A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton on Hudson, NY was held on Monday, September 19, 2005 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton on Hudson, NY 10520
The following officials were present:
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the vouchers, as follows, subject to review by the Audit Committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Brennan and approved unanimously.
Mayor Schmidt gave a brief update on MetroEnviro. On Wednesday, September 21st at 3:00 p.m. at the County Center, Northeast Interstate Railway is applying to the Westchester County Solid Waste Commission for a permit to operate a construction and demolition transfer station at the former MetroEnviro site. Please feel free to go there to make comments. Village Attorney Stecich, Village Manager Herbek and some of the Board Trustees will represent the Village. Mayor Schmidt also made announcements on appointments to various boards; re-appointing Bruce Laemmel and appointing Dave Tuttle to the Conservation Advisory Council and is putting together a group that will serve on the Community Center Committee which will start going around the community and finding out what individual groups, youth, senior citizens, the arts and schools, would like to see in a community center as an informational gathering. That committee will consist of Gary Petit, Linda Carrucciu, Lori Noel, Dave Tuttle and Don Daubney. The board approved unanimously going forward with that.
3. PUBLIC HEARING
Village Manager Herbek gave an update to the board on the issuance of a special permit to Gerald Weinstein for a detached accessory apartment at 1339 Albany Post Road. On August 15th the application was referred to the Planning Board for review and report back to the Board of Trustees. The Board has the recommendation from the Village Planning Board in favor of granting the permit based on certain factors such as the detached accessory apartment will be located on an 18-acre parcel; there will be no tree cutting in the proposed location; There will be no blasting of sub-surface rock and the proposed structure will be located approximately 1,560 feet from the nearest property line. All of the procedural steps have been taken care of.
Mayor Schmidt opened the public hearing to the public to consider the issuance of a special permit.
Rene Mueller, who is the Architect, presented the site plan and indicated the proposed location for the accessory apartment. Mr. Mueller stated no trees would need to be removed and no rock blasting. They will have a geo-thermal heating system, which would feed down to the accessory apartment from the main house. The septic fields had to be extended from the main house to the accessory apartment since the Health Department did not want a separate septic field and they have approved. The size of the unit is 1,500 square feet and is a one bedroom that is for the Weinstein’s use only. It will be a two-story house with a roofline of 18’7”.
Trustee Kane asked about a power failure with the septic and whether a retention area has been added. Mr. Mueller stated that there is a retention tank as well as an emergency generator. Trustee Brennan asked how soon they would start if they were approved and Mr. Mueller stated in October/November.
Mr. Weinstein stated that he wanted to make sure that there was no impact on trees or sub-surface rock. Certain aspects of the design will depend on where the rock is. The drive that is there is the original farm road to the nature preserve. He would like to start construction before winter hits. Trustee Wiegman asked why they didn’t want to disturb the sub-surface geology. Mr. Weinstein stated that they had lived through construction on both sides with rock breaking and since his brother and sister-in-law will be living in the house, they didn’t want to disturb them with the rock breaking and there is great rock topography there.
Mayor Schmidt closed the Public Hearing with no further comments forthcoming.
On motion of Trustee Steinberg, 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, Local Law No. 1 of 2005 transferred the authority for issuing special permits for accessory apartments from the Planning Board to the Board of Trustees; and
WHEREAS, on July 27, 2005, the Zoning Board of Appeals issued a variance to Gerald Weinstein to allow a separate, detached building to be considered for an accessory apartment at 1339 Albany Post Road; and
WHEREAS, Gerald Weinstein then applied for a special permit to the Village Board for a detached accessory apartment at 1339 Albany Post Road; and
WHEREAS, this matter was referred to the Planning Board for a recommendation; and
WHEREAS, at the August 15, 2005 Regular Village Board Meeting a Public Hearing was called to be held on September 19, 2005, this meeting was duly noticed in the Village’s official newspapers, and neighbors within 200 feet were notified of this Public Hearing, and
WHEREAS, the Village Board has received the evaluation from the Planning Board recommending the issuance of this special permit based on certain factors such as
The detached accessory apartment will be located on an 18-acre parcel
There will be no tree cutting in the proposed location
There will be no blasting of sub-surface rock
The proposed structure will be located approximately 1,560 feet from the nearest property line
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: the Village Board of Trustees hereby issues the special permit for a detached accessory apartment at 1339 Albany Post Road to be valid for a period of three years from the date of this resolution,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the applicant must return to the Planning Board for a Minor Site Plan review,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: the applicant must apply for a renewal of the special permit not later than three months before the expiration of this special permit,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that upon the application of the renewal of the special permit the property will be subject to an inspection by the Village Engineer,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that if this property is sold before that time the new property owners must meet the age requirements of the accessory apartment law or the permit will become invalid.
Discussion: Trustee Kane congratulated Mr. Weinstein and also his architect who have a wonderful design that takes zero trees, preserves the typography and also preserves an 18 acre site which is a very large plot in our small village. Mayor Schmidt asked what the process would be reassessing this. Village Manager Herbek stated that the square footage improvement would be assessed.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a. Thomas Burniston, re: resignation from the Planning Board. Mayor Schmidt commented that we occasionally have vacancies on various boards in the Village and if anyone is interested in serving should send in their resumes.
b. Emails from various residents regarding the closing of Metro Enviro. Mayor Schmidt added that the emails were from William Rooney, Joseph Gonzalez, Kathleen Parker, Richard and Robin Pellicci and David Goldman.
c. Paula Greenberg, Croton Rotary President, re: Rotary Car Show and use of Croton-Harmon Train Station parking lot, which the board approved.
d. David Parsons, Van Cortlandt Manor, re: The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze to be held in October. Mayor Schmidt requested posting on the website.
5. HARMON WATER PROJECT UPDATE FROM VILLAGE ENGINEER DANIEL F. O’CONNOR
The water main will be finished in a few more days and is ahead of schedule by a considerable amount of time. The tie-ins from the new system to the old system, testing it and then putting in the connections for the homeowners will follow. The website will continue to be updated.
6. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – AGENDA ITEMS
a. Authorizing the Village Police Chief to sign the agreement with the NYS Office of Homeland Security for the acceptance of a $50,000 Buffer Zone Protection Program Grant for the fiscal year 2005.
On motion of Trustee Brennan, 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 Croton-on-Hudson Police Department has been awarded a $50,000 Buffer Zone Protection Program Grant for fiscal year 2005; and
WHEREAS, this grant is designed to reduce vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure/key resources sites by extending the protected area around a site into the surrounding community and supporting the prevention and preparedness efforts of local first responders; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Police Chief is hereby authorized to sign the contract with the NYS Office of Homeland Security for the $50,000 Buffer Zone Protection Program Grant for $50,000.
Discussion: Trustee Brennan commented that it looks like we are going to get some good equipment for that money so it seems like it is a very good cause. Trustee Kane wanted to thank Det. Lieutenant Tramaglini and Sergeant Corvinus for the work that went into the application process.
b. Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the agreement with Chazen Engineering to undertake a brown water assessment of the Village’s water distribution system
On motion of Trustee Steinberg, 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 Harmon Water Project is nearing completion; and
WHEREAS, the Westchester County Health Department has determined that the Village is not under the direct influence of ground water; and
WHEREAS, the Village would like to evaluate the occurrences of discolored water and other water quality upsets within select areas of the Village distribution system; and
WHEREAS, the Village has a proposal from Chazen Engineering, the firm that assisted the Village on the GWUDI evaluation,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with Chazen Engineering & Land Surveying Co., P.C. for a brown water assessment at a total estimated cost of $8,750,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount will be transferred from the water fund contingency account #F1990.4000 to the water fund administration and contractual account #F8310.4000.
Discussion: Trustee Wiegman asked if the $8,750 would be enough and Village Manager Herbek responded that we probably would need a little more money since it is an estimate. Trustee Steinberg stated that it was discussed at a work session and they thought that it would be pretty close to the estimate. Mayor Schmidt stated that this study is being done to see what the possible causes are of brown water in the rest of the village and what other means we can do to eliminate it.
c. Calling for continuation of Public Hearing on October 17, 2005 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2005, establishing sanitary sewer rents
On motion of Trustee Steinberg, seconded by Trustee Brennan, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with a three to two vote. Trustee Kane and Trustee Wiegman voted nay.
WHEREAS, the Village Treasurer has recommended establishing a sewer district for the Village; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2005, Sewer Rents, has been prepared; and,
WHEREAS, the purpose of this law is to establish sewer rates in the Village in accordance with Chapter 14-F of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York; and
WHEREAS, this law was discussed at a Public Hearing on April 18, 2005; and
WHEREAS, the Public Hearing was continued to a later date; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 1 has been subject to further review by the staff, the Village Board, and the Village Attorney,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a continuation of the Public Hearing from April 18, 2005 to be held on October 17, 2005 at 8 pm in the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2005.
Discussion: Mayor Schmidt commented that this is a continuation of a public hearing. Trustee Steinberg stated that residents are concerned about what their sewer rent would be. Treasurer Zambrano stated they can contact his office and they can provide them with a rough estimate based on past consumption. Trustee Wiegman asked if it would be reasonable to take the last sheet, which was a summary sheet of the 75-page book that was put together, which estimated the average household, and post on the web site. The average impact was to be roughly $54 which was based upon a 15% rate assuming that most people have a water bill of $400 for the last year, which is two billing cycles.
d. Amending the 2004-05 General Fund and Water Fund budgets
On motion of Trustee Steinberg 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 Treasurer wishes to open both sides of the General Fund and the Water fund budgets to cover the cost of operating expenses, amending the 2004-2005 General Fund and Water Fund budgets as detailed;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Village Treasurer amend the 2004 -2005 General Fund and Water Fund budgets to reflect these changes
Discussion: Trustee Kane asked if these accounts were mostly labor accounts. Treasurer Zambrano stated that it was and that it was the final numbers from the auditors for the last fiscal year. These basically reflect back salary payments to the teamsters after the contract was settled.
8. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Lyn Roessler – 85 Grand Street – At the request of Village Manager Herbek, Ms. Roessler announced that on October 1st at 10:00 a.m. at Croton Point there will be a celebration of the 225th anniversary of the capture of Major Andre and his hanging; they will shoot at the HMS Vulture, played by the Clearwater, as a reenactment of the event which will last until 10:45 a.m.
Bob Wintermeier – 43 Radnor Avenue – Mr. Wintermeir suggested a few weeks ago that we look at what took place with Katrina for our emergency planning. Since that two-week time frame, we had another failure at Indian Point in that all the sirens did not work. We have representatives in Westchester, Andrew Spano and Nina Lowey, suggesting that we should be taking another look at our emergency plans as a result of the Hurricane disaster and what we can learn from that. Governor Mitt Romney has requested local attention to emergency planning as well as President Bush. Mr. Wintermeier has reviewed the Hazard Mitigation Report and has determined this report has two purposes; the first purpose is that if you are a local government and you want funding, either before or after an emergency occurs, you have to have this form submitted. Its primary mission is preavoidance. When the event occurs, you need to have an emergency plan and this is not the emergency plan that he was looking for. Emergency planning involves the evacuation or helping people to get reconnected. As a FEMA document, this document is great. There are some problems in that it is 98 pages single sided, weighs 1 pound and there are typos that he will give to Village Manger Herbek; there are a lot of useless diagrams; it takes a half page telling people where Westchester County is; the next page there are two stars one of which tells where Croton is located in Westchester County; also has a missing map on page 27; there is a reference to a map that is not there; there is a graph of some sort they may be referring to. Mayor Schmidt commented that we still have to commend the group that worked on this. Mr. Wintermeier stated he is not taking shots at what was produced as a Hazard Mitigation Plan but is taking shots at it because Village Manager Herbek told him that this was an emergency plan which was what he was asking for and was mislead in that regard. Mayor Schmidt stated that we all need to work on an emergency preparedness plan and would ask Mr. Wintermeir what we need to do to move forward on this since he is just as concerned. Mr. Wintermeier said that he would provide his comments to the Village Manager. Is concerned that there was no one on the school board that was represented, to the best of his knowledge, and terrorism is identified as a moderately low level hazard in our village when we have Indian Point up the road. We need a comprehensive plan for all of the emergencies that we could deal with. Someone in this room is accountable. The document is posted on the website and people should be looking at it and providing comments. Village Manager Herbek stated that this document had to be prepared in this specific format to meet the requirements of the State Emergency Management Office. Those maps and locations were requirements that were set for all municipalities. The only other municipality in Westchester County that has done this that he is aware of is the City of Rye. The emergency plans are referenced in the Hazard Mitigation plan; we update them; we have an active committee made up of representatives from all village departments that work on it on a continuing basis. The school district has their own emergency plan that is on file with the Village Office. We worked with Westchester Country on the priorities of different types of disasters combined with the Town of Cortlandt. It still needs to be approved by the State Emergency Management Office before it is submitted to FEMA and the Village will welcome comments.
9. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: ~September 6, 2005
Trustee Steinberg made a motion to approve the Regular Board Meeting held on September 6, 2005 as corrected. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Treasurer Zambrano reported that the village is hosting the NYS Controller’s Office on October 25-27 for advanced accounting training. In order to finish the MUNIS water modules conversion, we are considering streamlining the billing and consolidate the cycles to two cycles per year.
Attorney Stecich wanted to clarify that Mayor Schmidt announced that the meeting at the County Center on Wednesday was for a permit for operating in Croton but is really to license them but not for a particular site. Under the county law to do carting and demolition in the Village, you need to be licensed to do it and this is for them to get the license; not only for Croton but any other place they may want to operate.
Trustee Brennan reported that the Croton Harmon football team is playing really hard and suffered a couple of losses. They have a couple of home games coming up in the next couple of weeks and we should go out there and support them. He is the liaison of the Community Center and will be looking for community input. Any resident that is interested can contact any member of the board; good ideas are welcome.
Trustee Steinberg reported that the home games are down at Spencer Field and wanted to clarify that the Solid Waste Commission meeting will be held at 3:30.
Trustee Kane reported that on the meeting of September 6th the Mayor had requested a reference to the statutes in the Village Code related to fishermen’s access; Policy 10 was provided.
Trustee Wiegman reported that he was approached by a number of people for input on sending help to the Gulf Coast. As a heads up, there may be some informal interfaith group that may be calling the Village for a meeting room in the upcoming weeks.
Mayor Schmidt reported that the auto show is this Sunday from 10:00-4:00 at Croton Railroad Station and the Croton Housing Network is having an informational meeting on Saturday, October 1st from 10:00-noon at the Croton Free Library. They will be talking about the history of the Croton program and new plans for the Symphony Knolls senior housing.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Kane seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:16 p.m.
Marla Pardee, Secretary