A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, January 5, 2004 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 - Absent
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 Schmidt and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 10,936.91
Capital Accounts 54,571.33
Trust & Agency 11,424.00
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from James Yates, VP, NY Power Authority, regarding the notice of termination of the Supplemental Agreement effective December 31, 2006. Village Manager Herbek stated that he doesn’t know yet what the changes will be, this is just a notice; the Power Authority supplies most of the power throughout Westchester County for municipalities.
Email from Maria Cudequest requesting that the McClure property resolution be set aside until the next board meeting; she understands that some of this $315,000 may be recouped via grants, but not enough notice was given to residents to ask questions and better understand the issue. A 2nd email with similar content also was received from another resident.
a. Tom Brennan stated that he was not aware of any property being purchased and he asked that this item be put off until next meeting for further discussion. Trustee McCarthy replied that it is her understanding that the Village is to get all of the money back.
b. Bob Wintermeir, 43 Radnor, stated his personal opinion is that he is in opposition to additional affordable housing in Village; he is concerned about cost and taxpayers being hit with additional taxes; he questioned who the current owner of property is, what the total cost is; he suspects this should be up for referendum; since it involves grants, does it open up affordable housing for those outside the Village? Village Manager Herbek replied that the property is in the estate of Mrs. McClure, Nancy Adami is executrix and there are a number of charitable organizations as beneficiaries; the property was on the market in high $300,000’s but the Croton
Housing Network and the Village staff negotiated the price at $305,000; the Village’s only roll is to assure that the property is not sold to others; infrastructure is already in place; the plan is for 11 units of affordable housing; all affordable housing projects are to primarily benefit Croton or Croton-related families and he believes that is the case with this property; reimbursement comes from grants available where the Village will be completely reimbursed for the outlay; the Village is tying up funds, but will get the money back later this year. Trustee McCarthy asked if the fund balance money is currently invested is it possible for Village to recoup not only $305,000 plus the interest that will be lost. Village Manager Herbek replied that there is a definite possibility that all taxpayer money will be gotten back. Trustee Schmidt stated this improves a couple of things that makes the whole thing work, including access to property the Housing
Network now owns that is inaccessible. Village Manager Herbek added that they will now have trail access as well. Mayor Elliott stated that the Village can give preferences and use a scoring qualification to decide who is eligible for this affordable housing. Trustee Schmidt added that he thinks a lot of residents may over-qualify for this type of affordable housing which does open the door for others to make application. Trustee Grant stated that she is supportive of affordable housing; she spoke to Nancy Shatzkin about the number of applications to other projects; only 4 families were able to get units in Half Moon Bay and there is a need for this type of housing. Mr. Wintermeir asked if the Village is going to be hit with additional costs, this is a project that should be deferred; infrastructure will have to be brought over to that property and who incurs cost to build the houses? Mayor Elliott replied that the Housing Network incurs
the cost to build the houses. Village Manager Herbek added that all costs are covered by grants; however, there will be some staff and administrative time incurred by himself, Dan O’Connor & Bob Reardon. Village Attorney Waldman added that there also will be closing and title insurance fees. Bob Wintermeir asked if the property been appraised? Village Manager Herbek replied that there was an appraisal done by Westchester County on the basis of one house that stands there now which is in disrepair; they will be doing further reappraisal. Trustee McCarthy added that the estate would have had to do some appraisals; there may be probate documents that list the appraised value; she will cast her vote with the understanding that the Village will get all money back. Mr. Wintermeir backed off his objection based on these facts that there will be no cost to residents, but he would like the Board to consider deferral to next meeting to allow residents
to express their opinions. Trustee McCarthy stated that there is a timing issue here since the property will continue to be marketed.
c. Tom Brennan stated that he also backs off his objection; he advised the Board to look to see if those who are “on the line” could be included and given opportunity to apply.
d. Liz Keller, 224 Hessian Hills Rd. thanked the Board for all the work done to fight the Millennium Pipeline; the latest decision is not a total victory, but shows they are serious; she read a letter from United Communities of Westchester. Trustee McCarthy asked that a joint letter with Briarcliff be put together to send to the individuals who head up the department at Kirkland and Ellis commending them for their excellent work on this assignment.
e. Charlie Kane, Croton Water Control Commission, suggested making other villages aware of how important the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan was in defeating the pipeline crossing Haverstraw Bay. Mayor Elliott stated that he will speak to people who head the Dept. of State and assist in drafting a statement for other communities. Trustee Schmidt added that perhaps this is the time to re-evaluate the Village law and ask Kirkland and Ellis if there is something that can be tightened up to secure Croton’s future.
a) 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, the Board of Trustees in interested in working with the Croton Housing Network on an affordable housing project next to Mt. Airy Woods involving the property owned by Lavina McClure, now deceased, and
WHEREAS, in order to pursue the various affordable housing grants for this property it is necessary for the land to be owned by the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, and
WHEREAS, the Village Manager and Nance Shatzkin, President of the Croton Housing Network have been charged by the Board to pursue the purchase of this property, and
WHEREAS, the Village Manager was able to negotiate a sales price of $305,000 for this property; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to close on this property at a sales price of $305,000 and to take such steps as are necessary to recover Village funds which are used for the purchase of this property through grants and other fund sources which are available for affordable housing projects.
b) Whereas, a proposal has been made to establish a Service Award Program for active volunteer firefighter members of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department.
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved That:
Section 1 The Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson, in its capacity as the governing body of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson as authorized by Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law, directs that there shall be a mandatory referendum of eligible voters of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson to determine whether the Board of Trustees shall establish such Service Award Program, effective January 1, 2004.
Section 2 The type of program shall be a defined benefit plan as described in Section 219 of Article 11-A. All active volunteer firefighters who are at least 18 years old and who are Active Members of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department, in accordance with such Fire Department’s by-laws, shall be eligible to become Service Award Program Participants. Unless they waive participation, an eligible person age 18 or older, shall become a Participant on December 31 of the first calendar year after calendar year 2003 during which he or she earns a year of Service Award Program service credit.
Section 3 This Service Award Program shall be administered and operated by the Village of Croton-On-Hudson Village Board of Trustees through recommendations from the Service Award Committee (i.e., the “SAC”). The SAC shall consist of representatives from the Village and the Fire Department.
Section 4 Croton Volunteer Fire Department active volunteer firefighters shall have the opportunity to earn pension-like and pre “Entitlement Age” death and disability benefits under the Service Award Program. The pension-like benefit shall be a monthly payment accrued “Service Award” paid to a Participant with payments beginning after attainment of age 60 the “Entitlement Age”, but not before a Participant earns at least one year of Service Award Program service credit for calendar years after calendar year 2003. The monthly payment accrued “Service Award” shall be equal to $20 for each year of Service Award Program service credit earned. The maximum monthly payment shall be $400. In the event that a Participant begins to be paid such monthly
payments and then dies before receiving 120 monthly payments, the Participant’s designated beneficiary (or estate if no beneficiary is selected) shall have the option to continue to receive the monthly payments until 120 payments have been received altogether or to immediately be paid a lump-sum payment equal to the discounted value of the remaining payments. By the adoption of a resolution, the Village Board of Trustees may add other actuarially equivalent forms of such monthly payments. The pre “Entitlement Age” vested Participant death benefit shall be a lump-sum payable to the vested Participant’s designated beneficiary (or estate if no beneficiary is designated) and shall be equal to the discounted value at the time of death of the actuarial present value of the vested Participant’s accrued Service Award. A Participant, who is awarded benefit payments due to a total and permanent disability by the Social Security Administration or by any entity which pays
benefits under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law or by any other authority approved by the Village Board of Trustees/SAC, shall be eligible to be paid a pre “Entitlement Age” disability benefit payment under the Service Award Program. Such disability benefit payment shall be a lump-sum payment to the Participant equal to the discounted actuarial present value of the Participant’s accrued Service Award payable upon application by the Participant to and approval by the Village Board of Trustees/SAC.
Section 5 A Participant’s accrued Service Award shall become fully vested (i.e. a Participant shall obtain a nonforfeitable right to his or her accrued Service Award) after: he or she earns and does not permanently forfeit Service Award Program service credit for at least five (5) years of active volunteer firefighter service; or, attains age 60 while an Active Member; or, he or she is awarded a Service Award Program total and permanent disability benefit payment.
Section 6 As of December 31 of the year a non-vested Participant ceases to be an Active Member of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department he or she shall forfeit any earned service credit and any accrued Service Award. The forfeited service credit and Accrued Service Award of a person who ceased to be an Active Member of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department shall be restored if the person again becomes an Active Member of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department within five years and subsequently earns at least one year of service credit under the Service Award Program Point System.
Section 7 A year of Service Award Program service credit shall be earned by a Participant for each calendar year after 2003 during which a Participant earns at least 50 “points” while an Active Member of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department for participating in the volunteer firefighter activities set forth by the Village Board of Trustees/SAC in the Service Award Program “Point System” as authorized by Section 217 of Article 11-A of the General Municipal Law, and during which he or she agrees to participate in the Service Award Program. The Point System shall be set forth in writing and copies of the written explanation of Point System shall be distributed to active volunteer firefighters. The Village Board of Trustees/SAC may amend the Point System from
time to time provided such amendments are allowable under all applicable statutes, rules and regulations. In the event the Point System is amended by the Village Board of Trustees/SAC, a written explanation of the changes shall be distributed to Active Members within 60 days of the date such changes are adopted.
Section 8 Persons who continue to be Active Members of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department after they attain the Entitlement Age shall have the opportunity to continue to earn service credit under the Point System. The additional monthly Service Award payment earned by a Participant during a calendar year shall commence to be paid as of January 1st in the next succeeding calendar year.
Section 9 Under Article 11-A of the General Municipal Law, the Village of Croton-On-Hudson shall be the Service Award Program “Sponsor” and the Village Board of Trustees shall be the “Trustees” of the Service Award Program Trust Fund. The Village Board of Trustees shall have the authority to manage or dispose of program assets and shall do so in the interest of the firefighters who participate in the program and the firefighters’ beneficiaries. The Village Board of Trustees may authorize individuals or entities to hold and invest the program assets. They may also seek investment counsel.
Section 10 The Village Board of Trustees may retain a qualified firm to assist them to administer the Program.
Section 11 The total calendar year 2004 annual cost, payable in calendar year 2005, of funding the Village of Croton-On-Hudson Service Award Program benefits is estimated to be about $150,000 or about $1,250 per firefighter, including the cost of administration. The estimated annual cost to administer the program for calendar year 2004 is about $3,500.
Section 12 Village of Croton-On-Hudson Service Award Program benefit payments shall commence to eligible firefighters after December 31, 2004 when they and/or their beneficiaries qualify for payment. No benefit shall be paid under the Program for a firefighter’s death occurring on or disability commencing before a firefighter becomes a Participant in the program.
Section 13 All other provisions of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson Service Award Program shall be in accordance with Article 11-A of the General Municipal Law as amended from time to time.
The appropriate officers of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson are authorized to and shall take the necessary actions to carry out this resolution.
Trustee Grant moved, Trustee Schmidt seconded, and the Village of Croton-On-Hudson, Village Board of Trustees voted as follows:
In Favor Opposed
Trustee McCarthy _______ ___X___
Trustee Schmidt ____X__ _______
Trustee Grant ____X__ _______
Mayor Elliott ____X__ _______
DISCUSSION PRIOR TO ROLL CALL VOTE:
Village Manager Herbek stated that the resolution essentially provides that that proposition be put before the election on March 16th and it will be up to the electorate to decide. Trustee McCarthy stated that there appears to be 2 line of duty disability provisions and she is not sure how the two provisions relate to each other; also she does not like the end of the draft summary and objects to the restriction not allowing reproduction of this document. Village Manager Herbek will talk to Pen flex, Inc. about that wording. Trustee McCarthy questioned if these disability provisions are mandated by law. Trustee Grant stated that it is her opinion that if a fireman is injured in the line of duty with the Village, he will continue to qualify for disability. Trustee Schmidt stated that there
are things in this document that need clarification; this document was written by Penflex and is different than what the group expected; it is important that the Board meet and talk about this. Trustee Grant stated that there should be a vote tonight so it can be on the ballot, but subject to clarification. Trustee McCarthy stated that the Fire Dept. asked the Board to propose a service award program utilizing a defined benefit program or a defined contribution program were options; she is in favor of a defined contribution program; this proposal could cost $150,000, but defined contribution could cost $58,000; she is not comfortable with this proposal; the Board could do better; she asked the Board members to sit down and discuss this again. Trustee Grant stated that they all support the Fire Dept. whose members are taxpayers, too, and are deserving of an award program; she believes the Board can agree on a proposition; other communities have incentive programs
for fire dept. members and Croton is remiss in not having one. Trustee Schmidt stated that this was written by an entity whose job is to sell this program and it behooves the Board to review this document for legal clarification. Chief Bill Vlad stated that they had to anticipate that everyone has to make the goal; they anticipated the higher cost expecting all will be meeting the requirements; it is also expecting fire dept. members to provide a lot more to the community in order to receive these benefits; they will have a mailing and public hearings; this first came up in 1992 and was put aside because of fire houses and apparatus; they have lost 10 years and should not wait any longer. Village
Attorney Waldman stated that Section 4 is the critical section that needs to be reviewed; the draft summary of program provisions which includes Item 15 is not part of what is being adopted by the Board; the Board is asking just to take the action as stated in the Resolution. Village Manager Herbek added that he will try to get Ed Houlihan on a conference call the night of the work session to answer questions. Attorney Waldman added that the costs seem to be limited in two ways-maximum if the unexpected happens and the resolution indicates the disability does not yield an additional cost because you’re dealing with actuarially accrued benefits; he deals with defined benefit and defined contribution plans all the time; defined contribution plans can be higher or can be lower because of investment fluctuations and people who are depending on defined contributions are suffering now and are dealing with a much reduced figure at present.
c) 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, Galena Feit has purchased the corner property at the intersection of Prospect Place and Old Post Road North and is pursuing the development of this site known as the Hudson View Subdivision; and
WHEREAS, this project has been discussed with the Village Board and Planning Board and the Village requested a proposal from Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers to provide engineering services in relation to a hydrologic study of the proposed storm water detention facility as part of this project; and
WHEREAS, the Village received a proposal from Dvirka and Bartilucci dated September 26, 2003 to undertake this study and prepare a draft report for an estimated cost of $7,900; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board has agreed that the cost for this study should be split between the Village and Galena Feit as the proposed storm water detention facility and outfall structure will potentially benefit both the property owner and the Village, and
WHEREAS, on January 2, 2004, Galena Feit provided a check made out to the Village in the amount of $3,950 and the Village’s share of the cost is $3,950,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer charge the Village’s portion of this cost to account #001 8140 0400 and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement dated September 26, 2003 with Dvirka and Bartilucci to provide engineering services in relation to a hydrology/ hydrologic study of the proposed storm water detention facility located on the proposed Hudson View Subdivision for an estimated cost of $7,900.
d) 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:
RESOLVED: that the annual Village Election of the Village of
Croton on Hudson, NY, shall be held Tuesday,
March 16, 2004, at the following polling place:
Community Room, Municipal Building
in the Village of Croton on Hudson, at which election
the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on December 15, 2003 as corrected. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. The Board voted approval with Trustee McCarthy abstaining.
Village Manager Herbek announced next Monday’s work session agenda which will include: proposed request for a zone change for the Masonic Hall, the tennis court issue, employee parking on S. Riverside Ave., the Village’s leaf collection program, proposed amendments to the Village noise law, sidewalks and concrete storage.
Trustee McCarthy reported that she received the Croton on Hudson Police Assn. calendar; they do a good job.
Trustee Schmidt stated that they all received a copy of the Westchester Co. Dept. of Planning calendar which includes several pictures of Village Manager Herbek.
Trustee Grant offered thanks to Nancy Shatzkin, Rick Herbek and Housing Network for making this affordable housing project happen.
Mayor Elliott thanked members of the fire dept for the fine work they do.
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Grant seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary