Regular Board Meeting
February 4, 2002
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, February 4, 2002 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
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 January 22, 2002. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The Board voted as follows: Trustees Grant, McCarthy, Wiegman and Mayor Elliott, “aye”; Trustee Harkins “abstain”.
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 Harkins and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 30,841.41
Water Fund 248.20
Capital Accounts 6,391.71
Trust & Agency 1,121.00
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Linda D. Puglisi, Supervisor, Town of Cortlandt, regarding the Millenium Pipeline and suggesting a joint appeal of FERC s actions to the Circuit Court of Appeals.
Discussion: Mayor Elliott asked the Board for their opinion. Trustee McCarthy stated that the people best capable are Kirkland and Ellis, Croton-on-Hudson s counsel; preparation of the appendix for the appeal can be quite costly and perhaps a cost-sharing with the Town may be a possibility. Trustee Wiegman stated that an estimate of the chance of success would be helpful in making a decision. Trustee Grant stated that this Board has not had a discussion with the Town yet and would like a meeting with them; to combine with some things, but not all ,would be a part of the decision. Trustee McCarthy added that Croton is part of the Town and the Town should pay the full cost of the Appendix preparation. Village Treasurer Waldman stated that the Town, the Village
and Westchester County should have a part in the preparation costs; he added that the letter from the Town does not say which lawyer should be used and it seems to be an open item which could be a matter of discussion with the Town. Trustee McCarthy stated that there are some advantages in working together with other Towns on strategy and areas of concern. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Town has not made a commitment to proceed with the appeal; they are equally concerned with the costs. Village Manager Herbek added that he has been kept in almost daily contact with Dani Glaser and a group that has formed which is a consolidation of many groups and that new group favors the utilization of the Riesel firm. Trustee McCarthy stated that no assumptions should be made of what the Croton people want. Village Manager Herbek added that there are three options: 1) do something jointly with the Town of Cortlandt as stated in this letter, 2) use Kirkland & Ellis, but then the
Village may be going it alone or 3) go with the County who will be using Allan Schenkman as counsel, which would not cost the Village anything further. Trustee McCarthy questioned if the County could raise all other arguments in the Appellate Court if they did not raise them below. Village Attorney Waldman replied that the argument could be raised that if a party chooses to drop out having litigated below, another party that has preserved its chance to go up to the Court of Appeals, has a right to raise issues that the other party did raise below. Mayor Elliott stated that there are several areas that need further information; this issue will be put in top priority for the next work session.
A letter from Cara Bonomola, Snyder & Snyder, LLP, regarding an application by Sprint Spectrum LP to the Town of Ossining for a special permit to install a wireless telecommunications facility proposed to be located at 400 Executive Blvd.
1. A letter from Alan Rothschild, Rothschild & Pearl, LLP, regarding a request for an amendment to the special permit for Half Moon Bay Marina, changing the boat slips from 162 assigned boat slips and 15 boat slips along the northerly floating docks to 173 separate parcels.
2. A letter from Fran Allen, Chair Waterfront Advisory Committee, in support of the requested change.
A letter from Ann Gallelli, Planning Board, recommending that this Special Permit be approved.
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, Wiegman, Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustee McCarthy “abstain”. Trustee McCarthy explained that she is recusing herself from consideration of this application because her firm had previously represented David Plotkin in a different matter.
WHEREAS David Plotkin, the owner of the Half Moon Bay Marina, has applied to the Village s Planning Board and Water Control Commission for an expansion of dock space, among other changes; and
WHEREAS the original special permit when Half Moon Bay was first approved in the 1980 s needs to be amended for the expansion of dock space; and
WHEREAS the Village s Waterfront Advisory Committee, Waterfront Control Commission, and Planning Board are in support of this amendment,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that this request is hereby referred to the Westchester County Planning Board in accordance with the Westchester County Administrative Code for their review and comment,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Public Hearing is hereby called to consider this request for the March 4, 2002 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
A letter from Paul Szwedo, NYS Office of Real Property Services, advising the Village the revised Residential Assessment Ration has been changed to 4.33 (from 2.19).
A letter from Wayne H. Spector, Esq., Sweeney, Cohen, Stahl & Vaccaro, representing Malom Development Corp., owned by Kieran Murray and Christine Murray, who reside at 20 Arlington Ave., Croton-on-Hudson, requesting approval for a Special Permit and a Special Hardship Permit for the following lots: Sect. 79-13, Block 2, Lots 18, 19 and 20. Ann Gallelli, Planning Board Chair, was present and explained that they would like Village Attorney Waldman to take a look at the application to see if this is the proper way to proceed before the Planning Board takes further action. Village Attorney Waldman agreed to look into the matter before the Village Board refers it to the Planning Board.
A letter from Kinnera Rao, Analyst, Moody s Bond Rating Service, assigning an A1 rating to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson s $1,580 Million General Obligation (Serial) Bonds.
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand Street, stated that some documents regarding MetroEnviro have come her way and are available by email; she spoke to Mr. Mack today and these documents are no longer under seal and can be released to the public. Ms. Cudequest stated also that the Millenium Pipeline fight has become a joint effort of government and citizens working together. Ms. Cudequest suggested imposing fees from MetroEnviro to help offset Pipeline legal costs. Ms. Cudequest added that there was a forum about the Indian Point issue, hosted by the LWV; Assemblywoman Sandy Galef presented information about storage of fuel rods at the sight and commented on the evacuation plan. Ms. Cudequest presented information on Allied Waste s net income for the year 2000 and 2001 and asked that
the Board examine the issues of fees very closely; adding that it was their hope, however, that the permit not be renewed.
David Tuttle, 94 Grand Street, asked Village Attorney Waldman if he has received the insurance bond from MetroEnviro. Village Attorney Waldman replied that he received a draft this afternoon of the revised performance bond and he has to review it more thoroughly. Mr. Tuttle stated that he thinks the MetroEnviro permit should not be renewed; this is not a well-run facility and is taking up too many Village resources for very little return. Mr. Tuttle asked about ending the Village s agreement with the County for the leaf transfer station. Village Manager Herbek replied that the Village does not know where the compost operation will be located and he recommends not ending the contract at present. Trustee Harkins stated that the Board made a commitment to the Village
to close the facility and are obligated to do so and he does not want to break that promise. Mr. Tuttle asked if there was anything further about the Nextel proposal. Mr. Herbek replied that no application has been submitted yet; they are exploring their options and running additional tests. Mr. Tuttle thanked Village Manager Herbek and the Police Dept. for sending him the reports he requested; he noted the average speed was 49 mph and most of the offenders were Croton residents.
Tom Brennan, Riverside Avenue, stated that the insurance bond has been lacking for a long time and the Village still does not have it. Mr. Brennan said that MetroEnviro has been dragging their feet in getting this bond in force. Mr. Brennan questioned Mayor Elliott s involvement in Allied Waste having contributed funds to a committee he was chairing. Mayor Elliott explained that Waste Management, not Allied Waste, was a sponsor for the American Wind Symphony Orchestra for one tour; Westchester County has a contract with Waste Management and the Village has contracted with the County for disposal of leaves.
Sam Watkins, 30 Lounsbury Road, addressed the cost and expense of opposing the Millenium Pipeline, stating that Neil Levy has been doing a terrific job; to date the Village has paid $435,000 to Kirkland & Ellis; this money was not in the Village budget for 2001-02 and the Fund Balance has been used for payment; upon advice from the auditors to reduce the Fund Balance, money from the original Fund Balance was used toward the 2001-02 budget to keep taxes down, for a water study, for debt service and for the pipeline legal services; the fund balance is now approximately $1,000,000. Mr. Watkins added that there has to be an end in sight to see that the money available is appropriately utilized; Neil Levy has opined that the Village has a 50/50 chance to win over Millenium and this is not
a very good chance to possibly spend another $500,000 and put the Village into a fiscally unstable position. Mr. Watkins stated that three choices have been presented tonight and there needs to be an intelligent combining of costs; the Village cannot continue alone. Mr. Watkins said that the Trustees must listen to the Village s Treasurer, Attorney and Manager and he thinks enough has been spent already. Trustee McCarthy replied that if the Village was not ready to take this issue all the way to the courts, they should not have taken the first step; all issues have to be weighed and she feels the Village s counsel is the best qualified. Trustee Grant thanked Mr. Watkins for his well thought-out, deliberate, detailed statement which has given her food for thought.
Fran Allen, 7 Finney Farm & Chair of the Waterfront Advisory Committee, which worked with Neil Levy in preparing the case for the Village of Croton, stated that she supports Mr. Watkins comments; the Village has built a terrific case that has not been decided by the NY Dept. of State; these appeals will be going forward with more general concerns than those specific to the Village of Croton and she does not see the Village gaining much by spending more money on these larger, more general issues; she is in support of not spending more money on this issue unless something comes up on the Village s specific case.
a. 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 Village of Croton on Hudson has benefited from several inter-municipal agreements with the Town of Cortlandt over the years with respect to bidding by the Town Purchasing Director, shared use of equipment and the removal of freon from appliances; and
WHEREAS, the Village is desirous of continuing these inter-municipal agreements for another year;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the three Intermunicipal agreements which deal with bidding by the Town Purchasing Director, shared used of equipment and removal of freon from appliances.
b. 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, an integral part of a Safe Communities and injury prevention program is enforcement of traffic safety laws; and
WHEREAS, the selective enforcement grant will provide municipalities with the opportunity to prioritize local objectives by examining problem areas, numbers of injuries/fatalities and resources; and
WHEREAS, the overall goal of the program continues to be preventing unnecessary deaths, reduce crashes and injuries by enforcing the speed limit and other safe driving practices, increasing public awareness/education of car safety seat issues, increasing safe bicycling practices and helmet usage, and monitoring of school bus operations; and
WHEREAS, these goals will be accomplished by a coordinated comprehensive effort where police agencies and community leaders become partners in determining traffic safety concerns, prioritizing local objectives, and seeking productive plans of action to reduce deaths and injuries; and
WHEREAS, participation with this grant program authorizes the Village of Croton to spend $3.000 on enforcement activity focusing on the following areas of traffic safety: speeding, seat belts and child car seat violations, bicycle safety/helmet use and violations involving motorists passing stopped school buses loading or unloading students,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the attached inter-municipal agreement with the County of Westchester for participation in the 2001-2002 Selective Enforcement For Traffic Safety Grant.
c. On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Harkins, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
RESOLVED: that pursuant to Article 15, Section 116 of the Election Law, the following persons are hereby appointed inspectors of election to preside at the Village Election of March 19, 2002:
DEMOCRATIC: Carol Seaver
Peggy Cunningham Chair
REPUBLICAN: Audrey Gabrielsen
Nancy Goetz Chair
And be it
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the compensation for each inspector of election shall be fixed at $175.00 per day, and $200.00 for each chairperson; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED: that voting machines be used for recording the vote for the election of Village officers, and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Clerk is hereby directed to hire R. Michael Mitchell and Bobby Hill as Technicians of voting machines at a compensation of $55. Per machine to prepare voting machines.
d. 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, Harkins, Wiegman and Mayor Elliott “aye”; Trustee McCarthy “abstain”.
WHEREAS, in a letter dated March 23, 2001, Zarin & Steinmetz, Attorneys at law, on behalf of Allied Waste Industries, Inc., requested a renewal of their Special Permit which was due to expire on May 5, 2001; and
WHEREAS, at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees held on April 23, 2001, the Board of Trustees granted a sixty-day extension of the previous special permit in order to have time to consider the renewal of the Special Permit; and
WHEREAS, a Work Session was held on April 30, 2001 to discuss this matter; and
WHEREAS, a Public Hearing was held on May 7, 2001 to consider this matter; and
WHEREAS, on June 18, 2001, and again on September 4, 2001, the Board granted sixty-day extensions of the special permit, and
WHEREAS, the Board on October 29, 2001, further approved an extension of the special permit to November 19, 2001, and
WHEREAS, THE Board on November 19, 2001 approved a further extension of the special permit until the end of the day on February 4, 2002; and
WHEREAS, the Board, among other things, is now waiting for the final report from Walter Mack, the federally appointed monitor;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees does hereby grant another extension of the special permit to Allied Waste Industries until the end of the day on March 4, 2002.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Village Board of Trustees will further consider the matter of the special permit renewal to Allied Waste Industries on March 4, 2002.
Note: This resolution was originally presented with a modification to Paragraph 23 of the Permit; motion was made and seconded by Trustees Grant and McCarthy, after discussion, the resolution was amended to remove that modification. Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the amended resolution as stated above; second by Trustee McCarthy.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy stated that the operations manual may be checked which should address the issue of having containers stored at the site and she is disturbed that the Village has asked for the removal of these containers and it has not happened. Trustee McCarthy stated that she does not believe a lot of good faith has been shown since such a long time has elapsed since the Village has first asked for the surety. Village Attorney Waldman replied that he does not believe there is a danger of the facility closing, there are no monetary amounts due the Village; this should be attended to, but there should not be an extreme sense of urgency at this moment. Trustee Grant added that the electronic rolling doors are in place which is a plus. David Steinmetz was
present at this meeting to answer questions. Mr. Steinmetz came to the podium to answer questions after the vote on the extension of the Metro Enviro permit. Trustee McCarthy asked what action his client is willing to take toward removal of containers. Mr. Steinmetz replied that he believes there is an area permitted on the original site plan that allowed outdoor storage; his client proposes that October through March, no more than 50% of the quantity out there now will be stored, during April through September, they are proposing no more than 20% will stay, all within the fenced in area. He asked that any removals be phased in which will keep the truck traffic down. Trustee McCarthy stated that MetroEnviro is not in compliance with the revised zoning which does not allow the storage of containers in that district and this has come up before. Mr. Steinmetz pointed out that the complaint referred to earlier in the evening related to dates
prior to Allied Waste Industries/MetroEnviro Transfer taking over the facility; he asked that the draft of the pre-Allied monitor s report is made available which will establish comments the monitor has made about whether any employee of Allied or MetroEnviro had anything to do with the criminal complaint. Mr. Steinmetz added that Allied made reference in a public meeting to making payments to the Village in various ways and he has discussed a tipping fee with Village Attorney Waldman. Mr. Steinmetz stated that he has proposed a bond that is still under review by Allied and its Surety that covers closing and also a penalty obligation. Trustee McCarthy stated that she reads in the proposal that $200,000 goes to closure-related order and $100,000 goes to penalties. Mr. Steinmetz confirmed that was correct. Mr. Steinmetz informed the Board that Allied would be entering into a Consent Order with the NYSDEC as a result of three categories of violations. Mr. Steinmetz reviewed
items on the draft consent order that relate to the DEC permit; they anticipate a $10,000 fine assessed against Allied due to record keeping errors, dust and tonnage overages. Trustee Harkins asked when they believe tonnage records were increased by the DEC. Mr. Steinmetz replied that the DEC believes that the increase is not in effect right now. Trustee Harkins asked for clarification of the reference to tonnage record errors. Mr. Steinmetz explained that tonnage coming in did not match with tonnage records kept at a loaders scale at the rail cars and there was a discrepancy that certain records were not being kept at the facility, but were kept at Valley Carting in Briarcliff instead of in Croton. Village Attorney Waldman stated that it is his opinion that the Village should serve a notice of violation on MetroEnviro based on the inaccuracy and carelessness in maintenance of records in respect to the facility in the years 2000 and 2001; the
special permit of the Village requires adherence of all conditions of the DEC special permit and the Village must protect itself for future actions; he added that he does not recommend including the dust violation because the operator had proposed the installation of doors, but could not do it because the DEC had not approved this action; nor include the 700 ton violation because everyone, including the DEC, believed the tonnage had gone up by reason of the installation of the railroad siding. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Steinmetz to provide copies of the documents where the Village was advised of notices of violations in respect to the dust. Mr. Steinmetz replied that he will look into this. Trustee McCarthy asked to be also provided with any documentation sent the Village that informed the Village that Metro Enviro was in non-compliance with the DEC permit. Trustee McCarthy stated that communication of information needs to be greatly enhanced (the
Board should have been told of the proposed Consent Order before the meeting especially since the Village Attorney was aware of this in late December 2001 or early January 2002) and believes that when the Village Attorney provides legal advice to the Board it should be done in Executive Session not in an open forum.
Village Manager Herbek reported 1)that the owner of the (former) Grand Union, Van Wyck Shopping Center is still trying to bring in a food store, but they believe it is going to occur; the CVS lease has been worked out and there is an agreement with a grocer which is moving forward. 2) Regarding the diesel locomotive noise from MetroNorth, the resolution is in progress with electrical feeders from the Ossining substation being constructed which will run to Harmon yards and then lead to six servicing tracks; this will occur within two years. Mr. Herbek added that the Operations Dept. has established a protocol to shut the locomotives down depending on weather conditions; they are trying to minimize the locomotive noise. 3)Regarding trails, he has a meeting on Tuesday morning to
discuss additional funds the County has available; he has been informed that the Village will receive a grant of $12,500 to help with the handicapped trail construction; it is hoped that this project will be put out to bid shortly to begin construction this spring or summer. 4) He attended the Northeast Energy Infrastructure Conference held in NY City last week; it would have been better to hold the meeting before approval of the Millenium Pipeline; the FERC website has further information about the proceedings; the main issue that came out repeatedly is that the New York metropolitan area does have a need for natural gas for the next 10 to 20 years.
Trustee Wiegman 1)asked Mr. Herbek about the Dept. of Recreation s recreation needs assessment for the Village the Croton and does the Dept. director have reports coming in from other groups beside the AYSO? Village Manager Herbek replied that he would assume there are others, and he will check if they have been received. 2) thanked the LWV for their excellent forum specifically devoted to Indian Point II and III and they decided to save the evacuation route for a later forum. 3)reported that there is a VEB meeting scheduled for Tuesday and asked that Joe Sperber and Frank Pusatere be notified and be in attendance. 4) regarding the leaf transfer site-he visited it yesterday and it does look 100% better than it ever has; he prefers that it be closed out if the
Village has no more use of it for leaf storage at present. 5)reported that the NY Power Authority and Ford Motors will be launching smart cars for commuters and the opportunity exists to install charging stations at the train station parking lot.
Trustee McCarthy 1)also thanked the LWV for their excellent forum; she suggested reaching out to the Croton Action Network to talk about addressing their additional needs as she believes they were seeking a forum regarding evacuation routes. Trustee Wiegman, as liaison, will contact them. 2) stated that a notice should be sent to the County canceling the Inter-municipal agreement. 3)reported that the Conservation Advisory Council engaged in initiatives last year such as updating the trail map, earth day, the collection of over 8,000 lbs. of scrap metal, 4700 lbs. of garbage, 56 tires, 7 truckloads of driftwood; they have been working to establish a pump-out station in this area and worked on the PRE zoning issue also. 4)asked if the Village has reached the end of
the three month parking trial for Riverside Avenue. Village Manager Herbek replied that it has not started yet; the signage has not been put in place and there are no “No Parking” signs there. Village Manager Herbek added that it requires amendments to the Traffic Rules and Regulations and legal notices published. Trustee McCarthy added that she does not believe it is in anyone s best interest to allow parking there without a three month trial period in place; she assumes there was a law passed that prohibited parking there. Village Manager Herbek will look into this further.
Trustee Harkins 1)reported that he read correspondence from Weschestergov.com that refers to the Village s waterfront property and that it has been designated a water trail sight. Mayor Elliott replied that this designation makes it eligible for grant funds and does not impact the study done. Trustee Wiegman added that the state is studying how frequently people can pull over and put in easily; it turned out many more places have been identified. Trustee Grant added that she questioned this also and contacted Paul Gisondo who stated that in trying to identify these places, he was trying to afford every community an opportunity to be such a designee. 2)reported also that $885,000 in matching grants was committed to at the last meeting; he was concerned that are they
being redundant and asked if High Street work is an overlap. Village Manager Herbek replied that the plan was to do the study work first and prepare the grant application next year, but they found out that if the grant application was not submitted, there would be a two year time frame that would take place before additional funds would be considered. 3)stated that the Moody s rating was very good; he referred to the growth Croton is experiencing in the community tax base. Trustee Harkins stated that with this growth rate, the Village should expect to realize a lot of additional revenue and will continue to have budget surpluses for the next several years and, in his view, it is more fuel to the fire for the lack of a need for tax increases for many years to come. Village Manager Herbek added that both he and the Village Treasurer have been proponents of low tax rate increases and have done their very best over the years to keep the tax rate as low as
it could possibly be; they both have a deep concern with where the Village is right now in respect to fund balance; once Half Moon Bay is developed, there won t be any other substantial development taking place in the Village. Trustee Harkins commented that is all the more reason not to be committing the Village to $1.4-million in matching grants. 4)reported that the Arboretum had their Groundhog Day celebration and Tree Identification Walking Tour and they had very good attendance.
Trustee Grant reported that it is fine with her for the Village to stand by the commitment to terminate the agreement with the County, but it must be kept in mind that it will force them to find another place to either compost or contract with the County or truck them somewhere; canceling the IMA does not make the problem go away.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Harkins seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary