A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, June 1, 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 Wiegman
Treasurer Reardon Trustee Schmidt
Village Attorney Waldman Trustee Kane
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Peter Anfiteatro was officially appointed fire inspector to replace Frank Pusatere. He is a 23 year member of the Fire Department; he has held several offices; is a life long Croton resident and has all the necessary qualifications for the position; he has earned numerous certificates and will be working in Dan O’Connor’s office. Mr. Anfiteatro’s other assignments and responsibilities include fire inspections, water department cross connection control program; general code enforcement, the sign permit program and others as required.
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 Wiegman and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 2,634,240.61
Water Fund 320,523.04
Capital Accounts 16,853.64
Trust & Agency 1,660.00
Debt Service 252,930.72
3. PUBLIC HEARING
Mayor Elliott opened the Public Hearing amending Chapter 50-1-residency requirement waiver to public comment.
Ann DiCioccio, 12 Irving Ave., asked whom this is for. Village Manager Herbek replied that it is specifically for 2 people and is a part of dividing the positions of Village Manager and Village Clerk. Ms. DiCioccio stated that she has heard rumors that the mayor does not live in Croton. Mayor Elliott replied that he does indeed live in Croton and he has lived in Croton for a long time.
No further comments were offered; Mayor Elliott closed the Public Hearing.
On motion of Trustee Kane, seconded by Trustee Schmidt, a resolution amending Chapter 50-1 of the Village Code regarding residency requirement of certain Village officials was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton on Hudson, New York:
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Local Law Filing 41 STATE STREET, ALBANY, NY 12231
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Local Law No. 6 of the year 2004
A local law amending Chapter 50-1 of the Village Code regarding residency requirement of certain Village officials.
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the
Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
Section 1. Section 50-1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Pursuant to $3-300, Subdivision 2, of the Village Law, it is hereby provided that the following officers of the Village of Croton on Hudson need not reside within the village but may reside within the State of New York:
A. Village Manager
B. Village Clerk
Section 2. This local law shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.
Village Manager Herbek announced that the Village has received a top municipal award from the Westchester Interfaith Housing Corp. for its efforts over the years on behalf of affordable housing. He displayed the plaque received. Nancy Shatzkin, 132 Old Post Rd. N stated that this is an award to the Village for encouraging affordable housing throughout the Village.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
(not on agenda). A letter from Ron Aha requesting to use the parking lot on June 19th and 20th for the Clearwater festival. Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve, with the usual caveats; Trustee Kane seconded the motion, approved by all.
A letter from Debbi Braddick regarding the time limit for speakers.
A letter from Debbi & Ed Braddick in support of Peter Tsagarakis request to upgrade the Croton Diner
A letter from the Croton Free Library Board of Trustees reporting on their Book and Bake sale held on May 16th and thanking everyone for their assistance.
A memo from Ann Gallelli on behalf of the Planning Board, regarding the landscaping at the Richard Albert site. Trustee Schmidt asked if that means they should take down the plants. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is a decision of the Board. Francesca Sampsel, Mt. Airy Rd., stated that she spent nearly 2 yrs getting necessary approvals for the wall, working with the Planning Board and raising $25,000 to put the mural up; those people who contributed did not think it would be covered by evergreens in a few years; at the meeting with the landscaper, the compromise was grass, not stones; this is not Mr. Albert’s property and he may be willing to move the trees. It was the consensus of Board to approach Mr. Albert to see if he is willing to move trees. Village Manager Herbek will work out the details. Trustee Grant stated that an amendment to site plan may be needed. Ann Gallelli added that her memo was in response to a request from the Board for an explanation;
6. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION: (Agenda items)
Don Daubney 45 Bungalow Rd. asked what the Planning Board’s recommendation is on the Public Hearing on tonight’s agenda regarding a school at 138 Maple St. Village Attorney Waldman replied that their recommendation is to approve with various conditions specified by the Zoning Board and the Planning Board.
Ann DiCioccio 12 Irving Ave., asked if that means there will be 1st grade at this school? Mayor Elliott replied that it is a pre school now and will go up to 2nd grade. Ms. DiCioccio asked if there would not be a lot of traffic and what will they do about it; it is a narrow, busy street; it should not be approved for that street. Mayor Elliott replied that there are several other schools, day care centers and playgrounds on that street. Ms. DiCioccio stated that getting a new logo is a good idea, however, $20,000 is quite pricey for a logo. Trustee Schmidt replied that part of that is a creation of electronic files, not just the design; $20,000 is the total budget. Mayor Elliott reminded that this will be a phase-in project to be done over the
years and as items need to be ordered. Ms. DiCioccio asked how does one determine what is low-income and/or affordable housing. Mayor Elliott replied that there is a formula used to arrive at these designations. Nancy Shatzkin explained the formula which is in part based on the Westchester County median income; other grants are available for lower percentages; it has to do with funding of affordable housing; Section 8 is designed to provide vouchers to allow residents to pay no more than 30% of their income toward housing; the balance is paid by County, State, Federal funds; it was designed to encourage builders to provide housing for those at the lower edge of the income spectrum; the Croton Housing Network has used funds from both programs. Ms. DiCioccio added that things should be labeled correctly; she believes that the new proposed housing is not affordable housing, but should be considered low-income housing.
Richard Lee, 82 Grand St., regarding the affordable housing, section 8 issue, he would like verification if the new project is affordable housing or low income housing; affordable housing should be for teachers, police or fire people to enable them to live in the village; it should not be for those who qualify for voucher assistance. Mayor Elliott replied that in the selection process, the teacher, fireman, etc. are taken into consideration first. Mr. Lee stated that this should be written in the Village zoning code as other municipalities have done.
Susan Koenig, 37 Elmore, stated that she saw in the newspaper about a logo search, which is great. She added that she protests that MetroEnviro is not on the agenda, but she does not want to wait until later to speak on this; people want to know what is going on after spending a lot of time and funds. Mayor Elliott replied that they will be meeting later this evening on MetroEnviro.
Mark Aarons, Georgia Lane, regarding the Affordable Housing on South Mt. Airy, this is a concern; traveling south on Mt. Airy right now there is a traffic problem due to the need for parking which is now inching onto Mt. Airy S; it is a dangerous situation developing; if one is not familiar with this road, especially at night, there will be a head-on collision; thinking about adding another egress into that area is not a bright idea, it will create more risk. Mr. Aarons added that spending $20,000 on a logo is too much; he has had a logo developed and paid $400; this is spending money recklessly; it is not necessary to spend this kind of money.
Joann Minnett, Van Cortlandt Place stated that the Board should spend tax dollars for a sidewalk on Municipal Place- North side.
b) (taken out of agenda order) Kevin McManus, on behalf of the VEB, summarized the background of the request for designing a new Village logo; a RFP was issued in 2003; nine firms submitted proposals; this was reduced to four firms; interviews were held; the VEB unanimously recommend Elton Robinson. Trustee Grant asked if the VEB has consulted with the Historical Society and the Friends of History; Mr. Robinson might benefit from their input. The reply was that they have not gotten to that stage; many groups will be interviewed. Trustee Schmidt added that this will be a phased-in project when the logo is chosen.
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, over the past two decades or more, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson has used an Iroquois Indian in a circular logo on its official letterhead; and
WHEREAS, over the same period, the Croton Police Department, Croton Fire Department, and Village Justice Department have featured different sets of images for each of their logos; and
WHEREAS, over the past few years the Recreation Department has utilized a tree-based logo; and
WHEREAS, over the past few years the Village has installed wayfinding signs and park identification signs featuring a sailboat, and the Village’s website also features a sailboat; and
WHEREAS, in 2003, the Village Board requested the Advisory Board on the Visual Environment (VEB) to draft a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design of a new Village logo which would be used as the Village’s official logo by all departments, commissions and Boards; and
WHEREAS, nine firms and designers submitted proposals of which four were interviewed by the VEB; and
WHEREAS, on May 19, 2004, in a joint work session with the Village Board and chair of the Planning Board, the VEB presented its selection process for recommending a designer to the Village for the logo development project and recommended Elton Robinson to the Village for this project,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees authorizes the VEB to enter into discussions with Elton Robinson to develop a scope of services for the design of an official logo for the Village.
a) 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 Village recently purchased the property at 13 Mount Airy Road with the intention of developing it for affordable housing to be known as Symphony Knoll; and
WHEREAS, it will be necessary to work with a developer for this project; and
WHEREAS, the Village sent out Requests for Qualifications on April 15, 2004 to four developers including the Croton Housing Network; and
WHEREAS, only the Croton Housing Network returned a proposal to the Village; and
WHEREAS, the Village has had a long and successful partnership with the Croton Housing Network on past affordable housing projects,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby appoints the Croton Housing Network to be the developer for the Symphony Knoll affordable housing project.
c. On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, seconded by TRUSTEE KANE, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, Barbara Sarbin, on behalf of Something Good in the World, has applied for a Special Permit to operate a school at 138 Maple Street; and
WHEREAS, this matter was referred to the Planning Board for their recommendation; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Board, having met with the applicant at its meeting of May 25, 2004 and conducted two site visits has now issued its recommendation regarding this application; and
WHEREAS, it is now necessary to call for a Public Hearing to consider the merits of this application,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing on June 28, 2004 at 8 pm at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider the special permit application of Something Good in the World.
d. On motion of TRUSTEE KANE, 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 radio communications building renovation will encompass the installation of a new 80-foot tower, pre-fabricated building, back-up generator, and upgrade to the radio equipment; and
WHEREAS, this project was approved in the 2003-2004 capital budget; and
WHEREAS, specifications were prepared for the upgrade to the radio equipment; and
WHEREAS, two bid packages were received and reviewed by 1st Assistant Fire Chief Gary Diggs and Sgt. Richard Corvinus; and
WHEREAS, Chief Diggs and Sgt Corvinus recommend that the Village award the bid to the low bidder, Metro Comm Wireless of Bedford Hills, NY at a cost of $49,679.44
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to award the bid for the police and fire dept radio communications project to Metro Comm Wireless at a price of $49,679.44
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount be charged to capital account #3140-0200-0304-100.
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 Village Engineering department would like to increase the number of approved electrical inspectors that can conduct inspections within the Village of Croton on Hudson; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineering department has received a proposal from New York Electrical Inspection Services, Inc. to perform electrical inspections within the Village of Croton on Hudson; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineer has reviewed this proposal and recommends that the Village Board approve this application; and
WHEREAS, all electrical inspectors must be approved by the Village Board of Trustees in accordance with Section 113-6 of the Village Code,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby approve New York Electrical Inspection Services, Inc. of Dobbs Ferry, NY to be one of the official electrical inspectors for the Village of Croton on Hudson.
8. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (non-agenda items)
Richard Lee, 82 Grand St., stated that in 1998 it appeared the major stumbling block with not approving MetroEnviro was that we would get sued and would lose; this is a non-issue now; he recommended that the Board close MetroEnviro down ASAP which was the will of the majority of the people.
David Goldman, 76 Young Ave., asked if Croton has served MetroEnviro with notice of entry of the Appellate Division order. Village Attorney Waldman replied that he assumes Mr. Gerrard is certainly aware of the requirement; he does not know the date, but time starts running upon service. David Golden urged the Board to bring to the public before any vote is taken, any proposed action that is not a strict enforcement of the recent court action; mistakes should not be repeated; he believes that there is virtually no possibility of the Village being liable for loss of profits if MetroEnviro is closed down.
Maria Cudequest 84 Grand St., stated that she is concerned about the lack of a comment from the Board regarding MetroEnviro; the word ‘alternatives’ was used at the last meeting; there are no alternatives to shutting this down; in the six years there has been a lot of blood-letting; she will explore options if facility is kept open. Ms. Cudequest asked if a decision will be made tonight and announced tomorrow. Mayor Elliott replied that it is up to the Board; he does not know what will come out of the meeting tonight; they will be getting advice from special counsel. Trustee Wiegman stated that what is written in the Gazette is correct to the extent that the Board has not made a decision and will be meeting with Mr. Gerrard tonight. Ms. Cudequest asked they ask
Mr. Gerrard what the exact number of days for the deadline is and make an announcement; she has spoken to several attorneys and believes the deadline should be coming up within the next week or so if the information they have been given is correct. Ms. Cudequest stated that she will be waiting and expects the Board to do the right thing.
Ann DiCioccio stated that the Metro Enviro permit was denied by the Board and the Village was taken to court; the process continued and now they have no permit, so why is everyone talking about something else going to happen if they don’t have a permit. Mayor Elliott replied that the Board is talking in Executive Session to special counsel about what needs to be done.
Joanne Minnett, 5 Van Cortlandt Place, stated that the Trustees will be making a very big decision for all the people who live in the Village. She added that she rented the tape of the May 3rd meeting that she missed; the discussion about the storm water; Phase II requires storm systems to be covered by a federal permit; the Clean Water Act was passed and the permit was to be filed by March 2003; the municipalities had 10 to 11 years to complete this; after knowing about this requirement for 26 years, why did the Village file for the permit on the very last date? Mayor Elliott replied that what was required to be filed was a plan and they will execute the plan. Village Manager Herbek replied that in order to comply, money must be spent- none of the smaller
municipalities complied earlier. He added that Dvirka and Bertolucci were hired for 2 items-one was to help with storm water management issues and they are in the process of implementing improvements and a plan of action is being implemented as quickly as they can; the Phase II storm water regulation is different; it is a series of items dealing with storm water runoff. Ms. Minnett added that the Clean Water Act was passed to protect the environment and wildlife, but where does Croton stand in filing for the permit and are they one of the last. Village Manager Herbek replied that Croton is far ahead of many and are exactly where they should be. Ms. Minnett asked if the Village has to meet regulations now or do we get penalized or fined? Mayor Elliott replied that these regulations are more for educating the public. Trustee Schmidt added that this is to clean up and reduce the amount of what was already going out and for education; where
necessary, filters have been installed. Ms. Minnet asked if the Village will get any grants having filed for this permit. Village Manager Herbek replied that he does not know of any grants with regard to the Phase II storm water regulations; however, there are some CDBG funds for other water-related items such as Kaplan’s Pond. Ms. Minnett stated that she has not heard of anything about problems of water retained at Brooks Street. Village Manager Herbek replied that improvements that are being made at Kaplan’s’ pond will substantially help the Brook St. drainage system and there is more work that will be done at High St and Brook St. systems that are in this year’s budget; the Village is receiving a $75,000 CDGB grant.
Trustee Schmidt stated that people are confused about the Phase II storm water management which deals with contaminates getting into the river versus the Village’s storm water management to prevent flooding which are separate but related projects; contaminates that end up in Hudson River do start in our own backyard. Dan O’Connor added that one reason they waited until the last minute was because it was a new program and the DEC made the Notice of Intent to File form available just a few weeks before deadline.
Susan Koenig, 37 Elmore, regarding concrete crushing on Rt. 129-the crusher is there but crushing hasn’t commenced and will obviously not be completed by the end of May; what is the status of the project; are there hay bales to protect the river? Village Manager Herbek replied that he never promised hay bales; a silt fence has been installed at the recommendation of Dan O’Connor; time-nothing is going to be flowing in direction of Croton River. He added that May was a target date, not a requirement but hopes that within a week the crushing will be completed; the site will be restored and revegetated.
9. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on May 17, 2004 as corrected. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. Trustees Kane, Wiegman and Schmidt and Mayor Elliott voted approval; Trustee Grant abstained.
Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session of the Board of Trustees held on May 17, 2004. Trustee Schmidt seconded the motion. Trustees Kane, Wiegman, Schmidt and Mayor Elliott voted approval; Trustee Grant abstained.
Trustee Wiegman reported that the County has received the money for the Croton Point Park ball field. He read text from the Westchester Interfaith Housing program of work done in the Village and suggested that some of this information be put on the Village website. Trustee Wiegman added that it might help answer some questions if part of Croton Housing Network proposal was put on website.
Trustee Kane reported that June 11th is Household Chemical Cleanup Day in Westchester Community College, Valhalla; many household items will be accepted as well as mercury thermometers and thermostats.
Trustee Schmidt reported that Summerfest is Sunday, June 6th. He added that the Memorial Day ceremony was wonderful and well attended. Trustee Schmidt added that he hopes the Board gets out a comment to the public very soon on MetroEnviro.
Trustee Grant reported that PVC and the Middle School participated in the national science program, Destination Imagination, one group from Croton took 2nd place out of over a thousand entries; another team took 5th place and yet another took 14th place; she offered congratulations to all the students. Trustee Grant gave congratulations to Mr. Aarons for being proclaimed Mr. Republican of the Year for Westchester County. Trustee Grant questioned if the 5-minute speaker’s limit being held? Mayor Elliott replied that, on balance, with comments from Board members, most comments have been kept to that on average. Trustee Schmidt asked about the reading of the letters. Mayor Elliott replied that the essence will continue to be offered
unless not possible, then the entire letter will be read.
Mayor Elliott asked for a motion to go to Executive Session with special council. Trustee Wiegman made the motion, seconded by Trustee Kane, approved by all. Ann Gallelli, representing the Planning Board was invited to attend.
This portion of the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary
Margaret Keesler, Village Clerk