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Board of Trustees Minutes December 4, 2006
Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, December 4, 2006 at the Municipal Building, Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

The following officials were present:


Mayor Schmidt
Trustee Brennan
Trustee Kane
Trustee Gallelli
Trustee Wiegman
Manager Herbek
Attorney Feldman
Treasurer Zambrano

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 Kane made a motion to approve the vouchers as follows; the motion was seconded by Trustee Brennan and approved unanimously.

General Fund
$56,827.37
Water Fund
2,749.85
Sewer
0
Capital Fund
50.00
Trust Fund
5,000.00
Debt Fund
0
Total
$64,627.22

3. CORRESPONDENCE

a.      Letter from William McGrath of Con Edison dated November 14, 2006 advising that Con-Edison will be selecting two areas in Westchester to conduct a feasibility study to place power lines underground .


b.      Letter from County Executive, Andrew Spano dated November 16, 2006 advising that the U.S. Census Bureau has revised the Westchester County population estimate for the year 2005 from 940,807 to 947,725 and the steps they are taking to prepare for the 2010 Census.

c.      Letter from Planning Director, Kenneth Verschoor, Town of Cortlandt dated November 20, 2006 advising of a Public Hearing to remove the Planned Village Development section and replace it with the Community Betterment District (CBD) and the Residential Reuse Special Permit (RRUSP)
        
d.      Letter from Bert Feasley, Vice President of Operations, Buffalo Southern Railroad, Inc. dated November 30, 2006 highlighting the activities at the 1-A Croton Point Avenue Facility.

4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - AGENDA ITEMS
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand Street, said that she is very pleased to hear that Buffalo Southern Railroad will try to mitigate the dust issues at the 1A Croton Point Avenue facility.  Ms. Cudequest said that she spoke with residents in both Ohio and Massachusetts regarding 1A and the Village of Croton's current situation with Buffalo Southern and they subsequently updated her on what is going on in their communities.  Ms. Cudequest read a letter written by Robert Brady, a member of a citizens group, "Residents against Transfer Stations" that he sent to the Gazette on October 26, 2006.  Ms. Cudequest also referred the Board to letters written by Drs. Cosentino and Kleinman regarding waste transfer stations and the documented health issues detailed in the recent New York University Five Year Study on Asthma and Waste Transfer Stations.  

Robert Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Avenue, asked if MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) forms have been filed with the Village.  Mr. Wintermeier said that since they are a new entity he would imagine that the Village would need these forms.  Mr. Wintermeier said that the Fire Department would especially need this information when responding to an emergency call at that location.


5. RESOLUTIONS

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, Westchester County (the County) is the owner of certain roadways within the Village of Croton-on-Hudson (the Village), to wit, Croton Point Avenue (CR7), from Riverside Avenue west to the east edge of the bridge, and South Riverside Avenue (CR305), from Van Cortlandt Manor to Route 129, consisting of approximately 0.97 miles in the aggregate (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “Roads”); and

WHEREAS, the County proposes to remove the Roads from the County roadway system, in the manner prescribed by Section 115-b of the Highway Law, thereby transferring all right, title and interest in the Roads to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson; and

WHEREAS, the County proposes to finance improvements to South Riverside Avenue, in accordance with approved plans and specifications, with the work to be put out to bid by the Village; and

WHEREAS, in connection with said transfer of the Roads, the County proposes to fund the construction of a trailway and related improvements along the Hudson River in the area now subject to a conservation easement to the Open Space Conservancy, and

WHEREAS, the trailway and related improvements are anticipated to include an approximately 2,300-foot-long trail system, including the construction of decks, retaining walls and sitting areas, landscaping, fencing, related site improvements and site preparation for the extension of RiverWalk; and

WHEREAS, the County proposes that the Village will be responsible for the bidding and management of the project, which will be bid as one project in conjunction with the Village’s Croton Landing project; and

WHEREAS, the County will reimburse the Village up to $1,750,000 (including $250,000 to be funded by a grant from New York State) for the cost of the RiverWalk Project; and

WHEREAS, following construction of the said trailway, the Village shall have sole authority and control over the management and maintenance of this segment of RiverWalk; and

WHEREAS, the County proposes that the completed trailway shall be operated by the Village as a park, available for use and enjoyment by all residents of Westchester County; and

WHEREAS, the Village Manager has advised the Village Board that he has no objection to taking over the Roads, provided that the County finances the necessary improvements to South Riverside Avenue in the amount of $500,000; and

WHEREAS, the Village Board has determined it to be in the best interests of the residents of the Village to accept the County’s proposals with respect to the trailway and Roads; and

WHEREAS, on April 17, 2006, the Village Board approved a resolution calling for the Village Manager to obtain an intermunicipal agreement with the County regarding the Riverwalk project, however, at that time it was the County’s intention to undertake the improvements to Beaverkill,

WHEREAS, Schedules A, B and a small portion of C are still being revised by Counsel,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Village of Croton-on-Hudson accepts the County’s proposals with respect to the trailway and the Roads, including providing the financing for the necessary improvements to South Riverside Avenue in the amount of $500,000, and providing the financing for the improvements to the Beaverkill property in the amount of $1,750,000, as outlined above,

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Manager is authorized and directed to sign the proposed Inter-Municipal Agreement with the County of Westchester, subject to the approval by the Village Attorney, together with such documents as may be appropriate and necessary, to effectuate and implement the County’s proposals with respect to the trailway and the Roads.


The Board congratulated Village Manager, Richard Herbek, for putting this proposal together; it is very beneficial to the Village and thanked him for a great job.  Trustee Gallelli said that Mr. Herbek was instrumental in putting the package together in such a way that the County and Village will be fully coordinated while the work is being done.


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 Village Police Department would like to continue its agreement with Westchester County providing for round trip prisoner transportation between Croton-on-Hudson and the Westchester County Jail; and

WHEREAS, under this agreement the County will reimburse the Village for the actual number of round trips at a flat rate of $150.39 per trip in 2007 and $168.44 per trip in 2008 plus mileage reimbursed at $.44 (or the then current IRS mileage rate) times 24 miles,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:  that the Village Manager is authorized to sign the intermunicipal agreement with the Westchester County Department of Corrections for the period between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008.

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:  

BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees approves Citibank to be an official depository for the Village of Croton on Hudson, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, the Village Treasurer is authorized to sign a collateral agreement with Citibank.


7.  CITIZEN PARTICIPATION  

Kevin Davis, 1500 Half Moon Bay Drive, requested that the Board reconsider closing the Skate Park.  Mr. Davis said that he is concerned that the Village has given up on the Skate Park to soon and that there may be a way to revive it and make it work again.  Mr. Davis said that if the Skate Park was free for the entire season it would attract more users.  Mr. Davis stated that New York City Skate Parks are free and suggested eliminating the attendant to help reduce the costs of running it. Mr. Davis said that New York City and in other areas do not have attendants and they have found a way to make it work.  Mr. Davis suggested that the Village consider installing a phone for emergencies and indicated that most young adults today carry cell phones.  Mr. Davis said that he understands that the Skate Park may have already been sold, but there might be a way to repeal the sale so that we can keep it.  Mr. Davis suggested that the Village attempt to get more citizen participation from the youth of Croton and encouraged the Board to consider what the Youth would like to have in Croton.

Jack August encouraged the Board not to sell the skate park.  Mr. August said that every skate park that he has been to has a "skate at your own risk policy" and said that more youth would use it if the Village did not charge.  Mr. August used the analogy of children going to a playground, they do not have to pay a fee to go down a slide and if they get injured someone is there to make a call.  Mr. August said that he didn't think that the Village has to be responsible, it is their choice to go to a skate park and they should not hold the Village liable.  Mr. August also said that the equipment has not been taken care and the ramps are starting to get warped and this is one of the reasons that it is not being used anymore.

Trustee Kane thanked both Mr. Davis and Mr. August for coming to the meeting and expressing their views.  Trustee Kane said that we don't get a lot of young people coming to our meetings and admired them for stepping up to the microphone and giving their opinions.  Trustee Kane said that the Board has made a decision to close the skate park, but the larger issue is what type of recreational opportunities the Village should be providing for our youth.  

Mayor Schmidt said that this was a tough decision for the Board and he appreciates Mr. Davis and Mr. August for sharing their perspective on this.   Mayor Schmidt said that unfortunately as a Board we have to make financial decisions all the time about what is in the best interest of the community.  Mayor Schmidt said that the skate park was given many chances to resurrect itself but continued to fail to do so.  Mayor Schmidt said that it was a strong recommendation from the Staff, Recreation Department and Recreation Advisory Committee that we close the skate park.

Village Manager, Richard Herbek, advised that the Skate Park has been sold to Trilogy Park of Pottsdam, Pennsylvania for $11,500.  Mr. Herbek said that their representatives have been in the Village measuring the equipment and will be coming back this Friday and Saturday with their trucks to disassemble and take the equipment.


8.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on November 6, 2006 as amended.  Trustee Gallelli seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes.

Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on November 20, 2006 as amended.  Trustee Brennan seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes

Trustee Gallelli made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on November 20, 2006 as amended.  Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes

Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Board Meeting held on November 27, 2006 as amended.  Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes


9. REPORTS

Village Manager, Richard Herbek, advised that the Village has sold the Mack Fire Truck for $7,500.   Mr. Herbek announced that the Village's leaf collection program has gone very smoothly and efficiently this year and thanked everyone in the community for cooperating with the program.

Village Treasurer, Abe Zambrano, reminded everyone that new permits must be renewed for on-street winter parking and train station parking.  Mr. Zambrano advised that water bills will be sent out on December 15, 2006 including water charges for the last six months and sewer rent charges.  Mr. Zambrano updated the Board on the legal expenses in conjunction with 1A Croton Avenue as follows:  $5,517.00 to legal entities, $3,290 for the STB case and $2,227 for the New York State Court of Appeals.

Trustee Wiegman announced that the Friends of History is having an event at the Library this Thursday at 7:00pm on post election analysis.

Trustee Kane advised that the Village was given an award for 13 years with no pedestrian fatalities by the Automobile Association of America and also received the Gold Community Traffic Safety Award.  Trustee Kane congratulated the Police Department.  Trustee Kane also advised that the Dive and Rescue Team held a training session at the Croton River, removed the speed limit buoys and have prepared their equipment for winter storage.  Trustee Kane announced that Metro North has started driving pilings on the northern end of their property to test the soil structure and will continue for the next week.

Trustee Gallelli congratulated Chuck Anderson and Jim Moore for receiving outstanding Senior Citizen awards from Westchester County.  Trustee Gallelli commended the Croton Police for assisting the Village of Ossining Police Department in a serious drug arrest last week.  Trustee Gallelli announced that the Recreation Department will be holding a new winter event, "Santa Claus is coming to Town," this Saturday at the Harmon Fire Department.   Trustee Gallelli said that the flowers have been removed from planters throughout the Village and have been replaced with small trees and encouraged residents to add ornaments and decorations.  

Trustee Brennan stated that he is very pleased with the IMA between the County and the Village of Croton it was a good deal financially and will give the Village control over those roads.  Trustee Brennan reminded everyone that December 15, 2006 is the deadline to hand in their Community Center Surveys.  Trustee Brennan said that Mr. Davis and Mr. August made a good case for keeping the skate park, but wished they had come in much sooner expressing their concerns about its closing. Trustee Brennan asked if the Board can discuss this further.

Mayor Schmidt said that the equipment has been spoken for but we can send it back to the Recreation Advisory Committee to see if there is something on a smaller scale to accommodate them.  Mayor Schmidt said that he was told by one of the users of the skate park when asked where everyone went and his response was "it was a fad and that they didn't want all that equipment, they only wanted one or two pieces".  

Mayor Schmidt announced that he attended the Hall of Fame luncheon sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services and was pleased that Croton had two tables of seniors to honor Chuck Anderson and Jim Moore.  Mayor Schmidt said that there was a comment this evening about the dust at 1A Croton Avenue.  Mayor Schmidt said that in the past we had no idea what material was in the dust that was created from the Metro Enviro facility because it was preprocessed material and we had no idea what was going in and out of that facility at that time but suspects that the dust contained some asbestos/lead materials.  Mayor Schmidt said that the dust that we have now we know is created from the gypsum.   Mayor Schmidt said that he remains committed to the fight to insure that this Village is protected on every level and remains committed to the fight in front of the STB because we stand a very good chance of winning that battle because the STB has gotten the message loud and clear that this is not an operation that has anything to do with railroad operations, this is a private business operating under the guise of a railroad.

There being no further comments to come before the Board, a motion to close the meeting at 9:30pm was made by Trustee Brennan and seconded by Trustee Wiegman. Motion was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Board Secretary


_________________________
Peggy Keesler, Village Clerk