Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Town Board

June 11, 2013

Absent:  Councilman Paganelli


Closed Session

“Personnel and Advice of Counsel”


Open Session


1. Lawn signs

Concerned about the “garbage” of seeing left over, out dated  temporary lawn signs, resident Al Morales proposed that the town adopt a law requiring people wishing to put up signs to register with the town, pay a fee (possibly not charged to non profit groups) and be given an expiration date for when the signs had to be removed. If the signs weren’t removed by the expiration date, the person would be fined.  In response, Supervisor Grace said the town was looking into the issue and was trying to find a compromise on the sign issue. One possible approach, he said, was designing a uniform sign.


2. Audio Visual Equipment & Internet Access

Geoff Wheeler and Ray Arnold of the Cable Committee presented the Board with two proposals to upgrade existing equipment: the remote camera used when off-site meetings are taped and a recorder that’s used to transfer the video to the Internet.  Funds for the purchase (the amount was not disclosed) will come from the PEG funds provided by Verizon and Cablevision; Mr. Wheeler estimated there was about $75,000 available.  The town will seek additional proposals before proceeding to purchase the equipment.


In related issues, Councilman Murphy asked about the installation of TV monitors in the board room and Supervisor Grace said that Councilman Paganelli was looking into the possibility of getting them donated.


Mr. Wheeler informed the Board that between 200-300 a month watch town meetings from the web site. (He said the ratio of live to repeat broadcasts was 75/25.  He did not distinguish whether the 200-300 was all board meetings or just the Town Board.)  When he suggested that the town pay a one-time fee of $450 to develop apps so that the meetings could be made available on three types of mobile devices, the Board did not appear interested.


When Councilman Patel suggested that wi fi be available at town hall, both Supervisor Grace and Town Attorney Koster noted that wi fi presented security issues.


3. Fieldstone Manor

Project architect Michael Piccirillo explained why the applicant was asking to modify the flexibility resolution to allow seven units in the mansion instead of the previously discussed two. (See earlier Planning Board meeting summaries.) The latest plan includes garages for the seven units.


Councilman Bianco said he was “not too happy” with the change that added density to the most dense part of town and he wanted to see what the conventional lot count would look like. He will do a repeat site visit to the mansion. Supervisor Grace said he was okay with the additional units that were needed to make the project economically viable. In response, Councilman Bianco said that while he understood the objective was to keep the building, the economic viability of the project was not the town’s problem.


In addition to referring out the revised plan, a public hearing on the flexibility request was set for July 16.


4. Yorktown Youth Soccer Club

On behalf of YYSC, Rick Romansi and Al French raised the following issues with the Board.

a. Labor Day Tournament. The Board agreed to pay the usage fee for the school district’s field and to cover the cost of the police presence which is required by the school district. However, the Board said it could do nothing about the $4,000 cost to the club for custodial services.  Mr. Romanski stated that about 6,000 people attend the event which brings dollars into the Yorktown community.


b. Other fields. Supervisor Grace said he thought the additional Granite Knolls fields (2 lacrosse fields and a 90’ baseball field) could be ready by 2016 and that the town would be able to use the staging area that Spectra will use when it does work on the gas line as the future access to the site. He said no decision had been made regarding the Hunterbrook field but that he would check into the status of getting fill for the work from the Route 202 project. Mr. Romanski said that YYSC was prepared to make $50,000 available for the recrowning and reseeding of the Jack DeVito field. But, in exchange for providing the funds, he said the club would want a commitment from the town that cars would be prohibited on the field.  Mr. Romanski added that the club did not know exactly what the field renovation would cost but that Mr. French was in the process of getting additional quotes.


5. Building Permits and Comp Time

Building Inspector John Winter advised the Board that if his department doesn’t get additional funds to cover overtime, plan reviews for building permits and inspections will be delayed. He said the department currently had only a two week backlog because of the overtime that has already been used. The 2013 budget has $3,000 for overtime and Mr. Winters pointed out that if comp time is used to cover overtime, it only robs Peter to pay Paul and will lead to longer delays. He said the department has been “swamped” with permit requests for portable generators. 


Supervisor Grace asked Mr. Winters to come back with a projection of his anticipated overtime needs. The comptroller will also look at the revenue that has been coming in from permits.


6. Uniform Notice of Claims Update

There was no discussion of what this issue was about, but there appeared to be agreement that the Board would vote on something, possibly at a regular meeting.


7. Sustainable Energy Finance Program (Energize)

Mark Thielking, chairman of the Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), made a presentation explaining the program that provides loans to existing commercial properties for energy upgrades at about a 6% interest rate.  While EIC, an intermunicipal local development corporation, provides the loans (funds coming from the Department of Energy, NYSERDA and the bond market), the property owner pays back the loan through town taxes and the town, in turn, remits the loan payment to EIC.  If the property owner fails to pay back the loan, the EIC has a reserve fund which can be used to make the town whole.


The loan program is administered by the EIC and applicants must meet a series of criteria in order to qualify for a loan.


To participate in the program, the town will have to become a member of the EIC and adopt a model local law.  The Board was supportive of the program, noting that it was uncertain of the demand and that it might only apply to a handful of businesses.


8. Budget transfer

The transfer will cover an unanticipated higher cost for the town’s liability insurance policy approved last December. The comptroller said she was not aware of the premium cost until she received the invoice.  While the discussion was muted, it sounded as if the transfer was for $50,000, but there was no indication of where the funds were transferred from. (Special note: A FOIL request after the meeting provided the following information: Transfer $53,960 from the General Fund Contingency Line (A1990.0499) to the Police Department Insurance Line (A3120.0467) to pay Fairfield County Bank Insurance Services for 2013 Police Department Professional Liability insurance premium.)


9. Sewer request for East Main Street, Jefferson Valley property

The owner of 250 East Main Street requested the Board to forward a request  to the county for his property to be included in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District. Supervisor Grace said he would speak to the town engineer to see if other nearby property owners were willing to join in to create a larger sewer district.


10. Selected resolutions passed unanimously

a. YVAC: waived the $285 permit free for NYSEG Energy Efficient Program

b, YCCC room rental. Waived a one-time fee of $337.44 for the Yorktown Historical Society for room rental at the YCCC, but declined to issue a continuing waiver for future use, preferring instead to approve waivers on a case-by-case basis. It was noted that a policy was needed regarding rental fees.

c. An agreement with Empire Consulting for drug and alcohol testing services. The cost was not identified.


 Note: The agenda item relating to a community merit badge dealing with ATV vehicles and dirt bikes was not discussed.