November 28, 2017
Closed executive session
1. Con Ed Local Law
(Note: See video of 11/21/2107 meeting for the public hearing on the proposed law.) Representatives of Con Ed met with the board to discuss the proposed local law that was the subject of an adjourned public hearing on 11/21/2017. The reps had no issue with the general substance of the law that would require the company to provide the town with more information about its plans before construction started; the representatives agreed with Supervisor Grace that major construction projects were different from more typical road opening permits and needed a higher level of town review. The only unresolved issue was the proposed new inspection fee.
The draft local law had an 8% fee based on the cost of the project. Supervisor Grace explained that this was how inspection fees were routinely assessed on developers who were constructing public infrastructure. However, he said that he was willing to reduce the fee to possibly 4.5% - 5%. He said that writing into the law a flat fee was not possible because every project was different. Con Ed agreed that a flat fee was not feasible but vehemently disagreed with the 4.5%-5% suggested by the supervisor. They argued that an unreasonable fee would be passed on to their taxpayers; Supervisor Grace said his concern was the taxpayer of Yorktown, not Con Ed’s ratepayers.
Con Ed suggested that the fee be based on what it cost the town to review and monitor the project but the two sides could not agree on a formula that would/could determine the actual time and cost for town staff involvement and whether town overhead should be factored in.
The discussion ended with Con Ed agreeing to pursue the discussion off line. It was not clear whether or when the board might vote on the law, with or without changes.
2. Granite Knolls turf
A representative of Shaw, one of the companies that submitted RFPs for the turf, discussed the differences of the various turf options his company offers. The board appeared to settle on the highest quality option that would cost more but have the longer life span. The board also decided to go with recycled rubber infill, the pros and cons of different infill options having been previously discussed. Although board members appeared to have information on the cost of the various options, no figures were discussed.
Supervisor Grace noted that the athletic clubs were interested in having a second 90’ field created in the complex that would require some adjustment of the proposed lines of the already planned field. No decision was made and Supervisor Grace noted that the clubs would be meeting the following evening.
3. Hyatt cemetery
(See video of November 21, 2017 board meeting for hearing on abandonment of cemetery.) Lester Rosenbaum, executor for the Bernstein estate, said he would contact the estate owners regarding the sale of the property that he said is costing them $2,000 a year in taxes. Once he hears from the estate holders, he will contact the town attorney and the two can negotiate a price.
In an aside, Supervisor Grace that once the town takes title to the parcel, it could possibly be used for the relocated Zino’s barn.
4. Hickory Street wetlands permit
(See Town Board, 11-14-2017.) The applicant presented a revised Functional Assessment. The town engineer said he has not completed his review and that more information was needed, including details of the planting plan and the fact that some items that are talked about in the functional assessment, like retaining walls around trees to be protected, were not shown on the plan. He also raised questions about the feasibility of the underground infiltrators, the key to the plan’s stormwater plan, noting that the infiltrators were not located in the area where the soil borings were done and that the soil on some parts of the site were not suitable for infiltrators.
Supervisor Grace advised the applicant to provide the town engineer with the missing information before the Dec 19 public hearing. He also said that he didn’t think the wetlands issue would be a problem since the disturbance would only be in the buffer, not the wetland. He added that for him, the key issue was the sewer connection and that if some houses would benefit from the extension he had no issue with granting the permit. The town engineer noted that in the absence of any design plans from the town’s sewer consultant, it was not possible to know if or how the applicant’s sewer connection would fit into the overall plan for Hickory Street. Councilman Bernard noted that it could be a long time before the sewer extension plan that would include Hickory would be realized.
5. 1731 East Main Street, Mohegan Lake, wetlands permit
Paraco Gas has been hired to repair an underground propane tank located in a wetlands behind the existing stores. The company was asking for an emergency permit that would allow the company to install two 100 gallon temporary tanks above ground while it repaired the existing tank. The approval was granted for six weeks.
6. Adrian Auto Body, Route 202
The building’s visibility from Route 202 has been compromised as a result of the pipeline ware yard along Route 202. To remedy the situation, the board granted the company permission for one year to raise the sign on its existing building on Old Crompond Road from the first to the second floor so that it would be visible from Route 202.
7. Quinlan Street radio tower
Two ham radio enthusiasts advised the board how their club had repaired the club’s antenna on top of the water tank at its own expense. They explained that radio hobbyists have had an informal arrangement with the town for over 40 years and wanted some official acknowledgement of their being there. The town attorney said he would prepare a license agreement. The club makes its communication capabilities available to the town when needed.
8. Mohegan Auto & Tire Company
In a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Patel voting no, the board waived the $1,500 late fee for the company. According to Supervisor Grace, the company was a few weeks late in applying for its building permit. (Note: On May 9, 2017, the board voted to refund the company $1,500 related to a wetlands permit.)
9. Front Street rezoning
The board voted to reconvene the public hearing on the request for transitional zoning on December 19. In response to a question from Supervisor Grace, Mr.Tegeder said that he had not seen anything new from the applicant. Supervisor Grace said that the applicant asked to be on the agenda as he had some concern about the “changing of the guard.”
10. PBA contract extension
The board extended the contract for 2 years with the following raises: 2.5% for 2018 and 2.5875% for 2019. No other changes were noted. The same increases will be paid to the lieutenants in the Superior Officer’s Association and the police chief. The chief will also get the same sick leave and educational benefits that are in the PBA contract.
11. Shrub Oak International School
In an item not on the agenda, Supervisor Grace advised the board that the ownership of the property has changed hands and that the application is still being reviewed by the county’s IDA (Industrial Development Corp.) (Note: it was not clear what, if any, changes had to be made to the PILOT agreement the board had negotiated with the former owner.)
12. 2018 Insurance
The board approved the 2018 contract with Gallagher for insurance policies with Supervisor Grace noting that because the town has had a more favorable loss experience rating, the premiums have gone down although there is more coverage.