Town Board Work Session
October 8, 2013
“Advice of Counsel and Personnel”
1. Water Department
The Board gave Distribution Superintendent Rambo the okay to rebid for a new boiler that includes revised specs for the removal of some asbestos.
The Board held off giving him the okay to hire an architect to work up specs for a new roof for the small brick building on the department’s site as Supervisor Grace suggested he had a recommendation for a “roof” person.
2. Margeliz Adult Day Care Center
The Center’s operator is requesting to purchase lunch meals from the town’s nutrition program. The facility, located at French Hill School, currently serves between 8-15 residents, some of whom are Yorktown residents. Meals are currently being purchased from a local caterer. While the Board supported the general purpose and intent of the program, the issue was whether the town could legally provide meals to a proprietary business, in effect subsidizing the business. The nutrition program receives county and federal financial support . Pending additional legal information, no decision was made.
3. Competition Carting
(See Planning Board Meeting, October 7, 2013.) The main issue before the Board was the company’s use of the paper extension of Richard Place that bisects the two parcels the company plans to use to park its trucks. The secondary issue of employee parking on Front Street was quickly resolved when Brian Amico, the company’s representative, said he would instruct his employees to park in the lot and not on Front St.
While Supervisor Grace had no problem with the company using the right of way along the paper road, noting that this type of use existed all over Yorktown (driveways, mailboxes, lawns), Councilman Bianco had an issue with the company erecting a security gate across the road which he called a gift to someone, and the town attorney had issues with a private company being given the use of town land. The differences were resolved when it was agreed that the town would give a license to the company in exchange for $10 and that a “knock box” would be installed so that the town would have access to the site in the event of an emergency.
Councilman Bianco also noted that there were environmental issues associated with the site but these issues were not discussed.
4. 738 East Main Street/wetlands permit renewal
The discussion centered on an expired wetlands permit for this single family residence. Subject to a recommendation by the town’s environmental consultant, the Board will either waive the requirement for a public hearing and simply renew the expired permit without a hearing or schedule a new hearing.
5. Building permit fees
In a continuation of an earlier discussion, the Board indicated its support for proposed legislation that would eliminate potential building permit renewal fees for all unclosed building permits greater than two years old that have had final inspections and as long as the assessment for the property reflects the additional construction. The Board directed the building inspector and town attorney to draft proposed legislation reflecting the change, including a fee schedule for permit renewals for properties that have not had final inspections.
6. 424 Cording Road/ paving an easement
In what Supervisor Grace called a “Hatfields and McCoy” situation, the Board considered how to address the request of one property owner to pave a 400 foot gravel easement that the abutting property owner (who may also have access rights to the easement; that point wasn’t clear from what the observer could hear) objects to because portions of the paved road would come within 5 feet of her house and would likely cause drainage issues. Only the property owner opposing the paving was present for the discussion. The Board suggested a compromise that would only pave a portion of the easement. The easement states that the town’s permission is needed for any change to the easement. No decision was made and some Board members indicated that they wanted to make a site visit.
7. Highway garage – Phase II Environmental Study
On the recommendation of town engineer Sharon Robinson, the Board voted unanimously to hire Hydro Environmental to do a Phase II study of the highway garage site at a cost of no greater than $20,000. Three proposals had been submitted, ranging from $18,165 to $31,825, although there were differences in the scope of work for the three proposals. The money will come from fund balance.
In voting to proceed with the study, Councilman Bianco said his vote was based on his concern that if there are environmental issues with the site, the town should take care of them and that his vote should not be taken as necessarily being in support of relocating the highway garage.
Although highway superintendent DiBartolo said that there was no lead or asbestos in the building, Hydro Environmental will be asked to check for the presence of these materials.
If the Phase II study does identify environmental problem/s, then the town would proceed to Phase III which would require remediating the problem/s.
8. Donation of park equipment
Extending kudos to the Shrub Oak Athletic Club, the Yorktown Athletic Club and the Yorktown Youth Soccer Club, the Board gratefully accepted the donation of three pieces of park grooming equipment to be used at Legacy Field.
The the Board unanimously approved a 180 day extension to the temporary certificate of occupancy while the applicant works out final details of a revised site plan.
10. Dog Park (Sylvan Glen Paw Park)
The Board unanimously approved the use of $22,537 from the Trust and Agency Fund (recreation fee money paid by developers) for the dog park. While $4,537 will pay for the consultant who studied the presence of turtles on the site, the remaining $18,000 will be used for fencing.
In response to Councilman’s Patel’s question whether there was not supposed to be any town expense for the fencing, Councilman Paganelli explained that due to the delay in settling on a location for the park, the Dog Park Committee has not been able to raise sufficient funds to cover the expense. In what he described as a “good faith agreement,” the group will make an intial $2,500 available for the fencing and a good faith effort to raise an additional $7,500 over the next two years, eventually paying for 55% of the cost of the fencing. Councilman Paganelli said he was confident that the group would be able to raise the money.
When the subject of maintenance over and above picking up after the dogs which the Committee has said it would be responsible for, Councilman Patel brought up the lack of maintenance at Patriot Garden.
Going down a list of 24 foreclosed properties one by one, the Board decided to sell the five houses it has taken in rem, along with some vacant parcels. Other parcels will be kept as parkland, removed from the assessment roll for road widening purposes, or offered to abutting property owners. The town will offer “clear title” for only some of the properties. There was no discussion of when the auction would take place.
When Ken Belfer, chairman of the Community Housing Board, asked if the town was offering the county the right of first refusal as part of an earlier agreement between the town and the county, Supervisor Grace said no and suggested that if the county was interested in any of the parcels for affordable housing purpose then it should bid on them.
Awarded a bid to Meyer Contracting Corp. for the renovation of the Children’s Room.
Addenda to meeting summary of October 1, 2013
Speaking on behalf of residents of Evergreen Street, Tom Diana asked what the town could do to remove the remains of the house that had been destroyed by fire about six months earlier. In response, and specifically referring to the burned out Maiden Lane property, Supervisor Grace said that dealing with unsafe structures presented problems for the town because of the expense involved and the need to check for asbestos prior to any demolition in older structures. He also noted that if the town did the work, there was a fiscal issue as the town would have to competitively bid the work which would involve paying prevailing wages and that the town might not recover the full cost. In the case of the Evergreen Street house, he said that issue was best left to the insurance company to deal with.This is page content.