December 17, 2013
1. Special meeting
The Board scheduled a special meeting for 12:30pm, December 31, in the4 event there is any last minute business that needs to be attended to. .
2. Dog Park
On behalf of the Dog Park Committee, David Rocco presented the Board with a check for $4,000 as the first installment of the group’s “good faith effort” to pay for a portion of the fencing for the park. He said future checks would be forthcoming. The stumps will be removed as the weather permits.
Walt Daniels, speaking on behalf of the Conservation Board, said he was pleased to see that the park came out better than anticipated but that the Board was still waiting for a mitigation plan that dealt with the incursion into the wetland buffer.
A new police officer
Maria Ricci, currently a secretary in the Legal Department was promoted to Deputy Court Clerk at a salary of $68,000.
Kevin Carney (sp?) as a laborer in the Building Maintenance Department
Patrick Cumiskey to a 7-year term on the Recreation Commission
Elfrieda Schmid, Tax Receiver
Sandra Norman, Librarian
Deborah Gualtiere, a “floater” in town hall
Jane Preston, Deputy Court Clerk
In an item not on the agenda, a boy scout, attending the meeting as part of his work towards a civics badge, asked the Town Board when Costco would be approved. In response, Supervisor Grace explained that the Costco application was before the Planning Board, not the Town Board.
5. 2014 Budget
In a unanimous vote, the Board adopted the 2014 Preliminary Budget. As explained by Comptroller Pat Caporale, the only change from the Preliminary Budget adopted November 21 was a minor adjustment in the CHIPS paving line in the highway budget. Ms. Caporale handed the Board some papers with two taxing options, indicating which one was the preferred one. There were no comments about the tax rate implications of the budget.
In response to comments made at the hearing suggesting that $1,590,000 for capital projects in the water district budget be eliminated as a line item and funded directly from fund balance, Ms. Caporale explained that based on conversations with the Office of the State Comptroller, the only way the town could eliminate the capital projects line was if the projects were going to be bonded (which they were not) or carried out over more than one year (which was not the case.). The money will be used for two cement lining projects anda fluoride dispensing equipment. Given those facts, she said the state comptroller’s office said it was proper to include the capital projects line item in the budget and to charge an administrative fee of 6% on that amount.
Supervisor Grace said that the past funding of the water meter project from the fund balance was a mistake.
During the second Courtesy of the Floor, Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, stated that in the past, this Board had funded capital projects directly from fund balance that were not included in any operating budget, and she saw no reason why the same procedure could not be used for the proposed water district projects, adding that the projects may never even come to fruition in 2014. She said that adding the projects to the water district operating budget was a ruse to generate $78,000 in revenue for the general fund. Councilman Bianco said that if the planned cement lining project is not done in 2014, then that portion of the administrative fee should be returned to the water district.
Ms. Siegel also brought to the Board’s attention the fact that on the town’s web site, the video of the December 10 budget public hearing was found on the Zoning Board page and not the Town Board page where people would normally look for it.
Gil Kaufmann, who spoke against the elimination of the attendant at the Legacy Fields during the budget hearing, repeated his comments, advising the Board that the presence of an attendant helped control vandalism.
6. State Land rezoning
After making several minor text changes to a draft SEQRA Findings Statement and companion rezoning resolution, the Board voted unanimously to rezone the southern 30 acres of the site to C-1 and leave the northern 70 acres unchanged as R1-160, 4-acre residential .
Both the Findings Statement and the rezoning resolution call for the northern 70-72 acres to be left as undeveloped open space, as was presented in the applicant’s EAF. Approximately 22 acres of the 72 acres are identified for the potential future expansion of the Bear Mountain Parkway (BMP). Super visor Grace stressed that the rezoning could not require the dedication of the 70 acres as a condition of the rezoning.
Neither document states whether the 70 acres are to be specifically deeded to the town.
While Councilman Murphy said he preferred that both documents not limit any future commercial development to a maximum of 240,000 sf, Supervisor Grace explained that the number was based on the maximum possible development that was part of the SEQRA review. In a compromise, the Board added the words “approximately 240,000 sf” to the final resolution.
Supervisor Grace read from portions of the resolution that listed the benefits of the rezoning and its compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. He also explained that both documents run with the land and are binding on any future owners of the property.
Supervisor Grace noted that because the following comments that were made during Courtesy of the Floor (before the Board vote) were made after the public hearing had been closed, they would not be part of the official record.
Walt Daniels, speaking as an individual, noted that there was no indication of whether the DOT had any preference for the future location of the BMP, adding that since the land set aside for the potential extension had slopes of 10%-12%, the proposal was basically not feasible. He also said that in the absence of any actual site plan, he didn’t see how rezoning the property now offered any benefits to the town but simply increased the parcel’s value to its current owner.
Patti Peckham asked the Board to take a long view and consider the ramifications of the rezoning 15-20 years from now. And Patricia Johnson commented that additional biodiversity studies had to be done on the northern portion of the site and that the more significant impacts on biodiversity were likely to be in the more sensitive wetlands area that was part of the site to be rezoned for commercial use.
7. Selected resolutions, passed unanimously without any discussion
a. YCCC leases. Approved 2014 leases, with a 3% increase for Westchester Ballet and Get Fit, and kept the rent at the 2013 level for Head Start.
b. YCCC Yorktown Stage. Approved a 10-year lease for Yorktown Stage with 3% increases every two years. The resolution also allows the Stage to apply for a license to use additional space at the rate of $150 per month (Note: Yorktown Stage has been using this space without paying rent for it.)
c. Advertised for bids for body work on town cars and trucks
d. Permitted 40 employees to carry over unused vacation days into 2014.
e. Approved a budget transfer of $15,000 for the installation of a bullet proof office window in the Town Court.
f. Authorized the hiring of the law firm of Shaw, Perelson, May and Lambert in connection with a tax certiorari case involving the Jefferson Valley Racquet Club. The cost will be split equally between the town and the Lakeland School District.