Brian Pugh: Dollars & Sense Re: The Village Budget

To The Editor:

At a work session earlier this month, Mayor Dr. Greg Schmdit said the Village’s financial condition was strong. This recognition of fiscal reality is a welcome relief from the financial fear-mongering more common among the Croton United party’s ranks.

The truth is that the Village’s bond rating has remained strong and the fund balance has steadily grown. In addition, the Village has received clean audits from our own outside auditor and the New York State Comptroller.

All this was achieved while completing historic infrastructure improvements and passing back-to-back “tax freeze” budgets–securing NYS property tax freeze credit that reimburses qualifying New York State homeowners for increases in local property taxes. In fact, this year’s “tax freeze” budget was made possible by the fiscal responsibility of last year’s Democratic Village Board–which budgeted less than what was allowed under the tax cap, thus leaving that difference as a carryover for this year’s budget.

Taxes are best controlled by creative–but careful–policies regarding the expenditure and revenue sides of the ledger.

As your Village Trustee, I will support continuing to explore shared services as outlined in our 2015 Government Efficiency Plan. I also believe in diversifying our tax base by encouraging mixed-use development embodied by the new reconstruction of the former Nappy’s site. By promoting new investment in our community, newer developments can share the tax burden and help take it off the shoulders of homeowners.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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Ann Gallelli: Communities Unite to Block the Barges!

To the Editor,
As part of my continuing interest in, and opposition to, the barge anchorage proposal for the Hudson River, last week I attended a meeting organized by the Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT) at which such opposition was the subject. Croton has joined with other municipalities along the Hudson from Kingston to Yonkers in opposing the proposal under consideration by the U.S. Coast Guard to establish 10 new anchorages with 43 barge berths.
The HHRT meeting was focused on how the fight against the proposal might best be waged. One thing was clear: that there are multiple existing federal and state laws which are meant to ensure the long-term environmental viability of the Hudson River. These include the federal and state Coastal Zone regulations as well as National Environmental Review Act (NEPA) and State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regulations.
To make a case against the proposal, those municipalities with existing Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans (LWRP) and Comprehensive Plans have the ability to make the strongest cases. Croton has had an LWRP in place since 1992. I was member of the committee that drafted it. However, few of the other Hudson River municipalities have adopted one. Many are in the process of drafting them and getting approvals but don’t have adopted plans. What this means is that Croton can play a significant role in the fight against the anchorage proposal.
We know from our past successful fight against the Millennium Pipeline, in which I was also a participant, Croton’s LWRP was the decisive factor in the final decision. The power of having an LWRP cannot be underestimated. While fortunately there are many parties opposed to the proposal, we know the federal and state governments have substantial leverage in these matters, sometimes providing exemptions. This is where the power of having a plan already approved under these same regulations can prove very useful in the fight.

Ann Gallelli

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Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas

Dear neighbor, Here is the 339th 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 – October 4,  2016

Regular Meetings of the Village Board

8:00

 (Open to Public  – Televised)

 

NOTE:  This meeting is on Tuesday night.

 

PUBLIC HEARING: The Village Board of Trustees hereby schedules a Public Hearing for October 4, 2016 at 8:00pm in the Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider the Special Permit application from Seanna O’Callaghan, owner of the Green Growler Grocery, for a restaurant establishment in a light industrial zone located at 4 Croton Point Avenue.     The proposed location is one of two buildings at the southwest corner of Croton Point Avenue and the train station entrance.  The Planning Board  has provided a favorable recommendation and the Zoning Board made a determination that no off-street parking variance was required. 

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Mark Duncan, Recreation Supervisor, Village of Croton on Hudson, re: Requesting permission to hold the annual Goblin walk onSaturday, October 29, 2016 at noon.  The walk will begin at the Municipal Building and conclude at Vassallo Park.   The request is for a lead Police car to ensure safety of the participants as they walk through the streets to the park.
  2. Dan Ahouse, Government Relations, Altice; re: Notification that as of October 25, 2016 Optimum will be retiring grandfathered television packages for a small portion of their video customer base. Beginning on September 23rd, Customers that currently subscribe to legacy packages began receiving notice that their package will be eliminated and will be encouraged to select a current package offering.  Customers who are affected who do not act will be automatically migrated to a new package that most resembles their current level of service.  Mr. Ahouse says this affects a small number of their customers.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Authorizing the Village Manager to award the contract to Tony Casale, Inc. of Yonkers, NY in the amount of $239,425 for the construction of the Storm Water Management Basin Outlet Structure and Culvert Improvements for the Georgia Lane Storm Water Retention Pond. The storm water management pond between Georgia Lane and Park Trail was built to accommodate storm water drainage from the Waldwood Subdivision on Georgia Lane.  There have been some operational issues over the years mainly due to the undersized outlet structure and design of the emergency spillway.  These issues have resulted in frequent pond overflows in the area of the emergency spillway with subsequent damage to the pond berm and downstream properties.  Five bids were received for this project which wasdesign by Dvirka & Bartilucci.The highest bid came in at $390,000+.
  2. Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the 2016-2017 Penflex Service Fee Agreement in the estimated amount of $5,400 for actuarial and administration services. Penflex specializes in administering length of service award programs that are pension-like plans used to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. The firm, located in Latham, NY, currently provides these services for more than 400 nationwide plans used by emergency services organizations.   The Service Award program for the Village’s volunteer fire personnel was originally approved by referendum in 2003.   Volunteers earn service credits through attendance at fire calls, training, meetings and other aspects of their  job.
  3. Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the Drug Free Communities Support Program grant received from the Federal Government Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the amount of $125,000. This grant funds the Croton Community Coalition, which is a group of like-minded business, municipal, school and community leaders who work proactively to keep teenagers in the Village safe and drug-free.   The Village has administered this grant for the 8 years the local Coalition has received it. This is the third year of the final five for which the Coalition is eligible to receive this grant money.  The Coalition  provide education, training and sponsors events directed toward Alcohol and Drug Abuse awareness.
  4. Village Board of Trustees finds that the property located at 40 Young Avenue must be abated to protect the health, safety and welfare of the Village residents and that the total costs of removing all weeds, brush, refuse, rubbish, and other materials, will be added to the Village tax bill.  The Village issued an Order to Remedy to the owner on July 6, 2016 which has not been complied with.
  5. Authorizing  the Village Manager to sign change order 4 from Heitkamp, Inc. in the amount of $650,000. Heitkamp, Inc. has agreed to perform additional cement lining and associated work in the Village at the current contract prices. The additional work will cover the cement lining of the cast iron water mains on Olcott Ave. from Cleveland Drive to Maple Street; Darby Ave. from Olcott Ave. to the dead end of Darby Ave.; Kuny Street (dead end); Elmore Ave. (dead end only); Bungalow Road from Elmore Ave. to Ridge Road and Church Street (dead end). The cement lining work on Olcott Ave. and Darby Ave. has been completed and the new cement lined mains placed back into service. The change order will also covers the installation of new gate valves on Van Wyck Street, Hamilton Ave. and Grand Street. The replacement of these valves were fast tracked to have the valve installation completed prior to the street repaving work. The change order also covers the work on High Street to connect the new 8: ductile iron water main to the main on North Riverside Ave. (Route 9A) and a new valve and hydrant at the end of Hillside Ave.   Heitkamp, which has been performing the water infrastructure improvements in a large part of the Village has agreed to do the additional work while their equipment is still located in the Village and at the same prices as for their exiting work.  Some of this work has been pushed ahead so that the repaving that is currently also occurring will not have to be ripped up in the near future  for the water infrastructure work.
  6. Authorizing the appointment of a new Police Officer pending approval from the Westchester County Department of Human Resources. The new officer is Mark A, Fielding with a salary of $59,864.25. He is recommended by Chief Tramaglini for the position.