A regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Deputy Mayor Grant
Village Manager Herbek Trustee Harkins
Treasurer Reardon Trustee McCarthy
Absent: Mayor Elliott
Village Attorney Seymour Waldman
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Deputy Mayor Grant called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Harkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on February 4, 2002, as amended. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. The Board approved the minutes by a unanimous (4-0) vote.
3. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Harkins made a motion to approve the following vouchers, subject to review by the Audit Committee. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. The motion was approved by a unanimous (4-0) vote.
General Fund $ 31,679.99
Water Fund 7,538.59
Capital Acct. 117,128.84
Trust & Agency 39,683.89
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at he Village Office):
a) A letter from Morton Aaronson, President, Aerie Networks, introducing a new subsidiary company, Ricochet Networks, Inc. Ricochet Networks acquired the assets of Metricom, Inc. in November, 2001. Ricochet provides broadband, wireless Internet access for laptops and handheld devices. They would like Croton to consider becoming an anchor community for this service and will be in touch with the Village.
b) A letter from Tracy Sendlenski, 55 Harrison Street, regarding residents parking on the new sidewalks recently installed on the street. Mr. Sendlenski recommends steps be taken to stop this practice and preserve the sidewalks. He also praised the improvements to the park on Harrison Street and looks forward to using the new equipment when it is completed.
Trustee Harkins commented that this playground was intended children for 10 years and under, but the under the equipment is all woodchips. He doesn t think it is appropriate. Village Manger Herbek said that this base is OSHA approved to which Trustee Harkins said he was surprised. Trustee McCarthy commented that a poured surface would not require as much maintenance in the long run.
c) A letter from Gaynell Cronin, 50 High Street, regarding the payment of legal fees with respect to the stone wall the Village constructed on Hunter Street.
Village Manager Herbek described the project in question. The neighbors wanted the wall replaced with a wall that was similar to the previous wall stone, concrete, rubble-filled. This was more costly to build. A rock outcropping caused it to encroach on the Cronin property which would not have occurred if the Village had built a cheaper poured concrete wall. The subject of legal fees never came up prior to this time with Village Attorney Waldman or anyone else. Only the Village Board can authorize this expense. Trustee McCarthy asked if the Cronins had received any payment for the land on which the wall was built to which Mr. Herbek said no . Trustee McCarthy felt that in that case, paying the legal fees might be reasonable. Deputy Mayor Grant reminded the others
that she has recused herself from this matter and would not be voting on it. Treasurer Reardon suggested that the Board authorize payment with the stipulation that his ends the villages obligations.
Trustee McCarthy moved that the Treasurer be authorized to pay the sum of $295. to the Cronins upon the condition that this satisfies all obligations of the village to the Cronins for this project. The motion was seconded by Trustee Wiegman and passed 3-0 with Trustee Grant abstaining.
d) A letter from Jon Goplerud, Chair, Croton Conservation Advisory Council, announcing that this year s Earth Day Cleanup activities will be Saturday, April 27, 2002 from 9:00 am to 12 noon (rain date: May 4, 2002). Staging for the various clean-up sites will be at Senasqua Park. Mr. Goplerud summarized the amount of debris cleaned up over the last 5 years as being about 70 tons. The CAC looks forward to moving forward with beautification projects in the coming years. Will be working with the Rec. Dept and Susan Menz to identify these projects.
e) Ann Gallelli for the Planning Board regarding amending the definition of the work BUILDING in section 230-4 of the Zoning Law.
Village Manager Herbek will draft a Local Law which will need to be referred to the County for comment and review a 30 day requirement. The Village Board set a date for a public hearing for April 1, 2002 by motion of Trustee Wiegman and second by Trustee McCarthy. It was approved unanimously.
5. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Maria Cudequest 84 Grand St. Ms. Cudequest stated that she was passing along some information gathered by Concerned Citizens of Croton (CCC) regarding the recent leak of radiation at Indian Point a document by a Doctor in support of Riverkeepers advocacy of Indian Point closure. With regard to a 2/13 Journal News article about upcoming election in Croton, Ms. Cudequest said some statements in the article need clarification. The overwhelming preference of Croton residents is to not have this facility in Croton as shown by a petition of over 1000 signatures presented to the Village Board 4 years ago. Recent polling by CCC of these signees indicated the same is true according to Ms. Cudequest. They will
redo the petition if necessary. However, if Metro Enviro is permitted to remain, the village should get a lot of money for this. She referred to Mt. Kisco receiving 5 million for a lawsuit settlement against Allied. This money gives Mt. Kisco many options for using this money to benefit the village; she wants Croton to have the same ability based on fees assessed to Metro Enviro. Regarding a monitor, Ms. Cudequest wants experts to do the monitoring not village employees. Croton should learn from this neighboring village. CCC will provide more documentation on this to village and it is available by e-mail from them. Should Croton renew the permit, the village should get money in return. Croton officials should consult with Mt. Kisco on how they dealt with Allied Waste. Ms. Cudequest stated that she finds it too frustrating to interface with the DEC. The money has not been sent to the DEC yet for the Consent
Order fine. She stated that she was told this was because another party is involved that wants some changes made but she was not able to get the identity of this party. Ms. Cudequest asked the village to check to see if there is some other party named on the Consent Order of which the village is not aware. Trustee McCarthy reminded Village Manager Herbek that the Trustees want a copy of the final Consent Order.
Kieran Murray , Arlington Drive. Mr. Murray reminded the Board that on 1/29/02 he applied to the Village Board for both a Special Use permit and a Steep Slopes Hardship Exemption. He has now applied for a subdivision approval from the Planning Board to form one lot out of his existing three lots. The Village Board has not yet referred these applications to the Planning Board pending Attorney Waldman s review. Mr. Murray wanted to know how long this is going to take as he has been waiting a long time. Village Manager Herbek said he would talk to Mr. Waldman about this but that he is away right now. Depending on what Attorney Waldman says, there may be a referral at the March 4. Village Board meeting but there is no guarantee.
Jon Goplerud Finney Farm. Referring to his correspondence read earlier at the meeting, Mr. Goplerud gave credit to his son for coming up with the clean up idea about 6 years ago. He commented on the enthusiasm among residents to come out and do things. This year, and in the future, there will be special projects to be worked on to give residents an opportunity to adopt a specific project. As an example, he said Bruce Laemmel has offered his landscape firm to do some plantings at the corner of Benedict Blvd. and South Riverside. Building on the success of the CAC s trails map, the CAC with the aid of Jan Johnson wants to develop a Tree Walk. The CAC is always a fixture at Summerfest, have been consistent advocates of PRE zoning, notified the Village of grant
money for a pumpout station on Hudson River, and is promoting the naming of the boat launch as Kornu Park. Deputy Mayor Grant complimented the CAC for all their successes.
Dave Tuttle - 94 Grand St. Mr. Tuttle wanted to know if the IMA with Westchester County for leaf removal has been canceled as promised. Regarding the recent temporary extension of the Metro Enviro Special Permit, he was upset that the Village Board voted to do it before Mr. Steinmetz revealed the existence of the Consent Order. The speeding problem on Grand St. is back after a period of enforcement helped the situation for a while. Please continue the enforcement program and look for additional steps to solve this problem. He will continue to return until this is remedied.
Pete Drexler 215 Half Moon Bay Mr. Drexler spoke about the excessive noise from the trains at the Metro North train yard. Does Village have a noise ordinance? He understands that repair noise is necessary but excessive noise comes from idling of trains that are parked for 6-8 hours near Half Moon Bay fence. He feels much of the noise could be eliminated without adversely affecting the work they do in the yard. He has called the police who in turn called the plant manager. According to Mr. Drexel, the plant manager told the desk Sargeant that the trains could be moved, but noise is not enough reason. Mr. Drexel said the Village may not be able to cite Metro North itself as a state agency, but could they serve a warrant on an individual Metro North employee for making
decisions that cause problems in the community. The Trustees felt this was an interesting idea and that this should be looked into. Trustee McCarthy asked if there was a standard procedure for handling similar complaints? If not, there should one. She suggested that residents with these complaints call into the Police Dept.. Village Manager Herbek said this would seem to be okay, but he should discuss it with the Police Dept. Deputy Mayor Grant suggested that each Trustee write to the appropriate official saying we are tired of hearing our residents constantly complaining about the noise. Trustee Wiegman suggested the Village get more decibel- level readings to support this approach. Manager Herbek commented on the history of this problem - letters written, responses received from many officials but the problem continues. There is a long term capital project at the railroad yards that will eventually result in
the locomotives waiting in another location to the south. Mr. Drexler said that the trains he is hearing are not being worked on just parked. Deputy Mayor Grant stated that that the closing of the similar Metro North yard in the Bronx has resulted in more trains being serviced here in Croton.
a) On motion of Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the following resolution was introduced:
WHEREAS, the Village received three bid proposals for turf care of Village property; and
WHEREAS, Colonial Landscaping submitted the lowest bid at $41,720; and
WHEREAS, Colonial Landscaping has performed this work for the Village in the past,
NOW, THEREFOE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the turf care contract to Colonial Landscaping for $41,720.
Discussion: Trustee Harkins stated he has not had a good experience with the winning bidder (Colonial Landscaping) at the Ballpark fields as well as Dobbs Park the grass has been cut too high. Manager Herbek said this issue should be taken up with the Recreation Dept. and that this is the first he heard of it. Trustee McCarthy said the Board should table this until the issue of their performance is resolved. Manager Herbek stated that he needs to move ahead this as the grass will soon be growing. He further stated that the Village cannot award the contract to next highest bidder unless it can prove the lowest bidder is an irresponsible bidder. Deputy Mayor Grant said that since this resolution cannot be voted on with two Trustees against and only 4
voting member present, it should be tabled. The resolution was tabled to next meeting.
Trustee Wiegman - the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, a community umbrella group, held a speakout at Peekskill Riverfront Park on Saturday Feb. 16. He and Fran Allen attended the organizational meeting of United Communities of Westchester, another umbrella group, that aims to provide a citizens organizing effort for the next steps in the pipeline decision. Phone and letter writing campaigns to officials will be organized to ask for the support of officials in our efforts to prevent the pipeline from succeeding. There are three efforts involved 1) to work to defeat the current Millennium pipeline proposal, 2) to get state and local officials to press for a study of energy requirements in the future and 3) to get our Congressional delegation to support our arguments with regard to NEPA violations.
Trustee McCarthy Grievance Day was today where the Village Board meets as the Board of Assessment Review from 4-8 pm.
Trustee Harkins Library circulation is up 22% in Jan. 2002 over Jan. 2001; the Director thinks it is due to internet reserving of books. The Arboretum has many achievements to applaud and enjoy boardwalk, gazebo, identification of trees on groundhog day, involvement of schools to make the Arboretum a part of the curriculum, and the annual garden tour. In 2002 they want to develop a teaching station and a guide to the plants of the Arboretum.
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. With unanimous approval the meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Ann H. Gallelli