Brian Pugh: Help Beat The Heatwave With Energy Saving Tips

​​To The Editor:

With the first real heat wave of the summer, it’s worth reviewing what we as individuals can do to reduce energy consumption, avoid blackouts and brownouts and save money.

Keep blinds and curtains drawn to keep your home cool.
Avoid “vampire loads” by unplugging electronics when you are done.
Run major appliances (e.g. washing machines) in off-hours of the morning or evening.

These tips and more can be found on ConEd.com under the “Saving Energy & Money” tab.

If you are interested in a permanent boost to your home’s energy efficiency, please consider participating in the Energize program. When your home is not properly insulated you are wasting energy and money when using air conditioning on a hot day. Join your neighbors in making your home more energy efficient and comfortable. Energize NY​ ​arranges for free or reduced cost Home Energy Assessments, helps homeowners find a​ vetted​ energy efficiency contractor and guides them through the upgrade process.

​The Village has partnered with Energize for many years to help residents cut their energy consumption.​ ​​Energize has prevented ​over ​114,000 tons in CO2 emissions, resulted in annual energy savings of​ more than​ 731,125 kilowatt-hours (the typical US home consumes about 10,800 kWh annually) and saves homeowners millions of dollars a year in energy costs.

​Interested residents can​ learn more about Energize by visiting the Village Sustainability Committee’s website (sustain-croton.org​)​​ or reach out to Energize directly at 914-302-7300 ext. 8102 to discuss getting an energy audit for their home.​

 

Brian Pugh

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Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 409

Dear neighbor, Here is the 409th 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 18, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

 

8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)

 

 

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Memo from Daniel O’Connor, Village Engineer, requesting an extension of a building permit for 3 Mt. Airy Road.  Mr. O’Connor recommends an extension of the permit to August 22, 2018.
  • Memo from Richard Luntz, Planning Board Chairman, regarding special use permit renewal for 365 South Riverside Avenue.  The Planning Board reviewed the renewal application for a special permit (expired in February 2018) for a Motor vehicle Service Station but found that several conditions from the previously issued special permit have not been implemented.  The Planning Board concluded that it cannot make a recommendation on a renewal in light of the lack of completion of the previously issued (but expired) special permit.  It recommends the Village Board direct the applicant to complete the existing requirements before returning to the Planning Board.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign the 2018-2019 Municipal Snow and Ice Agreement Extension with the New York State Department of Transportation. This is funding provided to the Village in the amount of $19,501.40 for snow and ice control on Route 129 and Route 9A.   This is a renewal of the annual agreement for snow and ice removal on the NYS roads in the Village.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an agreement with Virtual Towns and Schools to upgrade the Village website in the amount of $7,500.00.   This work will provide considerable new functionality for the Village’s website, an important source for information about Village government for residents.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign an agreement with Mancon, LLC  for carpentry services for the new DPW garage.  The contract with Mancon, LLC, not to exceed $30,000, will assist in the completion of the interior renovations at the new DPW building by providing skilled labor to assist DPW laborers.
  • Acknowledge receipt of letter from Mr. Ibrahim Jamal, owner of Smoke Town Discount, requesting a renewal of the special permit for his business, refer such application to the Planning Board for review and schedule a public hearing on the special permit renewal for Monday, July 9, at 8:00 PMin the Meeting Room of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building.  The existing special permit for the Smoke Town Discount store was for one year, beginning in July 2017.  Mr. Jamal is requesting a renewal.  The Planning Board review the application and make a recommendation to the Village Board prior to a Public Hearing on the matter on July 9.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to fund the part-time position of Assistant Building Inspector and authorizing the Village Treasurer to transfer $30,000.00 from contingency into the Engineering Department personal services budget line.  The Village Building Dept. is in need of additional help in building inspections so that they are performed on a timely basis.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Manager to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Croton Little League for improvements to Firefighters Memorial Field and David J. Manes Memorial Field.  Croton Little League is proposing to fund improvements to the two fields.  They have submitted proposals from DeRosa Construction for Manes field ($26,500) and Firefighters’ ($34,000).  Work at Manes would be primarily drainage improvements while improvements at Firefighters’ field would include removing infield grass and replacing with clay, clean up of the whole infield, drainage and fence work.

 

 

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 408

Dear neighbor, Here is the 408th 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 11, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

  • Review of Village’s Financial statements by auditor.   Alan Kassey from O’Connor Davies Accountants and Auditors, will present and answer questions on the Villages Financial Audit for fiscal year ending May 31, 2017.

 

    1. Discussion on feasibility of solar canopies at Croton Harmon Train Station.  No backup documentation is included for this topic.

 

  • Discussion on potential ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags in the Village.  The Board was asked to take up this issue by the local Croton Climate Initiative (CCI),  a group of environmentally concerned residents. They note that many communities in Westchester and the metropolitan area have adopted re-useable bag bans and encourage Croton to do so as well..  CCI has been working during the past year on getting support from residents and businesses in the Village.  They are generally following the model set by the Town of New Castle.  The Board Agenda on the Village’s website has links to the various bans enacted by New Castle, Villages of Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Hastings-on-Hudson as well as the City of Rye.
  • Discussion of upcoming Diversion and Inclusion initiatives in the Village.  Trustee Amy Attias has been working with local residents who are interested in developing some initiatives locally to support diversity and inclusion.  These will be described and discussed by the Board.
  • Discussion on the future of the Village Newsletter. No backup is available for this discussion.

 

 Other:

Village-sponsored  Housing event to be held on Wednesday, June 13 at 7:30 at Harmon Firehouse.    The topic of discussion, “What are Croton’s Future Housing Needs?” will be facilitated by Pace University Land Use Law Center.   All residents are encouraged to attend and participate in the breakout charrette sessions.  Light refreshments will be available.

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 407

ann2016Dear neighbor, Here is the 407th 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 4, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

 

8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)

 

 

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Letter from Eliza McCarthy, Chair, Bicycle-Pedestrian Committee, regarding the village speed limit.   Ms. McCarthy, writing on behalf of the Bike Ped Committee, endorses a Village-wide 25 mph speed limit.  She points to studies showing that injuries from a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle lessen when the speed  of impact is reduced to 25 mph from 30mph. 
  • Letter from Dick Nagle, Acting Fire Council Secretary, regarding Croton Fire Department membership changes.   Mr. Nagle is providing notification of resignations of three volunteer firemen and the death of another.  It is a requirement that the Village receive notice of changes in the Fire Department personnel.

 

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  •  Consider authorizing the Village Manager to execute a lease agreement with Asbury United Methodist Church for use of their parking lot for off-street parking for a term beginning June 1, 2018 and continuing until May 31, 2023.   The Village and Asbury Methodist Church have had a parking agreement for many years.  The current 5-year agreement expired in May.  This agreement extends it until 2023 and provides for the Village paying $4,000 annually.  The Village also performs routine  blacktopping, stripping and plowing but is not for responsible for any structural repairs.
  • Consider adoption of the 2018-2019 Bond Resolutions for the purpose of funding the capital budget.  The Board will vote on six resolutions to finance various projects and equipment.  All were previously discussed in recent work sessions on the Capital Budget.   The following items will be voted on:  Ambulance – $204,000 10-year Bond; Demolition of the DPW Garage in parking lot – $255,000 10 year Bond; a 6-Wheel Dump Truck and associated equipment – $249,000 15 year bond; Washington Fire House roof renovation $76,500 25 year Bond (the total cost of this project is $204,000 but $127,500 was previously authorized); DPW Garage renovations – $178,500 25 year Bond, ($510,000 had been previously authorized); and Annual Road Repair – $102,000  Bond Anticipation Note (BAN).
  • Consider awarding bid for office cleaning services to NSI Clean of Middletown, New York, in the amount of $3,276.00 per month.    Seven bids were received with NSI Clean being the lowest.  Superintendent Balbi has recommended that they received the contract.  The contract includes cleaning for the Police Station, Community Room, Gouveia House, DPW offices, Parking Lot  office, and Parking lot Pay kiosks.
  • Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2017-18 General Fund Budget in the amount of $968.18 for monies received from insurance recovery.   This is a budget housekeeping resolution to account for the receipt of money from the insurance company for repairs to a police vehicle that was involved in an accident.
  •  Consider authorizing the Village Treasurer to issue a tax adjustment in the amount of $4,400.62 for the property located at 180 North Riverside Avenue (known on the Village Tax Maps as 67.19-1-7).   The property owner was successful in a tax grievance in the Small Claim Assessment Review (SCAR) court.  The Village would reimburse them in the above amount.

 

 

Brian Pugh: Building for the Future With the 2018-19 Capital Plan

To The Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

At it’s last meeting, the Croton Board of Trustees approved a capital budget that will both provide our Village’s departments with needed equipment and also fund important improvements to our infrastructure, while reducing the Village’s overall debt.

This year’s capital budget includes: the demolition of existing DPW facility and the renovation of the new facility; SCBA equipment replacement for the fire department; the replacement of an Ambulance for our volunteer EMS, $100,000 for general road repairs, sidewalks & curbs; to name a few. A complete accounting of the capital budget is on the Village’s web site.

This year’s capital fund reduces overall Village debt, as more old bonds will be paid-off this year than will be issued by the Village this year. Overall borrowing has also been reduced by using money from the Village’s fund balance (net assets) . Future debt service is reduced by substituting short term Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs), which have a lower interest rate, for longer-term bonds, which have higher interest rates and because of their longer terms, more accumulate interest.

I am proud of the work our Village Board and staff has done to prepare a fiscally sound capital plan. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to balance fiscal responsibility with the need to build for our community’s future.

Sincerely,

Brian Pugh, Mayor

Ann Gallelli & Amy Attias: Working Together for Our Team Sports

To the editor,
At the May 9th Croton Village Board meeting the Croton-Harmon High school Girls’ Softball team were in attendance. They came to speak to us about field conditions at the Village-owned field on which they play – Fireman’s field. A special softball game of the previous week was cancelled due to field conditions.
During their presentation, it became apparent that there is some misunderstanding about field maintenance on fields owned by the Village but used by the school district teams. While the Village does perform turf management and mowing, as well as clay for the diamond, the school system also provides sport-specific work for these fields. When weather affects a field’s condition, both the Village Park Dept. and the School’s maintenance personnel, together, make the call on closing it. This could be to protect the field, to avoid a situation with injury potential, or both. As part of the Village Parks Dept. support of many sports in the village, including baseball, soccer, softball, etc., it maintains all Village-owned fields on a weekly and as-needed basis. This includes Dobbs, Duck Pond, Fireman’s, and Croton Landing Parks.
During the presentation, another issue was raised, that of girls’ teams being less favorably treated than boys’ teams in terms of what fields they play on and the preparation of those fields for the sport being played. In this case the differentiation was that the boys’ teams play on fields that are laid out with turf and dirt according to the desired field conditions of the sport while the fields the girls play on are not up to the sport’s suggested specifications.
Be assured that as the Village’s liaisons to the School District, we will address this issue at the next meeting between the Village and School Board/Administration. To the extent that the field location of various school sports is a School District decision, we urge the team to make this same presentation to the School Board. We take this very seriously.
In the meantime, it is the Village’s responsibility to maintain all our parks and field facilities in the best and safest condition, which we will continue to strive to do.

AnnGallelli
Amy Attias

 

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 406

Dear neighbor, Here is the 406th 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 21, 2018

Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees

 

8:00 pm

(Open to Public  – Televised)

 

PRESENTATION/OTHER: Hon. George Latimer, Westchester County Executive, addresses the Board.

 

PUBLIC HEARING:  Public Hearing to consider Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2018 to authorize a charitable gifts reserve fund tax credit.   As a result of recent NYS legislation allowing the use of charitable fund contributions to be used as a tax credit, municipalities in the state are determining whether to set up the required local  laws and regulations to implement this.  Comments will be received form the public on the proposed local law providing that a property owner making “an unrestricted charitable monetary contribution to the Village’s charitable gifts reserve fund shall be issued a written acknowledgement of such contribution and may claim a credit against their Village real property tax equal to ninety-five (95%) percent of the charitable gifts reserve fund donation.”

 

CORRESPONDENCE:

 

  • Letter from John Buonamano, Croton-Harmon UFSD Athletics, regarding field use. On behalf of the school district, Mr. Buonamano is requesting permission to remove the grass from the infield of the Village-owned Firefighter’s Field in order to provide a field “conducive to the game of softball.”
  • Letter from Thomas Kaplan, Fire Council Secretary, regarding Croton Fire Department membership changes.   As is required, the Fire Council is notifying the Village of changes in its membership roster.
  • Letter from Glenn Simpson, Croton Little League President, regarding banner donations for 2018.  Mr. Simpson enclosed a check for $500 for the field maintenance fund for Dobbs Field.  This was a result of a 2017 agreement between Little League and the Village, that permitted sponsor banners to be sold and displayed on the fence at this field.  Mr. Simpson also reiterates Little League’s commitment to invest $30,000 in improvements to the Duck Pond Park field.

 

 

 

 

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS:

 

  • Authorizing the Village Manager to sign a lease agreement between the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and the Croton Sailing School for a period beginning June 1, 2018 continuing until May 31, 2028.   The current lease agreement between the Village and Steve Jennings, Croton Sailing School owner, expires on May 31, 2018.  The proposed new lease extension, with some modifications, would extend it for another ten years.
  • Authorizing the Village Manager to sign the Grant Disbursement Agreement with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to receive $125,000.00 in funding for the Elliott Way Sidewalk Project.   The Village will receive the $125,000 to be used for the sidewalk project to be constructed along Elliott Way this summer.

 

Adoption of Proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  The proposed one-year Capital Plan calls for $1,837,000 in expenditures for the General Fund.  $700,000 would be bonded, $604,000 from Fund Balance, $345,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) and $87,500 in grants and $100,000 from the Water Fund fund balance.

The resolution also directs the Village Treasurer to bring Bond resolutions for approval to the next Board meeting.

 

  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to make an interfund transfer in the Sewer Fund in the amount of $8,000.00 for the purpose of making repairs to the sewer jet truck.  This is budgetary housekeeping needed to put enough money in to the proper Sewer account from contingency to pay for the needed repair.
  • Authorizing the Village Treasurer to amend the 2017-18 Adopted Budget in the amount of $34,500.00 to reflect under-budgeted revenue in parking permits.  This resolution calls for $34,500 in parking lot revenue to be utilized for new camera equipment for parking enforcement vehicles.
  • Authorizing the establishment of a Charitable Gifts Reserve Fund pursuant to Section 6-u of the New York State General Municipal Law.  Prior to a municipality providing a tax credit for charitable contributions it must create a charitable reserve fund into which contributions can be made.
  • Considering the adoption of Local Law Intro. No. 5 of 2018 to establish a Charitable Gifts Reserve Fund tax credit program in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.  Input from the earlier public hearing as well opinions from Counsel and recent guidance from NYS  will be considered in determining whether to  establish a tax credit program from the charitable reserve fund.

 

 

 

Executive Session:

Request from the Village Manager to enter into an Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter related to a specific individual. If the request is granted, an executive session will be held.

Sherry Horowitz: Community Conversations

May 15, 2018sherry2017

Letter to the Editor

Before I was elected Trustee, I was an early member of the Croton Climate Initiative.  In fact, the major reason I decided to run for a position on the Village Board was to advance Croton along the road to a more environmentally sustainable future.  As a current friend of CCI, I can speak to the herculean efforts of its members to educate Croton residents on the environmental dangers of single use plastic bags and the merit in adopting a Reusable Bag Initiative for our community.  

That being said, I was very gratified to see so many CCI and Mothers Out Front members at the Village Board meeting on Wednesday night, May 9th, to strongly advocate for a Reusable Bag Initiative. The take away for me is that when people are passionate about an issue, when they come together to organize and advocate, they become incredibly powerful agents for change.  Grassroots organizations like CCI and MOF are perfect examples of this kind of people involvement in local affairs. And when elected officials listen to their constituents, and are responsive to their advocacy, there is tremendous potential to make good things happen.

So, thank you all for showing up and speaking up! And please keep on being involved and active in the life of the community we all call home!

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

Ann Gallelli: Decoding Village Agendas No. 405

Dear neighbor, Here is the 405th 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 14, 2018

Work Session of the Village Board

7: 30 p.m.

 (Open to Public and Televised

 

 

  • Review of existing resolution and possible expansion of Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). Chuck Lesnick of New York State Homes and Community Renewal to attend.   In 2003, the Village adopted a resolution to include Bari Manor under the ETPA.  It has 82 units and is the only existing housing covered under ETPA in the Village.  ETPA can be adopted  when there is a declared housing emergency which, by definition, means there is 5% or less vacancy rate of housing.  The ETPA can regulate buildings with 6 or more units.  The number set in the 2003 resolution was 50 units.   The board will discuss whether it should amend that number to a smaller number.    Currently there are just 4 locations with 6 or more units, (2 with 6, 1 with 7, 1 with 32). There are also 2 properties currently designated as Affordable Housing with 12 units each. Chuck Lesnick of NYS Homes and Community Renewal has been invited to attend and answer questions.

 

 

 

  • Discussion on how to move forward with proposed local law on affordable housing and charette scheduled for June 13.  The Village has a proposed local law on affordable housing which has been under discussion for several years in various forms.  The Board is planning to have a charrette ( a facilitated public meeting to discuss an issue or topic) on June 13 to discuss the Village’s needs with regard to housing.  The Board is considering the proposal by the Pace University Land Use Law Center to conduct such a charrette and facilitate the discussion with all interested residents.  It will cover the Village’s goals, needs, choices, existing housing stock, and regulations.  The cost to the Village for this service would be $1,000.

 

Existing affordable housing ordinances for Hastings, New Castle, Pound Ridge, Irvington and Rye Brook can be found on the Village website with the agenda for this meeting.

 

  • Discussion about proposed local law regulating solar installations within the Village.   The proposed local law would regulate  both Ground-Mounted and Large-Scale Solar Energy Systems that provide onsite energy and onsite and offsite energy respectively.
  • Discussion on changes to the existing village soliciting and canvassing laws.   The Village’s existing Solicitation law (Section 172 in the Village Code) is being reviewed.  Proposals made in 2015 have not yet been addressed. The Board will review and discuss current regulations regarding commercial and non-commercial solicitation, currently licensing, and options for residents to choose No Solicitation.

 

 

 

  • Discussion on consideration of Local Law Introductory No. 5 of 2018 to authorize a charitable gifts reserve fund tax credit.  In order to be compliant with the provisions of the charitable contribution provisions of the recently passed NYS Budget, the Village will discuss establishing a Charitable Contributions Reserve Fund.  Property owners would be able to make unrestricted charitable contributions to this fund and would be eligible to a credit  against their property tax of 95% of their contribution.    While the Village is moving ahead to satisfy the provisions of the NYS law, the federal IRS has not yet ruled on this use of a charitable contribution.

 

 

 

  • Discussion on Echo Canoe Launch parking issues.  The Board will discuss some of the parking issues associated with the Canoe Launch site on the Croton River. 

 

 

 

 

  • Review of Proposed Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19.  The prosed one-year Capital Plan calls for $1,737,000 in expenditures for the General Fund.  $800,000 would be bonded, $604,000 from Fund Balance, $245,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes (BANs) and $87,500 in grants. 

 

 

Brian Pugh: Citizen Action Makes It Happen

To The Editor:

brian-pugh-group-cropped

I was born and raised in Croton-on-Hudson and decided to come back here after college. Now, I live on North Riverside Avenue with my wife and enjoy exposing her to the many different sides of Croton that we all love. This past weekend was a prime example of the spirit of what makes Croton so special: our residents care about community and actively participate in community life.

 

On Sunday, residents came together to maintain the breathtaking Croton Gorge Unique Area as part of Love My Parks Day on the Old Croton Aqueduct; they supported the educational aspirations of our students at Croton Yacht Club Scholarship Dinner & Silent Auction; replenished lifesaving blood reserves as part of the Croton Community Blood Drive; supported the fair trade movement at the Plant & Bake Sale at the Holy Name of Mary; and enjoyed the arts at the the Croton Chorale presentation of Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” at Asbury United Methodist Church, and the Spring Photo Show at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Hudson Valley.

 

Later this week, residents will join together to plant new native species at Brinton Brook Sanctuary on Friday, May 11 (6 PM to 8 PM) and learn about the power of solar energy to light our homes, trim our electric bills and protect our environment at the Solarize Croton-Cortlandt Workshop this Saturday, May 12 (10 AM) at the Hendrick-Hudson Free Library.

 

These wonderful community projects are the work of many dozens of people voluntarily joining together to improve our world. I have a deep appreciation for those who step up in big ways and small, because Margaret Mead is right: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

 

Brian Pugh