October 13, 2020
Personnel: department heads, appointments, AACCC, interviews
1. No parking zones
The board supports legislation that will prohibit parking on Commerce Street from Hanover Street to Route 118 and on Whitehill Road. Both changes are being made to enhance safety. The town attorney was directed to prepare the necessary local law.
2. Drag Racing legislation
James Nolan is making the rounds of municipalities in an effort to get them to regulate or ban drag racing on municipal roads (It wasn’t clear from the discussion exactly what the proposed legislation would include) and also to support a similar state bill. The board was supportive of both measures and the town attorney was asked to draw up a local law. Once the board knows the state bill number, it will likely pass a resolution supporting the passag of the bill.
3. Sustainable Westchester/Community Solar Program
Working with Sustainable Westchester, Lodestar, a company constructing two solar farms in upstate New Yotk that will sell its power to NYSEG, invited the town to participate in its community solar program that would result in a 10% savings for the town and its NYSEG customers. The town would enter into a long term agreement with Lodestar but residents could opt out at any time without having to pay a termination fee. The town could take advantage of the electricity produced by one or both of the company’s solar farms which are currently under construction and should be online by the first quarter of 2021. Bedford and Lewisboro have already agreed to participate in the program. According to a review of the town’s NYSEG bills, the company estimates that the town could save about $23,000 a year. Supervisor Slater noted that the town’s participation in the program would serve as an example to homeowners and encourage them to participate. The board directed the town attorney to finalize the details of an agreement with Lodestar.
4. Commercial water meters/status report
As a follow up to the law passed in June that created a penalty for the owners of commercial meters who did not test the accuracy of their meters, Water Superintendent Ken Rundel advised the board that his department had sent out about 20-25 letters (out of 350 commercial accounts) before the project was halted due to covid. After receivnig the letters, he said that about half a dozen accounts claimed a hardship and that four or five meters were replaced.
As stated by Supervisor Slater, the issue was one of balance: the need to make sure that the meters were accurately reading the amount of water that was being consumed versus the cost to businesses during the pandemic that has created problems for businesss. Although the board favored not pushing commercial users, Supervisor Slater did ask Mr. Rundle to send out 50 more letters and to report back on the response.
Mr. Rundle also advised the board that some condos had commercial accounts and that the requirement to either test or replace an old meter could be a financial burden on residents with fixed incomes.
After Mr. Rundle explained that it wasn’t cost effective to test and repair a 20 year old meter, Councilman Diana suggested that the town buy the meters and lease them back to the commercial users with an annual charge.
5. Peekskill sewer district/I&I Study
Town Engineer Quinn and representatives of EDR, the town’s consulting engineers, discussed a preliminary work plan to address the problems in two areas that were identified in the earlier study. The plan, which is still in draft form, would include tving and cleaning as needed the sewer lines and using smoke and dye tests to identify problems. The plan would not include any additional rehabilitation work that might be necessary based on the former work. Mr. Quinn estimated that the tv task could cost in the neighborhood of $150,000 but that it’s not possible to even estimate what any future rehabilitation projects might cost. The board asked EDR to submit its report to the board so that members have the opportunity to review the plan in more detail; their concern was the overall potential cost.
6. Hallocks Mill sewer extension
Mr. Quinn advised the board that given the county’s concern that the high cost of low pressure hookups would result in too few homeowners connecting to the sewer system, the town has decided, and the county has given preliminary ok, to a plan for the town to purchase the necessary pumps at an approximate cost $ 1 million. The total project cost will not increase, however, because the money for the pumps will come from the $2.5 million contingency amount that was included in the project’s budget. (the contingency amount as 20% of the total cost.) For homeowners needing low pressure hook ups, this would reduce their $12,000-$15,000 hook up by $7,000.
The town and county will now proceed with several bureaucratic steps that are needed before the county can release the $10 million East of Hudson Funds.
Supervisor Slater advised residents not to expect shovels in the ground for another two years.
7. Hallocks Mill future sewer district projects
Mr. Quinn advised the board that he is continuing to plan for the upgrade of four district pump stations and also to begin an I&I study in 2021.
8. Zino Barn
(See Town Board 7-28-2020.) Lynn Briggs advised the board that a quonset hut would cost $11,000 and that the Heritage Commission has raised half that amount. She asked the board to have the town pay for the remaining half. The board agreed and will pass a resolution next week. She also asked the board to settle the long unresolved issue of paying the people who took down the barn and the need for liability releases.
9. Master Fee schedule
(See Town Board 9-22-2020.) The board discussed two issues. Regarding changes in specific fees, it still had not heard back from the building inspector on the fiscal impact of the fees he is proposing to change. The board also needs to hear from other departments that might want to change their fees. The second issue was how the fee schedule should be changed. Town Attorney Rodriguez that the local law that now requires changes to be made by local law should be changed to allow the board to make changes by resolution, a change, he said, that would make the process much simpler. The board agreed to proceed with the change in the local law while it waited for feedback from department heads. The attorney will draft the law and the board voted to refer t out.
10. Yorktown Trail Town Committee/Mohegan Quarry at Sylvan Glen
(Note: Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary is the chair of the Committee and made the presentation to the board.)
Ms. Siegel gave the board a status report on the project that will document and highlight the quarry that was operational from 1890 to 1941 and was once a major employer in the town. The project includes a series interpretive signs that create a narrative of how the quarry operated, as well as a web site that will document the quarry’s history. She advised the board that the designs for the signs have been completed but that the Committee needs $7,000 in additional funds to have the signs manufactured and installed.
11. Fall Farm Fest
A farm fest that will encourage visitors to the town’s farms (there are 8, including Stuart’s which is in Somers), has been set for November 7 & 8. The details are still being worked out. The Chamber of Commerce will work with the farms and the Parks Department to coordinate and promote the event.
12. Best Food Truck
(See Town Board 9-15-2020.) The town has identified the following town locations for the trucks: Front Street, Strang Blvd., Sparkle Lake, Railroad Park, Downing Park, Granite Knolls. The revenue would be split 50/50 with the Association that will manage the truck selection. The board is expected to vote on a resolution next week entering into a mobile food management program with the association.
13. Herbicide notification in town parks
To further transparency, Parks Superintendent Martorano explained that when the Parks Departments plans to use herbicides in town parks and playgrounds, a notice will be placed on the town’s Public Notice subscriber list. The department only uses organic herbicides.