Brian Pugh: Stay Cool, Stay Safe

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The last Friday in May is recognized as “Heat Awareness Day” or “No FryDay.” On the eve of summer, it’s important to be aware of the health dangers of heat, prepare for excessive heat events and excessive heat waves and consider the special risks for children, pets or anyone with limited mobility.

For “Not FryDay,” the National Weather Service offers a comprehensive set of educational resources regarding heat related health and safety on its site:nws.noaa.gov/os/heat

The heat of late spring and the summer is also closely associated with Air Quality Action Days (“Ozone Alert” days). Air Quality Action Days are days when air quality is predicted to be in the unhealthy range for sensitive groups. Information about changes in air quality can be obtained by signing up for alerts via the US EPA’s Enviroflash service at enviroflash.info or checking the NYS New York State Air Quality Hotline: (800) 535-1345.

Moreover, we should be conscientious of the steps that we can take as a community to mitigate these heat-related emergencies: postponing unnecessary trips, taking transit or carpooling, refueling after dark to prevent pollutants that react with sunlight, air conditioning less and
not using gas-powered lawn mowers and avoiding the use of aerosol products and paints. As is often the case, protecting public health requires action by the public–both individually and communally.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh

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Ann Gallelli: The Latest on Banning the Barges

To the Editor,ann2016
It has been some time since we have received any news on the proposal for add 10 anchorages in the Hudson River to accommodate 43 barges between Yonkers and Kingston. While we are awaiting the Coast Guard’s review and response to the over 10,000 comments it received, hopefully soon, several actions have been undertaken to prevent the proposal from implementation.
Hudson Valley Congressman Sean Maloney introduced a bill in Congress, the Hudson River Protection Act, which would ban anchorages for barges near sensitive areas on the Hudson River including environmentally sensitive and critical habitat areas, historic sites, superfund sites and nuclear power plants. Rep. Elliott Engel is a co-sponsor of the bill.
The Village, as a member of the Historic Hudson River Towns, has supported calls for more controls over the proposal. In April, our Village Board approved a resolution urging support for two bipartisan bills in the NYS Legislature (S-5197 and A-6825) which would pre-empt the Coast Guard decision and make it possible to set conditions for petroleum-bearing vessels on the Hudson and to establish avoidance zones. Since then, multiple municipalities along the river have adopted similar resolutions of support.
Finally, in a sign that NYS is beginning to treat the anchorage/barge as a serious threat to the river, renewal applications by Port of Albany terminal operators are being treated as new applications, thus requiring more comprehensive environmental review.
While we await the Coast Guard’s report, these are important efforts that, if implemented, could stop, or at least mitigate, the proposed anchorages in the Hudson River.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 369

Dear neighbor, Here is the 369th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents ann2016informed 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 22, 2017

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

  1. Discussion about the Hunter Place sewer connections.  Five homes on Hunter have three sewer line connections to the sewer line on another street – Michael’s Lane.  They are in need of replacement. New sewer lines have been installed on Hunter.  This would permit these five to connect to the new line on their street.  It would require lateral lines to be installed from the new sewer line on Hunter to each of the five houses.  The Village has received quotes for both the replacement of the old and the installation of new laterals.  While the latter is not something that the Village would normally pay for, the homeowners have asked for some assistance with this cost.  They would still be responsible for the individual connection and work in their homes to connect with the laterals.
  2. Discussion about the Community Choice Aggregation Program with Dan Welsh, Program Director for Westchester Power.  The Board will discuss and consider  the Community Choice Aggregation program that it declined to join in 2016.  Approximately 100,000 county residents are currently part of this program which provides reduced rates for electric power.
  3. Discussion of the proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 -2018.  The Board will discuss its Capital Budget for 2017-2018.  The discussion will take into account its recently announced intent to acquire a building and property for the relocation of the DPW facility.  For the General Fund the proposed capital expenditures would be $3,788,000.  The proposal is for this to be funded as follow:  Fund Balance – $1,900,000; Bonding – $1,685,000; BAN (Bond Anticipation Notes) – $203,000.

Brian Pugh: Improving Access to Public Documents

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

As many of you know, New York’s Freedom of Information Law, known as FOIL, guarantees the public, individually and collectively, access to the records of government. To facilitate this access, the Village of Croton has recently published a “Freedom of Information” page on the Village website, accessible from the “Citizen Action Center” on the home page, and at the following URL: crotononhudson-ny.gov/Public_Documents/CrotonHudsonNY_Information.

The new page features:

1. The text of the Freedom of Information Law
2. A form for the online submittal of a Freedom of Information Law Request to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson for specific documents
3. A subject matter list of Village documents
4. Instructions on appealing a FOIL decision
5. Information about the Freedom of Information Law
6. Links to the NYS Committee on Open Government Home page, FOIL Advisory Opinions, Case Law Summaries and Open Meetings Law/FOIL educational videos.

I appreciate the alacrity with which my suggestion for the new Freedom of Information page was met. I also appreciate the Deputy Mayor’s suggestion that I draft the text of the new page. Thanks also to the staff for their continued work in responding to FOIL requests.

Not only is sunshine the best disinfectant, as the saying goes, but transparency and public information are essential to self-government and accountable public administration. I hope that this new page is the first step in a new era of enhanced access to pubic documents and citizen self-education and empowerment.

Sincerely, Brian Pugh

Ann Gallelli: 368th installment of Decoding Village Agendas

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 368th 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 15, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Board
8:00 pm
(Open to Public – Televised)

CORRESPONDENCE:
Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer; re: Request for a building permit extension for the homeowner of 37 Park Trail. Due to extenuating circumstances, the property owner has been unable to complete the work under this building permit and it is recommended to extend the permit to October 20, 2017.

Dan O’Connor, Village Engineer; re: Request for a building permit extension for the homeowner of 16 King Street. Due to extenuating circumstances, the property owner has been unable to complete the work under this building permit and it is recommended to extend the permit until November 7, 2017.
Mark Duncan, Recreation Supervisor; re: Summerfest street closings and parade.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

The Village Board declares its intent to be lead agency for SEQRA purposes to consider the acquisition of two adjoining properties at 435 and 439 Yorktown Rd. on Route 129 for the relocation of the Village’s Department of Public Works facility and the decommissioning of the current facility to surface parking. The Board also authorizes the circulation of the Environmental Assessment Form to the Planning Board, Waterfront Advisory Committee and the Town of Cortlandt Planning Board. The current Village Department of Public Works facility is located in a flood plain, is adjacent to the Croton River Estuary, and is housed in a deteriorated and undersized building. The Village Board is considering the purchase of a building and adjoining vacant piece of property which would allow it to upgrade its operations and centralize all public works in one location. Relocating to a new facility would allow for a more efficient operation, ensure longer life for Village equipment, and create a safer environment for its workers. The building proposed to be acquired is the vacant building on Route 129 just beyond the Village border, in the Town of Yorktown. Although it appears to be an office building, only about 1/3 of it is office, the remainder being open space with bays for large trucks. The total space is about 25,000 square feet. The adjoining undeveloped lot would also be acquired so that most DPW vehicles could be located there. This would allow for repair work to proceed and several vehicles at a time which is not currently possible in the current space. It would also allow more equipment to be stored indoors which would prevent rapid deterioration from exposure to weather. The current DPW facility is in dire need of repairs and a new roof. The Village is reluctant to spend money on this building given its overall small and inadequate size, its location in a sensitive area. The space made available by the demolishing of the current DPW would allow approximately 130 additional parking spaces at the train station lot which would generate about $150,000/year in additional parking revenue. The total purchase price of the two lots is $2,710,000. More details on this proposed acquisition are available on the Village website under “News and Notices”.

Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the General Fund 2016-2017 budget in the amount of $1,259.52 for monies received through the U.S. Department of Justice for the reimbursement of police overtime. The Police Department overtime was related to a narcotics investigation.

The Board of Trustees refers the special use permit request to operate a smoke shop at 50 Maple Street 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. An application has been made to open a Smoke and Vapor store in the recently added space next to CVS (formerly occupied by State Farm). The plaza is in a C-2 zoning district which requires a special permit for retail uses. Such a permit must be issued by the Village Board. The Board is required to get a recommendation from the Planning Board as directed by this resolution. According to the submitted information, it would be open from 7am to 10 pm and expects about 30 customers/day.

The Village Board of Trustees schedules a Public Hearing for June 5, 2017 at 8 pm in the meeting room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider the Special Permit Application from Desiree Drapala to operate a child care center located at 365 South Riverside Avenue. The applicant owns the Happy Hearts childcare center in the Upper Village and is seeking additional space in the building that was the former Croton Dodge location. Specifically, the proposed day care would be in the former showroom area of the building. The Planning Board has made a positive recommendation with some conditions. They note that they had concerns with ventilation, air quality and drop off issues. An inspection by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services found the location and proposal to be in compliance. Conditions proposed by the Planning Board include addressing the ventilation, car exhaust, removal of an oil tank in the rear, and protection of the drop off space by bollards. If a special use permit is granted, the applicant will return to the Planning Board for site plan approval.

Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the agreement with the SPCA of Westchester, Inc. to provide services to the Village for seized, stray and homeless dogs and cats. This is an annual contract renewal through May 31, 2018. There has been no increase in the $6,737.38 fee.

Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the proposal from Woodward and Curran in the amount of $18,974 for the required technical assistance and programming needed to integrate the new corrosion control equipment into the existing SCADA system. The corrosion control treatment building and system at the well field are in the process of being constructed. This system, when completed, will provide for the injection of a blended ortho/polyphosphate corrosion control additive which will reduce copper and lead levels in the tap water. The corrosion control system, when completed will need to be integrated into the existing SCADA system at the Water Department. The SCADA system provides for electronic data collection and control of equipment. The design and building of the corrosion control system for the Village’s water supply has been under way for an extended period of time. In February 2017, the Board awarded the contract for building it to Pierotti Corporation for $388,500. This contract with Woodward and Curran will assure that the new corrosion control system is correctly integrated into the Village’s new automated SCADA system which controls the equipment at the well field.
Authorizing the Village Manager to award the bid for the Farrington Road and Hunter Place pavement, curb and sidewalk improvement project to ELQ Industries Inc. of New Rochelle, NY in the amount of $1,015,086. The water and sewer main replacement project on Farrington Road and Hunter Place has concluded. The next and final phase requires curb and sidewalk improvements and the repaving of the roadway. Following several years of work on the water and sewer mains on these streets, the road, sidewalk and curbs will be improved to complete this project. Four bids were received.

Authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer $12,500 within the 2016-2017 General Fund to cover expenses related to contracts and overtime for the Recreation Department. This is a budget housekeeping measure that applies to the 2016/2017 general fund budget.

UPDATE: The location of the Building in Resolution 1, referring to a relocation of the Village’s DPW building, is on Yorktown Road (129) in the Town of Cortlandt; not the Town of Yorktown as stated.

Ann Gallelli: Honoring CFD Volunteers

To the Editor,ann2016
Last Saturday Croton’s Fire Department officially unveiled their new Rescue 18 truck. It was on display at the Harmon Fire House along with an old, retired 1963 Rescue truck as an historical comparison. What a great example the new Rescue 18 is of new technologies in fire rescue work. Not surprisingly, the new truck is bigger than the 1963 truck. More importantly, its improvements make it better at accomplishing its job and safer for our volunteers who man it. Rescue 18 carries specialized equipment for rescue situations such as traffic collisions, vehicle extraction, building collapse, confined space rescue, and more. The truck carries equipment such as the Jaws of Life, winches, cutting torches, circular saws and other forms of heavy equipment not on standard trucks. It was very impressive to see all its capabilities.
At the event, an additional surprise was in store for two Fire Department volunteers – Augie Conti and John Coyne. Both Augie and John were given special plaques commending them for their long service in Croton’s Fire Department, Augie for 50 years and John for 49. Congratulations and thank you to both on this remarkable achievement.

Ann Gallelli

Ann Gallelli: 367th installment of Decoding Village Agendas

ann2016
Decoding Village Agendas
1 message

Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com> Fri, May 5, 2017 at 2:40 PM
To: Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com>

Dear neighbor, Here is the 367th 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 10, 2017

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

NOTE:  This work session is on Wednesday.

 

  1. Discussion with Fire Department on Various Issues.   The Board will be meeting with the Fire Department Chiefs and others to discuss a list of fire department-related issues.  The entire list of topics is available with the meeting Agenda on the Village’s Home page.  Some of the topics include updating of Village information regarding membership, compliance with State Village Law as it pertains to volunteer Fire Departments, updated list of drivers’ licenses, accident reports,  compliance with  NYS Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau regulations, the fire Council and Fire Company financial records, request from Peekskill for mutual aid  agreement, and timing of Engine 118 replacement.