Jennifer Pauly: See you Sunday!

Soup Supper.pngDear Editor, 

Spring has arrived! And there’s no better way to welcome it than by enjoying a huge variety of soups and desserts at the Croton Democrats’ annual Soup Supper. This longtime favorite of Croton residents will take place on Sunday, March 24, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Croton Yacht Club. Tickets are $20 each; kids under 16 eat for free.

 

Join us for an evening of good food and stimulating conversation set against the incomparable background of a Hudson River sunset. Meet elected officials from Croton and Westchester County, learn what’s happening in your community, and sample delicious soups made with love by your friends and neighbors. If you’d like to get involved in local politics or simply meet your neighbors, this is the place to do it. The Croton Democrats’ Soup Supper will nourish your body, mind and soul – don’t miss it!

 

Hope to see you on the 24th!

 

Jennifer Pauly, Vice Chair

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Brian Pugh: Pay Bills & Apply for Resident Parking Online!

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

 

I am writing to advise Village residents of two new opportunities to access Village services online: 1) applying online for FREE weekend parking permits at the Croton-Harmon Train Station; and 2) paperless billing for property tax bills and quarterly utility bills .

 

The application to apply online can be found at: croton.seamlessdocs.com/f/weekendparking or by clicking on the “parking”tab of the Village’s homepage, crotononhudson-ny.gov. Please note that you must upload a copy of your car’s registration as part of the application process.  If you have any questions, please contact the Parking Department at 914-271-4781.

 

Offered by the Village for many years,currently, over 600 residents are taking advantage of this opportunity. With some 2,000 households in this community, I hope the convenience of online permitting will enable more to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Further, effective March 2019  cycle, residents can receive their quarterly utility bills and annual property tax bills via email. This can be done by visiting: croton.seamlessdocs.com/f/billemailform.

 

If you have already signed up for paperless bills, no action is necessary.  For any questions, please contact the Village Treasurer’s Office at 914-862-1419.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 439

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 439th 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 –   March 20, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

 

  1. The Board will review and discuss the proposed budget for the Department of Public Works, the Water Fund, and the Sewer Fund.  The various accounts in the DPW budget that will be reviewed include Administration, Public Buildings, Central Garage, Animal Control, Street Maintenance, Street Lighting, Brush and Weeds, Snow Removal, Recycling, Refuse and Garbage, Storm Sewers, Street Cleaning, Community Beautification, and  Street Trees.

The Water and Sewer Fund budgets will also be reviewed.  They are not part of the General fund that is the basis for the property tax.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 437

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 437th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of theVillage 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 – March 18, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 Note:   The Board will meet in Executive Session at 7:30 pm to discuss the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property.

PRESENTATION/OTHER:  Presentation by  Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer, on the Croton Point Avenue, Traffic, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Enhancement Project scheduled for 2019.    The Village Engineer will provide an overview of the expected construction project to improve Croton Point Avenue. The Village received federal funding of $1.5 million for this project and NYSDOT has added $250,000.  To date, the Village has expended about $600,000 in required design and bid document development by CHA – a NYSDOT-approved consultant for the project. Bids will be opened later this month.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Advocacy update from NYCOM Executive Director Peter Baynes. Mr. Baynes had previously provided a synopsis of the proposed NYS Executive budget highlight those issues that NYCOM feels are most relevant to Villages.  In this correspondence, he updates the status of those issues as they move through the NYS legislature.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider scheduling a Public Hearing on the adoption of the tentativeVillageBudget for Monday, April 1, at 7:30 pm in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building.  This required Public Hearing will allow opportunity for residents to provide input on the tentative budget to be released on March 18 by the Village Manager.

  1. Consider approving the Croton-on-Hudson Fire Department members in the Lengthy of Service Award Program for 2018 and authorizing its posting for 30 days. Each year the Board is required to post a list of Fire Department personnel who have earned a year of service credit, and those who did not, to be eligible for the Life Service Award program.

  1. Consider authorizing theVillageTreasurer to amend the 2018/2019 General Fund Budget in the amount of $6,013.34 for monies received from insurance recovery.  These insurance recoveries involve both a DPW truck and a Parking Enforcement vehicle.

  1. Consider authorizing theVillageTreasurer to amend the 2018/2019 General Fund Budget in the amount of $1,914.75 for monies received from the Croton-Harmon School District for leaf removal services.  The Village assisted the school district with some leaf removal due to a breakdown in their equipment.

  1. Consider authorizing theVillage Manager to sign an InterMunicipal Agreement with the Croton-Harmon School District to permit the school district to purchase and install new equipment at Firefighters Field, as well as assist in maintaining the field during the Spring season, in exchange for use of the field for games and practices during the Spring season.  The school district uses this field for girls softball games and practices.  The will install a scoreboard, wind screens and fence capping, as well as a tarp for the infield section.  The agreement must also be approved by the Board of Education.

  1. Consider authorizing theVillage Treasurer to make an inter fund transfer in the amount of $10,535.04 for expenses related to the installation of electric vehicle chargers.  A NYS grant of $24,000 was received as a result of efforts by the Sustainability Committee for three EV chargers.  Two will be installed at the Municipal Building and one at the station.   Each services two vehicles.  The installation is not covered by the grant.  Future use of the chargers is expected to be fee-based.

  1. Consider adoption of a resolution in memory of Jan Wines, former chair of the Croton Trails Committee, and the renaming of the trails system to the Jan Wines  Memorial Trails System. Jan Wines passed away in 2018. He was the first and only chair of the Trails committee and was responsible for the first trails map of theVillage’s trail system.  This resolution would honor his service and memory by placing a commemorative plaque at the entrance to the trail system in the Arboretum.

  1. Consider authorizing theVillageManager to execute Change Order #1 for the Grand Street Drainage and Parking Loy Improvements in the amount of $16,425 for additional material needed for the replacement of an existing retaining wall on the property.  The original approval of the WD Excavating bid did not include sufficient material needed for the wall.

Brian Pugh: Reducing Debt Service, Saving Taxpayer Dollars

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

 

Much as a homeowner might refinance her mortgage to take advantage of favorable interest rates, so do local governments with regards to their municipal bonds.  Board of Trustees authorized our Village Treasurer to refinance two outstanding bonds, as reported in a letter to the Gazette by Deputy Mayor Ann Gallelli on February 8th.  I am happy to report that this refinancing will yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings for our Village and reaffirmed the strength of our Village’s credit.

 

This refinacing was rated Aa2 by Moody’s, an independent rating agency.  In it’s analysis of our Village’s credit, Moody’s reported: “The Aa2 issuer rating reflects the village’s moderate and stabilizing tax base favorably located in Westchester County (Aa1 negative) and strong financial position supported by conservative fiscal policies.”

 

This strong bond rating and favorable market conditions has enable the Village to refinance at rates more favorable than previously anticipated.  Consequently, the Village will realize net savings on debt service in excess of $350,000 over the 10-year life of the new bonds.

 

I would like to thank the Village Treasurer and Manager who brought this opportunity to our attention and Board of Trustees whose fiscal stewardship and oversight has preserved our robust rating.

 

There are many competing demands on our Village dollars–for recreation, infrastructure, and public safety. We are always looking for opportunities, such as this, to enhance our ability to meet these demands.

 

As we approach the upcoming budget process (culminating its adoption on April 15th), I look forward to working with our Village’s professional staff and my colleagues on the Board of Trustees to continue to balance the needs the of the Village and maintain our community’s fiscal health.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 435

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 435th 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 – March 4, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING:  Public Hearing to amend Section 197 of the Village Code, Streets and Sidewalks, to revise the existing sidewalk improvement program and establish a general sidewalk improvement program for the Village. 

The Village is considering reinstituting a sidewalk replacement program of past years. The amendment to the Streets and Sidewalk Law would add a new section taking effect June 1, 2019 and continuing for three years, the Village will cover 40% of sidewalk replacement costs.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Letter from Glenn Simpson, Little League President, regarding Opening Day Parade.  Mr. Simpson requests the assistance of  the DPW, Police Dept. and Fire Dept. in facilitating the  Opening Day parade and ceremony in Dobbs Park on Saturday, April 13 starting at 9:30 am.
  2. Press release and comments from Moody’s Investment Services on the Village maintaining its Aa2 credit rating.    The Village recently refinanced $4.9 million in bonds resulting in savings of future debt payments.  Moody’s ratings of Aa2 (highest for this size municipality) states that “The Aa2 issuer rating reflects the village’s moderate and stabilizing tax base favorably located in Westchester County (Aa1 negative) and strong financial position supported by conservative fiscal policies. The rating also reflects ongoing draws on fund balance for capital expenses, and elevated fixed costs.”

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of letter from Ms. Desiree Drapala, owner of Happy Hearts Take Two, requesting an expansion of the special permit for her business located at 365 South Riverside Avenue and refer such application to the Planning Board for review.   The proposed expansion at the site calls for replacing the portion of it with an automotive repair business with ten ( 10) classrooms for children enrolled at Happy Hearts. 
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to accept the proposal from Provident Design Engineering of Hawthorne, New York, to conduct a traffic study around the intersection of Grand Street and Old Post Road South for an amount not to exceed $5,900.   At the request of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee, the Board would like to gain a better understanding of traffic patterns at the intersection named.  Thirteen proposals were received in response to a RFP for a study. This Study will include a written text of the study describing the study methodology and findings as well as a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods of vehicular and pedestrian traffic control along with our recommendations.
  3. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to publish the list of unpaid taxes for the fiscal year 2018-19.  Annually, in accordance with the NYS Real Property Tax Law, the Village publishes notice of all unpaid property taxes.  There are 39 properties on the list. The total of taxes owed is $90,191.50.  With the addition of penalties the amount is $101,014.46.
  4. Consider amending the Master Fee Schedule to establish vendor fees for Summerfest.  This year the Village will be taking over the allocation of vendors spaces at Summerfest.  The proposed vendor fees are categorized into three categories:  General vendor, Food and Beverage vendor, non-profit.  Discounted Early Bird fees of $75, $100, and $40, respectively, are available for signups prior to May 1.  Slightly higher fees apply after that date.
  5. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Town of Cortlandt providing for the advertisement of bids by the Town’s Purchasing Director for the period of January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.   This is an annual shared services agreement with the Town allowing the Village to share in bids for items needed by both entities.
  6. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an Inter-Municipal Agreement with the City of Peekskill, Towns of Cortlandt and Philipstown and the Village of Buchanan providing for the sharing of equipment and vehicles for the period of January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.   This is an annual shared services agreement among the above entities  allowing for sharing equipment when applicable
  7. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a revised proposal with Peter Gisolfi Associates of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, for the purposes of creating an additional concept design for the renovation and alteration of the first floor of the Municipal Building at an additional amount of $2,000.   Gisolfi has been previously engaged to provide concept plans for the modernization and renovation of the Police Dept. located in the Municipal Building. New requirements resulting from Raise The Age Legislation by NYS has added to space requirements. Gisolfi would include the revised requirements in their concept plans which would encompass the first floor of the Municipal Building.  The increase in expenditure would be $2,000.
  8. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the amount of $9,513.56 to provide funding for the NYS Volunteer Firefighter Cancer Benefit Program.  New York State has imposed an unfunded mandate that Cancer liability coverage be provided to eligible members of volunteer fire departments.  The Village has obtained this coverage for $9,513.56 but it was not budgeted in the 2018/2019 Budget.  The amount would be taken from the Contingency Account.
  9. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2018-2019 General Fund Budget in the amount of $3,328.67 for monies received from insurance recovery.   This is budget housekeeping that reflects the recovery of money from storm-related computer damage in July 2018.

Brian Pugh: “If you were mayor, what would you do?” 8th Grade Essay Contest

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

 

Calling all 8th graders: If you were mayor, what would you do? Enter the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) annual 8th grade essay contest and tell the world.

 

The essay should begin with “If I Were Mayor, I Would…” and explain WHAT you want to do, WHY you want to do it, and HOW you are going to undertake such action, including how you’ll pay for it.

 

Per NYCOM, essayists should make sure their plans are consistent with the legal powers of a Village Mayor in New York State when choosing your What, Why and How. Mayors can: 1) Lead and collaborate on the building of municipal projects; 2) Promote and implement shared services with other governments; 3)Apply for grants from to make parks nicer, roads wider and sidewalks safer; 4) Work with the Board of Trustees to decide how the village should spend its money; 5) Make local laws; and 6) Manage city and village employees

 

Three winning essays will be awarded $150, second place $75 and third place $50. The first-place winner—along with their parents—will also be invited to NYCOM’s Annual Meeting in May in Cooperstown, NY.

 

Each essay must contain the student’s name, school they attend, and city or village in which the school is located. Essays must be between 350-500 words. Essays must be RECEIVED BY NYCOM NO LATER than MARCH 6th and submissions should be e-mailed to ifiweremayor@nycom.org.

 

Contest rules and details can be found at: www.nycom.org/programs-services/civic-engagement

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 434

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 434th 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 –   February 25, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

 

  1. Discussion on a donation to the Village of underwater lands adjacent to Senasqua Park.  Steel Style Development Corp., owners of HMB Marina, have been working with the Village on the donation of 39+ underwater acres in the Hudson River between HMB and Senasqua Park.
  2. Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar installations within the Village.  The Board will discuss a draft law modeled after a NYS Solar law which covers solar installations that are roof and ground mounted and also includes provision for a Special  Use Permit for large-scale solar installations.
  3. Further discussion on a traffic study around the intersection of Grand Street and Old Post Road South.  At the request of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee the Board authorized a RFP for professional services to examine the above intersection as follows: “review historical data, the examination of the area surrounding the intersection, traffic counts to determine the quantity of vehicles traveling through the intersection, an intersection capacity analysis, recommendations for intersection control, as well as a public meeting to present their findings”.  The Board will discuss its next step in this process of studying this intersection.
  4. Discussion with representatives from the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce on plans for Summerfest 2019.  The Board will discuss plans for this year’s Summerfest.  The Hudson Valley Chamber has indicated to the Village that its sponsoring and administration of the Village’s Summerfest is not profitable for them.  Currently the Village participates in coordinating this event through the participation of the Recreation, DPW and Police Departments.  The Chamber sends out requests for vendors, allocates spaces, provides advertising, and pays for the bands.
  5. Further discussion on Police Department expansion and relocation of Recreation Department offices.   The Board will further discuss the proposed relocation of the Recreation Dept. to the Gouveia Park house as part of, and in conjunction with, its examination of the planned renovation of the Police Department in the Municipal Building.  A determination on the relocation must be made before the finalizing of the Police renovation planning is done.   The Recreation Advisory Board has endorsed the move and a proposed list of programming that would utilize the site is included in the backup materials.

Brian Pugh: Supporting Our Sidewalks

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped
I am writing to advise readers that the Village Board has called for a public hearing on Monday, March 4, 2019, at 8 PM at the Municipal Building on a proposed local law to revise the existing sidewalk improvement program and establish a general sidewalk improvement program for the Village.
The proposed local law would revise the existing sidewalk improvement program, available to property owners with sidewalks damaged by street trees, to state the Village will pay 40% of such repair costs for property owners and a general sidewalk improvement program under which the Village will also pay 40% of renovation and replacement costs for property owners. The proposed program would take effect on June 1, 2019 and last for a period of three years.
The Village administration has developed the in-house ability to repair small sidewalk sections and no longer needs to hire an outside contractor to do this work. This is possible thanks to the recent hire of our new Village Foreman, the training of our Department of Public Works crew, and the streamlining of operations by our Superintendent of Public Works.
Safe sidewalks are an integral part of making a walkable community as well as supporting property values. I hope that if this proposed local law to revise and expand the sidewalk improvement program is adopted, it will serve as a strong incentive to property owners to take advantage of it to ensure that our sidewalks remain in good repair.
A recent survey found the Village of Croton to be the best community in New York State–by working together I hope we can maintain an attractive and affordable Croton.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 433

Dear neighbor, Here is the 433rd 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 – February 19, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

NOTE:  This meeting is on a Tuesday.

 

 

PUBLIC HEARING:

 Continuation of Public Hearing on revising Chapter 223 of the Village Code, Water, to reflect new bill delivery options (Hearing will be left open due to notice issues).   The proposed amendment would allow for water bills to be sent via email.  As the notice of the hearing  was not made  within the legal time frames, the hearing on this will be left open so comments can also be heard at a subsequent meeting.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

 

  • Email from John Munson, Fire Council Secretary, regarding Fire Department membership changes.  The Fire Department is notifying the Village of the addition of three new members.
  • Letter from Linda Puglisi, Cortlandt Town Supervisor, on proposed cuts to AIM funding.

 

Supervisor Puglisi copied the Village on her letter to the Governor asking that the elimination of AIM funding  proposed in his budget be restored.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Consider adoption of a Breach Notification Policy in accordance with New York State

 

law.  The proposed policy would notify residents whose information may have been subject of identity theft.  Such a policy is required by NYS.

 

  • Consider revision of the conditions listed in the special permit issued to New York SMA Limited Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless for the proposed co-location of a personal wireless services facility at the Municipal Building, 1 Van Wyck Street.  Two conditions in the approved permit are no longer considered necessary by the Engineer for the installation of this wireless facility and would be removed.
  • Consider scheduling a public hearing for Monday, March 4, 2019, at 8 PM in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to amend Section 197 of the Village Code, Streets and Sidewalks, to revise the existing street  sidewalk improvement program and establish a general sidewalk improvement program for the Village.  The Village is considering reinstituting a sidewalk replacement program of past years. The amendment to the Streets and Sidewalk Law would add a new section saying beginning June 1, 219 and continuing for three years, the Village will cover 40% of sidewalk replacement costs.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign the 2019 Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Town of Cortlandt to provide Emergency Medical Services within the Mount Airy/Quaker Bridge Fire District during the period of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 for the amount of $66,043.  This is an annual agreement between the Town and the Village which calls for the Croton EMS to provide coverage in the about stated area of the Town.
  • Consider establishment of standard work days for elected and appointed officials of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.  The NYS Retirement System annually requires  municipalities to establish for elected and appointed officials who are members of the retirement system the number of hours that constitute a standard work day and the the number of days accrued in a month.
  • Consider amending the Master Fee Schedule of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson to include an administrative fee to property owners billed for clearing of sidewalks. The Village recently started a program whereby homeowners who do not clear their sidewalks of snow and ice by 18 hours following a storm, will be issued a violation and have their sidewalk cleared by a contractor.  The cost of this clearing is billed to the owner.  A significant amount of administrative overhead is incurred for this billing process.  A fee is proposed to be added as a fee to the owner’s bill for the sidewalk clearing on an escalating basis: $35 for first violation; $50 for second; $75 for third and more.
  • Consider appointment of John Smith to the position of Detective Sergeant, filling a vacancy, at an annual salary of $139,983.31, per the PBA contract. Chief Harper is recommending that Detective  John Smith be promoted to Detective Sergeant filling that vacant position in the Department.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the amount of $12,748.49 for Fire Department costs.  This money is for both equipment and training expenses that were authorized in the 2018/2019 Budget approval.  The money was placed in the Contingency account to be authorized as needed during the year.