Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 460

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 460th 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 – September 3, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

 

NOTE:  This meeting is on a Tuesday due to Labor Day Holiday.

 

 

CORRECSPONDENCE:

  1. Email from Toni Senecal Shea, owner of the Croton Tapsmith, requesting use of one parking space on September 8th and every Sunday thereafter to park a pizza oven truck.  Ms. Senecal would like to make this a weekly event which she feels would bring more visibility to the Upper Village area.
  2. Letter from John Petronella, Acting Regional Director of the NYS DEC, regarding state efforts at the Croton River Gorge Unique Area. Mr.Petronella responds to a letter from Manager Janine King regarding steps the Croton River Task Force would like the DEC to take regarding the Unique Area on the Croton River.  He outlines steps the DEC is taking and acknowledges that further steps are likely needed in the future.  He states that the DEC defers to the County Dept. of Health in the matter of water testing.   Results of the testing done by the Village are included in the backup.  The most recent test on August 26  returned results that fall in the normal range.
  3. Email from John Munson, Fire Council Secretary, regarding membership changes in the Croton Fire Department.  Mr. Munson informs the Board of the addition of two Active members and a change of one active member to social membership.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider awarding Bid #4-2019 for concrete curbing at various locations to Con-Tech Construction Technology Inc. of Carmel, New York, in the amount of $297,500.  Curb replacements are needed at various locations prior to schedule re-surfacing of the roads.  New curbs will also be needed as part of the redevelopment of the station parking lot where the former garage was located.  Three bids were received.
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign a contract addendum with Onsolve, LLC (dba Code Red) to add foreign language translation to existing services at a cost of $150 per year.  Onsolve LLC provides the Village with its emergency notification services. This is a new feature offered by Onsolve that was not included in the 2019/2020 Budget.
  3. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2019-20 General Fund Budget in the amount of $39,351 for monies received from Con Edison to resurface roadways.  Con Ed recently did work in the area of Nordica and Truesdale which required restoration of the pavement.  In lieu of Con Ed performing the work, the Village is accepting payment from Con Ed for the restoration work.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the amount of $74,000 to account for the premium received from the 2018 series bond.  The premium is being allocated to various Capital accounts.

 

OTHER: Consider a request from the Village Manager to hold an executive session to discuss matters of real property. 

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Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 459

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 459th 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 –   August 19, 2019

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

a.       Discussion on possible demonstration for the Love’em and Leave’em campaign.  The CAC’s Tree Committee will discuss a possible demonstration of how this can be done on individual lawns.

 

b.      Discussion on proposed Village-Wide Tag Sale event on September 21.   The Village is considering promoting individual tag sales throughout the Village on Saturday September 21 by advertising them and providing a map of the locations of the sales.

 

c.       Review of the results from the Harmon parking survey. A survey was sent to 134 residents of Hastings, Young and Oneida Avenues. 45 surveys were returned.  The survey asked about the residents’ perception of parking issues on their streets.  The Board will discuss the results.

 

d.      Discussion on residential parking permits for streets located near the train station and the Croton River and the steps necessary for implementation.   The Board will consider such parking permits for these streets which require NYS legislative approval.  They will review examples of existing authorizations in multiple cities or villages.

Brian Pugh: Two Local Steps Forward on the Environment

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

Think global and act local has been a guiding principle for the environmental movement for decades. In keeping with this spirit, the Village of Croton adopted two environmental measures at Monday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees: 1) a local law to permit and regulate solar power generation systems and 2) an amendment to the master fee schedule to set a fine of $35 for vehicles idling in excess of three minutes (a violation of the County’s 2008 anti-idling law).

Solar power systems generate electricity without producing greenhouse gases or other air pollution while creating green-collar jobs for installers, and adding to property values for system owners. The local law adopted Monday incorporates solar regulations into the Zoning code and establish standards to empower citizens to use this important alternative energy source. Critically, it allows for and regulates non-rooftop based solar arrays, i.e.: ground-mounted systems and carport solar installations. I look forward to this new law encouraging further local investment in renewable power.

The Board also amended the master fee schedule to set a fine of $35 for violating the County’s anti-idling law. The County law limits the time any motor vehicle in Westchester County may idle to three minutes (while exempting, among others, electric vehicles, emergency vehicles and non-diesel vehicles operating in sub-freezing temperatures).

Discouraging idling, particularly during the summer is important, since automobiles are a major contributor to local air pollution. Westchester County has an F in air quality from the American Lung Association. Under the summer sun, tailpipe emissions sit and cook, worsening air quality and threatening public health-especially for sensitive groups such as people with heart and lung problems, the elderly and children.

Over the past two summers, the Village has sought to encourage compliance with Westchester County’s anti-idling law by educating the public through e-mail blasts, notices in the Village newsletter and by directing police to issue warnings to drivers caught idling. By adding a fine to our fee schedule, we empower our local police to collect a fine (equivalent to a parking ticket) for violating the County anti-idling law to further protect public health and our environment.

At the national level, we’ve seen a wrongheaded campaign driven by a mixture of self-interested industry actors and uninformed idealogues to reverse many hardwon environmental victories and deny the reality of critical environmental problems such as climate change. Our Village Board’s Democratic majority will continue, consistent with the interests and values of our community, to empower residents to take environmentally responsible steps and protect our local habitat.
Sincerely,
Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Progress on Protecting the Hudson

Dear Neighbors,  ann2016

 

Recently the Village Board passed a resolution of support for the passage in the US House of Representatives of  HR.3409. This legislation is the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019. In section 420 of the proposed bill, the establishment of barge anchorages in the Hudson River between New York and Kingston was prohibited.  This prohibition was championed by Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney among others.

The good news is that it was supported by a bipartisan majority of in the House of Representatives and passed.  It has moved on to the US Senate which has not yet taken it up.

Since 2016, when the Coast Guard first began considering opening 10 new barge locations with 43 new anchorage sites in this section of the Hudson River, the Village has been in the forefront of the effort to stop this plan.   The Village, as a member of the Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT) has been active in the fight to stop it. I and three others from HHRT were asked to be part of an official Coast Guard Safety Assessment workshop in 2018. Since then, and as a result of our participation in that workshop, HHRT is involved in more detailed look at current operations in the Hudson River.  Representatives from the Maritime industry and recreational boating are also in this discussion. It remains to be seen how this committee will proceed in the future if the Senate version of HR 3409 is ultimately passed in the US Senate. However, the recent passage in the House of the Coast Guard Appropriations with the anchorage prohibition is a very positive step in the right direction.  

 

Ann Gallelli, Deputy Mayor

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 458

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 458th 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 – August 12, 2019

Regular Meeting of the Village Board

8:00 pm

(Open to Public – Televised)

 

 

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER: Presentation of Certificates of Merit to members of the AYSO United Croton Force soccer team.

 

CORRECSPONDENCE:

  1. Email from John Munson, Fire Council Secretary, regarding membership changes in the Croton Fire Department.  As required,  Mr. Munson, on behalf of the Fire Council, is informing the Board of changes in the membership status of the department.
  2. Letter from Jud Ramaker, Race Director, regarding the 39th Annual Harry Chapin Memorial Run Against Hunger on October 20, 2019.   Mr. Ramaker is informing the Board of the date of the next Run Against Hunger and asking for Village support from various Village departments.
  3. Memo from Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer, requesting an extension of a building permit for 3 Mt. Airy Road.  Village Engineer O’Connor recommends an extension to February 2020.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider adoption of a Negative Declaration for SEQRA purposes in regards to Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2019 to amend the Zoning Chapter of the Village Code to regulate the installation of solar arrays in certain zoning districts.  The Board is Lead Agency on this matter. It reviewed the Environmental Assessment Forms, parts 2 and 3, at its July meeting.  The results of that review is being finalized in this resolution with a Negative Declaration of Significance under SEQRA.
  2. Consider adoption of a finding of consistency with the Village’s LWRP in regards to Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2019 to amend the Zoning Chapter of the Village Code to regulate the installation of solar arrays in certain zoning districts.  The Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program requires a determination of consistency for this action by the Lead Agency.  The Waterfront Advisory Committee has recommended favorably.
  3. Consider adoption of a resolution to acknowledge receipt of the 2019 Justice Court Audit.  As required by law, the Village must formally acknowledge receipt of the court office audit and forward it to the State.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2019-20 General Fund Budget in the amount of $529 for insurance recovery monies.   This is money received from insurance for the replacement of a cracked window at Gouveia Park.
  5. Consider amending the 2019-2020 Master Fee Schedule to set a fine for idling vehicles in excess of three minutes.  In Westchester County, car idling is prohibited for more than three minutes.  This would set a fine in the Village’s Master fee schedule of $250 for an infraction of the idling law.
  6. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation for snow and ice removal services on state roadways for the period beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2024.  NYS pays the Village for snow and ice removal services on certain state roads in the Village.  This agreement extends the contract  until July 2014 and estimates the reimbursement to the Village of  $31,7201.55 for the 2019/2020 season.
  1. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute an agreement with Louis Rinaldi, Inc. of Ossining, New York, for paving services in the amount of $450,000.  Annually, the Village performs paving on Village streets identified as in most need.  Louis Rinaldi Inc. has a paving contract with the Village of Ossining which allows other municipalities to piggyback on it.  The streets identified for paving work include Nordica, part of Truesdale, Cedar Lane, King, Sunset Trail, Riverview Trail and Brook Street.
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2019-20 General Fund and Water Fund budgets in the amount of $100,000 for decreased metered water sales and anticipated increased sales tax revenue.  This lowers the budgeted transfer to the General Fund from the Water Fund by $100,000 based on lower water usage which is expected to continue.  This resolution also increases the revenue in the General Fund by $100,000 from the recently passed increase in Sales tax in Westchester County.  The County has informed the Village to expect its share of the revenue from this tax to increase by $100,000 this year.
  3. Consider amending the 2019-2020 Master Fee Schedule to set vendor fees for the Croton Oktoberfest event.   The Oktoberfest event is schedule for Saturday, October 5 in the Upper Village.  As this is a new event, the Village wishes to set vendor fees for it in the Master Fee schedule.  Fees would be $100 for a general vendor and $200 for a food/beverage vendor.
  4. Consider authorizing the appointment of Corey Velardo to the rank of Police Sergeant as of August 13, 2019, at an annual salary of $130,879.  Chief Harper is recommending Office Velardo be promoted to Sergeant to fill a vacancy caused by a retirement.
  5. Consider authorizing the appointment of John M. Broughal to the position of Police Officer as of August 13, 2019, at an annual salary of $63,049.  Mr. Broughal has been recommended by Chief Harper for one of two vacant positions.

Brian Pugh: Award from Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Reflects Croton’s Commitment to Traffic Safety

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

At the last Board of Trustees meeting for the Village of Croton, it was reported that the Village was awarded additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. The grant will be divided between seat belt enforcement and police traffic Safety enforcement by the Village of Croton’s Police Department.

Due to the good work the CPD accomplished under the grant during the past year, our award amount increased by over 40% this year.

Because of the continuous efforts of our Village staff, especially the Police Department, the Village of Croton also received the Gold Award for Community Traffic Safety last October. The Village was recognized for holding car seat checks, educational programs to facilitate safe driving and maintaining engineering initiatives to promote a safer traffic flow. The Village also received a special commendation for having zero pedestrian fatalities

Safe roads for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is a priority for our Village. Last year, we instituted 25 MPH speed zones in certain areas of the Village along Cleveland Drive, Grand Street and Old Post Road. A new school speed zone was also added on Maple Street by the crosswalk for the Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School.  This year, we commissioned a traffic study for the Upper Village–the results of which will be forthcoming.

The Board of Trustees appreciates all the hard work that has gone in to keeping our streets safe.  We will continue to work with the staff, the citizen volunteers of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee and wider community to continue to identify and manage risks to public safety on our roadways.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Andy Simmons: More on the DPW’s new home

simmons2018Dear Neighbors:

The Village recently asked the County to let our DPW trucks refuel in Croton Point Park. Unfortunately, the county turned down the request. We also reached out to the State to see if we could place the petroleum tanks on state land within the Village. After several months, we still have not received a response.

With no other options, the village board has voted to move the DPW fueling stations to the former skateboard park, located on Riverside and Rt. 129. No one is thrilled with this decision, least of all the board. A little history: Our existing below-ground fuel tanks, currently located at the train station, are close to their life expectancy, so they need to be replaced. If we stayed at the current location, they would not be allowed because the state and county have deemed the train station a Critical Environmental Area, which it wasn’t back when. Most of the available land the Village owns suffers from similar issues, that includes the DPW garage. Hence, the old skateboard park it is.

Although the state owns most of the land surrounding the site, as my colleague Ann Gallelli has stated, we are committed to doing whatever we can to spruce up the area with trees, plantings, maybe even art. If we’re honest, this spot has always been an eyesore. It was an ugly skateboard park, an ugly farmer’s market, and ugly when it sat empty. This is an opportunity to turn a bad situation into a good one.

Andy Simmons, Village Trustee

Brian Pugh: Reviewing Residency Rules for Village Parks

Dear Neighbors:brian-pugh-group-cropped

Under the current Village Code only residents may visit Village of Croton parks (with the exception of Croton Landing Park, Manes Field, and Fireman’s Field).
At the televised July 8th Work Session, the Board of Trustees began discussing adding to the list of parks where the residency requirement does not apply. HOWEVER, the Board is committed to keeping Silver Lake for residents only. Due to Silver Lake’s small size and popularity, the Board and I are in agreement that access to Silver Lake must be limited.
The Board does not make amendments to the Village Code lightly (some local laws have spent years being discussed and revised before adoption). We will engage in a deliberative process before making any changes to the residency rules for village parks.
Before we make any changes regarding the residency requirement, we will first seek the opinion of the Recreation Advisory Committee and relevant Village Departments. Any vote by the Board will only come after a public hearing, which will be duly noticed in these pages.
Brian Pugh, Mayor

Rick Olver: Community Solar Array Coming to Croton

Dear Neighbors:File:Solar energy icon.png

On Monday the Board of Trustees approved an agreement with solar power developer Ecogy Energy to install a 250 kilowatt solar power system on the roof of the Department of Public Works building on Route 129. Ecogy will lease the space on the DPW roof and will be responsible for the installation and operation of the system.
We will benefit from: roof repairs to the DPW building; discounted power to Croton residents; and cash payments to the Village of more than $700,000 over the Lease Term of 25 years. And all at no cost to the Village!
This spring the Sustainability Committee, led by Lindsay Audin, worked with Village staff to issue a Request for Proposals and reviewed the responses.  Ecogy’s proposal was recommended to the Board as providing the greatest value to the Village.

The Sustainability Committee has developed several wonderful projects in the last year – just a few months ago, the Village installed an electric vehicle charging station at the municipal building, thanks to the Committee.  We should all be proud of the work of this volunteer committee in helping us make tangible environmental progress in our community. I look forward to seeing what they will do next!

Rick Olver
Croton Village Trustee

Andy Simmons: Nissan Leaf Discount Program Extended until 9/30/2019!

Dear Neighbors,simmons2018

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the combustion engine. Too dirty, too loud, too many breakable parts, too much gas money handed over to oil companies. That’s why I’m thrilled that Sustainable Westchester and Nissan of New Rochelle have extended the discount program for the 2019 all-electric Nissan Leaf until September 30, 2019. The standard 2019 Leaf costs $32,865. But … with the $5,000 Sustainable Westchester discount, New York State rebate, and federal tax incentives, the total reduction off MSRP can be up to $14,500 making the cost of the car $18,365. That doesn’t include savings over gas guzzlers on oil changes (no need for oil in an EV), lower maintenance costs (a gas car has around 2,000 moving parts, an EV has 20!) and, of course, no need for the weekly pitstop at the gas pump. Plus, Con Ed will pay you—yes, pay you—to charge your car at night. Since most road trips are less than 30 miles, the Nissan Leaf’s 150 miles per charge should be plenty of charge time for the average journey. Croton-on-Hudson is a proud member of Sustainable Westchester, the nonprofit that negotiated the discount. The village has added recharging stations for electric vehicles and is in the midst of adding more. We’ve also begun the task of swapping out old gas guzzlers from our fleet for EV cars. If you’re interested in making Mother Earth greener, go to sustainablewestchester.org for more information.

Andy Simmons

The writer is a Croton-on-Hudson Village Trustee