Citizens for an Informed Yorktown

 

 

Town Board Work Session

February 9, 2016

 

Closed Executive Session

“To discuss contract negotiations and conduct interviews”

 

Open Session

 

1. Digitization project

Virtually the entire meeting dealt with this topic. Representatives of General Code, the vendor who will supply the software for the project made a presentation and answered questions on how the program would work, and Glenn Sullivan, the town’s IT consultant explained how the software would fit into the total picture and what the total cost would be.  Mr. Sullivan explained that the General Code’s latest proposal was much more detailed than its earlier one  (see below).

 

The board moved closer to implementing this long discussed project; Supervisor Grace hoped that all the documents would be in place to begin to move forward within 30 days,, roughly four years after he  first proposed it.

 

The program will eliminate the need to use outdated  microfilm and/or microfiche technologies to save records.

 

The project will eventually cost an estimated $577,000, plus $22,000 in subsequent yearly software licensing costs. Town Comptroller Caporale advised the board that the $3 million bond issue approved last year included $350,000 for the project; leaving only about $250,000 short. However, Phase I would only be about $350,000, the full amount would not have to be spent in 2016. In response to a question, former Town Clerk Alice Roker who was involved in developing the program, advised the board that no grants were available to help defray the cost.

 

 

The first part of the project would involve the use of new laserfiche software to digitize all incoming documents for six town departments: Police, Town Clerk, Building Department, Assessor, Engineering and Planning. Initially, Engineering and Planning were to be done as part of Phase 2, but at Supervisor Grace’s insistence, the Planning and Engineering departments were moved to Phase 1, at least for incoming documents. (Note: In 2013, the  town adopted a law requiring submissions for building permits, subdivision and site plan approval and ZBA applications to be submitted electronically.)

 

The following departments would be included in Phase 2: Supervisor, Legal, Parks and Recreation, Human Resources, YCCC and Section 8.

 

Once digitized,  other departments would have access to the documents, eliminating the need for each department to have its own copy of the same document.  Other departments could also have “read only” access to the documents.  The documents would also be available to the public in response to  FOIL requests.

 

The second part of  Phase I of the program involves scanning and digitizing the back files of  the Police, Building, Assessor and Town Clerk’s office. These departments were selected, both for digitizing  incoming documents as well as back files based on  interviews with department heads, state requirements for permanent document retention and space needs. It was noted that the location where back records were kept in the Police Department were susceptible to flooding.

 

Mindful of the cost of the project, Supervisor Grace said he will have to make the public understand the need for the project and its long term benefits, including cost savings. 

 

Over the next 30 days, the town attorney will review whether contracts with General Code and the proposed separate vendor who will scan the back files meet the requirements of the  town’s Procurement Policy. Sullivan Data will also have to prepare bid specs for the two new servers that the town was planning to purchase in 2016 so that the hardware is available once the new software is installed. A payment schedule tied to delivery milestones will also have to be prepared.

 

It was noted that while many other Westchester municipalities use certain components of General Code’s laserfiche software, no municipality uses the complete digitization program that Yorktown is planning to embark on.

 

 

Other agenda items

 

1. Police building generator

(See Town Board 1-26-2016.) Police Chief McMahon advised the board that the generator it authorized previously was too large to fit through the door to the room where it would be installed and that based on the building’s construction, it was impractical to enlarge the door.  After some discussion, the board decided to proceed with a larger generator, 100kw, that would be located on a pad outside the building and would also accommodate the court building. The board authorized the expense of up to $45,000 to cover the purchase of the generator and an associated transfer switch. As part of the discussion, the chief advised the board that the building’s main cut off switch was not working (for how long, he didn’t know) but that the new transfer switch would resolve this problem.

 

2. Cablevision Wi-Fi

A representative of Cablevision explained the company’s request to put wi-fi antenna boxes on up to six town buildings. There would be no cost to the town and there were no plans for Cablevision to provide any compensation to the town for its upgrading its services. The board asked for more details about the proposal, especially about what Cablevision could provide the town in the way of compensation. The town attorney also said he needed to look into the details of the existing Cablevision contract.

 

3. Illington Road property

(See Town Board 9-15-2015.) Because Ms. Saunders could not attend the discussion, the discussion was limited to a short update for new board members on the earlier Saunders request to purchase the 6 acre parcel. Supervisor Grace explained that the town did not have title to the cemetery portion of the lot.  He suggested that the board members do a site visit.

 

4. Volunteer boards

The board voted unanimously to dissolve two inactive volunteer boards: the Energy Advisory Committee and the Utilities Oversight Committee.

 

5. T-shirt bid for Parks & Recreation Department

At the request of Councilman Diana, the board tabled a vote to award a bid to the lowest bidder, a Texas based company. Mr. Diana wondered why the town was awarding a contract to an out of town vendor when there were companies in Yorktown that provided the same service.  (Note: The number of bids received and their prices were not included in the board’s public agenda.) Supervisor Grace asked the town attorney to see if the town’s “best value” law passed in 2012 applied to this purchase. (See Town Board, 6-5-2012.)

 

5. Miscellaneous

YCCC Enrichment Center rent: Postponed a discussion on the Center’s request for a discounted rent for 2016.

 

Sale of unneeded equipment: Authorized auctioning off three vehicles.

 

Senior bus: Authorized  the expenditure of $10,149, the town’s share of a NYS DOT grant, for a new senior bus.

 

Yorktown Trail Town Committee Sign: Tabled a resolution authorizing the Yorktown Trail Town Committee to erect two signs on town property that had previously been reviewed by Supervisor Grace (one in Railroad Park and a second, along Underhill Avenue adjacent to the North County Trailway) designed to encourage trailway users to  patronize local businesses. Some board members were concerned about the size of the sign and what they considered “visual pollution” and possible sight distance problems. They asked that the Committee prepare a dummy sign so that they could do a site visit and assess its potential impact. (Note: the sign would feature the map of the Yorktown Heights business area commissioned by the Committee.)