A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, July 20, 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 Manager Herbek Trustee McCarthy
Village Attorney Waldman 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 VOUCHERS:
Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant and approved unanimously.
General Fund $68,006.83
Water Fund 5,024.00
Capital Accounts 2,985.20
Trust & Agency 5,000.00
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence
(full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Helena McIntyre, Lilli Real Estate, changing the date of the previously requested Walkathon from October 4 to October 17, 1998 and including additional information as requested by the Board of Trustees.
Trustee Grant made a motion to grant the request in the letter dated July 15, 1998, subject to the usual conditions. Trustee Daubney seconded the motion; vote was taken with all voting aye.
A letter from Salvatore Alessi, 168 Maple Street, expressing his gratitude to Sgt. Mulleavey of the Police Department for his assistance during a recent difficult time.
A letter from Lester A. Farthing, NY Regional Office, U.S. Dept. Commerce, Bureau of the Census asking for the Village’s assistance in conducting Census 2000 and asking that a Complete Count Committee be organized.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek asked for 4 or 5 residents to volunteer to work on this committee; it is important to the Village to get an accurate count. Trustee McCarthy suggested publicly advertising in the local paper or the newsletter. Trustee Grant suggested that it may be a potential Eagle Scout project; however, Mayor Elliott believed it may not be possible because of the timing.
d. A letter from Msgr. Hilary C. Franco, Pastor, Church of St. Augustine, Ossining, NY, asking for permission to use the Croton Harmon Train Station parking lot, Wednesday, August 5th and Sunday, August 9th from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. for additional parking for their scheduled 21st Annual Italian Festival.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve this request, subject to the usual conditions. Trustee Daubney seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Laura Seitz stated that a few months ago, there was discussion regarding water pipes and roads that are scheduled to be resurfaced and she suggested that residents receive a maintenance schedule so that they can plan for it. Mayor Elliott replied that this could be provided, but residents must realize that this would not be exact since circumstances do impact this type of scheduling. Trustee McCarthy stated that it appears there is not a long-term plan for roads. Village Manager Herbek replied that Ken Kraft had prepared a lengthy briefing and all of that information is computerized; this is not a multi-year program as work is scheduled only one year out since conditions change and there is a need to make judgements when preparing budgets; he added that this list of work to be done is in the budget. Ms. Seitz stated that she would like to have this information somewhere more accessible to residents. Village Manager Herbek added that the only water mains slated to be replaced are 2 inch galvanized mains; if work is done in-house, it is a little bit trickier as it is dependent upon outside emergencies and work that needs to be done; the other way to get this done is to go to bid with an outside contractor and if the Village does go this way, it is easier to notify residents before hand. Ms. Seitz asked if the Sidewalk Committee report has been taken up and has serious discussion been done, if not it should be addressed. Village Manager Herbek replied that the staff has taken up on the Citizen’s Sidewalk Committee recommendations and the capital budget contains a breakdown with $50,000 appropriated to begin the fund for assisting people with sidewalk improvements; how this is to be accomplished will be worked out in a work session, probably in early fall. Trustee McCarthy stated that this had been scheduled for a work session in June, but was deferred to a later date and she has asked it to be scheduled sooner rather than later. Ms. Seitz asked that the sidewalk discussion be in a public meeting so that people who are going to be affected by this can be a part of the discussion. Trustee McCarthy replied that all work sessions are open and would like more complete public notice as to what is going to be covered at the work sessions so people can come and be a part of the meeting. Trustee Daubney stated that this is also a priority of his and it seems they are not having as many work sessions as he had expected. Mayor Elliott stated that this is a matter of scheduling around everyone’s summer schedules and work sessions are scheduled when there will be a majority present. Trustee Grant stated that when the Sidewalk Committee’s formal presentation was given at a regular board meeting, the public was invited to respond; ‘new sidewalk’ issue has re-surfaced; the $50,000 that has been set aside will not be nearly enough to cover all the sidewalk improvements that are needed; this is a large issue and public input is necessary.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve the attached resolution authorizing the filing of an application for a state grant under waste reduction and/or recycling projects. Trustee Grant seconded the motion.
Discussion: this is an attempt to get funds to assist with the purchase of containers for multi-family and commercial properties; residents will be given small containers which will be emptied into larger containers. Trustee Daubney pointed out an error on the summary worksheet which will be corrected. Trustee McCarthy stated that she is concerned that a different procedure will be proposed by other entities and the containers will not be utilized.
Vote was taken with all voting “aye”.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution; seconded by Trustee McCarthy; approved unanimously.
RESOLVED: that Lorraine Pennington, 219 Kings Ferry Road, Verplanck, NY, is hereby appointed to the position of Deputy Village Treasurer, effective July 6, 1998, at the annual salary of $44,000, through April, 1999.
Note: Trustee Grant stated that she has not been able to meet with the new employees and asked they be invited to meet all Trustees very soon.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution; seconded by Trustee Watkins.
RESOLVED: that the Village Manager and Village Treasurer are hereby authorized to proceed with the preparation of a bond anticipation note for Fiscal Year 1998/1999 for the following capital projects:
Leaf Loader $ 20,000
Open body dump truck 70,000
Two 4 by 4 Lo-boys 64,000
Lexmark’s Printer for
Village Treasurer 10,000
Municipal Building Windows &
Air Conditioning Upgrade $300,000
Underground Storage Tank
Upgrades $ 35,000
Dobbs Park Rehabilitation $ 35,000
Salt Shelter Facility $ 75,000
Work on the Parking Lot is temporarily put off until winter, 1999; questions need answers; further study needed regarding multi-car meters & debit cards; if this goes to bid now, it will be a Fall construction and it is better to wait until the Spring; this will not affect the funding. Salt Shed is best located just behind the fence at the very end of the parking lot, as close as possible to the railroad tracks; cost may be $120,000 - $130,000; will need to hire a structural engineer to assist; funds will be $75,000 from the Village and $75,000 from grant money. Trustee McCarthy opined that this $609,000, along with other debt service, is a significant amount of borrowing; the Municipal Building has historic significance and every possible source of funding should be looked into; there has been no attempt in the past to put money aside to cover repairs of the Municipal Building. Village Manager Herbek replied that he has a respected reputation for handling grant applications and getting approvals; he has not been able to come up with any funded options for this building; he would be willing to check out any sources; certain areas are considered municipal responsibilities and there are no funds available to cover them. Trustee Grant stated that she had the same thoughts about outside funding and followed through with numerous places; finally did realize that there was no money out there for certain items.
Village Manager Herbek stated that it does not make sense to start replacing old air conditioning units; it is time for the windows to be replaced, so the windows and the air conditioning should be done at the same time; it has almost reached the point of unsafe conditions; various experts have been consulted and reports submitted; all recommend replacement of windows and air conditioning units; suggestion to phase in the Municipal Building repair project, possibly get new windows and hold off on the air conditioning; window air conditioning units are old, are failing and need to be replaced; it has been recommended to maintain the architectural esthetics of the building, window air conditioners should be eliminated; there is in Croton a quality of life standard and staff should not be asked to work in sub-standard conditions.
Ed Mills, Chair of the Village Safety Committee, stated that there are instances where safety of the Village employees and Village equipment were at risk, such as in the Village Engineer’s Office, when the air conditioner failed and equipment was flooded; also the Recreation Office unit failed and flooded that office; when ceilings get saturated and fall down, it becomes a safety issue. Mr. Mills added that the Village has come to the point where the need to move forward is necessary; important Village events and discussions are made in these rooms for the future of the Village and people have had to endure the heat. Trustee McCarthy stated that she has had no problem hearing anyone tonight when one unit is on and never felt uncomfortable when working in Village Offices in the Municipal Building. Trustee Watkins stated that he has been uncomfortable in this room during summer meetings and both the heat and hearing are problems. A member of the Planning Board was present and added that the replacement of the windows and air conditioning are essential to the functionality of Village Boards. A letter was received from Ann Gallelli, Chair of the Planning Board, urging, on behalf of various boards and committees that use this room regularly, to move ahead with the proposed improvements.
Trustee Grant made a motion to amend the motion and break up the resolution into sections, voting on each item separately. Trustee Watkins seconded the amended motion.
Vote was taken as follows- item:
Equipment Purchases = $164,000
All voted “aye”
Municipal Building Windows and Air Conditioning Upgrade = $300,000
Trustee Grant “aye” Trustee Daubney “nay”
Trustee Watkins “aye” Trustee McCarthy “nay”
Mayor Elliott “aye”
Underground Storage Tank Upgrade = $35,000
All voted “aye”
Dobbs Park Rehabilitation = $35,000
All voted “aye”
Salt Shelter Facility = $75,000
All voted “aye”
e. Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve the attached resolution to amend the SEPRIEO property cleanup project. The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant.
Discussion: Trustee Watkins asked where the existing foundation is and about high is it. Mayor Elliott replied that it is immediately behind the area that Conrail used for the yard and it is about 2 – 3 feet high. Village Manager Herbek added that this is ugly and poses a hazard, it is an old concrete foundation covered by shrubbery; was not covered in the plans because they didn’t know it was there; he can speak to Ken Kraft to see if the Village has resources to do this work; RealLife Landscaping has almost completed its work and will be out of the picture shortly.
Trustee Daubney amended the motion to include the following:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Manager shall analyze the potential of having Village workforces do the actual work instead of the contractor before committing to this change order.
Trustee Grant seconded the amendment to the motion. Vote was taken with all voting “aye”.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the attached resolution amending the General Fund budget to obtain a 911 recording device for the Police Department. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. All voted “aye”.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the attached resolution to amend the General fund operating budget to include the recovered cost of repair to a damaged police automobile. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. All voted “aye”.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the attached resolution to enter into a contract with Public Finance Asso., Inc. to act as the Village’s financial advisor in matters pertaining to future capital borrowing. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. Vote was taken with all voting “aye”.
Trustee Watkins reported: a) on the sign issue, he stated that he has had discussions with Village Manager Herbek and they have spoken to John Imbiano who made the recommendation to use solid wood, but that would increase the cost twofold; the signs similar to those in Katonah are pressed wood, painted and are very attractive; these can be done for about $2,000 each. It was agreed that Trustee Watkins should move ahead to get these signs completed. b) that he has noticed that the Police overtime spending has gone up in recent months. Treasurer Reardon replied that Chief Coxen gave an listing o the extensive docket for the past few months which accounts for the increase; he will get all members of the Board copies.
Trustee McCarthy reported that at last meeting she encouraged residents to call about issues; there is an issue about putting out garbage on Sunday afternoon for pick up on Monday; this may be a topic for a work session and put a reminder in the Newsletter about Village trash regulations. Trustee McCarthy reported also that there has been discussion about cars speeding, especially around Cleveland Drive and school areas; this should also be put on a work session agenda and it may be a good idea to get together a citizen’s committee to look into this. Mayor Elliott replied that this has been discussed at various times and the police can station additional watches and issue tickets. Trustee McCarthy suggested that perhaps this should be addressed in a more formal way. Treasurer Reardon suggested borrowing Cortlandt’s Radar Robot. Trustee McCarthy reported also that there will be a work session Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on Metro Enviro; also the Waterfront Committee is asking for suggestions as to what residents would like to see on the waterfront; residents can contact Andy Zelman or any Board member.
Trustee Daubney asked if the auto has been purchased for which the Board gave approval last year. Village Manager Herbek replied that it has been purchased and delivered last week. Trustee Daubney reported that the CAC Block Party has been scheduled for October 4th; also that they plan on planting daffodils at the entrance to the Train Station and asked if the Village would till the soil. Trustee Daubney asked if anyone from the Board would be attending the July 30th Cable TV meeting with the Town of Cortlandt. Trustee McCarthy stated that she will be there. Trustee Daubney reported on violations by citizens, such as a refrigerator that has be out on Wayne Street for three weeks and the resident should be told this cannot be left for long periods; the Village Codes should be enforced. Village Manager Herbek replied that these items are not just picked up, that residents need to pay for and obtain a sticker; he has made arrangements to get rid of this refrigerator and will bill the owner, adding that there have been other problems with this particular property and the Village is on top of it; he added that an appearance ticket can be issued. Trustee Daubney replied that he agrees an appearance ticket should be issued and this will make people more conscious of taking care of property. Trustee Daubney reported that the Arboretum is continuing to have problems with the golf course, but they are still negotiating. Trustee Daubney inquired about the appraisal for Municipal Place property. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is expected this week.
Trustee Grant reported that the Planning Board received an initial presentation for the concept of a Senior citizen residential/treatment facility; that this is very preliminary; the property is north of Skyview Haven, on 10 acres. Trustee Grant added that Hudson National was also on the Planning Board Agenda. Trustee Grant suggested work sessions be scheduled for every other Monday; this will allow for planning a calendar. Village Manager Herbek replied that this could be done, starting in September, and all agreed; the Board should come up with a specific day of the week. Trustee Grant noted that the tennis courts are in terrible condition and to please check to see if the attendant is doing a proper job. Trustee Grant stated that she would like to have input from Board members regarding the fire department memo and will then a draft a letter to go out to the General Public. Trustee Grant reported that she received two noteworthy calls: 1) stating don’t spend any more money at the waterfront for improvements; that it should be kept natural and 2) suggest a contest be run to rename the Seprieo property. Village Manager Herbek replied that John Imbiano will be developing a questionnaire and he will pass on the suggestion about renaming.
Mayor Elliott thanked the Rotary for their donation of a plaque for the Stanley Kellerhouse Municipal Building. Mayor Elliott reported also that the Teen Theater will have performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the Sunday performance free for Senior Citizens.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary
Village Clerk/Acting Clerk