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Board of Trustees Minutes 11/18/02
A regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 18, 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
        Attorney Waldman                        Trustee Schmidt


        Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:12 pm.  Everyone joined in the   Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Elliott started the meeting by paying tribute to Manny Lopez and Artie Neff – 2 employees who he said mean a great deal to the Village.  Mayor Elliott recounted when he was working for the Village himself as a youth and Manny was there then.  Manny has been responsible for much of the beautification efforts in the Village  – planters, gardens, and plantings in the parks; he is still working at 82 years old.  The Mayor presented Mr. Lopez with a Certificate of Appreciation.  He also stated that Croton’s second place finish in the Rivertown competition among all Hudson River towns for beautification efforts wouldn’t have happened without Manny.  Recreation Superintendent Susan Menz spoke about how passionate and energetic Manny is about his beautification work.  She told a story about some flowers he planted being stolen and how upset he was; he felt that they were his flowers that had been taken.  He really cares about what he does.  

Mayor Elliott recounted how Artie Neff started working for the Village in 1977 at 5:41/hour.  Artie is an athlete and a product of the Croton School system.  He had worked in the Water Dept. for many years where he had a great deal of responsibility for our water system.  In 1995, Mr. Neff became the Parks foreman and has taken great pride in keeping the Parks and fields in the wonderful shape they are in.  This is his 25th anniversary with the Village.  Ms. Menz said Artie does more than any Parks foreman she has ever known or heard of before. He works overtime to care for the Parks and fields and also works at many of the programs on nights and weekends; works flag football and basketball on Saturdays, cooks at many barbeques for camp staff, seniors and the village staff picnic. He knows the Village of Croton inside and out.  Mayor Elliott said that much credit goes to Manny and Artie and to others like them for all the good work getting done in this village.

        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                    $ 91,511.76                     
        Water Fund                              853.23
        Capital Accounts                        56,937.02
        Trust & Agency             10,746.73

a. Peter Elkin, re: Special Permit application for Max Finkelstein Tire Warehouse.  Mr. Elkin requests a Special Permit for an expansion of the existing warehouse located in a Light Industrial district.
Discussion: Mr. Elkin, who was present, said that due to taking on several new brands, the warehouse needs to reorganize the racks to service the vendors and for storage.  Rack layout is driving the need for more space.  He described the location of the warehouse. Due to a change in LI district regulations; they need a Special Use permit to enlarge a non-conforming use.  The plan calls for approximately 48% coverage of the site at completion. It is well buffered and landscaped already and difficult to see the building from off site.   Sufficient parking and loading facilities will be provided.  Additional revenue will be generated through taxes.  There are 2 drainage easements on the site which they will not encroach on.  They don’t expect traffic volume to change in any measurable way – 25 employees now, there will be 28 people.  There is no change to the amount of impervious surface, no excavation although some fill will be brought into site.  No environmental considerations.  It is very accessible for fire/police and is compatible with uses in the area. There are less than 20 trips a day by trucks and the site is well lighted.  Mayor Elliott and the Board referred the application to the Planning Board for a recommendation.  Trustee McCarthy asked about the property lines as shown on the diagram and is there a projected increase in traffic.  Mr. Silver, the owner, said no increase.  Trustee Grant asked about the railroad siding. Mr. Elkin said it is not used by them.

b. Emilie Spaulding, Cablevision, re: Change in Cablevision service. Cablevision is adding News 12 to the Basic service, relocating some channels and adding several new channels.

c. Mark Millspaugh, P.E., Sterling Environmental Engineering, re: Concrete Slab Certification for Metro Enviro Transfer Station.  The concrete slab in the C & D Processing Building has been replaced.

Discussion: Trustee Wiegman asked who required the slab replacement and why – not clear from letter. Trustee McCarthy asked the same and wants copies of all correspondence that relates to it.  Does Mr. Gerrard (the Village’s Special Counsel for Metro Enviro) know of this?  Aren’t we supposed to be informed of changes like this?  If they have violated the permit again, she wants a violation issued.  Trustee McCarthy asked if this slab replacement require a building permit?  She wants the dimensions checked to ensure they have not expanded.

d. Mario Pianteri, re: Request for taxi spaces at Croton-Harmon Train Station.  Mega Taxi, an Ossining taxi company, requests two spaces at the Croton-Harmon station.

Discussion: Village Manager Herbek said this issue has come up in past.  We already have three companies servicing the station and they seem to be meeting the needs of the community.  He doesn’t see a need for leasing any additional space at this time, but if needed in the future, there should be an open process for applying.  Mayor Elliott stated that the Board had already decided not reopen this in the near future.  Trustee McCarthy recalled that former Trustee Watkins had suggested the Village develop a procedure for new applicants. She has not heard any complaints about inadequate service; no one else had either.  Trustee Schmidt asked about current lease agreements with companies.  Manager Herbek said there is a long history to how the three companies got leases for their parking spaces.  Trustee Schmidt asked what happens at expiration of the leases, is preference given to local companies, bidding process, etc.?  Manager Herbek said this is a policy issue and the Village does not do those things now. Treasurer Reardon will check on the length of the leases, but stated there is no space to expand in the existing taxi area.  Mayor Elliott pointed out that nothing prohibits other taxi companies from picking up and dropping off at the station.

e. Marjorie Castro, Superintendent of Croton-Harmon Schools, re: thanks to the Village Board for $15,000 donation to the track restoration project.

Discussion: Mayor Elliott said this is further evidence of working together by the Village and Schools.


         1.  Maria Cudequest,  84 Grand Street – It is her understanding that with regard to the concrete pad, some violation has occurred.  Understands the DEC permit is to expire the first or second week of December but she gets no response to her inquiries.  If the Village asked these questions, they might get a better response.  Do we know if Metro Enviro has a current DEC permit.  She thinks the maintenance of the pad is tied directly to the renewal of the DEC permit.  County permit is also coming up. This matter was referred to special counsel.
        2. Tom Brennan, 121 N. Riverside.  Mr. Brennan also questioned the need for a building permit for the slab at Metro Enviro. They are trying to put something over on us.  Regarding taxi cabs, the Board should think about instituting a way for new people to apply, not lock out people who want to provide additional services to the Village.  Mayor Elliott said the Board did an exhaustive survey of the cab needs at the station.  Mr. Brennan says we shouldn’t just say no because the ones we have are sufficient.  Trustee Wiegman reiterated the process that was looked at when the current taxi spots were allocated.  Mayor Elliott further expanded on the process that was undertaken.  Regarding the skateboard park – danger is there; parents need to supervise the children until they are in the park. It is a dangerous spot for the park.  Trustee McCarthy said these children do know better and they need to be reminded.  Trustee Wiegman said the park is now closed for winter so kids are back skating on their driveways, etc.  Mr. Brennan read about some arrests of kids from out of town for possession of marijuana.  Trustee McCarthy said the Rec. Dept. will do an analysis while the park is closed for winter to see if any procedures need to be changed such as allowing outsiders into the Park.  Mayor Elliott said they want to look at age issues and gender issues as far as policies are concerned.

        a. Authorizing Village Manager to sign retainer with Rains & Pogrebin as special labor counsel for the Village.

On motion of  TRUSTEE Wiegman,  seconded by  TRUSTEE Schmidt,  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, 2003 and January 17, 2005

        b. Authorizing Village Treasurer to establish a Reserve for a new well.

        On motion of TRUSTEE WEIGMAN,  seconded by TRUSTEE SCHMIDT,  the  following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:

WHEREAS, the Village Board and the Village Manager recommends establishing a Designated Reserve Fund in the Water Fund for the eventual construction of an additional water well to be used by Croton residents for water consumption; and

WHEREAS, The Village Treasurer recommends establishing said Designated Reserve account in the Water Fund by deducting $100,000.00 from the current Water Fund undesignated fund balance.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:  that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to establish a Designated Reserve account of $100,000.00, with a cap of $500,000.00 for the express purpose of constructing well # 5 to ensure the adequate supply of water to the system.

        Discussion: Trustee Grant said it was her understanding that water funds had to balance at end of year.  Treasurer Reardon said they can still maintain a Fund Balance.  The rate is set to make it even at the end of the year.  Any improvements to the system may be funded by a Fund Balance, borrow money or raising rates. Trustee Grant asked why did we increase the rates a few years ago; Manager Herbek stated that automation of wells and pump stations were the reason. The money raised by raising rates was used to pay for some of these improvements.  The Fund Balance has increased although rates have stayed flat.  Trustee Grant asked if that doesn’t mean we are charging more than we have to?  Manager Herbek stated that if no fund balance existed and the Village needed to do something, we would need to borrow it.  Trustee Schmidt said that residents need to understand the fund balance was accumulated over several years. Mayor Elliott said if this were a private enterprise with its assets valued and depreciated, you would likely find that we undercharge.  Trustee McCarthy stated that this is the responsible way of approaching known expenses to the infrastructure in the future.

        c. Capital Fund Budget modifications.

On motion of  TRUSTEE WEIGMAN,  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, additional funds are needed to complete several overdrawn projects without resorting to additional borrowing; and

        WHEREAS, The Treasurer wishes to move those funds from the General Fund Undesignated Fund balance to the General Fund Transfer to Capital account ( 001-9953-0900 ), and then amend the following Capital Fund accounts;

Increase  3-3410.0200.9899.0015  by  $  10,000.00 ( Harmon Fire House)
Increase  3-0003.5031.9899.0015  by  $  10,000.00 ( Harmon Fire House)
Increase  3-3410.0200.0203.0090  by  $    7,000.00 ( Ladder Truck )
Increase  3-0003.5031.0203.0090  by  $    7,000.00 ( Ladder Truck )
Increase  3-5110.0200.0203.0079  by  $  56,981.25 ( Digester removal )
Increase  3-0003.5031.0203.0079  by  $  56,981.25 ( Digester removal )
Increase  3-7140.0200.0203.0089  by  $100,000.00 ( Duck Pond Dredging )
Increase  3-0003.5031.0203.0089  by  $100,000.00 ( Duck Pond Dredging )
Increase  3-8120.0200.0102.0070  by  $    1,268.30 ( Palmer Ave. Sewer )
Increase  3-0003.5031.0102.0070  by  $    1,268.30 ( Palmer Ave. Sewer )
Increase  3-8660.0200.0001.0049  by  $    2,100.00 ( Comprehensive Plan )
Increase  3-0003.5031.0001.0049  by  $    2,100.00 ( Comprehensive Plan )

Now Therefore be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2002 -2003 Capital Fund budget to reflect these changes, and to reduce the General Fund Undesignated Fund Balance by $ 177,349.55.

001-0001-5990 Appropriated Fund Balance         $ 177,349.55
001-0001-9600 Appropriations Capital projects                   $ 177,349.55

        Discussion: Trustees McCarthy and Schmidt asked about the digester.  Should this have gone out to bid since it is over $20k. Manager Herbek said yes.  Why did Ken Kraft generate a purchase order for $20k when the cost was $42k.  The final cost was approximately $76,000.  Mr. Herbek said that was the estimate that was given.  Trustee McCarthy stated the contractor was incompetent in giving this estimate – was it intentional to make it come in at the 20k level.  She doesn’t want the bill paid until we have answers to her questions; wants a full and complete explanation. Trustee Grant thinks we are entitled to an explanation, was it a verbal estimate, what was it based on, why so far off.  Manager Herbek said the $20k was an estimate given by WD Contractors far in advance of the actual operation.  Nobody knew the amount of sludge that would be encountered. He believes these are valid costs.  Tanker trucks had to take the sludge out and there were probably trip tickets generated.  Very few companies do this work, he doesn’t know of any others that do the job. Trustee McCarthy asked at what point did we know we were going to far exceed the estimate; she  wants to see substantiation for these charges.  The Fire house item on the list (Harmon) includes several items that are being asked for to conclude this project. Trustee Schmidt asked if these are problematic?  Treasurer Reardon stated they are not. Trustee McCarthy stated the people who performed the work at the firehouses should be held responsible and we should hold their feet to the fire and make them pay for these items. Mr. Herbek stated that the projects have been closely supervised by Kary Ioannou, Bob Emerick, and an architect – there have only been relatively minor variations from the original estimate.  This often happens in renovation work.  These were carefully controlled jobs, the board was kept updated.  Dealing with 4 different contractors is difficult but it worked out very close to what we anticipated.  The Village is almost at the end of the projects at this time and they came out well.  Fire Department is, by and large, pleased with what has been accomplished.  Trustee McCarthy said there are multiple design issues which the architect is clearly responsible for.  Manager Herbek does not feel it is justified to go after this architect in court. Trustee Grant reminded all that in a $4 million project, we are bound to take lowest responsible bidder.  Harmon firehouse has turned out very well and problems that occurred are likely to occur in any similar situation.  Trustee Schmidt said taking a low bid doesn’t mean low quality.  That is not an assumption of the bidding process.  Architect may have put out the bid specs improperly. If so, they need to take responsibility; don’t have to accept poor work. Manager Herbek pointed out that the kitchen was removed from the project by the Village Board to reduce the cost of the project.  Trustee McCarthy disagreed and stated that only the purchase of appliances was moved.  Trustee Schmidt asked if the $100k for the Duck Pond dredging is the total cost?  Mr. Herbek said the cost is higher than this - about $120k.  This resolution moves some of the money needed into the account for the project from the Fund Balance.  There are some add-ins needed for the job as well. We have signed contract for the dredging work. There are also some additional items recommended by Ocean and Coastal Consultants.  Trustee Grant stated the Board chose not to do some of the recommended items.   Mayor Elliott permitted Tom Brennan to ask about the bid for the digester item. Mr. Brennan said a responsible contractor would have checked inside of the digester before making bid. Mr. Herbek said the Village told WD Contractors they were empty.  The Village’s sanitary sewer system was taken out of service 20 years ago.  Mr. Brennan asked what were the contaminants that Treasurer Reardon alluded to?  Mr. Reardon didn’t know the answer; recalled some mention of them on an invoice. Is there a bond on this work?  The Village could hold back the bond if unhappy.  

        d. Set Public Hearing for Gateway Overlay district zoning

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 Board of Trustees appointed a Comprehensive Plan Committee in August 1999 in order to prepare a Comprehensive Plan for the Village; and

WHEREAS, this plan, which is now under discussion and review, recommends the creation of certain gateway districts and an overlay zone; and

WHEREAS, the Village’s consultant, Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart, has prepared a Gateway Overlay Zone Law to be considered as Local Law Introductory No. 8; and

WHEREAS, the Board must consider the environmental impacts of adopting the proposed Gateway Overlay Zone Law; and

WHEREAS, a full Environmental Assessment Form will be prepared by Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart; and

WHEREAS, on the October 21, 2002 Regular Village Board Meeting, the Village Board declared its intent to serve as lead agency for this action and authorized the circulation of the EAF to all interested parties,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board hereby calls a Public Hearing on January 6, 2003 at 8:00 pm in the Municipal Building to consider the environmental significance of this matter and to also consider the approval of the Gateway Overlay Zone Law as Local Law Introductory No. 8 of 2002.

e.      Budget transfer for Washington Engine Fire House.

On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, seconded by TRUSTEE WEIGMAN, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:

WHEREAS, the Fire Chief has reported a list of additional items needed for the Washington Engine Firehouse heating system; and

WHEREAS, the Chief has priced out said additional items, and now recommends utilizing funds in the contingent account  (1990.400) to pay for them ; and

WHEREAS, The Treasurer wishes to move those funds to the General Fund Budget and make the following transfers:

1. Increase     001 3140.0460 by        $ 2,500  ( Building & Grounds )
2. Decrease   001-1990.0400  by $ 2,500  ( Contingent Account )

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:  that the Village Treasurer is hereby authorized to transfer $ 2,500.00 as described above.

Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on November 4, 2002 as corrected.  Trustee Schmidt seconded the  motion. The minutes were approved by a unanimous vote.

Manager Herbek: There are two parking situations that need addressing.  Mr. Milano has made a request for 30 minute parking restriction in Upper Village citing the ten minute parking in Croton Commons. (This was done privately – not by the Village).   Now that sidewalk construction is finished in the Upper Village, signs will be replaced and the Village will be in a position to enforce the parking rules again.  He outlined some options for the Board in a memo he passed out.  The second issue is on S. Riverside where village has tried to get employees of Doms and Croton Commons to park.  No real incentive for this to happen.  Jim Anfiteatro of Dom’s feels this parking is essential to his business.  Mark Giordano is asking for help in managing parking in the VW shopping center.  Suggest a 2 hour parking time in both the Commons and VW Plaza which would provide an incentive for employees to use South Riverside.  It would require more enforcement and probably result in more fines. We should seek Chamber of Commerce views and the police. Parking on the street serves as a traffic calming influence. Trustee McCarthy asked if Mark Giordano’s desire to have Village enforcement is a seasonal issue.  Mr. Herbek thinks his intent is year round. The Village can enter into agreements with owners to take over parking enforcment responsibility.    

The Village has also received NY City’s filed petition for the review of the Millennium pipeline by FERC. Available in the office.

Trustee Wiegman:  Mr. Wiegman stated that all the Trustees participated in the Hearing in Tarrytown on the Millennium Pipeline. He thanked Fran Allen for coordination of people and messages and also the volunteers – Sally Odland, Mary Cain, Charles Kane and all others.   The VEB has an opening.  The VEB is forwarding a set of agenda topics to the Planning Board for a joint meeting.  He showed a fluorescent bulb he got at Shop Rite at $12.49 cents. It provides pleasing light and brightens quicker than others.  Bulbs can be recycled to recapture the small amount of mercury in the bulb.

Trustee McCarthy:  Millennium hearing was an interesting experience; a unified presentation by Croton and Briarcliff.  Thanks to our counsel,  Neil Levy, of Kirkland and Ellis.  At recent work session, the Board discussed the sewer odor problem and think the solution has been found.  Water lines in the Harmon area were also discussed and the Village is moving in the direction of solving problems there.  Can parking spaces in the upper village be demarcated or not?  Should discuss this in our work session on this topic.

Trustee Schmidt: On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, he thanks Manny Lopez and Artie Neff for their excellent job. He also thanked the residents who do their part as well in the various neighborhoods.  It was a pleasure to be at the Pipeline hearing – hopes our efforts will be successful.  There will a Peace Tree lighting on Dec. 8 in Vassallo Park.  Trails committee is also looking for new members. He requested a mid-year financial report.

Trustee Grant: She also, enjoyed the pipeline hearing

Mayor Elliott: Reminded everyone of the annual Thanksgiving Interfaith service on Wednesday, November 27th at Holy Name of Mary Church.  

The meeting was adjourned at9:57 pm on a motion by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, and approved unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary

Village Clerk