A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, December 18, 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
Treasurer Reardon Trustee Watkins
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee McCarthy
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on December 4, 2000 as corrected. Trustee Watkins seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
3. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
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 $29,606.28
Water Fund $ 3,049.55
Capital Accounts $ 8,072.67
Trust & Agency $13,703.13
4. PUBLIC HEARINGS:
a. Local Law Introductory #5, 2000, entitled Telecommunications Franchising and Licensing. Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the law. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. There were no comments from the public. The law was passed unanimously.
LOCAL LAW NO. 5
A Local Law adding a new chapter to the Code of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson entitled "Telecommunications Franchising and Licensing" to provide for the granting of one or more nonexclusive franchises and revocable licenses for tele-communications services within the municipal boundaries of the Village and to provide for the process under which said granting of franchises and revocable licenses shall take place
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
SECTION 1. A new Chapter 310 entitled "Telecommunications Franchising and Licensing" is hereby added to the Code of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, which shall read as follows:
TELECOMMUNICATIONS FRANCHISING AND LICENSING
§1. Legislative intent.
The Village of Croton-on-Hudson has the authority to grant franchises and other authorizations for the use and occupancy of its streets and has determined that its streets are a valuable public resource that has required, and will continue to require, substantial investment by the Village. The Village desires to structure and implement a fair and orderly process for the grant of franchises and other authorizations (and renewals of such franchises and authorizations) to occupy and use its streets to provide telecommunications services (as hereinafter defined) in the Village, including the negotiation of terms and conditions to protect the public interest consistent with applicable law. In addition, consistent with applicable law, the Village desires to manage its streets and obtain fair and reasonable compensation from telecommunications providers on a competitively neutral and nondiscriminatory basis for the use of its streets on a nondiscriminatory basis. The Village also desires to minimize inconvenience and disruption to the public, provide for the orderly and efficient use of its streets now and in the future, and preserve adequate capacity for existing and future uses of its streets; and the Village intends to exercise, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, its authority with respect to the regulation of the occupation and use of its streets in connection with the provision of telecommunications services.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings set forth in this section, unless the context clearly indicates that another meaning is intended. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number and words used in the singular number include the plural number .
AFFILIATED PERSON - Each person who falls .into one or more of the following categories: (i) each person having, directly or indirectly, a controlling interest in the applicant; (ii) each person in which the applicant has, directly or indirectly, a controlling interest; (iii) each officer, director, joint venturer or joint venture partner, of the applicant; and (iv) each person, directly or indirectly, controlling, controlled by, or under common control with the applicant; provided that "Affiliated Person" shall in no event mean the Village or any creditor of the applicant solely by virtue of its status as a creditor and which is not otherwise an affiliated person by reason of owning a controlling interest in, being under common ownership, common management or common control with, the applicant.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES - The Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and its designee or any successor thereto.
CABLE SERVICES - As defined in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, and the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and as may be further amended from time to time (the "Cable Act"). In the event that "Cable Services" is no longer defined in the Cable Act or the definition in the Cable Act otherwise becomes inapplicable, "Cable Services" shall mean "Cable Services" as defined in the Cable Act immediately prior to such term no longer being defined in the Cable Act or such definition otherwise becoming inapplicable.
CHAPTER -This chapter and all modifications and amendments thereto.
CONTROL or CONTROLLING INTEREST - Actual working control in whatever manner exercised, including, without limitation, working control through ownership, management, debt instruments or negative control, as the case may be, of the applicant or the equipment in the street. A rebuttable presumption of the existence of control or a controlling interest shall arise from the beneficial ownership, directly or indirectly, by any person, or group of persons acting in concert, of more than twenty percent (20%}, of any person (which person or group of persons is hereinafter referred to as "Controlling Person"). "Control" or "Controlling Interest" as used herein may be held simultaneously by more than one person or group of persons.
EQUIPMENT - The poles, wires, electrical conductors, cables, conduits, subways, manholes, fixtures, appliances and appurtenances that are used to provide tele-communications services.
FRANCHISE - An initial authorization, or renewal thereof, issued by the Village in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, which authorizes the occupation and use of the Streets to provide telecommunications services.
MAY - Being permissive.
PERSON - Any individual or any association, firm, partnership, joint venture, corporation or other legally recognized entity, whether for profit or not for profit, but shall not mean the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.
REVOCABLE LICENSE - An initial authorization or renewal thereof, issued by the Village in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, which authorizes the limited occupation and use of specifically identified streets, provided that a revocable license shall be issued only in the limited circumstances set forth in Section 310-3, Subsections B and G, of this chapter.
SHALL - Being mandatory, not merely directive.
STREETS - The surface of, as well as the spaces above and below, any and all streets, alleyways, avenues, highways, boulevards, driveways, bridges, tunnels, parks, parkways, public grounds or waters, and other public rights-of-way within or belonging to the Village.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS - All transmissions, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER - Any person who:
(A) owns, constructs, operates or maintains equipment in the streets used to provide telecommunications services, regardless of whether such telecommunications services originate or terminate in the Village; or
(B) provides telecommunications services that originate or terminate in the Village by means of: (i)~specifically identifiable equipment in the streets, which equipment is owned by such person or made available to such person under a lease or any other arrangement for a period longer than 120 days; or (ii) equipment in the streets, if the use of such equipment is continuing and substantial, and the Village has determined that it is necessary and appropriate to impose the requirements of this chapter in order to preserve the application of this chapter on a competitively neutral and nondiscriminatory basis consistent with applicable law.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES - The offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used. The term "Telecommunications Services" shall not include cable services.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM - The plant, equipment, real property (including interests in real property), tangible and intangible personal property , buildings, offices, furniture, customer lists, cable, wires, optical fibers, amplifier, antenna, and all other electronic devices, equipment and facilities used to provide telecommunications services.
VILLAGE - The Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
§3. Granting authority.
A. No person shall use or occupy the streets as a telecommunications provider, or con- struct, operate or maintain equipment in the streets used to provide telecom-munications, without a franchise or revocable license granted by the Village. A franchise or revocable license granted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to grant any rights or authorization to provide cable services in the Village, and any person seeking to provide cable services in the Village shall first obtain a separate franchise in accordance with applicable law.
B. Any person seeking to use the streets to construct, operate or maintain equipment to provide telecommunications for or in connection with the internal operations of such person's business, residence or employment and not for or in connection with the provision or offering of telecommunications services for sale or resale to any person in the Village, shall first obtain a revocable license in accordance with the provisions of this chapter .
C. The Board of Trustees may grant one or more franchises and revocable licenses in accordance with this chapter, provided that the Board of Trustees reserves the right to modify any provision of this chapter by amendment hereof.
D. The grant of any franchise or revocable license shall be made by adoption of a separate resolution by the Board of Trustees and shall be on such terms and conditions as shall be specified in said separate resolution and/or a franchise or license agreement between the Village and the franchisee or licensee.
E. Any franchise or revocable license granted shall be nonexclusive. The Village specifically reserves the right to grant, at any time, such additional franchises, revocable licenses or other authorizations for use of the streets by any means, as the Village deems appropriate.
F. A franchise may be granted for all or any defined portion of the Village.
G. A revocable license is intended to be a limited grant of authority to use and occupy specifically identified streets to provide telecommunications services and shall be granted only if:
(1) the use or occupation of such streets, together with all revocable licenses previously granted to such person and affiliated persons, shall not exceed 2,500 linear feet; or
(2) the use or occupation of such streets does not involve the offering or provision of telecommunications services to any person within the Village.
In the event an application for a revocable license would cause a telecommunications provider to exceed or fail to comply with the limits specified in clause (1) and/or (2) of this subsection, then such telecommunications provider must apply for a franchise in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and the use of specifically identified streets pursuant to all previously granted revocable licenses shall thereafter be pursuant to and in accordance with any such franchise that may be granted.
§4. Compliance with rules; permits required.
A. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Village may adopt rules, policies and requirements to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter. Each applicant, franchisee and licensee shall comply with such rules, policies and requirements.
B. No person shall construct or install any equipment in the streets used to provide telecommunications services without first obtaining such permits or other authoriza-tions as may be required by the Village. No permits or other authorizations for such construction or installation shall be issued prior to the granting of a franchise or a revocable license pursuant to this chapter or such other authorization as may be required by applicable law.
§5. Submission of application.
A. Applications for franchises and revocable licenses shall be submitted to the Village Manager, with a copy also to be submitted to the Village Attorney.
B. An application shall contain the following information with respect to the proposed franchise or revocable license and such other information with respect to the proposed franchise or revocable license as the Village may deem necessary or appropriate, consistent with applicable law:
(1) the name, address and telephone number of the applicant and the person the Village may contact concerning the application;
(2) a description of the telecommunications services proposed to be provided, including, without limitation, a description of facilities and equipment within the Village;
(3) a description of the proposed franchise area or, in the case of a revocable license, the specifically identified streets and/or portions thereof proposed to be used;
(4) a proposed construction schedule and sequence;
(5) a map showing the proposed location of the applicant's telecommunications system;
(6) proposed financing plans for the construction and operation of the telecom-munications system by which the proposed telecommunications services would be provided;
(7) a description of the legal, financial, technical and other appropriate qualifications of the applicant to hold the franchise or revocable license; and
(8) ownership of the applicant and identification of all affiliated persons.
§6. Responsibilities of applicants.
It shall be the responsibility of each applicant for a franchise or revocable license to comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations and other directives of the Village and any federal, state or local governmental authority having jurisdiction.
§7. Negotiation of agreement.
If an application is complete and otherwise complies with applicable law, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations and other directives of the Village, including the provisions of this chapter, the Village shall enter into negotiations with the applicant to determine whether such applicant and the Village are able to reach agreement on the terms of the proposed franchise or revocable license in accordance with Sections 310-10 and 310-11 of this chapter . The Village may reject any application which is incomplete or otherwise fails to comply with applicable law, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations and other directives of the Village and any federal, state or local authority having jurisdiction.
§8. Factors for review of application.
A. In making any determination hereunder as to any application for a franchise or revocable license, the Board of Trustees may consider such factors as it deems appropriate and in the public interest, provided such factors are consistent with applicable law, including without limitation:
(1) the adequacy of the proposed compensation to be paid to the Village, including the value of any facilities and telecommunications services offered by the applicant to the Village;
(2) the legal, financial, technical and other appropriate qualifications of the applicant;
(3) the ability of the applicant to maintain the property of the Village in good condition throughout the term of the franchise or the revocable license;
(4) any services or uses of the streets that may be precluded by the grant of the franchise or revocable license; and the adverse impact of the proposed franchise or revocable license on the efficient use of the streets or utilities at present and in the future;
(5) the willingness and ability of the applicant to meet construction and physical requirements and to abide by all lawful conditions, limitations, requirements and policies with respect to the franchise or the revocable license;
(6) the adequacy of the terms and conditions of the proposed franchise or revocable license agreement to protect the public interest, consistent with applicable law; and
(7) any other public interest factors or considerations that the Village has a lawful right to consider and that are deemed pertinent by the Village for safeguarding the interests of the Village and the public.
B. Consistent with applicable law, the Village may develop and implement policies and requirements to ensure that the streets have sufficient capacity reasonably to accommodate existing and future uses in a rational and efficient manner. In evaluating an applicant for a franchise or revocable license, the Village may consider an applicant's proposals for addressing capacity needs and compliance with Village policies and requirements.
§9. Procedure for consideration of and action on applications.
A. The Board of Trustees may make such investigations and take or authorize the taking of such other steps as the Board of Trustees deems necessary or appropriate to consider and act on applications for franchises and revocable licenses and to determine whether a franchise or revocable license should be granted to an applicant, and may require the applicant to furnish additional information and data for this purpose. In considering applications, the Board of Trustees may seek advice from Village officials, departments, agencies, boards, commissions or bodies, from such other advisory bodies as it may establish or determine appropriate, or from the public, and may request the prepara-tion of one or more reports to be submitted to the Board of Trustees, which may include recommendations with respect to such applications.
B. Consistent with applicable law, upon completion of the steps deemed appropriate by the Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees may grant or deny the franchise or revocable license, and may specify the conditions under which the franchise or revocable license is granted.
§10. Terms and conditions of franchise.
The terms and conditions applicable to any franchise granted pursuant to this chapter shall be set forth in the separate resolution granting the franchise and/or in a separate written agreement. A franchise granted pursuant to this chapter shall not become effective until said separate resolution becomes effective and any separate agreement is executed by both parties. Such separate resolution or written agreement, among other things, shall address the following subjects:
(1) the term of the franchise;
(2) the franchise area and the telecommunications services to be offered;
(3) the compensation to be paid to the Village, which shall include the payment of fees and/or the provision of facilities or services;
(4) the circumstances upon which the franchise may be terminated or cancelled;
(5) the mechanisms, such as performance bonds, security funds or letters of credit, to be put in place to ensure the performance of the franchisee's obligations under the franchise;
(6) the Village's right to inspect the facilities and records of the franchisee;
(7) insurance and indemnification requirements applicable to the franchisee;
(8) the obligation of the franchisee to maintain complete and accurate books of account and records, and the Village's inspection rights with respect thereto;
(9) provisions to ensure quality workmanship and construction methods;
(10) provisions to ensure that the franchisee will comply with all applicable Village, state and federal laws, regulations, rules and policies;
(11) the obligation of the franchisee to supply an engineering site plan showing the proposed location of the applicant's telecommunications system within the Village, including the connection to any portion of applicant's telecommunications system outside the Village, any manholes or overhead poles, the size, type and proposed depth of any conduit or other enclosures, and the relationship of the system to all existing poles, utilities, sidewalks, pavement, telecommunications systems, and other improvements in the streets, all of which shall be subject to approval by the appropriate Village departments;
(12) provisions to place reasonable limitations upon the assignment or other transfer of the franchise;
(13) remedies available to the Village to protect the Village's interest in the event of the franchisee's failure to comply with terms and conditions of the franchise;
(14) provisions to ensure that the franchisee will obtain all necessary licenses and permits from, and comply with, all laws, regulations, rules and policies of any governmental body having jurisdiction over the franchisee, including the Federal Communications Commission;
(15) provisions to ensure that the franchisee will protect the property of the Village and the delivery of public services from damage or interruption of operations resulting from the construction, operation, maintenance, repair or removal of improvements related to the franchise;
(16) provisions designed to minimize the extent to which the public use of the streets of the Village are disrupted in connection with the construction of improvements relating to the franchise; and
(17) such other provisions as the Village determines are necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the public interest consistent with applicable law.
§11. Terms and conditions of revocable license.
The terms and conditions applicable to any revocable license granted pursuant to this chapter shall be set forth in the separate resolution granting the revocable license and/or in a separate written agreement. A revocable license granted pursuant to this chapter shall not become effective until the separate resolution granting the license becomes effective and any separate written agreement is executed by both parties. Such separate resolution and/or written agreement shall address the same subjects listed in Section 310-10 of this chapter subject to the following limitations:
(1) the revocable license shall be for a term not to exceed ten (10) years from the date that the resolution granting the revocable license becomes effective;
(2) the revocable license shall be revocable at any time by the Village for cause or for the Village's purposes; and
(3) the revocable license, together with all revocable licenses previously granted to the applicant or affiliated persons, shall not authorize the occupation and use of more than 2,500 linear feet of specifically identified streets, unless the use or occupation of the streets does not involve the offering or provision of telecommunications services to any person in the Village .
In the event an application for a revocable license would cause a telecommunications provider to exceed or fail to comply with the limits specified in clause (3) of this section, then such telecommunications provider must apply for a franchise in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and the use of specifically identified streets pursuant to all previously granted revocable licenses shall thereafter be pursuant to and in accordance with any such franchise that may be granted.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this chapter is, for any reason, declared invalid, in whole or in part, by any court, agency, commission, legislative body or other authority of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent portion. Such declaration shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof, which other portions shall continue in full force and effect.
The Board of Trustees shall have the right to delegate and redelegate, and to revoke any such delegation or redelegation, from time to time, any of its rights or obligations under this chapter to any body, organization or official of the Village. Any such delegation, redelegation or revocation, no matter how often made, shall not be deemed an amendment to this chapter or to require the consent of any applicant for a franchise or revocable license or franchisee or licensee.
SECTION 2. To the extent permitted by law, the Village may determine to apply all or certain provisions of this Local Law to telecommunications providers and franchises and other right-of-way authorizations existing on the effective date of this Local Law.
SECTION 3. This Local Law shall become effective immediately upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.
b. Informational Meeting to consider the recommended franchise agreement with Metricom, Inc. Attorney Waldman explained he had discussed several non-substantive sections of the law suggested by Trustee McCarthy with her, and after further discussion with representatives of Metricom Inc., had reached an understandable agreement. Trustee Grant made a motion to accept the franchise agreement. Trustee Watkins seconded the motion. Trustees Grant, Harkins and Watkins voted for the agreement. Trustee McCarthy abstained.
Croton Police Officer Richard Corvinus commented on the mobile community network system licensing agreement that Metricom, Inc. will make possible for the Police Department of the Village through the agreement. It is a cellular network capable of sending digital information. He explained everything had been solved for such a network, except for a CDPD cellular device. As there are none in the Village, it had become an expensive option -- although through research Officer Corvinus had become convinced it would be an asset to the department. He told the Board he had concluded the security aspects of Metricom Inc.'s methods are superior to other options, and he had discussed the methods with software distributors, who also considered Metricom Inc.'s systems superior. With 10 (ten) licenses available through the Metricom Inc. agreement, Officer Corvinus considered there may be an annual savings of up to $4,000; as the only cost to the Village would be the hardware.
Mayor Elliott requested royalties from Metricom Inc. if Officer Corvinus' presentation is used to promote the company.
A representative of Metricom Inc. praised Officer Corvinus' presentation, and the Police Department for knowing how the system works.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a. Michael Hostetler, 10 Nordica Drive, re: proposed rate increase at Harmon parking lot.
In reply to a comment by Trustee Grant about increasing daily parking rates, Village Manager Herbek noted most residents have monthly permits; although some commuters only travel to New York City a few times a month and use the daily parking system. Treasurer Reardon repeated the suggestion that the occasional Croton resident commuters could be provided with special daily permits to allow them to park in permanent permit spots. Mr. Herbek added that there could be a special rate for such commuters. He also said spaces for Amtrak riders had to be provided, with special controls, as the travelers may use the spaces for several days. Mayor Elliott noted that discussion of the proposed parking rates revision will continue and invited further comments from the public.
b. Ann Gallelli, Chairperson of the Comprehensive Planning Committee, re: Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC) recommendation for PRE rezoning of village owned parcels.
The Comprehensive Planning Committee's opinion on the issue of "whether the existing moratorium should affect the proposed PRE re-zoning recommendation" was "that the proposed PRE-zoning can proceed without impacting on the issues addressed in the Moratorium Law." It notes, "the specific level of PRE zoning for each of the parcels being considered should be determined by the Village Board after considering foreseeable future requirements."
Trustee McCarthy suggested the recommendation should be sent to the Croton-Harmon School Board and that it would be appropriate for the village to share a timetable with the School District, because of its interest in the recommendations. Trustee Grant, the Village Board Liaison with the School District, informed the Board she passes appropriate information to the School District liaison to the Village Board, Neil Haber, on Fridays, when she receives her packet of information from the village.
Trustee McCarthy expressed concern about moving the process along and pointed out that the CAC only meets monthly. She suggested the Village Manager send a copy of the draft law to Mr. Haber, and one to the Superintendent of the School District, Marjorie Castro, asking for comments and suggestions. The Village Manager agreed to send such a letter.
Mayor Elliott noted the draft law remains open to discussion.
c. Ann Gallelli, Chairperson of the Croton Planning Board, re: automobile sales regulations in C-1 and C-2 Districts.
Chairperson Gallelli explained an attached document detailed the work the Planning Board had completed in reference to the regulations. It had examined the laws and made recommendations after considering the regulations of several other communities. She said the Comprehensive Master Plan Committee would be forwarding its recommendations about the subject to the Village Board, probably in March, and that the Planning Board wanted to keep the Village Board apprised of the progress.
d. Cynthia Conover, Sprint PCS, re: proposed lease negotiations.
Village Manager Herbek queried the Village Board over "Where to go from here?" about Sprint PCS's request to lease space in the Croton-Harmon station parking lot for a 100' high pole.
Attorney Waldman noted that Sprint PCS does not have any rights, but an agreement could be negotiated. The Village Manager added such an agreement could provide a revenue flow to the village. Trustee Grant established the proposed site of the tower, if permitted, would be on the grassy area to the east of Prudential Richard Albert Realty. Mayor Elliott suggested a tower on that site may have a visual impact and that perhaps the request should not be encouraged. Attorney Waldman pointed out that there is a law to regulate telecommunications in place and that the company would have to go through the regulations, whether a site was on Village or private property.
The Village Manager advised the Board that Sprint PSC had also looked at Skyview Nursing Home, as a possible installation site, but had concluded it is too high for its needs.
6. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
There was no citizen participation.
a. Authorizing Village Manager to enter into three-year agreement with Bennett, Kielson and Company to examine the financial statements of the village:
On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Watkins, the following resolution was discussed. The motion was withdrawn and tabled until the next meeting of the Village Board on Monday, January 8, 2001 at 8 p.m.
BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to enter into a three-year agreement with Bennett, Kielson and Company to examine the financial statements of the Village for the years ending May 31, 2001, 2002, and 2003 for fees of: $19,500, $23,000, and $26,000 respectively.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy suggested the document, particularly a termination provision, needs to be reviewed by Attorney Waldman. Treasurer Reardon, in answer to a question from Trustee Watkins, explained that a termination agreement would have to be carefully considered because of the nature of the services of Bennett, Kielson and Company. He said that the services don't begin until May and June of a fiscal year, and are completed by the end of July. He suggested that a termination clause could only be instituted before the preceding December. Mr. Reardon also pointed out that a three-year contract with such a company is fairly standard.
Trustee McCarthy noted that the proposed contract includes a 50% increase by the year 2003 plus extra charges because of changes in services to a new accounting format in 2003. She said she had been in touch with a representative from the Village of Briarcliff Manor who informed her that that village is paying significantly less ($12,000) than the Village of Croton proposes -- but Briarcliff Manor is using a different firm.
In comparing contracts with other municipalities, the Treasurer said there were a number of factors involved. He noted the Croton budget is $9 million and change, but other funds such as water and trust, bring the total finances to between $15 and $16 million.
In response to a question from Trustee Watkins on whether Treasurer Reardon would recommend continuing working with Bennett, Kielson and Company, the Treasurer acknowledged he would like to keep the existing firm. He said he had researched other companies and wasn't as satisfied with their services.
Trustee McCarthy pointed out that two other municipalities use less expensive firms and questioned whether it wouldn't be advisable to check further. Trustee Watkins responded that forty or fifty municipalities use Bennett, Kielson and Company, and that it is considered the strongest and a leader in the field. He cautioned that he did not want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish and suggested taking the Treasurer's recommendation.
Trustee McCarthy said she had been dissatisfied with the services and involvement of Bennett, Kielson and Company during the defalcation case and that another auditing firm should have been brought in. She added that part of the Trustees' public duty was to look at other firms. Trustee Watkins disagreed, explaining that he is not an expert in auditing.
Trustee Harkins asked if the agreement had been negotiated.
When Mayor Elliott asked if Bennett, Kielson and Company would consider a termination clause, Village Manager Herbek considered the firm may want a different type of agreement if such a clause were included.
Treasurer Reardon explained that there was more to the matter than auditing and that the books will change dramatically in the next three years. He added that he was not sure if he wanted to try a new firm, pointing out that the village is very busy and that Bennett, Kielson and Company do a good job.
Trustee Grant complimented the Treasurer and acknowledged she would rely on his professional advice and go with his suggestions — after Attorney Waldman had reviewed the resolution.
It was agreed that the Village Manager, or someone else, would negotiate the terms of the contract with Bennett, Kielson and Company.
b. Budget modification - mobile computer network.
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.
WHEREAS, the Village Police department has been awarded a $57,500 grant secured by Officer Corvinus from the Federal Justice Department for a mobile computer network; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Policing Services has notified the Village that it will receive $ 43,125.00 in direct grant funds, with a local match of $ 14,400.00; and
WHEREAS funds to cover the local match were raised in the 2000-2001 General Fund budget, and the Village Treasurer wishes to amend both sides of this budget to reflect the grant amount of $ 43,125.00. Therefore, amend the General fund Operating budget effecting the following accounts; and
Increase 3120.200 by $ 43,125.00 ( Equipment )
Increase 4320 by $ 43,125.00 ( Federal Aid - Crime Control )
Now Therefore be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2000 -2001 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.
c. Budget modification - Phase II parking-lot landscape improvements.
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.
WHEREAS, additional funds are needed to finance the local match for the Phase II parking Lot grant from MTA. Originally, funds were borrowed to cover $1,450,000.00 of the $1,560,000.00 grant, obligating the Village to a 20 % match for $290,000.00; and
WHEREAS, additional work has been requested by the Village Board responding to comments from the Chamber of Commerce to address the landscaping issues at the lot; and
WHEREAS funds to cover these costs exist in the General Fund Transfer to Capital account ( 001-9950-0903 ), the Village Treasurer wishes to amend the 2000-2001 Capital fund budget effecting the following accounts; and
Increase 3-5650.2015 by $ 22,000.00 ( Phase II Parking Lot Expenses )
Increase 3-5031.2015 by $ 22,000.00 ( Phase II Parking Lot Revenues )
Now Therefore be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2000 -2001 Capital Fund budget to reflect these changes.
B-2 # 4
d. Budget modification—mid-year review.
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.
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has reviewed the mid - year to date expenditures for each department and recommends the following modifications:
Increase 3310.100 by $ 2,369.00 ( Personnel Expense)
Increase 3510.100 by $ 475.00 ( Personnel Expense)
Increase 5010.100 by $ 1,287.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 5140.100 by $ 11,000.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 5140.110 by $ 155.00 ( Personnel Expense O/T )
Increase 5142.100 by $ 900.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 5182.100 by $ 3,290.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 5183.110 by $ 80,253.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8090.100 by $ 68,500.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8090.110 by $ 1,200.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8120.100 by $ 4,500.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8140.100 by $ 2,656.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8140.110 by $ 320.00 ( Personnel Expense O/T )
Increase 8160.100 by $ 62,000.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8170.100 by $ 5,600.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8560.100 by $ 20,000.00 ( Personnel Expense )
Increase 8560.120 by $ 1,200.00 ( Personnel Expense O/T )
Decrease 5110.100 by $264,330.00 ( Personnel Services )
Increase 1920.400 by $ 539.00 ( Municipal Dues )
Increase 3410.800 by $ 3,811.00 ( Workers Comp. Insurance )
Decrease 1910.400 by $ 4,350.00 ( Insurance )
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Treasurer amend the 2000 - 2001 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.
Discussion: Treasurer Reardon explained the changes were due to a different methodology for accounting for part-time personnel services.
e. Stipulation of Agreement regarding Gerald Munson
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:
BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager and the Chief of Police are hereby authorized to sign the Stipulation of Agreement regarding Gerald Munson as prepared by Rains and Pogrebin, PC.
f. Emergency Repairs to Wall on Hunter Place
On motion of Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Grant, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
Whereas, on Sunday, December 17, 2000 a section of the retaining wall on Hunter Place collapsed and fell into the backyard of 50 High Street, the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Cronin, and
Whereas, this wall holds up Hunter Place and it is critical that this section of retaining wall be replaced as soon as possible as it represents a public safety hazard, and
Whereas, Section 103 of the General Municipal Law provides that in the case of a public emergency arising out of an unforeseen occurrence or condition whereby circumstances affecting public property or the life, health, safety or property of the inhabitants of a political subdivision require immediate action which cannot await competitive bidding that the Board of Trustees may let a contract without competitive bidding and
Whereas, the Village Manager and his staff are in the process of obtaining proposals from local masonry contractors who have the ability and experience to repair such a retaining wall, and
Now Therefore Be It Resolved: that a public emergency is hereby declared, that the Board determines that this emergency cannot await the competitive bidding requirements of Section 103 of the General Municipal Law and the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign a contract with a masonry contractor based upon written quotations submitted for this job, and
Be It Further Resolved: that costs for this work are to be charged to the capital fund roadway improvement account, account 3-5110-200-9900-22.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek explained the collapse had been caused by heavy rains and the erosion of the supports by road salt over a period of years. He declined to guess an estimate of the repair costs. Trustee Grant decided against recusing herself from voting, after informing other Trustees the Cronin family has been a close friend of the Grant family for a long time.
Village Manager Herbek recommended residents visit the village web site at http://village.croton-on-hudson.ny.us/ and note the changes that have been made. He said plans include posting Village Board of Trustee meeting minutes dating back two years. Mr. Herbek said the firm, Virtual Town Hall, which administers the site thinks highly of it and that there had been 696 hits in November. Agendas for upcoming meetings are posted by 5 p.m. on Fridays prior to meetings.
Mr. Herbek distributed a schedule of work sessions to Trustees with dates up to April 2, the annual organizational meeting of the Village. He said he had tried to accommodate the schedules of all the Trustees.
At his suggestion, the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to schedule an Executive Work Session on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss personnel matters. Trustee Grant made the motion. It was seconded by Trustee Watkins, and passed unanimously.
Treasurer Reardon gave updated details on the parking permit waiting list at Croton-Harmon station and noted that parking on Croton Point Avenue and South Riverside Drive has been stopped.
Trustee Watkins relayed a request from a resident for a handicapped parking spot near the ramp leading to the Community Room at the Municipal Building. He also requested enforcement of parking in front of Block Buster on Maple Street.
Trustee McCarthy shared the information that she had been contacted by a representative from U.S. Congresswoman Sue Kelly's office offering assistance with problems at the parking lot at the Croton-Harmon train station. She noted that she, Trustee McCarthy, receives constant complaints from commuters trying to get out of the parking lot in the evenings and asked if it is possible to access Route 9. Trustee McCarthy was of the opinion that such an exit would improve traffic flow substantially and asked for further discussion, including the possibility of seeking federal and state grants for improvements.
Trustee McCarthy praised the Chamber of Commerce, Recreation, Police and Fire Departments for Winterfest, which she considered wonderful. She also praised the Fire Department, and Patrolman Morrison in particular, for the remarkable rescue of an elderly resident during a recent fire on Hessian Hill Road and said the Board is very grateful.
Trustee McCarthy asked if the new signs on Croton Point Avenue could be changed to indicate that parking is permissible on weekends and holidays, to give customers access to local businesses. The Village Manager and Treasurer agreed to look into the change.
Trustee McCarthy noted recent violations issued by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) against Metro-Enviro and said the Village needs more information from the DEC. She said Metro-North is not using the tracking forms provided by the DEC and cited dust escaping from the building as evidenced on the snow; which had also been noted by civilian inspectors. She pointed out earlier reports indicated solid waste was not sufficiently controlled; there had been un-tarped railcars; debris; and a report of open burning, with fire in a barrel being rapidly extinguished. Trustee McCarthy maintained these were big concerns and there should be further follow-up by the Village.
When asked by Trustee McCarthy about the number of civilian inspectors now volunteering their services at Metro-Enviro, Village Manager Herbek said he had not seen any for quite a while. Trustee McCarthy concluded that citizen inspection is not functioning and that Village Assessor and Assistant Building Inspector Joseph Sperber is the only inspector from the village visiting the site. She requested the issue of site inspections be reconsidered as soon as possible. Mayor Elliott said it could be put on a work session agenda and the issue brought up at any time.
Trustee Harkins also commended the Chamber of Commerce, Fire, Recreation and Police Departments on the success of Winterfest. He added praise for the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School band and chorus and members of the Department of Public Works.
Trustee Harkins reported that Westchester County Budget Board had informed him that funds for the preparation of a second baseball field for the use of Croton residents on Croton Point have been accelerated from 2004 to 2001.
Trustee Grant announced there will be a Comprehensive Master Plan meeting on commercial concerns on Thursday, January 11, 2001 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building and urged as many residents as possible to attend. Trustee Grant also expressed concerns about the Metro-Enviro violations and asked Village Manager Herbek how serious they were and why they weren't brought to the Board's attention earlier.
Village Manager Herbek said there had been changes in personnel at Metro-Enviro and the DEC and that Mayor Elliott had spoken to the DEC when Metro-Enviro had failed to forward the reports. Metro-Enviro has changed the format of requested information, with various categories such as "NI" (Needs Work) "C" (Checked) and "V" (Violation) and has now forwarded the information. Village Manager Herbek said Metro-Enviro is now using a mist system to control the dust, but was unsure if the system is operable when the temperature is under 32 degrees F.
Trustee Grant asked if it is possible to get a written report on each response of "NI" and "V." Village Manager Herbek told the Trustees that the DEC considers Metro-Enviro is running very well, possibly one of the best in the state. He said the company is planning roll-up doors to enclose the site within a month and a half. Trustee Grant reiterated her request for written reports.
When Trustee Grant asked if an updated parking study at the Croton-Harmon train station parking lot could be done, Treasurer Reardon advised waiting until January because December is not a dependable month for accurate figures.
Trustee Grant asked Trustee Harkins about progress on the kiosk proposed at the library. Trustee Harkins said that sketches had been done and research for appropriate gazebo companies is in progress. He encouraged members of the public, particularly those with carpentry skills, to volunteer to work on the project. Mayor Elliott offered to help the research with his resources.
Mayor Elliott praised the Fire and Police Departments for their fine work during the week -- not only at the Hessian Hill fire, but several other fires within the village. He noted Winterfest at Vassallo Park was exactly the type of event for which the park had been created. In addition he praised the Croton Chorale for its performance of "Messiah" at Holy Name of Mary Church on December 10.
Mayor Elliott also reported that Village Manager Herbek's twenty years of service to the village (almost one fifth of the village's history) had been acknowledged at a village event the previous Friday night and thanked him for his fine work.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Watkins which was approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Lyn Roessler, Secretary