October 10, 2017
Closed Executive Session
Contract negotiations and interview
1. Col. John Hyatt Burying Ground , Route 132
(See Town Board, 5-9-2017.) Members of the Landmarks Preservation Committee appeared before the board to advance plans for the town to assume ownership of the burial ground that is in a state of disrepair. Lynn Briggs said she had been in contact with the attorney who represents the estate (Brandeis University also has an ownership interest) and that the owners are ready to give the property to the town. Mr. Pell advised the board that the first step would be to declare that the property has been neglected, and then abandoned. Once that is done, legally the town can take it over. A public hearing was set for November 21 to establish the property’s condition. Mr. Pell advised the board that he would able to get grants to restore the stones.
The board also briefly discussed the “Brown” cemetery on Hanover, south of St. Patrick’s Church. Ms. Briggs said her group had visited 7 of the possible 11 historic cemeteries in town; most, she said are “a mess.”
2. Clean Energy Collective
A representive of the company and their attorney, Al Capellini, explained the plan to develop a solar farm on the 11 acre site on Foothill St in the northwest corner of Yorktown. The company’s business model is to sell the electricity to Con Ed and distribute the money it receives to the shareholders in the venture as a credit to their Con Ed bills. The site is near Putnam Valley High School and theoretically all the shares could be sold to the school. The company pays for the installation and maintenance of the equipment. and makes its money by selling the tax credits that the facility qualifies for, not by producing the electricity.
It was stated that this would be the first solar farm in Yorktown although it was noted the YKY Yeshiva in southern Yorktown has a 1 acre solar farm. The representative said that the amount of electricity generated by the installation would be enough to power 460 homes.
Councilman Bernard noted that a subdivision had been proposed on the site many years ago. The only anticipated impact the facility would have on the town would be the cutting of trees. The number of trees to be cut was not discussed.
Supervisor Grace said that the concept was worth exploring and the town attorney will look into drafting a new law dealing with a range of solar installations: on residential and commercially zoned property as well as stand alone and accessory uses. The new law would probably require a special permit, with the first permit being issued by the Town Board with input from the Planning Board.
3. Jefferson Valley Mall
24 Hour Fitness
The applicant adjusted the appearance and location of the signs as per the board’s previous request; the board was satisfied with the changes. There was some discussion about changes to the landscaping and removing some trees and replanting others in a different location. The board will reconvene the public hearing at the next meeting and an approval is anticipated.
Mall pylon sign
Based on the balloon test, the board had no problem with a 26’ sign, indicating that a taller sign would also be acceptable, but suggested that the applicant move the sign to a different location.
The agreement for the town to take ownership of the ring road remains to be worked out. Mr. Paganelli estimated that bringing the road up to spec and repaving would cost approximately $135,000. The board indicated that this work could be done over time, especially the portion of the road that will be disturbed during the construction of the new stores.
The possibility that the mall could relocate a town sewer line that has had problems was rejected by the mall engineers as not practical.
With a very brief discussion, the board said it had no problem approving a larger sign than allowed in the mall’s Master Sign Plan, for the new Stone Rose restaurant.
A vote to approve the mall’s amended site plan is anticipated at the next board meeting.
4. Madison Court/stormwater and tree permit
The homeowner wants to cut down 7 trees, but replant 3 trees in the backyard. Supervisor Grace wasn’t sure whether the homeowner needed Town Board action, but in the event he does, a public hearing was scheduled for November 21.
5. Purple Heart parking spaces
The town attorney shared a draft of a proposed local law setting up a permit procedure for obtaining permits to park in the already designated 6 purple heart parking spaces. The permit would be available at the town clerk’s office but a form from the Defense Department would be needed to be eligible for the permit. Car “hangers” would be provided similar to the ones used for handicapped permits. It was noted that purple heart license plates that are readily available will not be sufficient as no proof is needed to obtain the plates.
Later in the evening, Police Chief Noble advised the board that there were some issues with the proposed law. He said he would consult with the town attorney to see how they could be resolved.
6. East Main Street traffic study.
(See the Shrub Oak International School.) Phil Grealy, the town’s traffic consultant, discussed the scope of a proposed RFP to study traffic conditions in the East Main Street Corridor. $30,000 is available for the study. Items to be looked at include: criteria for the design of a signal at East Main and Stoney St, ADA, pedestrian and right of way issues, and a survey of the utilities in the area. Mr. Grealy said that based on the study’s findings, some of the low hanging issues could be dealt with in the short term while more expensive solutions, e.g., a possible new signal, would require additional funds and take longer. The board voted to advertise the RFP.
7. LED sign at the Police Department.
ON the request of the police chief, the board voted to advertise bids for an LED sign at the Police Department. According to Police Chief Noble, the sign would cost an estimated $45,000. (It was not clear if that estimate included the electrical work.) Where the funds would come from was not identified. The sign calls for a stone foundation, more like the Yorktown High School sign than the one the Chamber of Commerce installed. The town attorney initially suggested that the town do an RFP for the project, but the board decided that as the specs were already determined, a bid was more appropriate.
8. Street opening and obstruction permit/proposed local law
As an outgrowth of the problems created on Gomer Street by the Con Ed gas line replacement project, the town attorney drafted a law regulating street openings. The new law would apply come into play at a certain disturbance threshold and would apply for a single opening or cumulatively if there were a series of openings in a given area over a specified time period. The goal of the law would be to give the Town Board more control over the work. The law would require the applicant to provide a start and anticipated completion date, provide a traffic control plan, a plan for the storage of materials, an obstruction plan, an 8% (of the project’s cost) inspection fee, and a performance bond.
The permit could impose conditions on a case by case basis. The law also provides for injunctive relief in the event the applicant does not comply with the permit’s conditions.
A hearing on the proposed law was advertised for November 21.
9. Gomer Street update
As an addenda to the discussion on the proposed street opening law, the board was advised that all excavation work has stopped and that the street will be paved by the end of November. Highway Superintendent Paganelli noted that the asphalt plants close December 1.
Mr. Paganelli advised the board that when his department first issued the street opening permit for Gomer Street, his department had no idea what the scope of the work would be and that it soon became apparent that the work exceeded what his department could handle.
10. Miscellaneous resolutions
Police Department. The board awarded a bid of $45,591 for the purchase of 8 computer tablets for use in police cars.
The board authorized transferring $216,591 for the police salary to line to cover the following purchases:
$88,000 for vehicles and equipment, and the $45,591 for the computer tablets