Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Town Board Work Session

January 29, 2013


1. Senior Club trip money

Two issues were discussed: the need to establish criteria that would allow future senior clubs to be eligible to receive funds from the town to defray the cost of their annual trips, and whether the Jefferson Village Senior Travel Club, which began receiving funds in 2010, should continue to be eligible to receive funds. (Seven clubs are given $2,100 each for travel expenses, and six clubs get an additional $600 for general program expenses.)


Jefferson Village Senior Travel Club (aka Jefferson Owners Foundation)

In 2009, after the Recreation Commission determined that the club did not meet the established criteria, the Town Board overruled the Commission and said the group was eligible for funds beginning in 2010. (It was noted, with some laughter, that 2009 was an election year.) Tony Grasso questioned whether the group should be receiving the funds, stating that the Jefferson Owners Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) group what actually received the funds under  had never been fully established.


Councilman Paganelli said that while the previous Board’s action set a precedent that the current Board could always reverse, the facts haven’t changed since 2009, and he saw no need to set aside the precedent.


Supervisor Grace and the other Board members were satisfied that the club was using the money appropriately and that it simply had to amend its paperwork to reflect the fact that the Town was giving money to the Foundation and not the Travel Club. He also reminded representatives of all the senior clubs that it was their responsibility to provide the Town with the documents the Town needed to determine that the funds were being used appropriately.


New Clubs

Noting that a new senior club was in the process of being formed at St. Patrick’s Church, Gil Kaufmann asked the Board to establish criteria for how and when new clubs could qualify for travel and program funding.  Town Clerk Roker said that criteria already existed but Supervisor Grace said the criteria would be reviewed and written down in order to avoid future problems.


2. Water District Issues

Water meter project

Distribution Superintendent Rambo advised the Board that 400 new meters remain to be installed, in part because of the delay in getting additional meters but also because the remaining property owners have been slow to comply with requests to allow the meter installers into their homes. Councilman Bianco said he had heard from at least one resident that the installers had not shown up for two appointments.


When Mr. Rambo asked the Board to extend the contract for the installer, Councilman Paganelli reminded him that the Board has previously decided that the remaining meters would be installed by in-house staff. The Board then agreed that the outside company would complete all work that was currently pending into February but that after that, the installations would be done by town staff.


The Board further stated that it would not proceed with Phase II of the program until it evaluated the results of Phase I.



Mr. Rambo advised the Board that he would be meeting with the Joint Water Works to proceed with plans for the installation of the new equipment at the Catskill plant which he estimated would cost between  $73,000-$93,000. According to the JWW, the work should be completed in about six months.  He also said that the modifications at the Amawalk plant would be deferred until 2014.


Councilman Paganelli told the Board that because Cortlandt and Montrose do not fluoridate their water, in the future, when the Catskill plant goes off line for maintenance and the two districts draw their water from Amawalk (the primary source for Yorktown’s water), the fluoridation equipment would be shut off. He estimated that the Catskill closure would typically be for no more than a week at a time.


3. Creative Living (Navajo Fields)

Board members expressed their frustration with Mr. Diven over the fact that he has a history of making changes to the property in violation of existing permits and then coming to the Town Board to “legalize” what he has already done.


Board members repeated their support for the project but repeated their request that site plan changes not be made “on the fly.”  When Supervisor Grace informed that Board that at a prior meeting with Mr. Diven he had asked the applicant to “get on the same page,” Councilman Bianco asked, “How did we get off the page?”

Calling the project a “moving target,” Supervisor Grace said that Mr. Diven was “driving my staff nuts.”


After considerable discussion about specific site plan concerns (see below), the Board decided not to take any action to amend the existing wetlands permit pending a site inspection by the Town’s environmental consultant to determine exactly what needed to be done on the site.  The Board may revisit the issue at its next meeting.


Specific issues that were addressed included:


Dugouts. The Board has no problems with the changes that have already made (a second story has been added that does not change the footprint) and told Mr. Diven that he could proceed to finish the work.


Foot bridges.  Councilman Paganelli said they were not safe and steps must be taken to prevent pedestrians from using them. The applicant said they would be cordoned off and signs posted that they were not to be used.


Access to relocated greenhouse.  (See earlier notes.) This remains a problem as the state fire code requires a 20 foot wide access road and the bridge across the stream may not be wide enough.  The applicant will review the situation and see if by relocating the railings, the necessary width can be achieved. The building inspector has been in contact with the state to determine whether the 20 foot requirement can be waived.


Wood chips, Environmental consultant Bruce Barber said he was concerned that the heavy layer of wood chips was blocking the drainage swales that are a key component of the site’s overall stormwater management plan. He also said that the limits of disturbance into the wetlands had to be delineated.


DEC wetlands permit. It was pointed out that one of the conditions of the February 2012 wetlands permit (amending the permit is the subject of the current action) was that the applicant get a DEC wetlands permit. To date, that permit has not been issued.


Site plan standards.  Planning Director Tegeder said that the Planning Board was concerned about the need to establish standards that could be applied to the review of the new application for construct domes over the two fields.  (The Planning Board discussed Creative Living the night before but a memo was not yet available.)  He repeated a point made by Supervisor Grace that the Town needed to know what the master plan was for the site and that in the absence of such a plan, there was a risk of segmentation which is illegal under SEQRA.


Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the greenhouses. Councilman Bianco said it was premature to address this request. Mr. Diven would like to use the greenhouses during the winter.


 4. Towing contract

Highway Superintendent DiBartolo advised the Board that when it prepares the specs for the towing contract, it was important to include the requirement that the vendor be able to provide indoor storage for town trucks. He explained that the previous day, four trucks with salt went down, and if the trucks are stored outside, the salt hardens and becomes unusable; a jack hammer is needed to break up the blocks.  He said the specs should also include the requirement that the vendor have a truck large enough to tow a town truck.


Councilman Paganelli said he was working with Town Clerk Roker on the specs and Supervisor Grace said he would try to get the specs done ASAP.


5. State “CHIPS” money

Highway Superintendent DiBartolo advised the Board that the Town was slated to get $295,000 in CHIPS paving money this  year.  He said he hadn’t finalized what streets would be paved.


6. Catherine Street curbs

Highway Superintendent DiBartolo  advised the Board that four residents of the Glasbury condos had filed claims against the Town for damages arising out of the condition of Catherine Street  and that they want the curbs, that they requested be put in, removed in order to return to a 24 foot wide pavement. (Supervisor Grace noted that he had a meeting scheduled with the residents.)


Mr. DiBartolo said that in 2009 he opposed installing the curbs but that the residents would not be talked out of their request. He said that removing the curbs would create drainage problems along Old Crompond Road, and, he noted, that the narrower roadway had helped slow traffic to and from Panas High School.


7. Highway Department Truck

Highway Superintendent DiBartolo  said he had specs ready to seek bids for a new dump truck that could cost about $120,000. He said money was in his 2013 for the truck. It was not determined whether the request to go out to bid would be advertised at next week’s meeting.


8. Zoning Code Amendment/Self Storage

The recently enacted amendments to the Zoning Code dealing with self storage facilities inadvertently omitted a sentence that had been suggested by Planning Director Tegeder that would  have referenced another section of the Code. As a result, the Board will advertise a public hearing next week to adopt a new local law with the technical correction to the Code.


9. Sign at Ben Franklin School

Board members, Larry Eidelman, the public safety officer, and Highway Superintendent DiBartolo said they had  no problem with the installation of the requested sign.


10. No parking designation on East Main Street @ Wood St.

There appeared to be some confusion as to whether the proposed “no parking” signs should be on the north or south side of East Main St.  Councilmen Murphy and Biainco said the problem was that cars were being parked on the south side of the street which created problems for people making turns from Wood St.  However, Officer Eidelman had reviewed a request for “no parking” signs on the north side of the street. Councilman Murphy will confer with Officer Eidelman and report back to the Board.


11. Taconic Post Card Club (YCCC rents)

An item not on the agenda. At the request of Town Clerk Roker, who explained that the Taconic Post Card Club was an important component of the  Museum and should be considered a non-profit group, the Town Board voted unanimously to rescind its previous resolution and instead not to charge the group rent for use of a meeting room at the CCC.


11. Liens

An item not on the agenda. Town  Attorney Koster gave the Board a draft resolution to be voted on next week that would wipe out the liens on the 17 parcels that were on the 2008 Foreclosure List and which the Town took title to last June.