A regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, August 5, 2002 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Mayor Elliott Trustee Grant
Treasurer Reardon Trustee McCarthy Village Manager Herbek Trustee Wiegman
Absent: Trustee Schmidt, Attorney Waldman
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:06 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Elliott asked Manager Herbek to report, out of agenda order, progress on the sewer odor problem. The Village has sent out RFP’s and received proposals from several firms including Ralph Mastromonaco, O’Brien and Gere, Stearns and Wheeler and DiVirca & Bartilucci. Some of the firms that received RFP’s have not responded or are not interested. Savin Engineering declined based on their workload. Trustee Grant asked who will decide. Mr. Herbek stated that it will be a combination of the Village Engineer, Village Manager and the Board. Mary Fagan reported that the problem is as bad or worse than it has been for the years that she has reported on it. Mayor Elliott asked the Board to authorize the Manager and Engineer to choose the best proposal and move
ahead. Trustee McCarthy said she wants to make sure the award is to a company that has experience in this type of work. She also asked if the Village could find out why Malcolm Pirnie did not respond. Trustee Grant stated that the Board had been prepared to go with Savin earlier but Trustee McCarthy had wanted to go out for RFP’s which has now resulted in Savin not being able to do it. Trustee McCarthy asked Mr. Herbek if it was not true that they were never asked directly to do it. Mr. Herbek stated that he had discussed with Sean Gavin of Savin about approaches to treating the problem but did not ask Savin if they could do the work.. Trustee Grant moved that the decision on the firm be left with Mr. Herbek. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. The Village Manger will follow up the decision with a request for Board confirmation. Mayor Elliott moved ahead to consider Resolution 6B at this time as
it pertained to this discussion.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on July 22, 2002 as corrected. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a vote of 4-0-1 with Trustee Grant abstaining.
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 $ 14,752.65
Water Fund 229.96
Capital Accounts 22,885.00
Trust & Agency 1,223.45
a) Marc Moran, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, re: Croton River. Thanking Village Manager Herbek for his letter advising the NYSDEC about the deterioration of the environmental quality of the Croton River. Mr. Moran stated that there will be an increase in the number of Environmental Conservation Officers in July to better deal with the problem. He has also advised the New York City DEP Police of the Village’s letter of concern.
b) Ross Capon, Executive Director, National Association of Railroad Passengers, re: Amtrak. Informing the Village of upcoming debates in Washington about the future of the intercity passenger rail system. He feels it is important for the Village’s voice to be heard and will keep us informed of progress. Mayor Elliott asked and received support for Mr. Herbek to write a letter of support.
c) Sally Ball, New York State Department of State, re: amendment to the Village of Ossining Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Ms. Ball is asking adjacent municipalities to comment on the proposed amendment by 8/30/02. Trustee Wiegman suggested forwarding it to the Waterfront Advisory Committee (WAC) for review. Donald DeBar from Ossining asked to comment on it. He said the proposed amendment allows increased heights up to 100 feet and residential density increases from 16 units/acre to 48 along waterfront property. He feels this really amounts to a refocusing of state policies.
d) Sarah West, 14 Darby Avenue, re: request for a block party. Ms. West requested Village approval and help in facilitating the Darby Ave. annual Block party. Trustee McCarthy moved to support this request; seconded by Trustee Wiegman and unanimously adopted.
e) Lawrence Salley, Commissioner, re: Westchester County Dept. of Transportation, re: emergency evacuation procedures. Mr. Salley advises the Village of the County’s plan to post emergency evacuation bus stop signs throughout the village. He included a list of the proposed locations. The signs will be 12” by 18” on posts 10 feet in height. Installation will begin in September. There would be 37 locations in Croton. Trustee Wiegman noted this will add to the profusion of signs in the Village that we are trying to control. Would the signs be affixed to existing poles? Mr. Herbek said he thought they would be on new poles.
Trustee McCarthy said she thought it would result in adverse impacts in neighborhoods and that it should be referred to the VEB. A letter should be sent in interim telling Mr. Salley of the Village’s concerns about the verbiage on the signs which she believes conveys a sense of panic. Mr. Wiegman said it is important that these signs are not confused with school bus stops. Trustee Grant stated that this proposal is very poorly thought out and should be discussed with the School Board. There is no way the Village should endorse this proposal. Manager Herbek said there is a meeting of administrators within the 10 mile distance of Indian Point and his sense is that other communities will feel the same way. He feels that people in Croton are not going to be waiting at a bus stop in the event of a need for evacuation. Where are these buses going to come from? Trustee Grant suggesting asking the Police Dept. what they think of this as
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand Street. Ms. Cudequest agreed with the Village Board on their thoughts on the bus evacuation signs. She asked who bought Skyview Nursing Home? Treasurer Reardon said he thought it was a conglomerate. Regarding the Metro Enviro permit which is due to be renewed at the next meeting, the recently released Mack report confirms the industry is a problem. She reviewed the history of Metro Enviro in Croton. She stated that she had to FOIL this Mack report even though she is putting herself in a position of ridicule and suggested that when second report is published it be put on the Village’s web site. Metro Enviro was not being run in the way it should have been as indicated by the Mack report – fraud, tonnage figures were manipulated, companies were
ripped off, files were altered, computers were tampered with. This sounds like obstruction to her. She discounts Mr. Mack’s statements that Allied cooperated completely. The permit was granted over resident opposition and given its history, it would have been a miracle if nothing happened at the Metro Enviro site. According to newspaper reports, the Mt.Kisco site is still troubled although its monitor says some improvements have been made. The fact that it is a publicly traded company provides no assurance as recent events show. We are not better off just because it is under a Federal monitor. We can’t overlook organized crime connections. Garbage is garbage. Why do some of the Trustees continue to support this facility? This makes us (her group) very suspicious. A class action suit was recently brought against waste management companies including Allied. Everyone should become informed of the charges in this
suit. She will provide the settlement document as soon as it is available. Ms. Cudequest inquired if Matt Hickey is still the off-site manager of Metro Enviro. Allied has not applied to the Village for any modifications of its permit but the DEC says they have a pending application in front of them. She asked Manager Herbek to investigate what this is. Metro Enviro’s license to haul expires in December, 2002. Trustee McCarthy said she wants one full set of all the exhibits in the Mack report including a full copy of Mr. DelVecchio’s deposition. She said some of these problems occurred on Allied’s watch. There is a tremendous impact of trucks on the Gateway district. She stated the Board should reconsider hiring Arnold and Porter to advise them on the Metro Enviro special permit.
Jim Moore, Grand Street regarding the skateboard facility. Mr. Moore commented that its cost has gone from $75k to $150k. and he believes it will be higher before it’s done. How did 20-30 kids push the Village Board into this without looking into the financial aspects? Mayor Elliott stated that it was not yet done due to delivery delays; that we knew what the costs were and that we need to do more for kids in this age group as far as recreation. The Board considered it for a long time before taking this decision. Trustee McCarthy said some of the improvements to the Municipal Place site are permanent and will be lasting even if the skateboard park doesn’t last in the long run. She thinks it is more than 20-30 kids who wanted it; the Village wants to meet the needs of
all segments of the community. Trustee Wiegman agreed that Cortlandt does have a skateboard park but at a distance that requires driving. The age group we want to serve does not drive and we want something that can be reached by foot. The nature of facility is such that it is usable from beginners to intermediate level – not high-end expertise. This represents a potential population of several hundred kids. The skateboard park is modular and can be moved if another site is selected in the future. Mr. Moore asked if adults will be there. Trustee McCarthy said children 10 or younger must have an adult with them. Trustee Grant stated that she knows where he is coming from; she was a convert to this project after initial strong opposition. She thinks it will be very successful. Mayor Elliott commented that he has observed a long line of kids watching it carefully and with great anticipation as it is being assembled.
a. Authorizing Village Treasurer to decrease the minimum water consumption factor and increase the water rate for all consumers using more than 300,000 cubic feet per year.
On motion of TRUSTEE McCARTHY, seconded by TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer recommends reducing the minimum water usage used to bill Croton residents for water consumption; and
WHEREAS, The current minimum is set at 2,000 cubic feet, and the Treasurer wishes to lower that number to 900 cubic feet which would result in a charge of $ 31.86 at the current rate of $ 3.54 per 100 cubic feet; and
WHEREAS, The Village Treasurer also recommends raising the water rate per 100 cubic feet by $ .46, to $ 4.00 for those individual large consumers that use in excess of 300,000 cubic feet per year.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to decrease the minimum water consumption factor from 2,000 to 900 cubic feet to begin with the next semi-annual billing cycle that is due October 15, 2002; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to raise the water rate per 100 cubic feet by $.46 to a cost of $ 4.00 per 100 cubic feet for all those individual water consumers that use more than 300,000 cubic feet per year.
b. Budget Modification, re: Skyview Pump Station.
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 Director of Public Works has reported a critical emergency in the sewer pumps at the Skyview Pump Station; and
WHEREAS, his department personnel have been responding to an ever increasing number of faulty alarms at this station, and have reported the potential of a major pump failure. He now recommends utilizing funds in the contingent account (1990.400) to pay for the replacement of these pumps); and
WHEREAS, The Treasurer wishes to move those funds to the General Fund Budget and make the following transfers:
1. Increase 001 8120 0400 by $16,200 ( Sanitary Sewers Contractual )
2. Decrease 001-1990.0400 by $16,200 ( Contingent Account )
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to transfer $16,200.00 as described above; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that All-Makes Pump & Motor Repair Inc., is hereby authorized to make the necessary repairs to the pumps.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy questioned why it had taken 3 years to come to this recommendation and why it wasn’t put into earlier budget recommendations. Mr. Herbek said he would need to get that answer from Ken Kraft. Trustee McCarthy asked if we had prior discussions with this company about the problem.. We have ascertained that Kellard and Federico Engineering did the initial design and this company (All-Makes) says there were problems with the initial design. She stated that damage to the pump was caused by Skyview and we should send them a bill for the costs, not to the taxpayers. Manager Herbek said that Skyview has been put on notice by the Village by both Mr. Kraft and himself.
c. Budget Modification, re: Police Retirement expense.
On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, 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 Village Treasurer needs to fund the Police retirement account, and has reviewed the 12 month year to date expenditures for each department and recommends the following modifications:
Increase 001- 9015.800 by $ 6,189.00 ( Retirement Expense )
Decrease 001-3120.122 by $ 6,189.00 ( Police Grant )
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Village Treasurer amend the 2001 - 2002 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.
d. Authorizing Village Manager to increase the fee for property searches in the
Village Engineer’s Office.
On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, 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 Board of Trustees, at its meeting of April 1, 1991, adopted various fees and charges to be effective June 1, 1991, and
WHEREAS, the Village Manager is recommending an increase in Property Searches in the Village Engineer’s Office which require a substantial amount of staff time and cost to the Village;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the fee for searches be increased to
Discussion: The fee now is $15 so this resolution will double it. Manager Herbek said many property searches take substantial amount of staff time. This doesn’t apply to just seeing a property card. The fee was last increased in 1991.
e. Surplus Equipment.
On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, seconded by TRUSTEE GRANT, the
following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village routinely disposes of equipment which has been determined to be nonfunctional and no longer needed or useable by the Village, and
WHEREAS, in his memo of 7/29/02, the Village’s Central Garage Foreman/Mechanic, Martin Gariepy, has listed the 1990 Ford F-250 Pick-Up as a surplus vehicle,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby declares the vehicle listed in Mr. Gariepy’s memorandum of 7/29/02 to be surplus and the Village Manager is hereby authorized to dispose of this vehicle by auction, sealed bids or by other means of disposal at his option.
f. Zoning legislation
On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, seconded by TRUSTEE McCARTHY, the
following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, in accordance with the goals and objectives of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan, which is now under discussion and review, one of the key objectives is the drafting of several gateway development areas that need special design consideration, and
WHEREAS, the Village has obtained a proposal from the firm of Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart, Inc., to create zoning text preparation of residential floor area ratios (FARS), and preparation of (EAF) necessary for compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act for a total cost of $16,000; and
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer recommends utilizing funds in the contingent fund to pay for this project ( 001-1990.400 ); and
WHEREAS, The Treasurer wishes to move those funds to the General Fund Transfer to Capital account ( 001-9953-0900 ), and amend the 2002-2003 Capital fund budget effecting the following accounts;
Increase 3-8660.0200.0001.0049 by $ 16,000.00 (Comprehensive Plan)
Increase 3-0003.5031.0001.0049 by $ 16,000.00 (Comprehensive Plan)
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to transfer $16,000.00 as described above; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the signing of this agreement by the Village Manager on August 05, 2002 is hereby ratified and approved.
Manager Herbek reported that the Village’s home page has changed. We now have the ability to post a lot of information that was much more difficult to do previously. The left side of the home page contains information about the Village. The Public Notice page is on the Home Page as well. The plan is to update these on a regular basis. Hyperlinks will connect to other relevant Home Pages. A lot of forms are now included -can get an on-line copy of an application for a Building Permit, for example, from the Engineering Dept. Each Dept. will have responsibility for keeping their information current. There was a School/Village safety meeting this morning. This morning they discussed the problem of groups taking over school fields on Sat/Sun without permits. A
community group has been formed working on a plan to resurface the High School Track. Mayor Elliott recommended that the Village contribute a modest amount – $15k – to this group to accomplish this and to show support for it as a recreational facility. Trustee McCarthy said that from a taxpayer point of view, this hits them twice – paying in both their school and village taxes. Mayor Elliott also stated that he has asked Norman Sheer and Mike Sullivan to co-chair a 5-member committee to look at the feasibility of annexing to the Village the part of the School district that is outside the Village. He asked Gary Cohen to be member as well. We need two more Village residents to be members – suggestions are welcome. Trustee McCarthy said that until this analysis has been done, the impact of a donation to the track is still disproportionate. There are other ways to cooperate and help. Mayor Elliott said this is a need that is in front of
us now and we have done this sort of helpful thing in the past. $15k is the small amount that closes the gap – some from school system and some from donations. Trustee Wiegman stated that a well-prepared track is well worth it and moved that the Village enter an IMA to provide this #15 k support. Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion. Trustee Grant said she supported this; it is a facility that is greatly used by the population. It was approved unanimously. Mayor Elliott stated that the new committee he is suggesting will have to perform considerable analysis in coming up with a recommendation on the matter of annexation.
Mr. Herbek stated that Buckhurst, Fish and Jacquemart ( BFJ) has provided a memo on the proposed Overlay district that has been reviewed by Attorney Waldman. He will provide copies to the Board. There was a water taste competition that Tom Brand, Water Foreman, entered the Village in at the Museum of Natural History today. Croton came in third a very good result. Tom is very dedicated. As far as water usage, in July – the Village averaged 1.22mg/day with a 1.48 mg one-day high. This reflects some water conservation because it is usually higher in summer. In winter it is about .8 or .9mg/day. The Skateboard facility is still about a week or two away from opening as we are making sure equipment is safely installed. He has prepared a breakdown of Village goals
by priority based on input from the Board and wants to go over it at the work session on Sept. 10. He also wrote a memorandum on the priorities that he thought were the tops ones. He has received a BFJ proposal for the FAR changes for residential properties for $16k. Trustee Wiegman moved that the Village move ahead with this proposal, seconded by Trustee McCarthy and it was approved unanimously. Mr. Herbek stated that there is a grant opportunity for Main Street development. He has it prepared already and can send it in time to meet the 8/12 deadline. The project being proposed includes a lot of landscaping in two Gateway areas. The maximum grant is $25K but the overall proposed project is about 200k. Trustee McCarthy asked why not provide a more scaled down proposal. Mayor Elliott said Manager Herbek had to meet the criteria; they are very difficult to meet and the reason why the proposal is what it is. Trustee
McCarthy asked if a Main Street consultant could come under the umbrella of this application. Trustee Wiegman said the only communities that can take advantage of this grant are ones that have ‘off the shelf’ projects ready to go. Manager Herbek stated that this was done at the suggestion of the VEB. Trustee Grant moved that the Board authorize the Mayor to sign the grant application, seconded by Trustee Wiegman. Trustee McCarthy said she would like a reduced amount for the proposed project. It was unanimously approved.
Trustee Reardon said that the sidewalk and curb analysis which is being inputted into the GIS system includes the condition of them. An intern did the research. Over 4 years he has been here, he has never been to Seprieo until last week – it is a beautiful achievement by the Board – a jewel. In Peekskill all Trustees have laptops and all agendas and packets for meetings are being sent to them by pdf files; saves paper and time of staff in Office. He would like to do the same with diskettes delivered to each Trustee. Trustee McCarthy opposed this idea as not being helpful – can’t write notes on computer file – she would have to print it out anyway. Trustee Grant and Wiegman thought it was a good idea worth pursuing.
Trustee Wiegman asked if there currently water restrictions in place for residents. Manager Herbek said that County water restrictions are still in effect. The specifics can be found on the County website; perhaps it could be put on ours.
Trustee McCarthy commended Treasurer Reardon for always being very progressive. She reminded everyone that we should not lose our focus about Indian Point and on having a work session to discuss this.
Trustee Grant said most of her list has already been covered earlier in the meeting. On the Croton website, residents can send messages to Trustees and Dept. heads. She liked the idea of Trustee laptops. The study of annexation the Mayor proposed is long due – the time is right to do it. The Korean market has gone away.
Mayor Elliott thanked everyone for their support of the annexation committee and also the track support. He announced the appointment of Witt Barlow to the vacancy on the ZBA which was supported by all.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 pm. on a motion by Trustee Grant, seconded by
Trustee Wiegman, and approved unanimously.
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary