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November 15 1999
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 15, 1999 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

The following officials were present:

        Mayor Elliott                   Trustee Daubney
        Village Manager Herbek  Trustee Grant
        Treasurer Reardon               Trustee McCarthy        
                                        Trustee Watkins

        Absent:  Attorney Waldman

1.      CALL TO ORDER:

       Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 PM.  Everyone joined in the   Pledge of Allegiance.


Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on November 1, 1999 as corrected.  Trustee Grant seconded the motion.  The Board voted for unanimous approval.


Trustee McCarthy  made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Watkins and approved unanimously.

                General Fund                       $    11,715.81
                Water Fund                                2,724.83
                Capital Acct.                             361,330.20
                Trust & Agency                  15,313.41
                                                   $         391,084.25


Village Manager Herbek read the text of Local Law Introductory #10 of 1999, repealing Local Law #1 of 1999, which made certain amendments to the Village Zoning Law concerning nonconforming uses and special permits and summarized for the board the content of Local Law #1.

Mayor Elliott opened the Public Hearing for discussion.  There being no one from the public wishing to comment, Mayor Elliott closed the Public Hearing and requested comments from the Board.  Trustee Daubney made a motion to approve Local Law Introductory #10 of 1999, which was seconded by Trustee Grant and approved unanimously.


Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):

A letter from Robert A. Dennison, NYS DOT, re: requesting free parking at Croton-Harmon Lot for New Year’s Eve.  After some discussion of the 10 a.m. time requested by the DOT, the Board decided to approve the request.  Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve, seconded by Trustee Grant, with unanimous approval.

A letter from the NYS Board of Real Property Services, re: Final Equalization Rate.  Village Manager Herbek stated that the final equalization rate is actually a slight increase from 9.02 in 1998 to 9.09.

A letter from the Chamber of Commerce, re: proposed signage law.  The letter states that the Chamber recognizes the importance of an appropriate signage law and has spent many hours discussing and considering the proposed signage law.  They have concluded that the proposed law is unwieldy and needs substantial revision to make it compatible with the interests of business in the community.  The Chamber is looking forward to future discussions with the Village Board, the Planning Board and the Planning Board’s consultant, Frederick P. Clark Associates with regard to the proposed law to see if certain changes and modifications could be made to it.  

Ann Gallelli, Chairman of the Planning Board, stated that a meeting is being scheduled between the Planning Board and the Chamber to discuss the matter.

Trustee McCarthy discussed the topics the Chamber’s letter mentioned other than signage; such as lighting, facades, historic preservation, the problems of traffic and parking, public transportation, street furniture, garbage and graffiti removal, beautification, vacancy laws, the chaos of current zoning restrictions, etc. which the chamber urged the Village Board to take under consideration simultaneously with the issue of signage.

Mayor Elliott stated that the Village is trying to move on parallel courses on all of these issues simultaneously.  The Chamber of Commerce working with the Planning Board will take all of these things into consideration.

Trustee McCarthy suggested that the Village retain the services of Mullins Associates to come to Croton, look at the business district and help the village to decide what the vision is for the district and find ways to promote that vision.  After further discussion among members of the Board, it was decided to meet with the Chamber of Commerce and then put this subject on the agenda of a work session to discuss the various ways to approach the matter.  Trustee Grant stated that Croton is fortunate to have a mayor that is the type of person who would be hired to do this type of planning for communities, having experience with Main Street USA.

A letter from Marc S. Albrecht, 191 Cleveland Drive, re:  street lighting on Cleveland Drive.  Manager Herbek stated that the staff is currently reviewing his suggestions.

A letter from Ryna Lustig, 53 Hastings Avenue, re: spruce tree on Benedict Boulevard.  Manager Herbek advised that when attention was focused on removing this tree and replacing it with another, a staff member had offered a tree on her property as a replacement.


Marc Albrecht, 191 Cleveland Drive, thanked the Board for considering his letter.  He stated after he wrote the letter, he noticed that two lights were out on Cleveland so he reported it.

Leo Wiegand stated that he had received the letter from the Village about the street lighting on Benedict Blvd. and came to the conclusion that they probably didn’t need more lighting but he agreed with Mr. Albrecht that speeding from Riverside into Harmon is a problem.


On motion of Trustee Daubney, seconded by Trustee Watkins, the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

        WHEREAS, the Croton-Harmon School District incurred a large water bill in February of 1999 due to the installation of a new irrigation system; and

        WHEREAS, the Croton-Harmon School District has asked the Village to forgive the penalty as the problem has been under investigation for the ensuing period; and

        WHEREAS, the Manager and the Treasurer concur with the school system’s position, the Village Treasurer wishes to write off the penalty in the amount of $l,893.68 and amend the Croton-Harmon School District water account.

        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Treasurer write off the February 15, 1999 penalty of $1,893.68.

On motion of Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Daubney, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on- Hudson, New York with unanimous vote.

        WHEREAS, bids were opened on October 28, 1999 for the Sunset Park Improvement Project, and

        WHEREAS, two companies submitted bids for this project with the bid of Pat Corsetti, Inc., being the lowest of the two bids in the amount of $139,102.50, and

        WHEREAS, the landscape architect who prepared the bid documents, Cherbuliez/Munz has reviewed the bids and recommends that the bid be awarded to Pat Corsetti, Inc.

        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award a contract to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications, Pat Corsetti, Inc., for their bid of $139,102.50 for the Sunset Park Improvement Project.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy inquired whether the Village can include a clause in the contract which would impose a penalty for late completion and was advised that once the project is bid, it cannot be imposed.  After further discussion by the Board concerning additional penalties, subtraction from the contract price or adding a financial incentive for early completion on future contracts, it was decided to discuss the possibilities with Attorney Waldman.

On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Daubney, the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

        WHEREAS, on September 30, 1999 bids were opened for the Senasqua Shoreline Stabilization Project, and

        WHEREAS, three bids were received which were all in excess of the funds available for this project, and

        WHEREAS, the staff believes that this project can be completed with part of the work being provided by utilizing either Village forces or outside contractors to do the excavation part of the job and by contracting with another firm to install the gabions at a cost within the amount of funds available for this project,

        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to reject the bids for the Senasqua Shoreline Stabilization Project and to proceed with this project by utilizing one contractor to provide the gabions and either Village forces or an excavation contractor to do the excavation work.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy questioned whether the Village went out to bid on the gabions and was advised that Maccafferi Gabions, Inc. is the only known maker and installer of the gabions that the village is aware of.

On motion of Trustee Daubney, seconded by Trustee Grant, the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

        WHEREAS, the Village’s existing Master Plan is 22 years old and requires revision; and

        WHEREAS, there currently exist 4 plans for the Village--a 1977 Master Plan, a 1992 Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, a 1997 Greenway Vision Plan for the Croton Waterfront, and a 1996 Open Space Inventory, which all need to be incorporated into one Comprehensive plan, and

        WHEREAS, the New York State section on Village Law 7-722 states that only the Village’s Board of Trustees is authorized to adopt a village’s comprehensive plan, and

        WHEREAS, the statute allows the Board of Trustees to authorize a “special board” to prepare a village’s comprehensive plan and to recommend approval of this plan by the Board of Trustees,

        NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the following individuals are hereby appointed to serve on the Comprehensive Master Plan Committee:  Larry Bickford, Kurt Carlson, Paul Doyle, Ann Gallelli and Roger Solymosy; and

        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Committee is authorized to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for the Village subject to a public hearing and final approval by the Board of Trustees.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy requested that minutes of the Comprehensive Master Plan Committee be distributed to the members of the Village Board.  Mayor Elliott will speak to the committee regarding preparing minutes but the meetings are open and everyone is welcome to attend.

8.      REPORTS:

Village Manager Herbek stated the village is about ready to go out to bid for the new fire station facilities.  One is to replace the Harmon firehouse in its entirety and the other is to do a major overhaul to the Grand Street firehouse.  Bid documents are close to being finished and will be ready for pickup by bidders on November 23rd, with a bid return date of December 20th.  There is a mandatory pre-bid conference that will be held on December 10th at 11 a.m. at the Grand Street project site for all potential bidders.

Village Manager Herbek advised that the Village is underway with its annual leaf collection program.  The leaves are being brought to the village’s former sewage treatment facility and the village is working on a proposal for composting the leaves.

Manager Herbek distributed a list of proposed topics for the work session to be held on November 22nd  (further discussion of sidewalk improvement program, plan for composting leaves and costs, update on Brook St. grade crossing elimination project).  He requested that the board schedule an executive session tonight for next Monday night to discuss the issue of collective bargaining.

Trustee Watkins questioned the cost of the Master Plan Revision.  Manager Herbek advised that the first job the Comprehensive Planning Committee is going to undertake is to prepare the request for proposals that will identify the scope of what the Village is asking a consultant to do.  The proposals received will depend on what is included in the RFP.

Trustee Watkins discussed the sodding of Fireman’s Field and whether it is necessary for safety.  Trustee Daubney advised that the seed that was planted will likely take hold but it won’t be known how well until the spring.  The decision could be made in the spring whether or not to sod.

Trustee Watkins advised there are going to be two meetings, tomorrow and Wednesday evenings, at CET having to do with potential expansion of the schools in Croton.  Those meetings are open to the public and it would be beneficial for members of the public to attend.

Trustee Watkins advised that the Croton Girls Varsity Volleyball Team is now in the semifinals of the state tournament.  Last year they were state champions so he wishes them well.

Trustee McCarthy stated that in connection with the school expansion, the CAC was concerned about certain property lines and wanted to see a survey.

Trustee McCarthy requested that the public comment and provide the Board with ideas on the issue of restricting power mowers and other equipment.

With respect to the sidewalk improvement program, Trustee McCarthy advised that she and Trustee Daubney drafted a memorandum that was sent to the Board members.  Attached to that memorandum was a proposed resolution which would implement a program in the Village which would be a grant program of sorts.  This is an issue that is being debated now and the Board requested comments from the public either by phone or at the next Board Meeting.

Trustee Daubney congratulated the Girls Volleyball Team which is undefeated at 23 - 0.  He reported on his field trip to Dobbs Field, Fireman’s Field and Duck Pond Field.  He stated the infields at Dobbs Field and Fireman’s Field look very good.  At the Duck Pond Field the little league parents weren’t pleased with the infield.  It is dug up for drainage and the little league parents who were present felt that they could afford to purchase sod for that field themselves.  They authorized the contractor to move ahead.

Trustee Watkins stated that he was concerned about the Little League contracting with the contractor to do work on Village-owned property unless it goes through the administration or through the Board.  It appears that this is an entirely appropriate use of their funds to improve that field, but a precedent could be started.  Village Manager Herbek reported that normally it is handled by flowing the funds through the Village account.  In this particular case, the Village has a contract with the individuals that will do the work and a change order will be issued to have the funds come in from the Little League and pay them out through the village.

Trustee Daubney brought up the idea of kiosks which the Board discussed sharing with other organizations such as the library, Chamber of Commerce, etc.  The subject will be discussed at a work session.

Trustee Daubney advised that the lumber for the handicapped walkway at the Arboretum has arrived.  The Trail Committee will meet this Thursday for discussion of the right-of-way that has been discussed before.

Trustee Grant reported on the Government Day which was held with Doug Young’s high school social studies class.  Trustee Daubney and she worked together in the past to set up a day for the seniors from the high school to spend at the municipal building and learn about local government.  They then toured the village by bus and had lunch at the Yacht Club.  The cost of the day was split between the Democratic and Republican parties of Croton.

Trustee Grant questioned whether the Dobbs Park playground was open and ready for use and Village Manager Herbek responded that if it wasn’t already, it would be soon.

Trustee Grant stated that the Girls Volleyball Team is going to Rochester for the semifinals on Friday and the finals on Saturday.  Some parents have questioned if there is any place in the Village that might be appropriate to put a permanent sign announcing Home of the Champions, particularly if they win again this year.

Mayor Elliott read a letter from the Chamber of Commerce challenging the Board to adopt and decorate a holiday tree.  Trees will be placed in the flower barrels during the week after Thanksgiving and they are hoping various business or organizations will adopt a tree.  The Board accepted the challenge to decorate one of the trees.

There being no further business to come before the Board, Trustee Watkins made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Trustee Daubney and approved unanimously.

The meeting was adjourned at 10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Dianne C. Weeks, Secretary

Village Clerk