A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, June 19, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
The following officials were present:
1. CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Schmidt advised that the Board met at 6:30pm this evening with special counsel; Eminent Domain attorney Jim Grosheimer, Mike Gerrard and Marianne Stecich to discuss Judge McMann's decision and where the Village's decision tree is at this point. Mayor Schmidt said that the Board has decided to file a complaint with the STB indicating that the Village's argument is going to be that BSOR (Buffalo Southern Railroad) is an illegal operation. Mayor Schmidt indicated that by a 3 to 2 decision, they uthorized Village Manager Herbek and Mike Gerrard to have a listening session with Andreas Gruson to discuss what options are available. Mayor Schmidt said that Mr. Herbek and Mr. Gerrard are not authorized to make an agreement at this time.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows; the motion was seconded by Trustee Brennan and approved unanimously.
a. Resolution Approving the Request from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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:
Resolved that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson hereby approves the request from Carol Ann McOwen, Special Events Manager, National Multiple Sclerosis Society dated June 8, 2006 to use Section A of the Croton-Harmon Train Station Parking Lot on Sunday, October 1, 2006 for the Tappan Zee Mike Tour for a MS fund raiser.
b. Letter from Christopher Smith, Hudson National Golf Course dated June 13, 2006 advising that they will be hosting a fireworks display on July 15, 2006 in conjunction with their 10 Year Anniversary celebration.
c. Mayor Schmidt advised that there are a number of individuals who are interested in serving on a Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee for the Village. Mayor Schmidt officially recognized the following committee members; Joe Biber, Josh Moreinis, Rob Olsen, Justin Casson and Jeremy Goldsmith. Mayor Schmidt asked if there is anyone else that is interested in serving on this committee to please contact the Village.
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:
Resolved that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-On-Hudson hereby appoints the following to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee; Joe Biber, Josh Moreinis, Rob Olsen, Justin Casson and Jeremy Goldsmith.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - AGENDA ITEMS
Maria Cudequest distributed a packet of information to the Board entitled "New England Transrail STD Decision Forwarded by Massachusetts". Ms. Cudequest said that Croton residents have been in touch with other communities facing unregulated rail waste operations such as New England Transrail in Massachusetts. Ms. Cudequest said that she hopes the Board read the STD decision concerning NET and watched the Channel 5 news clip on this issue. Ms. Cudequest said that she hoped that the Village is not considering negotiating with a company that has tried to circumvent our laws, was featured in Federal Monitors Report and that has repeated environmental havoc elsewhere in the Country. Ms. Cudequest said that bringing garbage back to Croton is not an option. Ms. Cudequest said that Judge McMann's decision regarding Buffalo Southern did contain some good news that they are precluded from bringing in solid waste while negotiations are ongoing. Ms. Cudequest said that Allied always intended for their site to service as a Bronx Transfer Station" as well as for the "Metro New York Area" and had indicated this in its deal acquisition profile. Ms. Cudequest said that she hopes no one is advocating a deal that involves waste because no community that cuts a deal with or without a rail ever comes out ahead in a deal that involves waste. Ms. Cudequest said that she hopes that if Croton is going to go down, that we go down fighting.
Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Avenue, thanked Marianne Stecich for her service this past year, she will be missed and added that he had the highest confidence and appreciates everything that she has done for the Village. Mr. Wintermeier said he would also like to speak about Eminent Domain and the fact that there is a lot of miss-information out in the community. Mr. Wintermeier said that the public is being mislead because they are taking the Metro-Envior costs and lumping them in with our current battle with the BSOR (Buffalo Southern Operating Railroad). Mr. Wintermeier said that the Metro-Envior battle is behind the Village and should be kept separate from any discussion on future costs with respect to Eminent Domain. Mr. Wintermeier said that Village staff has talked about the need for a DPW facility and the need to consolidate equipment with other departments as a way of saving costs. Mr. Wintermeier said that we are faced now with a new battle with Regus, NIR, and Buffalo Southern Operating Railroad. Mr. Wintermeier said that Regus is trying to circumvent environmental restrictions by using a Federal Loophole which is a major problem being addressed by legislatures in both the Federal and State levels. Mr. Wintermeier said that he has looked at the CSX letter submitted to Buffalo Railroad and said that there is no CSX Interchange agreement as claimed by BSOR. Mr. Wintermeier said that BSOR is considered by CSX as an industrial sidetrack and not a railroad and they will need STP approval for BSOR to act as a common carrier. Mr. Wintermeier said that from what he has read Regus is not a good neighbor and is facing problems in several states and would like to see further debate on this subject at future Board meetings.
Mayor Schmidt said that Eminent Domain is not an option for the Village at this time.
Trustee Gallelli said that she is didn't want the wrong information put out to the public and clarified that BSOR is a "Class Three Common Carrier".
Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Avenue, said that he doesn't understand why the Board would have any discussions with them because he does not see what they could possibly offer the Village. Mr. Pellicci said that he is very concerned that garbage will come back to the Village.
Trustee Brennan stated that in all fairness to the entire Board, we are on two tracks and did get some good advice from legal counsel that the second track could prove to be very fruitful in the long run. Trustee Brennan said that while he did not agree with it, the entire Board did agree and in retrospect it may not be a bad idea.
Fran Allen, said that with respect to the request from Sky view there is an opportunity for the Village to insist that they update their sewer system and solve the sewer stench that the north end and many other parts of the Village have experienced for many years.
Mayor Schmidt said that Mr. Kehoe had indicated in his letter to the Board that this was an opportunity for the Board to use this as part of the discussion with them.
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 has an agreement with MetroPool, Inc. whereby Metro pool reimburses the Village for its lost revenue resulting from offering a 50% reduction of the parking costs for those permit holders at the Croton Harmon Station who can verify ownership of an energy efficient vehicle with low emissions such as a hybrid or electric car; and
WHEREAS, this agreement will expire on August 31, 2006; and
WHEREAS, MetroPool would like to continue the arrangement on a year-to year basis and has sent us a new agreement for the period between September 1, 2006 and August 31, 2007,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with MetroPool for the reimbursement of permit costs to the Village.
Trustee Gallelli said that she understands that you get one of these permits but that doesn't have to be the car that sits at the station because the parking permit allows for two cars to be listed on the permit. Trustee Gallelli said that the car with the savings could be the one that someone runs around town with and the high mileage car actually is parked at the train station.
b. 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 is interested in addressing the recurrent flooding issues at the Croton-Harmon Train Station; and
WHEREAS, Dvirka & Bartilucci has prepared a proposal for a focused evaluation of parking arrangements at the station and evaluations of certain alternatives for mitigating the flooding issues; and
WHEREAS, the tasks include a topographic survey and review of elevations, soil borings, forecast systems assistance, a temporary response plan, and a conceptual alternatives evaluation; and
WHEREAS, the estimated cost range for this proposal totals $16,000 to $22,000 and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal from Dvirka & Bartilucci,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the cost will be charged to capital account# 3-5650-2015.
Trustee Gallelli suggested that a presentation be made at one of the upcoming Board meetings about what steps are in place in the event that there are flooding problems.
c. 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, David Wingfield has been a police officer in the Village of Highland Falls and has successfully completed the Orange County Police Academy; and
WHEREAS, the Village currently has one open position in the Police Department; and
WHEREAS, Lt. Anthony Tramaglini has conducted an extensive background check of David Wingfield and both he and Police Chief Dennis Coxen recommend the hiring of Mr. Wingfield;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: that David P. Wingfield of Cornwall on Hudson, NY, is hereby appointed as a Police Officer at the salary of $42,473, effective June 23, 2006 in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Westchester County Department of Human Resources.
d. 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 of Croton on Hudson has entered into a contract with Bilotta Construction Company for the installation of new water mains in the Harmon area; and
WHEREAS The Village of Croton-on –Hudson wishes to extend the newly installed water main on Benedict Blvd. across South Riverside Avenue to the west side; and
WHEREAS This extension of said water main to the west side of South Riverside Ave. will facilitate future installations of new water mains on Benedict Blvd, Wayne Street, Clinton Street and a tie in to Croton Point Ave. thereby substantially reinforcing the Village’s water distribution system; and
WHEREAS Bilotta Construction Company has presented a Change Order price for the work in the amount of $141,530.65; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to approve Change Order #6 for $141,530.65 for Bilotta Construction Company;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount be financed through a Water Fund Balance Transfer to Capital Account # 3-834 200 0102 74.
e. 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 Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center has requested a change in their site plan consisting of an additional 650 square foot outdoor terrace at the southern end of the nursing home building; and
WHEREAS, a change in the site plan requires an amended special permit; and
WHEREAS, this issue was referred to the Planning Board at the May 15, 2006 Village Board Meeting; and
WHEREAS, the Planning Board has recommended the issuance of an amended special permit,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby calls for a public hearing on July 10, 2006 at 8 pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider whether to issue an amended special permit to Sky View Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.
Mayor Schmidt asked the Village Engineer, Mr. O'Connor, if he had any comments with respect to this.
Mr. O'Connor said that the Planning Board supports the fact that the facility does need a grinder and to condition the special permit to Sky View that they install it within a certain time period. Mr. O'Connor said that the Sky View is also interested in screening the dioxide tank that is at the site for esthetic reasons but we should certainly talk to them about other options such as putting the tank in the ground. Mr. O'Connor said that the pumps that feed the chemicals into the system also need to be upgraded.
Trustee Wiegman asked if there are any environmental implications of burying a tank with these chemicals.
Mr. O'Connor said that the tank would be a double wall tank and is a high nitrate type of solution and the environmental impacts are probably not that great.
Trustee Kane asked if this would be subject to Westchester County approvals.
Mr. O'Connor said that they would need approvals from the Westchester County Department of Health
Trustee Kane said that he is concerned about the six month time period which does not seem to be enough time.
Mr. O'Connor said that he would recommend that the Board bring Sky View in and get a time-frame from them.
Trustee Wiegman commented that the Public Hearing will force Sky View to pay immediate attention to the concerns that the Board will be discussing.
Trustee Brennan said that Ms. Allen indicated that they may be in violation now and is this something that we should be looking at.
Mr. O'Connor said that the special permit that was issued last year was for a terrace and what they had proposed was to build a foundation for the terrace, back fill the foundation with soil and then pour a concrete patio on top of the soil. Mr. O'Connor said that in digging the foundation, instead of filling it back with soil to support the slab, they put structural steal up to enable them to use the area below as storage. Mr. O'Connor said that from a violation standpoint it would have to be determined by legal counsel but right now it would only be a violation if they put it into use. Mr. O'Connor said that they are currently including this now in their application for clarity so there isn't any confusion with respect to this storage area below the terrace.
Unidentified resident stated that as one of the neighbors affected by the smell, she doesn't understand why it is not very simple for the Board to say that any special permit is contingent upon finishing something they previously agreed to do.
Trustee Gallelli asked Village Attorney Marianne Stecich if the Board is obligated to hold the Public Hearing once the process has been started.
Ms. Stecich said that she has not seen this application and would have to look at the dates.
Mayor Schmidt said that we can schedule the Public Hearing but in the interim the Board should meet with Sky View and talk to them about what they need to do to move forward.
f. 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, Best Web will be providing a fiber optic network for the Croton-Harmon School District and has a contract with the School District dated 2-16-06; and
WHEREAS, the network must utilize the Village’s public right-of-way; and
WHEREAS, Section 27 of the New York Transportation Corporation Law allows the Village to grant consent to Telephone Companies for the use of its streets and rights of way; and
WHEREAS, Bestweb, a telephone company, has received a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the New York state Public Service Commission on February 9, 2001; and
WHEREAS, the Consent Agreement has been approved by the Village Attorney; and
WHEREAS, the Village must make a determination as to the environmental significance of this action; and
WHEREAS, a short Environmental Assessment Form has been drafted,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby determines that this is an unlisted action,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that based upon the Short Environmental Assessment form the Village Board of Trustees adopts the Negative Declaration with respect to this action,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the Consent Agreement with Best Web for the use of the right-of-way of the Village for the limited purpose of providing fiber network services to the Croton-Harmon School District
Village Attorney Marianne Stecich suggested the following changes to the Agreement:
1) Change term of Agreement to reflect the same renewal period every five years.
2) Paragraph 23 add the following language "or interferes with Village services"
3) Add to the Agreement the requirement to post a Bond or comparable security in the amount of $5,000.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
Eleanor Shatzkin, 132 old Post Road North said that she was embarrassed to be a resident of Croton on Hudson because we were inhospitable to the Clearwater Festival. Ms. Shatzkin said that she doesn't know if the Village asked the Police Department to institute traffic stops so that people who were coming to the festival would be stopped and traffic would be held up because every car was being checked. Ms. Shatzkin said that there weren't' any signs indicating where Clearwater Festival attendees should park and her daughter received a ticket.
Mayor Schmidt said that this was the State Police not the Croton Police Department but will check this out with them.
Abe Zambrano said that people running the Festival were told what lots would be available, which was the majority of the parking lot. Mr. Zambrano said that the area immediately in front of the train station was reserved for our regular paying commuters who go to work on the weekends. Mr. Zambrano said that the people from the Clearwater Festival assured the Village that they would have enough people at the parking lot directing traffic. Mr. Zambrano said that the Village saved the signs that the Festival used which clearly indicates where people could park.
Fran Allen said that the recommendation from the Planning Board was not a consensus. Ms. Allen said that the Planning Board never discussed the number of days or that we would simply put it in as a condition of the approval. Ms. Allen urged the Public to attend the July 10th Public Hearing on whether or not to grant the Special Permit to Sky View without having finished the sewer project.
Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Avenue said that he thought the Village signed or negotiated a deal last year with Dvirka & Bartilucci for about $10,000 for some type of a preliminary estimate or suggestions and asked what the differences between that estimate and what was approved this evening.
Village Manager Richard Herbek said that there were two proposals that the Village was evaluating, one was a Feasibility Study that was much more extensive in the amount of $50,000. Mr. Herbek said that this was never brought to the Board because the staff had some questions about some of the options in that Feasibility Study. Mr. Herbek said that there was a second proposal which was also not presented to the Board at that time. Mr. Herbek said that they met with Tony Conetta and took a look at both of those previous proposals and decided on specific areas that we thought were necessary to get us to the point where we would have some answer to questions in this new proposal.
Mayor Schmidt said that the other study was more for short, intermediate and long term options which were never acted upon. Mayor Schmidt said that there have been other studies but this one in particular will help to solve the flooding problems.
Mr. Wintermeier thought that there was a proposal that was discussed at a previous meeting where they spoke about drainage.
Trustee Gallelli said that Tony Conetta presented at that time what could be included in a study and he covered a whole range of areas but when the proposals came in the staff cut back on them and picked and chose what they wanted that became the proposal of what is before us this evening.
Mr. Wintermeier said that he received e-mails from Rick Turner regarding the Best-Web Agreement. Mr. Wintermeier said that this is a very cumbersome agreement and Mr. Turner said that he has some concerns about the Contract and has his concerns been answer in this final edition.
Mayor Schmidt said that some of his concerns have been addressed but his major concern has not been addressed.
Village Attorney Marianne Stecich said that there was a difference in opinion with respect to whether or not it should be a Franchise Agreement. Ms. Stecich stated that this is not a Franchise Agreement and has clarified it with the PSC who in fact agreed with the Village that it should not be a Franchise Agreement.
Richard Pellicci thanked Ken Kraft and Ed Walsh for all their help the last couple of weeks with the planting at the circle, the island and the end of Benedict.
Susan Koenig, 37 Elmore, said that she had to go through the Police stop a couple of times and thought that the Police Offices were efficient, polite and helpful and thought it was a great idea to have them because of the large amount of cars in Croton. Ms. Koenig said that she understands that there will be a meeting with Regus and said since we are under no obligation to meet with them does not understand why the Village would do so. Ms. Koenig said that sitting down with people shows a willingness to negotiate and it is something that we do not want to show.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on May 31, 2006 as amended. Trustee Wiegman seconded the motion. The Board voted to unanimously to approve the minutes.
Trustee Wiegman made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on April 17, 2006 as amended. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on June 6, 2006. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
Village Manager Richard Herbek distributed a letter from Paul Rosen, Esq. dated June 8, 2006 responding to our request to review the resolution from the Westchester Municipal Officials Association regarding the State Police enacting rules limiting State Police Officers appearing before local courts relating to violations of Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Mr. Herbek stated that Mr. Rosen is recommending that the Village comply with Westchester Municipal Officials request to support their resolution.
Village Treasurer Abe Zambrano informed the residents that tax bills and water bills have been mailed.
Mayor Schmidt announced that Dan O'Connor has assured us that the bids for improvements to the Community Room will be going out this month. Mayor Schmidt said that Mr. O'Connor gave him a tour to see why this project had been delayed. Mayor Schmidt said that a lot of work has been done in-house that were necessary to get this project going.
Trustee Brennan reported that he attended a very informative NYCOM Conference. Trustee Brennan said that he learned about companies that you can hire free of charge that will review the Village's utilities bills to recoup any overcharges. Trustee Brennan said he also attended a class on what a Village can do to be more attractive to businesses and to people who would like to live in the Village. Trustee Brennan updated the Board on the Community Center; advised that Karen Zevin, School Board Member, is a professional survey writer and has agreed to assist the Village forge ahead with our survey.
Trustee Gallelli announced that this is the first night that video-streaming is occurring. Trustee Gallelli advised that she attended the Village School Board Meeting and reported that the Village and the School have worked out an agreement on the joint use of the Village's radio tower and the technical difficulties were worked out with the Police and Fire Department. Trustee Gallelli said that the Village has conducted two interviews for Village Attorney and three are schedule for this coming week. Trustee Gallelli advised that the Recreation Advisory Board's main concern is when the Community Room will be available. Trustee Gallelli said that the Recreation Department has for the first time a wait-list for day camp. Trustee Gallelli said that the Recreation Advisory Committee suggested that the Village have a similar process with respect to memorials to find appropriate locations for memorials other than parks.
Mayor Schmidt said that he thought that the Village should look into the program of memorials to include those who would like to make donations in honor of someone.
Trustee Kane advised that the Conservation Advisory Committee has put forth a text to name the launch at the Croton Bridge and they are proposing it to be named Echo Launch which would include a plaque and a stand. Trustee Kane said that the he is deeply disturbed over the misuse of the Croton River Gorge and has received many called from residents. Trustee Kane said that quite a few of the large boulders have been spray painted with day-glow orange paint and it looks awful. Trustee Kane suggested that we sit down with the Town of Ossining and New Castle to try to resolve this issue.
Trustee Wiegman said that we have a valuable resource in our Croton River but is truly overrun and asked that everyone using this resource to please respect the property and the surrounding areas. Trustee Wiegman said that he would also be happy to reach out to the other communities to help resolve this issue.
Mayor Schmidt reported that he attended the NYCOM conference and especially enjoyed the session on Economic Development. Mayor Schmidt said that he also attended a session on the economics of running a Village with respect to running your Village as a business and will discuss this with Village staff in the future. Mayor Schmidt said that the Metro-Enviro site is a very perplexing and complicated issue facing this Village and it has been a long battle and stated that he is concerned that it is not over and will cost the Village money. Mayor Schmidt said that he hopes that the residents of the Village will share their thoughts of where they stand on this issue because it is a decision that will forever define this community. Mayor Schmidt said that the Board will continue to fight this and to make Croton a better place to live.
There being no further comments to come before the Board, a motion to close the meeting at 9:50pm was made by Trustee Wiegman and seconded by Trustee Kane. Motion was unanimously approved.
Peggy Keesler, Village Clerk