Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
  • Citizen Action Center
  • Follow us on Social Media
  • Freedom of Information
  • Online Payments
  • Online Forms
  • Subscribe to News
  • Send Us Comments
  • Contacts Directory
  • Projects & Initiatives
  • Public Documents
  • Community Links
  • Village Code
Board of Trustees Minutes 06 23 03
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, June 23, 2003 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 at 8 o’clock, P.M., at which meeting a quorum was at all times present and acting.   .

The following officials were present:

        Mayor Elliott                   Village Attorney Waldman
           Trustee Grant                       Trustee McCarthy
        Trustee Wiegman                 Trustee Schmidt
Treasurer & Deputy Clerk Reardon
        Village Engineer O’Connor

        Absent: Manager Herbek

1.      CALL TO ORDER:

Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at. 8 PM.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Elliott said that Manager Herbek was ill and would not be attending tonight.

On a motion by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, the vouchers were approved unanimously as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee

        General Fund            $ 5,714.65
        Water Fund                         0.00
        Capital Account            14,745.00
        Trust & Agency       6,727.75
        Total                            $27,187.40

3.      CORRESPONDENCE:  Mayor Elliott stated the first three letters should be considered together as they referred to the same topic.

a.      Maria Modica-Snow, re: On behalf of Joanne Jackson, requesting and amendment to the Steep Slopes Law.

b.      Phillip Tully. Re: Joanne Jackson Special Hardship Permit Application.

c.      Dorothy Freeman, Morningside Drive, re: opposition to Joanne Jackson Special Hardship Permit.

Discussion of all three letters: Ms. Modica-Snow, representing Joanne Jackson, reminded the Board that they had referred the matter to the Planning Board for a recommendation. She recounted the history of the application and stated that one Trustee had raised the issue of ownership. Her research raised the possibility of a merger. Ms. Modica-Snow proposed an amendment to the ownership aspect of the Steep Slopes Hardship Permit part of the law.  She further outlined several problems with the law: the law has been changed several times over the years so which version of the law should apply - when she owned it originally or the version in place when she sells it? Ms. Modica-Snow went over the ownership and changes in the title over the years.  The intent was to keep it as a retirement fund for Ms. Jackson.  She reviewed the history of the statute: basically to preserve the environment but also the intent in 1989 was to protect owners of single lots.  Before 1992 there was no procedure in place for Planning Board review or Public Hearings, then the law was changed to include these steps in the process.  She raised the issue of the Mennone property.  The Planning Board at that time discussed many issues involved in the question of who should have standing. The Village Board amended the law again but ended up enabling one class of residents and closing out another class of residents.  That amendment would have covered the Jackson situation.  She suggested the intention of the Planning Board was to include original owners. The Planning Board in 1996 said this would allow owners to have their application decided on the merits of their application.  There is no appeal from this law since it is not part of the zoning law.  She recommends a return to an earlier version but to include language that takes into account death, divorce, etc..  This is an issue of standing not a statement that the permit is granted. She then addressed why the permit should be granted.  The 30 day initial period envisioned by the law was far extended in this case in order to deal with over 30 issues. This is not a popularity contest decided by who wants it and who doesn’t.  Mitigation has been provided, along with engineering work. This is an unfair taking and if standing is not provided, the client will need to litigate it; the statute has problems on its face.  The Village Board makes the decision but it should be the Planning Board to keep it out of the political arena and because they are the ones who spend the time on the process. On the hardship question, which version applies – the one when the applicant got ownership or when the permit is applied for? Issues of standing were not raised until after $12-15k was spent in processing before the Planning Board.  The Planning Board has determined that the house can be environmentally built in a sound matter.  Separate tax bills were sent over the years with no notification of a merger. The amendment she proposes are consistent with the intent of the law; the intent of original version was to protect people like Joanne Jackson.
Treasurer Reardon said that regarding the tax billing, the Village is bound by Town and County rules.

Trustee McCarthy asked several questions.  Is it Ms. Modica-Snow’s position that Ms. Jackson has a lot that conforms to the law;  Ms. Modica-Snow said the first issue is standing.  Do you know of others that may benefit from this proposed revision to the law; Ms. Modica-Snow knows of no one else.  Are you aware that there are other lots on the street that are undeveloped?  Trustee McCarthy stated that Ms. Jackson may have made misrepresentations to the Village Board regarding her standing; perhaps the Planning Board should have looked at more than the 30 issues that Ms. Modica-Snow said they reviewed, perhaps 32.  

Norman Sheer, representing the neighbors, in particular John and Lillian Brijeski and the Schilks on Morningside Drive.  He asked for a raise of hands of those who are in opposition. He explained the concept of merger to the Village Board.  The Village has struggled with this concept over the years. Lawyers avoid merger when the law is being amended by conveying it to some appropriate entity. It is unfortunate, but it happens all the time; good lawyering can avoid merger.  230-40G of the Zoning Law has the concept of an undersized lot in 1962, and if there is no adjoining land, that lot is a buildable lot. Mr. Sheer passed out a copy of the Cronin Engineering drawings reviewed by the Planning Board used in their deliberations. He asked for the application to be denied.

Pat Barua, Morningside Drive.  She lives 7 houses away from the proposed application; she likes the street the way it is – tree lined with old trees, special character.  The proposed site is next to a 6-car parking lot that is partially hidden.  If this house is permitted, the trees will be removed and change the character of the street; overdevelopment occurs one house/ one lot at a time.  Ms. Jackson seeks a change in the law just for her own benefit.  We should rely on the law as it is written.  

Phillip Tully, representing the Brijeski’s.  He wanted to add a footnote to his letter.  The reason for purchasing the lot by the Jacksons was to protect themselves from others building on it.  Hardship permit requires lot to conform all zoning regulations; the variances required are many and cannot be ignored.  What about other lots on Morningside which don’t meet requirements such as 42 Morningside? The Board cannot grant approval of a lot in violation of zoning regulations.

Ms. Modica-Snow referred to Mr. Sheer’s comments on ‘good lawyering’ and  referred back to the Mennone situation where Mr. Sheer referred to their right to go to the zoning board to appeal their small lot situation. The intent was to protect the environment and not prohibit building.  Trustee McCarthy asked on what basis she made her statement that the buyers of the house next door understood that this was a buildable lot. Trustee McCarthy wants it in the record that the Village has substantial issues with runoff and drainage – may be facing millions of dollars in costs in the future.  Mr. Tully is the former Village Engineer in this village.

Warren Schilk – 42 Morningside Dr.  Mr. Schilk said he was told by the realtor that he would be protected from development on the Jackson land based  on Steep Slopes.

Mayor Elliott stated that the Board needs to weigh the pros and cons with the Village Attorney.  Trustee Grant said that there are lots of legal issues; but she doesn’t see a connection between the ownership of the land and the steep slopes requirements. Mr. Sheer provided his view of why this was so – a standard to provide people relief.  Trustee Grant pointed out that if Greg Jackson had retained the lot, he would be eligible, Mr. Sheer agreed. He said the idea of merger is to eliminate non-conforming situations.  Trustee McCarthy said the Board should have a discussion with Attorney Waldman tonight – could possibly resolve this. Mayor Elliott said there was agreement to spend some more time to mull it. Trustee Wiegman said this was very detailed and he would like to get benefit of more input from Mr. Waldman and perhaps some Planning Board members. Trustee McCarthy said what is being proposed here will allow many more people to come before the Village Board asking for Hardship permits and we will never get them into conformity.  Trustee Wiegman said it needs more study on our part; he has read Steep Slopes laws from other communities.  Trustee McCarthy said this is our policy here.  

d.      Kristine Siminski, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, re: request to use the upper parking lot at Croton-Harmon Station on October 5, 2003 for the Great Tappan Zee Bike Tour for MS. On a motion by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, this request was given unanimous approval.

e.      Joseph Stout, Commissioner, Westchester County Dept. of Parks, Recreation & Conservation, re: relocating the model airplane flying field.   Treasurer Reardon asked the Police; they thought it might be good. The Recreation Dept. was concerned that airplanes would be flying over ball fields. Mayor Elliott stated it should be referred to the Planning Board. Trustee Wiegman said the area where it would move to is a good bird habitat, the dome of the cap. It could disrupt hikers as well. This is a double-edged sword.  Trustee Grant reminded the Board that in the past the planes used to land right in the middle of former lacrosse fields.  She asked the Village Engineer to confirm where the proposed location is.


Mary Fagan, Old Post Road North.  She had expected to come tonight to congratulate the Village on the work done on the sewer odor problem; unfortunately it did not work. Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer, said there was a problem with the bioxide feed pump over the weekend.  It is a temporary system with no alarms when it doesn’t work; DPW was working on it today.  Sewer manhole insert-canister cartridges hang down in the manhole; it reacts with Hydrogen sulfide to neutralize it; they try to get as much useful life from the canister as possible; it is a little hard to judge; they may need to adjust the maintenance schedule.  SkyView has hired an engineer to design a grinder system. SkyView is working at improving this.  Ms. Fagan asked about another house being hooked to sewer district? She said this is deplorable. Mr. O’Connor said it will be looked at by Stearns and Wheeler before Village makes a decision on this.  Ms. Fagan said this wasn’t ever a problem until others came onto the sewer line, no odors. Mr. O’Connor said  that there was no force main there at that time.  Trustee McCarthy said other Board members voted to allow another house to be added if Stearns and Wheeler approved; she abstained and Trustee Schmidt voted against it; she doesn’t know how it will be resolved. Trustee Grant said that what Trustee McCarthy said is not so – the resolution approved letting Mr. Stein move ahead with his application to the County, it was not an approval.  She reminded Ms. Fagan of their previous phone conversation and that while the problem should have been resolved by now, what is in progress now may not be complete this summer. We can’t go to the second plan until the first plan is completed.  It is being worked on and it is the top priority; at least it is moving ahead.  Trustee McCarthy read the resolution referred to previously, saying it meant that the applicant had their approval.  Trustee Grant said that is not the situation at all. Dan O’Connor sent a letter to Stearns and Wheeler with information; if they feel favorably, the Village Board would request the County to include the property.

Fran Allen, Finney Farm Rd. On the sewer odor problem, the Village is continuing to deal with little pieces of the problems and without overall knowledge.  She read a statement asking Stearns and Wheeler to analyze the problem and what should be done without consideration of cost – no constraints.  Ms. Allen stated that Stearns & Wheeler were always limited to consider what could be done with the sewer line as currently routed; they should have asked them to consider all options.  She understands that they have now been asked to make a no-constraints analysis.  Mr. O’Connor said he spoke to them today and it will be another month before the report would be done; they received the request about one month ago – to look at all possible options.  Trustee McCarthy said the Village Board never limited Stearns &Wheeler on price. Ms. Allen said the Village did if not the Board. It is clear from the Stearns & Wheeler letter that they were not looking at rerouting options due to cost considerations. She stated the problem is that we have been asking experts to look at things in a piece meal fashion; should have had all the options laid out from the beginning without constraint of costs.  Trustee Schmidt said he is frustrated by the Village not using some of the suggested options yet; he thinks we have problems up there that we are not being told about. Trustee Grant said we agreed we would concurrently proceed with current options while waiting for the full road map of the possible solutions; let’s not spend time on blame – but get it fixed. Trustee Schmidt stated that we are not paying attention to what is happening; it is an operational issue.  Trustee McCarthy said these are recurring issues.  Ms. Fagan believes SkyView is the main problem.  Can’t the Village make SkyView fix the problem – not just work with them; force them to fix it if it their cause.  Mayor Elliott stated that if we knew it was their responsibility, we could require them to do certain things.

Michael Goetz, Irving Ave.  Mr. Goetz thanked the Fire Dept. for putting out a fire in front of his house, a Con Ed wire was on fire after a tree hit it. He sees insulation has eroded on the power line.  Con Ed says it doesn’t matter.  Does it?  Mayor Elliott said we would call Con Ed tomorrow to correct that. He was jogging along the Silver Lake path and has observed that recently an all-terrain vehicle has created tire tracks and ruts on it.  He handed out materials on tennis court contractors; would like to get some tennis courts for resident use; suggested a site by Silver Lake as another possible site for the courts in addition to others mentioned in the past.  


        a. Awarding project to Air Purifiers Inc. for the Municipal Garage Exhaust System.

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, Industry safety standards require a system to remove the vehicle exhaust from the Municipal Garage; and

WHEREAS, three bids were received for this project; and

WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Public Works recommends that the Village award the bid to the lowest bidder, Air Purifiers Inc. for $13,200,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the project for the Municipal Garage Exhaust System to Air Purifiers Inc. of One Pine Street, Rockaway, NJ 07866 for $13,200.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to account #1640-0200-0203-84.

        b. Awarding project to Acocella Contracting, Inc. for the Maple Street Improvements.

        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 was awarded a CDBG grant to replace the sidewalks on Maple Street between Old Post Road South and Grand Street; and

WHEREAS, two bids were received for this project; and

WHEREAS, the Village Engineer recommends that the Village award the bid to the lowest bidder, Acocella Contracing, Inc. for $197,980.00,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the project for the Maple Street Improvements to Acocella Contracting, Inc. for $197,980.00.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to account #003-5110-0200-0102-0066.

        c. Authorizing Village Manager to sign contract with Kellard Engineering & Consulting for their services with the Water Main Improvement project.

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 Harmon area of the Village has experienced various problems associated with water quality and operational and pressure-related difficulties; and,

WHEREAS, Kellard Engineering has prepared a proposal for designing a new water distribution system, completing bid documents, managing the bid process, completing an engineering report and SEQRA documentation, and managing the construction phase; and

WHEREAS, the Village Engineer, Public Works Superintendent, and Water Foreman have reviewed this proposal; and

WHEREAS, this proposal was discussed by the Village Board of Trustees at the work session of June 19, 2003,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the contract with Kellard Engineering & Consulting for the Harmon Water Main Improvements,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount will be charged to capital account # 8340-2087.

Discussion: Trustee Grant  asked the total amount.  Mr. Reardon stated it is about $75k.

        d. Changing August meeting dates from August 4th and 18th to August 20th.

On motion of  TRUSTEE SCHMIDT,  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,        regular meetings of the Board of Trustees had been set for August 4 and August 18; and

WHEREAS,        because of vacation schedules, the Village Board has decided on setting one regular meeting of the Board for the month of August on Wednesday, August 20th;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the meeting schedule is hereby changed accordingly.  

        e. Budget modification.

On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, 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 Treasurer of Village of Croton on Hudson wishes to cover un-appropriated expenses in legal fees that occurred in the 2002-2003 General fund budget from the contingent account; and

Whereas, fund exist in the contingent account ( 1990.400) in the amount of $ 7,900.00

Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Village Treasurer amend the 2002-2003 General fund budget to move the unbudgeted funds from the Contingent account to the Contractual Legal appropriation.

1. Increase     001 1420.0400 by        $ 7,900.00  ( Contractual Expense )
2. Decrease   001-1990.0400  by $ 7,900.00  ( Contingent Account )

f.      Formalized borrowing for capitalized projects.
        Trustee GRANT moved the adoption of the following resolution.  The motion was seconded by Trustee SCHMIDT.  The Board of Trustees of the Village was polled.  The motion was adopted by a vote of 5 affirmative votes (being a majority of the voting strength of the Board of Trustees of the Village) and 0 negative votes and 0 absent votes.

        WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton (the “Village”), located in Westchester County, in the State of New York (the “State”), hereby determines that it is in the public interest of the Village to authorize the financing of the costs of various capital projects in accordance with the Local Finance Law;
        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton, as follows:
        1.  The Board of Trustees of the Village hereby approves the financing of the following capital purposes, marked “yes” below, recommended by the Village Treasurer, and authorizes the Village Treasurer to arrange for the preparation of the necessary serial bond resolutions for adoption by this Board;
PURPOSE         AMOUNT          YES     NO      
GENERAL ROAD REPAIRS            $50,000         X               
SIDEWALK REPLACEMENT FUND               $50,000         X               
CURB REPLACEMENT FUND           $50,000         X               
MAPLE STREET SIDEWALK C.D.B.G. PROJECT          $106,000                X               
OLD POST ROAD SIDEWALKS         $50,000         X               
SANITARY SEWER REHABILITATION           $100,000                X               
GRAND STREET FIREHOUSE IMPROVEMENTS             $30,000         X               
4X4 PICKUP              $25,000         X               
“CROTON LANDING” FIELD IMPROVEMENTS             $40,000         X               
SILVER LAKE BATH HOUSE IMPROVEMENTS             $40,000         X               
RECREATION ROOM IMPROVEMENTS            $40,000         X               
SANITATION TRUCK 25 CY          $130,000                X               
4X4 PICKUP              $25,000         X               
AMBULANCE RIG REPLACEMENT               $135,000                X               
FIRE CHIEF VEHICLE              $35,000         X               
4WD DRIVE POLICE VEHICLE                $39,000         X               
GRAPPLE BUCKET FOR LOADER               $15,000         X               
RADIO EQUIPMENT BLDG FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT                $100,000                X               

PURPOSE         AMOUNT          YES     NO      
RADIO REPLACEMENTS              $12,500         X               
3-MEDTRONICS LIFPAK DEFIBRILLATORS              $22,500         X               
INDUSTRIAL WASHER & DRYER               $3,000          X               
EMERGENCY GENERATOR             $60,000         X               
RADIO COMMUNICATION ENCRYPTION SYSTEM           $20,000         X               
STAN CLIENT RADIO FOR PATROL CARS               $8,000          X               
HARD BOTTOM INFLATABLE BOAT             $11,000         X               
WIRELESS L.A.N. CONNECTION TO PATROL CARS               $7,000          X               
2-DEFIBRILLATORS                $6,000          X               

                                TOTAL        $ 1,210,000.00

2.      This resolution shall take effective immediately upon adoption.

Discussion:  Treasurer Reardon noted that there are several items on  the list.  Trustee Grant asked if they can be assured that these were what was discussed in work session with nothing added. Treasurer Reardon said yes, that is so to his knowledge. Trustee McCarthy said she didn’t want to lose sight of studying the         issue of the sanitation pickup more. Also she had asked for a report on other communities having a wireless L.A.N. system; received it but is not convinced that it is needed, put this item aside for now. Trustee Wiegman said he is comfortable with this proposed expenditure.  


On a motion By Trustee Grant, seconded by Trustee McCarthy, the minutes of the Meeting of February 18, 2003 were unanimously approved as amended.


Trustee Wiegman: Belated congratulations to School Board electees, also congratulations to the Croton Schools Education foundation for a successful fundraiser. Croton has become part of the Energy $mart (NYS) program, showed a flyer he received about joining with us in this program.  Another Energy $mart workshop this Saturday – 6/28-  10-12 AM on the topic of ‘What is a home performance test?’.

Trustee McCarthy:  Nice job tonight to Dan O’Connor and Bob Reardon.

]Trustee Schmidt: The siren on the fire house sounds similar to Con Ed siren and people get upset when they hear it.  Police Dept is aware of this. Can we check to see if can be changed.  Trustee McCarthy asked why they are still ringing sirens.

Trustee Wiegman made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, and by unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned at 10:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary

Village Clerk