A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, October 4, 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 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Schmidt announced the following appointments with the approval of the Board
Rob Luntz replacing Joel Klein, Planning Board
Vincent Andrews replacing Tom Burniston, Planning Board
Tom Smith, replacing MaryAnn Boshart-Littman, VEB
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Steinberg 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.
Local Law Introductory #2 of 2005, amending the sidewalk law. Village Manager Herbek reviewed the area of the law to be amended: 50% of actual sidewalk contract costs are paid by the Village for residents who apply during the period of June 1, 2000 to May 31, 2005; for residents who apply during the period of June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2007, the Village will pay 40% of actual contract costs. Village Manager Herbek stated that this has been discussed a number of times and it is the consensus of the Board to make these changes. Mayor Schmidt opened the hearing to the public. No public comments were offered. The Hearing was closed.
Board comments: Trustee Wiegman stated that the only change in that paragraph is that the Village will pay 40%; it previously said the Village will pay 25%; residents will now contribute 60% instead of 75%; the program still runs through May 2007; he added that there is a backlog of people who have already applied. Mayor Schmidt encouraged people to sign up for this program; the end of the program is May 31, 2007; the code enforcement officer will be around to advise residents if they needed to be included. Trustee Kane added that the Village does about 40-45 sidewalks per year and it will take some time to work through the list. Trustee Wiegman stated that the cost of the project is affected by having a local storage yard for the concrete material that is removed; if the Village does not have a local site for storage of construction material, the cost will go up per linear foot installed; it is incumbent on the Village to determine a storage area for the sidewalks work and for Public Works to keep the costs down. Trustee Brennan asked if they are still using the area behind the skateboard park. Mayor Schmidt replied they are storing at the east yard. Village Manager Herbek added that he hopes to negotiate to use this area again at least for one more year. Trustee Brennan stated that he will abstain on voting on this as he has signed up for his own property prior to this amendment coming up.
Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the following amendment, seconded by Trustee Steinberg. Vote was taken with Trustees Wiegman, Kane, Steinberg and Mayor Schmidt voting “aye”; Trustee Brennan abstaining.
Village of Croton-on-Hudson Local Law No. 2 ~of the year 2005
A local law to amend Chapter 197, Streets and Sidewalks, Article VII, Sidewalk Improvement Program
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
Section 1. ~§ 197-33. ~Program administration Letter B is amended to read as follows:
The Village will pay 50% of the actual contract cost for the removal and replacement of sidewalks to residents who apply during the period of June 1, 2000, to May 31, 2005, of the sidewalk replacement program and 40% of the actual contract cost to residents who apply during the period of June 1, 2005, to May 31, 2007, including materials and labor for the repairs and reconstruction. The prevailing rate established by the village will be used in determining the total cost of the improvements.
Section 2. ~This Local Law shall be effective upon filing in the office of the Secretary of State.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from NY Senator Clinton recognizing the Village’s receipt of the Tree City USA recognition.
b) A letter from Mark E. Mannix, Director, Government & Community Relations,
Metro-North Railroad regarding their Open House on Saturday, October 15th from 10 am to 3 pm and asking for use of the Village’s parking lot on that day. Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve this request with the usual caveats, seconded by Trustee Kane, approved unanimously.
c) A notice of tentative Equalization Rate. This year’s rate is tentatively set at 3.86, down from 4.21 last year.
d) A notice from the State of NY Licensing Services Div. of Alcoholic Beverage Control regarding applicant Lucky 34 Corp (Sofia’s), 440 South Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson, NY, who have applied for a state liquor license and stating that the Village Board will have an opportunity to submit a reason why they should not be granted a license, if they feel this is the case. The Board members posed no objection.
e) A letter from Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano regarding the County’s plan to introduce local legislation that eliminates the County’s share of the sales tax on home heating oil, natural gas, coal, wood & propane tanks of 100 gallons or more for the period of December 1, 2005 through February 28, 2006 and asking for local consent before moving forward. Treasurer Zambrano stated that this will impact the Village by reducing the revenue from the County by about 8/10 of 1%. Mayor Schmidt added that because of the increased tax revenue from gas it should not make a significant impact. The consensus of the Board was to have Village Manager Herbek express the Village’s approval of this legislation.
REPORT FROM VILLAGE ENGINEER ON THE HARMON WATER PROJECT:
Dan O’Connor stated that since his last report, they have installed about 800 ft of 8 inch water main; only 50 to 60 ft of remains to be installed; some additional 10 inch water main will be put in and installation of some wet taps which is a start of connection of new to old water mains; 10 drain inlets have also been installed; in the next 2 wks, connecting the new system to existing should be done; then testing the water; Westchester County must give final approval; Bilotta then will begin tying in residents; some homeowners are moving ahead with private contractors to update their old sewer and water lines; it is important that they take advantage of getting this done at lower costs; this week will not incur any shutdowns in the commercial area; Oneida and Cleveland will have some shutdowns for a few hours at a time; residents will be notified via email, cable TV and also mailing notices. Dan O’Connor showed the Board pieces of old water main and a newer water main that was coated; after 30 or 40 years, the coated water main still looks like new, but the uncoated pipe has corrosion. He added that the contractors are a few months ahead of schedule; they had built into the schedule the possibility of hitting rock which has not occurred. Trustee Wiegman asked if most of service box connections are under the street. Dan O’Connor replied that the Village will be taking water service lines from the main to a new curb box located right behind the curb in the grass area. He added that regarding sewer lines, homeowners are responsible from their house past the curb to the Village’s sewer main and if homeowners are having trouble with their sewer lines, now would be the time to have a contractor do repairs when the street is opened.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items NO COMMENT
a) 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 Village has received the Intermunicipal Agreement from Westchester County which will transfer the title to the Village of the new 2-way road that connects Croton Point Avenue with the Discovery Cove/Half Moon Bay Complex; and
WHEREAS, this road has been constructed in conjunction with Westchester County, WCI/Spectrum Communities, LLC, and Metro North; and
WHEREAS, the County Board of Legislators approved the IMA on September 26, 2005; and
WHEREAS, on March 21, 2005 the Village adopted a negative declaration with respect to the opening of the road and the trail,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: ~that the Village Manager is authorized to sign the intermunicipal agreement with Westchester County conveying the title of the road to the Village and giving the Village the responsibility to maintain the road and 8-foot-wide pathway to be used as a bicycle and walking trail.
Discussion: The Village needs to plow, clean, patch and maintain the road, as it becomes a village road. Mayor Schmidt asked for clarification of page 8, paragraph 2, which says the Village maintenance should not include the replacement of the fence or resurfacing or maintenance of the pathway, but then page 10 says the County should have no responsibility for the pathway. Village Attorney Stecich replied that there are a couple of inconsistencies; schedule A is also missing; there is an understanding that the Village would not be responsible for replacing; but this can be passed subject to clarification and correction of inconsistencies.
b) On motion of TRUSTEE Steinberg, seconded by TRUSTEE Brennan, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York: ~
WHEREAS, Section 215-29 of the Village Code prohibits parking on Village streets when snow accumulates to two or more inches except in cases where special hardship permits are issued; and
WHEREAS, the special hardship permits referred to in the code are now known as seasonal overnight street parking permits; and
WHEREAS, these permits were intended for those residents who had no alternative location for their car such as a driveway or garage; and
WHEREAS, over the years seasonal overnight street parking permits have been issued for those residents who have utilized their garage for storage or for those residents who have an offstreet space sufficient for only one car and own two or more vehicles; and
WHEREAS, the staff has recommended charging a fee of $100 for seasonal overnight street parking permits in certain circumstances as per the attached schedule; and
WHEREAS, a fee would have the effect of discouraging the application of special hardship permits and reducing the number of cars on the streets when the DPW staff needs to plow,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Master Fee Schedule is hereby amended to add a fee of $100 for a seasonal overnight street parking permit as per the attached schedule.
Seasonal Overnight Street Parking Permit
Discussion: One change to the chart was to make wording consistent with other sections of the code. Village Manager Herbek added that last year the Village issued about 59 seasonal parking permits; this helps people who have problems with parking vehicles on their property. Trustee Brennan asked how they came up $100.00 fee. Village Manager Herbek replied that it was staff consensus; the season parking regulations have changed several times over the years; they are trying to minimize the number of cars on the streets when plowing needs to be done. Mayor Schmidt added that this is to encourage those who have parking areas to use them and get cars off the street; all applications from last year were reviewed and recommendations were made. Trustee Kane has some question about the statement of ‘other area available for off-street parking’ and thought perhaps this should be defined. Village Manager Herbek replied that some people have created defined areas other than a driveway and this language is actually in the Village Code. Trustee Wiegman asked if this fee is $100 per year. Village Manager Herbek replied that it is for 12 months but will be only enforced during winter months.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
Josephina Miller and Alicia Anfeatra, Michael’s Lane residents stated that they have believed for many years that the intersection of Michael’s Lane and Old Post Road is a problem and there was an accident there on Thursday morning as feared. They asked the Village to look into what can be done to make the cars slow down as there are children waiting at the bus stop and there is no sidewalk where they must stand; although a resident allows the children to wait in her driveway, it is still not a good situation; the school will not change the school bus route and there is no crossing guard. They added that there is an issue crossing and getting out of Michaels’ Lane; twenty seven neighbors have signed petition which they presented to the Board. They added that there is a school bus stop sign and a 20 mph sign, but nobody slows down. Village Manager Herbek replied that he will assign this to the Police Dept. & the Public Works Dept. to evaluate and come up with the best way to proceed. Ms. Miller stated that Michael’s Lane is also used as a cut-through from Rt. 9A, especially by high school drivers. Mayor Schmidt added that the Village Board has a regular meeting with the School Board on safety issues and they will discuss this.
Joanne Minnet, 5 Van Cortlandt Place, stated that she is also concerned about safety for Middle School kids; she lives near a dangerous spot in the Village and suggested putting up a sign to make drivers aware as they come off 9A to 129 that there are children in the area and be careful. Ms. Minnet also asked for one or two signs to indicate they are entering a school zone as drivers cannot see that there are any schools in that area.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on September 19, 2005 as corrected. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Village Manager Herbek reported that he and Mayor Schmidt attended an emergency summit meeting along with Police Sgt. Michael Nulty; the meeting was well represented by many areas’ Fire Depts., Water Depts. and Police Depts.; each summarized and updated what is being done in emergency planning. Their report incorporated some of the work that has been done involving the hazard mitigation plan; also what is being done to establish an emergency operations center in the Managers Office; he is trying to get a copy of the tape and will put it on the government access channel for the community to hear what is happening in the Village and the Town of Cortlandt. Mayor Schmidt added that a copy of the report is available in the Village office. Village Manager Herbek reported that the Fire Fair will be on Sunday at Harmon Fire House from 1 to 5 pm; information tips will be handed out to residents and children.
Treasurer Zambrano invited the Board to attend a demonstration on October 24, 7 pm to see what they have been doing with the MUNIS system.
Trustee Wiegman reported that he looks forward to working with the new appointees to VEB and Planning Board. He added that the is strongly interested in continuing to open up the process of government, particularly the video streaming discussed by Michael Pollack and asked how this is progressing. Village Manager Herbek replied that he is contacting several companies about providing this service and will report back to the Board at a work session.
Trustee Kane reported that the Croton Conservation Council and Arboretum invites people to their 4th Annual Community Planting of the daffodil hillside on Saturday October 15th from 9 am to noon in remembrance of victims of 9/11. He added that Croton Open house for Harmon Shop is also on October 15th from 10 to 3 and it is a great day for kids and there will be souvenirs, tote bags, small items and picture taking.
Trustee Steinberg thanked those residents who contributed checks for Hurricane Katrina relief; he will be sending them to the American Red Cross.
Trustee Brennan congratulated the new appointees for stepping up and volunteering. He added that the Croton varsity football team is now 1 and 3. Trustee Brennan and Trustee Kane attended the Croton Housing Network informational meeting; it was very interesting. He mentioned that tomorrow night is the first meeting of the new committee on the community center; he will come back with more information regarding their progress.
Mayor Schmidt stated that they will be adjourning to meet with the Village Attorney for advice of counsel.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Steinberg seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary