Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 431

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 431st installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas – January 22, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

NOTE:  This meeting is on Tuesday due to Martin Luther King Day Holiday

 

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER:  Certificates of Recognition presented to Croton-Harmon teachers who received Gold Standard Certification.

 

PUBLIC HEARING:  Public Hearing to consider adoption of Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2019 to override the property tax cap.   This Tax Cap Override Law has been passed each year since the NYS Tax Cap was instituted in 2012.  It is recommended by the NY Conference of Mayors as a safety measure to prevent the Village being penalized in the event that they are unable to meet the Tax Cap.  Every year it must be repealed prior to the budget being approved.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Letter from Peter Baynes, New York Conference of Mayors Executive Director, on AIM funding elimination.  NYCOM Director is alerting Villages to the loss of State aid in the Governor’s proposed budget.  For Croton, it would be approximate $45,000.
  • List of Legislative Priorities for 2019 from the New York Conference of Mayors.  NYCOM has provided the Villages and cities it represents a list of priority legislation that it would like to see passed on our behalf. They will be presenting the various initiatives with NYS Legislators in the coming weeks.

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Consider adoption of a resolution in support of a new “No Stopping” area on the east side of Route 9A (North Riverside Avenue) south of Farrington Road.   In response to a dangerous situation brought to the attention of the NYS DOT, they have agreed to post a No Stopping sign in this location if the Village demonstrates support for it  by passing a resolution.

 

    1. Consider revision of the Master Fee Schedule in relation to the 2019 summer camp fees.  The proposed camp fees would increase slightly for the coming season.  The amount depends on the number of weeks  and whether registrants sign up before June 1 or after.

 

  • Consider appointment of Debra Rodriguez to the position of Police Officer in the Croton-on-Hudson Police Department at an annual salary of $63,048.28, pending approval of the Westchester County Dept. of Human Resources.  Ms. Rodriguez has been recommended by Chief Harper and would fill one of two open positions in the Department.
  • Consider scheduling a public hearing for Monday, February 4, at 8 PM in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building for the purpose of revising Chapter 223 of the Village Code, Water, to reflect new bill delivery options.   The proposed law would enable sending water bills via email.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign the proposal from BFJ Planning of New York, New York, to create a Harbor Management Plan (HMP) for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) and the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the General Fund in the amount of $5,000 for the purposes of funding the HMP.  The Village completed an update of its 2003 LWRP and submitted to the NYS Dept. of State for final approval.  In the interim, the DOS instituted a new requirement for all LWRPs, requiring them to have a Harbor Management Program.  BFJ Planning will develop such a program to be added to our revised LWRP.

 

  1. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to award Bid No. 05-2018 for the Grand Street Drainage and Parking Lot Improvements to WD Excavation and Contracting, Inc. of Croton-on-Hudson, New York in the amount of $247,247.   This work is at the Grand Street Firehouse. Thirteen bids were received.  DPW Superintendent Balbi recommend WD Excavation, the second lowest bidder, due to the lowest bid not submitting adequate references.
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to approve the change order from Con-Tech Construction of Brewster, New York, in the amount of $125,940 for additional retaining wall and sidewalk work along Elliott Way.   Additional work on the gabion wall along this walkway is needed.  Con-Tech would also construct the missing link between the new sidewalk at Senasqua Park and the new Elliott Way elevated walkway.
  3. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the General Fund in the amount of $25,000 to cover expenses related to Fire Department vehicle maintenance and repairs.   Several fire department vehicles are in need of repair due to wear and tear resulting from their usage.  There is not enough money currently in their budget.  This resolution would allow the Treasurer to transfer the needed amount from the Village’s Contingency account.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2018-19 General fund Budget in the amount of $46,209.35 for monies received from Historic Hudson Valley to cover police overtime work for the Blaze.   The Village has received reimbursement for police overtime expenses incurred during The Blaze event in Fall 2018.
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Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 430

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 430th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings. I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you. If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas – January 14, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

(Open to Public and Televised

Review of YTD financial statements for the current fiscal year. The Board will review the status of revenue and expenditures for the Village’s General, Water and Sewer Fund accounts at the mid-year point of Fiscal Year 2018/2019. This is in preparation for upcoming budget planning for the 2019/2020 budget and helps to ascertain whether assumptions made in prior budgets were accurate.

Further discussion on Police Department expansion and relocation of Recreation Department offices. This is a continuation of the discussion from the December work session on the expansion requirements for the Police Department in the Municipal Building and how that might coordinate with a possible move by the Recreation Department to the Gouveia Park building.

Discussion with members of the Croton Climate Initiative on sustainable policies. Members of CCI will be present to talk about initiatives on which the Village and CCI might work together.

Review of the Village’s capital planning process. The Board will look at the capital plans of the previous 5 fiscal years to see how and when various capital projects and proposed expenditures appear in the long range planning and how funding is anticipated. Capital planning for the General Fund covers Streets and sidewalks, Equipment, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services, Municipal Garage and Parking Lot, Municipal Building renovations and equipment, Police Department, Recreation and Parks. There are also capital plans for the Water Fund and Sewer Fund.

Chair Richard Masur: Remembering Charles Stathacos (1952-2018)

Dear Editor,

The Village of Croton on Hudson lost a treasured friend just before the New Year. Charlie Stathacos. Charlie was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa in the seventies, which was only the beginning of a lifetime of service. In his career as an agricultural economist he worked in 27 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East where he helped create food security for many of the world’s neediest economies.

When we were lucky enough to have him home in Croton, among his many other acts of service to this community, he volunteered as a Democratic District leader and stalwart supporter. He was the most gentle, caring and sweetest man who ever lived and he will be missed by all who knew him.

Richard Masur

Ann Gallelli: Renewing Your STAR Rebate

To the Editor,ann2016
In the past week, there have been articles in newspapers and on television reminding Seniors that they must renew their Enhanced STAR exemption to be eligible for it on the 2019 assessment roll.
Changes in NYS Law also require a new step in order to continue to receive that exemption this year and into the future. It is mandatory to submit a new form called the Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program (RP-425-IVP).
In the Town of Cortlandt, the Assessor’s Office administers this program. The deadline date is May 1, 2019 when the appropriate documents must be received by the Town Assessors office. If you are applying for Enhanced STAR for the first time, this date also applies.
All of this can be very confusing but doing it is very worthwhile. If you are eligible, the Enhanced STAR exemption can save you hundreds of dollars on your school taxes. Eligibility requires that your 2017 income must be $86,300 or less. Additionally, with the filing of the Income Verification Program application, you will not have to do this again in subsequent years.
To help answer questions and make it more convenient for Seniors to fill out the right documents and file them with the Town, the Village is taking the following steps:
We have requested that the Town Assessor make presentations and take questions at a Croton Seniors meeting and at a Croton Caring Committee occasion.
With the Town Assessor’s cooperation, a member of his staff will be available in the Croton Village Office on more than one occasion to accept the applications locally, thus saving a long trip up to the Town Offices.
Dates for the above occasions have not been finalized yet but they will be well-publicized once they are set.
We hope that providing this help will make the process of obtaining and/or renewing the Enhanced STAR exemption more understandable and less cumbersome. Look for more information on local dates and times in the near future. The phone number for the Town Assessor office is 734-1040.

Ann Gallelli

Brian Pugh: Croton is No. 1!

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped
USA Today ranked Croton-on-Hudson as the best place to live in New York State as part of its “best cities to live in every state across US” ranking last Friday. This is a real honor and a a tribute to each contributing member of our community.
The newspaper described Croton as: “a small village on the eastern bank of the Hudson River…The village’s proximity to New York City contributes to high property values as most homes in the community are worth over half a million dollars. Croton-on-Hudson is one of the safest communities in New York. There were just 48 violent crimes for every 100,000 village residents in 2017, about an eighth of the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000.”
I would like to thank everyone that contributes to the outstanding quality of life of our community in big ways and small.
Our Village benefits from a diligent and hardworking professional staff–particularly this time of year we appreciate the dedication of our Department of Public Works. We are blessed with some wonderful nonprofits and local voluntary organizations including the Croton-Cortlandt Food Pantry, the Croton Caring Committee, the Croton Arboretum and the Lions and Rotary clubs. Finally, we should appreciate our law enforcement officers and first responders–especially our Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service volunteers.
As Mayor, I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Village Board of Trustees to keep Croton a great place to live.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Brian Pugh: Wishing you a happy and safe Christmas and a peaceful new year!

To the editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

On behalf of Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton, I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and a peaceful new year.

Over the last month, I have had the honor of participating in community events, from our the Buchanan-Croton-Cortlandt Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to our annual Christmas Tree lighting. There have been many occasions to reflect on and appreciate the wonderful work that our professional staff and local volunteers do that makes our community such a special place.

It is especially important to remember those who work over Christmas and New Year to keep vital services running. Our thanks go out to emergency services, the armed services and our all volunteer Croton Fire Department that serve and protect us throughout the year, and the members of the Police Department who will be on hand to ensure we have a safe and healthy holiday period.

Our Village Board looks forward to working on your behalf in the coming year. We are committed to investing in the things that are making the biggest long term difference to your lives, preserving our quality of life and keeping our Village economically stable for the long-haul.
Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 428

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 428th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetings.  I continue to add recipients to this email update on agendas so you may be receiving it for the first time. I enjoy getting your feedback and hope to continue to hear from you.  If you do not wish to receive these periodic email updates from me, please reply to this email and your name will be removed from the email list.

Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas – December 17, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER: Appointments to Boards and Designation of Board Liaisons.

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Email from John Munson, Fire Council Secretary, regarding the election of department chiefs for 2019 and membership changes.   The Fire Council recently elected Chris Colombo as Chief, Phil Dinkler as 1st Assistant Chief and John Munson as 2nd Assistant Chief.  Additionally, two Active members have stepped down to Social members due to other time commitments.

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Consider adoption of a statement of consistency with the Village Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) for the Senasqua Park Walkway project.  The Village Board had reviewed the 44 policies of the Village’s LWRP at the last meeting. This resolution formalizes their Finding of Consistency.  It is a necessary step for the project to continue to move forward.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a purchase agreement and temporary easement with Croton Point Realty, Inc. in the amount of $19,000 for the Croton Point Avenue improvement project.  A small piece of property at 1-3 Croton Point Avenue is needed for the CPA Improvement Project.  Also, a temporary easement is needed during the construction period.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an inter-municipal agreement with Westchester County regarding the provision of E-911 Public Safety Answering Point support and maintenance services for a period beginning October 1, 2017, and continuing through September 30, 2022.  The Village participates in this service whereby the County provides and maintains the equipment at the Police station and the Village agrees to having its personnel man the service.
  • Consider awarding Bid 06-2018 for one 2018 Triple Combination Pumper to Hendrickson Fire Rescue Equipment of Islandia, New York, in the amount of $829,885.  Three bids were received.  Hendrickson was the second lowest bidder.  The lowest bidder was deemed not to be in technical compliance.  The new truck will replace Engine 118 which  has been in service for 25 years.  The Capital Plan for 2019/2020 anticipated a cost of $875,000 for this truck.  The Village will pay on delivery of the truck which is expected to be in 2020.
  • Consider scheduling a Public Hearing on January 7, 2019, at 8:00 PM in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building for the purposes of adopting Local Law Introductory No. 12 of 2018 to amend Chapter 197 of the Village Code, Streets and Sidewalks, to revise the street opening process and enact prohibitions on double pole installations.  The proposed law would give the Village more control over street openings requiring stricter standards for pavement replacement and timing.  I new section would also require utility poles to be removed when replaced by new poles within 120 days.  Permits would be required as well.  Fines would accrue on a daily basis.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the General Fund in the amount of $1,000 for the purposes of covering the cost of trails cleanup in the Croton Arboretum.  The Croton Arboretum is owned by the Village and maintained by the Arboretum organization.  The Village covers costs associated with normal maintenance.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the General Fund in the amount of $1,200 for the purposes of covering training costs for the Fire Department.  This expense was previously budgeted for and the money placed in the General Fund Contingency Account to be dispersed as it is needed for Fire Dept. costs.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2018-19 General Fund Budget in the amount of $3,780 for insurance recoveries related to reimbursement for firefighting foam.  The foam was used in a fire fighting incident and a re-supply is needed.  It is covered by insurance.

 

 

Brian Pugh: Get Covered!

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

I am writing to remind readers that the deadline for January 2019 health insurance coverage through the NYS healthcare marketplace, New York State of Health, is Saturday, December 15, 2018.  The web site for the NY State of Health is:  nystateofhealth.ny.gov

The NY State of Health uses a single application that helps people to check their eligibility for free or discounted health care programs and tells what type of financial assistance is available to applicants to help them afford health insurance. 

Some 468 residents of the Village of Croton are not insured, according to the Census.  The majority of these uninsured residents are native born US citizens. Most are children and young adults. 

Please remind your family and friends to make sure they have health insurance coverage for the New Year. 

For assistance with enrollment, you can contact the NY State of Health’s helpline 1-855-355-5777. The helpline is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

Brian Pugh: Cleaning Up Our Roads

To The Editor:

 

Work by contractors in the public right of way, especially those working on behalf of local utility companies, and its attendant disruptions to the neighborhood is an inevitable inconvenience and one of the prices we must pay for our modern way of life.  But that is does not mean that once that work is completed, the streets and sidewalks are not restored to good condition. That’s why the Board of Trustees considered two proposed local laws for the Village of Croton holding companies accountable for the work at last Monday’s work session.

 

Over the years, residents have peppered the Village with complaints about the quality of work by some of the contractors working in the public right of way.  Sometimes, they install a new utility pole but leave the old one behind, allowing it to decay and become a blight. Other times, after completing work on underground equipment such as gas lines, they do a haphazard job of patching the roadway.

 

The proposed revisions to the street openings section of the Village Code (Chapter 197, Art. II) would require those doing work requiring opening a Village street to get a permit (except for emergency work).  Permittees would be required to make a deposit and provide the Village with a bond to guarantee faithful performance of the authorized work. The amount of the bond would be set 100% of the estimated cost of restoring the street opening as determined by the Village Engineer.

 

If a permittee fails to faithfully complete the work, the Village is empowered to step up and make sure the street is properly restored. All expenses incurred by the village will be recovered from the deposit and/or bond.

 

Under the proposed local law on double poles (Chapter 197, Art. VII), existing poles must be removed within 120 days after installation of the new pole. When the Village determines that a utility pole in a Village right-of-way is damaged and poses a potential threat to the public safety, the Village give a utility  company 15 days notice to remove its plant from the damaged pole. Failure to comply with either deadline would result in daily fines of $250.

 

As always, if the Board of Trustees votes, to move forward, a public hearing will be scheduled prior to a final vote on the adoption of the proposed local laws. In the meantime, Village Board will continue to review this legislation and any other options to empower our Village staff to better serve the public.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Thank You & Welcome

To the Editor,ann2016

This week is a time of transition for the Village Board. While we say good bye and thank you to Trustee Ian Murtaugh, we welcome newly elected Trustee Andy Simmons.  

Ian answered the request for his services when he agreed to return to the Trustee position to fill Trustee Pugh’s position after his election to Mayor.   As a former Trustee, Ian was able to jump right into the position and be an informed Trustee from day one. Ian’s thoughtful consideration and reasoned positions on the multitude of issues in front of the Board contributed greatly to our discourse.  As a life long Village resident and regular participant in Village life, he was, and will continue to be, looking out for our residents’ interests. Thank you, Ian, for finding the time to return to the Board for the past year.

Our newly elected Trustee, Andy Simmons, is a wonderful addition to our Board.  As a resident of many years, Andy has some clear ideas about Croton’s strengths and why we all like living here.  His goal to enhance these Village qualities is consistent with those of the entire Board of Trustees in building and maintaining quality of life in the Village. Thank you for running Andy.

I am both happy and proud to have been returned to Board as well and look forward to serving with Brian, Andy, Sherry and Amy going forward.  

 

Ann Gallelli