Decoding Village Agendas No. 398

Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com> Sat, Mar 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM
To: Ann Gallelli <anngallelli@gmail.com>

 

Dear neighbor, Here is the 398th 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

 

NOTE:  There are two Budget work Sessions this week.  Both are described below.

 

 

Decoding Village Agendas –   March 26, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

The proposed Village budget for Fiscal Year 2018/2019 calls for total appropriations of $19,457,684 with $11,730,400 to be raised by property taxes.

 

 

Review of Proposed Department of Public Works and Water Department Budgets for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

 

Link to proposed budget for F/Y 2018- 2019

http://www.crotononhudson-ny.gov/Public_Documents/CrotonHudsonNY_Fin/ProposedBudget-2018-19/ProposedBudget2018-2019

 

Department of Public Works includes the following expense accounts: A1620, A1640, A3310, A3510, A5010, A5110, A5140, A5142, A5182, A7550, A8090, A8140, A8160, A8170, A8510, A8560

Water Fund includes the following expense accounts: F1320, F1650, F8310, F8320, F8340

Sewer Fund includes the following expense accounts: G1320, G1650, G8120

The DPW department has 30 full time employees and up to 12 part time employees at various times of the year.  The department’s responsibility includes highway, sanitation, building maintenance, water, parks, and the repair facility (garage).  It also supports several functions that occur in the village such as Summerfest, Earth Day, Run Against Hunger and others.

 

The Water and Sewer Fund are paid for by water and sewer fees, not property taxes.

 

The Water Fund budget is recommending an increase in water rates of $0.20/100 cubic feet of consumption for Tier 2 (basic), in order to help fund the improvements made to the water infrastructure.

 

The Sewer Fund currently has a deficit of $199,201.  The proposed budget recommends a rate increase of 20% to help offset this deficit.  This would increase the rate to $1.5388/100 cubic feet of water consumption from the current $1.2823.

 

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Decoding Village Agendas –   March 28, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

 

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

 

 

1.      Review of Proposed EMS Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Link to Proposed Budget

 

       EMS Department includes the following expense account: A4540.

 

       The proposed budget calls for expenditures of  $386,760 for the coming year.  This is a reduction of about $11,000 from the prior year.  The EMS expenses are offset in part by insurance recoveries from ambulance services which are expected to be $220,000 in the coming fiscal year.

 

 

 

 

2.      Review of Proposed Police Department Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Link to Proposed Budget

 

Police Department includes the following expense accounts: A3120, A3150, A3189

 

 

Police dept. expense include that of the Department itself as well as the Auxiliary Police and  Crossing Guards.    The proposed Police Dept. Budget if proposed at $3,215,663, an increase of approximate $20,500 over the current year.

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Brian Pugh: Advocating for Our Village

To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

At the last meeting of the Village Board, we approved the dispatch of a two letter on state issues concerning our community and others to our State Senator Terrence Murphy (R-Yorktown) and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining).

One letter was on local government issues coming before the New York State Legislature. Some of of the noteworthy recommendations includes making the Tax Levy Cap a true 2% (and not dependent on the rate of inflation) and to allow municipalities to deposit funds in local savings banks, credit unions, etc. rather than just the big commercial banks. The letter also opposes a current bill that would preclude municipalities form having a say in the location of small wireless installations. These recommendations are supported by NYCOM – New York Conference of Mayors which advocates on behalf of Villages and cities.

The other letter is on environmental issues coming before the New York State Legislature. The letter from the Board recommends: 1) imposing a statewide polluting fee for greenhouse gas producers, 2) divestiture of the NY Common Fund from fossil fuel investments, and 3) a ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bags.

Local governments are creatures of the state, established by the legislature and regulated by its laws (e.g. the VIllage Law, the General Municipal Law, etc.). And as a New Yorkers, we are all, of course, affected by the policies pursued by our state.

Our Village and its residents are in a relatively unique position to make our voices heard, as we are represented by legislators who are part of the majority of their respective houses.. We will continue to work with our colleagues at all levels of government to improve the quality of life of our residents and advocate for their interests.

 

Brian Pugh

Decoding Agendas No. 397

Dear neighbor, Here is the 397th 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 – March 19, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

PUBLIC HEARING: To consider Local Law Intro. 3 of 2018 amending Chapter 230 of the Village’s Zoning Code concerning vape and tobacco shops which would prohibit a vape or tobacco shop to open within 500 feet of the middle school or high school property line.

CORRESPONDENCE:

Note: the first two items below are letters sent by the Village, not letters received.

Board Letter to Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Murphy on environmental issues coming before the New York State Legislature. The letter from the Board urges support for three bills currently before the NYS Legislature including 1) imposing a statewide polluting fee for greenhouse gas producers, divestiture of the NY Common Fund from fossil fuel investments, and implementation of a ban on the sale and use of single-use plastic bags.
Board Letter to Assemblywoman Galef and Senator Murphy on local government issues coming before the New York State Legislature. The letters asks the legislators to support four current bills that would allow local municipalities to receive some revenue from the Local Gross Receipts tax of cellular services, shorten the redemption period for Tax foreclosures for abandoned properties, make the Tax Levy Cap a true 2% and not dependent on the rate of inflation, and allow municipalities to deposit funds in local savings banks, credit unions, etc. The letter also opposes a current bill that would preclude municipalities form having a say in the location of small wireless installations. These recommendations are supported by NYCOM – New York Conference of Mayors which advocates on behalf of Villages and cities.
Letter from Glenn Simpson, Croton Little League President, regarding Opening Day parade on April 14, 2018.
Letter from Kate Cascone, Territory Manager – Westchester County, regarding termination of the Croton Farmers Market. Ms. Cascone informs the Village that the Down To Earth Farmers’ Market is terminating their agreement with the Village and will not be operating in the Village this year. She thanked the Village for their help and good relationship over the past years. They are open to returning in the future depending on a suitable location.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

The Village Board determines that the Proposed Action, lease agreement and the construction of the wireless facility with Verizon Wireless located at 1 Van Wyck Street, complies with the policy standards and conditions set forth in the Village’s LWRP; issues and adopts the EAF Part III, adopts a Negative Declaration in connection with the Proposed Action and authorizes the Village Manager to sign the lease agreement with Verizon Wireless.
Authorizing the Village Manager to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Croton Little League for improvements to the Field at Duck Pond Park. The Agreement would allow the Little League organization to make certain improvements to the field at the Duck Pond Park. They will assume responsibility for the improvements which include removing infield grass, regrading and adding clay paths on the field, replacing some fencing and adding new drainage. The cost of these improvements which they will incur is $29,100.00.
Authorizing the appointment of Eric Seymour to Police Sergeant to fill the vacant position left open due to the retirement of one of the Department’s employees. Officer Seymour’s appointment to the supervisory role of Sergeant will help reduce the current overtime costs incurred due to a recent retirement and some vacancies. As per the Police Association agreement, his salary will be $127,375.86.
Authorizing the Village Board of Trustees to sign the 2017 Sponsor Approval Form for Volunteer Fire Department Service Award Program. The Service Award program requires that the Fire Department certify of list of members who earned service credits in the past year. The Board of Trustees is required to approve it. The Fire department Service Award program was authorized by referendum in 2003.

Brian Pugh: Thank you to our first-responders & DPW

brian-pugh-group-croppedTo the Editor:

 

The last week has brought incredible challenges to our Village. Our Village staff and volunteers have worked long and hard hours to help residents and should be appreciated for all they have done.

 

I’d like to publicly recognize the excellent work that our Village’s Department of Public Works and our police and first-responders, especially our Volunteer Fire Department and EMS. The Village’s professional staff also deserves our thanks for their timely and informative updates regarding the status of recovery efforts.

 

We are fortunate to have such a team dedicated keeping our Village clean and safe, especially during and after the recent winter storms. Many thanks to all who assisted in a professional, conscientious way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pugh

Decoding Village Agendas –   March 12, 2018

Decoding Village Agendas –   March 12, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised)

 

  1.  Members of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee will provide an update to the Board.   The BPC has a five-year plan of goals including traffic calming in the upper village, implementing the Croton Point Avenue project, safe walking to schools and library, walkable shopping, and more.
  2. Discussion of proposed improvements to the access trail to Silver Lake.. 
  3. Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar installations within the Village.  A memo from the Village attorney outlines some zoning regulations that should be considered in such a law.
  4. Discussion of rezoning of certain commercial areas of the Village.  The discussion will center on whether current zoning primarily in the Municipal Gateway area is up to date and consistent with the goals of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan.
  5. Proposed resolution to Support Amtrak’s National Network.  This is in response to the proposed federak budget reducing  funding for Amtrak by half in 2019.
  6. Village Manager provides Board an overview of 2018-2019 Village Budget Process.

Brian Pugh: Reviewing Performance of Our Utilities in the Recent Storms

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

After Hurricane Sandy left customers without power for days on end, Con Edison announced a $1 billion upgrade program to harden the electric grid against future storms. Following this week’s Nor’Easter, Con Edison’s performance must be reviewed carefully.

Con Edison’s storm-hardening upgrades were used to justify​ ​recent​t ​rate increases . Con Edison, a for-profit corporation with an effective monopoly on electrical service, also substantially boosted dividends to shareholders and compensation for key executives in the years after Sandy.
​​
​Our Village government has been in regular contact with Con Edison since the storm struck. It’s not clear that they will reach their own estimates for power restoration.​​ ​Although Croton is not not as severely affected as other Westchester communities, power outages have plagued hundreds of households since the Nor’Easter.​ ​For some this is a minor inconvenience, for others, a major disruption if not a potential personal catastrophe.​ ​

As of this writing (Tuesday), it’s too early to make a final judgment. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that many Con Edison customers have been underwhelmed by the company’s storm response so far.

After the dust settles, Con Edison’s handling of the storm must be carefully reviewed. If ​further analysis show​s​ Con Ed to have failed ratepayers,​ ​we must work with our colleagues in government to ensure​ ​our utilities are​ ​held accountable and are made to do better.

Ann Gallelli: Winter Storm Reilly Response

ann2016To the Editor,

Now that the storms are over, I would like to offer my perspective from the point of view of a Board member who was also present during the emergency response for the Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy storms.

First, however, I would like to offer kudos to our DPW workers, Police, Fire and EMS personnel who were always on top of the situations as they developed and smoothed the way for the utility repair and restoration crews. Equally worthy of praise is the administrative staff who answered calls and directed information to the right people. Our communications with the residents was hugely improved over that of prior storms. Regular progress reports, including honesty about our expectations, were refreshing and reassuring, if not exactly what we wanted to hear at the time. Our use of social media to reach out and respond was timely and responsive.

Then there was the ConEd response, leaving much to be desired. As a person who also sat in on the daily ConEd calls in the prior mentioned storms, I was more than disappointed in the information being provided to municipalities. Much of it was vague, unresponsive, contradictory and, seemingly meant to keep people happy rather than telling the real story.

After all that was supposedly “learned” from the prior storms, nothing really changed; maybe got worse. ConEd reps on the calls often seemed in disarray. One very big exception to this was the ConEd liaison who was assigned to the Village, Noelle Umbro. She was a constant presence in the office throughout, regularly communicating with the ConEd crews, directing them to our critical areas, following up on completion, and requesting resources for specific trouble areas. Despite her efforts, she was similarly stymied by the confusion and lack of communication within the ConEd organization.

It is hard to understand how, after considerable experience in dealing with storms like this one, ConEd seemingly hasn’t figured out a responsible response plan. They were unprepared.

Ann Gallelli

Brian Pugh: An Affordable Future

​To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The Village Board of Trustees work session discussed a proposed affordable housing law modeled on the County’s model housing ordinance. The proposal we discussed was an outgrowth of a similar work session conducted in 2016 with the previous board majority.

Under the proposed local law, all residential developments of ten or more units created by subdivision or site plan approval at least 10% of the total number of units would have to be affordable units.

The proposed law would consider a rental unit to be affordable if the annual housing cost of the unit does not exceed 30% of the income of a household earning 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). A for-purchase housing unit would be affordable if the annual housing cost does not exceed 33% of the income of a household earning 80% AMI.

Area Median Income (AMI) for Westchester is defined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is adjusted by family size. Under the 2017 HUD Income Guidelines for Westchester County, 60% of Area Median Income for a one-person household would be $46,800 (with a maximum monthly housing cost of $1,170) and $60,180 for a three-person household (with a maximum rent of $1,504).

Municipalities around the county have adopted affordable housing laws based on the model ordinance. This includes the following Villages, all of whom have had such a law since at least 2013: Ardsley, Hastings, Irvington, Pleasantville, Rye Brook and Scarsdale.

The proposed legislation is not final and there are many steps to go to its adoption (including the scheduling of a public hearing, the holding of a public hearing, etc.). The model ordinance, which would only cover new construction and only projects involving subdivision or site plan approval, may have only a modest impact on our largely mature housing market.

But if we fail to act we will have foreclosed on an affordable future for many Croton families.