Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Town Board Work Session

November 12, 2013


Absent: Councilman Bianco


Closed session

“Advice of Counsel and Personnel”


Open Session

1. Proposed  brick wall entrance sign at Route 118 & Underhill Ave.

Architect Heike Schneider, a member of ABACA, reviewed revised drawings for the proposed new entrance sign that consists of a curved brick wall with a “welcome to historic Yorktown” plaque embedded in the wall, plus 2-3 signs behind the wall (one that appeared to be the existing “Events” sign and may have included a sign for the Chamber of Commerce; the discussion was not always easy to follow)  and a pole that would include separate signs for individual businesses. 


Saying that the goal of the new sign was to eliminate the current “clutter” of signs, Supervisor Grace liked the plans for the brick wall and asked the architect if the other signs could possibly be consolidated.  He also suggested that the sign could be digitized so that it could display the latest information about sales and events which could generate revenue and smart phone users could sign up to automatically receive the latest information.


Councilman Paganelli raised the question of whether the town could legally sell advertising, something that the Parks & Recreation Department had looked into for the Legacy Ball Fields but was told it could not do.


The cost for the initial brick wall will be absorbed by the owner of Signs Ink who said he was ready to start in about a week if the materials were available and once the town checked on the exact location of underground utility lines. Supervisor Grace said he also had to check with the state DOT to make sure the wall would not be in the state right of way.  Since everyone liked the brick wall, it was agreed that work on the wall could proceed while the details of the other signs were revised.


 Bill Primavera advised the board that he has locations and sponsors already lined up for six additional similar signs but he did not identify either the locations or names of sponsors and the extent to which the sponsors’ names would be on the signs.


2. Canopy at Shell Gas Station on Commerce & Kear Streets

Although the applicant was before the board for a special permit to erect  two canopies, the discussion centered around which board had the authority to issue the special permit: the town board or the zoning board. Supervisor Grace and Building Inspector Winter agreed that the zoning code was ambiguous on the issue and Supervisor Grace said that the law should be fixed.  He said that in the past, there were issues about the desirability of canopies.


The board agreed to refer out the application, together with a request for opinions on which board should be the approving authority and to set a public hearing on the application for January 21.


3. Building permit renewal fees

In a brief discussion of the draft legislation, Supervisor Grace told the town attorney that the only language he wanted to see in the proposed local law were the provisions that were to be changed; he wanted all other text removed.   Based on the limited discussion, it appears that the new text will eliminate renewal fee for projects that have had all final inspections needed for a certificate of occupancy. Although it was less clear what the provisions were for all other open permits, it appeared that the renewal fee would be waived for permits expiring in 2013 and that the building department’s current software would be able to keep up to date on all newly issued permits. (This point needs to be clarified once the text of the proposed law is made availabale.) 


The Board set a December 3 public hearing on the law.


4. Selected resolutions

(Note: it was not always clear to those in the audience whether the Board actually voted  to approve these,and if sowho was voting for them,  or was postponing the vote until the regular meeting next week .)

a. legal services. Approved an amendment to the agreement with Wormser Kiley for legal services related to tax certiorari lawsuits. The firm has reduced its fees retroactively, but the retroactive date was not disclosed.

b. budget transfers. Approved two budget transfers totaling $40,000 to pay for legal bills for the town’s labor counsel for non retainer issues

c. Highway Department. Approved spending $38,000 to repair two highway vehicles.  Initially, the Board was going to delay the vote until next week, but Councilman Paganelli asked his fellow Board members to vote on the measure that evening so that the repairs could begin ASAP. There was no discussion of whether bugety transfers would be needed to finance the repairs.


 Closed session

The Board met with a homeowner interested in purchasing one of the foreclosed properties.