October 18, 2016
1. Police appointments
Promoted to Sergeant: Timothy Kolkmann and Kenneth Sgroi
New police officer: Max Ellsworth
2. Wetlands Permit Public Hearing/=, Brennan property, Saw Mill River Road
(See Town Board 8-9-2016 for a description of this pond dredging plan.) The property owner’s engineer described the project which is meant to enhance the existing pond that has silted up over the years. The dredging will remove an estimated 10,000-15,000 cubic yards of silt. The de-watered remaining silt will be spread over the site and seeded. The anticipated result will be a more vibrant pond and environment. The applicant still needs permits from the DEC and Army Corps of Engineers. There were no public comments. The board closed and hearing and voted to approve the permit based on reports from the town engineer, environmental consultant, DEP and town advisory groups.
3. Wetlands Permit Public Hearing/ 2464 Hunterbrook Road
(See Town Board, 9-27-2016.) Other than a representative of the property owner who explained the project, the only person to speak at the hearing was the next door neighbor who had no problem with the proposed plan but wanted assurance that no construction would inadvertently damage a stormwater pipe that ran from a catch basin in the street to the stream behind the house. After being assured that the location of the pipe would be located before any construction took place, the board closed the hearing and approved the permit.
3. Bid awards
In awarding bids for sludge removal at the sewage treatment plant and for chemicals for the plant, Town Engineer Quinn advised the board that since using the Empire State Bid system to post bid specs online, the number of vendors who reviewed the specs and ultimately submitted bids, the number of bids received has increased with the result that the town was able to secure better prices than in the past for both sludge removal and chemicals.
4. Courtesy of the Floor
DEC Atlantic Bridge public hearing: Rebecca Berlin and Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, both commented on the October 19th hearing. Ms. Siegel asked the supervisor to confirm his earlier comment that the hearing was being held by FERC, not DEC, and also whether the town was going to say anything at the hearing. Supervisor Grace said representatives of the town would be there to listen but that it made no difference what the town said because the town didn’t have any jurisdiction over the issue. Ms. Berlin asked that the town try to get the hearing rescheduled because there were several conflicting community events that evening. The supervisor said the town had no say over the scheduling.
Hilltop Service Station: James Heller raised concerns about the latest plan for the property that is scheduled for a rezoning hearing on November 1st that would allow the property owner to sell used cars, something he has been doing illegally for over a year. He cited the number of trees that were cut down , cited the Comprehensive Plan’s goal that the area be kept as a greenway, and also criticized the proposed landscaping plan along Route 6 as inadequate. In response, Supervisor Grace said that the property owner may not have violated the Tree Law and that he didn’t know if the trees were required as part of the previously approved site plan. Councilman Bernard said that even if the town had pursued a code violation, the court wouldn’t have fined the property owner if he was working with the town to correct the violation. He added that some people have said nice things about the site to him. He reminded Mr. Heller that the Town Board had the sole authority for approving the rezoning and new site plan.
In a related matter, Supervisor Grace said the Town Board had conducted a site visit to the Getty Station at Route 32 and Route 6 and that conversations with the property owner are underway to clean up the site.
Highway garage/Depot Square. Dan Straus asked for a “reasonable” cost estimate for the project. In response, Supervisor Grace explained that the project is a “moving target” that was subject to change based on the amount of outside funding the town received. He said he thought relocating the 13,000 square foot highway garage was doable at a $1 million to $1.5 million cost but if he had more money he’d like to build a bigger facility that would carry the town into the future.
Other grants: In response to Susan Siegel’s question about whether the town was pursuing grants for other projects, the supervisor said the town was working on an application for the DOT sidewalk grant that had an October 21 deadline and was also exploring possible uses for the $175,000 East of Hudson money. One possible use for the latter was sewers.
Store vacancies. Brian Higbe asked if the town had any tools it could use to fill the vacant stores. In response Supervisor Grace focused on the Food Emporium and explained that it was the owner’s business model to keep the asking rent high even if it meant that the store would remain empty. While he said Yorktown’s vacancies weren’t as great as other communities, he said part of the problem was the economy.
5. Miscellaneous resolution
Jefferson Valley Gas Station: In an item not on the agenda, and without any discussion, the board passed a resolution to allow the property owner to pursue the required permit for replacing an underground storage tank as an administrative matter. Town Clerk Diana Quast voiced her objection, stating that she believed a public hearing was necessary.