A Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY was held on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 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 8:30 p.m after the conclusion of the Organizational Meeting.
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 Konig and approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek read the following correspondence (full text available at the Village Office:
a) A letter from Mark Mannix, Director, MetroNorth Railroad, with new train schedules for the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines effective April 1, 2007.
4. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION-Agenda Items
a) John Giglio, 50 Emerson Ave., Chair of the Croton Recreation Advisory Committee, regarding the license agreement to use fields, he urged the Board to not approve the resolution until more information is furnished; signing the agreement appears it will commit the Village to the IMA later on; several concerns were sent to Mr. Herbek; including Schedule A, which is a blank sheet; if the Village is responsible for electric, meters should be installed by the county; the agreement should not end in the middle of a sport season. Mr. Giglio asked if any commitments have been received from the school board. Mayor Schmidt replied that they have put money in the budget and they could rent the fields on their own, if needed.
b) Joseph Streany, High Street, regarding the County field agreement, stated that there is too much missing information; there is no information from the school and they have not yet paid their bill; something should be in place before an agreement is signed; field use has been minimal except for a couple of groups; this was another very expensive experiment like the skate park. He added that the other alternative to explore is to negotiate with the County for a far better deal; if Croton owned it and dictate what it would like to do with the fields, it would be a better deal for the Village; it appears that the County wants to get out of the business of athletic fields. He asked that the Board not move forward until questions are answered.
c) Ann Lindau, Half Moon Bay, on behalf of the Town Board, stated that they look forward to working with the new Village Board as they have in the past. Ms. Lindau asked the Board to reject this field agreement; this seems to be very one-sided in favor of the County.
d) Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave., stated that he is not clear on what this new agreement entails, but the last agreement cost the Village about $75,000 with $25,000 provided by the school district; fields were rarely used; fees from outside Croton groups was thought would make up the difference; it looks like it was a $50,000 loser; he recommends to avoid this agreement.
a) On motion of TRUSTEE GALLELLI, seconded by TRUSTEE KANE, the following resolution was not adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York with the following vote: Trustees Gallelli, Kane “aye”; Trustees Konig, Brennan and Mayor Schmidt “nay”.
WHEREAS, Westchester County has renovated the ball fields at Croton Point Park through the use of legacy funds; and
WHEREAS, Westchester County has asked the Village if they would like to manage the fields; and
WHEREAS, the Village held a permit to manage the fields for the 2005 and 2006 fall seasons; and
WHEREAS, the Village has been working with the County to complete an intermunicipal agreement in order for the Village to manage the fields on an ongoing basis; and
WHEREAS, the IMA has not yet been completed; and
WHEREAS, the County has prepared another temporary permit that would allow the Village to manage and schedule the fields before the IMA is complete,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Board of Trustees authorizes the Village Manager to sign the license agreement with the County allowing the Village to manage the fields for the time period between April 5, 2007 and October 5, 2007,
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the license agreement will expire once the IMA has been approved.
Discussion: Trustee Gallelli stated that she does hear concerns, but some may be invalid; this has been under discussion for some time; the previous license agreement expired; the previous agreement picked up at a time when it is too late for users to commit; a 6 month agreement would be a good idea; if an IMA cannot be agreed to, should still move forward on this; the County is working with Croton on a lot of other areas and this is just one more thing; both sides have invested a lot; the need is there; if we are going to do it, it should be done now to start signing up users.
Trustee Kane added that it doesn’t look like Croton Point Landing will be on line this year; the school district and AYSO soccer teams make their schedules in January and there was not an agreement in place last January; it is important to move this to October to include the football season.
Trustee Brennan stated that they have worked with the County on different items; we pay county taxes and village taxes and the Board needs to be responsible to taxpayers of the Village; he is a believer in listening to the Recreation Dept. and Advisory Committee which said they have no use for this for the Village; the School District can book on their own; it was a bad deal last year for the Village; he believes this year with the school being able to book on their own, he must think of Village taxpayers first; signing the IMA would cost $50,000 to $60,000. Trustee Kane replied that if the Village had marketed that field to 20 users, he believes it would have brought them in. Trustee Brennan stated that the Village should not be in the business of marketing and must be responsible to taxpayers. Trustee Gallelli added that the problem is that the agreement was signed too late and teams had already committed to other facilities; she thinks it will grow over the years; the fields are beautiful new fields which would cost hundred of thousands of dollars to build; she would be willing to sign a 2 year IMA. Trustee Brennan stated that the agreement is too one-sided for the County; the experiment did not work out and he is not in favor of throwing taxpayer dollars away. Mayor Schmidt stated that Little League and AYSO said they have no use for these fields and those are the two main groups to focus on. He added that the County put bathrooms there which the Village would be responsible to maintain; Recreation has recommended that the need to sub-contract for maintenance; also, these bathrooms need to be kept open when the County has events. Trustee Brennan suggested that they could go back to the County and see if there are alternative ways to get a happy medium cost-wise; he is not in favor of as it stands. Mayor Schmidt replied that they have spoken to the County and they indicated it was all or nothing. Trustee Konig stated that in speaking to the Recreation Dept., they feel they already have their hands full running the fields already in Croton; Ms. Snyder said that they were ready with the last IMA, but there were no takers. Trustee Konig added that according to the Recreation Department if the County wants to get out of the field business, taking them over on our own terms, it would be more prudent to do what taxpayers need and not spend any more money on this. Trustee Gallelli added that she believes the outcome, if not signed, would be short-sighted. Trustee Konig replied that if there was a huge interest from Croton, she would feel differently. Mayor Schmidt added that the Village has a good working relationship with the County and turning this down will not jeopardize that relationship.
b. 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 has reached a settlement agreement with Striclin Realty whereby the Village of Croton on Hudson will purchase 78.12-3-3 for $900,000; and
WHEREAS, the purchase is subject to an environmental assessment of the property; and
WHEREAS, the Village sent an RFP to 4 engineering/planning firms for a Phase I Environmental Assessment and received three proposals from Tri-State Engineering for $1,800, Tim Miller Associates for $2,600 and Hydro Environmental Solutions for $3,770; and
WHEREAS, the Village Attorney has reviewed the three proposals and recommends awarding the proposal to Tri-State Engineering; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the agreement with Tri-State Engineering for a Phase I Site Assessment at a cost of $1,800.
c. 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 has received a CDBG grant for High Street infrastructure improvements; and
WHEREAS, a survey has been completed and the next step is to obtain engineering design plans for the infrastructure improvements; and
WHEREAS, the Village sent out request for proposals to 16 engineering firms; and
WHEREAS, the Village has received five proposals; and
WHEREAS, Stearns and Wheler had the lowest proposal at $32,300 with an estimate of $2,400 for soil borings and an hourly rate of $115 per hour for the preparation of the bid packages; and
WHEREAS, the Village Engineer has reviewed the proposals and recommends awarding the bid to Stearns and Wheler
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the proposal from Stearns and Wheler for engineering design work for the High Street CDBG project at a base cost of $32,300.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that this amount plus any amount for soil borings and the amount for preparing the bid packages should be charged to capital account #8120.2106.05122.
Discussion: This is standard procedure. Trustee Gallelli asked the Village Engineer why there is such a huge difference in price. Village Engineer O’Connor prepared a memorandum which was passed on to the Board. He added that he is not sure why the price difference; the grant amount is about $280,000 and the Village’s cost would be about 30%; this resolution is just for the engineering. Village Manager Herbek added that one of the priorities being focused on for the past few years is repairing/replacing infrastructure; much of it is very old and this is where to get money from an outside source to assist in upgrading the infrastructure that needs to be done; next they will be targeting this section of the Village; this will be an extensive project; High St will not be an easy project. Mayor Schmidt stated that they will work with residents to make it easier as was done previously in Harmon.
d. 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 Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program was approved by referendum in 2003; and
WHEREAS, Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law requires that the list of members of the Fire Department indicating those who earned a year of service credit during the calendar year, those that did not earn a year of credit, and those who waived participation must be certified under oath by the Fire Department; and
WHEREAS, once certified, this list must be approved by the Village Board and then posted for 30 days,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Mayor is hereby authorized to sign the 2006 Sponsor Authorization Form.
7. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION – NON-AGENDA ITEMS:
Maria Cudequest, 84 Grand St., stated that contempt proceedings have been filed by the Ohio AG’s office; Regis was running the landfill at the time these problems were occurring; Regis has been cited as the corporate parent of Warren Recycling. Ms. Cudequest distributed a copy of the papers for the Village Attorney to look at.
Joanne Minnet stated that last year her kids practiced on the Croton Point field and the fields were horrendous, not beautiful; if the money was not put into the IMA it could be used to get the Croton Landing fields completed more quickly. Mayor Schmidt stated that they are looking at the artificial turfing of some fields. Village Manager Herbek stated that they have a meeting on Monday with the engineering firm for Croton Landing field; they are combining the River Walk and Croton Landing projects; he has also had discussion with CSX Corporation; the package itself needs to go back to NY State to get a sign-off; he is hoping to get this out to bid in 60–90 days; he is not totally in control of this; the County, State, and CSX need to sign off before it can go out to bid. Trustee Brennan added that a turf field would be multi-use for many groups in the Village and would be an investment in the future and should be looked at.
Bob Wintermeier, 43 Radnor Ave., stated that people are recommending use of the new florescent bulbs but the problem is they contain mercury; he asked what is being done in conjunction with the County regarding recycling. Mayor Schmidt replied that they should be recycled when the County has their special days; most of these bulbs come with a marker that states that they contain mercury. Mr. Wintermeir stated that he saw maps that show all the roads in the Village and other information and this is an excellent vehicle to start out to promote tourism; the Village hasn’t done much to promote tourism recently; the back of the map is empty, perhaps historic points of interest can be added to the map; in the back, lease or rent advertising space from local businesses to offset the cost of printing the maps. He suggested adding the map to the kiosk.
Joseph Streany stated that Croton Landing should be developed and made into the nicest possible facility because it is on the waterfront, but $200,000 is quite expensive. He added that a little over a million dollars is about the price tag for turf fields with lighting costing extra. He stated that the field should be developed to avoid flooding, but creating a field with ponding is fighting the river again; he is glad they are looking at other avenues; it would be a great project to partner with the school district. Mr. Streany stated that Fire Chief Diggs has a proposal and budget to create another organization (Ambulance Corp) in the Village; this has not been presented to the Fire Council or members of the Fire Department which is a great disservice to these groups; he does not believe that the concept has a good foundation; people who need to know need to be brought into this discussion. Mr. Streany stated that a paid EMS service is another avenue; do not rush to do this; they need to discuss this with members and council. He added that there are a lot of projects that have started and are not completed. Trustee Brennan asked to get a meeting together with the fire council and talk this over.
Kevin Davis, 17 Wolf Road, regarding the Croton Landing project, suggested a corn maze for the other part of unused land; this would bring people into the town, especially for Halloween; then they also would have bio-fuel for Village vehicles if there is enough; he feels that this is something to look into. Mayor Schmidt replied that there are two parts for Croton Landing, what is cleared now will be a field that will be irrigated and could be used for soccer, little league, etc.; the County area will be rehabilitated to bring back to a natural setting and re-vegetated. Kevin Davis responded that a corn maze may be a low-cost option.
Susan Schmidt, 106 Grand St., stated that with the sound on the video-taping of the board meetings, viewers can always hear the water being poured and papers being rustled, not what is being said; she suggested perhaps board members should wear clip-on microphones to make the sound better for those at home. Village Manager Herbek replied that they have tried many types of sound equipment over the years and will continue looking at it.
8. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting held on March 19, 2007 as corrected. Trustee Kane seconded the motion. The Board voted approval, with Trustee Konig abstaining.
Trustee Brennan made a motion to approve the minutes of the Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees held on March 20, 2007. Trustee Gallelli seconded the motion; approved unanimously.
Village Manager Herbek reported that the hydrant flushing will begin on 4/10 and will be done Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to12 midnight. He added that Arbor Day is April 25th and there will be a tree planting at 10 am with the location to be determined. Mr. Herbek added he has been looking at on-going work session items; can subtract or add as they go forward. He announced that the Public Hearing on the budget will be held on April 9th at 8 pm in Municipal building and they will go through each budget items at that time.
Trustee Konig stated that she is proud to be serving on this board. She added that she is looking forward to moving forward on Croton Point Ave.; action is unfolding and they will be speaking with attorneys shortly. Ms. Konig added that the second most pressing thing is the proposed budget has come in at a certain number, but it is not a done deal; the Public Hearing will be held on 4/9 and she urged residents to please come out and give their opinions; they want to provide Village services, but want to bring in a tight budget.
Trustee Kane reported that the Village will be celebrating Earth Day on April 28th at Senasqua Park at 9 am. He reported that Susan mentioned the STB is going to meet; this meeting will be at 4/19 at 10 am in Washington headquarters; the oral argument will be live streamed via the STB home page.
Trustee Gallelli reported that the Village Board in February approved to move forward with phase 3 of the Comprehensive Plan. That phase will start with a meeting next Tuesday in the Village Manager’s office.
Trustee Brennan thanked Trustee Wiegman for his service and dedication to the Village; he also thanked residents who came out to vote; it was an excellent turn out; he is here to work with this Board as a whole for everyone in the Village. He added that the Community Center survey is being moved forward to get results by May and to see what will be done. Trustee Brennan stated that Trustees are here to take care of residents first; all budgets are proposed numbers until a budget is passed; they are trying to keep the burden down and services high. He wished everyone a happy Passover and Easter.
Mayor Schmidt thanked the community for coming out and voting; it is an honor and privilege to serve on this Board and he takes the oath very seriously; they do their best. He gave a welcome to Sue Konig and thanks to Trustee Wiegman; the sacrifice is huge to do this job. Mayor Schmidt reported that County Executive Andy Spano has issued a mayor/supervisor challenge; on May 5th at 1 pm, Half Moon Bay parking lot is the starting point to enjoy a healthy walk along the river; the Board and he will be leading off the walk.
A motion to go to Executive session was made by Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Kane; approved unanimously.
A motion to adjourn this portion of the meeting was made by Trustee Brennan, seconded by Trustee Gallelli, approved by all. The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 pm.
Phyllis A. Bradbury
Phyllis A. Bradbury, Secretary