Town Board Work Session
May 10, 2010
Closed Executive Session
Negotiations and Volunteer board Interviews
Downing Park (Route 202) Ballfields
(See Town Board, 8-4-2015.) Before an audience of YAC baseball players, their coaches and parents, Todd Orlowski, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, asked the board for $275,000 from the General Fund fund balance to pay for the renovation of the Route 202 ballfields. He explained that after some optional additions and subtractions to the specs, the low bid came in at $262,000 – but, the town will be reimbursed by the state for $130,000 from a grant after it spends the money. (An additional $20,000 from the state was used for repairs to the inline skating rink.) Because the bid is good for only 45 days, the town has to come to a decision by the end of the month.
Supervisor Grace said he wasn’t ready to approve the expense, citing “tight” budgets, limited funds, a finite pot of money and the tax cap. He said he wasn’t ready to take all the town’s available cash and put it into this one project. When he said he wouldn’t know how much money might be available until after the 2015 audit was completed, Comptroller Caporale said she anticipated one more visit from the auditors was planned. The supervisor added that he had been waiting since the March joint meeting with the Town Board, Planning Board and Recreation Commission for a Master Plan from the Recreation Commission so that the board could prioritize park and recreation projects.
Comptroller Caporale (who is also a member of the Recreation Commission) reported that the Trust & Agency Fund (funded by a recreation fee paid by residential developers) had $260,000 but that the Recreation Commission was planning to use that money to create a soccer field at the Hunterbrook Field and also upgrade the existing baseball field.
Councilman Bernard indicated that the town was hoping to be able to have residential developers construct some of the park improvements on an in-kind basis in lieu of paying the per lot recreation fee.
Acknowledging the need for more ballfields, Supervisor Grace chastised Councilman Patel and former Councilman Bianco for their vote against the Spectra Granite Knolls proposal saying that if it hadn’t been for their no vote, the town could have had more fields “for nothing.” He also indicated that access to the existing practice fields could be lost if the new owner of Phoenix House did not renew the existing access agreement. Alternately, if the town could work something out with the new owner, a town investment in the fields might be needed. (The supervisor hinted at a potential buyer for the property but said he couldn’t say more. He also said that he had sent a Granite Knolls proposal to someone to look at but didn’t elaborate.)
There was also a brief discussion about the town’s limited finances for maintaining the recreation facilities it already has versus adding new ones.
Citing the need for the work to proceed, a representative of the YAC expressed the group’s disappointment with the board’s failure to move forward with the plan.
The board asked Mr. Orlowski to ask the low bidder to voluntarily extend the bid for an additional 30 days so that the board had more time to review its finances and recreation priorities.
2. Sultana Pool
Supervisor Grace indicated that an unidentified private party was interested in purchasing the pool but as an act of good faith, the town first had to assess the pool’s condition. Accordingly, the supervisor directed Todd Orlowski, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, to have his department’s pool staff do an inspection and report back to the board. Area resident Jay Kopstein who was involved for many years in maintaining the neighborhood pool will assist town staff.
Yorktown Trail Town Committee/Mohansic Trailway Connection
Mark Linehan, co-chairman of the Yorktown Trail Town Committee, made a power point presentation on the group’s plan to use the $7,500 grant the town received from the Hudson Valley Greenway to construct an unpaved trail along the old railroad right of way from Route 118 at Downing Drive to Baldwin Rd. He explained that the trail would link the North County Trailway with FDR Park which, from Strang Boulevard, provides access to other town trails. The total cost of the project, that will include two bridges over a stream and a boardwalk over the wetlands at the Baldwin Rd portion of the trail, is $26,868. The cost is mostly for lumber and related hardware to build the bridges and boardwalk. The Highway Department has agreed to provide some assistance, with most of the work being done by volunteers.
Mr. Linehan was requesting $19,368 from the Town Board. The budget also includes $5,540 from the Highway Department to cover the purchase of Item 4 that will be used on a portion of the trail.
The board was supportive of the project but before authorizing any money, Supervisor said that two legal issues needed to be resolved first:
1. Whether the trail could be constructed over the buried AT&T fiber optic cable that runs 50’-60’ in from Route 118, and
2. Who owns the right of way: the town, county or state (DOT)
Supervisor Grace advised Mr. Linehan to work with the town attorney to resolve both issues. Board members also asked Mr. Linehan to investigate the possibility of private donations.
4. Hess Station, Route 202
The station is being/or has been changed to a Sunoco station and new signage is needed. Town Code gives sign approval for gas stations to the Town Board. The board reviewed several possible photos and there was general agreement that a monument style sign suggested by Mr. Tegeder was the preferred option. Left open was the exact dimensions of the sign. It was also unclear from the discussion what changes were planned for the canopy. Councilman Bernard noted that this was an opportunity for the town to improve the aesthetics of the site. It was not clear if a public hearing would be needed and whether the applicant would be referred to ABACA.
5. RPG Rezoning, Lexington Ave.
The applicant showed the board a revised plan with only eight units. The new units will be slightly larger than those originally proposed but the total FAR (floor area ratio) still meets code. The plan will still need variances.
The board was supportive of the plan and will reconvene the rezoning hearing on May 17. The applicant’s attorney will prepare an initial draft of the approving resolution that will limit the number of units to eight. Concerned about the aesthetics of the proposed townhouses, Supervisor Grace suggested that the previously reviewed rendering that had the board’s general approval, might be part of the resolution as a “guide” that the Planning Board could use once it reviews the site plan.
When Councilman Bernard brought up the aesthetic issue of the site’s dumpster being placed at Lexington Avenue instead of in the rear of the property, the developer explained that he was trying to avoid placing the dumpsters close to the abutting residential properties. It will be up to the Planning Board to consider adequate screening for the dumpster.
Supervisor Grace advised the applicant to let the neighbors know about the reconvened hearing; the applicant said he had already shared the eight unit plan with them.
Although the site’s sewer connection has not been worked out, one option appeared to be tying into the line that currently serves the facility at the corner of Route 6 and Lexington Ave. Supervisor Grace advised the applicant that since the town had done a favor to the Cortlandt facility, allowing it to tie into Yorktown’s sewer system as relief for its failing septic system, the facility should not give the developer a hard time if he wanted to tie into the facility’s existing line.
The board approved a contract with Police Chief McMahon. (Note: The vote to go back into open session, followed by the vote to approve the contract, was taken while the door to the meeting room was still closed. When the CIY observer asked the deputy town clerk for the details of the resolution, she was told that she was not given a copy of resolution and therefore had no details.)