|Decoding Village Agendas
|Ann Gallelli <email@example.com>||Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 10:53 AM|
To: Ann Gallelli <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Decoding Village Agendas
To the Editor,
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.
To the Editor,
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.
To the Editor:
Dear neighbor, Here is the 365th 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.
Decoding Village Agendas – April 17, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
(Open to Public – Televised)
NOTE: As indicated below, the Board will meet at 7:30 for a Special Session for the purpose of adopting the 2017/2018 Budget.
Village Board to consider adoption of the budget for the fiscal year commencing June 1, 2017 and ending May 31, 2018. Following multiple work sessions at which the Board reviewed the tentative budget proposed by the Village Manager in March, the budgets for the General Fund, Water Fund, Sewer fund and Debt Service will be considered for adoption. The budget can be viewed from the Village website. Overall, it calls for $11,474,942.57 to be raised by property taxes on an overall budget of $19,026,760. This represents a 0.75% increase over the prior year’s taxes or an increase of $1.913/$1000 of assessed valuation. The Capital Fund budget will be finalized and voted on in May or June.
To add the past due receivables to the tax bills for the fiscal year June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
To authorize the Mayor to sign the Tax Warrant for the collection of taxes for the period commencing June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
To set the Village fees for the fiscal year 2017-2018. The new Master Fee schedule is available with the budget on the Village’s website. It includes some increases in recreation, parking and building department fees.
Regular Meeting Agenda
PUBLIC HEARING: Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2017, which would transition the Village’s water billing from biannually to quarterly.
Lindsay Audin, Chair, Sustainability Committee; re: Request that the Village Board allow the committee to roceed with producing a draft grant application for review by the Board of Trustees and submission to NYSERDA. The grant application to NYSERDA proposes to convert the interior lights in the Municipal Building to LED at potentially no net cost to the Village. The committee has met with the Board in a work session to discuss this application. If granted, it would use the building as a “living lighting laboratory’ that would display alternative lighting strategies and educate others on energy efficient options. The building currently has 977 fluorescent lights which would be replaced.
Authorizing the Village Manager to amend the bid award resolution for the Elliott Way Improvement project to reflect funding allocation to the appropriate Water Fund capital account. This is an amendment to a previously approved resolution in March for funding of the Elliott Way project. It corrects the allocation of the portion of the project for the new water line to the appropriate Water Fund account.
Authorizing the Village Manager to sign three Inter-Municipal Agreements with the Town of Cortlandt for shared services including the removal of appliances containing Freon, purchasing and shared equipment. These agreements are extensions of previous existing agreements between Buchanan and the Town and the Village. They result in cost savings for all involved.
Authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer $6,500 within the General fund to cover expenses related to the purchase of a fleet management software. This software enables DPW staff to efficiently manage the maintenance and operations of fleet vehicles utilized by the Village. The software will help the village DPW in tracking its vehicles with regard to all aspects involved with their usage and maintenance.
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 spring 2017 cutting period ending May 31, 2017 in the amount of $5,350. 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. Trillium provided these services to the Village in 2016 as well. This year Gouveia and Black Rock parks have been included.
Authorizing the Mayor to sign the 2016 Sponsor Approval Form for the Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program. Article 11-Aof the New York State General Municipal Law requires that a list of members of the Fire Department is developed which indicates those who earned a year of service credit during the calendar year, those who did not earn a year of credit, and those who waived participation. This list must be certified under oath by the Fire Department, approved by the Village Board, posted for 30 days, and then approved by the Mayor. The list of volunteers receiving credits was reviewed by the Board in February and has been sworn to by the Fire Department. This is the last step in the yearly process of identifying those who will receive service credit for their volunteer work during the past year. The Service Award program was first authorized by a referendum in 2003.
Authorizing the Village Manager to award the bid for the Lawn Maintenance Program at selected Village parks, fields and other properties to Errico Landscaping Corp. of Hartsdale, NY in the amount of $46,400. Four bids were received for this contract with the DPW Superintendent recommending Errico. The work includes regular lawn maintenance at specified Village locations as well as spring and fall cleanup.
The Board of Trustees refers the special use permit request to operate a two childhood education classrooms at 362 South Riverside Avenue 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. The owner of Happy Hearts is proposing two classrooms for about 8 children each be created at the location. It is the former auto dealership of Croton Dodge and the classrooms would be in the front of the building. The Planning Board will review it and make a recommendation back to the Village Board.
Authorizing the Village Manager to approve the proposal from Dvirka & Bartilucci in an amount not to exceed $24,000 for design, permitting and bidding services for the High Street Drainage Project. The project involves the replacement of a drainage structure located on Riverside Avenue, the replacement of the existing drainage system located on High street, and the replacement of curbs and sidewalks within the work area. A portion of this work in within the New York State right-of-way an requires a permit from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). The objective for this project is to increase the capacity of the existing drainage system, as well as remove sanitary sewer odors leaching through cracks and voids within the infrastructure. Dvirka & Bartilucci has provided the initial 30% design work for this project in 2015 but the work was not completed due to funding constraints. This would authorize the completion of the design work as well as the permitting and bidding documents.
Authorizing the Village Manager to approve the proposal from Site Design of Yorktown Heights, NY for construction administration services relating to the Elliott Way Improvement Project at a rate not to exceed $53,040. Site Design was hired by the Village in 2012 for the design work for this project. This resolution would authorize them to provide oversight while the project is being constructed.
To the Editor:
Last week I had the honor of representing our Village at the annual meeting for the Energy Improvement Corporation. The Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC) is a Local Development corporation, which is an NYS not-for-profit, established specifically to support energy efficiency and renewable energy building upgrades.
EIC offers the Energize NY Finance Program which is New York State’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance program. PACE programs are a recent innovation in finance and have emerged nationwide over the past year during which time 15 states have passed enabling legislation. The Village has been an Energize PACE partner since 2013.
PACE financing is made available to eligible property owners in order to provide attractive financing for property improvements that lower energy consumption. PACE programs eliminate the upfront cost for energy improvements by allowing property owners to pay for the improvements over 5-20 years through an increase in their annual property taxes. Under PACE financing, the annual energy savings offset the annual PACE financing payment.
One of the latest PACE projects sponsored by Energize was a 56 kilowatt solar power system for Temple Israel of Northern Westchester, which will offset almost all of the congregation’s energy consumption.
Another recent project was St. Christopher’s Parish in Buchanan, which with a 20-year PACE loan that covered 100% of roof repair and solar installation. The Church is saving $3500 annually and achieving its goal of answering the Pope’s call to protect the environment
In addition to reviewing recent Energize projects, the meeting elected new members to the Board of Directors. This included our own Cortlandt Town Supervisor, Linda Puglisi, who was nominated due to the large number of Energize projects in the Town of Cortlandt.
As we enter our fourth year in partnership with the Energy Improvement Corporation, I look forward to creating further progress to conserve energy and generate renewable energy locally by supporting homeowners and businesses interested in making economically and environmentally sound decisions.
To the Editor,
At the Village Board meeting on April 3, the Village’s statement on its immigration policy was read. The statement came together over many days from an initial draft statement that was circulated among Board members. Comments and suggestions were made to it.
The final statement evolved from initially being primarily an endorsement of the Croton Police Department policy regarding immigration and law enforcement, to becoming an actual statement of policy for the entire Village government. Although the statement reiterates the Village’s November statement of Inclusion and states that the Village will have an open dialogue with its residents, I was disappointed that it did not go further.
In my opinion a policy statement should include some at least mildly proactive words about implementation. I had lobbied for inclusion of a sentence in earlier drafts that the Village would make a “concerted attempt to improve communication with its minority ethnic groups….”. As mild as that statement is, it would have still provided the basis for some outreach steps in the days and months ahead. I hope the Village’s statement is not the end of our actions in this regard and that such outreach steps will be taken.
Dear neighbor, Here is the 364th 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.
Decoding Village Agendas – April 11, 2017
Work Session of the Village Board
7: 30 p.m.
(Open to Public and Televised)
NOTE: This work session is on Tuesday.
As a sample of the variety of jobs performed by the DPW, their budget includes the following: Public Works Administration, Central Garage, Brush and Weeds, Snow Removal, Refuse and Garbage, Public Buildings, Shade Trees, Storm Sewers, Street Cleaning, Street Lighting, Street Maintenance.
Dear neighbor, Here is the 363rd 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.
Decoding Village Agendas – April 5, 2017
Work Session of the Village Board
7: 30 p.m.
(Open to Public and Televised)
NOTE: This work session is on Wednesday. Item 2 below was originally scheduled for Thursday, April 13.
Review of Proposed Fire Department Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. The proposed budget includes expense account A3410. The proposed budget is available from the Home page on the Village’s website: http://www.crotononhudson-ny.gov. The total proposed budget for the Fire Department for the coming year is $556,849.00, a reduction from the current year of about $9,000.
Review of Proposed Administration and Parking (Board, Manager, Clerk, Treasurer, Engineering & Court) Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. This will include discussion regarding the proposed fee schedule. The proposed Administration and Parking Budgets include the following expense accounts: A1 A1355, 1320, 9730, 1010, 7550, 1650, 1410, 8710, 1900, 1680, 8760, 1440, 9901, 7510, 1110, 1420, 1230, 1210, 8790, 5650, 8020, 4050, 6410, 4020, 1362, 1325, 9000, 1900, 8010. As noted above, the proposed budget is available online from the Village’s Home Page. Some of the fees that are proposed to increase include Swimming at Silver Lake, rental of the Senasqua Pavilion, boat moorings, Day Camp and Tiny Tots camp, 3-month resident parking permit (by $6), some building permit fees and others issued by the Engineering Office, and Sewer fees.