Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Town Board Meeting

February 21, 2012



1. Report from Supervisor Grace

Route 202: He reminded the public about the special February 23rd meeting to discuss the future of Route 202. He explained that while the meeting is open to the public, the meeting is primarily for the stakeholders in the corridor, plus government officials, and that the public will not have an opportunity to comment at the meeting.


Hypnosis session: He announced that Stuart Green would be conducting a session on the use of hypnosis to stop smoking and for weight loss  in Town Hall on Friday, February 24th, from 6-8pm. People can sign up for the $50 session by calling Mr. Grace’s assistant, Mary Capoccia.


Emergency preparedness: He announced that Beaver Ridge has set up an emergency evacuation plan and that a generator has been installed in the senior complex for one elevator and the heating system.


Community Affairs:  He announced that the town has already realized “dividends” as a result of the recent meeting, citing the fact that Relay For Life will use food cans for its illumination ceremony which will then be donated to the Food Pantry. He also mentioned efforts to set up a farmers market, but did not discuss any details.


2. Report from Town Council

Councilman Bianco announced that Cablevision now has separate channels for the two school districts: Yorktown, Channel 18 and Lakeland Channel 35.  (FIOS channels are 27 for Yorktown and 34 for Lakeland.)


Councilman Patel raised the issue of the use of fluoride for Yorktown water coming from the Northern Westchester Joint Water Works.


Councilman Paganelli said that while attending a meeting of the Association of Towns, he learned about an opportunity for the town to set up a computer and TV recycling program so that residents would not have to wait for the special county pick-ups.


Granite Knolls field: Mr. Paganelli also reported that Highway Superintendent DiBartolo has completed about 95% of the grading and tree removal work at Granite Knolls so that the site can be used as a practice field for the athletic clubs. Town Attorney Koster said that the agreement with the clubs for them to maintain the field has not been finalized.


3. Courtesy of the Floor

a. Route 202: Ray Arnold, the town’s former Planning Director, gave board members some documents outlining the history of the Route 202 corridor dating back to 1956 when the corridor was initially proposed for a town park. That changed with the 1966 master plan which designated the corridor for general and light industry. He called the 2010 comprehensive plan a “zoning map” and not a comprehensive plan.


b. Route 202 Paul Moskowitz stated that the Route 202 meeting was “a good thing to do” but wanted to know why, since at least three board members were likely to be at the meeting,  the meeting hadn’t been advertised as required by law. In response, Supervisor Grace said that because the meeting was a “forum” and not a “work session” it didn’t have to be advertised.


c. Tax preparation: Gil Kaufmann praised the work of AARP volunteers who are providing free tax preparation services to seniors in the YCCC whereas at least one senior was told that the same service would cost her $300 if done by  H&R Block at Sears.


d. Holland Sporting Club: Pat Cumiskey raised several questions about the bid specs for the rental of containers to be used when the town undertakes the demolition. He was concerned that the specs, as written, did not have provisions if the number of containers exceeded the estimate in the bid specs and he questioned the estimated number of containers that would be needed for the job. Stating that he wanted to be of assistance to the town and that he wasn’t being an obstructionist, he wanted to know how the town arrived at its 40 container estimate.


In response, Supervisor Grace said that the specs had been drawn up by himself, working with Dan Ciarcia, a local engineer, and Highway Superintendent DiBartolo. Mr. DeBartolo added that the estimate was based on his experience demolishing the former Parks Department administration building and that he doubted that the number of containers would exceed 32.  He also stated that his department had the necessary excavator with a 19.5” reach to do the job. Supervisor Grace said that some vendors had indicated to some town officials that they would not charge for the drop and pull containers but only for the tipping fees.


Mr. Cumisky also asked if the town had requested the extension of the bid from the low bidder for the demolition job.


In response to Councilman Bianco’s question about how many days the job would take, Mr. DiBartolo said 3-4 and that he would be using 2 equipment operators and one other person. Mr. Bianco also asked for a cost analysis of the project but Councilman Paganellii noted that this might be difficult because there could be down time involved for town staff.


Councilman Murphy stated that the project was not going to “flop”  and that the town was going to make sure that the job was done.


Councilman Patel raised the issue of whether the wood chips that are being proposed to fill in the foundation might leach into Mohegan Lake. Mr. DiBartolo said that this wasn’t an issue as the chips were used in the town’s playgrounds and were safe.


e. Foreclosure: Susan  Siegel (the person writing these notes) repeated several questions about the status of the 2008 foreclosure proceedings which, she said, she had asked two weeks earlier but had  not been answered. She said the town had wasted over $250,000 paying taxes on property that should have been taken off the tax rolls years ago and that it wasn’t fair for responsible taxpayers to bear the burden of those taxpayers who didn’t pay their taxes.


In response, Supervisor Grace said that the town wasn’t going to throw people out of their homes and that the foreclosure issue would be discussed at an upcoming work session.  Councilman Bianco said that he would check with the tax receiver to get an answer to Ms. Siegel’s question about how many people were in default on their installment agreements. He saw nothing wrong in her asking the question and in being entitled to an answer.


Emergency Notification System: Ms. Siegel gave the town an analysis of how the Emergency Notication System had been used during last  year’s October Halloween storm. In response, Supervisor Grace said that after discussing the issue with Police Officer Eidelman, the town had other uses for the balance of the Entergy grant funds. Ms.  Siegel responded that the grant was given for one purpose and should not be used for another.


5. Public Hearing. The board set March 6th for a public hearing on the proposed local law permitting the issuance of temporary certificates of occupancy for 180 days.


6. Bids

The board voted unanimously to award the bid for sweatshirts for the highway department to the Sports Barn, the lowest bidder, at a cost of $64.75 per sweatshirt.


7. Resolutions

Without discussion, the board unanimously passed resolutions authorizing the supervisor to sign agreements/contracts dealing with the following.


a. Parks: Hiring Mott Tank Inspection to prepare Spill Prevention Reports for Junior lake Pool and the Brian J. Slavin Aquatic Facility for $5,100.


b.Costco: Hiring Jacobs Engineering Group to analyze the traffic impact of Costco, at a cost not to exceed $9,000 to be paid for by Costco.


c. PBA: Ratify a Stipulation of Settlement with PBA, signed in 2011, dealing with police overtime.


d. Garbage: Renewal of several commercial garbage licenses.


e. Contracts: Extension of Microfilm/Microfiche maintenance contract for one year.


f. Litigation: Settlement with Fair Housing Justice Center dealing with litigation involving the town’s Section 8 program. No details were provided.


g. Creative Living: Amended the wetlands permit for Creative Living to construct 4 dugouts not included in the original permit. The change was considered “de minimus” and therefore a public hearing on the proposed change was deemed not necessary. The property owner remains subject to the requirements of other outside agencies such as the NYS DEC.


8. Personnel

The board accepted the resignation of Charlotte Tarkin, a part time employee in the court.


After adjourning, the board went into executive session “for a discussion concerning a particular person.”