A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, July 6, 1998 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Daubney
Treasurer Reardon Trustee Grant
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee McCarthy
Absent: Village Manager Herbek, 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:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on June 15, 1998 as corrected. Trustee Daubney seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously for approval.
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 $ 243,235.12
Trust Fund 52,830.32
Capital Accounts 39,812.29
Debt Service 5,635.49
a) Mayor Elliott introduced County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz and George Latimer, Chair of the Board of Legislators. Mr. Kaplowitz and Mr. Latimer presented a Proclamation from the County Board of Legislators on behalf of the Village’s 100th Anniversary. Mayor Elliott accepted the Proclamation gratefully.
Legislator Kaplowitz further discussed issues relevant to the Village such as relief for some residents from the Ossining Sewer district charges, Metro Enviro, taxes, Transportation, Croton Point Park and the bar closing time in Westchester County.
George Latimer distributed two reports, which he hopes will help to open the door of communication between local communities and the County. He announced that the County has established a telephone number (914 285-2424) which will list County committee meetings.
Trustee McCarthy asked when Mr. Kaplowitz sent out his memo to other County officials regarding Metro Enviro and when does he expect to receive replies. Mr. Kaplowitz answer that it had gone out in early June and he has received replies from all but two officials. He added that he expects a completion date to be within 30 days. Mr. Kaplowitz stressed that the County does not license Metro Enviro, however, he will pursue aggressively what is appropriate at the County level.
Village Manager’s Assistant, Ed Mills read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Marilyn Kelly, 35 Old Post Road North, regarding an application for a “permit for activities on a wetland or controlled area” to construct a garage and driveway at 41 Old Post Road North which was approved by the Water Control Commission. Ms. Kelly asked that the Village Board review this matter on the basis that it may be a contra- diction of the Village’s Wetlands and Watercourses Ordinance.
Mayor Elliott suggested sending this letter along to the Water Control Commission for clarification and request a response from them.
A letter from Jon Goplerud, Conservation Advisory Council, asking for approval for a 3rd annual Croton River Cleanup day on Saturday, September 19, 1998 from 9:30 am to 12:30 noon.
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the request as stated in Mr. Goplerud’s letter dated June 18, 1998. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. All voted “aye”.
A letter from Jon Goplerud, Chairman, Conservation Advisory Council, recommending that Village-owned parcels at the Kaplan’s Pond and Croton Gorge areas be designated PRE-1 Passive Open Space zones. Mr. Goplerud went on to say that this designation would fulfill a key policy recommendation of the CAC’s adopted 1996 Open Space Report.
Mayor Elliott requested that the Board study this proposal and put the item in a work session, to which all Trustees agreed. Trustee Grant clarified that these areas are now zoned residential and are owned by the Village.
A letter from Sandy Galef, NYS Assembly person, informing Mayor Elliott that the Village will receive a $7,105 grant from the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund.
Mr. Mills stated that this is the fourth grant the Village has received and this application was completed and submitted by Janine King, Village Records Management Assistant.
Trustee McCarthy said that the grant application stated that this would take an additional 60 hours and the costs will be borne entirely by the Village and asked if these funds are budgeted? Mr. Mills replied that there is a line item for the position of Records Management Assistant and will clarify if the funding for this work will be covered by the funds already allotted for next year. Trustee Grant added that it is her recollection that the $8,000 budgeted was put in there in anticipation of receiving a grant and it means they have “found” $8,000 in the budget. Ed Mills will check on this also.
A letter from Helena Mcintrye, Lilli Real Estate, 133 Grand St., requesting the use of Village Streets on October 4th, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for a Walkathon to benefit the Bridge Fund which is a “Prevention is the Best Cure for Homelessness” organization.
Mayor Elliott suggested tentative approval of the walkathon, with some explanation of what streets will be used and what the Bridge Fund is. Trustee Grant requested tabling the request until after further explanation is received. The request was approved and the matter was tabled. Trustee Grant asked Village Attorney Waldman if the Board has the discretion to refuse an organization’s request to march. Mr. Waldman replied that the Village could refuse, within limits of the First Amendment.
Lou Montana stated that the gate at the top of North Highland Place is functional and attractive, but it is now down; on July 3rd, in the morning, a small truck, whose driver had a key to the gate, and a very large flatbed truck seemed to be using the gateway for access. He added that between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., the gate was demolished, presumably by the vehicles he had seen. Mr. Montana added that it does not seem the gate was knocked down deliberately, but through negligence or other intentions; one of the posts was smashed and the fixtures that hold the gate are broken; a police report was filed and it should not be very difficult to determine who was the transgressor. Village Manager’s Assistant, Ed Mills stated that he personally was not aware of this situation and will follow up on this matter.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion.
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign and submit the Law Enforcement Education Partnership grant application on behalf of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and the Croton Police Department to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for a grant in the amount of $29,165.00 to hire a director of the Village Teen Council on a part-time basis.
Discussion: Trustee Grant asked that it be noted for the record that the understanding with this grant application is that this position is for one year only, adding that she is concerned about what will happen at the end of the year. Trustee Grant added that part of the responsibilities of this job should be to get funding for the following year(s). Trustee Grant stated that if the program is a success, which is expected, but grant money is not received for subsequent years, the Village will have to take the position away or make the decision to support it. Trustee Daubney stated that he has similar feelings to Trustee Grant’s; that the program is certainly worth looking into, but has some reservations about what will happen in following years. Trustee McCarthy stated that she agrees with both Trustees; that it is hard to face the issue that a successful program may be taken away; that it must be understood that the Board is not making a statement that the Village will assume funding. Mayor Elliott suggested amending the resolution to include two items; 1) that it is recognized that this position will not automatically be extended after the first year and 2) that the job description include that the employee must look for future funding from outside the Village. Trustee Grant added that Gail Sasso has done an extraordinarily good job for the Teen Council and it is through her efforts that the grant was identified, she wrote the grant and is owed a debt of gratitude for the work she has done, but she can no longer do this work for nothing.
Vote was taken for the amended resolution, with all voting “aye”.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve the attached budget revision, transferring $2,797 to the 1440.100 Personnel Acct. from 1990.400, Contingent account. Trustee Grant seconded the motion; all voted “aye”.
c) Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the attached budget revision, transferring $2,120 from 1990.400 Contingent to $1940.400, Purchase of Land. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion.
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to retain Charles H. Sells, Inc. to prepare a property line survey and topographic survey of Dobbs Park for a fee of $4,120.00 (further text attached).
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy stated that this is the 2nd playground to be approved, but the Village still has a way to go.
Vote was taken, with all voting “aye”.
Trustee McCarthy asked for the Treasurer to comment on the tax change that has been discussed at a work session. Village Treasurer Reardon replied that he discovered this problem in mid-May; he then gave an overview, stating that once a year on March 20th, the Village Manager must submit the tentative budget and the proposed tax rate to the Village Board; the tax rate is a function of four basic elements: expenses, revenue, income from fund balance and assessed valuation; if everything stays flat, the tax rate stays the same; around March 15th the Treasurer’s office reports to the Village Manager the total expenses, total revenues, fund balances and the net municipal evaluation; last year, the total assessed value was given to the manager instead of the net evaluation; when taxes were done this year, it was apparent that the assessed valuation that was used was not the proper one. To get budget back in line, Treasurer Reardon prepared a report, using the correct assessed evaluation and he proposes to reduce expenses and will artificially underspend about $126,000. Trustee McCarthy stated that it is important for people to understand the Village will start next year with 2% increase before touching anything. Treasurer Reardon stated that it appears the assessed valuation is on the rise and he will try to keep expenses down next year, therefore, he will not totally commit to this point of view at present. Trustee McCarthy added that one of her concerns is debt service payments made by the Village and that she realizes the very important issue of firehouses is coming up, need to be addressed and are significant expenditures Trustee McCarthy added that she would like some reserves in the Budget and perhaps set up a capital fund. Trustee McCarthy stated that she would like to hear from residents about how they feel about current fiscal expenses; she has received a suggestion about conducting a formal survey regarding necessary expenses that could be useful. Mayor Elliott responded that he would like to discuss at a work session the philosophy behind the pros and cons of reserving and expenditures; he added that the Village does have a capital budget.
Trustee McCarthy reported also that she read with interest a letter from Zarin & Steinmetz dated June 9th, responding to the Village’s letter of alleged violation at MetroEnviro, where they state that they are allowed to do some things beyond the 5 p.m. closing time, these activities are not limited to weekdays, that the Special Permit does not give the Village the right to regulate how MetroEnviro runs it business, that they find it extremely difficult to operate the business when complaints turn into official violations without discussion with the owner, and that they have problems with the police cars parked outside the business. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Board must enter into a further agreement with Allie King and appropriate money for this purpose as Mr. Dashman has sent off a draft of his forms. Trustee McCarthy added that concerns she has and John Giglio has need to be answered by Mike Lee. Mayor Elliott replied that he agrees and would like to set a work session on the matter for July 15th.
Trustee Daubney reported that River Landing walking trail and access to it were discussed at a work session. He added that the Boat Launch is moving ahead as well as construction of the salt shelter and that Silver Lake Trail is out to bid. He stated that the Board must work on the issue of the use of Village parks by outside people, particularly overnight use; the Police Department should be diligent in enforcing the Village laws. Trustee Daubney reported also that trash has accumulated in front of the small shops in the strip across from Dom’s; trash was out in front of the building the entire weekend, which cannot be allowed; he suggested perhaps giving up a parking space to the left of the building to store trash temporarily. Trustee Daubney reported that the dedication of the mural by the train station was held with good attendance. Trustee Daubney reported also that the accessory apartment bill has been passed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Mr. Daubney asked also about the status of the appraisal of the Municipal Building. Ed Mills replied that he would check into this. Trustee Daubney reported that the Chamber of Commerce is planning a block party in the fall, but has not set a definite date.
Trustee Grant reported that the Senasqua Park signs have been replaced by Senasqua Road signs which is correct. Trustee Grant asked Treasurer Reardon to look into a sound system that the Village has been holding and had agreed to purchase two years ago from the Children’s Theater and this $1,400 needs to be paid because of the expenses they are incurring. Trustee Grant requested that a report from Bob Frankel be included in a work session and she wants him to be present to explain several items.
Mayor Elliott asked to set dates for several work sessions. Mayor Elliott thanked the Village of Ossining for their concert and fireworks on July 3rd. Mayor Elliott also thanked several people for having members of the American Symphony Orchestra into their homes.
Ed Mills welcomed two new employees to the Village, Lorry Pennington, to the Treasurer’s Office and Sylvia Mills, Planning Board Secretary. Mr. Mills reported also that two years ago the Board resolved to name the Municipal Building after Stanley H. Kellerhouse; the Croton Rotary has funded the purchase of plaques to be put on the outside of the building by each of the front entrances and hope to have the Board participate in an official dedication this summer.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Trustee Daubney; approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Village Clerk/Acting Clerk
Corrections to the minutes of the meeting of June 15, 1998:
Page 2, 3rd paragraph, 6th line, change to read:
…to come in to build in the Village.
Page 3, 4th full paragraph, 1st line, change to read:
..noted that he was down to Metro Enviro several times, he observed that after a load of debris was unloaded, a cloud of dust went into the air and floated over in the direction of the Croton Diner. The Metro Enviro staff sprayed the debris with a hose after it was dumped.
Page 4, “d”, paragraph 2, line 2, change to read:
…for the continuation of the lease between….
Page 4, “d”, paragraphs 3 & 5, change spelling to:
Page 7, paragraph 1, 2nd sentence, change name to:
..also that Mr. O’Neil is now chair….
Page 7, paragraph 2, 6th sentence, change to read:
…donate a bench in memory of a deceased relative.