March 21, 2017
1. Alliance for Safe Kids
Representatives of ASK talked about the 7th annual Save a Life program scheduled for April 2nd. More information is available on the ASK web site.
2. Arbor Day
Ann Kutter and Bill Kellner advised the board on preparations for the 6th annual Arbor Day celeb ration scheduled for April 28th at 4pm at Patriot Garden. As part of the celebration, there will be a “trees for tribs” planting program the following day, also at Patriot Garden. Volunteers are welcome.
3. Wetlands Permit, 1875 Brookdale Street/Public hearing
(See Town Board, 11-15-2016.) The board reconvened the public hearing. There were no comments from the public. In response to Councilman Bernard’s question, Mr., Riina said that he had not had any additional contact with the neighboring property owners. However, Highway Superintendent Paganelli advised the board that he had spoken to one or two of the neighborsthe day or so before and advised them that the hearing would be reopened on March 21. (Note: when a hearing is adjourned to a future, unspecified date, and then reconvened, the law does not require that the applicant notify the abutting property owners of the new date.)
Mr. Quinn explained that based on meetings with Mr. Paganelli and Mr. Riina the details of the revised mitigation plan designed to correct the existing drainage problem on the street had been worked out; the town will provide the needed materials for the improvements and the applicant will install the improvements. Supervisor Grace that this public/private partnership was a healthy approach that benefited both the town and the applicant and that it would have been “a lot” to ask the applicant to foot the bill for the entire drainage improvement.
The hearing was closed and the wetlands permit granted.
4. Local law on double utility poles/public hearing
(See Town Board, 2-28-2017.) Supervisor Grace explained the reason for the law which he said would be the first of its kind in Westchester; according to the town attorney, similar laws are in effect in other municipalities, although possibly without the stiff penalty of $1,000/day that’s included in the Yorktown law. Under the proposed law, the highway superintendent will be responsible for monitoring the installation of new poles and the need to remove damaged double poles. If he sees the latter, a letter will be sent to the utility company giving it 30 days to remove the damaged pole. If they do not respond, the department will issue a notice of violation giving them a set number of days to remove the violation; if they don’t, the town will take the issue to court. The legislation also includes a provision allowing the town to go to Supreme Court requesting an injunction ordering the utility company to remove the damaged pole.
In response to a question from Shelly Reid, Supervisor Grace explained that there is a weather event, the town would give the utility company more time to comply with the removal order. And in response to a question from Dan Strauss about the cutting of trees along utility lines, Mr. Paganelli said that a separate local law might be needed to assure that the utility companies trimmed the trees along their lines in order to reduce downed trees cutting off electricity during storms. The supervisor also assured Gil Kaufmann that taking down the damaged poles would not cause an interruption in service.
The hearing was adjourned at the request of NYSEG and Con Edison although Supervisor Grace noted that since the town first began discussing the proposed legislation, at least one or more damaged poles hve been removed.
In an aside during the public hearing on the double utility poles, Highway Superintendent Paganelli advised residents that if they had knowledge of a pothole, they had to send a written notification to the highway department about the pothole; verbal notification was not sufficient. Residents can report potholes on the department’s web site, yorktownhighway.org.
6. Courtesy of the Floor
Murphy’s Restaurant: Dan Strauss and Paul Moskowitz both commented on the proposed plan to demolish the restaurant and in its place erect a 40,000 sf office/retail building. Citing the current vacancies, Mr. Strauss suggested that instead of more retail space, Messrs. Murphy and Grace might consider an apartment or condo complex. Mr. Moskowitz suggested something that would attract people to Yorktown, like another restaurant or other small businesses, and how the proposed new building could connect to existing uses and be an example for a future Depot Square project. In response, Supervisor Grace said he expected the project to be a great enhancement to the town and that the Planning Board will be the one reviewing the project. He said that as a result of the regulatory reforms advanced by the board, the town was starting to see new investment and removal of 1970s architecture that he called “garbage.”
Hallocks Mill Sewers: Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked the supervisor and town attorney for a response to her February letter that asked for clarification of whether the 4,000 already sewered taxpayers in the Hallocks Mill sewer district could be charged to sewer improvements that did not provide them with any benefits.
In his response, the supervisor talked about other sewer issues but did not address Ms. Siegel’s question. He said that letters would be going out soon to the 450 unsewered homeowners and that the letter would be followed with an informational meeting.
Closed executive session
To discuss personnel