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Board of Trustees Minutes 05 27 03

A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, May 27, 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
                                                Trustee Schmidt
        Absent:  Village Attorney Waldman


Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8: 00p.m.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Trustee Schmidt 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                    $46,319.86  
                Water Fund      5,512.88                                                
                Capital Accounts        56,157.35
        Trust & Agency   4,697.91       

Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a.      A letter from Ellen Brecher, Hastings Avenue requesting permission to hold a block party on July 4th.  Trustee Wiegman made to motion to approve the request as stated in her letter dated May 13, 2003 with the usual caveats; Trustee Grant seconded the motion; unanimous approval.
b.      A letter from Thomas Griffen, NYS Board of Real Property Services, with the Certificate of Final Railroad Ceiling report.
c.      A letter from Thomas Griffen, NYS Board of Real Property Services, with the Certificate of Special Franchise Assessment report.
d.      A letter from John Branca, Westchester County Rent Guidelines Board, announcing the dates of upcoming Public Hearings.  Village Manager Herbek added that they are now on the mailing list of Westchester Co. Rent Guidelines Board.  Trustee McCarthy asked that these dates be put on the Village’s web site.  Trustee Schmidt asked if residents of Bari Manor should attend.  Village Manager Herbek replied that they can attend any or all meetings; this is a matter between landlords & tenants; adding that he has sent this correspondence to the two representatives from Bari Manor.
e.      A letter from Susan Menz, Superintendent of Recreation, replying to questions about fees for Senasqua Pavilion.  Trustee McCarthy stated that this was a very thorough explanation; however a more reasonable step may be to go to the $150. fee and take this interim step first.  Village Manager Herbek stated that the cost of staffing for maintenance and clean-up is a factor in the fee increase.  Trustee Schmidt stated that there is a different fee structure for not-for-profit groups and the Recreation Dept. is trying to encourage them to not use the pavilion on weekends; he added that he attended Recreational Advisory Board meetings and now agrees that this is not an excessive fee especially for weekends; adding that they also do not request a deposit. The consensus of the Board is to stay with Recreation Dept’s suggested fee structure.
f.      A letter From Susan Menz, Superintendent of Recreation, regarding dogs in Village parks, asking for help from the Board in having the Village codes enforced.  Mayor Elliott suggested to first politely warn residents; something to think about is where to allow dogs to run legally; encourage the code enforcement officer to educate people.  Trustee McCarthy suggested posting signs with the fines listed.  Village Manager Herbek stated that the fine is up to the judge; the code says it is up to $200.00, but the Board may pass a resolution assessing a fine; he added that attendants do not have enforcement powers.  Village Manager Herbek will ask the Recreation Dept. to check the code as to whether dogs are allowed in the parks or just allowed if restrained and if signs are there, where they are posted.
g.      A letter from Joshua Lipsman, Westchester County Dept. of Health, regarding the County’s spring STING Clean up.

a)      Janet Nelson, Finney Farm, stated that the lot next to the skateboard park is near an entrance to the Village and is very trashy-looking.  Mayor Elliott replied that there is complete agreement about this and they are in the process of finding another place for a staging area which is needed; the contractor is repairing sidewalks and needs a place to store materials temporily.  Trustee Grant replied that they don’t have to put everything down there, some things can be put in less visible spots or at the end of Silver Lake Parking lot or by the Municipal Garage, or Black Rock or by the Well fields; they can move the orange cones and pallets.  Mayor Elliott suggested that the trailers could have plantings and the sign that was painted may not be legal.  Trustee McCarthy replied that she will bring this to the attention of the Lion’s Club and believes they will agree to add some plantings in addition to the ones already planted by the Daubmans such as evergreens and paint over the sign.  Janet Nelson proposed that a committee be formed to reevaluate the whole section and replan.  Mayor Elliott replied that there is a Village Beautification Committee.  Trustee McCarthy stated that residents should recognize that the Lion’s Club gives much money back to the community for scholarships and to various charitable organizations.  Trustee Schmidt stated that the trailer could screened which would require some careful planting.  Village Manager Herbek added that moving certain items such as cones and pallets will be easy to do; he may be able to find some room further in on the property for the trailers but it will require some discussion with the Lions’ Club; every Public Works operation needs an area to work out of and the Village does not have such an area that is out of public view; this is the only spot at the moment that can be used as a staging area.  Trustee Grant added that Croton Landing property is also a mess; there is a huge mountain of unprocessed leaves with paper bags and torn plastic bags; perhaps the resolution is to give up composting and truck the leaves out.  Trustee Schmidt added that unfortunately it was a bad winter which is causing the problem with the leaf composting.  Trustee Schmidt asked if there is a committee that is overseeing the overall development of the skateboard area.  Mayor Elliott replied that beyond the Gateway, there is not one that he is aware of.  

b)      Maria Cudequest 84 Grand St. agreed that the Seprieo property is shameful.  Ms. Cudequest stated that she has heard from Mr. Mack today regarding the status of the second report.  She added that the DEC has noted a violation against MetroEnviro for operating beyond permitted hours.  Ms. Cudequest asked to formalize the procedure for reporting violations regarding non-permitted hours and do they report to police?  Village Manager Herbek replied that it should be reported to the police who would go down to the site and make a blotter entry which would be reported to Village Manager’s office.  Ms. Cudequest stated that the DEC is there to monitor just their own permit; their monitor is not obligated to report violations to the Village permit; she would like to see the hours on the permits more equal.  She added that the Mt. Kisco and Mamaroneck Allied transfer stations have had similar violations.  Ms. Cudequest stated that she will send the Daily News article reporting that NYC is looking for a transfer station along the Hudson; Allied Waste is no longer able to use the Linden, NJ transfer station; so far there have been no takers although they will pay taxes to the municipality.  Ms. Cudequest stated fines for ticketing haulers are lucrative and the issuing municipality gets to keep the fines.  Mayor Elliot replied that the police will handle how to ticket haulers; the police chief indicated that he will design a system that would be appropriate to the law as it is written.   Ms. Cudequest spoke about Operation Trashnet-which is a mechanism to assist in ticketing haulers; she will send in a copy.  Ms. Cudequest asked that the Board formalize as soon a possible a policy of charging fees to for-profit entities use of Village facilities.  Ms. Cudequest stated that at the May 14th work session there was discussion about applying for a grant and asked who voted how, which was answered by all Trustees.  Village Manager Herbek added that they are in the process of writing this grant application; what they have in mind is to continue the clean-up of Croton Landing site, continue the trail, build a small boat launch and a small parking lot; all projects are contained in the Waterfront Master Plan report; they would also like to see some fencing between the property and the railroad tracks.  Ms. Cudequest asked if it would be inappropriate to apply for this money if one doesn’t intend to take it; it might be wise to take much of this money to prevent flooding at Seprieo and also perform testing of this property; she added that she has informed the commissioner that there has been illegal dumping there.  Trustee Schmidt replied that it is his understanding that it is not the Village’s intention to apply for a grant of that nature and not move forward.  Trustee Wiegman commented that the flooding referred to was caused by Friday being a particularly high tide followed by 3 days of rain; also the surface is not a natural surface on this site; particularly with high tide, puddling does occur on site; this is nature happening, this has to be part of the development and planning of that area; he feels if the Village owns a piece of the waterfront that is as valuable as that piece of property is, for future generations we should do our best to safeguard against future erosion and develop it for public access for as many people as possible.  Trustee Grant stated that she is not suggesting if the Village receives the grant, they have no intention of taking funds; she would not spend $250,000 of Village funds if being used for composting, storage, etc., situations change, if awarded two years from now, she will make an evaluation at that time. Ms. Cudequest stated there seems to be spontaneous combustion at the compost area.  Village Manager Herbek replied that this is not spontaneous combustion, but it is actually the decomposition process taking place; the compost needs to be bagged, but the loading machine is in need of repair, the rest of the leaves will be bagged; it is also the intention to get rid of the dredged materials as soon as possible.  Trustee Schmidt added that a part of recommendation for that property is that it has to be top-dressed with 6 to 8 inches of topping which is part of the rationale of putting that material down there.  Village Manager Herbek added that the Yacht Club would like to hydraulically dredge their basin and they need an area to take the material to dry out; the only area that can be used is the Croton Landing property; they cannot pump this material back into the River; this will be paid for by the Yacht Club.  Trustee McCarthy stated that this material would have to be tested as well.  Mayor Elliott replied that the DEC is now working on regulations regarding testing before the disposition of these materials and is working with the Army Corp of Engineers whether permits would be required.


a)      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 has been awarded $105,971 from Westchester County through a Community Development Block Grant for the construction of new sidewalks on Maple Street between Old Post Road South and Grand Street; and

WHEREAS, the Village has received the contract from Westchester County for this project; and

WHEREAS, the Board has approved the 2003-2004 Capital Budget providing for the remaining necessary funds to complete this project,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the contract with Westchester County for the Westchester Urban County Community Development Project.  

Discussion:   Trustee McCarthy stated that she is concerned about this; some of the sidewalks look in very good shape; she hates to repair something that doesn’t need to be fixed.  Village Manager Herbek replied that it may look like some of the sidewalks do not need repair but other repairs will be done- some catch basin repair is included, landscaping/trees as well; this is completing the Grand St and Upper Village project; this project qualified through an income survey and the specifications have been completed by the county for a savings of about 10-15%, it is following through on one of the major goals of the Comprehensive Plan and is part of the overall sidewalk, pedestrian safety goal that the Village has been working toward the last few years.  Trustee Wiegman stated that the pedestrian nature of the Village is very important to residents and to have contiguous areas that are all of good quality is important to make connections between neighborhoods; this will be a broader sweep to tie in parts of the Village. Trustee McCarthy replied that she is in agreement with Trustee Wiegman’s statement, but questioned how much of the sidewalk is in need of repair.  Trustee Schmidt stated that people do get upset when things that are in fine shape get torn up and are replaced. Village Manager Herbek replied that the Upper Village sidewalk replacement was done on the recommendation of Anthony Zaino, one of the principal staff people of the County. Trustee Grant stated that she is in favor of getting half of the costs paid by an outside agency and also is in favor of contiguous sidewalks; the problem with the shared project the Village has is that very few contiguous sidewalks are being repaired.  Trustee McCarthy stated that she voted “aye” with reservations because this has been a controversial project for some members of the Board since the beginning.  Trustee Schmidt stated that he voted “aye” but is not totally in favor of the resolution.

b.      On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, 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 is applying for a grant from the Environmental Protection Fund for the clean-up and improvement to the North Cove section of Croton Landing; 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 this project; and

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

        WHEREAS, a short environmental assessment form has been prepared and reviewed by
        the Board of Trustees,

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 does hereby adopt the Negative Declaration with respect to this matter.  

Discussion:  Trustee Wiegman asked the Village Manager to read some project details.  Trustee McCarthy stated some members are not in favor of this application either; if you get this grant and if some Trustees do not vote to accept money, don’t say you weren’t warned.  Trustee Grant stated that she believes the reason this was just said is that it takes a four out of five member vote to borrow bond money.   If a bond anticipation note is sought only 3 of 5 members of the Board need to vote in favor of it.  Trustee Schmidt stated that he is in favor of improvement to the waterfront, but to go forward with another section without completing the section started now may not be appropriate.  

c.      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 road that runs parallel to the river from Senasqua Tunnel to Croton Landing has no confirmed name; and

WHEREAS, the Village would like to have a name for this road to include in the plans and specifications of the Brook Street Grade Crossing Elimination Project,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Board of Trustees hereby formally names the road connecting Senasqua Tunnel to Croton Landing as Croton Beach Road.

d.      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 Village of Croton on Hudson engaged the Environmental Engineering firm of Stearns & Wheler, LLC to conduct a study of the sanitary sewer force main from Arrowcrest Subdivision and Skyview Nursing Home with regard to certain sewer odors, and

Whereas, Stearns & Wheler provided a report to the Village Board dated October 2002 which made certain recommendations to improve the operation and reduce odors, and

Whereas, one of the recommendations is to clean the force main with a pig cleaning system, and

Whereas, the Village requested a proposal from Stearns and Wheler to develop pig launching details and specifications for the cleaning of the Skyview Haven Nursing Home force main and the Arrowcrest Force Main, and

Whereas, the Village received an additional proposal dated May 27, 2003 covering extra work to include inspection services and evaluation of relocating the force main to North Riverside Avenue and other options.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal from Stearns and Wheler dated May 27, 2003 to cover the scope of services as described in their proposal, with modifications as recommended by the Village Engineer, with regard to this project for an additional fee of $3,300.

And Be It Further Resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2002-2003 General fund budget to move the unbudgeted funds from the Contingent account to the Sewer department contractual.
1. Increase     001 8120.0400 by        $ 3,300.00  ( Contractual Expense )
2. Decrease   001-1990.0400  by $ 3,300.00  ( Contingent Account )


Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on April 21, 2003 as corrected.  Trustee McCarthy seconded the motion.  The Board voted approval with Trustee Schmidt abstaining.

Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on May 5, 2003 as corrected.  Trustee Schmidt seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimous approval.

Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on May 14, 2003 as corrected.  Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimous approval.

7.      REPORTS:
Village Manager Herbek reported that 1) in regard to the Albany Post Rd. enumeration, they are trying to make sure there is some consistency of numbering along Albany Post Road, for those 38 properties in Croton they will add the number 1 to each address  2) there is a meeting on June 16th 7:30 pm regarding the storm water management plan; he has a draft version and should have a final report shortly; this work session is open to the public and notices were sent to all participants who attended the meeting of January 2002  and the information has been put on the web site.  3) The Maple Street/Olcott Ave. storm drainage system improvement project was started today and should be completed in about 30 days; the sidewalks were being poured today and will be a big improvement to help pedestrians.  4) A report was received from Dan O’Connor; the pigging project was successful and after the process, the velocities in each pipe increased because of removal of the solids in the force main; he is moving forward with sewer manhole inserts.  5) He asked Board for a work session in June on the Yacht Club dredging project, installation of a fire alarm system for Municipal Bldg and the next major step of the water improvement project.  6) He had a meeting with Nordica Drive residents regarding the use of Village owned parcel on Nordica Drive and some of the activities that have taken place there regarding access to Croton River in last few years

Trustee Wiegman reported that 1) the published comprehensive plan is out and he looks forward to work through the actual improvements to the Village code.  2) The Visual Environment Board will be following up with proposals for Village logos. 3) The sign ordinance book has come in and will be in the Board packet soon 4) there is one opening on the VEB, Ken Pojman is stepping down after serving 11 years.  5) The County has passed a resolution to a study an interpretive museum site at Croton Point Park.   6) Lois Bronz, will be holding some hearings regarding housing issues.   7) Compact fluorescent bulbs can be purchased on-line through which is a bulb reseller with good prices.

Trustee McCarthy stated that 1)Earth day was a great success; this year, Cheryl Kaplan’s’ 3rd grade class undertook a great number of tasks in connection with this project; at the Canoe Launch volunteers created a wildlife habitat; 7 volunteers along with a crew from the MTA dug out an illegal dump site, many items were recovered; over 140 volunteers participated this year, including a team from Pepsi, cub scouts and a high school student  Thanks to Art Neff and Ken Kraft for their efforts toward this project.  2) When she saw the MetroEnviro DEC violation come through, she noted that this is a violation to Croton’s permit also and a violation should be issued.  3) Residents spoke with her regarding Duck Pond area and asked if there is still work going on or can construction materials be removed.  Village Manager Herbek replied that some work still going on, but should be completed very soon.  

Trustee Schmidt 1) reminded everyone that Summerfest is Sunday, June 1st; the parade starts at
1 pm and there will also be a circus, performing at 2:30 and 4 pm at Vassallo Park along with lots of vendors and they are hopeful for good weather.  2) Congratulated the Comprehensive Plan Board for their publication and the Village will now have to move forward to adopt the zoning that goes along with this.  3) Reiterated what the Recreation Advisory Board said about the dog problem in the parks and they will work on that.

Trustee Grant reported that 1) the Comprehensive Plan is an extraordinary document and the people who worked on it are exceptional people; they had the ability to compromise; this will serve as a good, strong guide for land use for years to come. 2) Newsweek placed Croton- Harmon HS in the top 100 high schools in the country; congratulations to all the faculty, administration and students.  3) The Memorial Day ceremonies were very moving; there was again an absence of young people attending; the High School band played.  4) The Olcott/Maple St. sidewalks look fantastic and were needed for a long time; two houses are beautiful, especially the old Victorian house is magnificent.

Village Manager Herbek added that the owner of ZeyTuna was in the Village today looking around, taking measurements and discussing improvements; a lot of work has to be done; and they will have to deal with the parking problem; he will suggest the owner could come to a Chamber meeting to get some publicity.  Trustee McCarthy added that there is a web site that residents can look at -which may come into the old CVS site.  

Mayor Elliott stated that the entire community is justifiably proud of the remarkable Comprehensive Plan document and the Committee.

Trustee Schmidt made a motion to adjourn.  Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 PM.

Respectfully  submitted,

Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary

Village Clerk