Town Board Work Session
December 11, 2018
Absent: Councilwoman Roker
Personnel: Human Resources, Library, Justice Court
Litigation and negotiations: Town Engineer, Town Attorney
Police: Michael Vuoso was appointed police officer
Court: The Court Clerk and Deputy Court Clerk switched positions
Library: The grade level for a librarian was changed
2. Freedom Gardens water bill
As no one from Freedom Gardens was at the meeting, there was no discussion
2. Proposed changes in sewer rents
Town Engineer Quinn has proposed amending the town code relating to how parcels connected to sewers in any of the sewer districts that are part of the greater county Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District or the town’s Hallocks Mill district are charged for O&M based on their water usage. The fee is referred to as the “sewer rent” charge. For parcels in the Peekskill district, property owners pay a tax to the county for the operation of the treatment plant in Peekskill but the sewer rent charge covers the cost for the town maintaining the sewer lines that hook up to the county lines as well as the operation and maintenance of pump stations. Noting that the code was last changed in 1982, he pointed out several anomalies, including the fact that different parcels pay different amounts and some do not appear to pay anything. He also explained that the sewer rent received from the Peekskill parcels is not covering the town’s cost to maintain the sewer lines and pump stations.
In an effort to bring revenue into line with actual expenses and close an existing gap, and also to establish a fee that is the same for all parcels, he is proposing to increase the sewer rent to $1.90/1,000 gallons of water used. Currently, parcels in Hallocks Mill district pay $1.20/1,000 gallons; some in Peekskill pay a flat $15 yearly fee while others pay $1.50/1,000.
For those who pay no sewer rent charge or only a flat $15/year, Supervisor Gilbert acknowledged that there would be some “sticker shock.”
The engineer has drafted amendments to the existing code to reflect the change in cost. The board is expected to votye at its next meeting to refer out the draft law for comment and set a public hearing date.
3. Solar Law
Representatives of Clean Energy Collective, the company that wants to construct a solar farm on Lockwod Road asked the board to proceed with its review of a proposed solar law and not wait for a new tree law to be passed. The representatives said that the company has been working with the town since October, 2017, that it was time to move forward and that its application was following the provisions of the current Tree Law.
Asked about the status of the proposed solar law, Mr. Tegeder said that it was moving along but that he would work with the town attorney on some changes.
It is anticipated that the completed project would pay a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) and that NYSERDA has guidelines for such PILOT agreements.
4. Energize New York
Sarah Smiley, a representative of the non profit company explained the organization’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) for commercial properties. The organization provides loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy for commercial, multi-family, light industrial and nonprofit owned buildings. While the organization’s rates are competitive with other lenders, they offer a longer repayment period, e.g, 20 years. The group sees the program as providing a community benefit that will spill over to increase the value of other properties.
The issue for the town is that the loan is repaid through the parcel’s tax payments, so if the property owner stopped paying taxes, the town would have to make the loan repayment; the town would recoup its money from Energize NY after the town foreclosed on the property.
While the town already has a law dealing with the program, as well as an agreement with Energize New York, both would have to be amended to reflect recent changes in NYS law that removed some of the program’s restrictions. Ms. Smiley gave the board templates for the needed changes. Supervisor Gilbert said the board would have to weigh the benefits of the program against the risks to the town. The board may discuss the issue at a January work session.
Ms. Smiley said that since the program first started in 2015, about 20 properties have taken advantage of the program; most were in Westchester; none from Yorktown.
5. Selected miscellaneous resolutions
2019 budget. Without any discussion, the board adopted the Preliminary Budget without making any changes.
Culvert replacement projects: The board authorized the superbisor to sign agreements for $80,000 and $241,000 with WSP USA for inspection services for the projects.
Vacation time carryover. The board approved the carryover of unused vacation time for a list of employees.
ACCCC rent fees: The board waived the fees for Nor-West for its recreation programs and for meetings of the Drug Crisis in Our Backyard group.
Work Order Management system. (See Town Board 11-27-2018.) Authorizwed the supervisor to sign a new agreement for $40,000 with Woodard & Curran for additional work on the work order management system.
Empire State Trail. Authorized the supervisor to sign a Letter of Understanding with the Hudson River Valley Greenway relating to improvements the latter will make to Patriot Park and paying a section of asphalt pavement that connects the commuter lot to the North County Trailway that is part of the Empire State Trail. The site will bevcoma ea trailhead for the Trail. The improvements will be paid for by the Greenway.
Lowe’s. Authorized the supervisor to sign a Declaration and Restrictive Covenant Agreement with the developer for the maintenance and repair of the site’s water and sewer improvements.