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Board of Trustees Minutes 06 09 03
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, June 9, 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
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant and approved unanimously.

                Fiscal year             ending:  May 31, 2003           beginning: June 1, 2003
                General Fund                    $   9,290.36            $2,348,510.43
                Water Fund                                   292,267.72         
                Capital Accounts        44,580.00                           360.00
        Trust & Agency                                          280.00
        Debt    _________       252,930.72
                        $ 53,870.36             $2,894,348.87
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a)      A letter from Ron Aja, Clearwater Festival, requesting the use of the Croton-Harmon Parking Lot on June 21st and 22nd.    Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the request with the usual caveats; the motion was seconded by Trustee Wiegman, approved unanimously.
b)      Five letters and/or emails requesting the Board to deny a steep slope hardship permit and not allow a home to be built on lot 32, Morningside Dr.  Village Manager Herbek added that he has received a note from Maria Modica-Snow asking that her application be adjourned; item “c” was removed from tonight’s original agenda.  
c)      A letter from Croton Yacht Club requesting consideration to allow dredging of the basin at the Yacht Club with the cost paid for by the Yacht Club.  Mayor Elliott and Village Manager Herbek have spoken to Mark Moran, regional director of the NYS DEC, who said he will forward a copy of the application which goes to the DEC and Army Corps of Engineers; they would both have to process the application if the Board approves the request; there are some issues that need to be worked out regarding the application and where the dredged material will be stored.  Trustee Grant stated that she is not the least bit inclined to store the dredged material at the Seprio property; she questioned why it is so expensive to barge it out and why is the DEC so concerned where the material is exported if it is okay.  Village Manager Herbek replied that the concern is the need for a fairly large area to pump out the silt in this manner.   Village Manager Herbek added that this will be a work session item on June 19th and Yacht Club members will be there.  Trustee McCarthy stated that she would like to see actual test results & compare against results from Duck Pond testing, use the same consultant to see if tests are adequate, find out what local board review will be required and involve Kirkland & Ellis in connection with any coastal zone management issues, perhaps by telephone; she would like this initial communication forwarded to Kirkland & Ellis.  Trustee McCarthy stated that she placed a phone call to Kirkland & Ellis regarding this matter & feels it needs to be pursued with them further.  Trustee Grant stated that she may want to be a little further down before Kirkland & Ellis is involved because of the costs.  Trustee McCarthy added that it is important to involve Kirkland & Ellis as soon as possible unless the Board does not agree to this up front.  Trustee Schmidt stated that if this is not done, it may become a useless yacht club;  he agrees that the Seprieo property should not be used as a storage area; this should be discussed at the work session and get all information.

d)      A letter from Ronald Wegner, Cronin Engineering, asking approval for the County Sewer District inclusion request for Carl Stein.  Mr. Wegner and Village Engineer O’Connor were present at this meeting.  Mr. Wegner gave a presentation explaining the request.  Village Engineer O’Connor stated that he looked at the proposal; the connection is feasible; he has asked for a storage tank to be added to the design; he doesn’t expect this connection will have any impact on the existing odor issue. Trustee McCarthy asked that a referral of this application be sent to Sterns & Wheeler requesting a formal written opinion from them; they have been asked to look at the overall system and she is concerned that if approval is granted, Sterns & Wheeler may come in with recommendations that may affect this hookup; she wants their report and recommendations in writing.   Trustee Schmidt questioned what happens if other houses chose to hook up in the future; Sterns & Wheeler should be contacted for their opinion; he asked if they could build on this property without this hookup?  Mr. Wegner replied that they could, but may be with substantial disturbance to the property.  Village Engineer O’Connor stated that he will send this application to Sterns & Wheeler; he added that this would not be the recommended option to hook up many more homes to the force main; if more people need to be connected, the Village may need to put in another pump station or gravity sewer line. Trustee Grant asked how many houses are up there?  Village Engineer O’Connor replied that he is not sure how many are there, but it is more cost-effective to repair a septic than spend thousands of dollars to hook up to a sewer line; it is a matter of economics.

Trustee Wiegman made a motion to prepare a resolution to request that the County include this parcel in the County Sewer District subject to review and a written positive response from Sterns & Wheeler.  Trustee Grant seconded the motion contingent upon getting from Sterns & Wheeler a written opinion and their not having a problem.  Vote was taken as follows:  Trustees Grant, Wiegman, Mayor Elliott, aye.  Trustee McCarthy, abstain.  Trustee Schmidt, no.  3 ayes, 1 no, 1 abstain.

e.      A letter from Michael M. Miller, Golden Apple Tour Director, requesting the use of Black
Rock Park for a stop on their Bicycle Tour on September 21st.  Trustee Grant made a motion to approve the request with the usual caveats, Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek noted that the Rotary Club Car Show will be held in the Village on
September 21st and is requesting use of the parking lot on that date.  Trustee McCarthy made a motion to approve the request, subject to the usual caveats.   Trustee Grant seconded the motion, approved unanimously.

Lillian Brijeski, 55 Truesdale Dr., stated that they have sought legal representation; she
feels that developing lot 32 on 42 Morningside Dr. will endanger the surrounding areas once the trees are removed; she read a prepared statement; drainage problem will get worse if the area is turned into a lawn; hopes the Board will make a decision based on what is best for majority of residents who live in the Village; she also suggested that the Board’s agendas be made available Monday or Wednesday before the Board meeting.
Warren Schilk, 42 Morningside Dr. handed out photos to the Board and read a prepared
statement; the property is a severely steep slope; he is fighting a battle with erosion on his property; lot 32 is also eroding away; he saw first hand what a earth moving machinery did to the integrity of the slope and has real concerns about what the impact would be with further construction; he asked the Board to deny steep slopes application to protect the property values, scenic vistas and wildlife.
Carol Terralla, 49 Truesdale Dr., stated that she agrees with the previous two speakers; the
Planning Board had recommended a bond be provided; there is a 5/2/03 memo from Dan O’Connor recommending a bond of $56,000 which does not give a sense of comfort or coverage; on the issue of safety, the site plan shows 15 trees removed and possibly more; other trees may die in the future because of the impact on the subsystem of removing trees.
Bill Freeman, 43 Morningside Dr., stated that there is a problem mowing lawns in that area
because of the size of that slope; he stated that he thinks no building should be done on a slope of that sort; preserve the land and the slopes.
Rosemary Rizzuto, 46 Morningside Dr. stated that she agrees with what everyone has said
        about erosion and does not want any building done on that lot.
6.      John Sickenius, Morningside Dr. stated that he does not support any construction on this property and also agrees with what has been said already tonight.
7.      Joanne Schilk, 42 Morningside Dr., stated that the size of lot they are proposing to build on
        makes her feel she is back in Queens; she is disturbed greatly.
Jan Carey, 45 Morningside Dr., stated that she wrote one of the letters referred to tonight; she
has concerns regarding erosion, congestion, and off-street parking; she has had some recent construction done at her property and it is all limestone on her side of the street which is part of that slope; she doesn’t support having the property built upon.
9.      Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., stated that she lives in a grandfathered steep slope house; her slope makes this steep slope look like a cake-walk; it takes a good amount of money to fix problems on slopes like this;  even a $100,000 bond would not be sufficient; she asked when the Public Hearing resumes on this issue.  Village Attorney Waldman stated that the application to amend the law is coming up and that has not been scheduled for a Public Hearing.  Trustee McCarthy stated that the Board can take a vote to not entertain this request.  Ms. Cudequest stated that if the Board were to entertain amending this law, there would have to have Public Hearing with notices.  Trustee McCarthy stated that her recollection of the Puff-DiVitto application was that the Public Hearing was closed, but she would like to add the comments made tonight to the Public record.
10.     Bob Wintermeir, 43 Radner Ave, stated that the steep slopes law was put into effect to
protect the people of this Village; he was told all but one request for steep slopes amendments have been approved; he heard about the $56,000 bond and asked if there is anything for after construction to protect these people; Radner Ave. and other areas have had some problems; asked to reject steep slopes request.
Maria Cudequest 1) thanked Trustee Schmidt, the Recreation Department and others for
organizing Summerfest.  Ms. Cudequest stated that 2) unlicensed haulers entering Village are being checked; a ticket was issued on the first outing   3) the final non-public version of Mack report went to the judge, who will decide when the report becomes public.  Village Attorney Waldman stated that he believes this is the final report on MetroEnviro.  4) regarding the Seprio property, Croton Landing, Beaverkill portion is now Village owned and has restrictions in place;  this property is still zoned WC-waterfront/commercial and asked why the PRE designation  has not happened; this would protect the site from unwanted changes in the future.  5) had asked if Beaverkill tested any portion of their property and still wants to know if it has been tested.  Village Manger Herbek stated that he will find out.  Ms. Cudequest stated that the matching grant application acknowledged that the north cove section has been used illegally for dumping certain items.  Village Manager Herbek replied that the dumping referred to in the Short EAF is for a pick-up truck type of person who dumps shingles, etc. at night; the area is overgrown & hidden; also this area has been used by the former Conrail organization, by CSX as a storage ground for railroad paraphernalia on the side of the property; he has discussed having them participate and clean up their stuff at the right time because right now you cannot see what is there.  Ms Cudequest added that there was extensive dumping at that site; she is all for cleaning up the surface but it does not necessarily mean that the site is cleaned up; she requested again that the Beaverkill portion be tested.  6) Journal-News reported that Mamaroneck is having problems with Allied and she will attend their meeting.  7) asked if it is possible to have the work session on storm water issues televised?  The Board agreed to televise the work session   8) there was a case of arson in Hartsdale a few weeks ago and Paul Finer, Supervisor of Greenburg, has reached out to Concerned Citizens of Croton to help out, a family left homeless has found an apartment but still needs furniture; you can contact him at  or send a check to Have A Heart for the Homeless, c/o Paul Finer,  PO Box 205, Elmsford, NY  9) regarding the grocery store that is coming, what is happening?  Village Manager Herbek replied that it probably won’t open until closer to holidays.
Joann Minnett, 5 Van Cortlandt Place, stated that she 1) hopes the Board take proper actions
that this grocer knows how to dispose of garbage properly.  2) took a walk with Village Manager Herbek on April 16th to discuss unsightly problems that exist in her area which is one of the gates of the Village; she cannot see having to wait for the Board to take action years down the road; she has come before the Board many times over the years regarding VanWyck Shopping Center; the area looks very good from the street, but the driveway & parking area are still appalling; in the area of Olcott & Radner, she has been fighting for signage for school crossing, the only  signs are right before the driveway; there are no signs on VanCortlandt, Radner, Olcott and Rt. 129.   Village Manager Herbek replied regarding school crossing signs, they have been careful where any signs are placed in Village; he is still reviewing, evaluating and will discuss this with the school safety committee & get input from school officials; on Rt. 129 and Maple St., the idea is to install curbing along the entire area from Olcott Ave. with the exception where parking occurs, down to the small shopping center/mini-mall; this will improve the appearance & safety of Rt. 129 and hopes to get to this within 6 weeks; regarding the bus stop, they will put down a concrete pad and install a bus stop shelter; sidewalks will eventually get installed on the other side of Municipal Place; Mark Giordano has been cooperative and garbage will be put in an enclosed area, it will not be a dumpster operation and they will be sensitive to deliveries.  Ms. Minnett stated that there are potholes on Rt. 129 and water fills them up; can they be filled in to make them safe?  She added that the DPW hires outside people- why do they not use their own work force?  Village Manager Herbek replied that certain area work is contracted out which is the most cost-effective for seasonal jobs. Ms. Minnett stated that the sand needs to be changed in park sandboxes.
Bob Wintermeir stated that 1) in the latest issue of the Croton newsletter is a letter from Ken
Kraft requesting residents take more care getting recycling boxes out of streets; he feels the problem is with the people who empty the boxes and leave them out in the street.  2) congratulations to Trustees Grant and Schmidt for their comments regarding the sewer petition; he is glad they took the positions they did hopes to hold advisory firms accountable. 3) regarding the dredging of the yacht club, things have flowed into the river from that point and he is not sure what is in that sludge; he suggested testing soil samples before dredging.  4) is the 5 million bond in this year’s budget or additional funds.  Trustee McCarthy replied that the 5 million is projected for future and the Village doesn’t know what it will cost to correct these drainage issues.  Trustee Wiegman added that the storm water public session next week will address many of these issues.  Village Manager Herbek stated that there is nothing in this year’s budget for storm water drainage except for inspection work that will determine what needs to be done; it is up to this Board and/or future Boards to determine what will get done.  Trustee McCarthy stated that the storm water issue is a project that will be a huge expenditure, the Board has not reserved any money to pay any part of this and it cannot take 10 years to be completed that is why she is trying to reign in spending.  6) Mr. Wintermeir added that we live in a sensitive area; there is a dam, power plant, a major railroad hub and he has not heard of any plans being taken for this Village which should have some kind of disaster plans and exercises. Village Manager Herbek replied that Sgt. Michael Nulty has gone to all County preparedness meetings and he has become an expert on emergency procedures; he himself has been an active participant in the Northern Tier Coalition who are now planning an RFP along with Jeff Tax, the Town’s Homeland Security person to get a company to advise on training, equipment needs, etc. for emergencies; those are on-going preparations; the Village departments have worked together as a team during emergencies, they meet regularly; they are coordinated for emergency response, plans are continuously updated.  Mr. Wintermeir added that there is more need for residents to become actively involved.  Village Manager Herbek added that one of the things being planned is Civil Volunteer Corps. as recommended by President Bush; he is working toward that goal, which would get citizens involved in the event of a major catastrophe; they would have to be trained; this is being planned with Linda Puglisi.  Mr. Wintermeir suggested that the Yacht Club get involved also and also to sit down and discuss ways to avoid 9A.
Joan Minnett stated that regarding the walkway across from Croton Commons Shopping
Center and the opposite side of Rt. 129, there is no linkage for anyone on foot.  Mayor Elliott replied that they would have to discuss this with property owners to get permission for a crosswalk.  Village Manager Herbek added that a sidewalk to run along the Croton Commons side to connect with a pedestrian crossing would be safer; they may have an opportunity to talk to the property owner.

a.      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 existing Well #3 pump starter is malfunctioning; and

WHEREAS, the Water Foreman recommended its replacement; and

WHEREAS, a request for proposal for the replacement was sent to seven electrical contractors; and

WHEREAS, two proposals were received, one from Schulz Electric Co. for $7,948.00 and the other from Eastern Electric Constructing Corp. for $20,800.00; and

WHEREAS, the two proposals were sent to the electrical engineering consultant, Lynch Engineering who recommended awarding the project to the low bidder, Schulz Electric Co.; and

WHEREAS, the Village Engineer also recommends awarding the project to Schulz Electric Co.,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the project to Schulz Electric Co. for the Well #3 Pump Starter for $7,948.00

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to account #8340.200.9900.00.47.

Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on May 27, 2003 as corrected.  Trustee Schmidt seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimous approval.

Village Manager Herbek: 1) received a letter from Joe Stout, Commissioner of Westchester Parks & Recreation, with a proposal to relocate model airplane flying field to a new site at the new landfill.  2) he has heard back regarding three grant applications submitted for 2002; none were approved.  3) reported that there will be a work session on June 19th; the work session on June 16th is only for storm water management.  

Village Treasurer Reardon reported that 1) the tax bills are due this month by the 30th without penalty.  2) the new radio water reads have commenced; 127 reads were taken on Sunday; they will be downloaded and verified; they will be installing a little grey box replacing ARB’s that are on the outside of buildings and will make an appointment by letter with residents that do not have an ARB unit.

Trustee Wiegman reported that he is eager to start working with implementation of the Comprehensive Plan particularly the Gateway.

Trustee McCarthy congratulated Treasurer Reardon for getting the new water reading system implemented.  

Trustee Schmidt reported that 1) there will be a meeting on June 30th with MetroNorth regarding noise; he reminded residents to call the Hotline- 271-1908 to report noise complaints. 2) Operation Sting is proceeding and he reminded residents that removing standing water is important; please go to the backyard and dry up any areas where mosquitoes will nest.  3) Upper Village trash cans have been decorated by PVC students.  4) regarding Summerfest, he gave thanks to the Recreation Dept, DPW, Police Dept & Auxiliary Police, Fire Dept., Carol Ann & her son Matthew who came out to help; also thanks to all the marchers & vendors.

Trustee Grant 1) offered congratulations to the Croton-Harmon H.S. varsity girls’ soccer team who won the Division championship for the first time for girls’ soccer. 2) reported that the storage area next to the Skateboard Park looks somewhat better, but things should be taken out of sight to much less visible places, some of which she has suggested.

Mayor Elliott offered congratulations to 1) Ed Ronthaller on his 98th birthday.  2) to Ann Gallelli who was elected to the Board of Directors of the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation which is quite an honor.  Trustee Grant added her congratulations and stated that Ms. Gallelli is a hard worker and the Village is fortunate to have her and thinks there should be some way to thank the volunteers that assist the Village.  Trustee Schmidt suggested having a thank you day around Thanksgiving for volunteers.

Trustee Schmidt made a motion to adjourn.  Trustee Grant seconded the motion; approved unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Phyllis A. Bradbury

Phyllis A. Bradbury

Village Clerk/Deputy Clerk