A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, January 8, 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 Absent: Trustee Watkins
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on December 18, 2000 as corrected. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
3. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee McCarthy and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 20,680.96
Water Fund 1,488.64
Capital Accounts 26,931.45
Trust & Agency 2,480.00
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Warren O. Fitting, Directory of Regulatory Affairs, AT&T Broadband, regarding a FCC filing for cable service. Village Manager Herbek explained that this form reflects an increase in the maximum rate permitted for basic service, not that the cable rates are going up at present.
A letter from Karen Jescavage-Bernard, President, Arboretum, regarding the Arboretum’s water supply from Hudson National. Village Manager Herbek stated that there is a limited flow of water from Hudson National and they are using more Village-supplied water; he added that it is to Hudson National’s advantage to increase the flow of water. Trustee McCarthy asked what impact does Hudson National have on the possible need to drill another well. Village Manager Herbek replied that it is not a problem; there is minor impact on the Village water supply. He added that the memo from Karen Jescavage-Bernard is just meant to notify the Village and be helpful. Trustee Grant added that Ms. Jescavage-Bernard told her that there simply may be a problem with Hudson National’s equipment not functioning at full
A Positive Declaration, Notice of Intent to Prepare a Draft EIS Determination of Significance from the Westchester County Board of Health, as lead agency, for a Comprehensive Mosquito-borne Disease Surveillance and Control Plan.
A letter and petition from The Kenny’s, 150 Hessian Hills Rd., regarding their concerns, and concerns of neighbors of the Temple, with the increased use of Temple Israel on Glengary Road. Residents and comments followed (see Citizen Participation).
Cornelia Cotton, Hessian Hills Rd. since 1955; Temple Israel had been a good neighbor as well as her former employer for some time; remarked that the Kenney’s showed her the bright lights that shone on their house all night for years even after they approached the Temple’s Board; when the Temple needed more parking space, they assured her they would be planting shrubbery to hide the parking spaces, but this has never been done; she frequently has a hard time getting out of her driveway because of traffic; she is glad that the Temple has been successful, but the formerly considerate Temple has outgrown its site and cannot or will not be the good neighbor she once knew.
Hal Feit, 38 Glengary Rd., stated that for the 30 years he has been living there, the number of homes has grown minimally, but the Temple has grown enormously from 200 to over 650 families today and it is still growing. He asked that the Board take steps to stem growth in this confined, semi-rural area; the argument is not against the Temple, but its growth.
Roger Kahn, Hessian Hills Rd. for 20 years, stated that he objects to further expansion of the Temple; read excerpts from a book he wrote about anti-Semitism in the United States. He added that the opposition to expansion of the Temple has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.
Dave Davidson, 6 Glengary Rd. for 8 years, spoke about the impact of traffic on Glengary Rd. He stated that he accepted the fact that certain days, like high holy days, traffic will be heavy; however, daily traffic and speed has heavily increased, causing a measure of concern about walking on this road; there is no limit on the number of members that the Temple can accept. He added that this road is the only direct pedestrian access to three public nature sanctuaries and Glengary Rd. has been designated a trail along the roadway to these sanctuaries. He added that the Temple has acknowledged there is a traffic problem and has asked people of the congregation to drive more carefully. He stated that the road cannot handle the amount of traffic being generated and the road cannot be changed. He asked for a
reasonable cap on the number of members belonging to the Temple and suggested appropriate traffic signs to address speed limits, children, and hikers in the neighborhood.
Alice Jacobs-Kenny, Glengary Rd, 15 years, stated that she has asked three Temple Board presidents to correct the lighting and install plantings; during these years, additional lights have been added and kept on all night; about a month ago, several neighbors spoke with the Temple Board and they have turned down the lighting. She added that she knew the Temple was there when she moved in and thought they were good neighbors, but she has seen traffic increasing; she asked that the Temple site plan be adhered to; they have been allowed to increase lights and members have more than doubled, but there has been no revised septic plan, the lighting has been increased beyond original plan and she questioned why they were allowed to do so.
Carol Czujko, Glengary Rd., stated that she is a fairly new resident, but traffic has increased greatly, adding that the 1990 site plan should be adhered to; the Temple should not have been allowed to double in size; there is possible wetlands contamination and no revised site plan. She added that fire trucks could not get up to her home on a high holy day; she has been late for doctor’s appointments because she could not get out of her driveway; drivers are not courteous and there is no stop sign coming out of the Temple. She asked that the Board take leadership and stand up for all residents.
Marco Matea, 40 Glengary Rd., addressed the issue of noise pollution from the Temple; the loudest noise used to be the sound of ducks landing; however, since the Temple has increased its membership so much, there is an increase in festivities, which increases the noise of people leaving the Temple and asked that they be allowed no further increase in the number of members.
Tonia Grote, 44 Glengary Rd., stated that Andy Kagan sent a letter to the Superintendent of Schools stating that there is a dangerous situation having children walking on the road as is required by the school district. Ms. Grote added that a gravel parking lot has been built, but there never has been an application for change of use and this is a violation of the site plan; also the site plan shows two 150 watt bulbs, but two HID lights were installed; the Kenny’s complained, but more lights were added without an amended site plan or change of use; Temple growth is affecting their quality of life. She added that the Village has the power to halt growth; they cannot interfere in the practice of religion, but they can prevent expansion on property they have now; septic and wetlands violations need to be looked at; she wants
something in the Village Code about lighting of religious institutions. Ms. Grote stated that the Fire Dept. had a problem with the original expansion; she suggested fire equipment and an ambulance be stored at the Temple on days of heavy use to assure the neighborhood is protected
Michael Kenny, 150 Hessian Hills Rd., summarized: The Temple’s current use should be analyzed as to compliance; there is concern about the septic system; the current gravel area is about 20% greater than when approved; an Environmental Study should be conducted; there should be a requirement to pave the lot with run off and treatment provisions; the Fire Dept. should be brought in to discuss what should be considered for adequate protection of the neighborhood; there should be changes to the Village Code addressing if a religious enterprise can change property to non-conforming use by just purchasing property; consideration be given to adopting a light ordinance in residential neighborhoods; traffic study be done with consideration of the presence of large full-sized buses going in and out of Temple property and the prohibition
of full-sized buses going on narrow roads; if the Temple is planning to expand, they may also seek to connect Lounsbury Rd. or S. Mt. Airy Rd. and Hessian Hills Rd. to help with bottleneck traffic, which is not a good solution.
Village Attorney Waldman stated that there is a new Federal statute, the Religious Land Use Act of 2000, which imposes the highest standards of strict scrutiny that must be adhered to- to apply any land use or government regulation to a religious institution. Mr. Kenny replied that the law does not invalidate any environmental restrictions generally; all their concerns are environmental in nature and this should not prevent the Village from addressing the problems described or require the Village to permit further expansion of the Temple on that property. Village Attorney Waldman suggested also that Mr. Kenny contact the County Board of Health with some of his concerns.
Joanne Minett addressed her issue regarding the snow removal at the Grand Union Shopping Mall; that the snow removal was done four days after the storm at 2:30 in the morning; she called the police and they stopped at 3:15 a.m.; at 3:30 a.m. a delivery truck sat with its’ engine running, waiting for the time to unload at 7:00 a.m.; she called Village Manager Herbek with the events and he suggested she contact Mr. Giordano; she spoke to Mr. Giordano who stated that he was sorry he had to do that at that time, but that it would have to continue that night also; Village Manager Herbek gave the permission to do the clearing that night. and stated that a sign could be put up to stop the idling of trucks. Village Manager Herbek replied that he was sympathetic, that he called her back and explored with Mr. Giordano, solutions to
the trucks pulling in; he suggested locking fences and putting up a sign indicating trucks will not be allowed to park until the area is open for unloading at 6 a.m. Mr. Herbek added that regarding the snowplowing, that this amount of snow cannot be removed everywhere within 24 hours, but he will not allow plowing at 2:30 a.m.; there was an over-riding issue of public safety and he asked Mr. Giordano to do his best to start plowing the parking lot by 7 p.m. and he was out by 11 p.m. Village Manager Herbek added that he and Mr. Reardon visited the premises right after he received the phone call and they determined the parking lot must be cleared and it was a matter of public safety. Trustee McCarthy stated that she has concerns about this, that the area being cleared was where trucks back in, not by Rt. 129. Village Manager Herbek replied that they were using the entire parking area to load and unload snow. Trustee McCarthy proposed legislation to cover snow
removal noise levels. Trustee Grant stated that she had been contacted and also felt the situation was dangerous and agreed the snow removal should be done at 7 p.m.; however it should not have been done at 2:30 a.m. Mayor Elliott stated that he will meet with Mr. Giordano to discuss the snow removal and the placement of signs. Ms. Minett also stated she had an issue with garbage in the Grand Union parking lot and someone from the Village should go and look at the situation. Village Manager Herbek replied that two citations are going to be issued in the morning.
Ann Gallelli, Comprehensive Planning Committee, stated that a public input session will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building and the subject will be “Commercial Issues” and appropriate shopping area needs; there will be a short presentation at the beginning of the meeting, a brainstorming breakout session and a recap of what was discussed.
Trustee McCarthy stated that regarding the Temple issue, a great deal of thought and analysis has gone into the presentations tonight; that the Board needs to move forward to have a review of this file; Mr. Waldman should conduct the review, determine what the issues are, if any, and report back to the Board. Mr. Waldman stated that he will see if there have been violations or if there appears to be violations of site plan. Trustee Grant asked Mr. Waldman to also look into possible violations to code, such as the gravel parking lot and the lower parking lot. Trustee McCarthy stated that she also would like looked at, possible impact of current use by the Temple upon the water system and the possible impact upon the Village’s drilling of a new well. Trustee Grant stated that tonight’s presentations
were excellent, but she does not want to send a message to the Temple Board that any Village Board would not entertain an application for expansion and it is only fair that the Temple Board be contacted for a response. Trustee Grant added that although this situation may have been going on, no one came forth and complained; however, now that the residents have come with complaints, it is the Board’s responsibility and duty to act upon these complaints. Village Attorney Waldman asked Mr. Kenny to be the contact for the residents and asked Mr. Kenny for a list of specific possible violations of the site plan. Trustee McCarthy suggested forming a traffic study committee or hiring a traffic consultant.
a. On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE McCarthy, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees Grant, McCarthy, Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustee Harkins, “abstain”.
WHEREAS, on September 6, 1988 the Village Board of Trustees adopted the Park Recreation and Education District to preserve the natural resources, scenic beauty and other land and community resources whose retention was deemed necessary for the continued maintenance of the quality of the environment, and
WHEREAS, on June 23, 1998 the Conservation Advisory Council recommended the rezoning of two clusters of village-owned parcels that comprise the Kaplan’s Pond and Croton Gorge areas to PRE-1 as the best means to ensure the preservation of these lands in their natural state, and
WHEREAS, there has been a number of meetings and discussions with regard to the specific PRE designations for the Croton Gorge properties, and
WHEREAS, the Conservation Advisory Council strongly believes that the entirety of the Croton Gorge properties should be zoned PRE-1 and expressed this recommendation in memorandums dated February 3, 2000 and November 14, 2000, and
WHEREAS, this matter was referred to the Comprehensive Plan Committee and the CPC is recommending that the proposed PRE rezoning can proceed without impacting on the issues in the Moratorium Law, however, they believe that 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, and
WHEREAS, the Village Board is considering the approval of Local Law Introductory #1 of 2001 entitled, “Rezoning of Certain Parcels to PRE-1 Districts in Accordance with Article XIV, Amendments and Interpretation of Chapter 230, Zoning, of the Croton-on-Hudson Village Code,” and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the Environmental Impact of this proposed action, 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, a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been prepared, signed by the Village Manager and accepted by the Village Board; and the Board has duly considered all of the environmental aspects of this action,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson does hereby declare itself to be the Lead Agency with respect to this matter;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board does hereby determine, based upon the Environmental Assessment Form submitted to and reviewed by the Board, that this is a Type 1 action; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that based upon the Environmental Assessment Form, the Village Board does hereby ADOPT the attached NEGATIVE DECLARATION with respect to this matter; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that a public hearing is hereby called for February 20, 2001 to consider Local Law Introductory #1, of 2001 entitled “Rezoning of Certain Parcels to PRE-1 Districts in Accordance with Article XIV, Amendments and Interpretation of Chapter 230, Zoning, of the Croton on Hudson Village Code.”
b. On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE McCarthy, the following resolution was brought before the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York and discussed. Trustee Grant withdrew the motion, seconded by Trustee McCarthy. The motion was again brought before the Board on motion by Trustee Grant, second by Trustee McCarthy; after further discussion, it was approved unanimously.
WHEREAS, the Village’s labor negotiator, Rains and Pogrebin, Esqs., and the insurance carrier, NY Municipal Insurance Reciprocal, recommended that the Village adopt a Sexual Harassment Policy in order to minimize an employer’s liability in court cases; and
WHEREAS, the original policy was adopted on January 4, 1993, and revised on September 3, 1996, and the Village’s insurance carrier has recently recommended certain changes to the policy;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the revised sexual harassment policy is hereby approved by the Board of Trustees.
Discussion: Village Manager Herbek stated that upon the recommendation by the Village’s insurance carrier, these policies are constantly reviewed. Trustee McCarthy stated her concern about the content of this policy and asked that an independent person look at this and determine if something is being left out or if something should be added. Mayor Elliott replied that an independent opinion was received and the Village could get another independent opinion, and this is what they do for a living and recommended. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Board made a policy decision about the wording when it was initially being written and there was discussion about using “strongly encouraged” versus “must”. Village Attorney Waldman stated that the second sentence was deleted as it
became superfluous when the wording was changed from “strongly encouraged” to “must”.
c. On motion of TRUSTEE Harkins, 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, pursuant to the Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act of 1996, being Chapter 413 of the Laws of New York of 1996, the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (the “Corporation”) through the Financial Assistance to Business Program (the “FAB” Program”) is authorized to provide state assistance to villages, towns, and cities with a population of less than one million, for small business environmental compliance assistance projects which enhance the quality of the air or waters of the State through compliance with environmental laws and regulations, or to remedy or prevent environmental deficiencies; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson (hereinafter, the “Municipality”), after due consideration, has determined that participation in the FAB Program is desirable and in the public interest;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE MUNICIPALITY AS FOLLOWS:
1. The filing of an application, or applications, with the Corporation for financial assistance under the FAB Program in the form required by the Corporation is hereby authorized, including all understandings and assurances contained in said application
2. The individual holding the following office is directed and authorized as the official representative of the Municipality to identify entries that will participate in the FAB Program, to execute and deliver said application(s), to execute and deliver any other documents necessary for participation in the FAB Program, to provide such additional information as may be required, and to take all actions on behalf of the Municipality as may be required in order to effectuate the intent and purpose of this resolution: Treasurer.
3. The Corporation is hereby authorized, on behalf of the Municipality to deliver payments made pursuant to the FAB Program directly to the entities identified above, or such further entities as may from time to time be named by the individual identified in paragraph 2 above.
4. A certified copy of this resolution shall be prepared and delivered to the Corporation as part of said application.
5. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
d. On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE Harkins, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the retainer with the law firm of Rains & Pogrebin, P.C. as special labor counsel for the Village for the two-year period between January 18, 2001 and January 17, 2003
e. 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 has had a pre-paid deposit on file with the State for the NY State Employees Retirement System to be used to offset its retirement; and
WHEREAS, the Treasurer has chosen to limit the Village’s interest payments to the State for the first retirement incentive adopted by the Village given the fact that the interest charged will far outpace the interest earned on the funds; and
WHEREAS funds to cover the first retirement incentive can be redeemed from the designated fund balance where they have been carried on the Village books as a prepayment. As such, the Village Treasurer wishes to amend both sides of the 2000-2001 budget to reflect the transfer of funds to cover the incentive in the amount of $74,849.00.
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Treasurer amend the 2000 –2001 General fund Operating budget effecting the following accounts to reflect these changes;
Increase 001-9010.800 by $ 74,849.00 ( NY State ERS Retirement )
Increase 001-0001 5990 by $ 74,849.00 ( Appropriated Fund Balance )
f. On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE Harkins, 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, Harkins, Mayor Elliott, “aye”; Trustee McCarthy, “nay”. The motion was passed.
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: Village Manager Herbek stated that the cancellation clause was added as requested in a previous meeting. Trustee Harkins asked if a better rate was requested from this company. Treasurer Reardon replied that these rates are better than originally suggested. Trustee McCarthy stated that the firm should be able to estimate what costs will be for the new financial system and stick to it. Treasurer Reardon replied that this is not feasible as he is not sure if or how it will be done by the year 2003 and he is not enamored to switch auditors at present. Trustee McCarthy replied that the comfort level of the Treasurer’s office is not paramount in choosing an auditing company and raising rates will not increase services.
g. On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE Harkins, 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, Harkins, Mayor Elliott, “aye”; Trustee McCarthy, “nay”.
BE IT RESOLVED: that the annual Village Election of the Village of Croton on Hudson, NY, shall be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2001, at the following polling place:
Community Room, Municipal Building
In the Village of Croton on Hudson, at which election the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy stated that she still has a problem with voting only in the community room; that parking is short and is not capable of handling the number of cars; she feels there should be separate polling places.
h. 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 present Agreement between the Village of Croton on Hudson and the State of New York Department of Transportation is due to expire June 30, 2002; and
WHEREAS, the said Agreement provides that the parties may at the end of each year of the term of the Agreement extend such term for an additional year;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement to extend the Municipal Snow and Ice Agreement with the State of New York Department of Transportation which provides for an extension of the original agreement to June 30, 2003 with the lump sum payment of $4,298.54 for the 2000/2001 season and for the remainder of the term of the Agreement.
Trustee McCarthy stated that she wants a law drafted and ready for next meeting for prohibiting transfer stations anywhere in the district; she feels the Village cannot wait until late February or early March for the Public Hearing and must move on this now. Mayor Elliott stated that the Comprehensive Planning Committee has been working on this for a very long time and asked that they come back to the Board with their recommendations. Trustee McCarthy requested an Executive Session for legal advice in connection with this matter. Trustee McCarthy asked if there was any change in the wording of the parking signs on Croton Point Avenue. Village Manager Herbek replied that as required, they have published in the Croton Gazette, an amendment to the traffic rules and regulations, exactly what she has requested. Trustee
McCarthy stated that the CAC has provided an improved, revised Trail Map and it is available to people in the Village. Trustee McCarthy reported also that in regard to Metro-Enviro, she would like on a January work session who to hire (consultant) regarding this issue. Mayor Elliott asked Village Attorney Waldman to research what he thinks Metro-Enviro may ask to be changed and report back. Village Attorney Waldman stated he didn’t know what information a traffic consultant could provide that would be more than the actual data already accumulated in the monitoring process. Trustee McCarthy suggested they could take all accumulated data to a consultant. Trustee McCarthy asked about repair of a wall on Hunter Place and if the wall on the Slavin property will be repaired also. Village Manager Herbek replied that the entire wall is being evaluated, but they will have to wait for better weather and it may be put out to bid. Trustee McCarthy
asked if the Village has disposed of leaves? Village Manager Herbek that all are being composted.
Trustee Harkins reported that the Chamber of Commerce will have evening meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each even month at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building for those who cannot make the day meetings.
Trustee Grant asked when Christmas trees will be picked up. Village Manager Herbek replied that as soon as the DPW is freed up, they will be picked up. Village Manager Herbek added that Wednesday night there will be a work session in his office. He also asked for an Executive session after that work session to discuss Village employee salaries. Trustee Grant made a motion to call for the Executive Session, seconded by Trustee Harkins, approved unanimously.
Mayor Elliott congratulated the staff for the great job they did in cleaning roads.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Harkins, approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 P.M.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary