Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, November 20, 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 8:15 p.m. Everyone joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. APPROVAL OF VOUCHERS:
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows; the motion was seconded by Trustee Kane and approved unanimously.
3. Doug Wehrle, Chairman of the Visual Environment Board, presented the "Visual Environment Excellence Award" to Jim Foley, owner of the Exxon Mobil gas station. Mr. Wehrle advised that the committee meets on a regular basis and among other things the committee is advisory to the Planning Board on issues that may have a visual environmental impact on the community. Mr. Wehrle stated that he is pleased to be able to present the first award to Mr. Foley for all his efforts in improving the grounds of his gas station.
4. PUBLIC HEARING
Local Law Introductory No. 9 of 2006, increasing the income level for partial real estate tax exemptions for persons sixty-five years of age or older.
There being no comments to come before the Board, the Public Hearing was closed.
On motion of TRUSTEE GALLELLI, seconded by TRUSTEE BRENNAN, the following Local Law was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Local Law Filing 41 STATE STREET, ALBANY, NY 12231
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
Local Law No. 9 of the year 2006
A local law to increase the income level for partial real estate tax exemptions for persons sixty-five years of age or older.
Be it enacted by the Board of Trustees of the
Village of Croton-on-Hudson as follows:
Section 1. Section 204-16 of the Code of the Village of Croton on Hudson is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 204-16. Percent of exemption allowed.
For assessment rolls prepared on the basis of a taxable status date occurring on or after January 1, 1987, the exemption shall be as follows:
Section 2. This local law shall take effect on January 1, 2007.
a. Letter from David F. Ryan dated October 31, 2006 requesting that the speed limit on Route 9A (Albany Post Road) be reduced.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek said that this is not the first time that this issue has come up. Mr. Herbek advised that in 1991 the Village had written to the New York State Department of Transportation requesting a speed limit reduction and was at that time. Mr. Herbek said that the Village can certainly try again.
Mayor Schmidt said that we should certainly petition the State and ask them to look at this issue again. Mayor Schmidt said that this is a confusing issue for residents because the posted speed limit throughout the Village is 30 miles per hour but meanwhile we have this 45 mile hour zone. Mayor Schmidt asked Mr. Herbek to also refer this to the Police Department to make sure that they are enforcing this area.
b. Notice of Tentative Special Franchise Assessment from the State Board of Real Property Services dated November 6, 2006.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek said that the overall Tentative Assessment has gone down by approximately 4.5%.
c. Notice of Tentative Railroad Ceiling dated November 6, 2006
Village Manager, Richard Herbek, stated that this is for the CSX Properties in the Village. Mr. Herbek said that the ceiling has been set at $89,378 which is a 38% reduction.
d. Letter from Nancy A. Naples, Commissioner of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, Department of Motor Vehicles dated November 8, 2006 advising that the Village has been awarded $3,500 to participate in the Statewide Child Passenger Safety Program. Village Manager, Richard Herbek, advised that this award will cover the costs of establishing a fitting station and distribution of child safety seats. Mr. Herbek said that Officer Daria Murtagh is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and will be administering the program.
e. Letter from Gary Diggs dated November 7, 2006 requesting a Parade Permit
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
Resolved that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton on Hudson hereby approve the request from Gary Diggs for a Parade Permit to hold the Fireman's Parade on May 19, 2007.
f. Letter from the Historic Hudson Valley requesting permission from the Village to allow Van Cortlandt Manor to have their Bon Fires during the Candlelight Tours.
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
Resolved that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton on Hudson hereby approve the request from the Historic Hudson Valley to hold Bon Fires during their Candlelight Tours on December 22, 23, 29, 30, 2006 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm.
Mayor Schmidt asked Mr. O'Connor to give the Board an update of what is going on in the Harmon water area.
Mr. O'Connor advised that the last piece of work was the milling and paving of the streets, all the curb boxes and water services are in, and there are some miscellaneous punch list items that he will be addressing with the contractor. Mr. O'Connor said that the final paving of Benedict Boulevard is being held over to next year so that they can televise the sewer and storm drain line before they pave Benedict Boulevard. Mr. O'Connor said that curbing also needs to be put in along Benedict and he will be speaking with the Board about this at the next work session. Mr. O'Connor said that Clinton and Wayne Streets will also be worked on early next year.
Mayor Schmidt asked if the contractor will be filling dirt in between the sidewalk and the asphalt.
Mr. O'Connor said that the asphalt was milled but in the areas that have erosion potential that will be done. Mr. O'Connor said that they have avoided any sidewalks under the 50/50 Program the year, but next year the big year will be for Harmon. Mr. O'Connor said that at that time the contractor will restore the grass strip in areas where it has been paved over time and either restore it or look at more environmentally friendly paving materials.
Trustee Brennan asked what is being put on Benedict for the curbing.
Mr. O'Connor said that the curbing in the island will need to be replaced and there are two options, either concrete curbing or granite curbing. Mr. O'Connor said that the Board seemed to be leaning towards granite curbs.
Mayor Schmidt asked Mr. O'Connor to keep an eye on 1A Croton Avenue.
Mr. O'Connor said that Peter Anfiteatro is going down there daily and had mentioned that there was a row of cars on the south side of the building that were all empty. Mr. O'Connor said that Mr. Anfiteatro also mentioned today that there were four or five cars that were filled so they may be bringing the gypsum in over the weekend to the site. Mr. O'Connor said that they are seeing a lot of trucks going into the site filled with gypsum but they have not determined when the trucks are coming in.
Trustee Kane said that he has also seen large dump trucks.
6. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - AGENDA ITEMS
Susan Konig, 37 Elmore, said that it was very nice that Mr. Foley was recognized and that he does a great job of landscaping. Ms. Konig stated that a recent article in the Gazette showed pictures of the gypsum and is concerned because it says in the paper that "Buffalo Southern Railroad had obtained a Federal Court Order that allowed it to trans-load nonsolid waste and that they are pursuing other Federal avenues that could allow the addition of waste of up to and including household garbage". Ms. Konig said that we are giving awards to people on that same street for making it beautiful and environmentally friendly, but right down the road we have stuff falling out of trucks. Ms. Konig asked where does the Village stand on this, it seems that things are happening but the Village cannot do anything at this point.
Mayor Schmidt said that they are allowed to trans-load material used in the construction field through that facility. Mayor Schmidt said that they are taking it from the LaFarge plant in Buchanan and they are trans-loading it onto rail cars and shipping it to Florida. Mayor Schmidt said that this is unprocessed gypsum that is used to make wallboard.
Trustee Brennan said that it is ironic that the first opportunity to go in there, they spill it all over the roadway.
Mayor Schmidt said that the Village is keeping an eye on this.
Trustee Gallelli said that they are doing gypsum now, but they are not limited to this and they can handle any other kind of construction materials any time of the day or night. Trustee Gallelli said that the Village has no oversight ability at this time.
Ms. Koenig said that since they are pursing other things in court, what is the Village pursing in court?
Mayor Schmidt said that we are pursing the same arguments, the Village is in front of the STB and we are currently waiting for the STB to make their decision, the Village is also appealing other decisions.
Trustee Gallelli said that the Village is responding to the Service Transportation Board, responding and initiating at the Federal Court, New York State Supreme Court, and the New York Appellant Court. Trustee Gallelli said that the Village is involved in trying to establish some control and win our point.
Ms. Koenig said that she thought that the Village Attorney said that we were also negotiating with them but it doesn't make sense to negotiate with someone that you are also taking to court at the same time.
Mayor Schmidt said that we are in front of the STB and we have no idea of how the STB is going to rule on the arguments in front of them and that is something that is looming over the Village as to what they are going to decide ultimately. Mayor Schmidt said that we can certainly appeal that decision and that will be the biggest decision facing the Village and will be a defining moment for this Village moving forward.
Trustee Gallelli said that we do not know when the STB will make a decision and we do not know what the decision will be. Trustee Gallelli said that if their decision is adverse to the Village, allowing an unregulated railroad trans-loading operation, then the Village has really lost everything as far as any kind of control and oversight at the site and this is why we need to consider other alternatives.
Trustee Brennan commented "what type of message did we send to the STB by fighting them in State Court, at the STB, at the Federal level and trying to reach a negotiation?" Trustee Brennan said that he felt that people in charge of reviewing situations look at this and get conflicting ideas about how serious we.
Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Avenue, said that the cars range, for a while there were two lines of cars that were filled with a beige substance, today there were eight cars stacked up working its way to the back of the facility. Mr. Wintermeier said that he is concerned that he has not heard anyone say what that material is. Mr. Wintermeier said that he understands that the Board thinks that it is gypsum, but he has been told that gypsum is white and this material is beige and would like someone to look at that material and find out if it is truly gypsum. Mr. Wintermeier asked if the debris continues to fall out of the trucks onto our streets does the Village have any recourse and can we site them with violations. Mr. Wintermeier said that the cars are also uncovered and is not sure what impact uncovered cars with gypsum has on the environment. Mr. Wintermeier said that we should be looking at getting the cars covered, making sure the trucks are not dropping the debris on our streets and issue violations if necessary. Mr. Wintermeier said that there has been a change in Washington and asked if our new Congressman, John Hall, is prepared to pick up where Sue Kelly left off and where does Senators Clinton and Schumer stand regarding comparable parallel legislation to close this miserable loophole that exists regarding the transfer of C&D materials. Mr. Wintermeier said that there is another facility in Clinton, New York that has joined the fight against this loophole and there are more and more people joining the fight and hopes that we are on Board in driving them to get this resolved.
Trustee Brennen said that he and the Mayor contacted Senator Clinton's Westchester Liaison and asked them to contact the Village because we needed help in co-sponsoring Sue Kelly's legislation but we never heard back from either the Liaison or Senator Clinton.
Trustee Gallelli said that the issues raised about uncovered cars points to the real danger of the Village having no regulations over the operation because there is nothing we can do about this right now. Trustee Gallelli said that the dust on the streets may be something that we can deal with, but as far as going on that site, checking any of the issues raised, the Village can't and that is why it is so scary.
Mayor Schmidt said that this issue is being raised in many other communities, we are not the only ones fighting this, the STB fully understands that this is not a normal part of railroad operations and he is truly hopeful that they will rule in our favor.
Trustee Brennan said that he feels that the STB knows that Buffalo Southern Railroad only has two engines and is running out of Seneca, New York for their base, and for them to come down here as a quasi-railroad, I think the STB is looking at this and the issues that other municipalities have faced. Trustee Brennan said that any resident, who wishes to, should e-mail the STB and let them know how you feel about this type of venue in their Village.
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 Board intends to build a new room in the Municipal Building to be used for the Croton Recreation Youth Program; and
WHEREAS, the bid opening for this project was on November 7, 2006; and
WHEREAS, the Village received 4 bids for the electrical work and 6 bids for the general contracting work; and
WHEREAS, Switch Inc. had the lowest bid for the electrical work in the amount of $14,075 and JT Oronzio Contracting had the lowest bid for the general contracting work in the amount of $129,000; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineer recommends that the contracts be awarded to the Switch Inc. and JT Oronzio Contracting,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to award the bids to Switch Inc. in the amount of $14,075 and JT Oronzio Contracting in the amount of $129,000,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that $175,000 should be transferred from Fund Balance to the capital account # H1000.5710.02060.
On motion of TRUSTEE BRENNAN seconded by TRUSTEE KANE, the following resolution was adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Village has been in negotiations with the Teamsters Union Local No. 456 for a new contract to be effective from June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2011; and
WHEREAS, the Village and the Teamsters Union Local No. 456 have agreed upon the terms of a new contract for this five year period; and
WHEREAS, the settlement agreement provides for annual salary percentage increases of 3.45% for the first year, 3.65% for the second year, and 3.75% for the remaining years as well as other contract language changes; and
WHEREAS, the settlement agreement was ratified by the membership of the Teamsters Union Local No. 456 on November 14, 2006;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees approves the settlement agreement and authorizes the Village Manager to sign the new contract with the Teamsters Union Local No. 456 for the period from June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2011.
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, Linda Bush and Lisa Nardozzi of Happy Tots have applied for a zoning change to the Office-1 District which would allow commercially licensed day care centers with a special permit; and
WHEREAS, this matter was referred to the Planning Board for its recommendation and review; and
WHEREAS, the Village Board has received a memorandum from the Planning Board indicating the completion of its review and recommending an amendment to the Office-1 District which would allow for commercially licensed Day Care Centers subject to the issuance of a special permit by the Board of Trustees; and
WHEREAS, Local Law Introductory No. 10 amending Section 230-15 of the Zoning Chapter has been drafted; and
WHEREAS, in accordance with the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the Village Board must make a determination as to the Environmental Impact of this proposed zoning amendment; and
WHEREAS, the establishment of Lead Agency is the first step with respect to the environmental process; and
WHEREAS, Part I of a Full Environmental Assessment Form has been completed and submitted to this Board by the applicant; and
WHEREAS, there are no other involved agencies, and coordinated review is not required,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson declares itself Lead Agency for the aforementioned proposed zoning amendment, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Board of Trustees declares this an unlisted action; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a Notice of Designation of Lead Agency and Part 1 of the EAF be circulated to all interested agencies and the applicant, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees calls for a public hearing on January 2, 2007 at 8pm in the meeting room of the Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory No. 10 of 2006, amending Section 230-15 of the zoning code.
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, the New York State Government Accounting Standards Board has promulgated standards for a municipal accounting practices known as GASB Statement-45 (hereinafter referred to as “GASB-45); and
WHEREAS, municipalities throughout the State of New York are required to come into full compliance with GASB-45 by the end of their fiscal year 2010 or sooner; and
WHEREAS, some municipalities are required to come into full compliance with GASB-45 by the end of their fiscal year 2008; and
WHEREAS, compliance with GASB-45 requires the utilization by all municipalities of actuarial services in order to quantify the current value of post retirement benefits as well as other values; and
WHEREAS, both the Lead Municipality and the Cooperating Municipality are required to request proposals from actuaries in order to hire one to perform actuarial services in connection with the municipalities’ GASB-45 compliance; and
WHEREAS, the Lead Municipality and the Cooperating Municipality believe that by requesting proposals from actuaries for actuarial services in connection with their GASB-45 compliance as a group they will receive more favorable proposals than if they requested proposals individually;
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of their mutual promises made herein the parties to this Agreement hereby agree as follows:
1. Each of the cooperating municipalities hereby authorizes the City of Peekskill as the Lead Municipality to request proposals for actuarial service in connection with each of the municipalities’ GASB-45 compliance;
2. The City of Peekskill as the Lead Municipality shall request proposals for actuarial services in connection with all of the Cooperating Municipalities’ GASB-45 compliance;
3. The City of Peekskill, as the Lead Municipality, will refer all proposals submitted for actuarial services to each of the Cooperating Municipalities and provide a notice of which of the proposals the City of Peekskill, as the Lead Municipality, intends to accept;
4. Any Cooperating Municipality may terminate this agreement within thirty (30) days of their receipt of the Lead Municipality’s notice of intention to accept a proposal by delivering a written Notice of Termination to the Lead Municipality, whereupon the Cooperating Municipality shall have no further rights or obligations under this agreement;
5. No less than thirty (30) days after delivery of its Notice of Intention to Accept a Proposal to all Cooperating Municipalities, the Lead Municipality shall, and hereby is authorized, to accept a proposal from an actuary on behalf of all Cooperating Municipalities who have not, prior thereto, terminated their rights or obligations under this agreement and shall enter into a two year contract with the successful actuary for actuarial services for all municipalities then a party to this agreement;
6. Each municipality shall be required to pay for its own actuarial services and shall be obliged to do so under the contract signed with the successful vendor.
7. This agreement may be signed in counterparts.
8. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Avenue, said that he would like to see some official numbers from the Village on the current situation regarding the costs of litigating the 1A Croton Avenue Facility. Mr. Wintermeier said that he feels like he is being misled because of the conflicting information he is getting from the Village.
Trustee Brennan said that the Village Treasurer, along with the Village Manager, will, as best as they can, come up with some numbers on what the Village has spent.
Mayor Schmidt said that going forward the attorneys will try to the best of their ability to code their bills so that the Village will know when they are doing work related to the 1A Croton Avenue Facility.
Joann Minett, 5 Van Cortlandt Place said that she is very concerned about what she has read in the Gazette written by physicians on the effects of the health and safety on our community. Ms. Minett said she is also concerned about the additional truck traffic. Ms. Minett asked the Board not to negotiate and stop sending mixed messages and to ban together with other communities to make it one big fight.
Trustee Gallelli said that the Village, approximately a year ago, joined with many municipalities in other states and wrote not only to the Service Transportation Board, but to various congressional committees and sub-committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and provided, along with the other communities, substantial documentation on the problems of this kind of operation.
Mayor Schmidt said that the Village has faith but will continue to push forward and hopes that the STB will see the light of day and make the correct decision on this.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting held on Monday, November 13, 2006. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek, announced that Village offices are closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 24. Mr. Herbek gave an update on the recycling schedule. Mr. Herbek announced that the Croton Recreation Department is sponsoring a new program "Santa Claus is coming to Town" on Saturday, December 9th from 12:00noon to 2:00pm at the Harmon Firehouse.
Trustee Kane reported that a new weather station has been installed adjacent to the Salt Shed. Trustee Kane explained that this new weather station has two computers, one that will take censors from the Croton Bay on water depth and temperature and send them to a computer in the DPW office that will continuously update the information forming of database of tidal information. Trustee Kane said that the second computer transmits wind speed, snow fall, precipitation, solar radiation and atmospheric pressure in the lunar cycle and is also sent to the DPW and is downloaded on a daily basis. Trustee Kane said that the weather station has internet capability and the data should be available soon on the Village's web-site. Trustee Kane said that not only can this help predict flooding in the future but also to assist DPW in making decisions on how much salt and sand should be applied to Village streets.
Trustee Gallelli said that the Visual Environment Board is one of our volunteer boards, made up of five very dedicated people who help the Village Board and Planning Board in advising on the visual and aesthetic aspects of those applications that are in front of both Boards. Trustee Gallelli said that the ball fields in the Village are all closed and covered with blankets and should not be used until the blankets are removed in the spring. Trustee Gallelli thanked the DPW for the great job they are doing removing the leaves throughout the Village. Trustee Gallelli encouraged everyone to donate blood at the Blood Drive on December 3rd from 9:00am-3:00pm at the High School. Trustee Gallelli wished everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.
Trustee Brennan said that the Board received a letter from Mayor Patrick O'Neil from Buchanan regarding a task force that was set up by County Executive Andy Spano regarding greenhouse gas emissions that are coming westerly across the Hudson River into Croton and all over Westchester County from coal burning plants that have been in violation of EPA Emissions Guidelines for many years. Trustee Brennan said that Mayor O'Neil has asked Village officials to forward a letter to County Executive Spano asking him to move forward on this project. Trustee Brennan said that he will be forwarding his letter and applauds County Executive Spano for dealing with this issue. Trustee Brennan also thanked the DPW staff on a great job of removing leaves. Trustee Brennan also asked that in the future individual Board members not discuss at a Village Public Meeting national issues.
Mayor Schmidt wished everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Mayor Schmidt on behalf of the Village Board thanked the entire Village staff for their hard work and expressed how much the Board appreciates all their efforts. Mayor Schmidt also thanked his fellow Board members.
There being no further comments to come before the Board, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Trustee Brennan and seconded by Trustee Kane, approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:50pm.
Board Secretary, Judy Weintraub
Peggy Keesler, Village Clerk