March 12, 2019
Absent: Councilwoman Roker
Personnel: Human Resources, Library/CSEA, Highway, Police
Litigation & Negotiations: Town Engineer, Town Attorney
1. Jefferson Village drainage
A representative of the Village explained that debris from town roads such as plastic bottles, food wrappers, etc. were entering the village’s drainage system, leading to maintenance problems. In response, Highway Superintendent Paganelli suggested that as an immediate short term solution some grid screens be placed at the 6-8 separate inlets to the villagea’s drasinage system in order to catch the debris; the screens would have to be cleaned at a frequency that would be determined by the amount of debris captured. The possibility of more costly improvements to area catch basins was tabled pending the outcome of the success with the grid screens.
2. Request for zoning change for 675 and 685 Saw Mill River Road
No discussion as no one appeared on behalf of the property owner.
3. Solar Law
Town Attorney Abbate and Mr. Tegeder advised the board that they have been working on an updated draft of the law but that more work needed to be done. While the focus of the law remains large solar farms that would need a special permit issued by the Planning Board, the proposed law would also cover residential systems that would be approved by the building inspector but which would require review by ABACA if the roof panelsfaced the street.
The board’s questions focused primarily on the law’s provisions relating to the abandonment and decommissioning of the facility and how it would relate to either the current or the proposed new tree law.
A representative of the company that wans to construct two solar farms, one off Lockwood Street and a second off Underhill Avenue, asked if her company could submit applications before the new law is adopted. She was advised that she could but that the application might creaste a SEQRA segmentation issue.
Mr. Abbate and Mr. Tegeder will return to the board once they have a complete draft law.
4. Tree Law
Mr. Tegeder updated the board on the work of the committee charged with making changes to the draft tree law submitted months ago by Advocates for a Better Yorktown. (Note: the CIY observer writing this summary is a member of ABY.) He was joined by committee members Linda Miller and Bill Kellner.
Explaining that the committee has not yet nailed down all the details for a new draft, Mr. Tegeder used a series of power point slides to explain when a tree permit would and would not be needed; which board would be the approving authority for permits; and when mitigation would required and who would review mitigation plans. In order to avoid the need for redundant permits, the approval of some woodland disturbance would be incorporated into the existing Erosion and Sediment Control Law (Chapter 248).
Ms. Miller explained that because a woodland, which is defined by the presence of three layers: trees, shrubs and ground cover, functions as an ecological system, all three layers had to be protected in order to protect the woodland’s function.
Commenting on the need to balance protecting trees and woodlands while at the same time respecting the rights of property owners, it was pointed out that the proposed law does not prohibit the removal of trees; a property could still remove trees, but depending on the number and location, he might need a permit. It was also noted that a property owner would not need a permit to cut down dead, diseased or dying trees.
5. Selected resolutions
Appointments: To the highway ad parks departments. Also reappointed Bill Kellner and Keith Schepart to the Tree Conservation Advisory Commission and appointed Lawrence Klein as a new member of the Commission.
Illington Road cemetery: (See Town Board 4-3-2018.) The state legislature having approved the parkland alienation, the board authorized the sale of the property to Marcia Saunders for $10,000. The money is to be used for open space acquisition. The deed restricts the parcel from any future development.
Worker’s Compensation. The board authorized a transfer from the Refuse & Recycling fund balance of $28,556 to cover a worker’s comp payment.
Sewer line inspection. The board approved a budget transfer of $19,500 from 2 budget lines in the Yorktown Sewer Fund to cover the cost of a television inspection program of sewer lines.
Fluoridation: The board issued a SEQRA negative declaration for the proposed new fluoridation system to be located on Catherine Street. (No mention was made as to when construction on the new system would begin.)
Litigation. (Note: while the board does not typically disclose the subject of litigation discussions, the observer noticed Michael Grace and Water Superintendent Ken Rundel in the room, leading to the speculation that the discussion might involve the water loop connection for the JV Mall.)