VILLAGE OF CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK
MINUTES OF THE WATERFRONT ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2004:
A meeting of the Waterfront Advisory Committee of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, New York was held on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 in the Municipal Building.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairperson Fran Allen
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Herbek, Village Manager
Daniel O’Connor, P.E., Village Engineer
1. Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M. by Chairperson Fran Allen.
2. CROTON POINT PARK BULKHEAD PROJECT – CONSISTENCY REVIEW:
Ian Scott, P.E. of Lockwood, Kessler and Bartlett, Inc. was present for this application.
Mr. Scott stated that his engineering firm was hired by the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation & Conservation to investigate problems with the existing bulkheads and erosion problems along the shoreline at Croton Point Park. Mr. Scott distributed to the WAC a map showing the areas in question.
Mr. Scott stated that the bulkheads have to be replaced at Haverstraw Bay and along the Hudson River side of the park. Mr. Scott distributed to the committee members colored photographs showing the damage to the existing bulkheads. These bulkheads are more than thirty years old. Water is washing through the holes, and the timber cap is completely broken up. Mr. Scott stated that his firm recommends that these bulkheads should be replaced.
Mr. Scott stated that the other problem area is Enoch’s Neck. A few years ago, some very serious storms washed the topsoil along the shore into the river. The steep slope along the shoreline at Enoch’s Neck is unstable. The County hired his engineering firm to look at the possibility of stabilizing this area and reclaiming some of the land that was lost. The County has decided to go ahead with the recommendation(s) set forth in his firm’s engineering report.
Mr. Scott told the committee members that the areas in question at Croton Point Park have been established as Native-American archeological sites, particularly the shoreline area at Enoch’s Neck. Shell middens, brick ovens and a winery have been found. It is understood that these archeological ruins must not be disturbed when the work at Croton Point Park is ultimately carried out.
Mr. Scott stated that, in the case of the bulkheads, his firm would leave the existing ones where they are and drive new sheetings in front of the existing sheeting. The new tiebacks would be helical screws that would be driven into the ground. For the repair work to be performed at Enoch’s Neck, his firm would propose to use rip-rap up to a certain elevation and, then, the area would be filled in with embankment material. This fill material would be overlain with a Geocell mesh. Mr. Scott noted that when new plantings are established, the mesh would no longer be visible.
Ms. Gallelli noted to those present that WAC members, Fran Allen, Charles Kane and herself have recently visited the project site, and they all agree that the restoration and stabilization work being proposed needs to be done.
Mr. Scott stated that the project plans for the work to be done have been submitted to the County for review. His firm has prepared, on behalf of the County, a permit application, which was sent to the NYS Department of State and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Department of State informed his firm that this proposal also has to go before the Village of Croton-on-Hudson. This project is along the Hudson River waterfront and therefore has to be assessed for consistency with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitilization Program (LWRP).
Ms. Gallelli asked if the contractor would be bringing materials in from the river, to which Mr. Scott replied that materials would be brought in by barge to the Enoch’s Neck area so that the land around Enoch’s Neck would not be disturbed and trees would not be cut down. A temporary work platform would be constructed. The construction workers would not be allowed to drive their construction vehicles along the beach.
Chairperson Allen asked Mr. Scott what company would be doing the construction work for this project, to which Mr. Scott replied that it would not be his firm. Another company would be hired to do the construction work. The work would go to the lowest bidder.
Mr. Kane noted that a portion of the bank at Enoch’s Neck is falling into the river. Along the shore, up and underneath, there are layers of oyster shells that are two feet thick. These layers of shells were put there by the Native-Americans. He wondered how these layers of shells would be preserved. Mr. Scott told the WAC that an archeologist has been hired by the County to assure that there is no disturbance to these ruins caused by the work being done.
Mr. Kane stated that the timber cap has been damaged by ice. He asked how this area would be secured, to which Mr. Scott replied that the concrete cap being proposed would be connected to a steel bulkhead with a rebar.
Chairperson Allen referred to the hillside area where the mesh material is going to be used. She asked how the mesh material would be anchored down and how this area would be revegetated. Mr. Scott stated that his firm has been in contact with the manufacturer of Geocell, and the manufacturer has provided the design details. Mr. Scott noted that there are dead trees that would have to be removed. They would try to preserve as much vegetation as possible. Chairperson Allen noted that there are trees that are having problems surviving along the slope, to which Mr. Scott stated that any dead vegetation would be removed. Mr. Kane noted that the layers of oyster shells, which were formed by the Native-Americans, are intertwined with these tree roots, to which Mr. Scott responded that the
archeologist hired by the County would be working with the State Historic Preservation Office to make certain that these Native-American artifacts are not disturbed.
Mr. Wiegman asked if Geocell is a permeable material from top to bottom so that vegetation can grow through it, to which Mr. Scott said that it is. Mr. Scott told the committee members that his firm would be working with Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation on the choice(s) of vegetation to be planted on the hillside area.
Ms. Gallelli asked Mr. Scott if this project could be done in one season, to which Mr. Scott replied that it could be. The County anticipates that the construction would take place in 2007. It depends on the budget. It could be moved up to 2006. The estimated cost of construction would be $5 million.
Mr. Kane noted that the timing of this project would be important so as not to interfere with pelagic species. Mr. Scott told Mr. Kane that the project would most likely be done in the wintertime.
Mr. Kane stated that on Sheet 5 of 24 of the application materials, it is mentioned on the diagram that dredging would occur. He noted that there is no mention of dredging anywhere in the narrative. Mr. Scott explained that some dredging is required due to the fact that there are boulders situated in front of the existing sheeting. He said that the dredged material would only be moved a few feet, and there would be no spoilage to be disposed of.
Mr. Wiegman asked if the area where the big lawn is situated would have all new bulkheads, to which Mr. Scott replied that it would.
Chairperson Allen stated that it is her understanding that the intention would be not to remove the sheeting but to cut it down, to which Mr. Scott said that this is, indeed, the case. Mr. Scott stated that no one would be able to see any of the existing sheeting. The Village Engineer asked what the cost would be per linear foot, to which Mr. Scott said that he did not know. He would find out and let the Village Engineer know.
The Village Engineer asked what the water depth would be at Enoch’s Neck for the barge, to which Mr. Scott replied that the depth would vary depending on the tide. At low tide, the barge would probably sit on mud at the river bottom.
The Village Engineer noted that the County is requesting that the proposed bulkhead reconstruction should last for 50 years. He asked Mr. Scott what design elements his firm looked at to assure a 50-year life span. Mr. Scott stated that they looked mostly at the material itself. The sheeting material could be plastic, vinyl, or even aluminum, but they are recommending Corten steel, which has a 50-year life span.
Chairperson Allen noted that there would have to be fill brought in for this project. Fill could not be brought in when people are using the park. Mr. Scott replied that no construction would take place when people are using the park.
Chairperson Allen stated that, in looking through the policies of the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), she noted that it is specifically called out that the repair and maintenance of the bulkheads is (would be) consistent with the LWRP. She added that the repair work is obviously needed and would be a positive improvement.
Chairperson Allen stated that she has just a few areas of concern. One of her concerns has to do with the archeological aspect. Mr. Wiegman pointed out that the County has engaged an archeologist to look into the archeological aspects. He wondered if this would not adequately address the issue(s). Chairperson Allen said that she would like to have seen the written report that was prepared. Ms. Gallelli stated that it is her understanding that the County made it a “pre-condition,” in the preparation of the plans for this project, that there should not be any damage/disturbance to the archeological ruins at Croton Point Park. Mr. Scott asked the WAC if it would be sufficient to give the committee members a copy of the summary of the report, which is in his design packet. The
Village Engineer suggested that the WAC could ask the County Parks department to provide the Village with a copy of the archeological report. Chairperson Allen stated that she thought it would be appropriate to have a copy of this report for the Village files.
Chairperson Allen noted for the record that in Attachment 2 of the application materials it states that no excavation work will be allowed except in the presence of the archeologist.
Chairperson Allen stated that her other area of concern is the protection of wildlife habitats. She asked if there could be some very specific protocols established to protect the wildlife habitat in the area where the dredging would take place. Mr. Scott stated that the dredging would only take place in front of the bulkhead area, not at Enoch’s Neck. He added that the dredged material would only need to be moved a few feet out of the way in the area(s) where the new sheeting is going to be placed. Ms. Gallelli said that it is her understanding that they would only be pushing the material(s) around slightly. Mr. Kane pointed out that if the dredge work were done at low tide, the disturbance from silt would be minimized.
Chairperson Allen said that she would want the contractor(s), during the construction process, to follow the Westchester County Best Management Practices. The WAC would also expect that the project would be monitored, to which Mr. Scott replied that he does not foresee any problems adhering to these (Chairperson Allen’s) requests.
Chairperson Allen stated that she thinks the WAC members would all agree that this project is consistent with the policies of the LWRP subject to the comments/recommendations discussed at the meeting tonight. She would prepare a letter of recommendation, addressed to the NYS Department of State, providing the WAC’s comments.
Chairperson Allen stated that the last order of business would be to review the Coastal Assessment Form (CAF), which the Applicant has filled out.
Chairperson Allen stated that, in her view, the answer to item C.1.c., “Will the proposed activity result in the revitalization/redevelopment of a deteriorated or underutilized waterfront site,” should be “yes” instead of “no.” Mr. Scott asked if the WAC would mention in its letter to the Department of State that the committee disagrees with the answer given to this question, to which Chairperson Allen said that it would. She noted that, with respect to any disagreement to an answer given, the WAC would explain its position. Mr. Wiegman stated that he does not believe that Croton Point Park is underutilized. Ms. Gallelli stated that she would agree with Mr. Wiegman that this park is not underutilized.
Chairperson Allen suggested that item C.2.c., “Will the proposed activity affect or be located in a state-designated significant fish and/or wildlife habitat,” should be “yes” instead of “no.”
Mr. Kane stated that, in his view, the answer to item C.3.a., “Will the proposed activity require a waterfront site,” should be “yes” instead of “no.” Furthermore, he thought that the answer to item 4, “Will the proposed activity occur within and/or affect an area covered by a state-approved local waterfront revitalization program,” should be “yes” instead of “no.”
Chairperson Allen asked the committee members if, with the recommendations discussed tonight, the WAC finds this project to be consistent with the policies of the LWRP, to which the members all said that they find it consistent. Chairperson Allen stated that she would prepare a letter of recommendation and mail it to the NYS Department of State, with a copy to the Village Board. She would also send a copy to Mr. Scott, to the County DPW and the County Parks & Recreation Department.
Ms. Gallelli reiterated to Mr. Scott that the WAC would state in its letter to the Department of State its position regarding the aforementioned questions in the CAF. The WAC would give its reasons why these four questions should be answered in a different way.
Mr. Scott asked if he could have a copy of the minutes of tonight’s meeting, to which Chairperson Allen said that he could. The WAC secretary told Mr. Scott that she would mail him a copy.
3. UPDATE ON MILLENNIUM PIPE LINE:
Chairperson Allen noted that, for the meeting tonight, she asked Mr. Herbek to provide an update on the Millennium Pipe Line project. Mr. Herbek has already provided this update via e-mail. She thanked him on behalf of the committee.
4. UPDATE ON CROTON YACHT CLUB DREDGING PROJECT:
Mr. Herbek told the committee members that Aqua Dredge Inc. (Charles Pound) has won the bid for the Yacht Club Dredging Project. The project cost would be approximately $173,000.00.
Mr. Herbek stated that he would be attending a meeting at the Yacht Club tonight to discuss this project. The Village’s intention is that the Yacht Club would share half the cost.
Mr. Herbek noted that the price for the dredging is more than was anticipated. Mr. Pound has indicated that one of the reasons for the increase is that the project would involve hydraulic dredging.
Mr. Herbek stated that the bid is scheduled to be awarded to Mr. Pound at the Village Board meeting on Monday night. He noted that the Village is anxious to move forward with this dredging work while the boats are all out of the marina. Mr. Herbek stated that the Village is planning to use a different contractor to have the culvert cleaned out.
Mr. Herbek noted that some of the dredged material from the Yacht Club marina might possibly be used by the County in the construction of berms. He pointed out that another aspect of this project (the dredging project) is that the County is rigorously working on the Riverwalk Project, which it hopes to have completed by July 2005.
5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes of the Wednesday, June 9, 2004 Waterfront Advisory Committee meeting were approved on a motion by Mr. Wiegman, seconded by Mr. Kane and carried by a vote of 5 to 0.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting duly adjourned at 8:50 P.M.