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Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Phone: 914-271-4781
Fax: 914-271-2836


Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8:30 am - 4 pm
 
Board of Trustees Minutes 11-22-04
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 22, 2004 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.

The following officials were present:
        Mayor Elliott                   Trustee Schmidt         
        Trustee Wiegman             Trustee Kane
        Manager Herbek          Trustee Grant
        Attorney Waldman                Treasurer Zambrano              
                        
        

1. CALL TO ORDER:

Mayor Elliott called the meeting to order at 8:03 pm.  Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.

2.  APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:

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

        General Fund            $ 686,460.96
        Water Fund                   56,138.67
        Capital Fund                      2,216.61
        Trust & Agency       39,187.88
        Total                           $ 784,004.12


CORRESPONDENCE:

a)      Adam Wekstein, Shamberg Marwell Hocherman Davis & Hollis, P.C., re: Greentree Realty, Inc. the owner of the property on which Metro Enviro operates a transfer station.  Mr. Wekstein advises that his client, Greentree Realty, Inc. “intends to use the property as a transfer station, an activity which is consistent with the decades-long nonconforming use thereof, and would, if necessary, seek a special permit to do so.”
        
b)      NYS Board of Real Property Services; re: Residential Assessment Ratio. The Village’s new ratio is set at 1.58 which is the median ratio in the list of ratios of assessment to sale price sorted in ascending order.

Discussion: Manager Herbek stated that this ratio was a significant drop from last year. The Village will be submitting relevant data and hopes to have it brought back closer to last year’s ratio.  Last year, the Village found mistakes in the properties used in the formula; they have been successful in the past; this is less than half of last year’s rate.  As market rates of houses go up, the residential assessment ratio goes down.  It is similar all over Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

c)      R. Brent Alderfer, President, Community Energy, Inc., re: the Village’s purchase of New Wind Energy. Mr. Alderfer expresses appreciation for the Village’s purchase of  253,750 kWh of New Wind Energy.

d)      Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., re: Metro Enviro.  Mr. Pellicci expresses his displeasure with the way the 11/17/04 article in the North County News was written about the decision not to pursue a settlement agreement with Metro Enviro.
        
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – AGENDA ITEMS

Maria Cudequest,  84 Grand St. She is pleased that the Village Board has acknowledged the threat by this entity (Metro Enviro) and the industry.  This conclusion could have easily applied to previous occupants of this property; it’s a troubled industry.  Regarding the Wekstein letter, the company is described as Greentree Inc. but in the past it has been Greentree LLC; there is a big difference – do we know if this is an error; should find out; she has foiled the letter. Do we know who the principals of Greentree are  now; prudent for us to understand exactly who we are dealing with; the ability to shield ownership is an attribute of an LLC; it is to our advantage legally if we know exactly who we are dealing with.  Ms. Cudequest reminded the Village Board that Paul Appollonia said he and his daughter were the two owners of Greentree; Walter Mack said it was Hickey – already an established history of lack of honesty in their dealings.  Whatever lawsuits that come now, it is the time to stand up to them; you know where I and my neighbors stand.

Tom Brennan, 121 N. Riverside. He is happy about the Metro Enviro decision.  About the Wekstein letter – maybe it is just a scare tactic.  He hopes the Board stands firm. We are back where we were when the Appellate court decision was made; since then a waste of time and money; should have left it alone.  The Board changed their mind again.  Stick with this position.  

Anne DiCioccio, 12 Irving Ave.  When will the next decision go the Court of Appeals? Attorney Waldman recounted the history since early summer. A motion for leave to appeal was made by Metro Enviro and also a motion for  a stay of the Appellate decision pending a decision on the leave to appeal.  The judge granted the stay. Now the matter is before Court of Appeals; the motion for leave to appeal is “ripe for decision” but he can’t tell exactly when it will occur.   She is glad to hear that it was unanimous; that is wonderful – thank you.

David Goldman, 76 Young Ave. He has some follow-up questions on the appeal – wouldn’t you think it would take a month or so? Attorney Waldman said it not known if they (Court of Appeals) would have taken it in September; just that they were reconvening in September; no specific week ever was known.  Mr. Goldman is happy that the Board made its decision.  Why was no formal vote taken? Attorney Waldman stated they decided to proceed as they decided to proceed. Mr. Goldman said that the Open Meetings Law would seem to indicate that you cannot just say it is a consensus; he is bothered by the process; attorneys need direction from their clients. Trustee Schmidt has said that he was isolated from the discussions; he would have thought that the Board would have met with Mr. Gerrard, including Trustee Schmidt, to tell him what they think.  Why didn’t the board think it urgent to tell Mr. Gerrard what they were feeling?

Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave.  He echoes the positive feelings about the Metro Enviro decision.  Regarding the Greentree letter, he urges that if Greentree is planning to use that property, the Village should try to hold them more accountable than we have previously held Metro Enviro.  The legal negotiations surrounding the settlement has raised concerns; he received a set of invoices from Arnold and Porter; he looked at the statements starting in June or July through October; it looks like $63,000 dollars was spent; he doesn’t know how much of that was due to these settlement discussions, which most people were not in favor of anyway, just because the Board wanted to entertain the possibility; would like to know the actual costs.

5. RESOLUTIONS:

        a. Authorizing Village Manager to sign the 2006-07 Municipal Snow & Ice Agreement with the New York State Dept. of Transportation.
        Discussion: Trustee Schmidt asked why both 2007 and 2004/005 are mentioned in the resolution.  Manager Herbek stated that this renews the Villages agreement to 2007 and also specifies the cost for2004/2005.
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’s agreement with the NYS DOT for snow & ice removal is due to expire in 2006; and

WHEREAS,  NYS Dept of Transportation has prepared an extension of the agreement which will expire in 2007; and

WHEREAS, the indexed lump sum estimated expenditure shall be $1,180 per lane mile for 11.24 lane miles for a total of $13,263.20 for the 2004/2005 season,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation for snow and ice removal expiring in 2007.

b. Calling for a Public Hearing on December 6, 2004 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2004, amending the chapter on dogs.

On motion of  TRUSTEE Grant,  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 Recreation Department and Recreation Advisory Committee has recommended a change in the chapter on dogs in the Village Code; and

WHEREAS, this change would clearly prohibit dogs on Village ballfields; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2004 has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, the Village Attorney has reviewed the draft law,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing on December 6, 2004 at 8pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2004 amending the chapter on dogs.   

c. Calling for a Public Hearing on December 20, 2004 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 8, amending section 230-40G of the Zoning Code, existing small lots in all RA and RB districts.

On motion of  TRUSTEE Grant,  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, Maria Modica-Snow, on behalf of Joanne Jackson, has requested an amendment to Section 230-40G of the Village’s zoning law; and

WHEREAS, her request was referred to the Planning Board for its review and recommendation; and

WHEREAS, the Planning Board has reviewed this proposal; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 8 of 2004 has been drafted, amending Section G – Existing small lots in all RA and RB districts - of Section 230-40,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing on December 20, 2004 at 8pm in the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 8 of 2004.  

d. Authorizing Village Manager to award bid to Healey International Trucks for two sanitation trucks.

On motion of  TRUSTEE Kane,  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 budgeted for a sanitation truck in the 2003-2004 fiscal year and budgeted for another sanitation truck in the 2005-2005 fiscal year; and

WHEREAS, bid specifications were prepared for both trucks in November of this year; and

WHEREAS, the bid opening was on November 17, 2004 and one bid was received for both trucks from Healey International Trucks of Poughkeepsie, New York; and

WHEREAS, the bid amounts of $132,273 per truck are within the budgeted amounts for these items; and

WHEREAS, Martin Gariepy, Lead Maintenance Mechanic, recommends that the Village award the bid to Healey International Trucks,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the bid to Healey International Trucks,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that $132,273 be charged to capital account # 3-5130-200-0304-106 and $132,273 be charged to capital account #3-5120-200-0405-116.

Discussion:  Trustee Schmidt asked why only bid was received.  Manager Herbek stated that the specifications were sent to 4 potential bidders; the specs were standardized around International types of trucks in order to standardize the Village’s fleet; only one chose to respond; they were sent to several International dealers. Manager Herbek said the bid numbers are favorable to the Village.   Last year money was appropriated for a truck but not bid, and then this year money for the second was appropriated and both were bid at the same time.  

e. Support of legislation to adopt an amendment on the New York State Constitution to reform the New York State Budget Process.

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:  

Support of legislation to adopt an amendment on the New York State Constitution to reform the New York State Budget Process

Whereas, a bipartisan campaign effort led by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Vincent Leibell was launched on July 6, 2004 to reform New York by gathering public support for an amendment to the New York State Constitution (A.11231/S.7317) to change the process for budget adoption and ensure on-time-state budgets; and

Whereas, said budget reform needs to gain support from other government officials and the public in order for the voters to vote positively on this change at the polls in November 2005; and

Whereas, said amendment will move the start of New York’s fiscal year from April 1 to May 1 to better fiscal projections on revenues and expenditures; provide for a contingency budget equivalent to the budget of the preceding year to automatically go into effect on May 1 if no budget agreement has been reached; require a 2 year appropriation for education aid in order for school districts to know in advance what tax support they will receive from the state budget; create a reserve fund to ensure sufficient funds exist for the payment of education aid in May and June; require the Governor’s office to submit its budget one week earlier and provide more information on the costs of current year services; and establish an independent budget office to make revenue and expenditure projections.

Now, therefore be it resolved, that the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson does hereby support the efforts of Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and Senator Vincent Leibell to pursue public support for an amendment to the New York State Constitution to change the process for budget adoption and ensure on-time-state budgets.


Discussion:  Mayor Elliott stated that this is the result of a bipartisan effort led by Sandy Galef, Assemblywoman, and State Senator Vincent Leibell.  He stated that it was passed by both the NYS Senate and Assembly in the last session and now needs to be passed again.  

6. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS

Tom Brennan, 121 N. Riverside Ave.  Mr. Brennan asked about what the hold up is on the water main replacements in the Harmon area; asked for details. Manager Herbek stated that the Westchester County Health Dept. hadn’t fully approved the plans and specifications yet.  Village Engineer O’Connor stated that the Dept. of Health had required more data; it’s a big project and the Health Dept. is being very cautious on the details of the plans.  The Village also doesn’t want a lot of change orders during the project.  Mr. Brennan said the residents were told last year that the project was ready to go and that ground would be broken in the Spring of 2004.  Manager Herbek  said the project can’t be put out for bid until the specifications are completed and approved.  Mr. Brennan said the village shouldn’t make statements until you know the real time frames.  Manager Herbek stated that it is an enormous project and we may have tried to give a projection of when things would occur but with big projects we are not always right; it didn’t work out with the Health Dept. as we had anticipated;  hoping to get it out to bid in Jan/Feb. 2005; that is the best time for putting projects out to bid.  Mr. Brennan asked what the Village has done since the last problems with the flooding at the railroad station.  Manager Herbek explained that studies have shown that the lot is in a tidal basin of the Hudson River and when there are certain conditions and high tides, it will flood; we know that it will continue to flood.   We could take vast areas out of service but the Village Board has made the judgment that for the few days when that does occur, not to take these sections out of service; the DPW ropes it off when we know that it is a likely day for flooding conditions to occur.  There are ‘flood prone’ signs that have been put in the lot.  
 
Joanne Minett, 5 VanCortlandt Place;  Ms. Minett asked questions about the resolutions on tonight’s agenda as she didn’t have time to review them on the website and arrived late to the meeting. Regarding Local Law #8, she asked what is being amended.  Attorney Waldman explained what the current existing small lots provisions are and how this amendment would change it.

Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave.,  He commended the Board on their unanimouas vote on the Galef/Leibel resolution; if the law passes it will result in lower interest rates. He commended the DPW and Village Office on the leaf pick up this year and the street schedule for vacuuming which is sent out via email; reminded that residents can still pick up bags at the DPW office and read the schedule for this week. Reminded resident to be careful about raking leaves into places where they will get in the stormwater drains.  Thanked Board for listening to us on the Metro Enviro issue.

Anne DiCioccio, Irving Ave. Ms. DiCioccio asked for the price of the two sanitation trucks and how will the Village pay for them. Manager Herbek stated they are paid for by bonding.  Ms. DiCioccio asked if these are subject to referendum; yes, but the dates are long passed.  Ms. DiCioccio said she just wants to do that for something.  She asked about the Merrill property and what it cost;  $950,000.  How do you decide on your priorities – the job of the Village Board; why does it take the Board of Health so long to approve of these plans?  Manager Herbek said he really couldn’t answer that but the Health Dept. is being very careful about their review because it affects people’s health; also they have had a change in personnel.  Ms. DiCioccio asked if he couldn’t put some sense of urgency to them – it is a matter of health.

7. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

On a motion by Trustee Schmidt, seconded by Trustee Kane, the minutes of the Meeting of November 8, 2004 were approved as amended by a 4-0-1vote with Trustee Wiegman abstaining.

8. REPORTS:

Treasurer Zambrano – he has set up the implementation of the new MUNIS system; they will take it in phases; it will take a year to a year and a half

Trustee Wiegman:  This was a busy weekend; the CCOA had 4 events including a film festival and art exhibit ; congratulations the the Feits for giving such strong momentum to the CCOA as they leave for California.

Trustee Kane: Blood Drive – Dec. 5 at CET school; he thanked the organizers.

Trustee Schmidt:   Summerfest will stay on Sunday after several weeks of deliberations; dedication for Norma Salzberg occurred over the weekend at the Arboretum.

Trustee Grant:  Joint Village/school district meeting was last week – very productive meeting. The School Board reported on safe routes to school along with Russ Harper.  Croton’s work has been singled out as being excellent at a recent symposium – especially sidewalk improvements.  Parking is a big issue with the students who drive to school – can’t park near the school and want to park in the village but can’t with the time limits which are enforced.  Tennis court project – the fund raiser was excellent with good attendance.   There are real problems with gym issues this winter because it is not available due to the construction that is going on. They are trying to use other spaces at other schools and our Recreation Dept. is cutting back on some of this winter’s programs.    She is increasingly concerned with the budget next year; all people running for office need to make it clear that it is not going to be easy.  Residents need to provide input early – very difficult year, unless you want some services to be cut.  She stated that there is no reason for any of the trustees to not try to do the best they can do to keep the budget and expenditures in place; they work very hard on trying to do the right thing; every board knocks themselves out trying to do the best for the village.  
        
Trustee Schmidt asked about the request for the Drug Free signs.  Mayor Elliott said his recollection was that both the students and the staff were going to do some follow up research on it.  Manager Herbek stated that most municipalities have not enacted drug-free zones.  The staff has researched this as well and discussed it in staff meetings; recommend not using them.  Trustee Grant said she agreed with Trustee Schmidt to get the word back to the school kids.

On a motion by Trustee Wiegman, seconded by Trustee Kane, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 pm by unanimous vote.


Respectfully submitted
Ann H. Gallelli, Secretary




__________________________
Village Clerk