Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, June 5, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
Absent: Village Attorney Stecich
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m.
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.
In the absence of Village Attorney Stecich, Village Manager Herbek reported on the court hearing held last Thursday for oral arguments before Judge McMahon. The Village was represented by Michael Girard and Maryann Stecich; the judge did not make an immediate decision at that point; until a decision is rendered, the temporary restraining order is continuing which prevents the Village from interfering with Buffalo Southern Railroad transloading operation; no solid waste is to be received at the site. He added that CSX has written a letter to judge McMahon; from their standpoint they do not have an interchange agreement with Buffalo Southern Railroad and that would be needed for any operations to begin unless Judge McMahon ruled otherwise. He added that the issue of the Surface Transportation Board comes into play and the judge did pay attention to the fact that Surface Transportation Board may be the one to make the decision.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from Scott Feuer, 42-53 Maple St., requesting an old water main easement dated 3/3/34 be extinguished of record. The village engineer looked into this and made the decision that the Village does not need that easement and recommends extinguishing the easement.
On motion of TRUSTEE Kane, 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, a water line easement was granted to the Village on March 3, 1934 for the purpose of constructing a six-inch water line extending from Elmore Avenue to Maple Street; and
WHEREAS, on March 17, 1975 the Village Board of Trustees agreed that this outstanding easement was no longer necessary and unanimously voted to return the easement to the current owner for the token price of $1.00; and
WHEREAS, the attorney for the current owner of 42-53 Maple Street (Sect. 79.9, Block 1, Lot 30), Croton View Properties LLC, has determined that the easement remains of record and was never formally extinguished,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to sign the termination agreement and TP-584 in order to terminate the easement and record the termination in the real estate records of Westchester County.
b) A letter from Marianne Stecich expressing her decision to not renew her contract, which expires on June 7, 2006, with the Village. Mayor Schmidt stated that they will be conducting interviews for her replacement this month.
c) A letter from Anne Janiak, Executive Director, Westchester Municipal Officials Assoc., regarding this organizations unanimous approval of a resolution supporting the passage of an Assembly bill #A.10710 “prohibiting the Division of Police from enacting rules or regulations limiting a member of the State Police force from modifying or recommending the modification of certain charges before a court relating to a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law”. Trustee Gallelli stated that it seems that the State Police have been in the habit of modifying or changing a violation, and this proposal asks the Village to support prohibiting the police from doing that. Village Manager Herbek replied that they are prohibited from doing this now; the state law would keep the status quo. He added that this will impact the Village to some point, but this may have more of an impact on towns that rely heavily on State Troopers. Trustee Brennan added that is appears that they are stating the State Troopers will issue the ticket, but then someone else to give the facts of the case instead of the trooper. Trustee Wiegman asked to have the Village Justice, the Police Dept. and Village Prosecutor review and comment.
d) A letter from Kenneth Verschoor, Deputy Planning Director, Cortlandt Dept. of Technical Services/Planning regarding two Public Hearings to be held by the Town on June 6, 2006 for proposed zoning amendments.
e) A letter from Yvonne Mansell, Omnipoint Communications, expressing an interest in co-location at the proposed Nextel tower on Gateway Plaza and asking for an alternative layout to be considered when approving the Nextel application. Trustee Gallelli asked if Nextel needs to comment. Village Engineer O’Connor recommended referring this to the Planning Board and he will contact Nextel.
f) A letter from Fran Allen, WAC Chair, with their comments after reviewing two proposed Nextel projects for Consistency with Croton’s LWRP; locations are 1 Van Wyck St & Veterans Plaza. Trustee Brennan stated that it seems that the WAC has looked at this and see some problems such as preventing use of public lands by private entities; he will take a very good look at this.
g) A letter from Mary Ann Roberts, Ossining Town Clerk, Village of Ossining regarding a proposed local law amending the town code to permit municipally-owned and operated fire houses as a conditional use in certain one-family residence and residence-office districts. A Public Hearing will be continued on Tuesday, June 13, 2006.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
a) On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, seconded by TRUSTEE GALLELLI, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village of Croton on Hudson has entered into an agreement with the SPCA of Westchester Inc. to provide animal shelter care on an annual basis; and
WHEREAS, the costs are increasing to operate this very necessary facility and the agreement reflects a modest increase and now needs to be renewed for the next fiscal year commencing June 1, 2006 – May 31, 2007;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with the SPCA of Westchester, Inc. to provide certain services to the Village for seized, stray and homeless dogs and cats in accordance with the terms of the agreement at the annual cost of $6,111.00.
Discussion: Trustee Gallelli reminded residents that if they find a stray, they can bring it to the ASPCA free of charge. Trustee Kane added that under the contract and under specific terms, the ASPCA does have the right to refuse to accept animals.
b) 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, the Village and the New York State DOT have entered into a snow and ice agreement which will expire in 2007; and
WHEREAS, the Village has received an amendment to this contract reflecting the severity of the winter for the 2005/06 period; and
WHEREAS, under this amendment the estimated expenditure has been increased from $14,162.40 to $18,581.07;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign Amendment B of the Indexed Lump Sum snow and ice agreement with New York State Department of Transportation expiring in 2007.
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, the Village has received a recommendation from our labor counsel, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, to adopt a Workplace Violence Prevention Policy; and
WHEREAS, the unions have reviewed and approved this policy;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy is hereby adopted as an official policy of the Village of Croton on Hudson and will be disseminated to all employees as part of the Policy Handbook.
d) On motion of TRUSTEE WIEGMAN, seconded by TRUSTEE GALLELI, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, The Village Board would like to begin videostreaming the regular Village Board Meetings in order to increase the public access to its meetings; and
WHEREAS, the meetings would be videostreamed live and the prior meetings would also be available on the Village website; and
WHEREAS, the Village has received a proposal from Michael Pollock of Ossining.com Video Services; and
WHEREAS, the cost of each meeting is $175/meeting and this amount was approved for the 2006-07 fiscal year annual budget,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to sign the proposal with Ossining.com Video Services,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount will be charged to account # 1010.400.
Discussion: Trustee Kane stated that this will bring more people into the process; those not served by the local cable channel will now have access to view Village meetings. Mayor Schmidt stated that are going to look at this as a test project; usage reports will be available. Mr. Pollock stated that this is a great way to open up the board meetings to those who have satellite. He added that for any questions, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 432-4863; he hopes to go live at the next board meeting. Trustee Gallelli added that this will be ‘on demand’; a board meeting can be viewed at any time; they will be archived, it will increase the transparency of Village government and will be a positive thing. Trustee Gallelli commented that today’s paper had an article that the town of Rye has just decided they will televise their meetings. Trustee Wiegman stated that meetings starting from the first videostreaming will be archived and available from that point on. Trustee Brennan stated that he is viewing this as a pilot program and will see if viewership warrants the cost. Mr. Pollock stated that more people watch the Ossining meetings that are archived rather than the live broadcasts. He added that his firm is now known as Mike Pollock International Inc. and he will send the Village Manager Herbek a corrected contract.
e) 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 Police Department would like to participate in Westchester County’s STOP DWI Program; and
WHEREAS, this program is an overtime, added, patrol effort to enforce the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws against intoxicated and impaired driving (DWI/DWAI) in Westchester County; and
WHEREAS, the maximum amount for Patrol Project Activity is $6,000.00 for the year with availability of $2,400 of additional added overtime upon written approval,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is authorized to sign the 2006 Stop DWI Patrol Project Reimbursement contract with Westchester County.
f) 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 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 and then posted for 30 days,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Mayor is hereby authorized to sign the 2005 Sponsor Authorization Form.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
a) Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., stated that he found information on the internet regarding Buffalo Southern Railroad although he is not sure of its accuracy; the CEO of Buffalo Southern is Dr. Kevin O’Gorman, Eden NY; he also serves as a member of Eden’s Planning Board. Buffalo Southern does not seem to have a lot of equipment; it is vague on how often it runs and how many customers it has; it no longer does passenger service like it used to; future corridor may be for commuter, not commercial, use. He added that a Vincent Vacco is also on that town board and he may be related to Regis’ Dennis Vacco. Mr. Pellicci stated that the Can D0 crew finished the Hughes Street bump-out project and will be doing the circle on Benedict and Cleveland next. Mayor Schmidt thanked this group for doing this.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on May 15, 2006 as corrected. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on May 15, 2006. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval
Village Manager Herbek reported that he included in tonight’s board packet, the Westchester County annual report on recycling; Croton’s total solid waste recycling generation is 17, 879 tons for the year; the percent recycled is 72% which is very remarkable; credit is due to residents and the public works dept. Mayor Schmidt added that there are not many communities in that range and thanked the staff. Village Manager Herbek reported that the Village hired a surveyor last fall for the southern access road at Half Moon Bay; the surveyor has not produced the necessary documents in a timely manner and he has had to terminate that agreement; they cannot open up the road until the last necessary steps are completed. Village Manager Herbek added that they have lost time, not money, and apologized to residents of Half Moon Bay for the delay. Village Manager Herbek also reported that Joe Cerreto has documents that were to be handed out during the Memorial Day ceremonies about a CD available containing information on veterans information which has been stolen; help for local veterans has been put together by Joe from official military sources; copies will be available at the Village office; all veterans should be cognizant of unauthorized credit card bills, etc. Mayor Schmidt added that veterans should keep in mind that if anyone calls making representation from a government agency, they will not ask any personal information; if they do, try to get a contact number and give it to the police.
Treasurer Zambrano reported that the 1st year of Munis conversation has been completed; they are happy with how the system is operating. He reported also that the tax bills went out last week; bills were mailed to all residents; including courtesy bills for those who pay through their bank. He added that for any questions about the tax bills, call 271-4781. Treasurer Zambrano reported that water bills will be going out on June 15th and are due by July 15th. Mayor Schmidt stated that it is a good idea to mail out courtesy bills so they can keep an eye on escrow account payments.
Trustee Wiegman - no report
Trustee Kane reported that Summerfest was a great success; there were many vendors, quite a few children & adults, great music. He gave special thanks to the Recreation Dept. for helping make this a great event again this year. He also reported that Police Sgt.Corvinus attended a two week forensic computer seminar; he is now certified as an electronic evidence collection specialist; the course was presented by the International Assoc. Of Computer Investigative Specialists; the Sgt. is now certified to collect computer evidence.
Trustee Gallelli reported that Summerfest was great and everyone had a great day after the rain stopped. Mayor Schmidt stated that they have a record of never being rained out. Trustee Gallelli gave special recognition to the marching band from Hen Hud HS who were terrific. Trustee Gallelli reported that tonight before this meeting, the Board had a presentation from a group of people interested in creating a bicycle-pedestrian master plan committee; one idea they have is to create a bicycle-pedestrian system in the Village somewhat like the trail system. They also want to identify short term actions for some immediate improvements that could be made; all of this is consistent with the comprehensive plan adopted; they will be meeting in the summer and the Board will hear more from this committee in the fall after they do data collection. Trustee Gallelli, stated that, regarding the oral arguments held last Thursday which Mayor Schmidt, herself and Village Manager Herbek attended, they were particularly impressed how well prepared Judge McMahon was; she was very knowledgeable about not only the law, but also what each side was saying. Trustee Gallelli stated that after interviewing eminent domain attorneys James Greilsheimer of Blank Rome was selected to assist the Village; he will be working with Mike Gerrard. She added that Clearwater Revival is coming up June 17th and 18th at Croton Point Park; tickets can be obtained at www.clearwater.org at substantially less cost than at the door.
Trustee Brennan stated that the eminent domain attorney should be very helpful. He added that he also walked behind the Hen Hudson High School band and they were great; Trustee Brennan reported that Summerfest was fabulous; everyone in the village did a great job and it is a wonderful reflection on Croton. He reported that tomorrow night there is a meeting for the Community Center; they are close to putting together a questionnaire and hope to have a survey ready by fall. He congratulated the Croton-Harmon boys’ baseball squad who are in class B this year; they went to the semi-finals this year and did a wonderful job
Mayor Schmidt offered apologies for the delay to the residents of Half Moon Bay; he received a letter from someone who lives at the far end of the complex and has 11 speed bumps to go over. Mayor Schmidt reported that Summerfest is an interesting conglomeration that has developed over the years; has become two groups, the Croton Chamber of Commerce and St. Augustine working together; he and his staff start preparations early in the day; there is a cost to the Village, but it is a premier event in the Village; other communities would like to have a similar event; it is a fund raising opportunity for many groups in the Village. Mayor Schmidt thanked the DPW for a clean up job well done.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Kane seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary