March 17, 2015
During Courtesy of the Floor, Paul Moskowitz spoke about the radioactive material that is removed from the pigging facility planned for Stoney Street and Lisa Mackay, speaking on behalf of Keep Yorktown Safe, spoke about the pending impact that the next phase of the pipeline expansion known as Atlantic Bridge will have on 1,000 homeowners within 1,000 feet of the pipeline. She noted that neither Supervisor Grace or Greg Bernard and Tom Diana, the two newly elected councilmen, attended the March 11 Spectra informational meeting.
During my Report from the Town Board, I summarized the Q&A I had with the Spectra representatives at the March 11th meeting, most notably, Spectra’s comment that they would attend a board meeting in the near future to answer questions about both the AIM and Atlantic Bridge projects. I added that it was my hope that the meeting would be televised and that residents would have an opportunity to ask questions directly to Spectra.
I also explained that while FERC has issued the Certificate for Spectra to proceed with the AIM project, construction cannot begin until the DEC issues the required air and water quality permits.
2. Courtesy of the Floor Changes
Supervisor Grace stated that after the two new board members are sworn in, he anticipated making changes to the Courtesy of the Floor segment of the agenda. His plan is to limit comments at the first Courtesy to items appearing on the agenda; residents wishing to speak on other topics would have to wait until the reinstated second Courtesy at the end of the meeting.(See my separate comments about this proposed change.)
3. Creation of Hunterbrook Sewer District Extension #20/public hearing
The proposed district would include the Costco site and the properties along Old Crompond Road, from the Costco site to the existing sewer connection in the vicinity of Crompond Crossing. The sewer line, which would be paid for totally by Costco, would run along Old Crompond Road and would not involve any digging up of Route 202.
Both Supervisor Grace and I explained the differences between how hook ups are realized in the county operated Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District (for the Hunterbrook extension) and the town owned and operated Hallocks Mill Sewer District still under a moratorium. (See Sewers for an update on the Hallocks Mill district)
Three people spoke against creating the district, citing concerns that the existing Hunterbrook pump station could not handle the anticipated additional load, especially during heavy rain events when flows into the plant increase. In response, Acting Town Engineer Sharon Robinson said the opponents were not using the correct flow capacity number and that the existing pump station could handle the additional projected flows. Costco’s engineer stated that the additional flows would increase the flow into the plant by 2%.
Two residents along Old Crompond Road who will be included in the new sewer district spoke in favor of the creation of the district. Supervisor Grace noted that bringing sewers to the area would enable to long planned future development of the Bear Mountain Triangle area.
The hearing was closed but the board will not take action until the March 24th work session when it is anticipated that both the SEQRA resolution and an approval resolution will be prepared.
Once the board votes to approve the creation of the district, the county Board of Legislators must approve the addition of the district into the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District.
4. Rezone Property on Route 6 from office to commercial/public hearing
Although the original advertisement for the public hearing was not done properly and will have to be re-advertised for an April 7 hearing, the board opened the hearing with Supervisor Grace explaining that the rezoning from commercial to office use done in 2010 didn’t make sense. The properties are to the east and west of Lakeland Street. The owners of one of the affected properties said they favored to rezoning.
5. Baptist Church Road culvert relining project
The board voted to advertise for bids for this long delayed project. However,because the rules governing the relining have changed since the original specs were done and the consulting engineer needs to update the specs, the actual date that the specs will be advertised was left open.
In a related resolution, the board approved a $29,300 contract with WSP Sells, the consulting engineer, for full time inspection and support for the project.
6. Hallocks Mill Pump Station Upgrade RFP award
As a follow up to its earlier discussion, the board voted to authorize a $465,300 contract with GHD, Inc. to design the upgrade for three pump stations.
7. Budget transfers
The board approved a three page list of 2014 budget transfers totaling $860,000 for various budget funds.
Retirements: With regret, the board accepted the retirements of Tom Federmack (Building and Grounds), Michael Androsko (Police Department maintenance), and Bill Nemhzow (Sewer)
Appointments: Vacancies were filled for: children’s room librarian, maintenance mechanic (Building and Grounds), maintenance mechanic electrical (Sewer) and assistant building inspector (Building)
9 . Items pulled from the agenda
Agreement with CPI-HR to provide consulting services for compliance with the Affordable Care Act. I asked that the vote to authorize the $16,200 agreement be postponed until the comptroller provided information that other quotes for the service had been provided as required by the town’s Procurement Policy. Supervisor Grace said that there weren’t many companies who provided this service, a statement I disagreed with. (See Town Board, October 28, 2014 meeting for a discussion of the service to be provided.)
Contracts for a new energy provider and an audit of past energy bills. I requested that both contracts be tabled as the board had not been given any information about the contracts. While supportive of both the idea of joining a bidding consortium that could result in lower electric rates and auditing prior bills, I requested that the contracts be made available to the board prior to next week’s work session so that the board knew what it was being asked to vote on. I also asked whether the supervisor or comptroller had investigated other competitive rates being offered by other electric suppliers.
Community Housing Infrastructure Investment Program (CHIIP). On the advice of County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz who explained that this program did not exist and that it was too soon to apply for the $5 million in CBBG funds that will be disbursed by the state, the board withdrew this motion that would have submitted three requests for sidewalks projects in the Heights area dating back to 2011 He said the town would be notified as soon as the guidelines for the new program were released. (See Town Board, 2/17/2015). I suggested that since the town’s matching share for the projects would be about $500,000 (based on 2011 cost estimates), the new board should discuss if it still wanted to proceed with the sidewalk projects, and if so, how the town would pay for its share at a future work session.
Special note: The April 7th board meeting will be at the John C. Hart Library in Shrub Oak.