Town Board Work Session
May 28, 2013
Special note: As only Supervisor Grace and Councilman Murphy were present, the Board lacked a quorum and no votes could be taken. The two Board members discussed the following items.
1. Stormwater retrofit projects
Mr. Verma reviewed the proposed project to the east of the police department building. (Of the four planned retrofit projects, this one is the only one that will require Town Board approval for the wetlands permit; the other three projects meet the threshold for administrative permits.)
Despite the fact that the project has been before the Board three prior times and has been modified to meet the concerns of the police department, Councilman Murphy asked Mr. Verma if the proposed detention ponds could be moved into the wetland (it is currently planned for the buffer area) in order to free up an area for future additional parking at the police/court complex. When Mr. Verma explained the many difficulties inherent in that idea, Councilman Murphy withdraw his suggestion, noting: I’m just talking out loud; you guys have to do what you’ve got to it. Mr. Barber said he would meet with the town engineer to see if a notation could be placed on the plan that would memorialize possible additional future parking, although Supervisor Grace said there were no immediate plans to expand the parking area given the town’s other needs.
Because the Board lacked a quorum, a vote to refer the plan out was postponed to next week’s meeting.
Mr. Verma said his plan was to bid the four projects together.
In response to Supervisor Grace’s question as to the source of the fill that will be required for the police department project, Mr. Verma explained that that would be part of the bid specs and would be up to the contractor. When Supervisor Grace raised the possibility of using fill from the Route 202 project, Mr. Verma said that it would have to be tested and meet DOT/DEC requirements but that the East of Hudson Corporation (EOH), which will be funding the retrofit project, couldn’t pay for the testing.
When the issue of O&M for the retrofit projects came up, Mr. Verma repeated what he had said at a previous meeting: the EOH Corp. would pay for maintenance for year 5, and will be negotiating with DEP for maintenance funds for years 6-10. When Town Clerk Roker said that the town didn’t do O&M well, Supervisor Grace laughed and said: we don’t do it at all.
As an aside to the discussion, Mr. Barber mentioned that he was working on a possible retrofit project for Year 5 in the vicinity of the highway garage and Supervisor Grace said that Planning Director Tegeder should have a plan for the revitalization of the highway garage site ready for review soon.
2. Stormwater Annual Report
Bruce Barber, the Town’s environmental consultant, presented the annual stormwater report that the Town is required to submit to the NYS DEC. The report details the Town’s efforts over a 12 month period in six categories to eliminate phosphorous from stormwater. He said that the town received high marks in a recent DEC stormwater audit.
A copy of the annual report is available on the Town’s web site
Landmarks Committee – Proposed historic designation
J.F. DeLaperouse of the Landmarks Preservation Committee advised the Board that the owner of 3438 Old Yorktown Road (roughly opposite Copper Beech Middle School) is interested in having her house designated an historic landmark. He said the house dates back to roughly the 1830’s. The Board advised him to get a notarized letter from the owner indicating proof of ownership and to work with the town attorney to work through other legal issues, including the suggestion that the historic designation be recorded at the county level.
Mr. DeLaperous said that once the designation has been approved, an historic designation sign should be erected on the property. In response to the question of who should pay for the sign, Town Clerk Roker said that if the Town was landmarking the property then it should pay for the sign.
4. Energize program
Supervisor Grace directed the town attorney to prepare a local law to be referred out for review next week that would set up a program that could finance energy improvements in commercial buildings using third party financing but which would be paid back through the property owner’s taxes, making the loan repayment tax deductible. The town attorney said she would follow a similar law used in the Town of Bedford. When she asked if the draft law should be reviewed by Town Board before it was referred out to other departments, Supervisor Grace said that the other Board members could review the draft law during the same 30 day period that other departments were reviewing it.
5. Revere Drive drainage issue
Councilman Murphy discussed a problem that a homeowner was having with water flowing down the road and washing away soil on his property that was dangerously exposing tree roots. In an effort to alleviate some of the water flow, he said that highway crews had been cleaning a town easement along the area but that that had exposed even more tree roots in the easement.
He acknowledged that the town wasn’t ready to spend $100,000-$150,000 to correct the drainage problem along the entire road and suggested that at a minimum, the trees in the easement be trimmed back to reduce the danger of their falling across the road and that soil or gravel be brought in to cover exposed tree roots. He asked that the issue be placed on the agenda for next week’s meeting.
As an aside, Town Clerk Roker said she didn’t remember the last time the town had a drainage capital project. In response, Councilman Murphy talked about drainage issues in the Mill Pond area and wondered why some people were opposed to a proposed public-private partnership project (which he did not name) that would spend $5 million on infrastructure improvements in the area that would address the drainage problem.
Section 8 program
As part of a review of next week’s agenda, Supervisor Grace said he would add a resolution that would call for a revote on the issue of waiving the fees the town charges the Section 8 program for rent and utilities at the YCCC and the services of the town attorney. At the May 7 meeting, the Board voted 2-3 not to waive the fees, with Supervisor Grace and Councilmen Murphy and Bianco voting no. Councilman Murphy said he didn’t understand what the May 7 vote was about and Supervisor Grace said there had been a “miscommunication.” Supervisor Grace said that if necessary, the funds could be taken from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
7. Unfinished business
Town Clerk Roker asked the Board if it wanted to review items in what she called an “unfinished business folder” that spanned several previous boards in an effort to “clear the plate.” Two items mentioned were a noise law and a peddling law. Councilman Murphy agreed that this made sense.
8. Towing Bid
As part of a review of next week’s agenda, there was some back and forth between the town attorney and town clerk over the status of a review of the towing bids that had been received and who was talking to who and doing what vetting and the need that everyone should be on the same page. The only bidder mentioned was Hilltop Service Station and whether the bid met the specs. It was decided that the discussion should continue in closed session.