Regular Board Meeting
November 2, 1998
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 2, 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 8:10 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 October 19, 1998 as corrected. Trustee Daubney seconded the motion. The Board voted for unanimous 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 McCarthy and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 28,821.79
Water Fund 3,559.12 Capital Accounts 32,177.37
Trust & Agency 4,228.08
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from William A. Zutt of the Law Offices of Bolger, Hinz & Zutt, P.C., indicating that Robert Dusconi, owner of premises at 163 Grant Street, will be submitting an application to change the present use to a full service restaurant/cafe. Village Manager Herbek stated that this letter is in response to a letter from him and is preliminary to the application and
no check has been submitted. Trustee Grant added that a public hearing will be required if a special permit application is requested. Trustee McCarthy questioned if more than a year, non-conforming use has been at that location, is it not correct that there is no longer a non-conforming use that is in existence in order to change from one non-conforming use to another non-conforming use. Village Manager Herbek replied that it has not been clearly determined that the discontinued use has been 16 months. Village Attorney Waldman stated that the present owners have a right to make an application if they chose to do so. Village Attorney Waldman stated that the Village adopted this area as mixed use but it does not cover everything; it does cover those mixed uses that the Boards thought, after great consideration, should be allowed.
A letter from Karen L. Timko, Senior Environmental Counsel, MTA asking for a decision on what project escrowed funds amounting to $84,000 are to be dedicated to. Mayor Elliott stated that the railroad tie removal project is more complex than as stated by Ms. Timko. Trustee Daubney stated that the funds should be used as applied for; he added that he is lukewarm about the railroad tie removal. Mayor Elliott added that the DEC Regional Director has asked to look at all projects to make sure the Village will get optimal use of funds; if there is a possibility to get more money, he would like to do this. Village Manager Herbek stated that the boat launch would cost about $150,000; he has not heard yet about application for grant from CWCA act.
A letter from Frank W. Endress, Croton Dodge, replying to a letter from Joseph Sperber, asking for consideration to allow certain vehicles to remain at 337 S. Riverside Ave. on a temporary basis until November 15th.
Trustee Grant stated that there were a lot more than 15 cars there today, but the “for sale” signs have been removed. Trustee Daubney stated that he did not care one way or the other whose cars are there since it is a parking lot. The Trustees agreed to allow Croton Dodge to leave the cars in the lot until November 15, 1998 as requested.
A letter from Scenic Hudson, Inc. asking for support to restore State funding for the Estuary Management program. Mayor Elliott explained some of the history behind this program and proposed the Board support a resolution asking to restore funding. Trustee McCarthy stated that she does not have enough knowledge about why this was removed from the budget and does not want to support it without more details. Mayor Elliott responded that he will provide a memo with the background and raise it again at the next meeting.
Discussion commenced on Resolution (item 6a on the agenda) regarding Alternative E for the proposed access road. Village Manager Herbek noted that John Imbiano, who is heading the study, is present tonight. Trustee McCarthy stated that she has spoken with Mike Lee, from Allee-King, who told her about another project which resolved the problem without raising the elevation of the road and asked Mr. Imbiano to take a look at this.
Trustee Watkins stated that he does not want to lose the money from the State and Metro-North, and does not want to lose the new road, but also does not wish to eliminate the boat storage area; he added that the Board would be amenable to exploring other possibilities for a few weeks. Trustee Grant stated that she looked at the plans with Kary Ioannou and he believes the plan as presented by CTE is the way to go and there is a safety factor in closing the Brook St. crossing. Trustee Grant asked what Metro North would do if the Village does not approve the construction of the road, can they build it without Village approval. Village Manager Herbek replied that he believes Metro North cannot enter into anything without an Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Village. Village Attorney Waldman concurred. Trustee Grant added that she is in favor of the plans for the road and hopes to work out a way to preserve the tunnel view.
Trustee Daubney stated that he also wants the road, but the best road, and another two weeks will not be a concern; he also hopes to retain the tunnel. Trustee McCarthy asked if the rest of the money has been found. Mayor Elliott replied that he believes it is forthcoming, but is not in writing yet. Village Manager Herbek added that this has always been thought of as a Metro North project, but Lead Agency may be the Village; there are some staffing problems; the risk will be assumed by the agency that puts the project out to bid; Metro North has more resources than the Village and they are willing to be Lead Agency.
5. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Karen Jescavage-Bernard, Arboretum, stated that it can take 3 or 4 tries to get information, even through the Freedom of Information Act; she is asking to be able to come to the Village office and get immediate access to public records. Village Manager Herbek replied that his office is not staffed fully for them to drop everything to access records; that they do have 5 days to respond to these requests. Ms. Jescavage-Bernard suggested she have a standing order and then the staff can make an extra copy of information that is open to the Public and have it on file. Trustee Watkins suggested Ms. Jescavage-Bernard fax in her request or mail it, which would cut down the time need to come in with the request; the information can then be picked up when it is ready. Trustee McCarthy added that she has sent in many requests by fax and was called when the information was ready; she has not had a problem with response time.
Carl Grimm stated that the new road plans technically meet all requirements for a highway; the Village has the opportunity to have a magnificent view of the Hudson and the project can be made to work.
Phyllis Morrow asked when the deadline is. Village Manager Herbek replied that the Village should make a decision in a few weeks. Ms. Morrow stated that she is concerned that the road gets too tied into the Brook Street crossing issue and would like to extricate that issue about the crossing being dangerous. Ms. Morrow questioned also who will use the road; she doesn’t want a lot of cars whipping up and down when she uses Senasqua Park.
Ed Rondthaler asked how people will get to the Park while the road is being built. Village Manager Herbek replied that the grade crossing will be kept open and they hope to do the work during the winter months. Mr. Rondthaler replied that this project may take a long time and suggested building a temporary road across the tunnel and see how it works.
Richard Perrucci mentioned a newspaper article about Metro Enviro and read from the article. Mr. Perrucci noted the reference to Mafia connection and if this could be used to reopen the Metro Enviro special permit. Village Attorney Waldman replied that nothing in this article could be used because there is nothing in it that was not known before granting the permit.
Michelle Celleria, Nordica Drive, referred also to the newspaper article that states that Metro Enviro is owned by Mr. Appolonio with James Hickey and asked if the Village has any information about who the owners are. Village Attorney Waldman replied that he has seen documents that Mr. Appolonio is the owner of Metro Enviro. Trustee McCarthy stated that she has not seen the corporate liability documents. Village Attorney Waldman suggested calling the reporter and asking if he has any documents that can be sent to the Board. Trustee McCarthy stated that she believes there is an affidavit of Publication may one way to find out who the owners are. Ms. Celleria stated that she has a has a copy of a letter to the DEC dated 9/28/98 from Appolonio plus an unsigned statement. She added that the DEC did not do a background check on Metro Enviro and the owners. Ms. Celleria referred to the statement in the letter that says Mr. Appolonio is a manager, with no mention of his being an owner. Trustee Watkins replied that to his recollection, the Manager is generally a member and a representation of the other two other members are Mr. Appolonio and his daughter. Michelle Celleria stated that the Village must be on top of any problems and should get to the bottom of who the owners are
Trustee Daubney stated that he has seen no inspection evidence; how much is the Village Engineer inspecting? Village Manager Herbek replied that it is being inspected on a regular basis by Kary Ioannou and Joe Sperber who works for him. Mr. Herbek stated that he does not want the Village Engineer down there every day. Trustee McCarthy asked for copies of reports and stated that Kary Ioannou has the most expertise in this type of inspection. Village Manager Herbek replied that Joe Sperber is perfectly capable of monitoring and has a checklist. Trustee Grant stated that there was a prior agreement that the citizen committee would monitor Metro Enviro and Joe Sperber could do routine checking; anything questionable would be given to the attention of Kary Ioannou to make the determination if there is a problem or not. Trustee McCarthy added that she is not satisfied that the Village Engineer goes only once a week; the Village is running the risk that the operation will go afoul like before. Trustee Grant added that the Board is working as a whole in monitoring Metro Enviro and have the same interest in mind and asked that information that comes to light in the future be shared with all members of the Village Board. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Board all agrees with the general philosophy of monitoring Metro Enviro, but have a difference of opinion on how to get there. Trustee Grant added that there is no one on the Board that does not want to see Metro Enviro do the right thing and will not negatively impact the Village. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Citizens Committee was established as a back-up and their reports are kept on file at the Village Office. He added that the staff, Joe Sperber, Kary Ioannou and Village Manager Herbek are going down at least one day a week each and the DEC is also monitoring, which gives three layers of monitors.
Mr. Perucci asked if now that the operation is closing in Ossining, will it be operating the same in Croton. Village Attorney Waldman replied that they must operate under Croton regulations and their permit; the Ossining operation was closed as soon as the Croton operation was opened; the paper is referring to the time of the sale, not the time of operation in Ossining. Mr. Perucci asked about any violations which have occurred. Village Attorney Waldman stated that there was one notice of violation that was issued early; the incident has not been repeated to his knowledge.
Andy Mayti stated that November 11th at 11 a.m. there will be a Veterans’ Day service at the Cemetery Chapel; there will also be a serve on December 7th at 11 a.m. He added that the smell from the new bridge is very bad at 3 a.m. and seems to be coming from garbage container trains.
Resolution for Alternative E: new access road to be built maintaining Senasqua Rd. Tunnel for pedestrian and bicycle use only was withdrawn.
b) On motion of TRUSTEE Daubney, seconded by TRUSTEE Grant, the
following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York as amended, with the following vote: Trustees Watkins, McCarthy, Daubney, “aye”, Trustee Grant “nay”.
WHEREAS, the Seprieo Property has been getting a tremendous amount of use and many vehicles have been driving through the property and
WHEREAS, to help eliminate and control this problem, a parking area has been planned for a specific area and a gate is necessary to allow Village vehicles into the property for collecting garbage and other related work but which will keep outside vehicles out of the main area of the property and
WHEREAS, the Village Recreation Superintendent has obtained a quotation for the purchase and installation of a heavy duty gate at a cost of $1,826.00 and
WHEREAS, sufficient funds are not available in the Recreation Budget for this purchase which was unanticipated at budget time
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to make the following budget transfer:
Increase account 7140.0414 by $1,826.00
Decrease account1990.400 by $1,826.00
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Recreation Superintendent proceed with issuing a purchase order for this job to Ryther Purdy Lumber Company of Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Discussion: Trustee Daubney asked if it has been determined that it would be better to have an outside company do this rather than the Village. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is the best way to go. Trustee Grant stated that there is a chain link fence in the area; but this is to be to the north of this which will be the parking area. Village Manager Herbek stated that the gate will control access to the main part of the property; access by Village personnel and equipment is necessary.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she doesn’t want to put up a gate and perhaps 6 months later tear it down; did we get multiple bids for this; is there a more economical way? Village Manager Herbek replied that if the gate is not put up, citizens’ vehicles will still go in year round; it was difficult to get one bid for this; chains can be hazardous but the Board can decide what to do. Trustee Grant suggested trying a chain first and if this doesn’t work, perhaps put up a gate.
Trustee Daubney questioned the cost and asked why a barrier could not be put in for about $600 since there are only two posts.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to amend the resolution the reduce the amount available to spend by $600. Trustee Watkins seconded the motion. Vote was taken, with all voting “aye”.
REPORT ON OLD POST ROAD NORTH TRAFFIC:
Village Manager Herbek reported on Old Post Road North traffic concerns, that he has given the Board two reports, one from Chief Coxen and one from Ken Kraft; they have requested from Westchester County DEC to place a traffic counter on this road which is in place today.
Richard Corvenus stated that he read both reports and noted that Chief Coxen refers this road as a thoroughfare. Village Manager Herbek replied that it was referred to this way in the old Village code. Mr. Corvenus stated that his letter did not address using stop signs as a means of speed control. He added that both reports admit there is an egress problem. Mr. Corvenus suggested stops signs at Hunter, south, Prospect, north and south, Stevenson, north and south. There is also an issue with the need for sidewalks in this area.
Trustee McCarthy stated this is definitely a problem that has to be addressed and asked what the next step is. Mayor Elliott replied that when the study is done, they will have an idea of the volume and may talk to the DOT about a change in the road.
Village Manager Herbek reported that leaf collection has begun; residents should rake leaves to the curbside or bag leaves; collection areas are published in the Village newsletter; the Village is divided into sections and 7 collections are scheduled.
Trustee Watkins asked about the status of the entrance signs. Village Manager Herbek replied that he has not heard from them recently, but will check. Trustee Watkins added that the exhibit of Croton artistic works the last 100 years that was held at Bethel Chapel by Cornelia Cotton was a wonderful exhibit.
Trustee McCarthy reported that the work session will be held on Monday at 7:30 and asked what is on the agenda. Village Manager Herbek replied that he has scheduled rezoning, the recommendation from the Conservation Advisory Council, helicopter landing law, issue of raising fines for parking in handicapped spaces, bed & breakfast law, master plan revision, sale of cars in C-1 zones, and changing the law regarding non-conforming uses.
Trustee Daubney stated that the leaf pick up needs some improvement; residents should not put the leaves into the street; they should refer to the schedule of leaf pick-up or bagging is another solution to raking into the street. He reported also that he went to Croton Dam and he did not see flashboards on the dam; there are only blocks of concrete. Mayor Elliott stated the idea of flashboards is to get the full flow over the dam; he was up there Sunday and they were in place. Trustee Daubney reported that the Goblin Walk on Saturday was a big success; about 500 people participated; a letter of special thanks for the help from the police department and fire department personnel was given by him for Mary Zimmerman. Trustee Daubney stated that the Fire Department had concerns about not getting action on budget items for repairs; they still have to maintain the fire houses. Trustee Daubney asked if a report will come from the engineers regarding the new fire house construction; have we gotten anything in writing on this. Village Manager replied that this will be added to the December 2nd work session.
Trustee Grant reported that the Assembly-sponsored Accessory Apartment Law came back in a watered-down version and is only for disabled senior citizens; the Town has passed their own local law and will try it out. Trustee Grant gave congratulations to the Croton-Harmon girls volleyball team who won their semi-finals and will play for sectional championship on Wednesday. Trustee Grant gave congratulations also to Cornelia Cotton on the extraordinary art exhibit. Trustee Grant added that the Goblin Parade was fantastic and perhaps 500 kids participated.
Trustee Grant stated that she would like to raise the issue of the possible sale of the Village sewer treatment facility and would like to see it put back on the tax roles and a decision should be made. Mayor Elliott replied that there was a difference of opinion on what direction to take. Trustee McCarthy stated that she would like to get input from all Village departments regarding any possible use that may be forthcoming. Trustee Watkins stated that they have been talking for years about selling and haven’t found a proper Village use for the property. Trustee McCarthy suggested sending a letter to Boards asking for their comments. Mayor Elliott agreed to poll all Boards, councils, committees, and commissions and ask for a reply by mid-December.
Trustee Grant noted that sidewalks are on a work session scheduled for December 2nd and asked that all Sidewalk Committee members be notified. Trustee Grant asked about the status of the windows for the Municipal Building. Village Manager Herbek replied that a bid was put out and four replied were received; he would like to discuss the option of using other materials that have been suggested. Trustee Grant stated that she and Trustee Daubney attending Doug Young’s Senior Social Studies class.
Mayor Elliott gave congratulations to Cornelia Cotton and the exhibit, which was touching and well represented Croton’s history. He added that Peggy Keesler is in the hospital and all wish her well.
Trustee Daubney made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Grant; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary
Village Clerk/Acting Clerk
Corrections to the minutes of October 19, 1998:
Page 3, paragraph 4, line 5, should read: …possible the way it is planned.
Page 4, paragraph 1, line 2, should read: …historic item along the Hudson…
Page 7, paragraph 2, Discussion, should be under Resolution a, not Resolution b.
Page 8, paragraph 1, line 11: change to read: .they had were that the application fee is high enough to cover publication costs. In Croton, the Engineer’s office sends out the required notices. Ms. McCarthy suggested that perhaps the notices should be sent out by the application as other Villages have done.
At the end of paragraph 1 add: that the Village could require the applicant to provide proof of mail, such as certified mail receipts to ensure that all interested parties receive notice.