Town Board

June 116, 2020


1. Covid-19

Supervisor Slater reported 45 active cases in Yorktown as of Tuesday with more than half in nursing homes. The town has had a total of 684 cases.  The JV Mall is expected to open next week under Phase 3.  The board also passed a resolution authorizing Covid-19 agreements with non-tenant users at the ACCCC.


2. Race issues

The town passed a resolution proclaiming June 19, 2020 Juneteenth Day in recognition of the end of slavery.  Supervisor Slater announced that the town will institute a diversity training for all town staff. Also that the Police Department’s use of force policy is available on the department’s web site.


3. June 23 primary voting

There will be only three locations: Copper Beach Middle School, John C. Hart Library and the gym in the ACCCC Community Center. Check with the Town Clerk’s office for your appropriate voting location.


4. Courtesy of the Floor

Two speakers urged the board to proceed with the delayed fluoridation project and not wait for written confirmation from the state that the grant money would be forthcoming.  Dr. Carl Tegtmeier, a dentist, spoke about the value of fluoridation and the support it has within the health community. Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, said that the $700,000 needed to complete the project was available and that completing the project was a critical health issue.


In response, Mr. Quinn said that Yorktown’s request to the state Department of Health has been “elevated” but that there still was no way of knowing if or when the existing grant, which has expired, would be renewed. He advised the board that all the necessary paperwork for the project to proceed has been completed but he is still waiting for a written confirmation from the state that the grant will be extended before instructing the contractor to begin work.


Councilman Diana said the town should wait for the state to act before proceeding.


5. Sidewalk cafes/public hearing

The board opened and closed the public hearing to amend the town code to reflect the changes it made by executive order regarding the temporary changes in outdoor seating permits for restaurants. There were no public comments and the amendments were adopted.


6. Battery Storage Law/public hearing

Mr. Tegeder and Supervisor Slater explained the concept behind battery storage and some of the details of how the proposed law would work.  The general sense was that the electric grid had to evolve so that it would be sustainable into the future and that energy would be available when needed. Mr. Tegeder explained two potential additions to the law: one, the provision inserting maximum lot coverage guidelines that was discussed at a previous board meeting, and a new safety related provision recommend by state fire code authorities.


Carl Hoegler expressed concern about several environmental issues and Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, said she supported the concept of battery storage facilities but suggested that the board allow them by rezoning parcels on a case by case basis rather than an “any parcel” approach.  In response to Jay Kopstein’s comment that in the event of a prolonged blackout, once the facilities discharged their stored energy into the grid they wouldn’t be able to recharge their batteries, Swarnav S Pujari chairman of the Climate Smart Task Force explained that battery storage facilities were part of a long range strategy to create micro grids.


The town also received a memo from the NYC DEP with some recommendations and a letter from a resident asking the board to do more research into the issue before enacting the law. Councilwoman Roker wanted to make sure that the Fire Advisory Board reviewed the proposed law.  In general, the board appeared supportive of the law and the need to address future energy needs.


The hearing was adjourned.


7. Sunrise Solar/Granite Knolls Solar Carport

In an item not on the agenda, the board rescinded the resolution passed last week to enter into an option/lease agreement and instead voted to advertise an RFP for the potential project. Supervisor Slater explained that the decision was based on additional discussions and information. Councilman Diana said the RFP route should have been done earlier and Councilman Lachterman said the RFP route provided more transparency.


8 Selected Resolutions

Needs assessment.  (See Town Board 2-25-20 and 4-14-2020.) The board approved a $5,000 budget transfer to the Laberge Group for the preparation of a Funding Needs assessment.Supervisor Slater said that the company has completed its review with all department heads.


Thompson & Bender. (See Town Board 5-19-20.) After additional discussions, the board authorized an agreement with the PR firm to run to the end of the year with the company becoming the town’s communication team at an additional cost not to exceed $30,000. Both Supervisor Slater and Councilwoman Roker said that the town needed a person or staff to handle public relations.


Railroad Park  (See Town Board, 6-9-2020.) The board voted to advertise an RFP for concession services. The board also voted to make an additional $12,500 available for the project to cover additional costs incurred by the project’s architect.