January 8, 2019
Interviews for Tree Conservation Advisory Commission and Planning Board
Personnel: Highway, Police, Recreation Commission
1. 3100 Dahlia Court, Drainage problem
The owners are experiencing flooding on their property with runoff coming down the hill from town owned property. They told the board that while they are prepared to make improvements on their property to address the problem, they’ve been advised that doing anything on their property will not solve the problem until and unless the town does something on its property. They said that while the Highway Department has made some improvements to alleviate runoff onto the street, the problem on their property still exists. Councilwoman Roker and Supervisor Gilbert said they would visit the site. Ms. Roker also wanted guidance from the town attorney as to what the town’s obligations were. The town engineer has offered to assist the homeowners develop a plan for their property.
2. Freedom Gardens water bill
A running toilet in a unit that was unoccupied while the resident was in the hospital generated a $4,000 water bill for the 12 unit complex, compared to its more typical $1,000/month bill. A member of the Freedom Gardens board asked the town to either wipe out the additional charge or reduce it in light of the group’s non profit status. While the board was sensitive to the group’s financial predicament, Supervisor Gilbert said that as the water was used, it had to be paid for, and that the Town Board couldn’t set a precedent to reduce the fee. The Town Board did, however, agree to let Freedom Gardens spread out the payment over whatever time period it wanted without interest charges. The Freedom Gardens board member said that based on this experience, the board would likely revisit its policies so that an unoccupied unit gets inspected on a periodic basis. Councilman Patel also suggested that the organization investigate installing the new electronic water meters that alert property owners to an unexplained increase in usage.
3. Ban the box, Westchester County Legislation
Because the open portion of the meeting started much later than planned, at Supervisor Gilbert suggestion and with the consent of the rest of the board, it was agreed to postpone the discussion to another date.
4. Marijuana legalization
Because the open portion of the meeting started much later than planned, at Supervisor Gilbert suggestion and with the consent of the rest of the board, it was agreed to postpone this discussion to another date.
5. RGP Properties/Allan Avenue
(See Town Board 10-30-2018.) Supervisor Gilbert suggested that the permit application be put on hold pending the resolution of the Article 78 lawsuit challenging the ZBA issued variance. Councilwoman Roker said she had visited the site and had concerns about the impact on the neighbors. She also wanted the plan to be reviewed by an environmental consultant but noted that the town did not yet have one on board. Board members and neighbors expressed concern about the traffic on Allan Avenue when trucks were loading/unloading. The town engineer and Joe Riina, the applicant’s engineer, advised the board that the stormwater plan would not generate any more runoff than what the site currently generates and if anything was overdesigned.
The board voted to refer the application to the Conservation Board but delay any action until the Article 78 lawsuit was resolved.
6. Selected miscellaneous resolutions
Cost for taping meetings. The resolution set the following rates to reimburse the person who tapes town meetings and other events: $200 for Town Board meetings (an increase of $25); $175 for Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings, $100 if the supervisor has a show, $250 for Town Board meetings not held at town hall.
2019 Insurance premiums: Initially, Councilwoman Roker was not prepared to approve the resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign the agreement with Gallagher Bassett for 2019 insurance coverage explaining that the board, contrary to the usual procedure, had not had an opportunity to discuss the coverage. In response, Supervisor Gilbert said he had not met with the insurance broker and thought that the 2018 agreement simply rolled over. After the comptroller explained that she had not been advised the board wanted to discuss the 2019 policies and that the town was already bound to the 2019 premiums the board had no choice and voted to accept the 2019 proposal. No information was available as to what the total cost was. Councilwoman Roker added that she hoped that next year the town would consider going out to bid.
2019 meeting schedule. The board’s meeting schedule was adopted, but not before Councilman Lachterman, citing problems with some of the 2018 outdoor meetings, raised questions about the practicality of the outdoor meetings. In response, Councilwoman Roker defended the outdoor meetings as a way of encouraging residents of different neighborhoods to attend meetings. It was agreed that before 2019 locations were decided, the board would consider issues like the availability of air conditioning and if an indoor alternative was available in the event of inclement weather. The board added May 2 to the calendar for Holocaust Memorial.
Support for athletic clubs. Authorized the supervisor to sign agreements with the Shrub Oak Athletic Club and the Yorktown Athletic Club for a total of $82,700.
Senior Clubs. Authorized the supervisor the sign agreements with the following senior clubs for a total of $14,900: AARP Chapter 3297, Yorktown Senior Club Number 1, Shrub Oak Senior Citizen Club, Jefferson Owners Corp and Saint Patrick’s Seniors.
Clover Road sewer district. Delayed until the next meeting a resolution for an $11,093 budget transfer until it could be clarified that the only property in the district was the home on Lexington Avenue and Route 6 that was part of an agreement with the Town of Cortlandt.