A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, August 21, 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
Trustee McCarthy Trustee Watkins
Village Attorney Waldman
Absent: Treasurer Reardon
CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:06 P.M. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on August 7, 2000 as corrected. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion and was approved unanimously.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on August 14, 2000 as presented. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion and was approved unanimously.
APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
General Fund $256,888.38
Water Fund 87,025.04
Capital Fund 28,021.34
Trust & Agency 300.00
a. Karleen Joan Heller, re: request for free parking at train station on weekends for non-residents.
Mayor Elliott stated that this topic has been previously discussed. Manager Herbek stated that eliminating the fee would cost the Village approximately $150,000 in revenue. Manager Herbek stated that the Village could increase the daily parking fee to compensate the loss, however, few are requesting this change. The Board agreed not to proceed. Trustee Grant asked that Manager Herbek respond to the letter.
Lawrence S. Schopfer, Clerk-Treasurer, Village of Irvington, re resolution supporting a bond issue for Open Space acquisition and parks improvements.
Mayor Elliott asked the Board to adopt a similar resolution. Trustee Grant made a motion seconded by Trustee Watkins. The motion and resolution was approved unanimously. Manager Herbek requested that in the best interest of the Village, to eliminate the last paragraph of the resolution. He added that a copy would be sent to the Municipal Officials Association.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, re: Millennium Pipeline Project.
Manager Herbek stated that the date has been changed to September 14, 2000 at 7:30 P.M. in the meeting room. A site visit will take place August 29th through the 31st. This visit is for the Westchester area. In addition, Manager Herbek stated that within the correspondence provided to the Board are the answers to the protest and motion to intervene by the Village. The answers are broken down by community. Manager Herbek and Mr. Joel Klein suggested discussing this in executive session.
Gloria Beasley, re: Duck Pond
Mayor Elliott pointed out that this item is on the agenda as a resolution that will start the process for planning the dredging.
Kenneth Prewitt, Director, US Census 2000, re: completion of second phase of census 2000.
Barbara Z. Monohan, CEO, Westchester County Taxi & Limousine Commission, re: Croton Taxi & Airport Service application for a base station permit.
Carlos Posso, Croton Taxi & Airport, re: request for spaces at the train station
Mayor Elliott suggested adding this item as a topic on the work session agenda. Trustee McCarthy suggested to ask that all parties be present at the work session in attempts to come to a final decision. Mayor Elliott suggested that Manager Herbek meet with Mr. Posso to decide whether an agreement could be reached, if not the matter would wait until the taxi contracts are renegotiated. Trustee Watkins suggested having the taxi companies meet first and try to resolve the matter before meeting with the Board. Trustee Grant stated that she feels Mr. Posso is trying to receive similar treatment. The Mayor again stated that if Mr. Posso expresses a desire to work out the agreement with Manager Herbek, the Board would go ahead with meeting, if not, it would wait until the renegotiations take place.
Request for block parties
Trustee Grant moved the resolution, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, and was approved unanimously with all usual caveats.
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand Street, came before the Board with her opinions in support of the issue of hiring a professional monitor for Metro-Enviro. She thanked all local activists who support this cause including Trustee McCarthy. Ms. Cudequest reviewed Metro-Enviro’s history of violations and supporting documentation that presents a need for a professional monitor. She thanked those residents who have volunteered to monitor, but due to discrepancies in reports and a decline in the monitoring, it is now clear to her that the monitoring is insufficient. Ms. Cudequest urged the Board to review the material she provided. She added that, in her opinion, a professional monitor would provide a level of expertise needed should litigation arise and ensure quick response to problems at the site. A professional monitor would cost approximately $25,000. Mayor Elliott stated that the while the Board is in favor of a more closely monitored site, it has not been agreed that a professional monitor is needed.
Michelle Celarier stated that she is happy that the Board is in agreement concerning the Millennium Pipeline issue. She added that she has come before the Board to support the hiring of a professional monitor. She was a member of the citizens committee to volunteer time to monitor the site but stated that over the year, less time was dedicated, and the training that is needed to properly monitor the site was not given. Mayor Elliott asked Manager Herbek to review this item for the Board to discuss.
Roger Solymosy stated that the Board should “bite the bullet” and hire a professional monitor. He urged the Board to at least look into a PILOT program for hiring someone. He added that it would be money well spent by the Village.
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:
WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees has determined that the dredging of the Duck Pond is an Unlisted Action under SEQRA; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees is concerned about the possible
environmental impacts of its actions; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees has requested that the Village prepare
a Short Environmental Assessment Form regarding the dredging of the Duck Pond; and
WHEREAS, the Short Environmental Assessment Form has been completed and
reviewed by the Village Board of Trustees.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
1. The Village Board of Trustees declares itself to be lead agency in connection
with the dredging of the Duck Pond.
2. The Short Environmental Assessment Form is accepted by the Village Board
The Village Board of Trustees finds that there are no significant environmental effects arising from the dredging of the Duck Pond.
4. The Village Board of Trustees, as lead agency has determined that the dredging of the Duck Pond is an Unlisted Action under SEQRA and adopts a Negative Declaration.
5. A draft environmental impact statement will not be prepared.
Discussion: Trustee Grant stated that she still has concerns that the dredging will surface larvae carrying West Nile Virus. The Mayor stated that there are over 30 types of mosquitoes with only one that carries the disease that lives in very still water. He added that the dredging would help the circulation of the water. Trustee Grant said she still wants a definite answer. She will contact the CDC herself. Manager Herbek stated that that dredging would not take place until the winter season, by then the first frost would have killed any larvae. Trustee Grant said that she would be satisfied if the dredging did not start until the winter.
Manager Herbek stated that he had no official report. He reviewed the items for the next work session. These items include a meeting with the Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Area Evaluation vs. Comprehensive Plan Review, Croton-Harmon Station Parking Lot – Update, and Truck Traffic in and out of Van Wyck Shopping Center.
Trustee Watkins stated that during the Special Meeting held on August 14, 2000, Manager Herbek gave a special presentation on the Croton-Harmon Station which raised a lot of issues that should be discussed at the next work session. The following items were also discussed; application by Metro Com, a wireless internet provider, requesting the placement of 8 units on poles located throughout the community; public solicitation of residents for various Board vacancies; and application for grants. Trustee Watkins stated that the Board’s agenda for work sessions has been very full. He suggested to have more work sessions held with fewer agenda items so the Board could be more productive.
Trustee McCarthy stated that on the basis of inspection reports and confirmed suspicion, she would like to take her prior motion off the table to hire a professional monitor for the Metro-Enviro site. She stated that citizens are not empowered with any authority to make decisions and the Village needs someone who knows the ins and outs of the permit provisions.
On motion by Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Harkins for the Village Board to hire a part-time professional monitor to monitor the Metro Enviro operation, and the monitor will report to the Village Board.
Mayor Elliott asked to put the motion off until Manager Herbek comes back to the Board with a report. Trustee Watkins said he is opposed to the Village spending money for a professional monitor. He added that there is not enough evidence to his satisfaction to hire someone. Trustee Grant stated that while she is not unwilling to have the site monitored, she is unwilling to have the Village pay for it. Trustee Grant stated that there is no history to support trucks delivering improper materials to the site; that the conditions have greatly improved over what the site was previously used for and she is comfortable with the monitoring as it stands now. She added that the Administrative Department should get credit for cleaning and improving the conditions of the site. Mayor Elliott stated that the Village has been advised by a professional in that field that it does not need a professional monitor; and he feels the Village should not pay for it. Trustee McCarthy noted that the professional report dealt with ambient air monitoring and testing for asbestos. In addition since that professional advised the Village during the permit process, if he now recommends a paid monitor and he did not recommend same during the permit process, his work could be criticized so any opinions he now renders on this issue are suspect. Trustee McCarthy again stated that her motion is on the table and is for a part-time professional monitor. Trustee Grant asked Trustee McCarthy what evidence she has that supports her need for a monitor. Trustee McCarthy stated that it was clear to her after reviewing the reports and instances where material was reported not to belong at the site and no action was taken by the Village that a monitor is needed. In addition, the recent presentation by Allied further supported her position. The Allied representative admitted that tires should be visible in a load, yet a large number of tires have been repeatedly found at the site, thereby indicating that Metro was not forcing waste haulers to remove those items when the load is emptied, as is required by the operations manual. In addition, the Village administration, proposing to bring our Village leaves to Metro for disposal despite the prohibition on accepting yard waste is further evidence that the Village administration does not know the permit and operations manual well enough. Trustee Grant said she disagrees. Trustee Harkins stated that he is in support of a professional monitor. He added that the Village should spend the money and at the end of six or 12 month period to review the issue. Mayor Elliott stated that this discussion should take place with all of the proper counsels present. Trustee McCarthy added that she wanted this vote taken at a public session to show that the Village is taking accountability for this issue.
A vote was taken on the motion: Voting “Aye” Trustee Harkins and Trustee McCarthy. Voting “Naye” Trustee Grant, Trustee Watkins, and Mayor Elliott.
Trustee McCarthy continued with her report. She stated that an area on Wayne Street is overgrown, possibly with debris. She added that this property could be used for additional parking. Manager Herbek stated that the land is privately owned. He suggested waiting until the firehouse project is complete to decide if there is a need for additional parking. Manager Herbek will follow up on cleaning the property. Trustee McCarthy stated that Croton, along with other local communities, is looking to join together to provide a senior citizen cable discount. Trustee McCarthy asked if Mayor Elliott would bring this topic to the Municipal Officials Association.
Trustee Harkins announced that the Arboretum is looking for carpentry help on a section of walkway as well as shingles that need to be packed. He added that there are small puddles and potholes that need to be filled in. Trustee Harkins stated that the Chamber of Commerce came to the last work session to discuss the plantings at the train station. He said he hopes this project and the Village’s improvement program could be combined as a joint effort.
Trustee Grant said the Comprehensive Plan Committee met at the yacht club last Tuesday. Between 70-80 residents attended and gave public input. The consultants will take the information and provide a summary. Trustee Grant thanked the yacht club for the use of its facilities. Trustee Grant thanked the police department for their time dedicated to monitoring Route 129 and Village streets for speeding cars; she encouraged everyone to watch his or her speed. Lastly, Trustee Grant asked Manager Herbek to look at the pedestrian bridge in the Brook Street area; the grass is very high and messy.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn into executive session to discuss litigation seconded by Trustee McCarthy. Approved by all.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 P.M.
Carolyn Di Cuirci, Secretary