Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 370

Decoding Village Agendas – June 5, 2017
Regular Meeting of the Village Boardann2016
8:00 pm
(Open to Public – Televised)

Josh Holder, Croton-Harmon student, to present his CHOOSE project about opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of our community. Josh will present a power point on his Choose project during which he conducted phone outreach to residents, created a video helping to conduct residents through the Energize Croton process, and researched already existing programs offered by local utilizes.
Village Board to review the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program policies to determine consistency with regard to the decommissioning of the current DPW facility to surface parking. 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 staff in one location. Relocating to a new facility would allow for a more efficient DPW operation, ensure a longer life for Village vehicles and equipment, and create a safer environment for its workers. The proposal to decommission the existing DPW municipal garage in the train station parking lot is anaction that requires the Village to make a determination that it is consistent with our Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP). The Board will go through the criteria used in making that determination. The action would include demolition of the building and addressing the underground oil tanks.
The Village Board to review Part 2 of the Environmental Assessment Form in order to determine the environmental significance of the purchase of the properties on 129 for the new Department of Public Works facility and the decommissioning of the existing property. The purchase of the properties on Route 129 require a determination as to whether it has environmental significance along with the decommissioning of the current facility.

Public Hearing regarding the Special Use Permit application from Desiree Drapala to operate a child care center located at 365 South Riverside Avenue. The Board will also consider issuing the Special Use Permit. This application has been under review by the Planning Board for its recommendation to the Village Board. After some initial concerns which were addressed by the applicant, the Planning Board is recommending in favor of the application. These had to do with ventilation, air quality, and parking and traffic. The applicant provided an inspection report from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services which found it to be in compliance. The Board also recommends that an existing oil tank be removed, that the existing permit allowing for Used Car sales be revoked for the site, and that bollards be installed for the drop off area. If the Village Board grants the Special Permit, the applicant must return to the Planning Board for approval of the details of the plans.

Dan Ahouse, Area Director of Government Affairs, Altice; re: Notification that as of May 15, 2017 Eleven Sports is no longer available to subscribers of Optimum Japanese, Korean and Chinese international packages or as an a la carte offering.


Village Board of Trustees considers approving the Capital Budget Appropriation Schedule for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 and directs the Treasurer to bring the consideration of the bond resolutions for the authorized funding to the next Village Board meeting. The resolution calls for bonding of $1,585,000 which includes general road repairs, sidewalks and curbing, roof replacement of Washington Engine Company, part of the purchase price of the new DPW building and adjacent lot, and for the renovations required in that building. $1,900,000 is also proposed to be taken from the General Fund Fund Balance account for the purchase of the building. Additionally, Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) would come to $203,000 for the purchase of various items of equipment. The Board will continue to evaluate capital expenditures for the future years in the Capital Budget out to 2021-2022.
The Village Board of Trustees schedules a Public Hearing on June 19, 2017 at 8PM in the meeting room of the Stanley H Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider Local Law Introductory 4 of 2017 that would enable the Village to tow or boot vehicles which are found to have three or more outstanding parking violations. Some 30+ vehicles have several outstanding fines totally about $19,510 in a list provided as of September 2016. Most are at the train station with 13 being located on Village streets. The stated intention of the proposal is to address persistent violators who fail to respond to notices, etc.
Board of Trustees authorizes Village Attorney to execute the Tax Certiorari Settlement with Sharma, Devendra & Kanwal for property located at 387-89 S. Riverside Avenue. The resolution would authorize a settlement of $3,572.29 for the years of 2010 through 2016.
The Village Board of Trustees schedules a Public Hearing on July 10, 2017 at 8PM in the meeting room of the Stanley H Kellerhouse Municipal Building to consider the special use permit request to operate a smoke shop at 50 Maple Street. The proposed smoke shop is located in the plaza nest to CVS. This is a C-2 district where retail requires a special use permit. The Planning Board has reviewed the application and, while several members has concerns about the appropriateness of the use, the Board found that it meets the requirements as to traffic, closeness to emergency services, parking, etc. that they are required to review. They recommend granting the permit.
The Village Board considers authorizing the creation of a separate application fee for an area variance for fences at a cost of $100. The Zoning Code was recently modified to provide for additional restrictions regarding the installation of fences. A property owner requesting to install a fence, not in compliance with the zoning code, is required to apply for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The neighbor notification requirements for a fence variance have been reduced from all properties within 200 feet of the subject property to only the properties immediately abutting, and directly across the street from, the exterior boundaries of the land involved in such applications. The application fee for area variances is $300.00 and the Village Engineer is recommending a separate application fee for an area variance for fences of $100.00 based on the limited neighbor notification requirements and scope of the review being limited to a fence, As stated, the recent adoption of new requirements for fences which may require a variance, the fee for such should be $100 rather than $300 as for most such variances, due to smaller notification requirements and a more limited review.
Authorizing the Village Manager to accept the quote from Precision Built Fences of Peekskill, NY in the amount of $9,875 to place fencing to fully enclose the Dog Park at Black Rock. Three quotes were received of which the above was the lowest.

Ann Gallelli: Westchester Sustainability

To the Editor,ann2016
Last week, County residents who are interested in pursuing green initiatives and renewable energy in our future, received the good news that Westchester County has joined Sustainable Westchester. This brings the number of municipalities participating in the consortium to 42 but the, County, of course, encompasses us all. It brings a new layer of government to the organization which includes cities, towns and villages as well.
Sustainable Westchester supports the Community Solar, Community Choice Aggregation, and Solarize Westchester Programs. Westchester County now is joining with other municipalities in a commitment to renewable energy.
This commitment by the County is good news for us all.
Ann Gallelli

Brian Pugh: Prioritizing Public Safety

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

Last week’s Village Board Work Session some intense discussion regarding the replacement of the Croton Fire Department’s Engine 118. To me, the matter is fairly straightforward: the weight of expert opinion favors timely replacement and common sense dictates that equipment necessary for public safety be prioritized for our Village’s capital budget.

“Accepted [fire] apparatus maintenance cycles have typically been an annual cycle and the lifespan of apparatus has traditionally been 20 years for an engine (pumper) or rescue,” according to a report the Village received from East West Fire Apparatus Consultants Inc. in 2016. Engine 118, a pump truck, is some 24 years old at this point–well past the standard lifespan.

“Keeping apparatus past expected life expectancies, except as spare, is rarely a good idea, often more costly than municipalities estimate, and can lead to increased replacement costs. Keeping older apparatus also usually delays replacement, this negatively affects replacement cycles and usually costs more in the long-term,” warns the 2016 Consultant’s report.

In addition to the outside expert, our own Volunteer Fire Department, which includes some residents that are professional firefigthers in their day job, has been zealous in its advocacy for a replacement for the 20+ year old truck.

Last year, the Board unanimously approved a capital budget that anticipated the replacement of Engine 118 AND the replacement of the DPW garage. Therefore, I find it hard to understand the objection by some on the Board that Engine 118’s replacement needs to be deferred in the name of fiscal discipline–particularly when the Village Manager acknowledge last Monday that Engine 118 could be replaced without increasing overall debt.

The discussion around Engine 118 highlights the need to govern on the basis of facts and not rhetoric. With these precepts in mind, I hope the Board majority will make a reasoned decision on this issue.


Brian Pugh