Town Board

October 6, 2020


1. Announcements

Highway: The state has cut 20% off the town’s expected CHIPS road funding. The 2020 budget shows $460,000 in revenue from the program.


As Mr. Paganelli proceeds with paving, he is doing three tests to compare the cost of milling a road before paving or simply adding more blacktop.


Highway is working with Con Ed to take down dead/diseased/dangerous trees on town or private property that endanger the power lines. Contact Highway if there’s a problem with a tree/s on your property.


Grants. Supervisor Slater noted that the state has put all grant funding on hold.


Smoke testing.  Two areas of town will be undergoing smoke tests to identify illegal connections to the sewer system.  For more information, and a description of the areas, check out the Engineering Department link on the town web site.


2.  Police issues and Yorktown for Justice.

In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Diana introduced, and the board voted its support for,  a resolution in support of the town’s police and first responders and designating October 13 as a Blue Lights support day. Councilman Diana also suggested that on that day, residents keep blue lights on their property.


After passing the resolution, Councilwoman Roker spoke and suggested that as a community we could and should support both Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.  She said she was against defunding the police. There was also a reference to an unwelcome personal incident she had been confronted with that was related to this issue. 


During Courtesy of the Floor, Jack Armstrong, a member of Yorktown for Justice criticized the board for not appointing a member of his group to the recently formed Coalition on Safety and Community Engagement. In response, Supervisor Slater defended his appointment decisions and emphasized that the group would be a participant in the process along with other groups like Legal Aid, the PBA, school superintendents and others. The town’s goal, he said, was to listen and learn.


3. Con Ed presentations

The company made presentations on its ongoing tree trimming program, how it dealt with the last storm, and its efforts to “harden” its system.


Asked what criteria the company used to dispatch crews to deal with storm damage, the representatives explained that it was based on a “weighted customer account” and not on a municipal level, e.g,. a municipality with a hospital got a quicker response than one without. The company is also trying to improve its notification system of when electric service will resume.


The company also suggested that the town might want to consider a partnership program that would enable the town to deal with downed wires that are not deemed a hazard instead of waiting for Con Ed crews.


Based on his experience observing a crew in operation, Mr. Paganelli called attention for the need for Con Ed to improve its internal communications systems in order to speed up making repairs.


3. Courtesy of the Floor

Vacant commercial buildings: Chamber president Serge Esposito said the group supported the supervisor’s suggestion that the owners of vacant buildings submit status reports to the town.  In response to the comments, and the menti0on of blighted buildings, the supervisor said that 300 violations had been issued this year. In response, Councilwoman Roker said that owners of vacant buildings (she didn’t distinguish between simply vacant and vacant and a blight) should be hit where it hurts – in their pocketbooks – if they did not fix up their property.


Master fee schedule. Jay Kopstein said he supported the efforts of the building inspector to revise some of the permit fees and added that the fees, for example a generator, should not be based on the cost of the generator.


4. Low Pressure Sewer System/public hearing on new article to Town Sewer Code

Mr. Quinn explained the new text which would make property owners responsible for maintaining the systems from their house to the sewer main in the town’s right of way and also to have either a back up generator in the event of a power outage or sufficient room on site to contain sewage for 24 hours plus a connection for a connection to a mobile generator.


The need for the legislation was precipitated by the county’s Health Department requirements relating to the Colangelo subdivision.  The subdivision’s developer advised the board that each of the six houses would have its own generator.


The only comment was from Jay Kopstein who thought that the one day storage would not be sufficient.


The hearing was closed.


5. Getty Station/Barger Street/Public Hearing on revised site plan

(See Town Board 9-8-2020)  The applicant explained the major changes to the plan with the overall goal of improving safety and internal circulation. The board was satisfied with the changes. There were no public comments. The hearing was closed.


6. Advertising public hearings for October 20, 2020

-- the proposed Planned Design District Overlay addition to the Zoning Code

-- Changes in the Zoning Code related to self storage facilities related to the CubeSmart plan for the former Toys R Us building.


7. Selected resolutions

Highway Department. (See Town Board 9-8-2020.) Awarded a bid for the purchase of a used street sweeper for $141,317. Earlier in the meeting, during Courtesy of the Floor, Tony Grasso questioned the wisdom of purchasing a used sweeper. Mr. Paganelli repeated the reasons he had made at an earlier meeting, adding that the sweeper that was being purchased was the 2018 sweeper the town had previously rented. The funds will come from the department’s fund balance.


Parks Department. (See Town Board 9-8-2020.) Approved the purchase of a new piece of equipment for $20,000. The funds will come from the department’s “temporary help” budget line.


Personnel:  In items not on the agenda, appointed a new Recreation Assistant for the Parks Department. and hired Pat Baressi, former library director, as a consultant for the library.