Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Monday, December 18, 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 8:05p.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 Wiegman and approved unanimously.
a. Letter from Craig Kominoski, from the office of the New York State Office of Real Property Services dated November 22, 2006 advising that the Residential Assessment Ratio for Croton is 2.60, a reduction from 2.93.
b. Letter from Jerry Mulligan, Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Planning dated December 1, 2006, enclosing a draft of the Indian Brook-Croton Gorge Watershed Conservation Action Plan.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek, advised that the Village provided representatives to serve on the Watershed Plan Steering Committee to include; Fran Allen, Charles Kane, Ken Kraft and Daniel O'Connor. Mr. Herbek advised that the Committee has determined that the draft plan is ready for broader review within the Watershed communities and the County is planning community presentations and public hearings to be held in each municipality during the months of January and February of 2007. Mr. Herbek advised that the involved communities are the Town of Cortlandt, Town of New Castle, Town of Ossining, Village of Ossining and the Village of Croton On Hudson.
Trustee Kane said that this plan details the existing conditions of the state of the Watershed to include information on the physical and natural resources of the Croton River and significant wild life habits and land uses. Trustee Kane stated that through analysis of the state of the Watershed, recommendations were developed based on goals to improve the water quality conditions throughout the Watershed. Trustee Kane said that implementations of the recommendations will require intermunicipal cooperation and coordination among the municipalities which will result in a Croton-River Compact between the communities. Trustee Kane said that they are anticipating completion of the IMA this coming spring.
Mayor Schmidt said street cleaning and storm drain management are all a part of this program which the Village of Croton is actively involved in doing.
c. Letter from William Blanton, Engineering Management Section of the Federal Emergency Management Agency dated December 6, 2006 advising of proposed changes to the Base Flood Elevations in certain locations in the Village of Croton-on Hudson.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek, advised that the mapped floodplain areas in the Village are along the shore line of the Hudson River and the Croton River. Mr. Herbek advised that the Half Moon Bay Condominium complex is not in the floodplain. Mr. Herbek stated that all of the floodplain areas are sparsely populated and contain limited amounts of structures with most of the land being owned by the Village. Mr. Herbek advised that he would like to continue to discuss this in an upcoming work session in early January.
Dan O'Connor advised that the current floodplain maps are from 1983. Mr. O'Connor said that FEMA is currently going through the process of updating the maps which should be adopted sometime in 2007. Mr. O'Connor said that the proposed maps are under review and open to public comment for a ninety day period and that the Village has given FEMA, through the DEC, comments on the new digital maps pertaining to Croton. Mr. O'Connor advised that Public Notices will be placed in the Journal News in addition to holding several community meetings so that the public can respond. Mr. O'Connor said that the maps are available at Village Hall for review.
d. Year End Report submitted by Village Historian, Joyce Finnerty, dated November 27, 2006 highlighting activities of the Historical Society.
e. Letter from Rhonda Schonfeld dated November 17, 2006 asking the Village of Croton to support the tennis courts through funding of various projects.
f. Letter from Ralph Tarulli dated December 5, 2006 withdrawing an application for a special permit to operate a daycare center at 75 S. Riverside Avenue.
g. Letter from Leslie Mantrone dated December 13, 2006 advising of Teatown's Third Annual Hudson River EagleFest to be held on February 11, 2007.
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:
RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton On Hudson hereby approves the request from Teatown Lake Reservation to erect a 10' x 10' tent on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at the boat ramp adjacent to the Croton-Harmon Metro North Station from 9:00am to 3:00pm in conjunction with their Annual Hudson River EagleFest.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION - AGENDA ITEMS
Rhonda Schonfeld, 18 E. Mount Airy Road, said that tennis is a sport that is enjoyed by many residents in the Village and feels that it is time for the Village to help the School District support it. Ms. Schonfeld said that there has been a lot of community involvement; they have held fundraisers where well over 100 people have participated in over the last couple of years to try to raise money for the tennis courts. Ms. Schonfeld said that a recent survey done by the Village showed that tennis was one of the top things that residents were looking for.
Mayor Schmidt said that the Board has had some beginning discussions with the School regarding this and one of the issues that need to be looked into is what are the true costs for putting in lights?
Ms. Schonfeld said that a preliminary estimate would be about $40,000 for the lights, plus some additional lighting that may be needed along the walkway down to the courts.
Trustee Gallelli stated that she is receptive to the idea of the Village partnering on this but has a lot of detailed questions and would like to continue this discussion further.
Laura Seitz, 2 Brook Trail, Croton, said that she is speaking on behalf of older tennis players in support of the clay courts. Ms. Seitz said that clay courts are much easier on your knees and she encouraged the Board to continue to maintain the courts throughout the summer months when the school season is over. Ms. Seitz said that it would be cost effective if the courts were maintained throughout the summer and the senior population could use them and enjoy them.
Paul Rolnick, 1 Alexander Lane, spoke in support of funding for the lights for the tennis courts. Mr. Rolnick said that this is a significant social benefit to our community; it is a lifelong activity, young and older persons can play, it is a three season sport and is something that families can do together.
Trustee Gallelli stated that the next Recreation Advisory Committee meeting will be held on January 9, 2007; they will be discussing the tennis court issue and encouraged those residents who are interested to attend and give their input.
Mayor Schmidt encouraged the group to find other residents who are interested to help the Village get a sense of the level of interest. Mayor Schmidt said that the Board will be speaking with the School Board to see how we can work with them on moving this forward.
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 and the New York State DOT have entered into a snow and ice agreement dated December 1, 1995; and
WHEREAS, the Village has received an amendment to this contract extending the term until June 30, 2009; and
WHEREAS, under this amendment the indexed lump sum estimated expenditure shall be $1,340 per lane mile for 11.24 lane miles for a total of $15,061.60 or the 2006/07 season and for the remainder of the term of the Agreement commencing July 1, 2006, unless changed by future update,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation extending the term of the agreement to June 30, 2009.
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 Riverwalk project and the Croton Landing field project are going to be bid as one project; and
WHEREAS, Westchester County will reimburse the Village for the cost of the Riverwalk project but will not be responsible for any of the bidding or construction management; and
WHEREAS, it will be necessary for the Village to hire a firm for construction management services for both projects; and
WHEREAS, Jim Hahn, of Hahn Engineering has been involved with both projects since their inception and he would be the best person to provide construction management services; and
WHEREAS, Hahn Engineering has submitted a proposal for construction management services which would involve the completion of the final plans and the coordination of the bidding specifications at a cost of $12,500 and continual construction services to be billed at an hourly rate not to exceed $125,000;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal with Hahn Engineering for Engineering Services at a cost of $12,500 for Phase I and construction services to be billed at an hourly rate not to exceed $125,000 for Phase II.
On motion of TRUSTEE Wiegman, seconded by TRUSTEE Gallelli, the following resolution was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York:
WHEREAS, the Croton Housing Network is responsible for the purchase and sale of the affordable townhomes at 14 Bank Street, and
WHEREAS, the former owner of one of the units vacated her home in early 2003, and has not paid the prior water and village taxes since that time; and
WHEREAS, the Housing Network has secured a new qualified owner and intends to close before December 31st;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board hereby rescinds and cancels the Village taxes owed in the amount of $8,179.62 for the years 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and water levy in the total amount of $195.88.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
Kevin Davis, 1500 Half Moon Bay Drive, said that the Teen/Senior Center can be a benefit to the community and asked when it will built, when will it be completed, what age groups will be served, when will the center be used and how, and will the programs be expected to sustain itself?
Mayor Schmidt said that the work has already begun. Mayor Schmidt said that part of the delay in getting the bid out was because a lot of the work was being done in-house to keep the costs down.
Village Manager, Richard Herbek, said that they anticipate completion of the Teen/Senior Center late spring/early summer.
Trustee Gallelli said there is currently a Youth Group that runs through the Recreation Department and they are hoping with the addition of this new room that they will be able to expand and develop new programs to 9th and 10th graders. Trustee Gallelli said that currently the youth groups meet on Friday evening and the hours of operation will be developed as we go forward with the programs.
Mayor Schmidt said that this is a facility that will be used by a broad spectrum of the public and how it gets used over time will be evolving. Mayor Schmidt added that the Board authorized and hired a second Recreation Supervisor who will look to move the teen program forward and develop new programs for older teens.
Trustee Brennan said that the Recreation Advisory Committee are the ones that move these programs forward and suggested that Mr. Davis contact Gary Pettit and get in touch with the Recreation Advisory Committee and sit in on some of their meetings and give his input.
Mayor Schmidt said that the Recreation Advisory Committee would welcome ideas and suggestions, not only for future programs, but to how the room should look and feel and urged Mr. Davis to please attend these meetings and share his thoughts and feelings with the Committee.
Trustee Gallelli also suggested that they get in touch with the Recreation Supervisor, Susan Snyder, she would be very happy to hear what the teens have to say.
Mayor Schmidt said that these are the kind of programs that do not have to fund themselves because it services a larger group of people. Mayor Schmidt said that there is a small monetary contribution for those participating in trips. Mayor Schmidt said that the Village is not looking to use this as a revenue source; this is a facility that is going to be used by the entire community.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Kane made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on December 4, 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 December 11, 2006 as amended. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes
Village Treasurer, Abe Zambrano, reported the following legal expenses, $7,237.00 for legal expenses of which $5,648.00 for the New York State Court of Appeals case with Metro Enviro and $1,589.00 for the Millennium Pipeline. The year to date total since public reporting began is $12,754.00.
Trustee Wiegman advised that newly elected member of Congress, John Hall, has been named to the Transportation Committee of the House and seems to be off to a good start. Trustee Wiegman stated that home offices are growing in number in Croton which he attributes to the expanding capacity to telecommute and the fact that fewer people are occupying larger homes enabling them to create home offices. Trustee Wiegman said that there are sixteen home occupations that are defined as home occupations in the Village Code but it would be quite easy to come up with a list of 40-50 occupations that are also taking place in homes that are not currently defined in our Code. Trustee Wiegman suggested that the Board look at how we define home occupations and think about how telecommuting can further strengthen home occupations such as offering fiber optics to our residents.
Mayor Schmidt said that currently the Code states that a home occupation cannot use more than 30% of your home as a home office. Mayor Schmidt said that the Village needs to look at square footage of homes because the difference between homes of 1,000 square feet to ones that are 5,000 square feet can greatly affect the size of a home office and its impact on the community such as who works in the home office, deliveries, etc. and these are very important issues that we need to look at.
Trustee Wiegman said that the demographics of the Village has changed, the average age of adults in the Village has gone up by one year and persons who are replacing those who have moved are on average one year older. Trustee Wiegman said that there are a lot of underlying demographics that are interesting to look at relative to how to make Croton more attractive to modern day outsourcing.
Trustee Kane said that cable and telephone franchises typically will build out from the center of the Village and it could take several years for outlining residents to be serviced by fiber optics and other types of networks. Trustee Kane wished everyone a Happy Holiday.
Trustee Gallelli said that one of the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan Committee was to take a look at our current Code with respect to home occupations and the recommendation was to move toward setting standards rather than delineating occupations. Trustee Gallelli wished everyone a Happy Holiday.
Trustee Brennan advised that he received over 500 responses on the Community Center Survey and anticipates having results of the survey put together by early winter. Trustee Brennan reminded everyone to support Croton's local high school teams. Trustee Brennan wished everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa.
Mayor Schmidt encouraged residents to support Croton's local businesses during the holiday season. Mayor Schmidt wished everyone a very happy holiday season.
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 going into Executive Session following the close of the Regular Meeting to discuss ongoing litigation regarding the 1A Croton Point Avenue facility and a report on the Hudson National Golf Club.
There being no further comments to come before the Board, a motion to close the meeting at 9:15pm was made by Trustee Brennan and seconded by Trustee Kane. Motion was unanimously approved.
Peggy Keesler, Village Clerk