Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520.
The following officials were present:
1. CALL TO ORDER:
Mayor Schmidt called the meeting to order at 8:05 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
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.
3. Mayor Schmidt presented NYCOM Public Service Awards for twenty-five years of service or more to Tom Giglio, Heavy Motor Equipment Operator, for 30 years of service and to Executive Lieutenant Tony Tramaglini, Croton-on-Hudson Police Dept., for 35 years of service.
4. An update on Metro-North Railroad’s Capital Improvement Project: Presentation was done by Mike O’Neill, Karen Timko and Mike Sickenius. Mr. O’Neill reviewed what they have accomplished, what they are working on now and what they will be working on in the future. They have kept the original master plan intact to make the Harmon station a more efficient, safe and quieter yard; they have partially achieved these goals. A handout was distributed, copies available.
5. Village Treasurer Abe Zambrano conducted a presentation on new plans that have been implemented to address alternate parking rules in case of flooding in the train station parking areas; the area prone to flooding accommodates up to 400 vehicles; several storms this past year affected the parking lot, especially nor’easters and tropical storms; Jan. 18th ‘06 was the worst flooding as they had no warning; the Village now subscribes to a weather monitor system and they use tide tables. He added that a new plan was put into effect on 9/11 and 9/12/06; lots G & H are most prone to flooding; the Village will be sending emails to those who park at the lot notifying of closings and potential flooding. He added that they also now subscribe to the National Weather Service for reports. Mr. Zambrano stated that the plan is that the Village administration will determine if lots need to be closed; they will provide alternate parking, email individuals and, if they know the day before, will leave notices on car windshields and make announcements on WHUD & WFAS; they have also purchased a solar powered message board; notices will be placed on the Village web site. They will place the overflow at Van Cortlandt Manor field; monitors will pay attention to north and south traffic by having individuals with walkie-talkies redirect drivers to alternate parking prior to entering the train station parking lot; they have hired a shuttle bus to transport people to the train station both morning and evening. He added that they will have to address portable lighting for the alternate parking area. Daily parking fees will be suspended. A resident questioned where additional employees will come from. Mr. Zambrano replied they will be using public works employees, village administration and volunteer firemen will be called as needed. A resident questioned what the annual gross revenue of the 400 spaces is and what is the break-point -20 times a year? Village Manager Herbek replied that the 400 spaces are permit spaces, so there is no impact on the Village revenue; not charging daily parking customers who park in the overflow lot will not have any financial impact on the Village, but it is important to serve the paying customers. Mayor Schmidt stated that this is a short-term solution; consultants are looking at a long-term solution.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office):
a) A letter from Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town supervisor, requesting Con Ed to conduct a study of feasibility of placing power lines underground; he is asking for each municipal board to pass a resolution supporting the request for this study. Trustee Gallelli stated that this is simply a request to have ConEd study this; during the Comprehensive Plan process, consultants demonstrated removing power lines as an esthetic improvement; she believes that they should request the study. Mayor Schmidt suggested putting this on a work session for further discussion.
b) A letter from Susan Snyder, Superintendent, Recreation & Parks Dept., regarding the request to put a restroom facility at Sunset Park and stating at a recent meeting of the Recreation Advisory Board, it was their decision that a restroom or a port-o-san is not necessary at that location and explaining their recommendation.
c) A letter from Don Daubney, Croton Lions’ Club, seeking permission to hold a “Duck Race” on the Croton River next April. Mayor Schmidt suggested discussing further with the Lions’ Club and pass on additional information as the project moves further. Don Daubney stated that they felt the best place to recover lost ducks would be via canoe or kayak by the Rt. 9 bridge. He added that they can earmark part of the revenue to a river project; this will bring some additional interest to the river; he is in communication with people who run a similar race in Vermont. Trustee Gallelli suggested doing a test run to see how long it takes objects to travel the route.
d) JoAnne Fannon, Chair, Community Blood Program, announcing the 73rd Blood Drive will be held on Sunday, Dec. 3rd 9 am to 3 pm.
e) A letter from Judi Rizzi, expressing her opinion about any negotiations (with Regis).
f) A letter from John Giglio, Chair, Recreation Advisory Board, regarding space in the municipal building for the youth program and urging the Board to make this a priority item.
g) A memo from Village Engineer Dan O’Connor, asking for an extension of a building permit for Mr. Dickey, 181 Cleveland Drive. A motion to approve the request was made by Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Kane, approved unanimously.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION –Agenda Items:
a) Maria Cudequest, Grand St., addressed the Board’s continued negotiations; Regis’ activities in Ohio and Massachusetts shows it is not a good idea to deal with these people; they were found and held responsible for an infest of cockroaches in Hopewell and Fishkill; she read a letter about this situation and presented several documents and newspaper articles to the Board; she asked them to review these documents and stop negotiations.
b) John Giglio, Emerson Ave. and Chair of the Recreation Advisory Committee, as a follow up on the letter they sent to the Board of Trustees read during Correspondence portion of the meeting tonight; they have been trying to get this going for 4 years; saw information where bids were to be opened in August, but found out there were no bid openings in August; they have heard nothing from the Village. He stated that the Youth program needs the space and should be a number one priority.
c) Gary Petit, Oriole Lane, stated that there are about 600 children in the youth program who are affected by the Village’s actions; the program is in jeopardy; they had to turn some away; teens have minimum choices and frequently make the wrong choices because they do not have alternatives; they need a place to hang out in a positive environment; the youth program has touched the lives of many throughout the years, perhaps numbering in the thousands and there is concern; they have heard from parents and PTA who are willing to help; the investment is an all-purpose room, not a major project; it will create a safe & positive place for teens. Mayor Schmidt apologized that this did fall through the cracks; he assumed it went to bid and was going through the proper procedures; it is now a top priority and will get done. Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer, stated that he had pulled the bid; the project is slow coming, but not ignored. He added that Phase I of the basement project has been started, Phase II is the storage area which is being completed, some plumbing work and other equipment has been done and they have made progress; fire protection of the basement needed to be addressed, the police hot line equipment must be moved; a lot of systems are in the basement and need to be addressed; final plans have been taken care of, and they will go out next week with a bid date. He apologized that it has been delayed more that it should have, but it will be a priority to get done.
d) Ellen Siracusa, Teatown Rd., asked Dan O’Connor if this room is really going to be finished; it has been going on for many years; there was a Village Teen Council established and there should be about $5,000 in escrow earmarked for the teens; many big high school classes coming up and they need to have this done now, not in another 2 years. Mayor Schmidt suggested that when the bid comes in, this group meet with the village engineer as to what is going to be put in that room so when the room was done, equipping it will be already decided.
e) Dana Mayclim 13 Scenic Drive, asked what other recreation program can boast 600 participants; the worse thing for the youth of Croton is to let this die; please act quickly.
f) Don Daubney, 45 Bungalow Rd., stated that this is a program that does need attention; there has been a lack of communication; be careful about that; find out why a project is going slow; the Committee for a community center is working on something that is probably 4 or 5 years ahead, so this needs to go forward. He added that he has the impression that the Village is now negotiating with Regis and asked if this is true. Attorney Staudt suggested any comment about litigation should not be discussed at this time; he is asking to speak with the Board in Executive Session tonight. Trustee Brennan made a motion to go to Executive Session now to consult with the Village attorney. Mayor Schmidt seconded motion; all in favor. The Board adjourned to Executive Session; returning at 9:50 pm. Trustee Brennan made a motion to return, seconded by Trustee Gallelli, approved unanimously. The Regular Meeting was reopened. Attorney Staudt stated that yes, there are negotiations going on; he explained that he wanted to know from the Board what has been said prior to his employment by the Village; the Board said it was public knowledge that there have been negotiations and he now feels able to respond. Mr. Daubney asked how much as been spent on these negotiations? Trustee Gallelli replied that approximately less than 5% of the August bill has been spent on negotiations. Mayor Schmidt stated that this may be privileged information and perhaps should not be disclosed. Mayor Schmidt, Trustee Gallelli and Trustee Brennan had conversation about this litigation and costs involved. Trustee Brennan added that Croton had a garbage dump for 50 years and he doesn’t remember anyone dying from that; this may not be the end of the world if they do come, but he is willing to fight allowing this organization to come to Croton. There was conversation about the confusion of fighting to keep Regis out of Croton and conducting negotiations with them.
g) Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor Ave., asked how did the Village get into negotiations? Village Staudt advised that in they are in litigation and enough has been said about this; the initial question has been answered and he advised saying no more; however, the Board is free to discuss. Trustee Brennan stated that this question has been answered at a public meeting and it was a 3 to 2 decision to conduct negotiations. Richard Pellicci asked Trustees Kane and Gallelli what they are thinking; an endless source of information has been presented; they cannot control this industry. Richard Pellicci asked why this cannot go to referendum. Village Staudt replied that under NYS constitution, statutes provide certain topics allow referendum and no others; there are cases which hold if a referendum is conducted, the Village can be sued. Trustee Brennan suggested anyone who does not like the way things are going, can run for the Board; he believes that Ann, Leo and Charley are good people, they have a different philosophy the way the Village should be headed; nothing is underhanded and, in their heart, have the best interest of the Village. A resident added that there is an expectation in any court that the parties are going to negotiate at some point and one cannot reasonably expect to be in a court without a request from a judge to negotiate a matter in good faith; it is up to the people who represent the Village to negotiate on the Villages’ best interest.
h) Joanne Minnett stated that a majority of the Board is considering a negotiation and asked why many people came before the board and asked that MetroEnviro not come into Croton; 900 people signed a petition; 25 spoke at a board meeting; no one said they wanted it here; she does not see the silent majority; these people don’t care about anybody; they turn their back on the courts; trucks spew pollutants; the Village is clean now without those trucks; they will trash Croton; other communities surrounding Croton are going to be upset; there is evidence of violations; these people will not cooperate; there will be over 1000 trucks rumbling through Croton; it will affect those who live in the heart of the Village; stop thinking of dollars; if allowed to come in the Village, they will ruin it; will pollute the village; MetroEnviro was little, these people want to come in and take over a rail spur; stop wasting money on negotiations, use it to fight these people; Maria Cudequest has brought all the information and you should not turn your back to this.
a) On motion of TRUSTEE Brennan, seconded by TRUSTEE Kane, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York
WHEREAS, the Croton Conservation Advisory Council, has requested a modest increase in their 2006-2007 budget in order to achieve the goals set forth for the year, and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees shares the initiatives set by the Croton Conservation Advisory Council, and
WHEREAS, the Village Manager and the Village Treasurer have reviewed the request from the Conservation Advisory Council for additional funds and recommend that the requested funds be transferred from the General Fund Contingency Account.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Board of Trustees authorize the Village Treasurer to transfer $1,200 from Account number A1990.4000 to Account number A8710.4000
b) ~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 Treasurer wishes to open both sides of the General Fund to cover the cost of operating expenses, amending the 2005-2006 General Fund budget as detailed in the attached schedule;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Village Treasurer is authorized to amend the 2005-2006 General Fund budget to reflect these changes.
c) On motion of TRUSTEE Kane, 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 Treasurer wishes to open both sides of the Water Fund budget to record the receipt and subsequent disbursement associated with insurance recoveries; amending the 2005-2006 Water Fund budget in the amount of $2,837.70;
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Village Treasurer is authorized to amend the 2005-2006 Water Fund budget to reflect these changes.
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, additional funds are necessary in order to complete the Harmon Water System improvement project; and
WHEREAS, at time of approved, it was the Board of Trustees’ intent to use the Water Fund’s fund balance if additional funding was necessary.
NOW THEREFORE be it resolved that the Village Treasurer is authorized to transfer $100,000 from the Water Fund’s Fund Balance to project H8340.2106.02074 effective May 31, 2006.
e) On motion of TRUSTEE Brennan, 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 is applying for a trails Grant for the rehabilitation of the existing trail between Lounsbury Road and Hessian Hills Road and the extension of the trail to Giglio Court; and
WHEREAS, this project is considered an unlisted action under SEQRA and a short EAF has been prepared; and
WHEREAS, there are no other involved agencies, and coordinated review is not required,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that based upon the short environmental assessment form the Village Board of Trustees hereby adopts the negative declaration with respect to the proposed Kaplan’s Pond Trail and Rehabilitation Extension.
f) 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 President signed the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390) into effect on October 10, 2000 to improve the planning and set standards for mitigation throughout the nation; and
WHEREAS, the act requires an approved pre-disaster hazard mitigation plan in order to be eligible for mitigation project funding; and
WHEREAS, the development of this plan fulfills other Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) planning requirements making the Village competitive for further mitigation funding; and
WHEREAS, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson participated in the Town of Cortlandt HAZNY workshop sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Emergency Service Office of Emergency Management; and
WHEREAS, the Hazard Mitigation Plan, prepared by the Village of Croton-on-Hudson Hazard Mitigation Committee, focuses on methods of mitigation that will reduce exposure and vulnerability to the hazards identified by the HAZNY plan; and
WHEREAS, the Hazard Mitigation Plan evaluates a broad range of natural and man-made disasters and cost-effective means of minimizing risk to life and property in the village; and
WHEREAS, the Disaster Mitigation Act (2000) requires adoption of the plan by the local government to be eligible for formal approval by FEMA;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: ~that the Village Board of Trustees hereby adopts the Hazard Mitigation Plan as a means of mitigation that will guide cost-effective mitigation of hazards that cause damage to property and loss of life,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees hereby formally adopts the Final all-hazard plan to receive formal approval from FEMA.
Discussion: Trustee Gallelli stated that she understands that the hazard mitigation plan only applies to natural disasters. Village Manager Herbek replied that the planning efforts have focused on all hazards that may impact the Village; the new Village intern has invested a lot of work putting this together.
g) On motion of TRUSTEE Gallelli, 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, the Village has received a CDBG grant for High Street infrastructure improvements; and
WHEREAS, for beginning work it is necessary to have a survey completed of the project area; and
WHEREAS, the Village sent out request for proposals and received 5 proposals from Chas A. Sells Inc, Badey 7 Watson, Bunney Associates, Gabriel E. Senor, P.C., and Terry Bergendorff Collins; and
WHEREAS, Chas. A. Sells Inc. of Briarcliff Manor, NY had the lowest proposal at $7,900;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal from Chas. H. Sells, Inc. for survey work for the High Street CDBG project at $7,900,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount should be charged to capital account #8120.2106.05122.
h) 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 current network server was placed into service approximately six years ago and recently has been experiencing system problems, and
WHEREAS, the Village’s IT consultant has recommended that the current server be replaced before we have a system failure and the possible loss of essential data, and
WHEREAS, based on the recommendation of our IT consultant and the problems we have been experiencing, the Village Manager and the Village Treasurer recommend that the server be replaced as soon as possible.
NOW, THEREFORE be it resolved that the Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the Village Treasurer to transfer $30,000 from the General Fund’s Contingency Account number A1990.4000 to the Central Communications Account number A1650.2000 for the purchase, installation and set up of a new server.
9. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-NON AGENDA ITEMS: No one spoke
10.APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on September 18, 2006 as corrected. Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimous approval.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Session held on September 25, 2006 as corrected; seconded by Trustee Gallelli; approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek: none
Village Treasurer Zambrano: none
Trustee Kane reported that 1) the Conservation Advisory Committee will be planting daffodils on Saturday Oct. 14th from 9 to 12 across from the High School; 2) the Great Jack ‘o Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor will continue for the next three weekends; people can go on line at www.historichudsonvalley.com to purchase tickets; he suggested purchasing tickets quickly as they are selling out quickly; tickets can be purchased at the door but there could be a long wait on line.
Trustee Gallelli congratulated Tony and Tom for their service awards tonight. She reported that 1) the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee had their first public outreach meeting last week; it was very successful; they broke into small groups discussing several topics; the results will be compiled by the committee, become a report and will be the basis of how they move ahead. 2) this Sunday the fire department is having a Fire Fair at the Harmon Fire Station; there will be a number of educational activities for both children and adults; 3) regarding the donation of the pumper, has this been resolved yet? Village Manager Herbek replied that they have no resolution yet, he does not have a consensus from the chiefs and they are still discussing it. 4) the Trustees got a notice today from Cablevision that beginning today, through Friday 10/13, this area is likely to experience sun outages which may cause television reception to incur increased interference; 5) last Saturday, the Croton Aqueduct celebrated its 100th anniversary; events were stages all along it’s length; Mayor Schmidt, Trustee Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman attended the Croton event at the dam; 6) the legal fees from Arnold & Porter and Gitomer for August are $38,092.91.
Trustee Brennan reported that Village Treasurer Zambrano gave an informative report tonight; he gave congratulations to Mr. Zambrano and the staff that worked on this; it is a major issue to have everyone notified. He added that the staff, mayor & trustees have been very pro-active to resolve these parking lot issues. He reminded everyone to go out and support the high school teams; they are very successful and everyone is doing great.
Village Attorney Staudt asked for an executive session tonight.
Mayor Schmidt apologized to the Recreation Committee that renovation of the room downstairs has not moved forward as expected; everyone will work together to get this done as soon as possible to meet the needs of the teens in the community. He stated that they had a School Board/Village Board meeting the other day, asked the sidewalk on Olcott by the PVC area be moved up on the priority list so the children have a safe passage to school. He reported that this community prides itself on reducing energy costs and he saw an interesting article in NY House that Energy Star pronounced October 4th as “Change a Light-change the World Day” and they are asking households to replace their five more frequently-used standard light bulbs with a compact florescent light bulb; this will go a long way improving and reducing our dependence on fossil fuel. 3) Mayor Schmidt added that regarding the 1A Croton Point Ave. property; it is brought up to the public how much is being spent but he believes that this is an amount of money that has gone a long way protecting the Village; when it comes to the percentages, a considerable amount of money went toward fighting MetroEnviro and he questions Trustee Gallelli’s figures.
12. Trustee Brennan made a motion to go to Executive Session to discuss ongoing litigation. The motion was seconded by Trustee Gallelli, approved unanimously.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to adjourn. Trustee Kane seconded the motion; approved unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary