A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, September 5, 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
Absent: Village Attorney Waldman, Treasurer Reardon
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
No motion was made to approve the minutes of the meeting held on August 21, 2000, pending review of the tapes and revision of these minutes.
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 Watkins and approved unanimously.
General Fund $21,774.81
Water Fund 34,852.53
Capital Accounts 3,416.74
Trust & Agency 12,764.03
Mayor Elliott displayed the plaque received by the Village for coming in third place in the 2000 Flower Villages’ Competition.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Asbury United Methodist Church regarding the renewal of the lease of their parking lot with the Village; the only change in the lease agreement is the deletion of paragraph 5, regarding parking meters. Village Manager Herbek stated that he is still waiting for the church’s version of the lease agreement.
A letter from Ann Gallelli, Planning Board, regarding the Westchester Housing Opportunity Commission’s resolution and stating that the Planning Board has reviewed the letter from George Raymond, and though they believe the goal of providing more affordable housing through zoning is proper, they do not recommend the adoption of a zoning ordinance modeled after Greenburgh’s at this time. Village Manager Herbek will draft a letter to George Raymond concurring with the Planning Board’s memo.
A letter from NYS Assemblywoman, Sandra Galef, regarding additional MultiModal funding that will be available over the next several years and enclosing an application to designate projects under $75,000 in which the Village would be interested in receiving funding. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Village has received MultiModal funding in the past and has several projects that could be included in the application. Trustee Grant asked if sidewalks along Rt. 129 would be considered eligible. Village Manager Herbek replied that he would find out. Village Manager Herbek added that it is also the time for the preparation of TIP applications for the next 5 years; most any state funding for transportation must come out of TIP; new projects include the Gateway study, sidewalks from Harmon section to the parking lot, along with others. Village Manager Herbek asked that Trustees speak to him if they would like any other projects included.
Joel Klein, Old Post Rd. N., stated that no one wants MetroEnviro in Croton, but he doesn’t want any decisions made by misinformation. He spoke about the new look and the lack of debris; he stated that the likelihood of asbestos being in that debris is minimal, adding that this is a transfer station, not a dump and everything that goes in, goes out. In regard to monitoring, he stated that he felt professional part-time monitoring is not effective, suggesting that the Village Board hire an additional part-time code enforcement officer to assist the Village Engineer and Code Enforcement Officer. Mr. Klein suggested that the Board revise the agenda to allow public comments at any time during the meeting before any vote is taken on any issue. Mr. Klein stated that the Millenium Pipeline meeting is to be held on September 14, 2000 and hopes as many as possible come to the meeting; everyone but ConEd agrees that the original route along the ConEd right of way is the best route; many public officials are working on getting the route back to the original site and it is beginning to have an effect, but there is a need to keep the pressure on Millenium.
Roger Solymosy stated that there has never been a time that this Board has not let people be heard nor given the people time to respond; that he disagrees with Mr. Klein regarding asbestos not being an issue; asbestos, if it is there, is picked up by cranes, dumped and placed on railroad cars. Mayor Elliott responded that the Board has been told that, by law, on any construction site, asbestos must be removed properly before being demolished and he has not seen any uncovered cars. Mr. Solymosy stated that he disagrees, that he has seen uncovered cars in the freight yard after it leaves the Metro Enviro property; adding that he doesn’t trust those in construction or carting agencies to follow the law regarding asbestos abatement. Mr. Solymosy stated also that he has concerns about the pipeline being shifted to the Seprieo property. Mayor Elliott responded that the proposal to change the route from the Con Ed right of way was made by Millenium Pipeline and that they have demonstrated that they will take into consideration what is recommended by the community in regard to placement.
Joel Klein stated that he wanted to add that the Millenium Pipeline organization is very good at misinterpreting and not exactly answering questions and they will pick the questions they want to answer and ignore others.
Mayor Elliott added that it has been made very clear at many meetings in various communities that Croton sought intervenor status very early on in the pipeline approval process.
Mayor Elliott closed Citizen Participation.
Trustee McCarthy read a prepared statement expressing her views regarding the Millenium Pipeline issue.
Mayor Elliott responded that he has been trying to explain all the efforts that are being made to work for the best interest of the Village; he added that there is not a designated route, if the pipeline is actually placed along Rts. 9-9A., the Village can recommend the actual placement.
Trustee Grant stated that she is upset by the misinformation that is being heard in the Village and suggested strongly that whoever is responsible for developing, writing and posting the trash that has been referred to, that person should identify yourself by name and work with the Village to address the Millenium Pipeline issue. Trustee Grant added that the Village Board does not put in extraordinary work hours to sell the Village out; the Board has the responsibility to work together. She added that she believes no one has actually suggested the pipeline be placed on the Seprieo property. Trustee Grant stated also that Roger Solymosy has done the right thing by coming forward to disagree and to present his side; she also thanked Joel Klein for his continued work on the pipeline issue.
Trustee Watkins stated that this Board is unified in its opposition to the pipeline going down Rts. 9-9A or on the Seprieo property; they are all taking the position that it should go along the Con Ed right-of-way. He added that it seems extremely unlikely that they will be able to stop the pipeline from going in, but the Board should keep a unified front and focus on what needs to be done.
a. On motion of Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Watkins, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees Watkins, McCarthy, Harkins, Mayor Elliott, “aye”, Trustee Grant, “nay”.
BE IT RESOLVED: that the bid for the Sidewalk Improvement Program is hereby awarded to Acocella Contracting, Inc. for the total amount of $144,900.00.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek stated that only one bid was received, but it is a very good price and recommended accepting; about 42 property owners requested sidewalk work; he hopes to have the work started in October. Trustee Grant stated that she would like a listing of those who have applied; the staff will review these applications and all requests will be looked at; some judgement calls will be made based on the condition of sidewalks. Trustee Harkins asked if it was possible for the Board members to receive a map indicating these locations.
b. On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees is interested in making further landscaping improvements to the Croton Harmon Train Station parking lot, and
WHEREAS, funding for the landscaping improvements is pending from the New York State Department of Transportation, and
WHEREAS, the Village Manager has obtained a proposal for professional services from the firm of Cherbuliez/ Munz, PLLC of Scarsdale, New York,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal dated August 28, 2000 with the firm of Cherbuliez/ Munz to provide professional landscaping services at the Croton Harmon Parking Lot for a total fee of $20,000.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek stated that this resolution is to do the design work for the entire parking lot which will then be put out to public bid; in developing the design, they will work with the Village and the Chamber of Commerce and/or any other community groups who would like to participate. Village Manager Herbek added that though he is not assured of funding yet, the Village should take this first step and there is the possibility of other funding, if necessary. Trustee Watkins suggested breaking up the project into components to allow for bidding on sections. Village Manager Herbek replied that this could be done. Trustee Grant noted that Greg Schmidt and the Chamber of Commerce has pointed out that the Village makes a lot of money from the parking lot and has a responsibility to make it nice; adding also that it is a gateway to the community. Trustee McCarthy stated that she would like to see the Village Board develop a format to allow local experts to assist with designs and she believes that the Village does not solicit these people.
c. On motion of Trustee Grant, 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 Village Board of Trustees is interested in proceeding with the railroad tie removal project at the Croton River tidal marsh, and
WHEREAS, a first step in the process is the study to determine the environmental impacts of removing the ties from the tidal marsh, and
WHEREAS, the Village has obtained a grant from the NYS Clean Water Clean Air Bond Act in the amount of $50,000 to remove approximately 100 to 200 ties and to conduct the required scientific studies for this project, and
WHEREAS, Village funding will be limited to $30,000 and in-kind services will be in the amount of $20,000, and
WHEREAS, the Village has obtained a proposal from Hudsonia, a non-profit institute located at Bard College in Annandale, NY to conduct the scientific and monitoring parts of the project,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to enter into a contract with Hudsonia in the amount of $40,000 for the scientific and monitoring portions of the railroad tie removal project.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy asked who is removing the ties. Village Manager Herbek replied that the West Point Dept. of Engineering has developed an RFP, drafted in general terms to allow contractors to come up with suggestions of the best techniques to remove the ties. Trustee McCarthy suggested that there should be a cancellation clause in the contract if work is not done.
Village Manager Herbek announced that the Historical Society will be conducting narrated trolley rides on Sunday, September 17th. Village Manager Herbek reported that he has received an emergency notice that the County intends to spray the Village for mosquitoes on Friday. Mayor Elliott replied that he understood the County would not spray unless West Nile Virus was discovered in the Village. Village Manager Herbek will call the County and inform them they prefer not to be sprayed. Village Manager Herbek reported also that an order for parking tickets will be going out soon and if the Board wishes, this would be the time to change the amounts of the fines. The Board’s consensus was to leave the fines as they currently are.
Mayor Elliott reported that there have been numerous meetings about Millenium Pipeline; there will be a meeting in Briarcliff Manor tomorrow night, anyone can attend; they are organizing this meeting as an effort to get the route changed. Village Manager Herbek added that there is a Scoping meeting scheduled for September 14th at 7 P.M. in the Municipal Building; he is expecting upwards of 1000 people and there are plans to use the court room; he will have a television in there, it will be broadcast live; they also will be using the community room for overflow; this is a Scoping session where people who represent FERC will take comments regarding the pipeline issue.
Trustee Watkins stated that the water on Lounsbury Rd. and other areas has been brown and undrinkable for a number of days and asked what the problem is and can it be corrected. Village Manager Herbek replied that a flushing of all mains is starting today; he is trying to determine why this is happening; flushing should clear this up, but it will take a few days; the Village Engineer has been spending time on this issue and the Village is also using the Kellard firm to help determine the problem; residents should contact the office of the Village Manager, Engineers or Director of Public Works to report problems. Trustee Watkins announced that there is a vacancy on the Water Control Commission and the Board should come up with a proper replacement. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Village web page will allow residents to apply for appointment to boards. Trustee McCarthy suggested putting out a press release announcing the vacancy.
Trustee McCarthy proposed that the work sessions be taped and minutes recorded and approved. Trustee McCarthy stated that two years ago she suggested altering the public participation portion of the meeting by scheduling it for 3 areas of the meeting and no action was taken; she is requesting this be considered again. Trustee McCarthy stated that she received a call from a resident about the look of the ticket booth and asked if it will be changed or redesigned. Mayor Elliott replied that he has asked that this be included in proposals for landscaping and new façade. Trustee McCarthy asked the Board whether it wanted to consider instituting discounted daily rates for Croton residents. Perhaps residents could get a discount coupon book from the Village office. Mayor Elliot replied that he would refer this to the Parking Lot Committee.
Trustee Harkins reported that he met with the Chamber of Commerce and they presented an agenda of items. Trustee Harkins recommended a work session to address the Management letter from the year-end audit. He added that the Arboretum is still looking for carpenters to help with the walkway.
Trustee Grant reported that a Comprehensive Plan Survey was sent to all residents which is to be returned by September 25th; the Committee will continue to move ahead. Trustee Grant stated that she is circulating a petition regarding the pipeline route and asked for volunteers to assist in gathering signatures; more petitions can be obtained from the Village Office; Ossining and other municipalities are also doing this. Trustee Grant stated that she would like to put rumors to rest: 1) that Joel Klein is working for Millenium Pipeline; this is not at all true and 2) Allied Waste is a huge company that will be bringing in municipal waste to Metro Enviro; this is not so. Trustee Grant stated that she has sat and watched many trucks coming in and out of the property and each and every one had a cover which was not removed until after entering the building.
Mayor Elliott commented that if anyone wants anything to be included on a Village Board agenda, he/she can contact Mr. Herbek, Peggy Keesler or himself and they will do their best to include the items.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn to executive session to discuss possible litigation. The motion was seconded by Trustee Watkins, approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary