Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 369

Dear neighbor, Here is the 369th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents ann2016informed 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 –   May 22, 2017

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

  1. Discussion about the Hunter Place sewer connections.  Five homes on Hunter have three sewer line connections to the sewer line on another street – Michael’s Lane.  They are in need of replacement. New sewer lines have been installed on Hunter.  This would permit these five to connect to the new line on their street.  It would require lateral lines to be installed from the new sewer line on Hunter to each of the five houses.  The Village has received quotes for both the replacement of the old and the installation of new laterals.  While the latter is not something that the Village would normally pay for, the homeowners have asked for some assistance with this cost.  They would still be responsible for the individual connection and work in their homes to connect with the laterals.
  2. Discussion about the Community Choice Aggregation Program with Dan Welsh, Program Director for Westchester Power.  The Board will discuss and consider  the Community Choice Aggregation program that it declined to join in 2016.  Approximately 100,000 county residents are currently part of this program which provides reduced rates for electric power.
  3. Discussion of the proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 -2018.  The Board will discuss its Capital Budget for 2017-2018.  The discussion will take into account its recently announced intent to acquire a building and property for the relocation of the DPW facility.  For the General Fund the proposed capital expenditures would be $3,788,000.  The proposal is for this to be funded as follow:  Fund Balance – $1,900,000; Bonding – $1,685,000; BAN (Bond Anticipation Notes) – $203,000.

Brian Pugh: Improving Access to Public Documents

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

As many of you know, New York’s Freedom of Information Law, known as FOIL, guarantees the public, individually and collectively, access to the records of government. To facilitate this access, the Village of Croton has recently published a “Freedom of Information” page on the Village website, accessible from the “Citizen Action Center” on the home page, and at the following URL: crotononhudson-ny.gov/Public_Documents/CrotonHudsonNY_Information.

The new page features:

1. The text of the Freedom of Information Law
2. A form for the online submittal of a Freedom of Information Law Request to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for specific documents
3. A subject matter list of Village documents
4. Instructions on appealing a FOIL decision
5. Information about the Freedom of Information Law
6. Links to the NYS Committee on Open Government Home page, FOIL Advisory Opinions, Case Law Summaries and Open Meetings Law/FOIL educational videos.

I appreciate the alacrity with which my suggestion for the new Freedom of Information page was met. I also appreciate the Deputy Mayor’s suggestion that I draft the text of the new page. Thanks also to the staff for their continued work in responding to FOIL requests.

Not only is sunshine the best disinfectant, as the saying goes, but transparency and public information are essential to self-government and accountable public administration. I hope that this new page is the first step in a new era of enhanced access to pubic documents and citizen self-education and empowerment.

Sincerely, Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: 368th installment of Decoding Village Agendas

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 368th 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 – May 15, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
8:00 pm
(Open to Public – Televised)

CORRESPONDENCE:
Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer; re: Request for a building permit extension for the homeowner of 37 Park Trail. Due to extenuating circumstances, the property owner has been unable to complete the work under this building permit and it is recommended to extend the permit to October 20, 2017.

Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer; re: Request for a building permit extension for the homeowner of 16 King Street. Due to extenuating circumstances, the property owner has been unable to complete the work under this building permit and it is recommended to extend the permit until November 7, 2017.
Mark Duncan, Recreation Supervisor; re: Summerfest street closings and parade.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

The Village Board declares its intent to be lead agency for SEQRA purposes to consider the acquisition of two adjoining properties at 435 and 439 Yorktown Rd. on Route 129 for the relocation of the Village’s Department of Public Works facility and the decommissioning of the current facility to surface parking. The Board also authorizes the circulation of the Environmental Assessment Form to the Planning Board, Waterfront Advisory Committee and the Town of Cortlandt Planning Board. The current Village Department of Public Works facility is located in a flood plain, is adjacent to the Croton River Estuary, and is housed in a deteriorated and undersized building. The Village Board is considering the purchase of a building and adjoining vacant piece of property which would allow it to upgrade its operations and centralize all public works in one location. Relocating to a new facility would allow for a more efficient operation, ensure longer life for Village equipment, and create a safer environment for its workers. The building proposed to be acquired is the vacant building on Route 129 just beyond the Village border, in the Town of Yorktown. Although it appears to be an office building, only about 1/3 of it is office, the remainder being open space with bays for large trucks. The total space is about 25,000 square feet. The adjoining undeveloped lot would also be acquired so that most DPW vehicles could be located there. This would allow for repair work to proceed and several vehicles at a time which is not currently possible in the current space. It would also allow more equipment to be stored indoors which would prevent rapid deterioration from exposure to weather. The current DPW facility is in dire need of repairs and a new roof. The Village is reluctant to spend money on this building given its overall small and inadequate size, its location in a sensitive area. The space made available by the demolishing of the current DPW would allow approximately 130 additional parking spaces at the train station lot which would generate about $150,000/year in additional parking revenue. The total purchase price of the two lots is $2,710,000. More details on this proposed acquisition are available on the Village website under “News and Notices”.

Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the General Fund 2016-2017 budget in the amount of $1,259.52 for monies received through the U.S. Department of Justice for the reimbursement of police overtime. The Police Department overtime was related to a narcotics investigation.

The Board of Trustees refers the special use permit request to operate a smoke shop at 50 Maple Street to the Village Planning Board for comment back to the Board of Trustees. Since the proposed action is under 4,000 square feet, SEQRA is not required. An application has been made to open a Smoke and Vapor store in the recently added space next to CVS (formerly occupied by State Farm). The plaza is in a C-2 zoning district which requires a special permit for retail uses. Such a permit must be issued by the Village Board. The Board is required to get a recommendation from the Planning Board as directed by this resolution. According to the submitted information, it would be open from 7am to 10 pm and expects about 30 customers/day.

The Village Board of Trustees schedules a Public Hearing for June 5, 2017 at 8 pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider the Special Permit Application from Desiree Drapala to operate a child care center located at 365 South Riverside Avenue. The applicant owns the Happy Hearts childcare center in the Upper Village and is seeking additional space in the building that was the former Croton Dodge location. Specifically, the proposed day care would be in the former showroom area of the building. The Planning Board has made a positive recommendation with some conditions. They note that they had concerns with ventilation, air quality and drop off issues. An inspection by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services found the location and proposal to be in compliance. Conditions proposed by the Planning Board include addressing the ventilation, car exhaust, removal of an oil tank in the rear, and protection of the drop off space by bollards. If a special use permit is granted, the applicant will return to the Planning Board for site plan approval.

Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the agreement with the SPCA of Westchester, Inc. to provide services to the Village for seized, stray and homeless dogs and cats. This is an annual contract renewal through May 31, 2018. There has been no increase in the $6,737.38 fee.

Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the proposal from Woodward and Curran in the amount of $18,974 for the required technical assistance and programming needed to integrate the new corrosion control equipment into the existing SCADA system. The corrosion control treatment building and system at the well field are in the process of being constructed. This system, when completed, will provide for the injection of a blended ortho/polyphosphate corrosion control additive which will reduce copper and lead levels in the tap water. The corrosion control system, when completed will need to be integrated into the existing SCADA system at the Water Department. The SCADA system provides for electronic data collection and control of equipment. The design and building of the corrosion control system for the Village’s water supply has been under way for an extended period of time. In February 2017, the Board awarded the contract for building it to Pierotti Corporation for $388,500. This contract with Woodward and Curran will assure that the new corrosion control system is correctly integrated into the Village’s new automated SCADA system which controls the equipment at the well field.
Authorizing the Village Manager to award the bid for the Farrington Road and Hunter Place pavement, curb and sidewalk improvement project to ELQ Industries Inc. of New Rochelle, NY in the amount of $1,015,086. The water and sewer main replacement project on Farrington Road and Hunter Place has concluded. The next and final phase requires curb and sidewalk improvements and the repaving of the roadway. Following several years of work on the water and sewer mains on these streets, the road, sidewalk and curbs will be improved to complete this project. Four bids were received.

Authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer $12,500 within the 2016-2017 General Fund to cover expenses related to contracts and overtime for the Recreation Department. This is a budget housekeeping measure that applies to the 2016/2017 general fund budget.

UPDATE: The location of the Building in Resolution 1, referring to a relocation of the Village’s DPW building, is on Yorktown Road (129) in the Town of Cortlandt; not the Town of Yorktown as stated.

Ann Gallelli: Honoring CFD Volunteers

To the Editor,ann2016
Last Saturday Croton’s Fire Department officially unveiled their new Rescue 18 truck. It was on display at the Harmon Fire House along with an old, retired 1963 Rescue truck as an historical comparison. What a great example the new Rescue 18 is of new technologies in fire rescue work. Not surprisingly, the new truck is bigger than the 1963 truck. More importantly, its improvements make it better at accomplishing its job and safer for our volunteers who man it. Rescue 18 carries specialized equipment for rescue situations such as traffic collisions, vehicle extraction, building collapse, confined space rescue, and more. The truck carries equipment such as the Jaws of Life, winches, cutting torches, circular saws and other forms of heavy equipment not on standard trucks. It was very impressive to see all its capabilities.
At the event, an additional surprise was in store for two Fire Department volunteers – Augie Conti and John Coyne. Both Augie and John were given special plaques commending them for their long service in Croton’s Fire Department, Augie for 50 years and John for 49. Congratulations and thank you to both on this remarkable achievement.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: 367th installment of Decoding Village Agendas

ann2016
Decoding Village Agendas
1 message

Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com> Fri, May 5, 2017 at 2:40 PM
To: Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com>

Dear neighbor, Here is the 367th 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 –   May 10, 2017

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

NOTE:  This work session is on Wednesday.

 

  1. Discussion with Fire Department on Various Issues.   The Board will be meeting with the Fire Department Chiefs and others to discuss a list of fire department-related issues.  The entire list of topics is available with the meeting Agenda on the Village’s Home page.  Some of the topics include updating of Village information regarding membership, compliance with State Village Law as it pertains to volunteer Fire Departments, updated list of drivers’ licenses, accident reports,  compliance with  NYS Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau regulations, the fire Council and Fire Company financial records, request from Peekskill for mutual aid  agreement, and timing of Engine 118 replacement.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 366

Decoding Village Agendas
1 message

Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com> Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 10:53 AM
To: Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com>

Dear neighbor, Here is the 366th 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 – May 1, 2017

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

 (Open to Public  – Televised)

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING:  

  1. Public Hearing to consider Local Law Intro. 2 of 2017 amending Chapter 70 Alarm Systems of the Village Code to reflect updates in technology.    The proposed amendments reflect technology changes since it adoption.  These changes include updated definitions and inclusion of cell phone systems.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. The Board considers adopting Local Law Intro 1 of 2017, which would transition the Village’s water billing from biannually to quarterly.   With this change, Village water users would get 4 bills/ year instead of 2.   The intent is to even out the bill amount over the year instead of the typical big bill in December (reflecting usage in hot weather months) and smaller one in June. It would also may is quicker in identifying and correcting any leaks.  The change would also reduce the number of Water Rate Tiers from 6 to 5 and billing would be based on the prior quarter’s consumption rather than the prior year’s consumption.
  2. Authorizing the Village Manager to allocate funds from the Gouveia Park Trust in the amount of $10,500 for the installation of a water meter required to provide water service to the Gouveia Park property and house.  It was discovered that the well system providing potable water to the house as Gouveia Park had stopped functioning properly.  Since there is an existing water main located within Albany Post Road, a service line was connected and installed up to the property line.  In order to provide a reliable source of water for future use, and replace the Village’s maintenance responsibilities, a water meter is required to be installed.  Bringing village water to the site will allow for its future expansion.  Three price quotes were received for this work.
  3. Authorizing the Village Manager to allocate charges to the Gouveia Park Trust for the removal of three large pine trees and associated brush that were growing against the Gouveia Park house and overhanging the roof in the amount of $4,491.  This work was completed in April by Golden’s Tree Service and the resolution calls for allocating the cost to the Trust fund established for this Park..
  4. Authorizing the Village Manager to allocate the purchase of three picnic tables to the Gouveia Park Trust in the amount of $3,332.10.  These are 8’ plastic tables with molded seats with cedar tops at $999/each.
  5. Authorizing the Village Manager to renew the contract with SeamlessDocs  in the amount of $2,475.  SeamlessDocs has provided the platform to enable Village residents to register and pay for recreation classes online as well as created a FOIL form that can be submitted online.  This is  a renewal of the current contract at the existing price but will allow for the online submission of FOIL requests, thus making it easier for FOILs to be submitted to the Village.
  6. Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2016-2017 General Fund Budget in the amount of $14,4000 for the reversal of the August 1, 2016 Village Board resolution in regard to insurance recoveries. The Village had previously recognized the insurance recoveries for damage to a stone column on North Highland Avenue as revenue in FY15-16.   This resolution corrects a budgetary error.
  7. Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2016-2017 General Fund Budget in the amount of $25,415.97 for monies received through insurance recoveries for damaged Village vehicles.   This resolution is part of the year end  finalization process for 2016-2017 budget.
  8. Authorizing the Village Manager to enter into agreement with Trillium Invasive Species Management, Inc. of Esopus, New York to treat the infestation of phragmites and knotweed at Duck Pond, Kaplan’s Pond, Senasqua Park, Croton Landing , Black Rock Park and Gouveia Park for the period of June 2017 through May 2018 in the amount of $18,750.  Both phragmites and knotweed have become prevalent in some Village parks and are posing a threat to the natural environment in these areas, which has necessitated the need for an invasive species management plan.   At its last meeting, the Board approved a Spring treatment program by Trillium.  This contract is for the remainder of the year for the same locations and covers treatments in summer and fall.
  9. The Board of Trustees considers ratifying the Village Manager’s authorization of a reimbursement payment to the property owners within the Old Post Road North easement area for the removal of three trees that are causing a hazardous condition to a common electric service line in an amount not to exceed $1,181.13.  The Village has an agreement with these property owners to maintain and repair a water booster station and water line in the easement area.  As stated, the trees are considered potentially hazardous to the future maintenance of utility service to parcels owned by both private property owners and a village easement in this area.  An agreement was reached whereby each of the parties would be reimbursed 1/3 for the costs following successful removal.
  10. Authorizing the Village Manager to approve the proposal from RIO Supply Inc. of New York in the amount of $7,500 to install mater readers, provide software updates, and the training needed for Village staff.  The current meter readers utilized by the Village’s Water Department have reached the end of their life cycle and are in need of replacement.   The actual resolution is not included in the online agenda.  However, this cost covers the purchase on one new meter reader and the necessary charging equipment.
  11. Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the proposal from Anthony L. Fiorito, Inc. in the amount of $65,000 for emergency repairs to the sanitary sewer line between Van Wyck Street and Riverside Avenue.   A Village-owned 8” sewer main running from the west end of Van Wyck Street downhill to Riverside next to the Bestweb building needed emergency repairs. While the Village made a temporary repair, this resolution authorizes a permanent repair to the line.

Ann Gallelli: Thank you to Rhoda Stephens & Janet Mainiero

To the Editor,

ann2016
In the last month, two highly respected volunteers for the Village have resigned from their respective positions on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board.
Rhoda Stephens, chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, has resigned from the board on which she has served for 37 years. First appointed in 1980 by then-Mayor Robert Price, Rhoda was remarkable for her thoroughness in reviewing applications before the Board, visiting the sites and asking pertinent questions.
She kept meticulous notes on all applications and provided a valuable historical perspective for other members who came and went over the years. Rhoda has been part of the evolution of today’s Village. She is undoubtedly the longest serving member of any board in this Village. Through six administrations, Rhoda has consistently upheld the Village’s interests in applying the Zoning Law. While retiring, she will remain in the Village pursuing her other areas of interest.
Janet Mainiero, Planning Board member for the past three years, is moving from the Village. While serving on the Planning Board, Janet brought her interests in environmental issues to the forefront of the review of applications.
Prior to her appointment to the Planning Board, Janet had been the chair and chief force behind the committee that resulted in the creation of the Buchanan, Croton and Cortlandt 9/11 (BCC 9/11) Memorial at Croton Landing Park.
Croton will always be better for the dedication and achievements of Rhoda and Janet.
Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: Capitalizing on the Capital Budget

To the Editor,ann2016
Last Monday, the Village Board adopted budgets for the Fiscal Year 2017/2018 General, Water and Sewer Funds. During the past month, the Board reviewed the proposed budget submitted by Manager King. This budget was the result of very hard work by our staff and their commitment to provide the best services possible while keeping within the NYS Tax Levy Cap. They did a very good job and the Board made very few changes, all of which were minor.
Unlike in most recent years, the Board decided to postpone adopting the Capital budget at this time. There remains uncertainty about what major financial commitments are in the near future and how to accommodate them in the long-term capital plan. This budget does not affect property taxes set for Fiscal 2017/2018.
The original proposed Capital Fund budget included spending $730,000 from the Village’s Fund Balance for some cars, a truck ($265,000) and roof repairs at DPW ($125,000) and Washington Engine Company ($165,000). These are not unexpected or emergency expenses. These items are best paid for by Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) – low interest, 5 year notes. I disagreed with this plan. It makes no sense to spend our Fund Balance down for items like these.
In the coming year or two, the Village will likely be faced with some major expenditure for which bonding will be necessary. It makes far more sense to use this Fund Balance money to reduce long-term borrowing for future projects. We know the cost of bonding is on its way up with interest rates rising already. By having this $730,000 available at that time, the cost of future borrowing could be reduced – potentially by hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the bond.
For this reason, I was happy that, at the Manager’s suggestion, we take more time to assess our likely capital expenditures before adopting the Capital Budget.

Ann Gallelli