Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Welcome to the website for the Village of Croton on Hudson, New York

Contact Us
Subscribe to News
Spacer
On Our Site

Click to Search
Village Seal

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 February 21, 2006
A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY  10520.

The following officials were present:


Mayor Schmidt
Trustee Brennan
Trustee Kane
Trustee Steinberg
Trustee Wiegman
Manager Herbek
Treasurer Zambrano

Absent:  Attorney Stecich.
1.~~~~~~CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.   Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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 Kane and approved unanimously.

General Fund
42,348.61
Water Fund
 1,138.87
Capital Acct.
 2,550.00
Total
46,037.48

Mayor Schmidt announced the following appointments:  Marie Considine to the Community Center Committee, Alice Habib to the Recreation Advisory Committee and Lee Streisfeld-Leitner, Ex-Officio Member of Conservation Advisory Council.  

3.~~~~~~CORRESPONDENCE

Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):

a.~~~~~~Maria Rykowski, Georgia Lane, re: request for use of portion of Croton-Harmon train station parking lot to take delivery of girl scout cookies.  Was approved unanimously with the usual caveats.


4.~~~~~~CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – AGENDA ITEMS

Robert Nelson, a former resident of Croton and Mr. Wilhelm’s brother-in-law, speaking on behalf of Resolution 5A.  The major issue that he wanted to address was that the Village never gave him a specific list of those items to be taken off or fixed on the property.  Was given two, one of which was to get a shed, which he got a building permit for.  The other items have not appeared on any sort of resolution or list given to Mr. Wilhelm specifying exactly what items must be removed from the property and why.  Mr. Wilhelm should be given a specific list of what items should be removed from the property and why.  Would like to request a further extension due to the weather.

Rob Dublan, 50 Piney Point Avenue, adjacent to Fred Wilhelm’s house, speaking on behalf of Resolution 5A.  As a neighbor, he has the best view of his “stuff” and has mixed emotions.  Fred assured him that he was making every effort to have the “stuff” taken away and could do it by the end of March, which is acceptable to him as a neighbor.

Fred Wilhelm, owner of 2 Cleveland Drive, apologized to the Village that the situation exists and has been going on for quite sometime.  He has gone to great expense to buy a custom shed along with a proper foundation for the site.  Mr. Wilhelm explained the problems that he has run into and that he lost 2-3 weeks of time due to the weather and asked for an extension of that time.  Mr. Wilhelm stated that he has hired a local person to help him.

Trustee Steinberg asked if he is fairly confident that he would be finished by the timeframe he suggested.  Fred responded that unless there is an extraordinary occurrence that he does not foresee any problem.

5.~~~~~~RESOLUTIONS

a.~~~~~~Authorizing the Village Manager to have the property at 2 Cleveland Drive cleaned up and adding the cost of this clean-up to the Village Taxes for 2 Cleveland Drive.

On motion of Trustee Steinberg, seconded by Trustee Brennan, the following resolution was introduced for purposes of discussion by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:  

WHEREAS, the property at 2 Cleveland Drive, Section 79.13 Block 004 Lot 032 has been the subject of numerous complaints by neighboring residents; and

WHEREAS, the complaints came from the condition of the building and property area; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Code Enforcement has issued three appearance tickets to the property owner, Fred Wilhelm, on three separate occasions for violating the following village and state codes:

NYR PM302.4     Weeds
NYR PM302.3     Sidewalks & Driveways
NYR PM302.1     Sanitation
NYR PM301.2     Responsibility
NYR PM303.7     Roofs and Drainage
NYR PM303.6     Exterior Walls
NYR PM303.2     Protective Treatment
NYR PM303.1     General
NYR PM302.8     Motor Vehicles
VO 212-5        Notice-Fail Comply
VO 212-3        Storage/deposit Prohibited
VO 197-24       Responsibility of Property Owner
VO 179.2        Failure to Comply
VO 179-1        Removal of Weeds
; and

WHEREAS, as a result of these appearance tickets the property owner, Fred Wilhelm, has been to trial twice and fined twice and the third court case is still pending; and

WHEREAS, Section 179-2 states the following:

§ 179-2.  Failure to comply. EN
Upon the neglect or refusal of the owner or occupant of any such premises to do so, the Village Manager or any police officer of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson may, by written notice, served either personally or by mail to the last-known address of such owner or occupant, order the owner or occupant to cut and destroy all weeds or brush upon such premises and to remove all refuse therefrom within two days, and upon failure of such owner or occupant to comply with such notice, such person shall be subject to the provisions of §~1-12 of Chapter 1, General Provisions. The Board of Trustees may cause the weeds and brush to be destroyed and refuse removed and shall assess the costs thereof against the property from which the same was removed, as provided in the Village Law; and;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees authorizes the Village Manager to serve either personally or by mail to the property owner of 2 Cleveland Drive, Fred Wilhelm, to cut and destroy all weeds or brush upon such premises and to remove all refuse and rubbish and other materials within two days,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that upon failure of the owner to comply with such notice, the Board of Trustees authorizes the Village Manager to hire an outside contractor to remove the weeds, brush, refuse, rubbish, and other materials from 2 Cleveland Drive,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the total costs of removing all weeds, brush, refuse, rubbish, and other materials will be added to the Village tax bill for 2 Cleveland Drive.

Discussion:  Trustee Steinberg recommended giving Mr. Wilheim a 45-day period to rectify the problem.  Trustee Brennan stated that he is in favor of the 45-day extension.  Trustee Wiegman stated that he didn’t think the Village would be able to implement Mr. Nelson’s request of a specific list of what needed to clean up.  Trustee Steinberg stated that Mr. Wilheim should be in contact with the Village office to facilitate the clean up.  Trustee Kane stated that Mr. Wilhelm knows exactly what needs to be done to make things right.  Mayor Schmidt stated that the Village has been more than fair but it has to be with the understanding that this will be scheduled for another board meeting and will be back on the agenda during that 45-day time frame.  The resolution was tabled until the April 17th board meeting.

b.  Calling for Public Hearing on March 6, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2006, increasing the income level for partial real estate tax exemptions for persons sixty-five years of age or older.

On motion of Trustee Brennan, 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 Board of Trustees would like to increase the income level for partial real estate tax exemptions for persons sixty-five years of age or older; and

WHEREAS, this requires a local law to be adopted; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2006 has been drafted,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm on March 6, 2006 in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2006, increasing the income level for partial real estate tax exemptions for persons sixty-five years of age or older.

c.~~~~~~Calling for Public Hearing on March 20, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 3 of 2006, amending Chapter 115, Environmental Compliance ~

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, the Village has hired Frederick P. Clark Associates and Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs to help with the revisions of the Village’s environmental laws; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 3 of 2006 amending chapter 115 – Environmental Compliance has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, this law has been reviewed by Village staff, the Village Attorney, the Planning Board, the Water Control Commission, and the Conservation Advisory Council and has been the subject of two Board of Trustees work sessions; and

WHEREAS, a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this local law,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm on March 20, 2006 in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 3 of 2006, amending Chapter 115 – Environmental Compliance

d.~~~~~~Calling for Public Hearing on March 20, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2006, amending chapter 116, Environmental Quality Review

On motion of Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Steinberg, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:  

WHEREAS, the Village has hired Frederick P. Clark Associates and Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs to help with the revisions of the Village’s environmental laws; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2006 amending chapter 116 – Environmental Quality Review has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, this law has been reviewed by Village staff, the Village Attorney, the Planning Board, the Water Control Commission, and the Conservation Advisory Council and has been the subject of two Board of Trustees work sessions; and

WHEREAS, a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this local law,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm on March 20, 2006 in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2006, amending Chapter 116 – Environmental Quality Review.

e.~~~~~~Calling for Public Hearing on March 20, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2006, amending chapter 208, Trees

        On motion of Trustee Kane, seconded by Trustee Steinberg the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:  

WHEREAS, the Village has hired Frederick P. Clark Associates and Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs to help with the revisions of the Village’s environmental laws; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2006 amending chapter 208 – Trees has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, this law has been reviewed by Village staff, the Village Attorney, the Planning Board, the Water Control Commission, and the Conservation Advisory Council and has been the subject of two Board of Trustees work sessions; and

WHEREAS, a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this local law,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm on March 20, 2006 in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2006, amending Chapter 208 – Trees.

f.~~~~~~Calling for Public Hearing on March 20, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2006, amending chapter 227, Wetlands

        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 hired Frederick P. Clark Associates and Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs to help with the revisions of the Village’s environmental laws; and

WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2006 amending chapter 227 – Wetlands has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, this law has been reviewed by Village staff, the Village Attorney, the Planning Board, the Water Control Commission, and the Conservation Advisory Council and has been the subject of two Board of Trustees work sessions; and

WHEREAS, a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been drafted; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Law, the Village Board must make a determination as to the environmental impact of the approval of this local law,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees declares itself Lead Agency with respect to this action,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm on March 20, 2006 in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2006, amending Chapter 227 – Wetlands.

g.~~~~~~Authorizing the approval of the volunteer firefighter Service Award Program list of all 2005 active volunteer firefighters of the Fire Department

        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 Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program was approved by referendum in 2003; and

WHEREAS, Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law requires that the list of members of the Fire Department indicating those who earned a year of service credit during the calendar year, those that did not earn a year of credit, and those who waived participation must be certified under oath by the Fire Department; and

WHEREAS, once certified, this list must be approved by the Village Board,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees is hereby authorized to sign the 2005 Sponsor Approval Form.

Discussion:  Trustee Kane thanked all the firefighters.

h.~~~~~~Waiving and relinquishing the right to purchase 4.1 acres of real property located at 15-25 Mount Airy Road from Westchester County

        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:  

Right of First Refusal-15-25 Mount Airy Road

WHEREAS, the County of Westchester desires to purchase and then convey approximately 4.1 acres of real property located at 15-25 Mount Airy Road in the Village of Croton on Hudson to the Croton Housing Development Fund Company, Inc. for the purpose of providing affordable housing for a period of forty years; and

WHEREAS, the County of Westchester has offered the Village of Croton on Hudson the opportunity to purchase said property subject to any applicable subdivision requirements and under the following terms and conditions:

1.      For use in perpetuity for park and municipal recreation purposes for the sum of one dollar ($1.00);
2.      For other municipal purposes at the current appraised value as determined by the Board of Legislators, or for no more than the same consideration for which it is proposed to be sold to Croton Housing Development Fund Company, whichever is less;
3.      Deeds conveying said Property to the Village for either purpose shall include clauses specifying said purpose and that the property shall revert to the County if it is not utilized for that purpose within five (5) years or at any time that such specifically enumerated use ceases;
4.      The Village of Croton on Hudson shall elect to make such purchase within ninety days of its receipt of the aforesaid offer from the County or within any greater length of time that may be provided for in a written agreement of the County with the Village;
5.      This opportunity to purchase this property shall not constitute a right to purchase and may be withdrawn by the County at any time

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village of Croton on Hudson hereby declares it support for the aforesaid project,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  that the Village of Croton on Hudson waives and relinquishes any rights that it may have under the aforesaid opportunity to purchase said property.

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:  Trustee Wiegman and Trustee Kane voted nay.

RESOLVED, that the Village Manager is authorized to enter into a retainer agreement with the firm of AKRF with the purpose of planning consulting services and the preparation of a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed relocation of the DPW facility.

Discussion:  Trustee Steinberg stated that this is at the recommendation of counsel in connection with the process of eminent domain.  Trustee Wiegman stated that it should be stated that the Environmental Impact Statement comes at a price tag of $52,000.  Has asked a number of questions, numerous times, in writing, of counsel and counsel has not answered the questions, either orally or written, and he is losing his comfort level for going further down this road until he knows some of the answers.  Some of these questions he has been asking since last August.  Mayor Schmidt stated that he feels that counsel has done a great job of explaining what those forks are, where we are and what steps we have to take in this process.  He feels very confident in this process; we are at a point that we cannot fully discuss but we will be discussing this in further meetings with advice of counsel and will be relaying to the public, in general, as we are able to release that information.  We are awaiting an appraisal on the property, which is one of the first forks we have to get to.  Trustee Steinberg stated that we should be sure to follow up with Attorney Stecich to discuss anything that is deemed to be an open issue.  Trustee Wiegman stated that the environmental impact is critical and is a very expensive step and whether we ever go forward with the whole process or not we would have spent that money.  Trustee Steinberg stated that it has to be spent as far as that process.  Trustee Kane also stated that he has not had his questions answered since August.  Mayor Schmidt wanted to make it clear to the public that counsel has been working diligently with them on this and providing many answers and looking at this in each detailed step.  We are awaiting an appraisal of the property and when we see that number will determine if we continue with the process and will provide information as we can release it.

6.~~~~~~CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS

Bob Wintermeier – 43 Radnor Avenue, Wanted to talk about eminent domain, parking lot funding and Croton Harmon Station Area Study.  Indicated that we might be facing a $50M purchase to exercise eminent domain that was based on a MetroEnviro estimated profit of $3M.  He hopes that we never end up with anything in the $35M-$50M and would oppose it and would like it to be less than the $10M that Steinmetz laughed at.  Would suggest to the Village that we don’t panic until the appraisal is in.  Mayor Schmidt stated that the appraisal would be looked at to determine if we could go ahead.  If it is too much money, we are not going to do it.  Mr. Wintermeier stated that he believes that anything we do over a certain amount, not sure of the amount, would require a referendum.  The other issue he wanted to discuss is the parking lot improvement; the $850,000 amount that is made up of a $500,000 grant and $350,000 that would come from taxpayers.  As he understands it, the $350,000 would have added another 4.4% to the tax increase in the 2004-2005 year.  He is using about $80,000 per 1% tax increase, which would have led us to a 14.4% tax increase instead of the less than 10% that we ultimately ended up with.  How long do we have to exercise that $500,000?  Mayor Schmidt stated that we have not lost the money.  Treasurer Zambrano stated that if the village had borrowed the $350,000 it would have been amortized over a period of time.  Also reviewed the Croton Harmon Station Study and his concerns with the vision.

Ann Gallelli, 20 Briggs Lane, Wanted to reply to Bob’s comments on the study.  He has construed that it is a proposal for any of those options.  The study was done because the Village owns the parking lot and the Village thought it should take a look at what various things could be done.  It was a range of things that could be done and what the potential was of it.  No one is suggesting or committing that we want to do any of these options.  Mayor Schmidt asked what the study cost us.  Ann stated around $25,000 but can’t confirm that.  Mayor Schmidt stated that it was just a conceptual study of what the possibilities were down there and not a study as to how to rectify the problems down there and that was why the board tabled it and why we are proceeding with an engineering study to look at what the possibilities are to solve the flooding problem.

Georgiana Grant, 37 Wells Avenue, Wanted to congratulate Bob on his cautionary approach about spending money.  Has not heard the $50 million cost of eminent domain that Bob referred to.  Asked that when they get the appraisal that it is important that you factor in the total costs and not just the cost of buying the land but the cost of moving the garage, lawyer fees and add in the other expenses that we know that we are going to have including the parking lot and flooding.  We owe it to the people who park there, if we are taking their money on a monthly basis, that we must do something to fix the problem.  Let the people respond to it if they think it is worth it or not but there is no question that these things must be taken care of.  A Community Center is nice but do we need to do it on top of everything else we have to do; we still have brown water in the Village and the roads still need to be fixed.  Mayor Schmidt stated that we also need to factor in the cost of not doing it.  Where we are if we don’t have a piece of property soon and have to buy a piece of property outside the Village, which we will have to factor into our decision.  Trustee Brennan stated that the Community Center Needs Assessment Survey is being done and the people will have a voice in moving this forward.  Ms. Grant asked if in the grievance night tonight has there been any resolution on the two major certiorari facing the Village that may negatively impact our assessment rolls and taxes.  Mayor Schmidt stated that he has not and we should hear soon.  Ms. Grant stated that there are trees growing out of the empty foundation on Old Post Road North and that it could be considered a safety hazard since water fills up in there.  Mayor Schmidt stated that it would be passed along to their Code Enforcement people to go out and look at it.

7.~~~~~~APPROVAL OF MINUTES: ~February 6, 2006

Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on February 6, 2006 as corrected.  Trustee Brennan seconded the motion.  The Board voted unanimous approval.

8.~~~~~~REPORTS

Trustee Kane – Reported that he attended the Eagle Fest on Sunday and there were quite a few eagles spotted.  The Hudson River Foundation is holding some winter/spring seminars, unfortunately quite a few are in NYC, but for information you can go to info@hudsonriver.org.

Trustee Steinberg - Reported that yesterday he was contacted by Frank Harris from Sue Kelly’s office who advised that she is looking into preparing some form of legislation to try countering what we saw with NIR with the STB, that is a little different from what has been proposed by the representatives from New Jersey.  Secondly, he wanted to remind people that the Croton Harmon School District is going to accept nominations for the hall of distinguished alumni through March 1st.  That form is available on the schools district’s website and anyone that is a graduate is eligible.

Trustee Brennan – Congratulated the Croton Harmon High School boys and girls basketball team.  They both made the playoffs and Croton finished first in the boy’s division.  The wrestling team and track team have been doing well.  The whole high school program is fantastic.

Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn.  Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,


Marla Pardee
Secretary


______________________
Village Clerk