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July 10 2000

A Regular Board Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, July 10, 2000 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

Present:        Mayor Elliott                   Trustee Grant
                Trustee Harkins         Trustee Watkins
                Attorney Waldman                Treasurer Reardon
                Manager Herbek

Absent: Trustee McCarthy


Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:06 P.M.  Everyone joined in for the Pledge of Allegiance.


Trustee Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on June 26, 2000 as corrected.  Trustee Grant seconded the motion and was approved unanimously.


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

                General Fund    $ 39,711.30
        Water Fund                   2,314.51
        Capital            37,186.28
        Trust                        4,865.00
        Total                   $ 84,077.09


Peter A. Cannito, Metro-North Railroad, re: train service improvements.

Carol-Ann Lakovits-Pucci, 55 Hastings Avenue, re: two-hour parking restriction.

Trustee Watkins asked why the Village couldn’t issue parking permits.  The Mayor said that there are a variety of case laws on the subject.  He added that it wasn’t so much a concern with loss of revenue but complaints by residents and business owners that the law is in effect.  Manager Herbek had researched the problem and found that a possible solution was to install signs that indicate no parking between 8am and 10am.  However, he is not sure if this is enough time.  Trustee Grant stated that she has concerns with restricting residents’ right to park.  Manager Herbek suggesting increasing the time to 4 or 6 hours.  Trustee Watkins stated that he knew of several communities that issue street permits.  The Mayor stated that it is illegal to discriminate parking on public streets, but said he would have Manager Herbek research the issue further.  Trustee Grant suggested informing the resident that the Board will research the issue further.

Kenneth Verschoor, Planning Department, Town of Cortlandt, re: amendments to Town Zoning Ordinance re: golf courses-special permit.

Petition re: establishing a permanent home for the arts.

Mayor Elliott stated that Trustees Grant and Watkins have been researching the possibilities.  The Mayor asked if it is possible to break up the space between several buildings or if it was necessary to have it all in one area.  Trustee Watkins suggested making this issue a work session item.  Trustee Grant asked that any research done by the Art Committee be brought to the work session.  She added that the round room in the back of the library should be looked into as a gallery.  Mayor Elliott said that the first floor of the Municipal Building was dedicated as the Cornelia Cotton Art Gallery.

Paul A. Crotty, Bell Atlantic, re: merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

Thomas A. Seery, PE, re: proposed air-conditioning system.

Trustee Watkins stated that he was confused by the letter and needed clarification.  Mayor Elliot stated that the consultant was asked to do design work for each of the proposed options, 1 & 2.  Trustee Harkins asked what the original consultation cost the Village.  $7,500 was the original cost.  Trustee Harkins added there is a difference of about $160,000 between the two options.  Trustee Grant stated that she is prepared to choose the less expensive of the two options.  She does not want additional plans drawn up.  She said the Board was given a recommendation by the consultant and the Board should make a decision.  Trustee Watkins asked that the letter was in response to.  Treasurer Reardon explained that for an additional fee, the Board could receive design work for both systems.  Manager Herbek said the design work could cost between 8 and 10% of the cost of the project.  Manager Herbek added the he was under the impression that Trustee Harkins asked to get more of an evaluation of the options.  Mayor Elliott suggested Trustee Harkins contact Mr. Seery with any questions and to put this item on the agenda for the work session.

Millennium Pipeline

Manager Herbek stated that an amendment to the route variation for the pipeline was filed June 28, 2000.  This alternate route, the Con Ed right of way that follows public highway and bike paths, satisfies the safety concerns of the Public Safety Commission.  Anyone who wished to protest this amendment may do so before July 27th.  Joel Klein stated that he had downloaded this information from the Internet and gave copies to Manager Herbek.  An environmental impact report was included in this information.  Mr. Klein stated that there are a number of concerns that were not addressed in the environmental impact statement one of which was traffic impacts.  Mr. Klein said the route was changed due to concerns of power failure in the transmission lines from blasting.  However, Mr. Klein stated that Con Ed never took into consideration that the proposed route was the Indian Point Evacuation Route.  He also stated that SEQRA concerns might have been violated.  The Mayor stated that a letter is being prepared on behalf of the Village addressing these issues and advocating that the alternate route is used.  Trustee Grant suggested the distribution of the letter to include Governor Pataki’s office and Westchester County.  Manager Herbek said he would distribute the letter this week.  Mr. Klein gave Trustee Grant 10-12 names that should receive the letter.  Copies should also be given to the Board.  Attorney Waldman will ensure that other municipalities receive a copy of the letter.   


Joel Klein asked the Board why it did not proceed with the recommendation from the consultant concerning the air conditioning project.  He added that the Board was foolish not to vote on the project when it previously came before the Board.  The Mayor stated that the Board needs a super majority to pass the resolution.  Mr. Klein said that the $160,000 difference in the two options is a lot of money, but it should be considered in the long term costs for the Village.


a.  Discussion:  The Board elected to postpone the vote for the following resolution.  Tim Rooney, a representative from Cablevision and Liz Graham, a representative from Media One, came before the Board to answer any questions concerning the following resolution.  Mr. Rooney gave an overview of the advantages Cablevision would provide for the residents of Croton.  He said Cablevision specializes in local programming, high-tech telecommunication services, and knows the local market.  Manager Herbek asked if the Village would be receiving high speed internet access.  Mr. Rooney said that Yonkers was recently upgraded and there are plans to include surrounding communities.  Trustee Grant said that she knows of residents who receive the high-speed connection know as “DSL” and wanted to know why everyone in Croton did not have it.  Mr. Rooney stated that that service is offered through Bell Atlantic.  Trustee Harkins asked if Cablevision has a completion date for the upgrade.  Mr. Rooney said that other areas should be completed by the end of 2001, but that does not currently include Croton.  Trustee Grant asked when the Village signed the original contract.  Manager Herbek stated it was about 10 years ago.  Trustee Grant asked what Cablevision bases it rate increases on.  Mr. Rooney said the FCC rates are steady, however rates do increase from time to time, it is also a result from upgrades in service to its customers.  Mr. Rooney added that competition does play a part in the increases.  Trustee Grant said she uncomfortable with the rate wars between cable companies.  Trustee Grant asked, on behalf of Trustee McCarthy, if senior citizens would be receiving a discount under the new contract.  Mr. Rooney said Cablevision in considering a system wide discount to senior citizens but it is currently not in the contract.  Trustee Grant added that Trustee McCarthy had made a formal request for the discount and asked if there is anything else the Board needed to do.  Trustee Watkins asked if the “no default” under the franchise agreement applied to both the Village and Cablevision.  Ms. Graham said it does.  She added that when the Cablevision agreement takes effect the Village is provided with a “clean slate”.  Manager Herbek questioned the quality of the broadcast of the board meetings.  He said there have been problems in the past.  Ms. Graham suggested Mr. Herbek speak to a representative from technical support.  Manager Herbek said that at the next work session, the Board would be meeting with John Figliozzi from the Public Service Commission to discuss this.  Trustee Grant said that she would like to have an answer concerning the senior citizen discounts during the 120 days of negotiations.  Trustee Harkins asked Ms. Graham about wiring changes within the system.  Ms. Graham stated that the system received an upgrade to 750 megahertz.  Trustee Harkins suggested to add a fifth bullet in the contract stating that the Village would approve the resolution if the Village was guaranteed a senior citizen discount in the new agreement.  Mr. Rooney stated that he does not have the power to make that decision.  Mayor Elliot suggested postponing the vote and adding this resolution as a work session item.

        B.      On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, seconded by TRUSTEE HARKINS, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  

WHEREAS, in 1997 the Village applied for a grant through the Clean Water/ Clean Air Bond Act for the removal of railroad ties from the Croton Bay as part of the Wetland Restoration and Interpretation Project, and

WHEREAS, the railroad tie removal project has been funded with a reimbursement up to $50,000 for a $100,000 project through the Clean Water/ Clean Air Bond Act, with the Village contributing $30,000 and with $20,000 being provided through in kind services, and

WHEREAS, various agencies have been working toward the establishment of the project tasks and products to include the NYSDEC, United States Military Academy staff at West Point, Metro North Railroad, Hudsonia and the Village, and

WHEREAS, it is now necessary to enter into a contract with New York State for this aquatic habitat restoration project known as the Croton Bay Railroad Tie Removal Project,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign Contract Number C300796 which provides for twelve specific tasks involving the removal of railroad ties in the Croton Bay for a total contract cost of $100,000 with $50,000 being provided through the Clean Water/ Clean Air Bond Act, $30,000 being provided by the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and $20,000 being provided through in kind services.

        C.      On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, seconded by TRUSTEE HARKINS, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has reviewed the year to date expenditures for each department and recommends the following modifications to the 1999-2000 General Fund budget:

Increase  001-1110.420  by      $       272.00     ( Supplies )
Increase  001-1650.450  by      $    4,294.00     ( Telephone )
Increase  001-3140.460  by      $       605.00     ( Buildings & Grounds )
Increase  001-3140.470  by      $    1,602.00     ( Vehicle Repairs )
Increase  001-9060.800  by      $  16,743.00     ( Medical Benefits  )
Decrease 001-1420.400  by      $  10,318.00     ( Contractual Law )
Decrease 001-1990.400  by      $  13,198.00     ( Contingent Account )

Increase  002-8310.400   by      $       118.00      ( Contractual )
Increase  002-9031.800   by      $    1,012.00      ( Medicare Deductions )
Decrease 002-9040.800  by      $     1,130.00     ( Workers Comp. )

NOW  THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Treasurer amend the 1999 -2000 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.

        D.      On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, seconded by TRUSTEE WATKINS, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York

        WHEREAS the Village has several unfunded liabilities which are mandated by either contract or agreement, that the Village Treasurer has chosen to recognize in the 1999-2000 budget; and,

WHEREAS the Village Treasurer wishes to partially fund these liabilities by increasing revenue collection for certain revenue accounts that have been over collected in the 1999-2000 General Fund; and,

WHEREAS the Village Treasurer wishes to amend the 1999-2000 General fund budget effecting the following accounts;

Increase  001-1230.0100   by    $  100,000.00  ( Personnel Costs )
Increase  001-3120.0100   by    $  150,000.00  ( Personnel Costs )
Increase  001-5110.0100   by    $    10,000.00  ( Personnel Costs )

Increase  001-0001.1090   by    $    10,000.00  ( Tax Interest & Penalty )
Increase  001-0001.1120   by    $  100,000.00  ( Sales Tax )
Increase  001-0001.1730   by    $  100,000.00  ( Daily Parking Fees )
Increase  001-0001.2401   by    $    25,000.00  ( Interest Earnings )
Increase  001-0001.2610   by    $    25,000.00  ( Fines & Bail )

Now Therefore be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 1999 -2000 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.

        E.      On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, seconded by TRUSTEE HARKINS, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.  

WHEREAS, a definite policy should be established in the event of the death of present and former local officials, and

WHEREAS, the pertinent section of the US Flag Code provides “the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of a respect to their memory;” and

WHEREAS, to also commemorate the death of a person of local standing or of a local serviceperson, the governing board may order the flag flown at half-staff.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the flags are to be lowered to half-staff in the event of death until the day after the services for present and former Village mayors, present and former Village trustees, and present and former Village justices;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that in the event of death of other local officials the Mayor, or in the absence of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, shall determine whether the flag should be flown at half staff and the period of time for such flying at half staff.


Manager Herbek went through the agenda for the next work session.  The items include the Railroad Tie Removal Project/Croton Bay Wetland Restoration Program, cable TV issues, Village Recreation issues, Metro-Enviro, Public solicitation of applicants to fill vacancies on Croton Boards and goal and objectives of the Village Board and performances based compensation process for non-contract employees.  Mr. Herbek also provided an update for the Board concerning other issues.

Treasurer Reardon stated that taxes were successfully collected on June 30. On several separate occasions after the deadline, Treasurer Reardon checked the lock box to assure that the bank couldn’t be held responsible for late payments.  Approximately 15 taxpayers paid their taxes late.  Treasurer Reardon said he is looking for suggestions from the Board to ensure that taxpayers pay on time.  Trustee Grant confirmed with Treasurer Reardon that the Village can’t disregard late payments.  It is a state law.  Manager Herbek suggested posting reminders on GO-TV.  

Trustee Watkins asked for the status of 33 Brook Street.  The Mayor said the project is moving along.

Trustee Harkins stated that the Chamber of Commerce would like to meet with the Board at the next work session.  Manager Herbek said the next available meeting would probably be in August.  Trustee Harkins said he would like the impact of grants to be on the next work session agenda.  Manager Herbek said he would need to research the issue to provide information on grants from the past 20 years.  Trustee Harkins said he is not interested too much in the past, but more in the future.  Manager Herbek said he looks to the Board for suggestions for grants in the future.

Trustee Grant announced the passing of James Loconto.  Mr. Loconto was a 4-term mayor during the 60’s and served as a Trustee during the 1950’s.

On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT ,seconded by TRUSTEE HARKINS, the regular meeting of the Village of Croton was adjourned.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn Di Cuirci, Secretary

Village Clerk