Decoding Village Agendas No. 391

1_22_2018 Decoding the Village Agenda(1)Dear neighbor,

Here is the 391st installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetingsI 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 –   January 22, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised) 

  • Review of Part 2 of the Long Form Environmental Assessment Form as part of the Village Board’s environmental review of the special permit request to construct a new building at 25 South Riverside Avenue including 3 stories with parking on the first story and 26 apartment units.  This continues the environmental assessment that the Board is required to do when considering a special permit.  This application is for a new building, as described, at the location of the former Croton Hardware store. It was scheduled to be done at  the Board meeting of January 16 but  members had received the wrong EAF form.  It was postponed to this work session.
  • Staff update on capital and other projects  The DPW Superintendent Frank Balbi and Village Engineer Dan O’Connor will review current and anticipated capital projects.  The Board will also consider planning and administrative goals, recreation plans, and possible grant opportunities.
  • Proposal from CHA for engineering design services in the amount of $260,000 for the next phase of the Croton Point Avenue improvement project including permitting, right of way acquisition, detailed engineering plans and specifications, and bidding assistance.  This enables CHA to bring the design documents to their final stage and proceed with permitting requirements in anticipation of the project being undertaken during the 2019 building season.
  • Request by the Village Manager to enter into an executive session to discuss an item regarding potential litigation.  If the request is granted an executive session will be held
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Decoding Village Agendas No. 390

Dear neighbor, Here is the 390th 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 –  January 16, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

 

8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)

 

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER:

 

 

  • Proclamation presentation to John Giglio to honor his years of dedication and service to the Village of Croton.   John Giglio is being recognized for his over 25 years of service to the Village as a member and  20 year Chairman of the Recreation Advisory Committee.  January 16, 2018 is declared  “John Giglio Day”
  • The Village Board of Trustees to appoint and swear-in a Chief of Police.   The Village Board will appoint Lt. Russell Harper as  Croton’s 10th Police Chief.  The Board released the following statement in regard to Lt. Harper’s selection:

 

“Through a process involving multiple interviews and written statements, the Village Board has evaluated the 3 eligible candidates for Police Chief. Eligibility was based both on rank and on passing the mandatory civil service examination. The candidates under consideration were Lt. Russell Harper, Sgt. Aaron Bernhardt, and Sgt. Daniel Turner. The Board examined their professional qualifications, their life and leadership experience, and their goals for the Police Department going forward.

This is the first time Croton’s Village Board has ever had such a process, whereby there were multiple eligible candidates for Chief. We are aware of the importance of this decision, and have taken our responsibility very, very seriously.

The Board has concluded that Lieutenant Russell Harper would best lead the Police Department for the coming years. Based on a review of his past experience and performance, community interactions, proven leadership skills, and knowledge of the Village, the Board is pleased to announce its selection of Lt. Harper as Croton’s 10th Chief of Police.

We look forward to working with Chief Harper as he steps into his new role, particularly in areas of diversifying personnel, updating procedures and policies, increasing efficiency, and developing a more community-based policing policy. This has been a huge learning experience, and we thank all 3 candidates for their professionalism, their contributions, and their continued service.

Mayor Brian Pugh, Trustees Amy Attias, Ann Gallelli, Ian Murtaugh, Sherry Horowitz “

 

 

  • Presentation by Dan Welsh, Program Director at Westchester Power, regarding the Community Choice Aggregation Program.  This presentation is part of a series of presentations and mailings on Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) to inform  residents about the program over the coming weeks.  A mailing was also sent to all residents this week with details and FAQs from NYSERDA.
  • The Village Board to review Environment Assessment Form Part II and the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program policies to determine consistency related to the  proposed donation by Steel Style Development Corp. to the Village of a parcel of underwater land  located between Half Moon Bay and Senasqua Park.   The Village Board is Lead Agency under SEQRA on the donation of 39+ acres of underwater land to the Village by Steel Style Development,  owners of the HMB Marina.  As such, the Board must review its potential environmental impacts and consistency with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP).

 

  1. The Village Board to review Environment Assessment Form Part II and the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program policies to determine consistency related to a special permit application for a mixed use occupancy building at 25 South Riverside Avenue. The applicant proposes to construct a 2nd and 3rd story with a total of 26 units over a new open parking structure.  As Lead Agency on this special permit application, the Board must review its potential environmental impact and its consistency with the Village’s LWRP.

PUBLIC HEARING:

 

  • Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2018 to amend Chapter 168 Parks and Recreation Areas to change the approval process for sales in parks from Village Board resolution to authorization of the Village Manager.  This amendment to Local Law would allow sales of food, drink and other merchandise in Village Parks at the discretion of the Village Manager.  Currently, these sales are allowed only resolution of the Village Board.  This occurs mainly during the summer at movie and entertainment events sponsored by the Village and currently requires an applicant to wait up to two weeks for a meeting of the Village Board.

 

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  •  Thomas A. Kaplan, Fire Council Secretary, Croton Fire Department; re: Membership update.  As required, the addition of two new members of the Fire Dept. is noticed to the Village.  Sawyer Aviram and Henry Leech have both become active Fire Dept. members.
  • Fabiola Tambini-Mallette, Outreach Coordinator for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) of Westchester; re: Ribbon Campaign for the NAMI of Westchester, Inc. Honoring Mental Health Awareness Month in May.   The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, is requesting permission to place “ribbons” at selected locations in the Village  as part of their campaign to raise awareness. The Village Board has supported this campaign in past years. As in past years, they propose to put ribbons up on May 1 and remove by May 31.

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2017-2018 General Fund Budget in the amount of $ 119.83 for monies received from the Village of Buchanan for their share of the 9-11 Memorial Ceremony.  The Town and Villages of Buchanan and Croton share the annual 9/11 day ceremonies.  This is Buchanan’s reimbursement for the 2017 event.
  • The Village Board considers authorizing the Village Manager to sign the Intermunicipal Agreement with the Village of Buchanan to allow their use of 3 Municipal Place for organic yard waste disposal. The agreement stipulates that the Village will be billed by Westchester County, as per current protocol, a certain organic yard waste amount and will then allocate said billing to the Village of Buchanan based on the tonnage amount of organic yard waste materials delivered, plus fifteen percent.  Buchanan had been taking their organic waste to the Town’s facility which recently closed.  The Town is building a new facility in Verplanck.  Until then Buchanan would be able to bring their organic waste to the Village’s site at Municipal Place. The Village’s organic waste is picked up by Westchester County and charged a fee.  Buchanan will be charged commensurate with their quantities of waste play a 15% addition   The Village recently signed a similar agreement with the Town for their organic waste until the new Town facility is ready..
  • The Village Board of Trustees considers the adoption of Rules of Procedure for meetings.   The Board is considering formal adoption of rules and procedures covering its public meetings.    Although past Boards have followed rules and standards for conducting meetings and public participation, they have never been formally adopted.

 

  1. Authorizing the Village Manager to approve a change order and payment of the voucher in the amount of $1,606.23 for the Corrosion Control Improvement project. This is related to the integration of the Corrosion Control equipment into the Water Department’s SCADA system.  This is resulting from an overage in the cost of the work from what was projected and contracted for.  The overall project was for $121,700.

Ian Murtaugh: The Future of Croton Point Avenue

cpa2014To the Editor,

With the welcome progress of new mixed use projects in the the Harmon/South Riverside corridor, our thoughts ought to turn towards the long stalled Croton Point Avenue infrastructure improvements. Smart development brings to our village tax benefits, a new vitality, and naturally more residents.  To accommodate this resurgence we need to be realistic.  Croton Point Avenue was concieved nearly 60 years ago as an access point to the “new road,” once called the Croton Expressway, more commonly referred to as Route 9.

Times have changed since then and our village has become an extremely important cog in the greater New York City mass transit system.  There are only a handful of other Metro-North stations busier than Croton-Harmon.  In addition to commuters, hundreds upon hundreds of MNR employees use CPA as well.  It is not an understatement to say that CPA is vital to the village;  it is the direct conduit to the revenue the parking lot throws off.  The largest non-tax contributor to our village budget is the parking field, therefore, whatever we can do within reason to make it convenient, safe and simple to use, we should do.

Sometimes progress is confusing and painful, but embracing this project is a smart play for the Village of Croton.  We are getting major funding from the federal government which we should not walk away from.  Yes, we need to kick in money too, but if the federal share of funding goes away, the traffic issues we face will not. So do we take the government’s dollars (administered through New York State) and move forward, or put our head in the sand and pretend that it will get better without our progressive actions?

If all goes according to plan, we should be able to have permitting, planning and design in place in twelve months time, and be shovel ready when the ground gets soft at the start of the 2019 construction season.  2019 is the year that the Village rectifies a 60 year old problem! The building of the new road took much away from our community, now we have the state giving back to help square the equation.

Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mayor Schmidt and the members of the former board for acquiring an additional $250,000 from the state to see this significant project to its fruition.

Will this cost us?  Yes, it will.  But when was the last time you rejected a necessary purchase at 50% off?

Instead of believing the rumors you may hear about the Croton Point Avenue plan, I encourage Croton residents to embrace this progressive project because we will all benefit from its successful completion.

Respectfully submitted,

Ian Murtaugh

Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Decoding Village Agendas No. 389

Dear neighbor, Here is the 389th installment of Decoding Village Agendas to keep Croton residents informed of the actions of the Village Board at their meetingsI 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 –   January 8, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

 

  • Discussion of adoption of meeting procedures for Village Board of Trustees Regular meetings and Work Sessions.   While the Board of Trustees generally follows the same pattern in running its meetings as it has for many years, the Village does not have an established policy on the rules of procedure.  The NY Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), a group which acts on behalf of, and provides suggestions to Village governments, has provided a generic Rules of Procedure for Villages which outlines such things as the timing of meetings, procedures  for public participation, voting, attendance, quorums, etc.  Several Westchester Villages have adopted their own versions of such Meeting Procedures including Hastings and Mamaroneck.  The NYCOM suggestions as well as the adopted procedures of the latter two Villages are included in the backup for the discussion and are available online as part of this meetings backup documentation.
  • Discussion of proposed local law regarding potential regulation of vape shops.    The Board has previously asked our attorneys to examine how other communities have addressed the existence of vape shops.  The proposed amendment to Croton’s local Zoning code would provide the no such shops be located within 500 feet of parks, playgrounds or schools.
  • Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar canopies within the Village.   Currently, solar canopies are treated as accessory structures in the Village but are not specifically called out as such in the Zoning code.  The Board will discuss definitions for both roof-mounted and ground-mounted  solar canopies and the specific requirements for each to be installed.  They also will consider whether they should require a special permit if they reach a certain threshold.    New York State has provided a Model Energy Law that outlines such requirements.  The Board will consider whether to formalize these and adapt them for Croton’s Code.
  • Request to enter into an executive session to discuss a personnel matter regarding a specific individual.  If the request is granted, an executive session will be held.

 

 

Jennifer Pauly: March with us on Jan. 20!

800px-01-21-2017_-_women27s_march_on_nyc_281069629

To the Editor:

It’s hard to believe that almost a full year has gone by since Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States. (In fact, the latter part of that sentence is still hard to believe.) Like many of you, I spent the day after the inauguration in DC at the Women’s March, protesting Trump and everything he represents. That march ushered in, for many of us, a new era of activism and community engagement that has changed us forever.

Well, it’s a new year, requiring a new commitment to resistance, so take out your marching shoes. On Saturday, January 20, the second Women’s March will take place in New York City beginning at 11:00 am at 72nd Street and Central Park West. Please make every effort to go — and please know that you’re invited to travel and march with the Croton Democrats!

We will meet at 8:15 am on January 20 at the Croton-Harmon train station and catch the 8:45 train to Grand Central. From there, we’ll head to the march (either by foot or subway, depending on the weather).

The week before the march, on Saturday, January 13, join us at THE STUDIO, 160 Cleveland Drive, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, for a sign-making session! Bring your markers, your poster board and your ideas. (Irreverent witticisms are especially welcome.) Together, we’ll channel our outrage into strong visuals and get ready to take to the streets the following week.

Our country is certainly different under Trump — angry, divided, and fearful. But those of us who oppose him are different too — stronger, more aware, and more determined than ever. Together, we’ll be something else in 2018: Successful in stopping Trump’s agenda.

See you on the 20th!

Thank you,

Jennifer Pauly

From the Chair: County Budget Sets A New Course for Our Ship of State in Westchester

To The Editor:

westchester_county_lst-1167
USS Westchester County (LST-1167) underway, circa 1960, place unknown.

I would like to congratulate Catherine Borgia, the Majority Leader of the County Legislature and our representative to that body, on working to create a unanimous consensus to override, just before Christmas, County Executive Rob Astorino’s veto of the County budget. This show of leadership and fiscal responsibility stands in stark contrast to the fiscal recklessness, mismanagement and tea party politics of the Astorino administration. How fitting that by vetoing a thoroughly responsible budget on his way out the door, Mr. Astorino once again reminded us why his brand of know-nothing economics was not in line with our County’s electorate.

In a recent Westchester County Association business survey, 53% of respondents wanted greater government investment in infrastructure, in order to keep the County competitive. According to the NY State Comptroller’s office, under Astorino’s inept fiscal leadership Westchester’s fiscal stress rating has grown by more than 15%, from 53.3% to 63.3%, just in the last 2 years. And just one month ago, Moody’s downgraded the County’s credit rating.

A commanding majority of us in Westchester should be proud of ourselves for seeing through Astorino’s smoke screen of fiscal “magic tricks” by electing George Latimer as our new County Executive. Thanks to that decision, and the change in the majority on the County Legislature, we may once again expect that rational financial decisions will be made going forward. In that spirit, I hope that we will all support Mr. Latimer and Ms. Borgia through the long and challenging process of digging us out of the hole that the Astorino administration dug for us during his eight years in office.

Sincerely,

Richard Masur, Chair
Croton Democratic Committee

 

Sherry Horowitz: What’s next for Community Choice Aggregation?

sherry2017Dear Editor, and fellow Crotonites,

In the next few months, our Village will have another opportunity to join Westchester Power, the Community Choice Aggregation program established by Sustainable Westchester (a nonprofit consortium of local governments.  By aggregating consumers on a large scale, CCA programs provide municipalities with access to the wholesale power market and the ability to control the supply source, mix and price.

 

Although Croton did not join the CCA in 2016, 20 municipalities in Westchester County did join, and they are now enjoying the benefits of that affiliation.  Through the CCA, a two year contract was negotiated, which has been extended through the end of 2018. Under that contract, customers in the original communities have been receiving electric power for less than the average 2015 Con Edison price; by joining now, Croton customers will enjoy the same benefits.  Also, most participating municipalities have chosen to “opt up” to 100% “green” power. Westchester Power’s renewable supply is secured with the purchase of renewable energy certificates – or “RECs” – issued by Green-E. These certificate represent energy produced from wind power generators around the country.  This option has also been delivered below the 2015 Con Ed average price. Our Village’s Sustainable Committee has recommended our participation in the 100% green option.  

When the CCA program was first introduced to residents at a Village Board meeting 2 years ago, there was a good deal of apprehension and confusion about the program. Some people felt they were being forced into a situation they didn’t like or understand. This time around, we intend to fully inform you about CCA; how it operates, its benefits for us as energy consumers, and its environmental benefits for our community and the wider world.  You will also learn how to quickly and easily opt out of the program if that is your desire.

 

The Village’s Sustainability Committee proposed, and the Board of Trustees approved the following timeline of opportunities to inform you about the CCA.

 

January 16, a representative from Sustainable Westchester will present the CCA program at a Village Board meeting at 8:00 PM; the meeting will be televised.

 

January 20, a mailing will go out with basic information and questions/

answers from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the authorizing agency for the CCA program.

 

January 25, a presentation on CCA is scheduled at the Croton Free Library at 7:30 PM, sponsored by Mothers Out Front.

 

Early February, Croton’s Sustainability Committee will make another presentation on CCA at the Croton Free Library.

 

We hope you will avail yourselves of these opportunities to learn about CCA, and to have any and all questions you may have answered to your satisfaction. Our goal is to have all residents thoroughly informed, and hopefully supportive!

 

Respectfully, Sherry Horowitz, Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson