A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, August 7, 2000 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Grant
Village Manager Herbek Trustee Harkins
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee Watkins
Absent: Treasurer Reardon
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Legislator Michael Kaplowitz was present at this meeting and gave an update of what the County Legislature is working on. He thanked the Village for the resolution passed and sent out regarding the Millenium Pipeline project; that FERC (Federal Energy Regulation Commission) should be holding hearings and site visits very soon; potential problems with the amended route seem to be the construction phase and daily use over the pipeline; the company has agreed to have a construction supervisor to monitor the construction phase; the original plan is still the preferred route; voices still need to be heard. Legislator Kaplowitz spoke also about the request to have 122 parcels removed from the sewer district and 52 parcels to be added; this has been forwarded to the proper bureaus. Mr. Kaplowitz added that Croton has yet to be sprayed for mosquito control; the County Executive makes the decision about where and when to spray; if the Board chooses to send him their feelings about this, please do so; there will be no spraying unless evidence of West Nile virus is found. Legislator Kaplowitz stated that two gun control measures are being discussed and he hopes will be passed, 1) safe storage of guns and/or a trigger lock law which are designed to prevent youths from getting to guns and 2) requirement of use of certain colors to prevent toy guns from looking real. He added that he is working on a “211” use for Westchester County for non-emergency health and human services.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Harkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on July 24, 2000 as corrected. Trustee Watkins seconded the motion. Trustees Harkins, Watkins and McCarthy voted “aye”; Trustee Grant abstained. Motion was passed.
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 $ 24,089.01
Water Fund 7,329.76
Capital Accounts 10,138.86
Trust & Agency 1,170.26
Mayor Elliott opened the public hearing for Local Law Introductory #4 of 2000, enacting a retirement incentive program. There were no comments from the floor. The hearing was closed.
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve Local Law #4 of the year 2000, a local law electing a retirement incentive program as authorized by Chapter 86, laws of 2000, for the eligible employees of the Village of Croton on Hudson. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. Vote was taken, with all Trustees voting “aye”. Motion was passed.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from George M. Raymond, Westchester County Housing Opportunity Commission, regarding the extension to the year 2002 for compliance of the Westchester County Affordable Housing Allocation Plan, of which Croton on Hudson was assigned the responsibility of 32 units, whereby 16 units have remained unsatisfied. Village Manager Herbek stated that the number 16 is not an accurate number, that Croton will have 24 units very soon. Mayor Elliott asked that this be referred to the Planning Board for their input and further discussion.
A letter from Village Attorney Seymour Waldman, regarding on-street parking for residents, indicating that the Village cannot confine permits on public streets to residents to the exclusion of non-residents. Trustee McCarthy suggested that the Board invite residents of the streets to attend a work session to discuss this matter further. Trustee Grant stated that she agrees, she has heard from some residents and would like to hear all sides. Village Manager Herbek suggested meeting these residents outside of a work session; he will give everyone a notice of this meeting when scheduled.
A letter from Timothy J. Rooney, Jr., Vice President, Cablevision, regarding his recent participation at meetings and a work session and having the opportunity to speak on behalf of his company; he asked for a copy of the resolution approving the Cable TV Franchise transfer.
A letter from Tomas Szoboszlai, Croton-on-Hudson Rotary Club, requesting use of the train station parking lot on October 1,2000 for their Annual Car Show.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the request as stated in the letter dated July 31, 2000. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion; approved unanimously, with all usual caveats.
Village Manager Herbek read a letter regarding a request for a Scoping meeting by Millenium Pipeline. He stated that the meeting has been set for August 29, 2000, 7 P.M. in the meeting room of the Municipal Building.
Maria Cudequest 84 Grand Street stated that she was concerned that there would not be adequate attendance at the upcoming Millenium Pipeline meeting because of the date and people being away; she has environmental concerns centered around fines and penalties and other safety issues; adding that she has material forwarded by others who have had less than positive experiences with pipelines in general and this company. Ms. Cudequest gave copies of her packet of information containing names and contact numbers to the Board. Ms. Cudequest stated that there are concerns about using the evacuation route and asked if the pipeline is to be placed on the Seprieo and Senasqua properties. Mayor Elliott replied that he has not seen the most recent routing, but believes the proposal puts it along Rts. 9 and 9A; he has heard that they are looking at other locations in the Village. Mayor Elliott added that Croton has taken the leadership in all the communities in this area to make it clear that the route should remain going over the Con Ed right-of-way; he has been advised that whatever route is approved, they can make slight adjustments, but the Board’s position is the pipeline should not be over the Seprieo Property, not on Senasqua, nor down Rt. 9A. Trustee Watkins stated that the Village does not know what the final plan is. A resident stated that she saw surveying of Senasqua and Seprieo property and the men doing this were less than pleasant when approached. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Village should take the position that it should be notified when any outsider is surveying Village property and stop them from doing so; that this is opening up the door to advance their position of putting the pipeline on waterfront property. Joel Klein stated that these may have been environmental surveyors; it doesn’t serve any purpose to refuse access, this will make them take their best guess instead and it is not uncommon for them to then be granted eminent domain. Mr. Klein stated that he wished to correct Mike Kaplowitz’ statement regarding rupture of pipelines; that pipelines are generally built in very safe manner these days; ninety-to ninety-five percent cause of ruptures are geological or someone digging too close; Con Ed concerned about blasting that will have to be done along their right of way; they have filed another motion to intervene and protest and has formerly objected to the new route as well. Mr. Klein stated that be believes the new route will come through the Village somewhere to the west of Rt. 9 and the MetroNorth access road; they have requested copies of the new route, but the Village has never received them. He added that there are a number of issues that need to be raised at the FERC meeting. Trustee McCarthy asked if there is something the County can do to not allow this coming through Westchester? Joel Klein replied that there is nothing the County can do, Millenium would just need an approval from FERC to get eminent domain. Mr. Klein stated that an environmental report indicates that there will be approximately 9 miles of construction along Rts. 9/9A and that would have to put down construction plates along the evacuation route in event of emergency which does not appear to be a very good solution. Village Attorney Waldman said that it sounds like the key is to take them on the blasting issue, if Con Ed route is less risky, can someone do an analysis of this route. Joel Klein stated that the PSC said there is a concern with rocky terrain, proximity of transmission lines; importance of transmission towers; no one has looked at real risk or probability that something will happen; one of the factors that needs to be looked at is that according to Millenium’s environmental report, 3600 more people will be located within 220 yards of the pipeline if placed along the evacuation route and what is the factor someone will be killed or injured plus traffic plus air quality.
Joann Minett, 5 Van Cortland Pl., stated that she wanted to speak about safety & health issues; she passed a letter to the Board. Ms. Minett had a concern regarding truck traffic around the Grand Union shopping center, adding that truck turning space is inadequate and they idle along Rt. 129 which is a school bus drop off zone; this endangers children's safety and she has mentioned this to Marjorie Castro. Ms. Minett suggested that they remove some parking areas to allow trucks to wait off the street or take away some landscaping. She added that the Board should consider change before someone gets hurt. Ms. Minett added that she is concerned also about speeding that goes on in Van Cortland Place; has called in to police, but hasn’t seen anyone ticketed. Another concern Ms. Minett had is garbage bins behind Grand Union; they are transporting garbage from the new mini-mall and it is being dumped behind her house; a great deal of dumping being done; there is an incredible smell; garbage was picked up today, but there seems to be residue in the containers that still smells, perhaps they may need new dumpsters.
Ann Gallelli reported that Ms. Minett has a valid concern and complaint regarding garbage smells. She added that the Planning Board has approved a self-contained compactor for these stores and the dumpsters will be removed.
Don Daubney asked Mike Kaplowitz if the County has done follow-ups with sprayed towns to see the affect on mosquito control? Mike Kaplowitz replied that the Dept. of Health has hired an outside company to do monitoring and he will come back with the report when he gets it. Don Daubney asked what is the progress of the firehouse project? Village Manager Herbek replied that the Fire Dept. is out of the firehouse and they have made arrangements to have the ambulances relocated and housed elsewhere; the asbestos abatement process is taking place now. Don Daubney asked if there are extra precautions being taken to prevent vandalism in the existing structures? Village Manager Herbek replied that the general contractor will erect a fence completely surrounding the work zone and he has heard of no problems. Mr. Herbek added that he has made arrangements to rehouse the rest of the fire equipment. Don Daubney asked about the status of small boat launch? Village Manager Herbek replied that the State agency and Federal agency have been holding up this project; all approvals have now come in and project will be put out to bid shortly. Don Daubney stated that as a result of the storm last year a pile of silt still remains in parking lot and asked when will it be gone. Village Manager Herbek replied that much of this has been trucked away and some will be used on Seprieo property to level off the land. Don Daubney asked if Metro Enviro is still being inspected by citizens’ committee? Village Manager Herbek replied that just a couple of reports have been received in his office.
Cornelia Cotton commented on the visual environment of Village which is a quality of life issue; stating that she has lived in Village 45 years and never has the Village looked nicer, plantings put out by Village have had a pleasurable affect on many residents who are adding plantings to their properties. Ms. Cotton thanked Ken Kraft for saving some antique bluestone curbs; that those that have been saved have been reinstalled & look great; good craftsmanship was used for this project. Ms. Cotton stated also that the former Seprieo property is a great addition to Village; other towns do not have public access to the river. Ms. Cotton stated that benches that have been installed at bus stops add to the convenience of those using public transportation and suggested that more be put in the north end of Village. Ms. Cotton stated that about 8 years ago, Mayor Elliott proposed an Art Room in the Municipal Building; that even a small art center room would be advantageous. Mayor Elliott replied that downstairs has been dedicated to hanging artwork and now needs someone to do it. Ms. Cotton stated that she is concerned about one of the historic root cellars on Grant St, whereby the owner is thinking of selling this property; the site was a stagecoach line inn. Ms. Cotton suggested that the Village purchase the property. She added that the Village needs a citizens committee to take up historic preservation and to identify first what it wants to preserve. Mayor Elliott has had a number of conversations about forming a committee for this, but anything that is to be done will be done on a voluntary basis. Ms. Cotton stated that the entrance from train station to Village needs to be more inviting, as it is very unappealing. Mayor Elliot replied that there is a Gateway Committee formed and ready to serve, they are waiting for John Imbiano to get it going. Ms. Cotton stated also that there are unpleasant areas in the train station parking lot whereby shrubbery & plants are being neglected and there is much litter; this should be cleaned up. Ms. Cotton spoke about the new salt shed and ticket area and she has been told that the VEB has not seen these projects. Mayor Elliott replied that the Village must bring all projects to appropriate boards. Trustee McCarthy asked that the truck issue at Grand Union be put on a work session agenda. Mayor Elliott replied that he would get the history and comments from Planning Board.
a) On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
BE IT RESOLVED: that the bid proposal for Asphalt Concrete in Place is hereby awarded to the lowest successful bidder meeting all specifications: Bilotta Construction Corp., for the total amount of $108,195.00
b) On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
BE IT RESOLVED: that the bid proposal for Hydrant Replacement 2000 is hereby awarded to the lowest responsible bidder: Schipp Construction Corp., in the total amount of $16,900.00
c) On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with unanimous vote:
BE IT RESOLVED: that the bid proposal for the Sewer Rehabilitation Project is hereby awarded to the lowest responsible bidder: Insituform Tech, Inc. for the total amount of $70,500.00.
d) Upon request by Village Attorney Waldman, Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve an agreement between the Village and the homeowners of 68 Emerson Avenue, Beverly McGrath and Jacek Polubiec, granting approval to the homeowners whereby the Village has a water and sewer easement upon which a structure has been erected, that they can keep the deck and stairs, except if it should arise that the Village needs access to go on or make repair, that the Village has approval to tear down the deck and/or stairs and, if that happens, when the Village is finished the property owners are entitled to restore the deck and stairs, as it formerly was built, at their own expense. The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant, approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek reported on the successful Friday night concert whereby approximately 800-900 attended. Mr. Herbek reported also that the Recreation Department had an extremely successful day camp season, which is now over. Village Manager Herbek noted that Neil Blitz has accepted a position with the Village of Scarsdale and will be leaving his position in the Village. He added that there is a work session scheduled for Monday; the meeting with the Chamber of Commerce may be postponed until a later date. Village Manager Herbek reported that he has until the end of the month to apply for Clean Air/Clean Water funds and the Village may be interested in applying for these for the water main extension, Senasqua to Croton Yacht Club; road improvements to Senasqua Park & Seprieo property; acquisition of Katz property on Rt. 129; extension of the handicapped access trail; dredging of the Duck Pond; Brook St. corner property acquisition; Grand St. property acquisition; drainage along Old Post Rd. N.; cleanup of Seprieo property. Discussion: Trustee McCarthy asked to remove Senasqua and Seprieo property from the list if that would have them come under having open access for non-residents. Trustee McCarthy added that she has concerns on how staff resources are being used and the time utilized to apply for these grants. Mayor Elliott replied that grants that the Village has received has enhanced the Village over the last 10 years. Trustee McCarthy stated that she believes there is a tremendous amount of paper work that has to be done to submit grants and more work if they are accepted. Trustee Grant stated that the Village has to think very carefully about the time that is spent on these in light of the large projects that are going on, but she would like to take advantage of what is being offered. Village Manager Herbek replied that he will have a discussion with the State authority to see what items stand a good chance of approval and which appear feasible; he will present these at the next work session.
Trustee Watkins asked about the status of installing air conditioning in the Municipal Building. Trustee Harkins replied that he is working on this; he is asking for two sets of drawings with two options to go out to bid. Trustee Watkins stated that he would like to discuss this at the next work session. Trustee Watkins reported that he had concerns about the overtime of the Police Dept. and would like to try to do something to rectify the situation; he would like to address steps to take in this direction and would like to have Dennis Coxen come to a work session.
Trustee McCarthy gave congratulations to the Recreation Dept. on their successful day camp program. Trustee McCarthy stated that she has received complaints about the telephone service on Morningside Dr.; there are repeated problems for many years whereby service goes down. Village Manager Herbek replied that this can be looked into when the Bell Atlantic strike is over. Trustee McCarthy reported that the Croton Point Ave/South Riverside intersection needs proper signage to allow for a legal left turn from the right lane. Village Manager Herbek replied that the County installed a “no left turn” sign which was removed; without a no left turn sign in place, it is a legal left turn; he will talk to the County about this, but is not sure the County will go along with a sign that allows left and right turns.
Trustee Grant reported that the Comprehensive Plan Committee has scheduled an important meeting for Tuesday, August 15th at 7:30 P.M. at the Croton Yacht Club; they need participation and input from residents and they have sent out about 25 messages to Village organizations inviting participation. Trustee Grant complemented the Police Dept. on making sure speed limits are abided by in the Village and the message is out that if you speed in Croton, you will get a ticket. Trustee Grant also complimented the Housing Network for the Brook St. house that is under construction.
Mayor Elliott thanked the Recreation Dept. for their work over the years, and also for maintaining the plants and flowers around the Village. Mayor Elliott thanked John Giglio for coordinating a great reunion weekend. Mayor Elliott reported that Trustee McCarthy has stepped down as liaison to the School Board and he has appointed Trustee Grant to that position.
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to adjourn seconded by Trustee Grant. Approved by all.
The meeting was adjourned at 11 P.M.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary