Town Board Work Session
February 11, 2014
Absent: Nick Bianco
Agenda not available
1. Water Department issues
Meter project. Mr. Rambo explained that the registers in the 2,000 recently installed new meters were defective and that the company would replace them at their cost and also assume the cost of installing the replacement part. Letters will be mailed to the 2,000 customers informing them that they will be contacted by the company to set up appointments. There will be no disruption of water service when the defective part is being replaced. In response to questions from Councilman Murphy, Mr, Rambo explained that there was no way to quantify any lost revenue due to the inaccurate meter readings.
GIS Mapping Software. Mr. Rambo advised the Board that he will be preparing an RFP (request for proposal) to purchase new software for the department’s GIS mapping operation and other department functions. The current program was custom designed in 2002 and is no longer being serviced by the company that developed it. He said the new software will have a lot more capabilities. In response to Councilman Patel’s question about the sewer department being able to utilize the new software, Mr. Rambo explained that some sewer installations are already included in the GIS database.
Fluoridation. Mr. Rambo advised the Board that an official from the county Health Department wanted to know the status of the plan to install new fluoride equipment. In response to Councilman Patel’s question why the delay, it was explained that the Town Board had to pass a resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign an IMA (Intermunicipal Agreement) with the Joint Water Works before the NWJWW would proceed with the project. Town Clerk Roker added that her office had not been able to locate an original IMA with the NWJWW, although it was not clear to the listener what the “original” IMA had to do with the current one. Town attorney Koster indicated that the authorization resolution would be added to next week’s agenda.
2. Yorktown Small Business Association
Four board members of the newly formed Yorktown Small Business Association made an informational presentation of their group’s goals and plans and to clear up what Bob Giordano, its spokesman, said were misconceptions about the group. The group was not asking for the town to take any action. The goal of the non- partisan, non-political group is to expand the opportunities for Yorktown’s small businesses, help them become more competitive with the larger chains, e.g., Costco, encourage local sourcing, and encourage more small businesses in town. The group hopes to enlist as members community service organizations and home based businesses as well as businesses with physical locations in town. Pointing out that no one knows how many businesses there are in Yorktown, the group said it plans to do a windshield survey in order to build a database of local businesses. The group stated that it was not pro or anti development.
Supervisor Grace welcomed the group and suggested that it become advocates on behalf of business, especially when it came to regulatory issues that it felt made it difficult for businesses.
The discussion then moved on to general planning issues in the Heights area.
3. Arbor Day
Ann Kutter and Bill Kellner of the Tree Conservation Advisory Commission presented their plans for the 2014 celebration of Arbor Day scheduled for Friday, April 25, the day that coincides with national Arbor Day. While most of the expenses for last year’s celebration were paid for from donations, Ms. Kutter asked that if necessary this year, that funds could be taken from a special tree fund budget line that currently had about $3,000. The Arbor Day Committee has a budget of $1,600 that will be used for signs and banners as well as refreshments and other incidentals.
4. SPARC (Special Program And Resource Connection)
Rose Rothe, executive director of SPARC, a not-for-profit organization that provides social and recreational activities for children, teens and adults described the group’s services to Yorktown residents and asked for financial support from the town. She was joined by some parents and clients who paricipate in the group’s activities. Currently, the only financial assistance the town provides the group is that it waives the room rental fee when the group uses the YCCC.
It was pointed out that the town has been providing financial support to NorWest, a group that services the same general population and has similar programs since the 1970s. (In 2014, NorWest will receive $40,000 from the town.) Some clients participate in the programs of both organizations. The parents made it clear that they didn’t want money taken away from NorWest and given to SPARC, but rather additional funds were provided SAPRC.
Supervisor Grace said it appeared that the town had been providing assistance to NorWest “by rote” and that it might be time to take a fresh look at the issue. Comptroller Pat Caporale who is also on the Recreation Commission explained that the Commission had looked into the NorWest issue a few years ago but at the supervisor’s request, she’ll ask the Commission to look into the issue again.
5. Landmarks Preservation Commission
Three members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission asked the Board for $3,500 to conduct a historic survey of the Heights area to identify buildings of historic interest and also the location of buildings that have been lost with the goal of possibly designating some neighborhoods as being historic. The Commission’s overall goal is to make more people aware of Yorktown’s history and to create excitement about it.
Commission member Bill Primavera said he was prepared to donate $1,800 for the survey from his public relations firm if the town would match his donation. Supervisor Grace suggested that as there was no urgency to the issue, it would be revisited in two weeks.
On a related issue, Commission member deLaparouse called the Board’s attention to the existing barn on the New Road property the town took in rem last year. He said that the barn might have historic value and thought that perhaps instead of the barn being demolished it could be preserved and used elsewhere as an interpretative center. Supervisor Grace inidicated that the former owner of the property may be redeeming the property and that there may have been problems with the foreclosure proceeding.
That discussion then led to comments about the old railroad station building and Ms. Roker explained that because the building was on the federal register there were restrictions regarding possible uses as well as how and who could paint the building. She said that the Planning Department was looking for money for the property. Supervisor Grace said he had received inquiries from people interested in the building.
6. Convalescent home information meeting
Ms. Roker said that the February 24 meeting would not be televised as historically these types of meetings had never been televised.
Supervisor Grace added that the Town Board would not be participating in the meeting and that the purpose of the meeting was to let both sides of the issue became familiar with each other.
7. Selected resolutions
YCCC rents. Waived the room rental fee for the Taconic Post Card Club but held off making a decision to charge the not-for-profit room rental fee to the for-profit group, Street Beatz Dance Studio, pending more information about the group.
Banners: Approved hanging banners in February for the Putnam/Northern Western Women’s Resource group
Finance. Approved establishing a new checking account with JP Morgan Chase so that the town can pay its vendors using ACH (online) payments. Also approve a resolution allowing the town to become a member of a cooperative purchasing network.
In-Rem properties. The Board postponed taking action to refer a list of in rem properties to appropriate local agencies for review as there was confusion over what properties were to be referred. Ms. Roker said the list should include town-owned properties that had not been taken over in rem and town attorney Koster said she was working with the assessor to pull together a list of all town-owned properties.