Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
  • Citizen Action Center
  • Community Choice Aggregation
  • Freedom of Information
  • Online Payments
  • Online Forms
  • Subscribe to News
  • Send Us Comments
  • Contacts Directory
  • Projects & Initiatives
  • Community Links
  • Village Code
December 3, 2001 Minutes
Regular Board Meeting
December 3, 2001
Page 1
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, December 3, 2001 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 McCarthy
        Village Attorney Waldman                Trustee Wiegman

Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Minutes were not available; previous Regular Board Meeting minutes held over to the December 17, 2001 meeting.


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                    $  75,648.84
                Water Fund                      4,583.21                                                        Capital Accounts                11,592.87
                Trust & Agency            606.00                
                                                $  92,430.92

Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):

A letter from NYS Office of Real Property Service regarding the Residential Assessment Ratio.  Village Manager Herbek stated that Joe Sperber has reviewed the document and found 27 errors; he has corrected them and forwarded it to the state; he added that many municipalities are in the same predicament and the Village should be seeing a change to the final ratio.
A letter from Michael R. Kansler, Senior VP and COO, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, informing the Village that are planning to construct a 36y0-megawatt electric generating facility on the grounds of the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan which will be subject to Article X approval by the NY Public Service Commission.  He stated that they have established a special web site for this project – Trustee McCarthy stated that all are concerned about any expansion of that facility and she needs to know what the Village’s legal rights are because she believes the Village may have to take a very strong step in opposition to this.  Mayor Elliott added that he has been talking with NRC regarding this and safety issues; they need to do serious research about what the Village’s position will be in order to make a statement that is logical and coherent.  Trustee McCarthy offered the suggestion of retaining additional expert advice on this matter.  Mayor Elliott responded that it is his opinion to join with other municipalities and organizations with a like mind so they can present a case and work within the law.  Trustee McCarthy further suggested a joint meeting with Ossining and Cortlandt regarding this and other related issues.  Trustee Harkins asked who would benefit from the generating of this energy.  Mayor Elliott stated that it is his guess that it is to augment the supply they have already, but everyone has been just assuming there is a need for more energy; this should be researched; he added that he is surprised that no one on the national level has come up with the idea of conservation of energy and incentives, rather than increase supply.
A letter from Karen Jescavage-Bernard, President, Jane E. Lytle Memorial Arboretum, asking the Village to absorb the cost of insuring their hiking trails and structures.  Village Manager Herbek stated that this is not the first time that this has come up from other organizations; the NY Municipal Insurance Reciprocal has said that the Village cannot do this because the lease arrangement is with a private entity even though it is Village-owned land.  Mayor Elliott suggested perhaps dedicating the trails to the Greenway System, which may then be able to include the Arboretum’s trails in their package.  Trustee Harkins stated that Ms. Jescavage-Bernard’s intent in writing this is because of the rezoning changes and declaring this parkland.  Village Manager Herbek replied that the zoning has changed, but not the lease, they are still renting land as a private organization.  Mayor Elliott and Trustee Harkins will do further research.  
A letter from NYS Real Property Services with their annual notification of tentative special franchise assessment for 2002.  Village Manager Herbek noted that all of the assessments are going down.
A memorandum from Ann Gallelli, Comprehensive Plan Committee, stating that this committee recommends that the Village Board grant an exemption from the Moratorium for a new grocery store at the former Grand Union site.

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, Mark Giordano on November 28, 2001 called the Village Manager to request whatever permits and permission was needed to achieve useable space for a grocery type of establishment to occupy the space being vacated by CVS when they relocate into the former Grand Union space at Van Wyck Shopping Center, and

Whereas, in order to accomplish this it is necessary to install a new 38’ by 10’ storefront to the southwest corner of the existing Grand Union portion of the building and remove an existing wall; install a new 15’ by 10’ storefront to the southeast corner of the existing Grand Union portion of the building where the Grand Union store and the existing CVS store meet and remove the existing wall; and install a new storefront entrance to the new CVS store currently under construction, and

Whereas, the Planning Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson met in special session on Thursday, November 29, 2001 at 5 PM and reviewed and approved the façade of the former Grand Union store consistent with a conceptual drawing, and conditioned upon all building codes and regulations being met prior to the granting of a building permit, and further that an application for a full Site Plan review for the site known as Van Wyck Associates be received by the Planning Board no later than February 5, 2002 from Van Wyck Associates, and

Whereas, Mark Giordano, representing Van Wyck Associates has represented that the prospective grocer is committed to this location, and

Whereas, it is necessary for the Board of Trustees to vary or modify the application of the provisions of the Moratorium Law to allow this construction to proceed based upon its determination, in its absolute discretion, that such variance or modification is consistent with the purpose of the Moratorium Law and after referral to the Comprehensive Plan Committee, and

Whereas, the Comprehensive Plan Committee met on November 29, 2001 and has recommended that Village Board grant an exemption from the Moratorium that is currently in effect for this site,  

Now Therefore Be It Resolved: that the Board of Trustees hereby grants a modification of the provisions of the Moratorium Law to allow the following work to proceed in the former Grand Union Building at the Van Wyck Shopping Center:

o       Install a new 38’ by 10’ storefront to the southwest corner of the existing Grand Union portion of the building and remove an existing wall;
o       Install a new 15’ by 10’ storefront to the southeast corner of the existing Grand Union portion of the building where the Grand Union store and the existing CVS store meet and remove the existing wall;
o       Install a new storefront entrance to the new CVS store currently under construction.

Karl and Mary Pernicone, 7 Arrowcrest Drive, stated that they had a recent problem with their recycling material not being picked up Thanksgiving eve; he felt it was handled unprofessionally by Village employees and would like an apology to his wife and himself.  Village Manager Herbek offered his explanation of the matter; Trustee McCarthy added that she had spoken with Ken Kraft, who verified some of what Mr. Pernicone related and suggested perhaps the Village may need to take action.  Village Manager Herbek replied that he called the Pernicone’s late in the afternoon to be helpful; he added that Mr. Kraft did send out a truck to the Pernicone’s to pick up the recycling materials.   Trustee Wiegman stated that he apologized on behalf of the Village; that he was with Village Manager Herbek that day and heard the radio monitor calling for the second pick up; adding that he was sorry that this was not offered right away.  Trustee Grant stated that she was not a party to these conversations and is not passing judgement, but in defense of the Village employees, professional staff and elected officials, mistakes are made and she would hope they were acknowledged, however, there are times when the staff is pushed to their limit and, perhaps, they react sometimes, but there is no excuse for bad behavior.

James Moore read his response to a letter in the Journal regarding the skate board park location; he asked if the Village has accepted a large grant and what are the plans for the Seprieo property.  Mayor Elliott responded that the plans for the Seprieo property are the result of a planning committee, which did not include him, but was comprised of many various residents in the Village; their report is currently available, including copies at the Library.   Mayor Elliott said that there was more than one site suggested for the skate board park; that the skaters felt at this point in time, Seprieo was too dangerous and older kids tend to skate by the High School or Croton Commons area.  Trustee McCarthy stated that she doesn’t remember the scenario the same as Mayor Elliott; that Mr. Cohen said there were potentially some advantages to the Municipal Place site, but if the Village decided on the waterfront property, it was going to be caught in a political quagmire.  Mr. Moore asked that this proposal be put in front of the taxpayers.

John Giglio, Chair, Recreational Advisory Committee, asked the Board put off renaming of the lower Alexander Field until it comes before the Recreational Advisory Committee and Advisory Board for review and recommendation.    

Dave Tuttle, 94 Grand Street, stated that he is opposed to the use of the Village property as a transfer station because of past experience with the current transfer station.  He stated that this has a bad feeling and will further drain resources of the Village; he is very opposed.

Tom Brennan, Riverside Avenue, asked if Village employees are not allowed to come to Village Board meetings; he has gotten that impression from a DPW worker.  Village Manager Herbek stated that Village employees have come to meetings, usually about property or land use.  Mr. Brennan asked why the skate board park was not put at the Seprieo property.  Trustee Wiegman stated that there is a Waterfront Feasibility Study that has been put together that includes the Croton Landing Property; plans for that property moved to passive recreation, waterfront related which does not include hard topping the property for a skate board park; for these reasons and other on-going plans, such as rebuilding of sidewalks, putting the skate board park there means it will be used more regularly and be easier to supervise.  Mr. Brennan asked if there are any comparison costs between the Seprieo property and Municipal Place.  Village Manager Herbek replied that the Village will try to keep costs between $75,000 and $100,000.    Mr. Brennan stated that the Board should reconsider the site for building the Skateboard Park.  Trustee McCarthy stated that it came up that the DPW is going to continue to use part of that site and she is uncomfortable with this and has doubts that it will be a safe area if the DPW is using it.

Maria Cudequest stated that the DPW and the Village staff are for the most part, good people, but she has heard some have been rude to the public.   Ms. Cudequest referred to an article about Westchester Waste Services which has a contract with Westchester County and asked the Board to take advantage of the resources that are available today that were not available three years ago; she asked the Board to hold off on the vote until they are convinced there are a whole new set of characters in this subsidiary that will be hauling the leaves.  Ms. Cudequest asked if one of the proposals discusses a restaurant and a ferry service.  Mayor Elliott replied that this originated from the ferry service that now operates from Haverstraw to Ossining and there was a discussion of a dock for Half Moon, Clearwater or other things that bring people down to use the waterfront, but the committee has brought together several proposals.  Ms. Cudequest asked if they have factored in the cost of environmental cleanup of the sewage treatment site.  Village Manager Herbek replied that there was a Phase I environmental report which revealed there was no contamination at the site; this site has not run as a sewage treatment site since the 1980’s; the area where the Skate Board Park is to be located had a concrete base.  Ms. Cudequest stated that she believes that Phase I environmental testing performed in the 80’s is not a good idea and suggested the Village do a much more thorough environmental assessment.  She added that if the Skate Board Park is put at the site with composting, there are asthma issues and she will provide documentation if requested.

Tom Brennan asked if, as a citizen, he has the right to go down to Metro Enviro during business hours and look the facility over.  Village Manager Herbek stated that he would be happy to take Mr. Brennan or any other citizen down.  Mr. Brennan asked also if the Code Enforcement Officer been educated or has taken any classes on any of the codes relating to transfer stations.  Village Manager Herbek replied that Mr. Sperber is also the Village’s Assessor and Asst. Building Inspector and has a thorough knowledge of the facility and issues regular reports.  Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Herbek to pull the Phase I report that was done on the Municipal Place property and give the Board members copies.

a.      On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:

WHEREAS, the Village Board of Trustees appointed a Comprehensive Plan committee in August 1999 in order to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for the Village; and

WHEREAS, while preparing this plan certain zoning changes have been recommended by the Comprehensive Plan Committee; and

WHEREAS, a Local Law amending section 230-35 of the Zoning Law has been prepared and the Village Board is considering its approval; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with 6 NYCRR Part 617.6, the Village Board is the only agency required to approve the proposed action; and

WHEREAS, the Village Board has determined that this is an Unlisted Action,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself to be the Lead Agency with respect to this action; accepts the Short Environmental Assessment Form and approves the attached Negative Declaration,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board does hereby call for a Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 14 of 2001 for the January 7, 2002 meeting of the Village Board.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy stated that some members of the ZBA feel the parking requirements in the Village need to be different when you are dealing with high traffic businesses in the Village.  She suggested tabling this, speaking with the ZBA and come back with a more comprehensive plan.  Ann Gallelli responded that the ZBA has not been too involved in this aspect, but this parking adjustment was recommended based on what other communities have enacted; Phase II will be the implementation phase where the zoning law must be brought into conformance with the plan and the ZBA will have a big part in that.  Ms. Gallelli added that from the end of this month on, the Planning Board will be reviewing applications in the commercial areas and she would not want to delay a vote on this because the applicants will have to know what they are dealing with in planning their parking; if the Board wants to make changes as suggested by Trustee McCarthy and Don Sapir, this can be considered down the line, but it would be beneficial to the Village to have a parking requirement that is consistent with the FAR.  Trustee McCarthy added that she has concerns about zoning in a district that permits these types of limo services, etc. and was looking to see some legislation about that.  Ann Gallelli responded that the Comprehensive Plan was not recommending removing that as a use in that zone.  Trustee McCarthy requested that this be put on a work session and she wants a decision of the Board of Trustees on this zoning change.   Trustee Grant added that she was at the Comprehensive Plan meeting and they did have a lot of discussion on this matter.

Resolution taken off the agenda pending further discussion

c.      On motion of Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees McCarthy, Wiegman, Harkins, Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustee Grant “nay”.

WHEREAS, the Village Manager reported at the October 9, 2001 Village Board Work Session that Vehicle # 35, a 1992 Ford Crown Victoria, was in need of extensive work due to the age of this vehicle and its current condition, and that it needs to be replaced, and

WHEREAS, the NYS Contract has available a 2002 Chevrolet Impala at a cost of $15,700, and

WHEREAS, this is the most cost effective means of providing a vehicle for the use of the Detective Lieutenant, and

WHEREAS, sufficient funds are available in the Capital Fund equipment account for this vehicle,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to issue a purchase order for the purchase of a 2002 Chevrolet Impala at a cost of $15,700.

On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees Grant, Wiegman and Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustees McCarthy, Harkins, “nay”.

WHEREAS:  the Board of Trustees, at a Special Meeting of October 29, 2001, has approved a resolution to build a skate park on the former Sewer Treatment Plant property at Municipal Place;

WHEREAS: our current leaf-composting site will need to be relocated to accommodate the skate park;

WHEREAS: the Department of Environmental Facilities, County of Westchester, has offered an Intermunicipal agreement for an organic yard waste transfer program;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the IMA with the County of Westchester through March 31, 2003, for the organic yard waste transfer program at the costs as stipulated in the agreement.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy stated that this agreement is the same as when it first came up and the Village must man the site the hours as stipulated.   Mayor Elliott replied that the County agreement is that when loading is being done, the site must be manned, but after hours, it can be locked up.  The terms of agreement have not been changed since this would require approval of the Westchester County Attorney’s office and it was not believed that there was sufficient time to get such approval.  Trustee McCarthy questioned other provisions such as if the Village must accept material from landscapers and other municipalities.  Mayor Elliott replied that the Village will be given a year to experiment with that.   Attorney Waldman added that the County made it clear there would be no limit on a fee Village could charge landscapers and the fee mentioned is rather high.  Trustee Harkins stated that he believes paying $8700 as a non-host municipality is an acceptable expenditure that would allow the Village to manage the potential risk if something happens; the Village could find itself in a situation beyond it’s ability to manage it; to eliminate any potential risk, it is an insignificant amount of money to make sure the Village does not get into trouble.

Resolution for renaming the Alexander Field was removed from the agenda.

f.      On motion of Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York

WHEREAS, $ 3,426.27 was received from various insurance carriers, for reimbursement of employee benefits and damage to Village property; and

WHEREAS, the insurance recovery will be used to reimburse the General Fund for said categories; and

WHEREAS, The Treasurer wishes to open both sides of the General Fund budget to cover this repair, amending the 2001-2002 General Fund budget effecting the following accounts; and

Increase  1-3120.0470.  by  $ 1,116.85    ( Vehicle Repairs )
Increase  1-5182.0200.  by  $    878.00    ( Equipment )
Increase  1-5182.0420.  by  $ 1,285.14    ( Street Repairs )
Increase  1-7140.0400.  by  $    146.28    ( Recreation )
Increase  1-0001.2680   by  $ 3,426.27    ( Insurance Recoveries )

Now Therefore be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2001 -2002 Capital Fund budget to reflect these changes.

g.      On motion of Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Harkins, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York

WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has reviewed the 6-month year to date expenditures for each department and recommends the following modifications:

Increase   3310.100  by      $    1,000.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   5142.100  by      $       975.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   5182.100  by      $    4,000.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   5183.110  by      $  30,000.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   8090.100  by      $  30,000.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   8090.415  by      $    1,150.00     ( Disposal Fees )
Increase   8160.100  by      $  20,000.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   8160.120  by      $       800.00     ( Personnel Expense )
Increase   8160.415  by      $    4,000.00     ( Disposal Fees )
Increase   8560.100  by      $    2,000.00    ( Personnel Expense )
Decrease  5110.100  by      $  88,775.00     (Personnel Expense  )
Decrease  7145.111  by      $    5,150.00     (Summer Help  )

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Treasurer amend the 2001 - 2002 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.

Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve a resolution allowing the Village Manager to sign the agreement between the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and James J. Cronin and Gaynell Cronin, 50 High Street, regarding reconstruction of an existing stone retaining wall which now encroaches onto the Cronin’s property.  Trustee Harkins seconded the motion.  Vote followed: Trustee Wiegman, McCarthy, Harkins, Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustee Grant “abstain”.

8.      REPORTS:

Village Manager Herbek reported that he and others attended a meeting in NY City regarding disasters and terrorism; the keynote speaker was Mayor Guiliani; they took notes of items to explore further; it is a good idea to regulate and update Village emergency procedures; there have been emergencies and disaster-type situations that the Village has handled well, however, terrorism is one thing that they have not taken a specific look at; there will be a follow-up on a number of recommendations made at the conference; Mayor Elliott was the moderator of a section regarding infrastructure security.  Village Manager Herbek added that there was additional money from improvements of the Upper Village; he spent the money on improvements to the Upper Village sidewalks, from the school to the corner and some additional sidewalk improvements will be done in front of building ten, Old Post Rd., N where the tree roots have pushed up sections of the sidewalk; a slight amount of money may have to be added.

Trustee Wiegman asked if there was anything to report from the meeting with the County on November 30th.  Mayor Elliott responded that he and Village Manager Herbek attended this meeting, along with officials from communities along the pipeline from Cortlandt to Mt. Vernon; they and the County attorney will proceed to design a legal strategy; no final conclusions were arrived at, but there will be further discussions with County officials and law firms.  Trustee Wiegman added that, regarding Millennium, the Dept. of State is due to issue its consistency review on December 5th unless they are granted an extension; also the Dept. of Environmental Conservation has called for an inter-agency meeting on December 6th; the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers has received information from Millennium that it will require 400 Ft. of blasting near the FDR Hospital property and there is a question why they did not know this previously.  Trustee Wiegman added that the Waterfront Advisory Committee will report back to the Greenway Council.

Trustee McCarthy asked about the tree at Veterans Corners, which has lights that are very nice, but asked why there are not more lights on that tree.  Village Manager Herbek replied that he would find out.  

Trustee Harkins reported that the 2nd Annual Winterfest is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Vassallo Park.  He noted that there will be a test of the emergency siren system at 11:30 a.m. the next day and it is just a test.

Trustee Grant asked that Trustee McCarthy, as cable liaison, look into requesting a senior citizen discount.  Trustee Harkins replied that he is working on that; but the only way to provide the leverage needed to get the discount would be at contract renewal, but one of the ways to get around that is to rewrite the agreement; if the Village wanted to “re-up” now, they could initiate that and he is having conversations with the Cable company about this.  Trustee Grant asked about the odor on Old Post Rd. N. and has Village Manager Herbek heard anything more about that.  Mr. Herbek replied that he has not heard about any odor recently, but the Village does need to do a permanent installation and he will check on this.  Trustee Grant stated that everyone needs to make a strong plea for civility; people are entitled to disagree, but it should be done in a civil way.

Trustee Wiegman made a motion to adjourn.  Trustee Grant seconded the motion; approved unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis A. Bradbury

Village Clerk