Brian Pugh: Summer jobs with the Village of Croton!

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The Recreation Dept. and Dept. of Public Works for the Village of Croton is still accepting applications for temporary summer employment. Opportunities include working as camp counselors, gate guards and park laborers.

These temporary positions represent a chance to build work experience and earn some money.  Not so long ago, I was among the Village’s seasonal employees for a few summers during college–an experience that’s the source of some of my fondest memories of our Village.

To download a copy of the seasonal employment application, please visit the Village website (crotononhudson-ny.gov) and select the “employment” tab from the homepage (the employment page also contains links for other job opportunities including with other government agencies, private employers in the NYS Department of Labor’s database and calls for apprentices).

For more information, please contact the Recreation office at 271-3006 or DPW at 271-3775.

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Cooperation makes it happen!

To the Editor,ann2016

In the past two weeks, a problem with a drainage culvert on Albany Post Road was corrected.  While this may seem like a routine maintenance project, it is notable in that it resulted from cooperation and coordination between the Village’s DPW and the NYS DOT.  

In response to resident concerns about regular flooding on Albany Post Road following heavy rain, the Village Engineering Office reached out to the NYSDOT as Albany Post Road is a NYS road.  After examining the situation and extensive back and forth on whose responsibility it was, the Village DPW and the DOT were able to work together to solve the problem.

With input from our General foreman, the DPW came up with a workable solution. The DPW removed obstructions in the culvert and improved its flow.  They also added a new overflow pipe into an upstream pond. This all will reduce the potential for future flooding in this area.

For their part, the NYSDOT provided traffic protection, concrete protective barriers, the cover for the new drainage structure, and the final paving of the area.

Cooperation with other agencies in solving problems is a cost-effective way of sharing expertise, equipment, and manpower.  In this case, all who live or ride on Albany Post Road (Route 9A) in our Village will benefit. It is an example of how we all benefit from working together.   I hope we will see more of this continuing into the future.

 

Ann Gallelli, Deputy Mayor

 

Andy Simmons: Plant-a-Tree

To the Editor:simmons

Trees add shade, beauty, and value to home properties, and Croton is rightly proud of its beautiful foliage. But disease and storms have reduced the number of trees in Croton. That’s why the village is happy to announce its Plant-a-Tree program. Funding has been included in the upcoming budget to purchase new trees for residents to plant on their lawns. The trees will be provided, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis to homeowners in locations where street trees have been removed or are missing. With advice from arborists, applicants will be able to choose one of six preselected species. Planting must occur within five to ten feet of the sidewalk/street, and each applicant must agree to provide care for the tree as needed. To apply for this program, please visit the Village website and click on “Online Forms”. The application period will open May 15 and continue until June 30 or when all the trees are claimed. For more information, please contact the Village Manager’s office at 271-4848 or managersoffice@crotononhudson-ny.gov.

Andy Simmons

The writer is a Village Trustee

Rick Olver: Does Croton need a ‘state of the art’ PD HQ?

Image result for rick olverPeople ask me why we need a ‘state of the art’ police headquarters in Croton.  I tell them that we don’t and couldn’t afford one.  What we must have is a space that is adequate for our police to perform their primary functions and meet new state legal requirements.
The current space in the municipal building makes it hard to mobilize to respond to a major incident. It is also impossible to reconfigure it to separate juveniles, youths and adults, as required by NY’s ‘raise the age’ law. And it requires a dangerous mixing of prisoners and the public.
We are looking at preliminary concepts to expand and renovate police HQ within the Municipal building – the cheapest way to solve these problems.
Sincerely,
Richard Olver
Croton Village Trustee

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 450

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 450th 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 13, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

NOTE:  Although the meeting convenes at 7:30 pm. The Board will likely go into Executive Session for approximately an hour.  The open meeting will begin at 8:30 pm.

 

1.      It is anticipated that the Board will enter into executive session to discuss a matter regarding public safety. 

2.      Discussion on the consideration of transferring Firefighter’s Field to the Croton-Harmon School District.  The Village-owned field is used extensively by CHHS  teams for softball.  Discussions about transferring ownership to the schools have been undertaken. Such a change would result in the district taking over responsibility for maintenance. 

3.      Discussion on the formation of a Humanities and Arts Council.  The Board will consider forming a volunteer council that would promote interest and participation in arts and humanities.  The proposed council would work in coordination with Village staff.  It is proposed to be a 7-member council with two-year terms for members and a Chair appointed by the Mayor with Board approval.  Annually, in December, the council would provide a report to the Board of Trustees summarizing its activities of the previous twelve months.

Ann Gallelli: Croton’s Rich Community Life

To the Editor,ann2016

What a weekend it was! Take Back the Night, organized by Croton-Harmon High school Sophomore girls, started it off with their second annual march and rally on the important topic of ending sexual violence.  

Croton’s Earth Day in Vassallo on Saturday had great new booths and vendors. Music during the day was terrific and it was wonderful to see so many families stopping by and taking part in the activities.  Once again the Croton Conservation Advisory Council put together a day of fun, information and neighborliness. And the sun came out….. The CCAC must have some great connections.

At Croton Commons, the Coalition Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse sponsored their twice-yearly Take Back Your Drugs day.  It really seems like residents are more and more conscious of the need to properly dispose of their unused drugs. Supported by our Croton Police and Coalition volunteers, the drugs were accepted and sealed for security. Information was disseminated and goodies for kids were distributed.   A steady stream of contributors came by all day. With so many boxes filled up, the pickup by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration needed to make a second trip.

A wonderful new store opened in Harmon featuring colorful balloons and lots of fun and decorations for future parties and occasions.  A very colorful opening indeed.

A multi-school all-female track and field meet was also going on at Spencer field and the Junior Prom capped off a big day.

I hope that everyone who attended any one or more of these events (and I know there were others too), enjoyed the same sense of community as I did.  And this is just the beginning of the summer season! Looking ahead we have Summerfest, a popup market, summer movies, concerts and entertainment nights, a new walkway along the Hudson Riverfront, Kite Day, and much more.  Let’s enjoy these community opportunities and enjoy each other this summer.

 

Ann Gallelli

 

Brian Pugh: Croton’s strong grassroots

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

Last weekend was a whirlwind of community action in the Village of Croton that included the Croton Community Blood Drive, our Village celebration of Earth Day and I Love My Park Day organized by Friends of the Croton Aqueduct. It was so impressive to see people from across the Village join together and work to improve our community.
The dedicated volunteers that made all of this possible are too numerous to mention by name. But they all deserve our appreciation. Just as importantly, they should serve as a source of inspiration.
I’m so grateful to be part of a Village with such community spirit and such a thriving civil society.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 449

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 449th 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 6, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

 

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER:

  1. Presentation of Proclamation to the family of Mayor Roland Bogardus.  The Village Board has been in the process of arranging a presentation to former Mayor Bogardus over the past two months. Unfortunately, Mayor Bogardus passed away before it could occur. The presentation proclamation recognizes Mayor Bogardus’ time in office as Mayor from 1983 to 1989 and as a Trustee prior to that time.
  2. Review of the Environment Assessment Form Part II and the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program policies by the Village Board to determine consistency related to Introductory Local Law No. 5 on Zoning Law changes.  The Board must review the SEQRA documents as well as the LWRP’s Consistency Review criteria regarding the proposed amendment to the C-2 zoning district which would permit day care facilities by special permit.

 

CORRESPONDENCE:  None

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider scheduling a public hearing for Monday, May 20, at 8 PM, in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to adopt Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2019 to amend Section 230-17 of the Zoning Chapter of the Village Code to permit day-care uses by special permit in the C-2 Zoning District.  The Public Hearing is for the proposed amendment to the C-2 zoning district to permit daycare facilities by special permit.
  2. Consider authorizing the Mayor to execute the Sponsor Authorization Form for the Croton-on-Hudson Fire Department Length of Service Award Program for 2018.  This authorization is required annually to continue the Fire Service Award program.
  3. Consider scheduling a public hearing for Monday, May 20, at 8 PM, in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building to adopt Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2019 to amend Section 230-61 of the Zoning Chapter of the Village Code to revise the deadline for mailing of public notices.   The proposed change would reduce the time deadline from 15 days to 10 days for Special Permits.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the amount of $6,735.00 for Fire Department costs.  This is for a power hose roller that would reduce or prevent back injuries for fire fighters.  A grant of $1800 from the workers’ compensation agency covers a portion of the $8,535 total cost.  The remainder would be moved from Contingency.
  5. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2018-2019 General Fund Budget in the amount of $1,632.48 for monies received from insurance recovery.  The insurance recovery was from the insurance company of a motorist who hit and damaged a street light.
  6. Consider authorizing the purchase of one Lo-Boy dump truck cab and chassis in the amount of $49,468 from fund balance as appropriated in the 2019-2020 Capital Fund Budget.  This piece of equipment would normally be ordered in the fall and become available 3 to 4 months afterwards.  The current piece of equipment which would be replaced is now out of service.  DPW Superintendent has requested that the dump truck portion of the equipment be replaced now so it will be available when needed in the fall.  The amount is $49,468 for the truck portion.  Additional equipment including plowing equipment will need to be ordered in the near future for a total combined cost of $70,000.

Brian Pugh: Croton–An NYS Certified Clean Energy Community & More!

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

As we look back on the national celebration of Earth Day on April 22 and forward to our Village’s Earth Day Celebration on May 4, I think it’s appropriate to reflect on the work being done by the Village of Croton to honor the classic adage about thinking globally and acting locally.

I’m very proud that our Village was designated a Clean Energy Community by the Department of Environmental Conservation. As a leader in clean energy, Croton-on-Hudson had already completed many High Impact Action items in its normal course of work prior to the announcement of the Clean Energy Community program, including:

  • LED Street Lights – converted street lights to energy efficient LED technology;
  • Solarize – offered a local solarize campaign to increase the number of solar rooftops;
  • Unified Solar Permit – streamlined the approvals process for solar installations;
  • Energize New York Finance – offered energy upgrade financing to businesses and non-profits.

Since then the Village has:

  • Procured sustainable and cost saving electricity for residents and small businesses through Community Choice Aggregation;
  • Acquired its first electric vehicle, with plans to replace other vehicles in our fleet with EVs through attrition;
  • Enrolled in Sustainable Westchester’s Drive Electric program, giving the Village and residents access to discounts on EVs
  • Launched another Solarize campaign that has added dozens of new solar energy systems to our community;
  • Developed a Living Lighting Laboratory in the Municipal Building to demonstrate energy efficient lighting;

We have also applied for state funding for a pilot food composting program and for electric vehicle charging stations. In the case of the charging stations, we’ve already been awarded the grant and hope to have the EV charging stations added at the municipal building and train station in the next few months.

Many of these projects are grant-funded. In addition, they have the potential to produce long-term savings by reducing energy consumption and reducing the tipping fees for the disposal of solid waste.

The Board is committed to pursuing environmental progress in a manner that is also economically sound and that provides tangible benefits to our community.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Andy Simmons: How does taxation in Croton compare with other communities?

To the Editor:simmons

A recent posting on the Croton United website incorrectly states that we in Croton pay “the highest taxes in Westchester county and therefore the highest taxes in the nation.” The claim is not true. Indeed, according to the State Comptroller there are more than 100 villages in NY with tax rates greater than the Village of Croton.
While the tax rate C.U. cites—$258.40 per $1,000 of assessed value—is technically correct, it does not accurately represent the relationship between a property’s assessed value and its actual value.
First, a brief math class (did I just lose half of you?). Say your property is worth $400,000. Lop off the last three 0s to give you 400 (that’s the per $1,000). Now, multiply that 400 by the stated tax rate: 258.40. Does your calculator read $103,360? If the C.U. web site is to be believed, that’s the village portion of your property tax bill, which is obviously not the case.
Here’s where the confusion lies: Taxing entities differ as to whether their assessment reflects 100% of the property value or some lesser percentage. In Croton, it’s the latter because we haven’t reassessed property values in decades even though property values have gone way up. In fact, it was so long ago that the average property in Croton is still valued at less than $14,000, which it clearly isn’t.
Using the equation from above, if we multiply $258.40 by 14 (remember, it’s per $1,000) we come to $3,617—which is much closer to what we actually pay in taxes.
The state, recognizing that not all municipalities evaluate property the same, created a tax table that puts its villages’s tax rates in perspective. That list shows that there are well over a hundred villages with far higher tax loads than ours, including several here in Westchester.
This is complicated stuff, so it makes sense that there might be some misunderstanding. I hope I’ve helped demystify the tax code a bit.
Andy Simmons
Village Trustee