December 10, 2019
Interviews for volunteer board
Personnel: compensation/out f title pay; town comptroller
Litigation and Negotiations
The board accepted the retirement of Sophie James from the Building Department.
Reappointed Lynette Waterhouse, James Martorano and Sergio Esposito to the Ethics Board and appointed Robert Gioramdo to the Ethics Board to replace Albert Durante. Left undecided was a potential replacement for Ethics Board member Laurie Noonan whose term has expired.
3. 2020 Budget
(See Town Board, 12-3-2019.) The board approved the 2020 budget with the changes Supervisor Gilbert announced at the previous meeting. He said the additional revenue for the general fund would reduce the town tax but that the increase in the water tax would cost the typical property owner $26/year.
3. Hallocks Mill Sewer extension
Mr. Quinn advised the board that only about 40% of the 315 homeowners in the proposed district have returned their petitions. The deadline is December 19. A second reminder letter was sent out about two weeks ago.
4. Sewer resolutions
(See Town Board, 12-3-2019.)
Hallocks Mill pump station resolution. The board rescinded the 12/3/19 resolution for the design of upgrades to four Hallocks Mill pump stations and the Farm Walk Pump Station in the Peekskill distrist and said it had questions about where the funds would come from.
Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District. The board rescinded the 12-3-19 resolution passed December 3, 2019 that would use money from the Yorktown Sewer (aka Hallocks Mill district) and passed a new resolution that will take the funds from several sewer districts that are part of the Peekskill district.
5. Hallocks Mill Pump stations
(See Town Board 11-19-2019.) In the continuing discussion of the additional money needed to complete the project, Mr. Quinn advised the board that GHD had lowered its anticipated cost of $87,400 to $65,550 on the assumption that town staff would be able to complete some of the remaining work. At the board’s request, the GHD representative agreed that when it came time to bill for the work, instead of invoicing a lump sum bill, the firm would detail exactly what work had been done and the number of hours utilized. The company will be billing at its 2015 hourly rates as per the 2015 contract. A revised resolution is expected to be voted on at the next meeting.
6. Pan Bar Realty, Aspen Road
(See Town Board, 5-28-2019.) After Mr. Quinn advised the board that the applicant had received the variance from the ZBA to construct a house on a paper road and Mr. Tegeder advised the board that the Planning Board had no issues with the proposed project, the board voted to grant the engineer the authority to issue the necessary erosion and sediment control permit.
7. McTaggert/Edson Development, 2241 Saw Mill River Road.
When the property, at the intersection of Saw Mill River Road and Broad Street was developed, the new house was built with a septic system and dry sewer because the sewer moratorium was in place. Now that the moratorium has been lifted the applicant wants to put the sewer line into use but it first needs the town to accept the line. The issue was referred to the Planning Board.
The board awarded the bid for the construction of the new fluoridation system for the Catskill water supply. In addition to the $700,000 already set aside for the project, the board voted to transfer $149,970 from the water district’s fund balance. Once the funds are expended, the town will be reimbursed pursuant to a state grant.
9. Tree Law/Public hearing
The board reconvened the hearing that was adjourned on July 9. Mr. Tegeder explained the proposed changes to the version of the law that had been advertised and which he had outlined at a previous meeting. Supervisor Gilbert reported that the Tree Conservation Advisory Commission (TCAC) opposes the exemption of half acre lots and Councilman Lachterman read an email from Jay Kopstein opposing the requirement that a permit was needed to remove a specimen tree, defined as a tree with a 24’ dbh (diameter 4’ from the ground). In response to the latter, TCAC members Bill Kellner and Keith Schepart explained the many reasons why specimen trees were important.
Representatives of Advocates for a Better Yorktown (ABY), including the person writing this summary, urged the board to adopt the version of the law that was advertised and reject the last minute amendments that they said would weaken protection for woodlands, were unfair to smaller landowners and which were being advanced in order to appease a single large landowner. John Kincart stated that more than one “large” property owner felt that the law was unfair to them.
Supervisor Gilbert said that he was trying to strike a balance between the goal of protecting woodlands without being unfair to large landowners who might sue the tow. Other speakers asked the board to eliminate the provision that exempted lots one half acre or less from the law and raised the issue of the need to enforce the law.
After closing the hearing and deciding to vote at the meeting, the board held separate votes on each of the contentious issues and then voted unanimously to approve the advertised draft of the law with the following changes
n removes the exemption for lots half acre or less
n creates a 12’ perimeter around a woodland where a property owner can do normal maintenance – but not remove any trees – without a permit. The definition of normal maintenance was modified to reflect maintenance in woodlands.
n requires a permit for disturbing 10,000 sf or 6% of the woodland, whichever is greater.
n requires a permit to remove 10 or more trees in a calendar year in an area 10,000 sf or more.
10. Police salaries
In an item not on the agenda, the board approved raises for police lieutenants and the police chief: 2.5875% for 2020 and 2.5% for 2021.
11. Salary adjustment for department head
The board approved a $20,000 stipend for 2019 for Margaret Gspurning, head of Human Resources, for her additional work in charge of town buildings.
12. Selected Miscellaneous Resolutions
Highway Department. The board authorized the purchase of a truck at a cost of $102,692.
Nor-West Program: The board waived the $1,482 rental fee for the ACCC gym for the group’s recreation program use.
Kear Street lights. Although the developer of the new building on Kear Street paid to install seven street lights on Kear Street in front of the building and around the corner on Commerce Street as part of its site plan approval, the town will be responsible for paying the electric bill for the lights.
Water Department consultant
The board agreed to transfer $10,000 in the department’s 2019 budget to another budget line to allow the department to hire a consultant, Weston & Samspon, to review various infrastructure aspects of the town’s water system that are beyond the technical abilities of the department’s current staff. An immediate need is to assess the capacity of a water line, both in terms of volume and pressure, to service six proposed new homes. Before the Health Department approves the subdivision plan, the town needs to provide a “will serve” letter attesting to the twon’s ability to provide the six houses with adequate water.
Mr. Rundle advised the board that the Water Department hasn’t had the services of a consultant for over 20 years. Mr. Tegeder explained that 20-30 years ago, the town’s practice was for the developer to pay the cost of assessing the water system’s adequacy.