Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 590

Dear neighbor, Here is the 590th 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 1, 2022 

 Meeting of the Village Board of Trustees

In the Georgianna Grant room

Stanley Kellerhouse Municipal Building

7:00 pm

.  

CORRESPONDENCE:

  1. Memo from Village Manager BryanHealy regarding an update on the Merwin Oak.  Manager Healy describes the efforts being made to direct pieces of the Merwin Oakto various Village locations and use them for various commemorative purposes.
  2. Letter from Annie Mykyta, Village resident, formally requesting removal of the property at 1 Alexander lane from the Ossining Sanitary Sewer District. Ms. Mykyta states that the nearest sanitary sewer main is more than 200 feet from her property line.
  3. Email from Copernicus Crane, Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Relations for Westchester County, regarding upcoming public engagement sessions on bus mobility in Westchester County.  The County is seeking better ways to increase the mobility network including the Bee Line Bus system. Four information sessions are being held via zoom.  The times and dates are available on the Village agenda the Villages website.
  4. Compilation of energy date from municipal buildings for 2021 in accordance with the Village’s Benchmarking policy.  The report compares electric use, natural gas and heating oil use at various municipal buildings from2020 and 2021.
  5. Letter fromJohn Munson, President\Secretary of the Croton Fire Council, regarding a proposal to change residency requirements for the positions of Chief, First Assistant Chief, and Second Assistant Chief of the Croton Volunteer Fire Department.  In an effort to increase recruitment and retention in the Department, the proposal would allow candidates to reside in adjacent Towns of Cortlandt, New Castle, Ossining and Yorktown to seek the positions of Chief mentioned above. Currently they must reside in the Village or the Mount Airy\Quaker Bridge fire protection district.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

  1. Consider scheduling a Public Hearing on Monday, August 15, 2022 at 7 pm to consider the issuance of a special permit for a 29-unit multi-family development at 1380 Albany Post Road.  The proposal was referred to the Planning Board which gave a favorable recommendation.  
  2. Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute the Memorandum of Understanding between the Housing Action Council (HAC) and the Village of Croton for work under the Housing Technical assistance Program.  The following services will be provided to the Village: 1} provide recommendations for the adoption of an Overlay Affordable Housing Zone, and 2} explore the preliminary feasibility of developing affordable housing on lots owned by the Village through participation in the Fall 2022 Land Use Leadership Alliance Training Program with identified leaders form the Croton Housing Task Force, municipality, Croton Housing Network, and others as may be appropriate. 
  3. Consider amending the Master Fee Schedule to establish vendor fees for the 2022 Fall Festival.  New fees specifically for this event are being put in place.
  4. Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to close capital accounts associated with various projects,reclassify $50,000 fromProject 20372 to Project 21383, and close and deposit an encumbrance of $13,204.22 into the General Fund.  Several capital projects have been completed and this authorizes the associated accounts.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 589

Dear neighbor, Here is the 589th 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 – July 11,  2022 

Work Session of the Village Board

7:00 pm

Georgianna Grant Room

Municipal Building

1.      Review of proposal from Homeland Towers, LLC, to erect a telecommunications tower on Village property at 230 Hessian Hills Road.    The proposal is to build a tower that would enable co-location of multiple wireless tenants. This avoids tower proliferation and minimizes the impact on the surrounding environment. The Village would license co-locators and receive income from them.

2.       Evaluation of current Accessory Apartment Law in relation to Westchester County Model Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance.  The Objective of the County Model Ordinance is to 

a. Create new housing units while respecting the look and scale of single-dwelling development; 

b. Support more efficient use of existing housing stock and infrastructure; 

c. Offer environmentally friendly housing choices with less average space per person and smaller associated carbon footprints; 

d. Provide housing that responds to changing family needs, smaller households, and increasing housing costs; and e. Provide accessible housing for seniors and persons with disabilities

The Board will discuss this in the context of the Croton’s Housing Task Force report and the Village’s existing zoning regulations.

3.      Continued discussion on establishing the Village’s food scrap recycling program. The Village is proposing to provide an easy way for residents to compost food waste by providing an easily accessible drop-off site, maintained by the DPW.  This proposal is for a 6-month Pilot program and would seek 40-50 families to participate.

4.      Update on Park Maintenance Items.    The Manager will address concerns regarding goose droppings at Senasqua Park and algae at Kaplan’s Pond and the Duck Pond.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 587

Dear neighbor, Here is the 587th 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 – June 21, 2022

 Meeting of the Village Board of Trustees

In the Georgianna Grant room

Stanley Kellerhouse Municipal Building

7:00 pm

Note:  This meeting is on TUESDAY

  

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

a.       Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 8 of 2022 to amend various Chapters of the Village Code to update provisions related to fees.     This amends the Village Code to require that the amount of certain license fees and permit extension fees be set by resolution of the Village Board. 

b.      Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 9 of 2022 to amend Chapter 204, Taxation, of the Village Code to institute the volunteer firefighter and EMS tax exemption – Not being held.   The proposal was determined to be in conflict with NYS code regarding County population.  

CORRESPONDENCE:

a.      Letters from NYS Department of State and Westchester County Dept. of Planning requesting LWRP Consistency Review for the Grant Street Retaining Wall project.  The Village has received CBDG funding for the Grand Street wall replacement project.  The County is notifying the State and Village that a Consistency Review with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program needs to be completed.  

b.      Letter from Croton Fire Council President John Munson noting Membership Changes in the Croton Fire Department.  Chief Munson is noticing the Village on changes in the current membership of the Fire Department as is required.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

a.      Consider scheduling a public hearing on the special permit renewal application from T-Mobile for the wireless facility at 1 Van Wyck Street for Tuesday, July 5, at 7 PM at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building.  The original special permit dates from 2007.  It has since been renewed twice.  Renewal requires a public hearing be held.

b.      Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to reallocate the alarm permit revenue in the 2022-2023 General Fund Budget.  This simply changes the department in which the alarm permit monies are processed and allocated in the budget.

c.       Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to close certain capital accounts associated with various projects.  These projects are deemed completed and the capital accounts for them will be closed.

d.      Consider adopting the Street Vendor License Policy as previously amended.   As last amended, this policy allowed for more licenses per location and an earlier start time for each vendor with a sunset date of June 2022.  This resolution would re-adopt it as previously amended.

e.       Consider authorizing the issuance of $30,000 in bonds to cover the cost of purchasing a License Plate Reader system for the Police Department.  The purchase of the License Plate Reader was considered by the Board after the Police Department budget proceedings had concluded.

f.        Consider adopting the Social Media and Email Blast Policy as amended.   The only substantial change to the policy is to allow the publicization of Village-sponsored events within the weekly Croton Community Calendar.

g.      Consider scheduling a public hearing on the adoption of Local Law Introductory No. 10 of 2022 to amend Chapter 135, Garbage, Rubbish and Littering, of the Village Code to detail the billing and appeals processes for excess garbage and rubbish for Tuesday, July 5, at 7 PM at the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building.  This sets a public hearing date for the proposed code amendment as described.

h.      Consider adopting EAF Parts 2 and 3 Determination of Significance attached hereto, adopting a Negative Declaration under SEQRA and a statement of consistency with the Village’s LWRP in connection with adopting Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2022 as drafted for such purposes.    This pertains to the adoption of the NYStretch Energy Code. The Board previously reviewed the EAF and performed a Consistency Review with the Village’s LWRP at its last meeting.  Having found both to be acceptable, this resolution formalizes that determination.

i.        Consider the adoption of Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2022 to amend Chapter 86, Building Construction, of the Village Code to adopt the NYStretch Energy Code.  If adopted, the NYS Stretch Energy  building code would become part of the Village’s code.

j.        Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to make FY22 Year End Budget Transfers in the General Fund, Water Fund and Sewer Fund.  This is budget housekeeping in advance of the upcoming on-site audit.

k.      Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a revised Memorandum of Understanding with Sustainable Westchester to participate in the upcoming ESA with Westchester Power.  Due to the volatility of the current energy market, Sustainable Westchester has been unable to come to terms on a successor agreement at this time. Sustainable Westchester has provided the Village with an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reflecting a pause in the program and anticipated restart date of November 1, 2022,

l.        Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute the amended memorandum of understanding with Historic Hudson Valley in relation to the Van Cortlandt Manor Entrance Project and approving the form of contract as presented for such project.  In its role as Municipal Sponsor of this project since 2009, (the Village is the pass through for the federal money) the Village is approving the proposed contract for the entrance project. 

Len Simon: Washington Engine Co. To Get Solar Roof

Dear Neighbors:
Big changes are coming to the top of Croton’s Washington Engine Company firehouse– the roof, that is!
Installing solar arrays on our Village-owned property is a good way for us to reduce our electric bills, while at the same time cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. And with rising electric utility rates, now’s the smart time to do it.
We are very proud of the solar roof at our Department of Public Works (DPW) building installed two years ago. And we’ll soon welcome a new solar array at the Croton-Harmon Train Station parking lot, where installation will begin this fall. Now we are very pleased that our next public solar project will be on the rooftop of the Washington Engine Company at 81 North Riverside.
On Monday evening our Board of Trustees authorized the Village Manager to award a contract for $100,526 to the Croton Energy Group (CEG) for this project. CEG will be responsible for design, engineering, permitting, installation, testing, operation, maintenance, repair and management of the solar system. The rooftop array will generate 42.166 kWh, and save $4,589 in electric costs in year one, and an estimated $200,109 over the project’s 30 year life. All the energy generated by the solar system will be used by the Village. The Village’s Request for Proposal and the response from CEG can be viewed on our June 6th Board Agenda at https://play.champds.com/crotononhudsonny/event/774
The Village has received grant funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to cover the cost of this project. Our Sustainability Committee, chaired by Lindsay Audin, developed the project, worked to obtain the funding from NYSERDA, oversaw the bid process, and, with our DPW Superintendent Frank Balbi, reviewed the bid received. The Sustainability Committee continues to lead Croton towards a better energy future, and we are grateful for their efforts.
The installation of this new solar roof at the Washington Engine Company follows in their tradition of 130 of service to our community. Washington Engine Company President Joe Streany worked very effectively with the Sustainability Committee to make this project possible. And this new solar roof is a good example of the progress within the Department which Fire Chief John Munson encourages and promotes. All of Croton should be appreciative of their leadership.

Solar on the roof of the Washington Engine Company means a brighter day for Croton in so many ways.

Len Simon, Trustee
Village of Croton-on-Hudson

Ann Gallelli: Bringing The Past Alive

At its meeting of June 6, the Board of Trustees made a decision on the utilization of a trust fund that was established in the 1999 Special Permit for the Hudson National Golf Course.  As a condition of the 1999 Special Permit, and as a mitigation for possible damage to an archeological site in the vicinity of the Prickly Pear Hill dam. Hudson National provided a contribution of $10,000 for “use in furthering the study and understanding of the prehistory of the Village.”

It further stipulated that one or more of the following organizations be involved in furthering the study and understanding of the prehistory of the Village: the Croton-on-Hudson Historical Society, the Croton Free Library, the Croton-Harmon School District, and the Louis A. Brennan Lower Hudson Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association.  

At an earlier Board meeting it was agreed to ask the Croton Historical Society to make a proposal for the use of these funds.  In a letter to the Village Board from Croton Historian Marc Cheshire, the Society proposed that in conjunction with the Louis A. Brennan Chapter of the NYS Archeological Society they would like to apply for the entire $10,000 to produce a short documentary film about the Munsee Lenape people who occupied Croton Point and a related exhibit of artifacts at the Croton Point Nature Center. 

The film would premiere at the Croton Free Library and then be posted on YouTube, where it would be available to current and future generations of Croton residents, and anyone interested in Native American history and culture. The exhibit would coincide with the premiere of the film.

This proposal was unanimously agreed to by the Board as being an excellent use for the funds.  When completed this project should make an excellent addition to our knowledge and understanding of the early history of our area.  I look forward to seeing the exhibit and the documentary in the future.

Ann Gallelli, Trustee

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 585

Dear neighbor, Here is the 585th 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 – June 6, 2022 

 Meeting of the Village Board of Trustees

In the Georgianna Grant room

Stanley Kellerhouse Municipal Building

7:00 pm

  

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

1.      Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 6 of 2022 to amend Chapter 223, Water, of the Village Code to update procedures regarding water service connections and meter installation and charges.   The proposed amendment clarifies that the fees are set by the Board of Trustees.  It calls for a fee on unmetered fire hydrants on private property, and it also clarifies fees for replacement of Radio Interface Monitors.

2.      Public Hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 7 of 2022 to amend Chapter 86, Building Construction, of the Village Code to institute the NYStretch Energy Code.  The Board will entertain comments on adopting the NYS Stretch Code as part of its building code.  The proposed code results in more energy efficient construction outcomes.

LWRP Consistency Review and EAF Part II Review for Local Law Introductory 7 of 2022.  The Board of Trustees must make a determination of Consistency of the proposed action (adoption of the Stretch Code) with the Village’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The SEQRA EAF part 2 form must also be completed by the Board.

CORRESPONDENCE:

1.      Letter from Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer Requesting Building Permit Extension for 1250 Albany Post Rd.  The applicant states that completion of the building has been delayed by COVID, construction worker and material shortages.  The Engineer recommends an extension to December 2022.

2.      Letter from the Croton Historical Society requesting use of the Archeological Mitigation Funds.   The $10,000 funds have been held in trust since the Hudson National Golf Course approval in the late 1990’s.   The Croton Historical Society and the Louis A. Brennan, Lower Hudson Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association (based at the Croton Point Nature Center) would like to apply for the entire $10,000 to produce a short documentary film about the Munsee Lenape people who occupied Croton Point and a related exhibit of artifacts at the Croton Point Nature Center.

3.      Letter from Laurel Mooney of M&B Towers requesting a lease amendment to the existing cell tower located along Veterans Plaza.  The amended lease would provide for a small addition to the current site (about 12’ by 10’) which would allow additional users.  The monthly additional rental would be $200.

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

1.      Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute the No-Cost Time Extension Agreement with the New York State Dept. of Transportation for the period ending September 30, 2023, for the Van Cortlandt Manor Entrance Improvement Project. The Village has been the municipal sponsor with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for the Van Cortlandt Manor Entrance Improvement Project;  This reauthorizes the agreement for another year.

2.      Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute an agreement with the Mid-Hudson Ambulance District for supplemental EMT services for the period of June 1, 2022, through May 31, 2023.  The MHAD has provided an agreement to continue providing supplemental EMT services to the Croton EMS at a rate of $26.00 per hour for one year.

3.      Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2022-2023 General Fund and Water Fund budgets in relation to the Teamsters Local 456 labor agreement.   This moves previously budgeted money from the Contingency Fund to the General Fund and Water budgets.

4.      Consider authorizing the Village Manager to award the Washington Engine Solar Rooftop Project RFP to Croton Energy Group in the amount of $100,526.  The costs of this project are to be funded by NYSERDA and reflect the work of the Village’s Sustainability Committee and the DPW Superintendent and Village Engineer.

Sherry Horowitz: Welcome Back Summerfest This Sunday!

Dear Crotonites,

I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to attend Summerfest, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson’s community festival, on Sunday, June 5th, from 1 – 6:00 in the Upper Village!

This will be the 34th annual Summerfest, and the first since the pandemic began in March of 2020. 

The festival will begin with a parade at 12:45, from Veterans Corner to the Dummy Light. Members of many Village organizations will be marching; kids, Seniors, and lots of folks in between.

The Upper Village streets will be open for pedestrians only, and about  80 vendors are expected to participate. There will be several eateries and food trucks present for food and drink options.  Community organizations, Village departments and Committees, Croton-Harmon School groups will be present as well as local businesses selling clothing, books, jewelry, furniture, fine art and more. There will be two music stages on both sides of Grand Street; one in front of the Holy Name of Mary Church and one in the parking lot next to the Berkshire Hathaway/River Towns Real Estate office. Music will be provided by Without a Net, Blue Chips and Dos Belos, and hopefully there will be dancing in the street!

Please come and join us as we reconnect with friends and neighbors we may have missed these past few years! And help us celebrate Croton, the Village we know and love!

Sherry Horowitz, Village Board Trustee, Croton-on-Hudson

Len Simon: Croton Stands With Ukraine

Dear Neighbors:

 As a member of  Croton’s Rotary Club and its Board of Trustees,  I was so proud – but not at all surprised –  to see our community rise up for Rotary’s Candlelight Vigil for Ukraine the evening of May 19th  at Vassallo Park. 

 JFK told us “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”.   The Vigil was Croton trying to make that difference for the people of Ukraine.   As noted by Rotary President Seaver Wang in his remarks that night, the funds raised by the Vigil are going to vital humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.  

 The Vigil received great support from Croton’s faith community, including overall guidance from Regina Montana from Holy Name of Mary, a beautiful Invocation  by Rev. Jennifer Owens  of  St. Augustine Episcopal Church, and an  uplifting Benediction from  Rabbi Jennifer Jaech of Temple Israel of Northern Westchester.

  The program was informative and inspirational, lifting  the spirits of all who attended.  Croton Mayor  Brian Pugh discussed why it is so important that Croton stand up for and help Ukraine.  Catherine Borgia, Chairwoman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators,  conveyed the significance of everyone in the County  doing what we each can for Ukraine. 

  The Vigil was moved by superb presentations from representative of the Ukrainian community – Dr. Orest Kozicky, MD, and businessman Andrew Horbachevsky,  both of whom  have deep family roots in Ukraine and are  leaders among the Ukrainian people in Westchester. St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church of Yonkers helped to arrange their participation. In their remarks, they enhanced our understanding of the Ukrainian crisis, thanked us for our efforts, and urged us to continue to take a moral stand for Ukraine.

   Croton is grateful to count among our residents Mr. Bohdan Balaban, who was born in Ukraine and fled from there during World War II.   Bo graced our Vigil with beautiful renditions of the National Anthem of Ukraine, the protest song “This Is My Song”, and “God Bless America”. 

Croton Harmon High School had a major role in the Vigil.  Student Audrey Callaway led the Pledge of Allegiance. The CHHS String Quartet, directed by faculty member  Sara O’Brien, and including students Grey Freebern, William Sudnik,  Falynn Tisinger,  and  Noah Tsau,  performed  Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.  Impressive remarks were made on behalf of the CHHS Student Faculty Congress and Model UN by Shoshanna Daly, Molly Levitt,  and  Hanna Ranis. And the CHHS Chorus, including Gwen Labbate, Olivia Sendlenski, Madison Niki, Khadia Abam-DePass, Isabella Hope, and  Joelle Kurie, sang “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks which has special meaning  for today’s Ukranian struggle. 

   Along with President Wang, Rotary leaders including incoming-President Janeen Volante, Cynthia Lippolis, Mark Franzoso  Laurie Dean, Dan Delaney, and Barry Werbin,  who ended the Vigil with a lovely rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine , were instrumental to the Vigil success.

   Croton is a small community that often achieves big. The Rotary Candlelight Vigil for Ukraine was a good example of one of Croton doing just that.

Len Simon, Trustee

Village of Croton on Hudson

Ann Gallelli: Croton-on-Hudson Adopts Zoning Code Amendment Re: Cannabis Dispensaries

Dear Neighbors,

At the Board of Trustees meeting  of May 16th, the Board completed action on its proposed zoning amendment pertaining to the sale of cannabis within the Village.  

New York State law now allows the sale of cannabis.  The NYS law includes many restrictions on stores selling cannabis including restrictions on the location of any such dispensary.  Under the NYS law, a retail cannabis shop cannot be within 500 ft of school grounds (this includes nursery schools) and 200 ft of Houses of Worship.  In the Village, this restriction precludes a large swath of our business areas from being locations for cannabis dispensaries.

The Village Board approved an amendment to our zoning code which adds a further restriction that prohibits a cannabis store from locating within 500 ft of an existing cannabis dispensary.  This zoning prohibition applies to all the Village’s Commercially zoned areas.  

Ann Gallelli, Deputy Mayor

Len Simon: Upcoming Public Hearings

Dear Neighbors:


June is a special month for many reasons. It’s when we begin our great summer season in earnest. And, of course, many organizations and causes mark June as their month to honor and celebrate their priorities. But here at home this year we can call June “Croton Public Hearings Month” – we have four of them scheduled and hope we’ll hear from everyone who is interested in these topics.
Two hearings will be held on June 6th. The first is on modifications on setting the fees for water service connections, property owners with unmetered private fire hydrants and the installation, regulation and fees for water meters.

Our second hearing that night will focus on the NYStretch Energy Code, which could yield, if adopted, significant energy and utility cost savings for homeowners, tenants, renters and building owners, as well as a reduced impact on our environment.

On June 21 we’ll have two more public hearings. The first would update certain fee provisions including those related to building permits, games of chance, filming in the Village, and sales of goods and merchandise.

Finally, that evening, we’ll also have a hearing on adopting New York State law to update and improve Village tax benefits for firefighters and adding our EMS volunteers to eligibility for those benefits.

Information and background materials for all of these hearings can be found in the agenda for our Board meeting held this past Monday night at https://play.champds.com/crotononhudsonny/event/770. All hearings will be at 7PM in the Georgianna Grant Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building.

Let us know what you think about these issues at the public hearings. On behalf of my Board colleagues and our Village staff, we look forward to seeing and hearing from you!

Len Simon, Trustee
Village of Croton-on-Hudson