A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 8, 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 Schmidt
Treasurer Zambrano Trustee Kane
Absent: Village Attorney Waldman, Trustee Wiegman
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Grant and approved unanimously.
General Fund $ 155,777.06
Water Fund 440.61
Capital Accounts 74,025.34
Trust & Agency 18,886.07
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
A letter from Sue Menz, Recreation Superintendent, requesting an amendment to the Village Code (Chapter 108-6) on dogs. Village Manager Herbek suggested that this be referred to the Village Attorney. The Recreation Advisory Committee wants clarification of the ball field and/or park question. The field in Croton Landing may be an issue whether classified as a ball field or a park.
A notice of Tentative State Equalization Rate for 2004 Assessment Roll from the NYS Board of Real Property Services. Village Manager Herbek stated that the rate is continuing to go down as expected; as property values increase, the equalization rate decreases; this will lower franchise rates.
A letter from Althea Corey, Director, Van Cortlandt Manor, with the annual request from Historic Hudson Valley to hold bonfires during candlelight tours on December 18, 19 and 26. Request was approved by the Board.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., regarding authorizing the Village Manager to sign a retainer agreement, asked what is this for and how much will it run. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is for assistance with labor relation negotiations with unions and employment law matters; the amount changes from year to year but has always been within the allocated budget; $16,000 was previously budgeted for labor relations.
a) 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, on October 13, 2004 there was a bid opening for a new fire pumper to replace a 1984 vehicle; and
WHEREAS, only one bid was received from Excelsior Fire Equipment Sales at a cost of $478,676; and
WHEREAS, the unit bid meets all specifications; and
WHEREAS, the amount available in the capital account is $409,824; and
WHEREAS, Fire Chief William Vlad recommends awarding this bid;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to award the bid to Excelsior Fire Equipment Sales,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that 50% will be prepaid resulting in a $7,426.66 discount
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that $239,338 will be charged to capital account # 003 3410 200 045 115
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the balance of $61,426 will be appropriated out of fund balance at the end of the 2004-05 fiscal year or added to the operating budget of the 2005-06 fiscal year.
Discussion: Trustee Schmidt asked if the other bidders were contacted to see why they not bid. Treasurer Zambrano replied that they did not contact those who did not respond. Trustee Grant added that the cost of steel has increased in the past year dramatically.
b) On motion of TRUSTEE GRANT, 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, the retainer agreement with Bond, Schoeneck & King for labor relations and employment law matters is due to expire on January 17, 2005, and
WHEREAS, the Village has received a new retainer agreement covering the period from January 18, 2005 through January 17, 2007,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the retainer agreement with Bond, Schoeneck & King.
Discussion: Trustee Schmidt, in answer to a previous question: the retainer is $5,000 per year for 2 years. Village Manager Herbek added that there are additional costs when 20 hours is exceeded. The labor relations agreement with teamsters is close to being settled; this has taken some time, but the agreement will be for 3 or 4 years; however, the contract with the Croton Police Association is due to expire and they will be in negotiations with them in 2005. Trustee Grant asked what is the advantage of billing of 1/10th of an hour? Trustee Schmidt replied that it is to the Village’s’ advantage to be billed for 1/10th of an hour. Trustee Schmidt asked if this satisfies the auditing requirement. Village Manager Herbek replied that it does.
c) On motion of TRUSTEE KANE, 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 received NYS DEC and Army Corp of Engineers Permits to undertake dredging at the Croton Yacht Club Marina; and
WHEREAS, the bid opening for this project was November 2, 2004 and one bid was received; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineer has reviewed the proposal and recommends awarding the contract to Acqua Dredge Inc. for $173,015; and
WHEREAS, the actual costs will be based on the actual cubic yards dredged and the recent storms may have increased the amount to be dredged in order to get to the required depth; and
WHEREAS, the original amount budgeted for this project was $150,000; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineer estimates that the project will now cost $180,000; and
WHEREAS, the Village has received a check from the Croton Yacht Club in the amount of $90,000 to cover half the cost of the project,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to award the contract to Acqua Dredge,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to capital account # 003-7140-200-0405-124,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is authorized to amend the 2004-205 General Fund Budget as follows:
1. Increase 003-7140-0200-0405-0124 by $105,000
2. Decrease 001-1990-0400 by $15,000 (contingent account)
Discussion: Trustee Schmidt asked what alternate A. is. Village Manager Herbek replied that when water ring basin is created, this will hydro seed the birm.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., thanked Village Manager Herbek and Dan O’Connor for going down to the MetroEnviro site in response to his e-mail to see a huge truck with a very deep container; he questioned how cost effective it would be for a truck of that size to travel that far from Connecticut to bring c&d material; we do not have any monitoring in place and who knows what material is being dumped there. He added that this Village could use more revenue but the problem is a majority of residents will not put up with this legacy any longer. Mr. Pellicci asked how many signatures have been gotten on the silent majority petition. Village Manager Herbek replied that he has seen only part of the petition; he has been told more pages are still to arrive. Mr. Pellicci stated
that Trustees do not know what to do with residents who come to Board meetings year after year; but they are not going away.
Maria Cudequest 84 Grand St., stated that she has two items & questions: Allied Waste is a publicly traded and national company; it has a legendary reputation of dumping materials anywhere; as recently as Nov. 5th, the Pennsylvania DEP fined a subsidiary of Allied Waste $16,000 for regularly dumping recyclables with other wastes; these co-mingling incidents are not uncommon. She added that a Public Hearing was held in September on whether or not to settle with MetroEnviro; she has received no real answers yet; a FOIL was obtained in October that showed Mr. Steinmetz sent a letter to the court; she read a portion of the letter. Ms. Cudequest questioned who in the Village gave their consent to a settlement if this is true; she stated that if incorrect, the Village would have had
adequate time to have written to Mr. Steinmetz to correct his information. Mayor Elliott replied that they are in litigation and counsel has advised not to discuss these matters; he will attempt to get Mr. Gerrard to the next Board meeting to answer that and other questions. Trustee Grant stated that she will not rise to the bait that obviously has been put out there; they will not get answers to these questions until the Board is released from the gag order; the Board has not been a part of these negotiations and they have not met as a board with the attorneys since the first meeting authorizing the attorneys to negotiate, except in a public hearing. Trustee Schmidt added that since September 27th, the Board has been given no information on what is going on; the Board should know what is going on; it is important as they are going through this process to have some statement issued about what is going on; he finds it objectionable, the Trustees should
have information on who is talking to whom so they can inform residents; can we get an assessment? Trustee Schmidt stated that he expects to be told and should not have to ask.
Tom Brennan, 21 North Riverside; Trustee Grant is being presumptuous; Trustee Schmidt is not closing his ears and eyes to what is going on. Trustee Schmidt stated that Trustee Grant did not say what Mr. Brennan assumes. Mr. Brennan added that it doesn’t seem right that no attorney has come back with proposals but they have the ability to discuss an agreement; this is conflicting information to residents. Trustee Grant replied that the lawyers cannot make any decisions; they have to come back to the Board; she envisions that the attorneys have taken all concerns, etc. that were brought to the table, have discussed them and will come back with more proposals. Mr. Brennan, stated that he is100% behind the firemen, but is confused when he read in the paper that only 1 bid was
received; is there only one company who makes fire engines? Mayor Elliott replied that this went out to six companies but only one bid was received.
Susan Koenig, 37 Elmore; finds it hard to comprehend why Mayor Elliott is not demanding updates from Attorney Gerrard; this information should be passed on regularly to residents; she has talked to an attorney who told her that any negotiations are not confidential; they should be made public; the mayor should demand updates.
Joanne Minnett stated that she received an article from Croton-Cortland News dated December 1981 with the headline “a deal with the devil”. She read excerpts from the article about the closing of the County Landfill. Ms. Minnett commented that history is repeating itself. She added that the Board has decided to keep this open, not the residents; they have seen over 100 people come and say they do not want this in the Village; only 3 people spoke who want it. She feels that it should be put to a vote; taking a buy-out from MetroEnviro will not save the Village.
Ann DiCioccio stated that there may be a lot more happening that people do not hear about; Trustee Grant does speak to the people even if they don’t always like what she says. Ms. DiCioccio added that she has a funny feeling that something is going on behind the scenes; MetroEnviro is open; no idea what is going on there, no monitor. Ms. DiCioccio asked what is happening with the brown water situation. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is going out to bid in January or February; they had hoped to get to it earlier, but it was held up by a Health Dept review of the plans; they are in the process of providing the last piece of information to the Health Dept.; this is a very old system, it is a complicated job, an engineering firm has been working on the plans and hope to have
it completed the end of 2005 or the beginning of 2006; this is a high priority project. Trustee Schmidt stated that they should look at the next section that needs to be done. Village Manager Herbek replied that this is just phase 1.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Schmidt made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on October 25, 2004 as corrected. Trustee Grant seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Village Manager Herbek reported that the leaves are falling and blowing; some residents have been taking advantage of bagging; the bags are available at no cost from the Village Department of Public Works; bags are collected once a week; they will let people know via the Village web site, the places where vacuuming is being done; if an area is not completed, it will be added to the following week’s schedule. Village Manager Herbek reported that they have set up a system to report street lights out, see the Public Works link on the Village web site. Trustee Grant added that some streets on school routes have big piles of leaves that should be taken care of as a priority. Trustee Schmidt stated that it is not appropriate for businesses to put out leaves for vacuuming; perhaps they
should be required to bag leaves. Village Manager Herbek reminded that there will be a work session next Monday night.
Trustee Kane reported that this Thursday is Veterans Day and there will be a ceremony at Veterans’ Corner at 11 am. He added that Metro North poster is announcing an ACMU car farewell tour on December 5th at 9:30 am at Grand Central; these cars were built in the mid-60’s and it is the last time they will run.
Trustee Schmidt reported that a 2nd meeting regarding possible changes to Summerfest will be held at the Municipal Building on November 18th at 6:30 pm. He added that they are dedicating a garden to Norma Salzburg at the Arboretum on November 21st at 3 pm. Trustee Schmidt stated that he is hoping Attorney Gerrard will be available for the next board meeting
Trustee Grant reported that Norma Salzburg passed away this morning; she was a great lady and both she and her husband contributed a great deal over the years and will be missed. Trustee Grant added that she doesn’t want anyone to think she is not willing to talk to anyone at any time; some people have refused to accept her emails so she has not gotten back to them; she will not respond to remarks and emails that she thinks are rude and insulting; however, she will still talk to these people, but will not initiate phone calls to someone who casts aspersions on the Board.
Mayor Elliott stated that they have missed Dr. Dan Salzburg for some time and will now miss Norma Salzburg, a dear friend of this community. He passes condolences to her family on behalf of community.
Trustee Kane made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Schmidt seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary