A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, February 17, 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
Trustee Wiegman Trustee Schmidt
Absent: Treasurer Reardon, Village Attorney Waldman
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 $ 78,186.24
Water Fund 3,222.50
Capital Accounts 159,996.82
Trust & Agency 602.25
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from Frank Fish, Buckhurst Fish & Jacquemart, regarding the Gateway ordinance FGEIS. Village Manager Herbek stated that the Board has the options to adopt this tonight or wait until March 1st and put it back on the agenda then. Trustee Wiegman stated that he is pleased with the thoroughness of the responses to the feedback; he is comfortable in proceeding with adopting it as is. Trustee Grant stated that she is also comfortable in adopting it. Trustee McCarthy questioned why the land as one comes off Rt. 9, such as the Albert property and the property across the street, is not included since it fits all three criteria.
Mayor Elliott replied that if the Board wants to change it they may, he is willing to accept it as the Comprehensive Plan Committee has presented, but if the Board wants to change it, it is fine with him. Trustee Grant replied that the decision to draw the line someplace needed to be made; the other side of the street, not included, is a Light Industrial zone and the rest are not. Trustee Schmidt added that the Board has gone around on this issue and he is willing to accept the rationale set by the Committee but the Board may revisit this at a future time. Trustee Wiegman stated that a great deal of thought has gone into planning how these existing pieces of zoning are likely to be affected by an additional overlay; the rationale was sensible; it is an experiment for the Village; he feels that they should go through the process for 3 discreet areas and at a later date it can be expanded elsewhere if it works well. Trustee McCarthy added that one has to
judge the districts against the criteria; clearly the whole area as you come off Rt. 9 should be included.
Trustee Grant made a motion to adopt the FGEIS as written; seconded by Trustee Wiegman. Vote was taken with Trustee McCarthy abstained (later clarified that she was not voting); all others voted yes.
b) A letter from Mark Mannix, MetroNorth Railroad regarding new signs being installed at the entrances of their station buildings. Trustee Schmidt stated that he would like a few things addressed with MetroNorth, such as cleanliness and noise; the station is dirty and there is a lot of debris as you look down at the tracks. Trustee Grant reported that in response to email from a resident about constant noise and the lack of response from MetroNorth officials and their not meeting the obligations they had promised when new equipment was installed, she and Mr. Herbek spoke with several representatives from MetroNorth; they received what seemed to be reasonable explanations which she reiterated.
Trustee Grant stated that she called the Hot Line several times and left a number; she always got an answering machine and has not received a phone call back; the Village is trying to get a report from the noise monitor that is in place; she will follow up. Trustee Schmidt asked what are they going to do to fix multiple noise problems; there is a need for the Village to go into a meeting with some way to explain the impact of noise to surrounding residents.
c) A letter from Francis B. McKenna, Chair, Westchester County Planning Board, regarding a change of policy on municipal referrals that are required under NYS law for certain planning and zoning matters.
d) A letter from the Water Control Commission regarding the proposed Stencil-A-Drain program. Charlie Kane, Chair, presented the proposal and added that they hope to start in May.
e) A letter from Jane P. Laudon, thanking the Ambulance Corp. and Police Dept. For their professionalism, dedication and assistance during 2 family emergencies.
f) A Notice of Intent from the Town of Cortlandt to act a lead agency for a proposed adoption of a Comprehensive Master Plan.
g) A letter from the Recreation Advisory Committee with Youth Program needs and concerns; a Youth Center will be needed in the near future.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION:
a) Fran Allen spoke about recent decisions regarding the Millennium Pipeline; Millennium has appealed the court s decision; today they changed their project and the route; they will travel from Buffalo to Ramapo on existing rights of way; Phase 2 depends on the outcome of the appeal.
b) Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., stated that she will provide Mr. Burniston and the Board with a copy of her statement on January 26th; she is asking the Gazette to inform the public of what occurred on January 26th; she clarified that the Concerned Citizens of Croton is a private email list only and does not need to be registered; on February 9th she sent the Board a copy of an email she received from Valley Carting and asked for a follow-up. She added that the MetroEnviro fine was reduced to $125,000; the Commission is weak and impotent; she urged residents to read David Tuttle s letter in the Gazette
regarding this fine. She added that she is glad that the Croton River Wellfield will be closed eventually. Ms. Cudequest requested to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Water Control Commission. Ms. Cudequest questioned Mayor Elliott about statements he made in the Journal News; he replied that he was not speaking about any specific person.
c) Richard Pellici, 65 Radnor Ave., also questioned statements made in the Journal News regarding the Village s water system. Mayor Elliott responded that he based his answer that there is no danger to the Village s water on the Army Corps of Engineers and the Village Engineer who is an expert in that area. Mr. Pellici added that the reason he is involved with MetroEnviro and the trash around town is because he hates garbage and is concerned about his property values. He stated that he understands that the Village and the Village Engineer have been instructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Mr. John Belton, NY District Office, to build
a sediment barrier, to remove the concrete & asphalt waste by May, remove buried waste, reseed the area with native plants, and send photos to the Army Corp to show the restoration.
d) Joanne Minnett, 5 Van Cortlandt Place, referred to a letter by Trustee Grant in the Gazette regarding Ms. Minnett s statements about the Village. Ms. Minnett responded that the issues she has brought up are legitimate safety and quality of life issues; she believes these are concerns not complaints.
e) Bob Wintermeir, 43 Radnor Ave., complemented the picture on the Village web site showing skaters at the Duck Pond; he has sent it to people who no longer live in Croton. Mr. Wintermeir stated also that Village Manager Herbek was on cable TV regarding emergency planning. Mr. Herbek replied that they are trying to utilize the Public Access Channel more; there are resources and additional equipment available that may be needed in event of a disaster; he and the staff have been taking an active role in being as prepared as possible in the event of an emergency. He added that Election Night they will use the Government Access Channel starting at 9
pm. Mr. Wintermeir stated that he endorsed Ms. Cudequest for inclusion on the Water Control Commission. Regarding the Stencil Program, he had concerns about kids using spray paint cans for this stenciling, it is hazardous to their health; also the Board should provide gloves, etc. and not require volunteers to purchase the equipment and also include the Duck Pond area. Mr. Wintermeir stated that the Village must make industries like MetroEnviro and Millennium stop the litigation and take action to correct the problems they create in the Village. He added that regarding the noise at the railroad, Charlie Kane is a long time resident, a supervisor for MetroNorth railroad and a candidate for Trustee; he would like him to address some of the problems to get the railroad to reduce the noise; he hopes Trustee Grant will verify the db level and how often it goes above it and the turn-around time the Hot Line expects to respond to an inquiry. Mr. Wintermeir added
that he would like to know what other communities are doing about their similar problems with the railroad. He stated also that he considers the Gateway contract arbitrary; the response that they had to start somewhere is a bogus excuse. Regarding the Millennium Pipeline, he thanked Fran Allen for her service in this regard, but if the pipeline stops at Ramapo, there is no reason they should not come across the river.
f) Mark Aarons, 18 Georgia Lane, noted that the Dept. of Commerce Appeal concerns whether or not the US can lower the reliance on foreign energy resources and questioned if Millennium has ever thought Canadian gas is foreign. He added that he is concerned that a number of trains have been cancelled on a somewhat regular basis this winter; has anyone from the Village contacted MetroNorth to make sure the allocation for new cars will be on the Hudson Line; Croton has a lot of commuters. Trustee Wiegman responded that MetroNorth s capital improvement program is addressing new cars for the entire system; the fact that fewer repairs are passing through
Croton is a plus; Mark Mannix has said they see growth opportunities for the Harlem line which is driving the need for more trains. Mr. Aarons spoke about a letter Mr. Burniston wrote to the Gazette and he believes Mr. Burniston had no facts to support his views. Mr. Aarons also had dialog with Mayor Elliott regarding the article in the Journal News. Trustee Grant made a motion to adjourn the meeting; there was no second; Trustee Grant withdrew her motion.
a. On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Schmidt, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees Wiegman, Schmidt, Grant and Mayor Elliott, aye; Trustee McCarthy did not vote on it.
WHEREAS, on September 2, 2003, the Village Board established a temporary moratorium on certain building and development in the proposed gateway districts of the Village; and
WHEREAS, this Moratorium is due to expire on March 2, 2004; and
WHEREAS, the proposed Gateway Overlay Districts Law has not yet been adopted and the Village Board intends to approve a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement and adopt a Statement of Findings before the Law can be adopted; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board is concerned about possible development activity in proposed gateway districts,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a Public Hearing on March 1, 2004 at 8 pm at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2004, extending the Year 2003 Interim Development Moratorium Law for the Proposed Gateway Districts within the Village of Croton on Hudson.
b) On motion of TRUSTEE Grant, seconded by TRUSTEE Schmidt, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village has purchased a certain parcel of land known as the McClure Property with the intention of utilizing this property as part of an affordable housing project being pursued by the Croton Housing Network; and
WHEREAS, this property is known on the tax map and tax assessment rolls of the Village as Section 67.20, Block 3, Lot 2; and
WHEREAS, this parcel is currently zoned Residential RA-40; and
WHEREAS, it is the intention of the Westchester County Planning Department to purchase this property from the Village utilizing certain grant funds available to the County for affordable housing projects; and
WHEREAS, before the County purchases this property it is necessary for the property to be rezoned to Residential RC so that it can be utilized for affordable housing purposes; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 2 of the year 2004 has been drafted which will change the zoning designation of this parcel from Residential RA-40 to Residential RC; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as the environmental impact of the approval of this Local Law,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board determines that this is an unlisted action and declares itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board authorizes the preparation of a short EAF to be circulated to the Westchester County Planning Department and the Village Planning Board,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board hereby calls for a Public Hearing to be held on March 15, 2004 at 8 pm at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2004, a local law changing the zoning designation of a certain parcel of land within the Village,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Board will consider whether or not to adopt the Negative Declaration with respect to this matter during the Public Hearing.
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 Village has been working with Dvirka and Bartilucci on complying with the new Phase II Storm Water regulations; and
WHEREAS, as part of these regulations the Village is required to hold an annual public meeting and produce an associated annual report; and
WHEREAS, Dvirka and Bartilucci has submitted a proposal for $4,500 to cover its technical services with regard to these obligations,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to accept the proposal with Dvirka and Bartilucci for $4,500 for its services with regard to the Phase II storm water regulations,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to account #8140-0400.
d) 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 last agreement with the Holy Name of Mary Parish concerning the parking lot adjacent to Vassallo Park expired July 31, 2002; and
WHEREAS, a new agreement was drawn up for the period from August 1, 2002-May 31, 2007; and
WHEREAS, this agreement has now been signed by Pastor Michael Keane,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement between Holy Name of Mary Parish and Village of Croton on Hudson for the use of the parking lot near Vassallo Park.
Discussion: Trustee Schmidt asked what the past rent increases were. Village Manager Herbek replied both this and the agreement with Asbury Methodist have been increased by about $100.00 per year; both are treated the same.
e) 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 2003-2004 capital budget called for the purchase of a new ambulance at a cost of $135,000; and
WHEREAS, six bid packages were mailed to six vendors; and
WHEREAS, only one bid was received on February 4, 2004, the bid opening date; and
WHEREAS, this bid was from Specialty Vehicle Sales Corp, which met all specifications, for the amount of $124,272.00,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the bid to Specialty Vehicle Sales Corp of 180 Dupont Street, Plainview, NY 11803 at a cost of $124,272.00,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this cost should be charged to Capital Account #003-3410-0200-0304-0099.
Discussion: Trustee McCarthy asked if this is similar in style to the type of ambulance now; she had heard complaints. Reply: this is a van chassis style and will provide a smooth ride and is an improvement. Trustee Schmidt asked if this comes outfitted or will there be additional costs. Reply: some equipment such as the roller bed may have to be replaced as normal maintenance and repair, but there will be no great additional costs. Trustee Grant asked why there was only one bid when six were sent out. Reply: there is no explanation and the bid time was even extended.
e) 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, all municipalities throughout the State have been put on notice by the NY State Comptroller that retirement costs for FY 2004-2005 would be dramatically increased over last year s amounts: and
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer in anticipation of these increases has created an accrued liability in the General Fund for the retirement costs for the months of April and May of 2004; and
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has also created a designated fund balance account for future General Fund retirement costs; and
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer wishes to transfer the accrued liability balances and any unused retirement funds in FY 2003-2004 to the new designated fund balance account in anticipation of the retirement increases for 2004-2005.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the Village Treasurer to move all said balances in the general ledger accounts of the General and Water Fund. Accounts 001-0001-0830, and 002-0002-830 (Reserved for Future Employment Benefits) to help offset future costs.
Discussion: Trustee Grant asked why Water Fund funds will be used. Village Manager Herbek replied that it is retirement fund portion of the Water fund balance. Trustee Wiegman inquired why only April and May are being used. Village Manager Herbek replied that they will be going on a cash basis and will not be able to use April and May later. Trustee Schmidt stated that is a good thing to have funded this in anticipation of such a large bill. Trustee McCarthy asked if it is known what potential percentage impact it will have on the next budget year. Village Manager Herbek replied that they are trying to mitigate this as much as possible; last year they funded more than the obligation and this money will be transferred into this account; it will help, but no
municipality fully anticipated the impact of what they were going to be billed for; there are a number of bills pending in the Legislature. Trustee McCarthy asked what dollar increase is projected for the Village from this year to next. Village Manager Herbek replied that the Village s retirement bill is projected to be $800,000 this year which is more than double last year s bill.
6. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the minutes as corrected, but subject to further correction. Trustee Schmidt seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek reported that they are diligently working on the budget; it must be filed by March 20th. He reported also that the Brook Street grade crossing elimination project is underway; he attended a project meeting last week-the Senasqua Rd. picture tunnel has been closed off because of remedial work that is being done; it will be closed until the end of the project which is scheduled for March of 2005, but they are trying to get the work done by the end of 2004. Trustee Schmidt stated that the tunnel was closed prior to the start of the project because of an ice build up and it is closed to everyone; MetroNorth wants to remind everyone that when using the grade crossing, if there is a car in front of you, do not attempt to cross until that car has cleared.
Trustee Wiegman stated that he does not believe there is an opening on the Water Control Commission; any stencil work that is done will be adult-supervised. He added that regarding the Recreation Dept. center, he hopes the engineer will find time to work on a design to give them some space in the Municipal Building within the next 24 months. Trustee Wiegman stated that with Millennium s new route, he hopes that this reduces the Village s need to bear the financial burden for legal fees if they do not pursue crossing the Hudson. Trustee Wiegman reported that a number of things about Indian Point that are provisionally good news, he will do some exploration to see if there is any symbolic step the Village can take to push this issue a little further as some surrounding communities have
Trustee McCarthy reported that she expects her amendment to the noise law will be on the agenda next meeting; she is seeking to amend this law to impose additional restrictions on snow clearing operations on commercial properties that are within 50 feet of residential districts; any residents can make their concerns known to Board members.
Trustee Schmidt reported that Westchester County is not going to change any bus routes for now. He thanked Gary for his work with the youths in the Village and they really do need the additional space. Trustee Schmidt asked if Quaker Bridge is designated as a one-lane bridge. Mayor Elliott replied that as a practical matter it is as you cannot get two cars across it and it is a designated historic site; they did speak to the Town to put some signs up on either side. Trustee Schmidt suggested putting these signs up temporarily. He asked if there is someone he can contact in MetroNorth to see about setting up a liaison with them. Mayor Elliott replied that there is a Board with passenger advocate representatives on it, but he can get further information. Trustee
Schmidt stated that it is the political season, but he hopes everyone goes home, takes a deep breath and comes back with a little less tone on both sides so they come out at the end of this process as a community not a divided entity; a community of this size cannot be split on these kinds of issues; all are here for the same purpose to make this a better place and need to work down that avenue.
Trustee Grant stated that she thanks Trustee Schmidt for his comments; the screaming matches are not pleasant for the people in the audience, the Board members or members of the community; the Board agreed they would do their best to control these screaming matches and by and large have not done a bad job; she does not want to subject anyone to that kind of behavior; this is one Village and everyone is out for the good of the Village whether or not they agree with decisions or the statements that are made.
Mayor Elliott reported that on Sunday, Feb. 29th at the High School, the Teen Theater is holding a fund-raiser at 3 p.m. Mayor Elliott announced that Village Manager Herbek has been nominated for the position of Regional Vice President of ICMA, which reflects the high status and regard his colleagues have for him.
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Grant seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary