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.
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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

Brian Pugh: Croton is not an Island.

To the Editor:

 brian-pugh-group-cropped
The Westchester County government headquartered in White Plains has power over key issues affecting our community and is an important partner with the Village in many areas–from the prosecution of crime to the management of the large county parks located in the Village (Croton Point Park) and next to it (Croton Gorge Park).
That’s why I am proud that Mayor Schmidt appointed himself and me as liaisons to the County government at the start of my latest term as Village Trustee.  As liaison, I have tried to keep abreast of pending legislation before the county–and I think it’s important that our Village is aware of the following bills (the full text can be viewed at westchesterlegislators.com):
  1. Proposed Act 9928 adopting the Immigrant Protection Act
  2. Proposed Chapter 685 providing paid sick leave for certain employees.
  3. Proposed Chapter 538 establishing a Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Program.
  4. Proposed Act 9614 Prohibiting the sale and possession of synthetic drugs.
However you feel about any of these issues, they all have an impact on our community.  Croton is a peninsula, not an island, and what happens in the halls of county government ripples out to the local level.
Unlike Washington, DC, though, the County is much closer to us in terms of representation and response. As Croton residents, we are also uniquely privileged to be represented in the County legislature by Catherine Borgia, who is also the legislature’s majority leader.
Therefore, I hope that our Village, its government and its citizens, stay informed about what’s happening at the County-level and weigh in on the issues that matter to us.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 365

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.
Ann Gallelli

Decoding Village Agendas – April 17, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
7:30:00 pm
(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.

CORRESPONDENCE:
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.
PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:
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.

Brian Pugh: Thinking Strategically About Our Infrastructure Investments

To the Editor:
brian-pugh-group-cropped
Recently, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released a report that places the state’s drinking water infrastructure needs at $40 billion. Fortunately, the Village of Croton on Hudson has been ahead of the curve on this issue–undertaking a historic once-in-a-generation upgrade to our water system.
Although some decried recent issues of municipal bonds, I believe that recent events have demonstrated the prudence of making improvements to our infrastructure at a time when interest rates were at historic lows and construction costs were moderate–an era that’s drawing to a close.
As many readers may already be aware, the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and signaled further hikes this year. The move will likely mean higher rates on municipal bonds.  The Wall Street Journal also forecasts continuing interest rate increases in the years to come.
This squeeze could get tighter still. “If the Trump administration passes tax reform and successfully pushes infrastructure spending, the Fed may increase its rate-hike plans,” warns the financial newspaper Barrons.
And it is not just interest rates that are going up.  According to industry experts, the cost of construction (and therefore the “principal” of future municipal bonds) is increasing and at rates well above the coverall rate of inflation.
Meanwhile future opportunities for federal funding support for municipal infrastructure projects are dwindling.  Donald Trump’s first annual budget request to Congress proposes to cut $2.4 billion from discretionary transportation programs—a 12.7% reduction from FY 2017.
We must remain aware that the window for affordable investments in infrastructure may well be closing.  Delaying key projects may force the Village to pay more for less in the the near-future. As the Village Board works to develop this year’s budget, I hope that we will make far-sighted strategic decisions about what is in the long-term interest of our community.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh

Brian Pugh: Energize 2017

brian-pugh-group-croppedTo 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.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: Regarding the Village Statement on Immigration Policy

To the Editor, ann2016

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.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 364

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.

Ann Gallelli

 

 

 

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.

 

 

  1. Review of Proposed Department of Public Works  and Water Department Budgets for Fiscal Year 2017-2018.   The Budgets are available from the Home page of the Village website.  Department of Public Works includes the following expense accounts:

A5140,1640,8510,1620,5010, 5183,8090,8160,8560,5142,8140,8170,5182,3310,3510.

 

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.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 363

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.
Ann Gallelli

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.