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Board of Trustees Minutes 11-17-03
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 17, 2003 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

The following officials were present:
        Mayor Elliott                   Trustee Grant
        Trustee Schmidt                 Trustee McCarthy        
        Trustee Wiegman                         Village Attorney Waldman        
        Trustee McCarthy
        Manager Herbek

        Absent: Treasurer Reardon
                
1. CALL TO ORDER:

Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:02.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Elliott announced that the meeting would not be able to be broadcast live because the fallen tree had disrupted the signal feed.  
  
2.  APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
On a motion by Trustee Schmidt, seconded by Trustee Grant, the vouchers were approved unanimously as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee

        General Fund            $ 38,156.53
        Water Fund                   6.968.62
        Capital Fund                           0.00
        Trust & Agency       9,155.10
        Total                           $ 54,280.25


3.  CORRESPONDENCE:
a.      Ann Gallelli, Planning Board, re: Hudson National Golf Club Application – Declaration of Intent to become Lead Agency by the Planning Board.

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy stated she has concerns about this. She asked if this requires an Amended Special Permit.  Attorney Waldman said he has spoken to Dan O’Connor regarding this and it seems likely.  Trustee McCarthy stated that the Village Board should be Lead Agency since it is coming back to this Board. She stated that a myriad of issues are raised – water, drainage, some very serious issues. Trustee Grant stated that she and the Board couldn’t presume to know as much as the Planning Board  on these issues that Trustee McCarthy has raised.  Trustee McCarthy stated that we never had these drainage issues before the Golf Course.  She is concerned about the effect on the Village – paved surfaces will be expanded, 10,000 gallons of water are required and the Village Board is ultimately responsible. She is not confident in the Planning Board handling of this.  Trustee Schmidt said he had concerns relating to the water supply and the how it is all going to fit together.  Trustee McCarthy stated that the Golf Course is not entitled to a drop of water for this practice hole. She wants the Water Agreement reviewed to see if it requires us to give them water in the future.   Trustee Schmidt asked how the Village Board would provide their input to the Planning Board. Trustee McCarthy asked about steep slopes; if the golf course would need a hardship permit. The Village Engineer stated that the issue is being reviewed.  She stated that the golf course never would have had standing under the pre-amended Steep Slopes law.  If it had not been amended, they couldn’t have even applied. Trustee Grant stated that she does not think the Village Board should be Lead Agency.  Everything is blamed on the Golf Course but conditions could have been much worse if it had been developed as houses.  The Planning Board members and the Village Engineer have walked the course and are totally familiar with the conditions,  more so than other bodies; it is best for them to be Lead Agency. Trustee McCarthy said she has asked for more studies on Hudson National Golf Course, Arrowcrest, and River Landing on continuing drainage problems. Trustee Grant moved that the Planning Board be Lead Agency on this matter, seconded by Trustee Wiegman.  Trustee Schmidt said he hopes this gets serious review by the Village Board and the Planning Board.  We know there is a problem up there; the Arboretum has a problem with shortage of water, there are drainage problems there as well.  Trustee Wiegman stated he would feel comfortable with the Planning Board as Lead Agency.  Trustee McCarthy stated that Attorney Waldman should advise the Board as to whether the Village Board members can go and speak at Planning Board meetings if the golf course is going to have to come back to the Village Board.  Attorney Waldman said he thought it would be okay.  Each body will have to make its own judgments and findings.  The motion was passed 4-1, with Trustee McCarthy voting ‘no’.  Trustee McCarthy stated she wants a legal opinion brief by Attorney Waldman on what our water rights are.

b.      David Plotkin, Half Moon Bay Marina owner. Mr. Plotkin proposes to dedicate the Hudson River land (in the water), that he owns, and the Village currently uses for moorings, to the Village; to build a single family home on the parcel known as the ‘the restaurant parcel’; and also asks for the Village to deed him the slope to the north of this parcel.  Manager Herbek described the proposal and passed out copies of the proposed plans.  Trustee McCarthy recused herself as her firm performed legal work for Mr. Plotkin on marina matters in the past.  It was referred to the Planning Board for a recommendation.

4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:

Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St.  Ms. Cudequest asked if the Plotkin proposal was on steep slopes.  She stated she will talk about one piece of information that was found in the depositions taken by Mr. Mack, the Federal Monitor over Allied Waste. She said she doesn’t hold Mr. Herbek responsible for Mr.Lindemulder’s statements although he is the official that was referred to in the deposition.  Mr. Lindemulder is still with Allied in a high position.  In the deposition, Mr. Lindemulder talks about the tonnage issue; he requested a meeting with Village officials to ‘understand the political atmosphere of the Village’.  MS. Cudequest stated that in the totality of the entire Metro enviro experience, Mr. Lindemulder’s meaning becomes very clear.  He knew there was Board members in opposition and also some Board members who supported the operation and he wanted to find out who was who; he felt comfortable to seek this information from the village itself. Ms. Cudequest said the opposition to Metro Enviro are proactive and intend to continue to be.  The original site cleanup is suspected to have been accomplished by illegal dumping; organized crime has established a foothold in Croton. She hopes the Board’s resolve will hold up in the coming months so we can get back to pre-Metro Enviro days. Ms. Cudequest continued that the DEC has fined Allied Waster $449k for operations in Mt. Kisco, Mamaroneck and Croton.  The DEC, inexplicably, waived most of it so the final amount became $60k.  She stated the DEC treats Allied very cavalierly so is it any wonder Allied doesn’t take them seriously; the fine is just the cost of doing business to them.  She compared the DEC fine to that of County Solid Waste Commission – $446k – the largest single fine levied against a single hauler.  You can’t rely on the DEC as we’ve learned.  We shouldn’t rely on them.  The Metro Enviro facility serves the greater waste requirements of the county and they had planned to take NYC waste as well.  The DEC fine was issued months ago but it took many calls to find out about it until they called Mr. Moran.  The Solid Waste Commission has its own agenda and we cannot rely on them.   A Public Hearing on the Solid Waste Commission fine will be held in December; will the Village have representation there?  Yes; Manager Herbek said he will be there.  Ms. Cudequest asked when Mr. Mack’s report on Valley Carting coming; Mr. Mack said end of November is likely; Mayor Elliott said we have had no information from Mr. Gerrard.   She asked when the last date for comments on Gateway legislation is and what is a “Gateway’.  Trustee Wiegman explained that it is really an “overlay” district.  Trustee McCarthy reminded Ms. Cudequest that she has recused herself from this matter.

What is status of the committee that was to look into the pros/cons of annexation issues.  Mayor Elliott replied that he does not know if they have met, ask the chairs – Norman Sheer and Mike Sullivan.  Are they required to keep minutes, no; how would residents know what they are discussing.  Has anyone looked at Andy Spano’s budget; there is an item for the Croton Point Park that mentions the methane gas utilization there, does anyone know what it is.  Trustee Wiegman felt that it is an item that has been carried forward over years and not spent down. Ms. Cudequest wants to make sure it is not destined to fuel garbage trucks.  There is a test site out there now.  Trustee Wiegman stated that the methane gas from this site decreases over years.

Anne DiCioccio 12 Irving Ave.  Ms. DiCioccio asked about Mr. Albert and why he could build and why he is not in a Gateway   Ann Gallelli explained that the Gateways are aimed at Commercial entrances to the Village and Mr. Albert’s property is in a Light Industrial district.  In addition, his building approval took place about 1 ½ years ago and that the Gateway Law has not yet been approved so it is not in effect.  On the brown water issue – it is a terrible thing; she has talked to a friend who has the problem. She understands it is because there is rust in the pipes and the pipes are old. She said she also understood it occurs on dead ends such as Cook Lane.  Croton residents pay almost the highest water rate in the County and yet we have to buy water to drink and provide our own chemicals to clear it up.  She asked if this problem won’t spread throughout all of Harmon; it’s scary – imagine trying to sell your house; buyers first turn on the faucet and they won’t buy when they see the brown water. Ms. DiCioccio said it doesn’t seem like there is a sense of urgency to solve this problem; how far along in the solution are we and can it be sped up; she doesn’t want brown water. Manager Herbek asked if she had brown water, she replied, no.  He said this year has been worse than in the past, he doesn’t know if there is a connection with temperatures. The Village has identified the cause in Harmon and retained Kellard Engineering.  They are almost done with engineering design work to begin replacement of 2” galvanized mains that run all through Harmon; these are inferior pipes.  He hopes to get this out to bid this winter; but we will need Westchester County Health approval before we bid.  This problem is a very high priority with the Village and is discussed at almost every staff meeting. There also seems to be a problem with dead end water lines all over the village such as Hunter St. and Cook Lane. Water lines should be looped so mineral deposits don’t get trapped in the dead end.  The Village has invested in automatic hydrant flushers to use on dead end sections.  It must be above freezing for use so they will probably start in the spring time.  Other ideas such as techniques used in other municipalities will be brought to the Board in future work sessions.  Croton is not the only place having these problems.  Croton’s supply of water is excellent – clean and fresh.  It does have a high mineral content which adheres, over time, to the inside of the mains.  Water is constantly sampled and tested on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Mayor Elliott and Trustee Wiegman both stated they have the brown water problems at home and they drink it daily.  Manager Herbek stated that we want to solve this as much as the residents. Trustee McCarthy said she empathized and this has been going on far too long – since she came on the Board, but the Village is working on it and can’t say how long it will take.  You can put a filter on your water on your own. Manager Herbek advised that this requires constantly replacing filters.  He can’t say how long the County Health department will take; he would like to get it out to bid this spring or summer.  Trustee Schmidt asked if we have heard anything back about the wells?  Manager Herbek said that the Village responded that we would hire a hydrogeologist because we had to respond in a certain time frame.  Kirkland and Ellis advised us to respond to the letter in the proper timeframe but we could still argue the point with the Health Dept.  We probably need to develop an RFP and specs and send them to some hydrogeologists.  
Ms. DiCioccio stated that Town Councilman Joe Cerretto, just back from Iraq was disappointed that not a single village administration person was in attendance at the Veterans Day ceremony.  Mayor Elliott said they had not been aware of the change of time from 11 am which is the traditional time – 11th month, 11th day 11 o’clock.  A large number of people were there at 11.

Richard Pellicci, Radnor Ave.;  What is being dug up on Route 129?  Mayor Elliott stated that nothing is being dug up there, it is being used as a temporary storage site for the sidewalk debris from the sidewalk replacement program.

Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave.  On brown water, he stated that one way to solve the problem for the people with this problem is to test their water then, if brown,  reduce their water costs.  There is double dipping anyway since we are responsible for cleaning our recyclables which uses water and then the Village sells the recyclables; also these people are probably using less.  On the Comprehensive Plan; he couldn’t make it to the public hearing; he gave written comments long ago; he is opposed to the Plan; it is anti-business.  At the last meeting two lawyers said they were ready to sue. The regulations are onerous to business people; they feel their property values will decline while those outside the Gateways will have theirs rise.   Why is Albert property outside of the Gateway area;  he believes they should be in the Gateway because it is at an entrance; also the Poritzky property.  Why also exclude the area between Benedict Blvd. and the Duck Pond?  Some properties should be included, for example, Sunoco station, and Elmer Suds; the whole strip should be included, he doesn’t understand the reason.  Ann Gallelli’s statement that the line had to be somewhere is not appropriate – should be all or nothing. He asked if the Comprehensive Plan was on the web site;  Yes.

5. RESOLUTIONS:
a. Declaring Lead Agency with respect to Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2003   amending the allowable uses in the RA-40

On motion of  TRUSTEE Grant,  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, Barbara Sarbin, on behalf of Something Good in the World, has requested a zoning amendment to the RA-40 district would make all types of schools an allowable use in this district; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2003 has been drafted which would make this zoning change and a Public Hearing has been called for December 15, 2003; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this Local Law; and

WHEREAS, the Village Board has determined that this is a Type 1 action; and

WHEREAS, all proposed zoning changes must be sent to the Westchester County Planning Department,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board does hereby declare itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village Board authorizes the preparation of a Full EAF to be circulated to the Westchester County Planning Department and the Village Planning Department, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Board will consider whether or not to adopt the Negative Declaration with respect to this matter during the Public Hearing on December 15, 2003.  

Discussion:  Trustee McCarthy asked if the action is unlisted or Type 1?  Manager Herbek said it is a Type 1. She stated that the Village should have a definition of ‘school’ in our Code; should put some parameters around what a school is. The group that is proposing the change would also have to go to the ZBA as well as come back to Village Board if the amendment is approved. Trustee McCarthy said for this application, acreage is a factor; they are using Dobbs Park; we need to think about that kind of use – i.e. children from day care and nursery schools using our parks; what is that park area intended for.  Trustee Schmidt said this also came up at the Recreation Advisory Committee.  It is like the use of fields issue.  If a group is utilizing the parks on a regular basis they may need to be permitted.  He raised this with Susan Menz; also that some of these children are not Croton residents.

b.  Declaring Lead Agency with respect to Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2003, changing the  zoning designation to 23 Brook Street.:  

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 by a 4-0-1 vote with Trustee McCarthy abstaining.

WHEREAS, Nancy Kennedy, on behalf of the owner Joan Dorien of 23 Brook Street, has requested a zoning change which would change the zoning designation of 23 Brook Street from Commercial C-2 to a 2-family RB District; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2003 has been drafted which would make this zoning change and a Public Hearing has been called for December 15, 2003; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this Local Law; and

WHEREAS, the Village Board has determined that this is an unlisted action; and

WHEREAS, all proposed zoning changes must be sent to the Westchester County Planning Department,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board does hereby declare itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village Board authorizes the preparation of a short EAF to be circulated to the Westchester County Planning Department and the Village Planning Department, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Board will consider whether or not to adopt the Negative Declaration with respect to this matter during the Public Hearing on December 15, 2003.  

c.      Calling for a Public Hearing to discuss the Cablevision Franchise renewal agreement.

On motion of  TRUSTEE Schmidt,  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 of Croton-on-Hudson (“Village”) entered into a non-exclusive franchise agreement with American Cablesystems of New York, Inc. doing business as Continental Cablevision (“Continental”) for the provision of cable television and other communications services, and said authorization will expire on May 1, 2006; and,
WHEREAS, Cablevision of Wappingers Falls, Inc. a subsidiary of CSC Holdings, Inc. (“Cablevision”) acquired certain assets from AT& T/Media One on January 5, 2001 including the franchise previously held by Continental; and,

WHEREAS, Franchisee submitted a proposed franchise renewal agreement to operate a cable television system within the Village; and,

WHEREAS, the Village Board must consider if the Franchisee’s proposal for renewal of the franchise meets the cable-related needs of the community,

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that:  the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing to be held at 8 pm at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building on December 15, 2003 to consider the merits of the franchise renewal agreement.  

d.      Authorizing Village Manager to sign the intermunicipal agreement with Westchester County in order to receive specialized equipment to help detect, stabilize or mitigate weapons of mass destruction.

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:  

WHEREAS, the Department of Emergency Services (DES) in Westchester County is the representative to the NY State Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Task Force in Albany for Westchester County; and

WHEREAS, the DES will be providing specialized WMD equipment to all first responders in order to provide protection to them during WMD emergencies,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the intermunicipal agreement with Westchester County in order to receive WMD equipment from Westchester County that will help detect, stabilize, or mitigate weapons of mass destruction.


Discussion:  Trustee Schmidt stated that  it sounds like the County is buying a bunch of equipment and distributing it throughout the County; Who has responsibility for costs when used?  Manager Herbek said those answers are unknown now.

e.      Authorizing the Village Manager to sign an agreement with NYPA to accept one electric car at no cost to the Village.

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

WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has arranged to receive one electric car from the New York Power Authority at no cost to the Village,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with the New York Power Authority accepting the ownership of one electric car.  

Discussion:   Congratulations to Treasurer Reardon.  Trustee Grant asked how it will be used; parking enforcement.


6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
On a motion by Trustee McCarthy, seconded by Trustee Grant, the minutes         of the Meeting of September 15, 2003 were approved as amended by a 4-1 vote     with Trustee Wiegman abstaining.

7. REPORTS:

Trustee Wiegman: Where do we stand on the dredging at the Yacht club?  Manager Herbek said we are splitting the cost with the Yacht Club for the study – about $7k. . Samples were taken and he doesn’t know if we have received results yet.  After that, there is an application process through the DEC involving multiple agencies; Village will be lead agency he thinks or maybe the WCC.  Have there been any takers on the Logo RFP?  Manager Herbek said 6 or more people have requested it.

Trustee McCarthy:  Belated thank you to the Police Dept in collaboration with the Police Association for their Halloween safety presentation at CET.  While attending the ZBA meeting, the next phase of the Comprehensive Plan was discussed; it would be a good idea to meet periodically with ZBA or have some as ex-officio members.  On Bulk requirements, it is important that we continue with that and propose some interim legislation. Ann Gallelli described what the Comprehensive Plan Committee is doing now in that regard.

Trustee Schmidt:  Winterfest will be held on December 7; PVC will participate with music groups.  There will also be tree decorating throughout the Village – applications are available. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Trustee Grant: She was happy to see the Police pull over two speeders on Route 129.  It did slow down some cars which is good. She will miss the next meeting.

Mayor Elliott: The Thanksgiving Interfaith service will be this Sunday – November 23 at Holy Name of Mary Church.

On a motion by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, the Board voted unanimously to adjourn at 9:43pm.


Respectfully submitted
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary




__________________________
Village Clerk