400 cubic yards, no higher than 10 feet. That will be an area of 50 X 20 X 10 ft.
Trustee Watkins asked if they had committed to completing the screening along Route 9.
Mr. Zarin replied that they will work with the Board to plant a reasonable amount of trees to provide screening.
Trustee Watkins stated that there was some discussion about certain trucks that Mr. Apollonio has at the Ossining operation. He would like a commitment that those trucks will not be utilizing this property for any reason whatsoever.
Mr. Apollonio stated that the trucks at the Ossining facility would not be used for this site.
Mayor Elliott asked if there was a standard caveat for trucks idling.
Mr. Lee stated that New York City has a law on idling. Facilities that have problems with idling are bus terminals. However, diesels give off less pollutants when idling.
Mr. Zarin stated that when this becomes a noticeable impact, they will take all necessary actions to rectify the condition. He noted that they agree to such on the record.
In reply to a question from Ms. McCarthy regarding noise levels, Mr. Lee stated that it will be noisy in the proposed building. The noise person he had working on this suggested putting in insulation to lessen the noise.
Mr. Zarin stated that there are materials in the building that will absorb the noise. If there are problems, they will clearly take measures to mitigate the noise. Their noise surveys will be taken at the perimeter line.
Trustee McCarthy asked that any amendments to the DEC permit not go to the Planning Board as noted in the conditions, but to the Village Board.
All other members of the Village Board agreed.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that he would like to point out that when references are made to prior approvals it is only to preserve the stringent conditions set forth, and which will prevail.
Trustee McCarthy asked if there were any further revisions to the O & M Manual and if the Committee was satisfied with the revisions.
Several Committee members replied that they were substantially satisfied.
Trustee McCarthy referenced paragraph 21 – should they put in a date?
Village Attorney Waldman stated that the Village should have a set of documents which stand on their own feet.
Mr. Dashman stated that there are three things that have not been addressed. The first one is that there is a situation that will have to be worked out. When the truck dumps, it will be held at the weigh out scale and will be held there until it is cleared that it does not have prohibited materials on board. Also, one of the other things is the total number of employees that are going to be needed. With the populations of Ecuadorians, there needs to be training in the language that the person is going to understand.
Mr. Zarin stated on the record, they will provide training in the language of the employees so that they will understand the operation procedures.
Trustee McCarthy asked about portable sprinklers. She felt that it should be a condition here to water down the roadways twice a day.
Mr. Zarin stated that if it is hot and there is dust on the roadways, they will water it as needed. There will be very little disturbance on the unpaved areas.
Mr. Dashman stated that it is in the manual on page 7.
Trustee McCarthy asked about the Con Rail removal.
Mr. Zarin stated that they could not control Con Rail, but they did contact them. Con Rail does not operate past 7 p.m. Their peak time for pick up will be during the day, but they cannot control them as to when they will pick up. They will make a good faith effort to come to some arrangement during the day between their hours of operations.
Trustee McCarthy stated that at 5 p.m., there should be no dumping, no trucks coming in, no sorting, etc.
Mr. Zarin stated that all processing and trucks will be done at 5 p.m. They may be sweeping, however.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she has given this application a lot of thought and spent five hours this weekend going back through the Metro Enviro documents. She is concerned about the amount of traffic that this application is going to generate. She is concerned about the level of tonnage. The consultant has said that 1,000 cubic yards could be the equivalent of 500 tons. Based on information that Allee King was able to retain indicates that Liguoris were processing 100 tons in 1993 and 162 tons in 1994. What this applicant is proposing is a significant increase from 1994. Contrary to the applicants position, what happened in 1995 is not the starting point for what happens here today. The Planning Board was not told of the number of trucks that were going to be entering this facility. The fact is that this Village Board has never passed on that tonnage and that number of trucks. She stated that she understands the risks, and the applicant argues an ‘as of right’ argument. The Zoning Board did not agree with Mr. Liquori when he made that same argument. As she went through these files, she saw the whole process permeated with apprehension and fears and as a result of that this Board did certain things. This type of traffic with the train station there, 3500 cars parked, buses, etc. will exacerbate the traffic problem. This application is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens. She stated that she has a great deal of respect for those people on the Citizens Committee, but reasonable minds can differ on certain issues. She stated that if they want to decrease their tonnage substantially, as it is presently situated, she cannot vote for this.
Trustee Watkins stated that this applicant has good attorneys. However, the Village has had good attorneys involved in this process also. He stated that he has talked to Larry Dittelman, Norman Sheer and his partner, who is a land use attorney. The issue is not whether the community wants it, but if they use that as the only consideration, they will lose any litigation. If they turn the proposal down, it is the interpretation of all of these people, and the consultant, and the Committee, and the NY DEC that they lose that litigation. He litigates cases, but he is not a fool and will not vote to lose this litigation. There will be litigation – what are our risks? We lose our attorneys fees, pay for lost profits for a time period of when they could have started the operation to when the judge makes a decision, and then they could ask for their legal fees, and then punitive damages. Then he felt that the worse thing that they lose is the ability to impose conditions. We would lose the daily limit on tonnage. They could bring it all in on one day. They won’t have to pave all the roads. We would lose the bond, and the Saturday hours, because right now they could go from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We would lose the inspection requirements. We would lose the agreement with Half Moon Bay. Why do all of these people say that we would lose? Our zoning code allows for processing of applications. He has read many cases. It is not based upon what the other attorneys think. He was ready to fight McDonalds because they had legal ground to stand on. He stated that he is not willing to risk giving up the conditions to lose the litigation.
Trustee McCarthy stated that there are two parts to this application – one is the SEQRA part, and one is how it got here. She stated that in regard to converting one non-conforming use to another by special permit by the Village Board, under the Zoning law is states that a non-conforming use shall not be enlarged, etc., and one cannot tell her that the construction of the pad is not an extension of this use, the additional tonnage, the trucks, and all of these other improvements.
Mr. Zarin stated that unless there is a qualitative change in the current use – the fact that they are modernizing it and upgrading it he did not see how it is an expansion of a non-conforming use. He feels it is a strong ‘as of right’ use. He submitted that he agrees to disagrees on the legal issues at hand.
Trustee McCarthy cited case law that speaks to a spray painting operation and the erection of an addition as they were required to enclose it as a requirement of the fire code.
Trustee Watkins moved that the Board make a Negative Declaration with conditions as set forth in version no 1 together with versions agreed to by the applicant.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that they are amending the application to reflect the conditions agreed to.
Mr. Zarin stated that this is correct, and he will submit this in writing.
Trustee Grant seconded the motion entered by Trustee Watkins.
Trustee McCarthy asked if there were something that the Board needs to do about the bond because the property is not owned by Metro Enviro.
Mr. Zarin stated that under 360, the operator can post the closure bond.
Trustee Grant stated that the Board should really recognize the Committee for the extraordinary work that they had done. The Village owes them a tremendous debt.
Trustee Watkins echoed Trustee Grant’s sentiments and stated that it was a courageous move by them as well.
Trustee McCarthy also echoed the same sentiments.
Trustee Watkins stated that there was discussion about condemnation. This Board is not allowed to discuss this by law. It is simply illegal to do it in that fashion and the Board has not done this for that reason. It is also his understanding that from a legal standpoint, it is the entity that is the applicant. For that reason, the Board was unable in accordance with law unable to pursue any discussion regarding the connection to Mr. Hickey.
Trustee McCarthy asked if there were any way the Village could weigh the trucks themselves.
It was noted that the scales are regulated by the State and the County regulates them as well.
Mayor Elliott stated that the main issue here is control. He stated that he did not think that this Board wants to lose control of the situation. If the community wants to just say no, the Village Board can hold a referendum when they know what the costs are and condemn the property. He stated that if he felt that that the community would be in danger, he would lay down in front of the trucks as well. The traffic issue is a gray issue, and it would be very easy for any one of these Trustees to vote this down. As Trustees, they are obligated to do the prudent thing for this community. He stated that this Board cannot ignore the consultants and the Committee and the attorneys they have consulted with. The main issue here is not threat of a lawsuit, but the control the Village has with a permit.
In regard to the Resolution adopting a Negative Declaration for the Metro Enviro application (attached to minutes), the vote was carried by a vote of 3 to 2: Mayor Elliott, Trustee Grant, Trustee Watkins - aye; Trustee Daubney, Trustee McCarthy - nay.
A motion was then entered to move version one of the Special Permit Use Permit application, seconded by Trustee Watkins and carried by a vote of 3 to 2: Mayor Elliott, Trustee Grant, Trustee Watkins - aye; Trustee Daubney, Trustee McCarthy - nay.
Due to the lateness of the hour, the correspondence listed on this evening’s agenda will be discussed at the next meeting of the Village Board.
5. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
There was no further public comment this evening.
a) Application with NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation for Assistance with Purchase of New Emissions Testing Equipment:
Trustee Daubney entered a motion to approve the above referenced resolution (attached to minutes); seconded by Trustee Grant. All voted in favor (4 to 0).
b) Authorizing Village Manager to Sign Letter of Agreement with the Community Living Corporation for Vocational Services:
Trustee Grant entered a motion to approve the following resolution, seconded by Trustee Watkins:
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the Letter of Agreement with the Community Living Corporation of Mt. Kisco, New York for vocational services as described in the agreement in an amount of $5,000.
In reply to a question by Trustee McCarthy in regard to insurance requirements, Mayor Elliott replied that he would ask for evidence of insurance.
Resolution carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
c) Authorizing Village Manager to Sign Contract with SPCA for Period June 1, 1998-May 31, 1999:
Trustee Grant entered a motion to approve the following resolution, seconded by Trustee McCarthy:
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the contract between the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and the SPCA of Westchester for the period June 1, 1998 -May 31, 1999 in the amount of $4,301.16.
Resolution carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
d) Budget Modification:
Trustee Daubney entered a motion to approve the following resolution, seconded by Trustee McCarthy:
BE IT RESOLVED, the Treasurer is hereby authorized to make the following budget modifications:
TRANSFER FROM: TRANSFER TO:
5-5-17 Deposits in Lieu of Parklands 3-7140-2006 Senasqua Park Balance & Interest
Improvements (currently $38,369.71)
Resolution carried by vote of 4 to 0.
e) Awarding Bid: Seprieo Waterfront Cleanup Project:
Trustee Grant entered a motion to approve the following resolution, seconded by Trustee Daubney:
RESOLVED: that the contract for the Seprieo Cleanup Project is hereby awarded to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications, Real Life Land Improvement of Katonah, New York for their bid in the amount of $69,020.00.
Because of the wide dollar amount spread in the amounts of the bids submitted, Trustee McCarthy asked Village Manager Herbek if he could procure references for the low bidder.
Village Manager Herbek informed the Board that he met with the Village Engineer and Mr. Zaino of the Westchester County Planning Department to go over the figures submitted in the bids.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she would like some type of routine inspections made during the work to make sure the contractor is doing what is required.
Village Manager Herbek replied that both the Village Engineer’s office and the County will be making on-site inspections..
Trustee McCarthy requested that extra inspections be made.
Resolution carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
f) Awarding Bid: Senasqua Park Pavilion Project:
Trustee Daubney entered a motion to approve the following resolution, seconded by Trustee Grant:
RESOLVED: that the contract for the Senasqua Park Improvement Project is hereby awarded to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications, Let It Grow, Inc., of River Edge, New Jersey for their bid in the amount of $134,659.00.
Resolution carried by a vote of 4 to 0.
There were no reports made this evening.
Before the conclusion of the meeting, Village Manager Herbek and the members of the Village Board welcomed Mr. Bob Reardon, the new Village Treasurer.
At this time, Village Manager Herbek also called to the attention of the members of the Board that the Planning Board Secretary, Donna Conkling, has accepted new employment with the Village of Briarcliff and her last day of employment in Croton will be May 15, 1998. Village Manager Herbek noted that she will be missed.
There being no further formal business to come before the Board, the meeting duly adjourned at 2:25 a.m. on a motion entered by Trustee Daubney, seconded by Trustee Watkins and carried unanimously by a vote of 4 to 0.
Donna M. Conkling, Secretary Pro Temp
Village Clerk/Acting Clerk
Corrections to the Special Budget Meeting held on April 13, 1998:
Page 3, line 4: word ‘debit’ should be changed to ‘debt’.