Regular Board Meeting
July 9, 2001
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, July 9, 2001 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Grant
Treasurer Reardon Trustee Harkins
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee McCarthy
Absent: Village Manager Herbek
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8: 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 June 18, 2001 as corrected, subject to verification. Trustee Harkins seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Vote on approval of the minutes of the meetings dated June 21, 2001 and June 28, 2001 were held over until the August meeting when Trustee McCarthy and Village Manager Herbek are both present.
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 Wiegman and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 84,401.77
Water Fund 17,247.45
Capital Accounts 8,909.62
Trust & Agency 445.74
Andy Mayti, Amberlands, asked to speak to the Board at this time. He stated that he believes out of town kids are causing the Senior Citizen Meetings at Senasqua Park to be disrupted. Mayor Elliott replied that he will speak to the owner of the boat yard facility. Mr. Mayti, on behalf of the Veteran’s association, stated also that there are 11 flags missing; Congresswoman Sue Kelly has offered to replace the flag on the VFW building, but he is hesitant to replace it and the others because the flags are being stolen from on top of the poles. Mayor Elliott stated that he will talk to the Police Chief and Village Manager Herbek. Mr. Mayti stated that Aschmann Lane and other street markers need stars. Mayor Elliott replied that he will look into it but the Village is about to change signs so they should
be attended to. Trustee McCarthy stated that she had hoped the Veterans would come forward with suggestion and explain what style demarcations are wanted. Mr. Mayti replied that all signs should have a star.
Mayor Elliott opened the Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory #10 entitled “Rezoning of Jane E. Lytle Arboretum to PRE-1 District in accordance with Article XIV, Amendments and Interpretation of Chapter 230, Zoning, of the Croton on Hudson Village Code.”
No comments were offered from the floor. Mayor Elliott thanked the CAC and WAC for all the work they did on this.
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the Local Law Introductory No. 10. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously. Upon adoption this law became Local Law No. 11 of the year 2001.
Local Law No. 11 of the year 2001.
A local law entitled “Rezoning of Jane E. Lytle Arboretum to PRE-1 District in accordance with Article XIV, Amendments and Interpretation of Chapter 230, Zoning, of the Croton on Hudson Village Code.
SECTION I. PURPOSE AND INTENT
The purpose of the Parks, Recreation, and Education (PRE) District is intended to preserve natural resources, scenic beauty and other land and community resources whose retention is necessary for the continued maintenance of the quality of the environment. It is designated to provide for public parks; recreational activities including all types of athletic activities; schools and other educational facilities; nature preserves; bird and wildlife sanctuaries; and similar uses.
As defined in Section 230-20, The PRE-1 district zoning provisions are intended to ensure that no building or other structure, facility or premises or any part thereof shall be constructed or used which is arranged, intended or designed to be used, in whole or in part, for any uses except passive open space.
Zoning of the specified parcels in the Jane E. Lytle Arboretum as PRE-1 will enhance and protect the valuable open space qualities of this property land and fulfills a key policy recommendation of the Conservation Advisory Council and the Waterfront Advisory Council. Designating this property as PRE-1 is the best means to ensure the preservation of its natural state.
SECTION II. ZONING AMENDMENTS
A. The zoning of the parcels having the following Village tax map designations is hereby changed to PRE-1.
SECTION III. SEPARABILITY
The provisions of this local law are separable and if any provision, clause, sentence, subsection, word or part thereof is held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional or inapplicable to any person or circumstance, such illegality, invalidity, unconstitutionality, or inapplicability shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, clauses, sentences, subsections, words, or parts of this local law or their application to other persons or circumstances. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent that this local law would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid, or unconstitutional provision, clause, sentence, subsection, word or part had not been included therein, and if such person or circumstance, to which the local law or part thereof is held inapplicable, had been specifically exempt therefrom.
SECTION IV. EFFECTIVE DATE
This local law shall take effect immediately upon its filing with the Secretary of State.
Assistant Village Manager Reardon read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Paul J. Feiner, Town Supervisor, Greenburgh, requesting that the Village Board approve a resolution objecting to the adoption of proposed legislation which would amend the General Municipal Law Section 207-C.
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the following resolution; seconded by Trustee McCarthy and approved unanimously.
WHEREAS, there are presently three bills that have been submitted in the State legislature (S4350, S5279 and A8587) that, if adopted, would amend Section 207-C of the General Municipal Law by broadly extending benefits to police and correction officers that have heretofore been limited to such employees when injured in the performance of heightened risk, criminal justice duties; and
WHEREAS, the adoption of this legislation would have a devastating financial impact on municipal governments, resulting in less policing, decreased morale within police departments and significant increases in local taxes;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village Board of the Village of Croton on Hudson hereby states its opposition to the adoption of this legislation and urges its State legislators to vigorously work to defeat these bills.
A letter from Curtis J. Cowgil, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, inviting attendance at a meeting between the NRC and Entergy Nuclear Generation Co. where they will be discussing the annual assessment of the safety performance of the Indian Point3 Nuclear Power Plant. Mayor Elliott stated that a representative will be there.
A letter from Joyce M. Lannert, Commissioner, Westchester County Dept. of Planning, regarding applications for Hudson River Walk demonstration projects to be funded from a $60,000 grant received through the NYS Quality Communities Program.
A letter from Westchester County Executive Andrew J. Spano with notification from the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development that the FY 2001 Action Plan for the Westchester Urban County Consortium has been approved and confirming awards to the Village from the CDBG Program.
A letter from Mary C. Zimmermann, announcing her official resignation as Croton’s Superintendent of Recreation and Parks after over 12 years of service to the Village.
A letter from Michael Bannan, 29 Van Wyck Street, expressing his disappointment with the new picture ID program, in particular with regard to the use of Senasqua Park. Trustee Grant stated that she thinks it is a poorly thought-out policy and not properly executed; she had a personal incident on July 4th whereby a family member and his children, none of whom currently live in the Village, were asked to leave the park; the Village should not restrict the number of guests who can be brought to the park; Senasqua should be treated the same as the other parks; many issues have surfaced and have had to be handled ad hoc. Trustee Grant stated that she went to Senasqua on Saturday at 1 PM and only about 20 people were there, the same later that day; it has cost the Village about $2000.00 for this ID system; she suggested rescinding this
activity taking place now, go back to the former policy and think it through; if Senasqua gets crowded or overrun, this too can be handled. Trustee McCarthy replied that residents can apply for a permit for a large group and pointed out that senior citizens must be a member of the Croton Senior Citizens Club to get a card; she has a problem with what is being charged for these cards; at $5.00 a head and approximately 2000 citizens applying for the cards, the Village is ahead monetarily; this issue has come up multiple times and if it is opened up, the Village may put itself into the position that residents may be denied access; the Seprieo property is open to all and she has discomfort with a completely open policy. Trustee Grant added that the Senior Citizens do not have to live in Croton if they have a long-time association with the Village; she does not advocate a completely open policy, but is suggesting that if you are with a Croton resident or visiting a resident,
one should be allowed to enjoy the park. A resident, Dorothy Arensburg, Stevenson Place and a member of Croton Senior Citizens Club stated that the incident Mr. Mayti referred to was just a matter of 4 or 5 kids, age 12 to 14, who ran up and made remarks; she added that the senior citizens were extremely upset with the ID card policy. Trustee Wiegman stated that they are trying to fix a problem that does not exist; the riverfront parks are a destination for everyone; unreasonable restriction develops a bad name for the Village; there is no over-running of the parks; he also checked out the parks before moving into the Village; residents should have maximum access to the parks; non-residents perhaps should pay a fee to use the parks; the Seprieo property is a future issue for the Village and is not a destination for children at this point. Trustee Harkins stated that he is a long-time supporter of maintaining the policy as it stands; he has questions about
enrollment in summer camps and use of recreation facilities in the Village and added that they all should be reviewed.
Trustee Grant made a motion to rescind the policy instituted this year for Senasqua Park to require ID cards, to limit the number of guests and to refer back to the Board for further consideration. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. Vote was taken with Trustees Grant and Wiegman and Mayor Elliott voting “aye”, Trustee Harkins, “abstain” and Trustee McCarthy, “nay”.
A letter from the Members of the Board of the Visual Environment, submitting a request that the Board reconsider the role of the VEB or implement procedures necessary for it to function as intended in the legislation. Trustee Wiegman, as VEB liaison, will get more information and report back to the Board.
A letter from Nancy E. Straub, 90 Olcott Avenue, regarding the Olcott-Larkin parking lot proposed by the School district. Trustee Grant stated that there will be a meeting in Marjorie Castro’s office on July 18th to discuss this. Mayor Elliott added that further opinions can be addressed to the Board. Trustee McCarthy stated that the last time these people were here, they were asking for the Village to take a position and this needs to be addressed. Mayor Elliott replied that anything done on school grounds does not need Village approval. Trustee Wiegman, as liaison to the School Board, will follow up.
Scott Giordano, 11 Hastings Avenue, stated that he came to the May 7th Board Meeting asking for help; on Father’s Day, he and Rick Herbek looked at the erosion problem and it was suggested the hill be bulldozed down to make it less of a slope; Mr. Fallacaro had offered to plow down the hill a year ago; Trustee McCarthy has been at his property to look at the situation; Mr. Giordano hired an engineer and has his report; he feels this is a health and safety issue and asked the Village to get involved. Village Attorney Waldman replied that it might not be a Village responsibility unless there is a significant problem, for instance, if the house is in imminent danger of falling down, otherwise the resolution is between the neighbors, but the Village can help mediate the situation. Mayor Elliott suggested asking Mr. Fallacaro
and his engineer to sit down with Mr. Giordano and his engineer and perhaps the Board can facilitate getting these parties together.
Pat Zanfardino, 97 Brook St., stated that the Village said they were going to hire an engineer to look into water problems; what is he going to look at, just the Brook Street problem or other areas? Mayor Elliott replied that he will address all problem areas in the Village, which are related anyway. Mr. Zanfardino asked if the engineer will come up with a solution. He suggested that they camera the line and check the structure, also check manholes which may not have been inspected nor cleaned out as requested, and measure the pipe size; he has theories about causes of the problem, such as the Hudson National Golf Club storm water run-off; that they are not maintaining proper rate of flow, or the fact that with River Landing Phase 1 & 2, the retaining pond was eliminated, or Old Post Road improvements are causing the
Mary Fagan, 163 Old Post Rd. N., asked the Board about the sewer smell which she believes started when Skyview was tied into the sewer system; it is still occurring in a number of places; she spoke to Mr. Kraft and she knows that the Village relined the sewers, which was done to eliminate the smell, but that didn’t work. Mayor Elliott replied that the engineers have said that the system needs to be reprogrammed to change the manner that the flow is flushed through on a more regular basis and also eliminate sewer gases from escaping; he will ask Mr. Kraft when this will be done and someone will get back to Ms. Fagan. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Village has been getting bad advice and should be more pro-active on who the Village is using to correct these problems.
Ed Hatzmann, 6 Stevenson Place, stated that he agrees with Ms. Fagan, that the sewer smell is very bad; Mr. Kraft is aware of it and had mentioned that a cover was going to be put in to maintain the odors, but Mr. Hatzmann is concerned that this might cause an explosion; also the water situation outside his house has washed out the curb and it has been cracked by the snowplows.
Dorothy Arensburg, 4 Stevenson Place, stated that they are having a severe problem with rain runoff from Finney Farms; it misses the catch basin and is flooding the properties; not just heavy rains, just enough water that starts running causes problems; the new curbs are lower than the old ones, are in the road itself and caused a change in the curve of the road; asphalt is being washed down; the road is eroded so much you can now see the old road; they need help getting the water to go into the catch basin; she asked that Board members walk the area to see the problem.
Carol Gorman stated that her two sons have worked at Senasqua Park and her son Bobby, has taken abuse; she is disappointed in the Board that the ID’s will be eliminated. Mayor Elliott stated that the Village is well aware of the problems the workers have and there is something in society today that people think it gives them a right to talk to people in a very uncivilized manner, but none the debate tonight reflects on anyone who works for the Recreation Dept.; it is a Village problem that must be addressed. Trustee McCarthy stated that this year there is not a problem, but there has been in prior years; the Board has now instituted an ambiguous policy that cannot be enforced. Mayor Elliott stated that the Board has agreed to rescind the current policy and come up with a better solution for next year.
Trustee McCarthy stated that Congresswoman Kelly’s representative discussed with Trustee McCarthy the matter of federal funding to see if she could assist the Village with its problems on the parking lot. The Army Corps of Engineer will have to come down and look at the site to see if federal funding is possible. Congresswoman Kelly’s office will assist the Village in scheduling such an inspection. Mayor Elliott added that Village Manager Herbek had also looked at that possibility.
Note: Items B through E on the Agenda were held over to the work session of July 16, 2001.
a. 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, McCarthy, Wiegman, “aye”; Trustee Harkins “abstain”.
WHEREAS, the Village applied for funding from the Westchester Urban County Development program to partially finance sidewalks along Harrison Street and a neighborhood park; and
WHEREAS, the Village has entered into a contract with Westchester County to receive $175,000 for this project; and
WHEREAS, design plans for this project have been completed and the project has been put out for competitive bids; and
WHEREAS, the bids were submitted on June 21, 2001 and Vernon Hills Contracting, Corp was the low bidder at $386,065,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the contract for the Upper Village and Harrison Street Sidewalk Improvement Project to Vernon Hills Contracting, Corp.
b. 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
WHEREAS, the Board previously authorized a proposal with the firm of Cronin Engineering, of Peekskill, NY for sidewalk design work along Route 9A, Municipal Place and Route 129, and
WHEREAS, the NYS DOT has indicated that the sidewalk should be along the southern portion of Municipal Place to include the length of Municipal Place from Route 129 to the entrance ramp of Route 9, and
WHEREAS, the Village is also interested in sidewalk design work for Hughes Street and the connection to the sidewalk along Cleveland Drive, and
WHEREAS, this will involve additional engineering design and survey work, and
WHEREAS, the Village has a proposal from Cronin Engineering for $8,000 for the engineering design work and from Berger Engineering and surveying $6,020,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreements for professional services with Cronin Engineering in the amount of $8,000 for engineering design work and with Berger Engineering in the amount of $6,020 for survey work.
Treasurer Reardon reported that the Village is no longer liable for the Pomco Medical Plan.
Trustee McCarthy reported that a resident said since the Village will be doing sidewalk work in the Upper Village, we should be burying the utility lines and Con Edison and the cable companies will assist. Mayor Elliott replied that they will once again approach Con Ed with this request. Trustee Grant stated that Paul Buckhurst, at a Comprehensive Planning Committee meeting, said that the only way Con Edison will help is if you widen the road enough that they would have to move the poles.
Trustee McCarthy read a statement regarding MetroEnviro and their falsifying tonnage reports; she shared her observations and opinion regarding monitoring of the facility and the manner in which the Village administration has handled this. Trustee McCarthy repeated her assertion that the Village has not properly monitored this facility. Trustee McCarthy suggested and requested that a notice of violation be issued as soon as possible.
Trustee Harkins reported that the Library has started summer hours; the Internet can be used to access the Library system by logging on to: www.crotonfreelibrary.com. Trustee Harkins reported that Metricom, Inc, provider of the Ricochet system has declared bankruptcy; they have not installed any equipment in the Village and Village Attorney Waldman will look at the Village’s agreement with this company. Trustee Harkins reported that there was a letter in the Gazette regarding medical costs and prescription plans for
seniors which Village Manager Herbek will follow up on. Trustee Harkins stated that Village Manager Herbek should address the air conditioning for the Municipal Building when he returns. Trustee Harkins reported that the year-end, May 2001, preliminary, unaudited figures show a surplus of approximately one million dollars, therefore, in his opinion, a tax increase was not warranted; the Auditor’s final report will come out in September.
Trustee Grant stated, that regarding Trustee McCarthy’s statement about MetroEnviro, there is no question overages are unacceptable, all Board members are concerned and action will be taken; the violations as reported tonight have been reported before and there were no health and safety violations; there have been comments made on the reports, but no violations reported by the DEC or the County Board of Health. Trustee Grant added that the site today is dramatically nicer and cleaner than anything that has been there for many years. Trustee Grant also stated her recollection of the recent meetings with MetroEnviro representatives, Village Manager Herbek and herself.
Mayor Elliott stated that since Village Manager Herbek is not present to defend himself tonight, he wished to say that Mr. Herbek is acting in a professional capacity, he tries to get the information to all the Board members at the same time, in the same manner and he cannot challenge his professional abilities. Mayor Elliott stated also that one should not confuse surplus with fund balance; the Village is working very hard to get the infrastructure in shape and to have a superb balance sheet for the community and it would be imprudent to take from the fund balance to reduce taxes at this time.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn seconded by Trustee Harkins; approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 P.M.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary