October 14, 2014
To conduct interview with insurance carriers. (See Town Board meeting June 10, 2014.)
1. Wormser Kiley, Galef & Jacobs
Attorneys Dan Pozin and Anna Georgiou had a discussion with the board that was often very difficult to hear. Based on what was heard, it appeared that the firm’s White Plains office was closing as of November 1 and that Mr. Pozin and Ms.Georgiou would be joining another law firm. The new firm will continue representing the town at the Planning and Zoning Boards and for general counsel assistance. The new firm will continue to handle tax certiorari cases, at least until November 1, but Supervisor Grace reminded Mr. Pozin that the firm came close to losing the town’s certiorari business some time ago and that this issue could be reviewed again.
2. 3211 Lakeshore Drive wetlands permit
The applicant failed to show. There was no discussion.
3. Staples Plaza Redevelopment (BJs gas pumps)
Mr. Aiello reviewed the proposed rezoning map that had been reviewed by the Planning Board, calling attention to the Planning Board’s concern about where to draw the C-3 line. In response, Supervisor Grace suggested that the entire shopping center site be rezoned to C-3, noting that this would give the owners of the Staples portion more flexibility in leasing. This raised questions about whether the existing buildings, built under the C-1 guidelines would meet the C-3 setback requirements. Also what the parking requirements were for C-1 and C-3.
The applicant has submitted portions of the EAF, with a parking analysis still to come. The applicant will include rezoning the entire site to C-3 as an alternative.
Police Chief McMahon asked that the gas station facility have a generator and also that the applicatn install a transfer switch from the generator to the traffic light at the BJ’s entrance. The applicant had no problem with both requests.
4. Traffic issues
Whitehall and Mohansic Ave. (See Town Board, 10-15-2013.) Councilman Murphy advised the board that when he and police officer Eidelman were parked at the site, they witnessed several drivers going through the stop sign without stopping. He added that given the location, it was impossible to have a police car follow the driver onto the Taconic. Instead, it was suggested that the highway department paint a white “stop bar.”
Road stripping. Highway Superintendent Paganelli appeared frustrated that an August order for road stripping had not been done yet on the roads that had recently been paved. He suggested to the board that the highway department should purchase the necessary equipment and do the job itself. Supervisor Grace said that some roads, such as Broad Street, needed white “fog” lines painted at the road edge.
East Main Street/Jefferson Valley:
(See Town Board,8/5/14.) Two residents returned to the board, this time with police accident reports showing 105 accidents over a five year period, three of which involved their property. All agreed that the area in question was a problem but there didn’t appear to be a clear consensus on what should be done/could be done to deal with the dual problems of volume and speed. Of particular concern was the intersection of Hill Blvd. and East Main Street.
The board rejected a light at the intersection on the grounds that the volume didn’t warrant a light. The board did, however, consider a blinking light, with the suggestion that the developer of Lake Osceola Square and Ceola Manor which is planning an expansion would pay for (It was not clear if the two businesses would be asked to pay for all or a portion of the cost.) Officer Eidelman said that stop signs are not effective in controlling speed. Another option suggested by Supervisor Grace was installing sidewalks on the north side of East Main Street; he said that the sidewalks on both sides of East Main Street in Shrub Oak were effective in reducing speed.
When the residents asked not to be forgotten, Supervisor Grace assured them that the town would be working on the issue.
Speed humps: (See Town Board, 6/10/14.) Almost as an afterthought to the discussion, Officer Eidelman brought up the issue of the board adopting a protocol for deciding where speed humps might be installed and how IF the board agreed to install them. His reasoning was that the board should have the protocol (criteria for the installation of the speed humps) in place if and when. Initially the board was going to pass a resolution accepting the protocols but Supervisor Grace said he preferred the protocol to be included in the town code and directed the town attorney to adopt the necessary draft local law. In general, he opposed the speed humps.
5. Hickory Street sewer request
Bill Primavera, represented by engineer Dan Ciarcia, is considering transferring his property to the county operated Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District from the town operated Hallocks Mill Sewer district so that he can hook up to the Chelsea pump station. Mr. Ciarcia explained that the capacity of a force main and the pump station itself would have to be reviewed before the request went any further. When it was pointed out that the request, which has to be approved by the county, would take almost a year, Supervisor Grace advised Mr. Primavera to wait until the Hallocks Mill situation is resolved; he said he was hoping for an answer from the DEP.
In the event Mr. Primavera pursued his transfer request, Mr. Ciarcia estimated that it could include 15-16 additional homes in the area.
6. General Code/Records management and digitization
Two representatives of General Code, the company the manages updates to the Town Code, made a presentation on a content management software program that uses laserfische and which would electronically capture and file incoming documents so that they could be shared and searched across departments. The cost savings implications of the system were highlighted, as well as the ability to make town documents available to the public without the need for FOIL requests (The software could restrict public access to certain documents and/or redact certain information from public searches.)
The software would be one phase of a larger project that would digitize existing town records. Based on discussions with members of a staff committee, the committee was recommending that the program be started with four departments: town clerk, assessor, police and building. (It was explained that the police department is running out of space in its basement, which is susceptible to weather issues. Also, it was important for the department to have quick access to building plans in the event of emergencies.)
Glenn Sullivan, the town’s IT consultant, advised the board that because the town had asked him to take on several other projects,he had not had time to do the RFP for the overall digitizing project that the board had requested. (See below.) He said that before the town proceeded to sign a contract with General Code, he should be given time to establish criteria for a digitization program to make sure that the General Code software was capable of accomplishing what the town wanted to accomplish. While General Code showed a list of other municipalities that used its software, Sullivan indicated that other software programs were available that accomplished the same objective.
Councilman Patel asked about the capacity of the town’s current computer server system and also the transmission capabilities for handling large files. Mr. Sullivan explained that the town had increased server capacity in anticipation of the digitization project but that there were issues with the underground public transmission lines between, for example, town hall and the planning department at the YCCC.
The proposed software package, which would allow 25 staff members to use the system, would cost $140,733 and could be bonded or purchased on a lease/buy program. Additional departments could be added to the system in phases. Supervisor Grace, however, said he would prefer to do the program as quickly as possible and not in steps. He wanted the public to understand that the cost was a long term investment that would save taxpayer money.
Both Ms. Roker and the supervisor expressed frustration that moving forward on the project has taken so long. The supervisor said that the town would need to do an RFP for digitizing existing records where there were several potential vendors but in general he said he had no patience for the RFP process. (The General Code presentation on the content management software was not based on an RFP.)
7. Miscellaneous resolution passed unanimously.
In what appeared to the observer as a somewhat unorganized ending of the meeting, the board voted to award a bid for sludge and grease removal at the sewage treatment plant but did not award the bid for various chemicals at the plant.
8. Availability of Town Board meetings on town web site.
Councilman Patel expressed frustration that recent board meetings that had been televised were not available on the town web site and he was told by Ms. Roker that they would not be available for several weeks when a new company would be working with the video tapes. She did not explain the reason for the problem.
In response to Councilman Patel’s comments, Supervisor Grace suggested that there be a 10 minute “bashing session’ at each board meeting.