February 7, 2017
1. County taxes
County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz announced that for 2017, the county tax for Yorktown will increase by 2.07%, compared to last year’s drop of 6.32%. (Note: Although on a countywide basis there is no tax increase for 2017, the county tax rate for each municipality is calculated separately and is based on the municipality’s wealth compared to other municipalities in the county.)
2. Highway garage/Depot Square
Supervisor Grace announced that the town has received a Restore New York grant for the highway garage/Depot Square project. He did not state the amount of the grant. He said the town now has between $1.2-$1.5 million grant and other monies toward the Depot Square project. With the addition of the anticipated proceeds from the sale of the current highway garage he said the town would have between $3-$3.5 million to proceed with the project without any financial impact on taxpayers. He said that a site plan for the new highway garage/Parks Department garage has already been submitted to the Planning Board and he anticipated that passage of the plan would proceed fairly quickly.
3. Granite Knolls Sports Complex/Legacy Fields
The board voted to hire a surveyor for the project. The cost was not disclosed. Supervisor Grace said he anticipates that the new fields will be ready by the end of the year so that they can be in use with the Legacy Fields are shut down in 2018 for the pipeline construction.
Later in the meeting, in response to a question about how much the sports complex would cost and how itwould be funded, the supervisor and Councilman Bernard said that with some exceptions, the complex would be built at no cost to the taxpayers (no cost was given) with money from Spectra and also an anticipated contribution from the planned purchasers of Phoenix House. Town costs would include the preparation of the plan, the survey and some clearing and grading by town employees. In response to Councilman Patel’s concern about long term maintenance costs, the supervisor said these would be minimal as the fields will be artificial turf.
4. Pines Bridge Monument
Councilman Diana announced that the Jefferson Valley Mall is interested in helping to promote the planned Pines Bridge Monument project by hosting an exhibit about the monument on one of its vacant storefronts.
5. Traffic Advisory Committee
Councilman Bernard reported that the committee will be recommending additional stop signs at the intersedtions of Bunny Lane and Mark Road and Quaker Church and Granite Springs Roads. The town attorney will draw up the required legislation. Additionally, the committee wants the town to continue monitoring the impact any new development will have an impact on the intersection of East Main Street and Stoney Street and whether a 4-way traffic light may be needed.
6. Senior Advisory Committee
Beginning in March, the committee’s regular meeting, held the third Friday of every month, will be at Town Hall beginning at 1pm. The public is invited to attend. Councilman Bernard said that the group is interested in getting feedback from the town’s 3,000 seniors as to what type of housing they want, e.g., do they want age restricted housing. The committee will share the feedback with the Town Board as a guide as new development proposals come before the town.
7. Property taxes on state owned land
At the beginning of the meeting, Councilman Patel announced his intention to ask for a vote later in the meeting on a resolution regarding the state paying local property taxes on state owned land in Yorktown. However, there was no discussion of the resolution.
Planning Board: Bob Garrigan was appointed an alternate member of the Planning Board.
Building Department: Jason Zeif’s position as code enforcement officer was upgraded to reflect additional duties. (The details of the upgrade were not available.)
Water Department: James Morgan’s position as a mechanic in the Water Department was upgraded. (The details of the upgrade were not available.)
9. 714 Saw Mill River Road/Public hearing on revised site plan/transitional zone
(See Town Board, 1-10-2017.) The board opened and closed the hearing and voted to amend the transitional zone to allow for the conversion of the second story of the garage building into a 1-bedroom apartment. There were no public comments. The applicant’s engineer advised the board that modifications had been made to the septic system as required by the Department of Health.
10. LED sign on brick wall at Triangle Shopping Center
(See Town Board, 1-10-2017.) In response to Councilman Patel’s request for more information about the impact of the light emissions from the proposed sign, the board postponed voting on two related resolutions: one, a license agreement with the owner of the shopping center to authorize the installation of the sign, and a second for the Chamber of Commerce to maintain the sign. The lighting issue will be reviewed at next week’s work session meeting.
11. Selected resolutions
Winery: The board voted to request approval from the state legislature for the alienation of the parkland parcel that was part of a land swap approved in June, 2015.
Budget transfers: For 2016, approved a transfer of $26,000 from the Legal Department foreclosure expenditure line to cover legal expenses for outside labor council. Also, $53,790 from two lines in the Highway Department budget to cover liability insurance expenses.
Summer camp programs: Authorized the supervisor to sign an agreement with the Yorktown Grange Fair Association for the use of space for summer camp programs. The cost was not included in the agenda.
Croton Heights Bridge: Authorized an additional payment of $94,479 above the original $300,000 authorization for the repair/rehabilitation of the bridge. The additional money covered work already done that was not in the original scope of services for the emergency project.
12. Courtesy of the Floor
Sewers: In response to questions from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, the supervisor elaborated on his plans to extend sewers to 450 unserwered houses in the Hallocks Mill Sewer District, and replace three pump stations, one of which is currently in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.
The supervisor explained that he plans to finance the projects, estimated to cost about $20 million and to be constructed over time, with $10 million available from the East of Hudson funds and $10 million from borrowing. The bond issue would be paid for by ALL taxpayers in the Hallocks Mill Sewer District -- those already sewered (about 4,000), the newly sewered (450) and the 80-100 properties currently serviced by the Chelsea pump station that would be rerouted to the Hallocks Mill District from the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.
The supervisor explained that by making one large district of about 4,500 homes, the cost of all the projects would be about $30 per parcel and that combining the different districts would be the only way the individual projects would be affordable for some homeowners.
The supervisor said that he was still working out the details of how the projects would be financed. Ms. Siegel asked that the affected homeowners be kept informed during the preliminary planning, especially the homeowners who would be switched from the Peekskill district into the Hallocks Mill District because this could increase their sewer costs.
The supervisor said that letters would be going out to homeowners in three unsewered Hallocks Mill neighborhoods to determine their interest in being sewered.
Bernstein House: Mark Lieberman asked about the status of plans to rehabilitate the house on Route132. Supervisor Grace explained that Franzoso Contracting, the company that bought the property from the town, determined this past summer that the house was beyond repair and would likely be demolished at a future date and a new house built on the site.
Taxes: Ed Ciffone questioned what he said would be a 2.07% increase in the 2017 town tax because of the way the town switched the $30/parcel tax for the Open Space Fund to a tax increase for the General Fund. The board defended the switch repeating its earlier argument that it had no plans to purchase any more open space and that rather than let the revenue from the tax accumulate in a fund that wasn’t going to be used, the same amount of money could be used for infrastructure improvements.
Use of town board meeting room: In response to Ed Ciffone’s comments that the board’s new policy requiring groups like the United Taxpayers of Yorktown using the room to pay $25/meeting and carry liability insurance, Town Attorney McDermott defended the policy on the grounds that it protected the town. He added that making the room available at cost was an illegal “gift of public funds.” Councilman Diana said that “bona fide” groups have insurance.
Parking in fire zones. Dan Strauss expressed concern about the illegal and dangerous parking in the fire zone at Turco’s. He cited the flattened No Parking sign and the almost illegible fire zone marking on the pavement. In response, Supervisor Grace said that the town was aware of the problem and that with Mr. Zeif’s recent upgrade (see above), this issue would be looked into.
Spectra pipeline/Atlantic Bridge. Gwen Glazer of the Maple Brook development expressed concern about the pipeline project that goes through the development. She said the homeowners have gotten conflicting reports from Spectra and they have received no communication from the town. In response, Supervisor Grace explained that in his regular meetings with Spectra officials, he has not heard of any problems involving Maple Brook and assumed that the company was dealing directly with the homeowners’ association. He said that that if residents have problems they should bring them to his attention nd the town will act as an intermediary between them and Spectra.