April 24, 2018
Personnel: library and police department
Litigation and negotiations
1. Jefferson Valley Mall
Representatives from Washington Prime, the owners of the mall, advised the board that their construction plans had been put on hold pending the town’s making certain documents, e.g., the Maintenance Agreement for taking over the ring road, available. (The prior Town Board approved the Agreement in December, 2017, but it required the Highway Superintendent’s signature, and that was not forthcoming until this past week.) Supervisor Gilbert explained that the hold-up was the town’s waiting for confirmation that the DOT would permit the new right turn lane into the mall if the town assumed ownership of the road. That confirmation was received on or about April 19. The supervisor added that although there were errors in the DOT letter, such as the statement that the town will pay for the new road when Washington Prime has agreed to pay for the road, he didn’t see these as major issues.
On procedural issues, Washington Prime noted that the prior board’s approvals were due to expire and asked that the current board vote to renew them. The board had no issue and will do so at a regular meeting. Mr. Tegeder also advised Washington Prime that they would have to apply to the Planning Board for subdivision approval as the property that encompasses the ring road will be split off from the larger mall parcel when it is turned over to the town.
2. Water Department issues
Water Superintendent Ken Rundle brought up two issues: the need to proceed with the delayed cement lining project and also the replacement of old water meters with the new computer read system. He said he wanted feedback from the board on how to proceed with both projects. He estimated the relining would cost about $2.5 million and suggested that if the board decided to proceed with the project, it could be done in phases. The issue was where the money would come from as the comptroller advised the board that only $1.2 M was available in the water district’s fund balance. She added that additional funds would be available after two years when the bond anticipation note that financed Yorktown’s share of a water tank replacement at Joint Water Works was paid off.
In response to Councilman Lachterman’s question about the life span of the cast iron pipes in question, Mr. Rundle said that they could last 50 or more years and that there were many variables; many cast iron pipes in the Mohegan area installed in the 1930s are still serviceable. He added that the cement lining was good for about 25 years.
Councilwoman Roker said the town had to be proactive and that the issue was not if but when.
On water meters, Mr. Rundle talked about the benefits of the computer read technology that was installed in about 2,000 houses in circa 2011. Since the previous board put a hold on adding the meters to the rest of the district’s customers, and instead said that new meters would only be installed when a house was sold (seller or buyer bearing the cost), only 100-125 meters a year have been installed. He said that instead of replacing the existing meter, there might be a less expensive alternative (Note: this point was not completely clear.)
In a separate discussion, he said that the town’s water loss (water used but which wasn’t metered and paid for)
3. Ethics Law
Albert Durante, chairman of the Ethics Board, along with two members of the board, asked the board to consider two amendments to the existing law.
--Section 45-18 that made the town attorney an ex-officio non voting member of the board. He said that over the years some attorneys have only attended board meetings when asked; others attended all the time. The board felt that it was a conflict for the attorney to be there all the time.
--Section 45-5 dealt with when a Town Board member would have a possible direct or indirect conflict of interest. (Note: The reason why this change was needed as not clear.)
Mr. Durante said the board did not want to adopt a draft revised law prepared in 2015 by an outside ethics consultant.
The board was also concerned about some of the procedures that the board had adopted once it was constituted in 2010. At issue was a concern for due process and whether a person who was the subject of a complaint had the right to know the name of the person making the complaint. Mr. Durante said the board saw both sides of the issue: due process was important, but also, some people may be reluctant to have their name revealed, especially if they were in a subordinate position to the person who was the subject of their complaint. Supervisor Gilbert and Councilwoman Roker appeared more concerned with due process issues while Councilman Lachterman was concerned about the subordinate/superior issue.
The town attorney will continue to work with the Ethics Board on the issue.
3. 3423 Stony Street stormwater permit
Mr. Tegeder explained that because the lot in question was part of an already approved subdivision, the stormwater permit had to be granted by the Planning Board, not the Town Board.
4. Mobil Gas Station, Saw Mill River Road
(See Planning Board, 4-23-2018.) The board reviewed a memo from Planning Board based on its April 23 meeting. Councilwoman Roker said she was concerned about the size of the requested parking variance. The architect and engineer repeated that 3,000 sf was the economically feasible size but added that about 30% would be used for storage. This prompted Mr. Tegeder to suggest that if a plan was submitted separated out the storage area, then the board could consider only the retail square footage when calculating needed parking space. Based on 2,000 sf, plus the possible parallel parking spaces, the applicant might meet the requirements or need a much smaller variance. Mr. Tegeder said he would contact the owners of the Triangle Shopping Center about the possibility of allowing off site retention or discharge.
While the board agreed that this application did not have to be included in the mini study for the triangle area, it did want to see traffic counts for the gas station.
The applicant was advised to come back to the Town Board once all the Planning Board’s issue had been addressed.
5. Hallocks Mill pump stations
The focus of the discussion was how to deal with the Jefferson Park pump station and whether to replace it with a new pump station or build a gravity line to divert the sewage to Peekskill. Mr. Quinn said that replacing the station would cost $490,000. Last year, the town’s engineering consultant estimated that the new diversion pipe would cost $325,000, plus there would a cost of $50,000-$75,000 to decommission the existing station. Also the plan needed easements.
The focus of the discussion was how much it would cost the 37 homes if they were part of Peekskill and how much revenue the Hallocks Mill district would lose. Also at issue, with no clear answer, was who would pay the $88,000 buy-in to Peekskill: the 37 homeowners over 10 years or the Hallocks Mill District, and who would pay for the cost of the diversion pipe. Depending on who paid these costs, the total cost to the 37 homeowners could be more or less than the $570 current Hallocks Mill tax.
Councilwoman Roker said all this information had to be made available to both the 37 homeowners, as well as all the Hallocks Mill homeowners; she said this should have been down last year when the switch was first proposed. Once this information is made available, and including both options, replace or divert, the town will have to let the public know. It was not clear exactly if a public hearing might be needed. There was a consensus though that time was of the essence and that the diversion option would take longer because it required the okay from the county. Supervisor Gilbert noted that Cortlandt Supervisor Puglisi told him she had no objection to 37 additional houses switching into Peekskill. Somers and Peekskill would also have to weigh in.
6. Parking on Front Street
This issue was put on the agenda at the request of Bob Giordano of the Small Business Association but by the time the board got to this item, Mr. Giordano had left the meeting. Mr. Paganelli advised the board that for reasons that had previously been discussed, the lot in front of the highway garage could not be expanded and that if the town put up 2 hour parking signs, someone would have to be hired to monitor compliance. He said parking was available in the lot next to town hall but that people didn’t want to walk.
7. Fee reduction at YCCC for SPARC
There was some confusion over whether the board had already voted for the reduction,
8. 230th Anniversary Discussion
Councilman Diana, the board member designated last year as the person in charge of the event, said he and Councilman Lachterman had ideas but he wanted input from other board members. In response to Supervisor Gilbert’s question of whether anything had been done for the town’s 220th anniversary, Councilman Lachterman said no, but that was all the more reason not to ignore the 230th anniversary. Ideas included a parade, some activity in each of the town’s 5 hamlets, a historic recreation, an auction, and combining something with an all day concert planned by the Lions in August. While details are being worked out, Councilwoman Roker suggested that the date be set so that it could be “saved.”
9. Orchard View subdivision
At the request of Mr. Tegeder and without any discussion, the board voted to approve a series of documents for the subdivision instead of waiting until next week’s regular meeting so that the developer could proceed.
10. Hiking directional signs
Although shown only on the agenda as a resolution to be voted on at the next meeting authorizing the highway superintendent the erect signs on town roads that will direct people to town parks and trails (the issue was not on the agenda for discussion), when the resolution was mentioned, Mr. Paganelli said that the issue the board had to consider was the need for the highway department to be reimbursed for non highway related work he was asked to do such as creating the handicapped parking spaces in front of town hall or paving at the YCCC, or the plan to create a 181 foot path from Patriot Garden to Railroad Park. He added that the issue needed to be addressed especially for public/private partnerships like the hiking and mountain biking signs that the Yorktown Trail Town Committee wanted to erect, paying all costs. Mr. Paganelli also raised the issue of opportunity cost; if highway staff was erecting signs, it couldn’t be doing other things like removing dead trees from right of ways or cleaning catch basins; he said that in order to have money available to purchase new trucks, he has purposely left vacancies unfilled and as a consequence his department is operating with fewer employees than in the past.
Jonathan Nettelfield, a member of Trail Town Committee briefly explained the project (he had earlier sent a digital presentation to board members), adding that in the other municipalities his firm has worked with on similar projects, there was no issue when highway department staff erected the signs. Also, there had been no issues with the state DOT about placing signs on state roads.
(Note, the person writing this summary is a member of Yorktown Trail Town Committee.)
11. Use of mobile show trailer
In an item not on the agenda, Council Lachterman said that the board needed to adopt a policy as to what groups could use the trailer and if so, at what cost and with what other requirements such as a certificate of insurance. He said that since the trailer was bought with money from the General Fund, it was up to the Town Board, and not the Rec Commission or Parks Department to set the policy. When not in use, the trailer is now currently being stored by the Parks Department. The board agreed that the issue was time sensitive because of the number of requests the taown has received. One suggestion was to have three levels of fees: for town non-profits, town profit making, and non town requests. Supervisor Gilbert said he wanted to see what the resolution that authorized the purchased said.
Subject matter not disclosed