February 19, 2019
Personnel: Police, Building
Litigation & Negotiation: Town Engineer, Town Attorney
REGULAR & WORK SESSION
1. Enbridge (pipeline)
Supervisor Gilbert announced that the company will be in Yorktown until at least June and possibly into October. The completion date is a “moving target” that is dependent on whether the company can use underground drilling (HDD) or needs to dig open trenches. This will impact the availability of Legacy Fields. He advised the athletic clubs to check with the Parks Departments regarding scheduling for both Legacy ad Granite Knolls.
2. Public Safety Committee/Traffic issues
The committee’s presentation on traffic issues has been rescheduled to February 26.
In a 3-2 vote, with Councilmen Diana and Lachterman voting no, the board appointed former supervisor Aaron Bock to the Planning Board to complete an unexpired term through December 31, 2022. While both Councilmen Diana and Lachterman said they had no issues with Mr. Bock’s qualifications, they felt that the board’s current alternate member, Robert Garrigan, should be made a regular member with Mr. Bock serving as alternate (Note: the alternate member votes only when a regular member is absent.)
Christopher Moran, laborer in the Town Buildings Department was promoted to building mechanic.
Jason Swart, a police officer, was promoted to detective.
5. NY State Reproductive Health Act (RHA)
(See Town Board, 2-5-20-19.) During Courtesy of the Floor, some speakers urged the board to pass the resolution it was given at the February 5th meeting expressing the board’s opposition to the state law. Other speakers said that regardless of one’s position on abortion, the issue was not a town issue and that the board should not take any action on the proposed resolution; one speaker said that if the board passed a resolution dealing with abortion, then she would ask the board to pass resolutions dealing with climate change, gun control, and other state and national issues.
During the work session portion of the meeting, Councilmen Diana and Lachterman supported passing the resolution, arguing that even if it wasn’t a local issue, “if we don’t speak up, who will?” Supervisor Gilbert and Councilmen Roker and Patel said disagreed, saying that they were elected to deal address local, not state issues. They said that residents who opposed the law should contact their state lawmakers.
In response to Supervisor’s Gilbert’s comment that the controversial issue could divide the community, Mr. Lachterman raised the possibility of holding referendum in order to determine the wishes of the community. Town Clerk Quast said she would have to look into the laws governing the timing of a local referendum.
5. Seritage (Sears) water main issue
Representing Seritage, Michael Grace explained that the county Department of Health won’t begin its review of the fitness center’s pool until Seritage gets a Letter of Intent from the town that it will take over the private water system that supplies the entire mall; the system includes loops that also involve off site properties. (In 2012, the DOH changed the regulations to require public water systems.) Town Attorney Abbate explained that the town had several options; it could take over the system and enter into a maintenance agreement with the Mall, similar to the agreement it entered into with Lowes, or it could discontinue the existing loop system and let Seritage and Washington Prime who each own a portion of the Mall site build a new system. He added that the Mall owners were not likely to be interested in constructing a new system that could cost $500,000 to $1 million. Mr. Grace argued against a maintenance agreement, insisting that even though the Mall’s water supply system was privately owned, the owners had been paying taxes into the water district for 40 years. Supervisor Gilbert and Councilwoman Roker argued that while they wanted to do what they could to help the Mall, they were reluctant to take over a 40 year old system, in sharp contrast to the Lowes system that was brand new and not likely to experience problems for many years to come. Commenting on the Lowes agreement, Mr. Grace said that Lowes had a bad attorney. He said he could provide the board with a history of the system’s maintenance. The board also wanted to hear from Water Superintendnnt Ken Rundel who was not at the meeting.
Mr. Grace said would review the options with his client.
6. Recreational Marijuana
While the board was unanimous in its opposition to the possible legalization of recreational marijuana, it struggled with what legal options it had to limit the sale in Yorktown. At the heart of the problem was the fact that a bill is still evolving in Albany. One proposal would allow counties and cities with a certain population, but not towns, to opt out. Another bill would allow towns to hold a referendum on whether they wanted to opt out but the referendum questions would also prohibit the sale of alcohol, something the board did not want. Town Attorney Abbate explained to the board that because the town cannot pass a law that supersedes or contradicts a state law, a law suggested by Police Chief Noble would not be legal. He also explained that any zoning code change, such as restricting sales to only certain zones, has to be based on protecting the character of the neighborhood and not simply because you don’t want to allow the sale.
No decisions were made.
8. Brennan dam, Saw Mill River Road
(See Town Board 10-18-2016.) With the dredging of the pond completed, the property owner wants to proceed with Phase 2 of the project: the reconstruction of the historic Hallocks Mill dam which needs to be repaired to comply with DEC safety regulations. The property owner will need a wetlands permit and a stormwater permit. The application was referred to the Conservation Board for review and a public hearing was scheduled for March 19.
9. Selected resolutions
Workers compensation claim, The board approved a $57,386 settlement claim with a police officer.
Roof upgrades. The board approved a $1.2 million budget transfer from the fund balance to the general fund to cover the cost of roof upgrades for the police building, court, and town hall.
Nor-West. The board authorized a payment of $38,232 to Nor-West for recreational services for the developmentally disabled.
The board went into closed session before the start of the work session and again at the close of the open part of the work session.