A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, March 17, 2003 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 McCarthy
Treasurer Reardon Trustee Wiegman
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee Schmidt
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. 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 $ 95,793.47
Water Fund 725.38
Capital Accounts 3,938.20
Trust & Agency 3,502.00
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from Tara Marean & Matty Mozzor, Ridge Road, regarding the 1 Ridge Road Property Line Adjustment. Village Attorney Waldman stated that neighbors should be notified of this request. After discussion, Trustees agreed to sell the parcel for sum of $1.00 per square foot. .
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, Tara Marean and Matty Mozzor own the house and property of 1 Ridge Road; and
WHEREAS, a portion of Village land extends onto their front yard and into their dwelling; and
WHEREAS, because of this situation the owners of 1 Ridge Road are unable to obtain a refinancing on their mortgage; and
WHEREAS, the Village Assessor recommends selling the Village property to the owners of 1 Ridge Road for $1 per square foot,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby agree to sell the approximately 570 square feet of Village-owned land to the owners of 1 Ridge Road for the price of $1 per square foot,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the owners of 1 Ridge Road will assume all additional costs associated with this sale including but not limited to the cost of the survey and the hiring of a lawyer to prepare all sale documents.
A letter from Valerie Vazques, 347 Grand Street, regarding vehicles speeding on Rt. 129 and Grand Street. Village Manager Herbek stated that he has talked with Chief Coxen on this issue; there has been a high degree of enforcement and the Police Department will continue the speed enforcement; there is a change of speed limit in the area where she lives. He suggested that they can bring this matter up with the Town of Cortland and the School District and he stated that perhaps they should have the speed limit reduced from Hunterbrook to the Croton line. Trustee Grant asked if it lends more force with the D.O.T. if the Police Chief writes the letter. Village Manager Herbek replied that he can have Chief Coxen write the letter. Trustee Grant added that she
would like to reinstitute the reputation that if you speed in Croton you will get a ticket. Trustee Schmidt stated that Yorktown had a re-education of their residents regarding the importance of speed control. Trustee McCarthy added that they should also check with the neighbors to see if they agree with installing a guard rail along that stretch as requested by Ms. Vazquez; she added that there have been signs appearing in White Plains that are small and fit on light poles that tell you your speed. Village Manager Herbek stated that the installation of a guardrail could become a budget item and may need staff review.
c) A letter from Emilie Spaulding, Cablevision regarding their filing of Forms 1240 and 1205 with the FCC.
d) A letter from Emilie Spaulding, Cablevision, regarding their negotiations with the Yes Network was removed from the agenda as this issue has been resolved.
e) A Notice of Tentative Railroad Ceiling from NYS Dept. of Real Property Services. Village Manager Herbek noted that the rate is a 47% reduction of the railroad ceiling from last year’s. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Village should challenge the assessment. Village Manager Herbek replied that they need a basis for a challenge, but he will follow up with more information.
f) A letter from Westchester County Board of Elections enclosing a summary of the provisions of voting practices in NY; this requires no action from the Village.
g) A letter from Charles Schumer, US Senator, regarding the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Village Manager Herbek stated that this is an update of FEMA awards; the application process started March 10th and will close on April 11th; last year’s grant was not approved, but may still be approved; he is sure they will submit a grant request application again this year.
h) A letter from Marian Rose and Oreon Sandler, Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition regarding Westchester County’s current diversion proposal and asking the Trustees and residents to let the Legislators know that diversion does not protect the drinking water. Mayor Elliott responded that Croton is not a part of the Croton Watershed, but they can ask the group to come in for more information.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
Tara Dolan, Bari Manor asked if the Village has an update on the six month extension of the current rates. Village Manager Herbek replied that he will not receive this until Wednesday; he will let Bari Manor residents know as soon as he hears. Ms. Dolan stated that after the six month extension, the rate increase should not be retroactive to the beginning of those six months. Trustee McCarthy asked if there is any further info from ETPA. Village Manager Herbek replied that he quite a bit of information provided by the Municipal Law Resource Center, Hastings, Irvington, the deputy council of Housing & Community Development; a public hearing is required as part of the process; the Board would have to consider a number of items from a policy standpoint. Mayor Elliott added
that Nancy Shatzkin stated that she would do a lot more research and weight the pros and cons from both a legal prospective and a tenants’ prospective. Trustee McCarthy added that the legal requirements should be laid out so they will know what needs to be done.
Cornelia Cotton stated that a few weeks ago, she had submitted to the Board a draft resolution to oppose war against Iraq unless sanctioned by the U.N. She asked the Village Board to discuss and pass the resolution; she has 84 signatures on a petition for the resolution; a yes vote would be a symbolic act.
Gary Shaw, Van Cortland Rd., spoke in support of the resolution referred to by Cornelia Cotton.
Michael Goetz, 19 Irving Ave, stated that Village Board members need to work with the school system and should have a connection with the school. He added that the community does not have a public tennis court; the school has to provide time and money to maintain courts; adults play tennis also. He suggested putting three tennis courts in next to the skate board park; he estimates the approximate price, using asphalt, would be about $50,000 for 3 courts; he suggested a fee for non-residents and is not averse to paying a yearly resident fee to use courts. Trustee Schmidt replied that there would be a need to hire special firms to put in tennis courts and he thinks it would be very expensive; the school administration has pulled out of potential cost-sharing with the Village because
of financial matters as they now are. Mayor Elliott replied that there has been a recent meeting about this and the question of a site was brought up; he expects Village Manager Herbek will have the skate board area site measured. Mr. Goetz suggested the possibility of writing a grant proposal to cover some of the cost and could the Village accept funds from private sources? Mr. Goetz, regarding MetroEnviro, stated he would like to see not going to the next level over and over again as he feels judges are reluctant to close down recycling plants. Trustee McCarthy replied that the Board has acted after receiving advice of counsel and this particular judge’s decision was wrong; the precedent is not a good precedent and it would be detrimental to Croton and other municipalities. Trustee Grant replied that she believes that the Village Board and the School Board should increase joint participation with mutual issues. Trustee McCarthy
added that the Board of Trustees has worked with the School Board and there has been cooperation between boards when it involved Village Board of Trustees jurisdiction.
Tom Brennan, 121 N. Riverside, stated that before any resolution regarding war is to be passed, it should be subject to public debate.
John Harbeson, Valley Trail, stated that all members of the Board have been admirable in their tolerance with any point of view over the past years. He added that he does share Tom Brennan’s view that the Village should talk about the resolution regarding war and think about what happened on and after 9/11; this war will touch everyone in all communities in many ways but it should be worth it; think if the lawful process has been pursued to the final end.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on March 3, 2003. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on March 3, 2003 as corrected. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The motion was passed with the following vote: Trustees Wiegman, McCarthy, Schmidt and Mayor Elliott, “aye”; Trustee Grant “abstain”.
Village Manager Herbek reported that he received a visit from CSX police about signs put on poles in vicinity of the CSX building; the signs don’t have anything to do with people who want to use the road for fishing or boaters; they were specific to individuals who might want to go onto the track areas; they have had a number of young people who have been doing this and it is very dangerous; the signs are a warning to not go into the track areas; these signs are being put up in many places.
Trustee Wiegman reported Croton Sustainable Energy Cooperative will have an energy smart workshop on March 29th, 1 to 3 pm; it will be a two hour seminar. He added that Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition had a fund raiser last week which was a terrific event and more should be heard from this group. Trustee Wiegman stated that individuals speaking out for what they believe is a patriotic thing to do and it is their patriotic duty to step forward and speak these things; he added that he is deeply disturbed that the US is going to abrogate 50 years of multi-lateralism as a nation, thumbing their nose at the UN and the world community at large by entering into a conflict with Iraq.
Trustee McCarthy stated that the Village elections will be held tomorrow, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.; all voting is done in the Village Municipal Building. Trustee McCarthy added that they have all received Village Attorney Waldman’s legal analysis of the train engine noise and thinks they should discuss what to do next; this should be put on a work session. Village Manager Herbek replied he is not sure, in his opinion, that the Board should call a meeting before the scheduled June meeting with Metro North. Trustee McCarthy replied that she feels the Board should meet to discuss this and should have some guidelines as they move forward.
Trustee Schmidt reported there was a good, productive meeting regarding Bari Manor Apts. with management and others and he expects them to be somewhat cooperative. He stated that the school issue is a very tough issue and that we must be careful of crossing over the line; discussions needs to continue on how the Village Board can continue working with the school. He added that it is a personal decision where his children go to school.
Trustee Grant stated that she is opposed to going to war and has signed petitions in the past but believes that inasmuch as troops were already there it would not serve any purpose to pass a resolution as the Board does not have any control over this issue. She added that she will, however, stand behind the troops 100% and will not sign a resolution that they should not be there.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary
Village Clerk/Deputy Clerk