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.

 

 

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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

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 427

Dear neighbor, Here is the 427th 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 10, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

  1. Discussion on moving Recreation Dept. offices to Gouveia Park.  The Village is considering relocating the Recreation dept to the Gouveia Property.  The idea was discussed and received favorable comment from the Recreation Advisory Committee.  The possible move would permit greater programming opportunities both in the house on the grounds.  Recreation activities would continue to use some of the rooms in the Municipal Building as well, i.e. the Community Room.

 

  1. Discussion on including the C-1 Central Commercial District of Maple Street in the weekly no parking schedule of Old Post Road South (west side).   The Village is considering extending its weekly alternate side of the street area to the C-1 properties on Maple as they face the same issues with the “wall of snow” as other businesses in the area.

 

  1. Discussion on train station permit allocation for residents.   The Board will discuss the implications of the increased number of resident parking permits sold over the past few years, from 400 to 635+.  As more resident parking permits are sold, fewer non-resident permits can be sold which results in a revenue reduction.  The Village will also be adding additional spaces in the lot in the near future where the Municipal Garage was located.

 

  1. Discussion on transferring dog licensing responsibilities to the Town of Cortlandt. The Board will review the costs of its dog licensing program versus the revenues.  The Town of Cortlandt also licenses dogs and an option to the Village continuing to also license dogs is to let the Town assume all responsibility for this service.  It is regulated by the State of New York and there are associated costs and requirements from the State.

 

 

 

 

  • Discussion on establishing a policy for the Village’s use of social media & calendar of events.   The Board will continue with the discussion on a Social Media policy that was discussed last in August.  The proposed draft policy identifies what would be appropriate and inappropriate as far as posts on social media and for e-mail blasts.  The policy discussion will also include the use of the Village’s social media by its employees.

 

 

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 426

Dear neighbor, Here is the 426th 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 3, 2018

Organization Meeting of New Board of Trustees

8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)

 

Followed by the

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

 

 

The Organizational meeting of the newly elected Board of Trustees will start with the swearing in of the newly elected members, Ann Gallelli and Andy Simmons.  The Mayor will then make appointments and the Board will adopt resolutions that set future meetings and dates, designation of the Gazette as the Official Newspaper and Journal News as needed, setting official depositories, employee bond levels and the adoption of Procurement, Fund Balance, Debt and Investment policies. 

 

Following this the new Board will hold a Regular Village Board Meeting as follows:

 

 

REGULAR MEETING

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER:  Review of the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program policies by the Village Board to determine consistency related to Phase II of the Senasua Park Walkway project.  The Village is applying for NYS funding for this project.  It must complete the SEQRA process as well as a Consistency Review with our Local Waterfront programs as part of this application process.  The proposal and documentation was previously reviewed by the Village’s waterfront Advisory Committee and found to be consistent with our local LWRP.  Now the Village Board must also make its own determination on the proposed project’s consistency with the LWRP.

PUBLIC HEARING: Public hearing to consider issuance of a special permit 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.   Verizon is seeking to co-locate a wireless facility on the roof of the Municipal Building.  The Board previously approved the lease with Verizon which extends to 2013.  The proposal has been reviewed by the Planning Board which provided a favorable recommendation with some suggested conditions.

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Letter received from Francesca Battaglia, of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, requesting permission to host a 5K road race in May 2019.The Church is requesting help in traffic control, road closings and use of Senasqua Park facilities from the Village.  This race has been previously held  and supported by the Village.  The estimated cost to the Village for both Police and DPW support is $2197.51.  The race is in support of the African Women’s Education Fund (AWEF).

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an addendum agreement with Energize NY to approve the Pay When Received PACE program.  This addition to the already existing agreement would now allow local commercial property owners to make energy improvements through the Energize program without any financial liability to the Village.

 

  1. Consider adoption of a negative declaration under SEQRA in regards to Phase II of the Senasqua Park Walkway project.  This step under SEQRA is a determination that the project will not have any serious negative environmental effects.  It is part of the process of applying for NYS funding for this project.
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a one-year contract extension with FM Generator of Canton, MA in the amount of $6,275 for emergency generator maintenance.    The Board previously entered into a contract with this entity in 2017 with an option to extend it for another year.  DPW Superintendent Balbi recommends this extension be approved.
  3. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the General Fund in the amount of $7,405 for the purposes of covering costs for replacement gear and the Fire Fair for the Fire Department.  This money was budgeted for in the 2018/2019 budget and placed in the Contingency Fund. This resolution moves the money into the Fire Dept. account.

Sherry Horowitz: Policing Plastic Pollution

November 27, 2018
Letter to the Editor of the Gazettesherry2017

To The Editor:

For those of you who may have missed it, State Assemblywoman Sandra Galef’s recent annual Newsletter Questionnaire, relating to “plastic Pollution”, was summarized in last week’s edition of the Gazette.
The article reported that “An overwhelming majority of respondents indicated they believe single-use plastic bags are harming the environment (89%). 68% of people responding said they would support implementing a nominal fee on carry-out plastic bags, 59% said they would support a ban on plastic bags, with a minimum charge of 10 cents on paper carry-out bags, and 73% said they would support a ban on plastic bags with no fee on paper bags.
I was very gratified to read the results of Assemblywoman Galef’s questionnaire, and to see the strong support for legislation on this issue. I have heard folks say that reducing or eliminating single use plastic bags is such a small response to the larger climate change issue, the proverbial “drop in the bucket”. Here’s a little parable to put that in perspective:
A sparrow heard that the sky was falling, and lay down on his back. Along came one of the king’s horsemen. He said, “What are you doing?” The sparrow said, “I heard the sky is falling, and I’m holding it up.” The horseman was amused: “Do you really think you can hold up the sky with those little legs?” And the sparrow said, “We do what we can.”
And so we do what we can. And when many people do it, it becomes magnified; whole communities do it, and states, and even countries. We do it not for our own self-satisfaction, but to be good and careful stewards of the environment. We do it for the benefit of the planet that we share.
Sincerely, Sherry Horowitz, Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Richard Masur: Thank you!

Actor Richard Masur currently serves as chair of the Croton Democrats.Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Croton Democratic Committee I want to express our sincere congratulations and thanks to every one of the residents of the Village who voted in last Tuesday’s election. Exercising our right to vote is our most solemn responsibility as citizens and it was heartening to see such historic levels of participation by our fellow Croton residents.

Of course, we wish to express our particular thanks to all of you who saw fit to turn out and vote for the Croton Dems’ endorsed candidates, all of whom won. We were particularly grateful for the tireless efforts of our friends in the Village, especially the Cortlandt/Croton Indivisible group (CCoHope), who did such extraordinary work to support our friend and new State Senator, Pete Harckham. Pete waged decent, respectful, issue-driven campaigns in both the primary and general elections. We are lucky to have him as our new representative in the Senate.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that, thanks to you, Andy Simmons will be the newest Trustee on the Village Board of Trustees. Returning to the Board will also be Trustee Ann Gallelli, who now has the distinction of being the highest vote-getter of any trustee in history. And congratulations to Sam Watkins, our Village Justice, the highest vote-getter ever… for any Village office. We are grateful that these folks have offered their service to Croton on Hudson.

Richard Masur,
Chair, Croton Democratic Committee

Brian Pugh: Keeping Sidewalks Passable This Winter

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

 

Keeping our sidewalks free of ice and snow is the neighborly thing to do, and it’s the law. In preparation for the winter season, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Croton selected a contractor to remove snow and ice from sidewalks for property owners that fail to clear them within 18 hours.

 

When a property owner fails to clear their sidewalk, it puts their neighbors at risk and presents a particular challenge to senior citizens and parents trying to navigate young children across a slippery sidewalk.  Further, unshoveled sidewalks undermines the efforts of all the neighbors that did clear their walks.

 

Village law has long required that sidewalks be cleared of snow and ice within 18 hours.  Historically, we’ve relied on fines to enforce this. But at times the owner would be fined, be taken to court and still fail to keep their walks clear-meaning the public still wasn’t getting the safe passage the law was meant to protect.

 

In 2016, a bipartisan majority on the Village Board adopted a local law empowering the Village to charge the property owner for the removal of the snow and ice.  As of last Monday, the Board is putting that new power to use on behalf of the community. We selected Enricco Contracting, which provided the lowest of three bids for snow removal services: $38/hour for snow shoveling, $46/hour for snow blowing, and $175/hour for using a skid steer.

 

I encourage residents to make preparations now to ensure that they are ready for winter.

 

Dozens of Croton residents have already availed themselves of “Operation Snowflake” organized by the Town of Cortlandt. Seniors can have a student from the area shovel for them.  If you are interested in this service, you should contact the community center’s Becky Ferguson at 528-8377 for questions and information.

 

To be clear, Operation Snowflake is for seniors only and a match with a student cannot be guaranteed. Which is is why it’s important for all of us to be proactive and plan for what we will do to ensure our sidewalks are clear and safe for our community before the flurries fly.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

Amy Attias: Establishing the Diversity & Inclusion Committee

To the editor:Sep. 14th LTEs -- AA

Several weeks ago, Croton’s Board of Trustees voted to create our first committee on Diversity and Inclusion. For a small village like ours, some might wonder why, or whether, this is necessary. For me, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

It is exciting to start to take a real look around and see who actually lives here now. It is exciting to see that even within a few square miles, we contain many cultures and many lifestyles. This committee is tasked with looking more deeply into our population and seeing what we can do in order to reach and interact with each other. We’ll look at how the Village might help newer Americans not only adjust to life here, but to have them share their own riches and cultures. We’ll look at our attitudes and see if we can reach farther and more openly across what seem like dividing lines. We’ll look at what we as a Village can do to be more welcoming, more understanding, more helpful, more open.

Anyone interested in working with this group should reach out to me through the Village. I look forward to meeting, speaking, and sharing in our beautiful differences and similarities.

Things happen when we open our eyes. Amazing lessons are learned when we interact with people we might consider “different” from ourselves. This is a time, and an opportunity, to look for each other and to get to know one another. There is much to teach and much to learn.

Sincerely,

Amy Attias, Village Trustee