February 25, 2020
Personnel and volunteer board interviews
1. Laberge Group/grants
Representatives of the company discussed their proposal to provide grant assessment and writing services to the town at a cost of $3,000/month. (Note: it was not clear if that cost also included the cost of writing a grant submission.) The company would meet with department heads and assess their needs as they related to potential grants. The ultimate decision whether to apply for a grant would be with the Town Board. The representatives explained that knowing in advance what grants might be available would assist the town with its long term capital planning and budget allocations when matching funds were required. A focus would be on shovel ready projects. Board members indicated that the company’s services would be helpful to department heads, an opinion shared by the town engineer and planning director who participated in the discussion.
2. National Alliance on Mental Illness
The town will once again participate in the NAMI 2020 ribbon campaign on town poles and suggested additional locations for placing ribbons. Other support options were discussed.
3. Ethics Committee
Jim Martorano, Sr, chairman of the Ethics Committee and two Committee members advised the board that an earlier complaint about the revolving door clause in the Ethics Code had been denied because the provision was not clear and that the person who allegedly violated the clause had “eloquently” rebutted that he did not have a conflict of interest. The town attorney said that there was no provision in the existing Ethics Law giving the Committee the ability to “deny” a complaint.
Mr. Martorano said that the Committee was reviewing the ethics laws of other towns with an eye to suggesting amendments that would clarify the existing law, including adding a relatively short time frame for responding to complaints, the role of the town attorney vis a vis the Committee, requiring more advisory boards to file Disclosure Forms and procedures for following up on those who do not submit their annual forms, and how Committee decisions should be handled.
4. Con Edison replacements projects
Representatives of Con Ed advised the board on the 2020 plans to continue and complete the two gas line replacement projects: Gomer Street and Hanover Street. For the Gomer Street project, the plan is to complete the work on Gomer Street and continue onto Granite Springs Road. Whether the project, that will end at Granite Springs and Sunrise Street can be completed in 2020 will depend on whether the project can substitute plastic pipe for steel pipe; the decision is expected within a couple of weeks. Once the work is completed, Con Ed will repave the road in lieu of paying a permit fee. The Hanover project will continue through Commerce Street, onto Route 35/202 and up Broad Street. For both projects, Con Ed will pay for the services of two Yorktown police officers to do traffic control when portions of the roads may have to be closed. The town is reassessing what it charges Con Ed for police services with an eye towards adding $5-$6 /hour to cover additional police administrative costs.
As the work progresses, Con Ed will notify homeowners along the work route and information will be posted on the town’s web site.
5. Mohegan Avenue retaining wall
The consulting engineer hired by the town to assess whether the substitute block suggested by the company what was awarded the bid would be of equal quality advised the board that it is an acceptable substitute. The estimated $18,000 savings by using the substitute block would then be applied to adding catch basin and other drainage improvements around the lake. The board asked the town engineer to confirm the exact savings.
The board will arrange a meeting with the contractor for Friday at which time it will make a final decision on which block to use so that the project can begin by the April 1 target date. (The original solid block that two councilman appeared to prefer has to be custom fabricated and this would create delay the project’s start date.) The board also wanted more details about the planned stormwater/drainage improvements.
6. Westchester Modular, Madison Court
The applicant needs a Town Board approved stormwater permit to prepare the vacant site for a pre fab single family house. A tree permit is also needed. When Councilwoman Roker asked if the application had been reviewed by the Conservation Board and was told that it hadn’t been referred, a discussion followed between the board, the town engineer and the town clerk on whose responsibility it was to refer these applications. When the board made it clear that it wanted the Conservation Board to review these applications. it agreed to let this application proceed without that review so as not to delay the applicant.
7. Old Logging Road
The property owner needs a Town Board approved stormwater and wetlands permit to dredge a pond on the property. The board referred the application to the Conservation Board and will hold a public hearing on the wetlands application on March 17. Mr. Paganelli expressed concern about the impact on Old Logging Road that the weight of the trucks that will be hauling the removed soil from the project will have.
At the request of Councilwoman Roker, the contractor who will do the dredging agreed to check out the condition of Sparkle lake but added that the services of a limologist would be needed.
8. Teatown Lake Reservation
The applicant needs a stormwater and tree permit for a dredging project and also to use a herbicide. The board suggested that Teatown apply for a general wetlands permit that is good for 5 years and would cover ongoing maintenance. The project will need a truck management plan for Spring Valley Road. The application was referred to the Conservation Board and will be the subject of a public hearing on March 17.
Par 3 golf course
Mr. Martorano and others associated with the project gave the board an update that repeated much of what they had discussed at Monday’s Planning Board meeting (see below).
Mr. Martorano added that he expected the DEC to issue the wetlands permit in about a week but that he wasn’t sure when the Arnold Palmer Foundation that will be doing the construction work will be able to begin. He added that the restaurant and driving range which is not included in the area included in the wetland permit application should be able to open later this year and that the rest of the course would have to wait for one growing season. He said he would also be asking the town to pay the permit fees although he would have to check what the exact amount of the fee was.
10. Martin Luther King Jr. Essay contest
The board received a bit more than 12 submissions, mostly from fifth graders. The awards will be made at the next board meeting.