Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, May 1, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Absent: Village Manager Herbek
1. CALL TO ORDER:
a) Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.
b) Village Attorney Stecich gave an update on recent rulings regarding the MetroEnviro site:
· Judge Nicolai handed down his decision which enjoined NIR from operating without obtaining a special permit from the Village.
· The Village made two arguments: 1st -when MetroEnviro lost its special permit in 2003, the rights to continue that non-conforming use were lost and 2nd –if the non-conforming use was not lost altogether, any new entity had to obtain a special use permit from the Village. Greentree’s papers argued that a transfer station is a prior legal non-conforming use that under the Croton code could continue indefinitely and did not require a special permit. Ms. Stecich added that two lawsuits were consolidated by the judge and until this latest decision, he seemed to accept NIR’s position that until 2001 it was a legal use and the Village had to convince the court that it was not a conforming use before 2001. She added that she had to convince the court also that if it could continue as a special permit non-conforming use, a new operator had to get a new special permit; the bottom line was that the Village had the right to assure its citizens that any new operator would manage the facility in any way that it would not harm their health, safety and welfare.
· It is the Village’s position that this type of operation has not been allowed in the village since 1979 and was a non conforming use all along; Judge Nicolai seems to think that it was a legal use until 2001.
· Attorney Stecich asked the Board permission to post a $25,000 bond as required by the court.
· Trustee Gallelli stated that the brief that Village Attorney Stecich wrote on which Judge Nickolai relied was excellent and made the Village position extremely clear.
On motion of Trustee Gallelli, 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, Judge Nicolai, in his decision and order of April 27, 2006, directed the Village to file an undertaking in the amount of $25,000; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees determined that it was more cost effective to file the undertaking than to challenge the directive;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the Village Treasurer to arrange for and file an undertaking in the amount of $25,000.
Mayor Schmidt added that it an important part of the decision was that Attorney Stecich’s brief was written clearly to have Judge Nicolai comprehend what led the Village up to this point and to understand what they were doing as a Village. Trustee Gallelli asked if it is expected that NIR will be seeking a special permit to operate in the Village. Village Attorney Stecich stated that she inquired today if they had come in for it, but they haven’t and she doesn’t know what their strategy will be.
c) Mayor Schmidt appointed Deven Sharma to the Planning Board.
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.
Village Treasurer Zambrano read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from John Rosenow, President, National Arbor Day Foundation announcing that
Croton on Hudson has been named as a 2005 tree city. Treasurer Zambrano received the plaque on behalf of the Village.
b) A letter from Edward Buroughs, Westchester Co. Planning Board, regarding the Draft
Scoping document; the WCPB had no objection to the Village Board of Trustees assuming Lead Agency status for this project. They requested that the draft include reference to the proposed RiverWalk route and be revised to include an analysis of pedestrian traffic.
c) A letter from Brett Bowden, a Croton Harmon HS teacher & faculty advisor, requesting permission to use Vassallo Park and the stage area on Thursday, May 18, 2006 for Upstander Day. Motion by Trustee Kane to approve the request, seconded by Trustee Wiegman, approved unanimously with the request that the calendar be checked for usage by other groups at that same time.
d) A letter from Emilie Spaulding, Cablevision, announcing programming and price adjustments to take effect in June 2006.
e) A letter from Leslie Snyder, Snyder & Snyder LLP, regarding an application from Verizon Wireless to the Village of Ossining for a wireless telecommunications facility at 121 S. Highland Ave.
f) A letter from Patrick Calcutti, Croton Central Veterans Committee, inviting the Board to attend their Memorial Day ceremony to be held on May 29th, 11 am, at the Croton Veteran’s Memorial Plot, Veteran’s Corners.
4. Village Engineer Dan O’Connor, gave an update on the Harmon Water Main project and the sidewalk project:
· the contractor is back on site doing service lines; there are about 210 that need to be installed, about 10 have been completed; they are doing 4 to 7 service lines a day
· about 98% of the water main is in –approximately 50% has been tested, have passed and the Health Dept. has approved about half of that.
· the main part of the water main still needs to be pressure tested and get approved
· important for homeowners- if there are any changes that need to be made, give him a call, especially for vacant lots; if any homeowner wants to replace their galvanized lines, they can relocate new pipe in a different location if necessary; the homeowner would need to commit to bringing the line to the house.
· there are two other components-installing water mains across Riverside Ave. to Wayne St. and then install a water main on Clinton St and down the entire Wayne St. to the dead end.
· they are working on extending the water main from the dead end of Wayne St. to Croton Point Ave and attach to water main there which would be the end of the water main installation project; then they will do clean up and pave the roads.
· they hope to have minimal disruption to the Riverside Ave. traffic; hopefully it will be done in two days and they will avoid rush hour traffic times.
· about 20 residents have requested new water service lines; the majority who wanted them had them done already; they are working systematically to do installations and pothole repairs are being done weekly.
Village Engineer O’Connor reported on the sidewalk project for 2005:
· they processed 59 applications, some also with new curbs, about 1.2 miles of sidewalk was installed at a cost of $103,000 to the Village and $114,000 to homeowners.
· no sidewalks will be done in Harmon until late fall because of the water main project
· a new contractor is starting at the Van Wyck area and then will move to other areas of Village
· homeowners can call Joe Sperber at the Village Engineering Dept. for more information
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
a) Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., thanked the Mayor & Attorney Stecich for this update; she hopes everyone stays the course; the brief made it clear why a deal was impossible with these people. Ms. Cudequest stated that she will assume there will be no deal with this entity; they have falsified records and accepted unauthorized materials; residents in Warren Ohio are also suing; she expects the Board to look at all these things if this entity comes to the Village for a special permit; do a full environmental review; do not seek to cut a deal with them; a federal investigation was initiated last year involving organized crime in the industry and it is back in the news again; she provided the Board with recent articles and asked them to review these articles; she also provided copies of other lawsuits where Regis was named; communities are placed at risk at certain times of calm.
b) Don Daubney, 45 Bungalow Rd., congratulated the Mayor & Board for the stand they took on this issue and having the confidence in Attorney Stecich. He stated that in 1997 they were told it would be to costly to stand up and prevent this permit from going forward; he felt that he was right in standing against this permit; it is just as right now if someone else applies for this permit; maintain proof that the Village is right; this law suit has cost a lot of time, energy and money; do want to be free of this type of operation.
c) Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., thanked Village Attorney Stecich for the brief and asked if all board members are on same page about not issuing a special permit. Attorney Stecich replied that she didn’t think that it was appropriate to answer the question. Trustee Gallelli added that any specific answer will be viewed in a later legal context as prejudging.
d) John Giglio. 50 Emerson Ave., congratulated the Board and Attorney Stecich for a job well done. He stated that in the agreement with the sailing school, they thought that the contract had to be reviewed by the Recreation Advisory Committee and neither he nor the Superintendent of Recreation thought that the contract was completed; he would like to see a copy of the agreement and be allowed time to give comments; please hold off tonight’s vote until after the document is reviewed. Attorney Stecich stated that she knows Sue Menz has reviewed it; they have had frequent conversations and have discussed the terms.
e) Joseph Streany urged the Board to not move on this sailing school contract; the Recreation Advisory Board brought to the attention of the Village administration and met with the Board at a work session to discuss this; a number of bullet points were included in a memo from Sue Menz and Abe Zambrano; they do not see any of these included in the contract. He stated that some of the things talked about had to do with space the sailing school was using; the Village should receive compensation for additional space they are taking for moorings and storage; the draft contract is horrible in that what they asked for and that which was received are in opposite points. He added that the Harbormaster, who is the sailing school operator, more than doubled his salary as part of this negotiation in addition to receiving additional mooring spaces which has value; no one is speaking against the sailing school but it is really now a camp and they have done a good job; all the additional space for office use delineates to a dollar amount not addressed; urged to not authorize the Village Manager to sign this contact; there is a need to preserve that waterfront property.
f) Bob Wintermeier 43 Radnor Ave., stated that it is not the first time the Croton Sailing School matter has been brought up; if there is a chance for revenue, it should be brought in; he is concerned that the Recreation Dept. was not involved in the decision. He asked the Board to delay the contract to allow them to have sufficient time to review; he would like to see the contract posted on the web site. Treasurer Zambrano replied that Sue Menz has been part of the talks from day one; she and Village Attorney Stecich have been reviewing the contract as late as last week. Trustee Brennan stated that he assumed that Ms. Menz and the Recreation Advisory Board were working together in review of the draft contract; he is willing to postpone vote on the contract until proper review is done.
a) Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the resolution on tonight’s agenda regarding the Croton Sailing School contract; seconded by Trustee Gallelli. Trustee Brennan asked to allow the Recreation Advisory Board time to review this before it is voted on. Mayor Schmidt agreed and since the current contract is in effect until 2008, there is no danger of leaving this off right now. Trustee Gallelli stated that she was at the work session where the Recreation Advisory Board met with the Village Board and discussed their issues; it was her understanding that all involved have been working with Mr. Jennings to resolve the issues brought forth at that meeting and this has resulted in the contract before them; it has been worked with extensively by Attorney Stecich; she is reluctant to postpone this as it has been under process for some time. Trustee Brennan added that they obviously did not have time to review the contract and they should be given the opportunity to review it. Trustee Gallelli replied that there is no hurry but the process has been a reasonable one. Mayor Schmidt stated that this has been a reasonable process, but as the Village has these committees to do a review they should have the opportunity to have their say. Trustee Wiegman added that last summer they were asked to consider renewal of the agreement although the contract would not be up for several years, but the staff did as they were asked; the Recreation Advisory Committee is advisory, not legislative; the sailing school needs to calibrate its fees sooner rather than later it is not fair to keep this dragging on. He added that all Trustees have liaison assignments to volunteer boards and perhaps the role to bring information back to the Recreation Advisory Board was not fully implemented, it may not be a staff shortfall, but may be a trustee/liaison shortfall. Joe Streany stated that Trustee Wiegman is not being responsible to taxpayers to the Village; Sue Menz had no idea that there was a contract to be signed and that this was on the agenda. He added that he had asked this to be put out to public bid but this was rejected at the work session. Trustee Brennan agreed that he was uncomfortable with the insurance part of the contract; it is a phenomenal deal and it would not hurt to wait two more weeks. Mayor Schmidt added that there is a change in the coverage which will be an amendment to the contract proposed tonight. Trustee Kane stated that this document reflects many months of work by Attorney Stecich, Village Manager Herbek and the Recreation Board and he sees no reason to hold up signing of this contract. Trustee Gallelli made a motion to postpone this resolution; second by Trustee Brennan; approved unanimously. The resolution was tabled.
b) 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 Police Department air conditioning unit is over 10 years old, undersized, and needs to be replaced; and
WHEREAS, the Superintendent of Public Works has received three quotes for a new air conditioning unit; and
WHEREAS, Dwight Getting Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. had the lowest quote at $9,986,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the contract to Dwight Getting Heating & Air Conditioning Inc for the replacement of the Police Department’s air conditioning unit,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Treasurer is authorized to amend the 2005-06 General Fund Budget as follows:
1. Increase 1620.400 by $10,000 (Maintenance of Public Buildings – contractual)
2. Decrease 1990.400 by $10,000 (Contingent Account)
Discussion: Mayor Schmidt stated that during the budget review period, he specifically asked if any units needed replacement and finds it interesting that this request shows up after the budget was approved; he would like to find who is responsible for this, but he agrees the Police Department’s air conditioning unit needs to be replaced.
c) 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, Local Law No. 2 of 2006 was adopted on March 20, 2006 adding Chapter 178 Professional Fees; and
WHEREAS, this chapter provides for the Board of Trustees, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals to retain professional consultants to assist them with their review of applications and to require that the applicant reimburse the Village for such costs; and
WHEREAS, the Water Control Commission is also an approving board for certain applications; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 7 has been drafted amending Chapter 178 to add the Water Control Commission,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a Public Hearing at 8pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building on May 15, 2006 to consider Local Law Introductory No. 7 amending Chapter 178, Professional Fees.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave., talked about the budget and displayed charts; the budget has been adopted; his numbers were taken from the adopted budget summary; for the 1st time in 14 years he has not seen the budget decrease; the original proposed budget was $14,013,996; $9,187,753 needed to be raised from taxes which was a 9.43% increase; the adopted budget increased by almost $71,000 and the increase percentage remained the same because of found revenue and it was spent instead of using it to reduce the tax. There is no money or plan for flood control; this is a ‘spend and tax’ philosophy. He added that the water rental fee came in at 8% not 10 to15% which is a savings for residents. Mr. Wintermeier questioned the new tree law and tree buffer zones and there was talk about a $40 application fee-is this per tree or per instance? Trustee Wiegman replied that for the first 2 trees, the application fee is $50 and $30 for each additional tree; this is in the master fee schedule. Trustee Brennan pointed out that the 9.43% tax increase would have been 11.43% if they had not enacted the new sewer rent law.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on April 17, 2006. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. Trustee Gallelli stated that most of a discussion between herself and Village Attorney Stecich was left out and she would like to see this incorporated in the minutes. Trustee Gallelli added that there should be a decision if discussions should be included in the minutes, or not, to make them consistent. Mayor Schmidt made a motion to table approval of these minutes pending incorporation of additional discussions. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on April 24, 2005. Trustee Kane seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Treasurer Zambrano reported that they are working on tax bills this month and the bills will be out the end of May; payment is due June 30th. He added that Saturdays in June the office will be open for receipt of payment; this will be posted in local newspapers. Mayor Schmidt stated that people can sign up on web site for email notices also.
Trustee Wiegman no report
Trustee Kane thanked Earth Day participants who came out on Saturday for the clean up of the train station, the scouts went out to Black Rock Park and also the crew who attacked Senasqua and Croton Landing; tons of material was removed.
Trustee Gallelli reported that the blood drive is coming up this Sunday at the high school. She added that the Planning Board is currently considering two types of experts to become involved in cell tower applications. Trustee Gallelli reported also that the Planning Board will be holding a public hearing on the site plan for Symphony Knoll on May 9th. She reported that the Village Board has identified several potential candidates to act as eminent domain advisor; interviews will take place next week
Trustee Brennan reported that the Community Center meeting will be held tomorrow 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall. He reminded everyone to support the high school programs.
Mayor Schmidt reported that Mayor Elliott’s picture is now hanging in this room of the Municipal Building; he will be working on adding Trustees names to that list. Mayor Schmidt reported also that Village Manager Herbek & he attended a cable TV round table discussion; a lot of communities are facing radical changes in franchise agreements; much of this is being moved up to the federal government. He asked the Board to consider increasing the size of the Planning Board as the Village is transferring a lot of work over to the Planning Board. Attorney Stecich stated that the Village law says 5 members or 7 members for this board; however, the Board of Trustees can pass an amendment to change the local law; they will still need a quorum and a majority of the quorum to pass anything. Mayor Schmidt stated that the Board of Trustees will be meeting for advice of counsel after this meeting tonight.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Gallelli seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary