June 21, 2016
1. Roma Building
Councilman Diana reported that the county Department of Health has issued a standing water violation to the building and that other agencies are looking into the standing stormwater issue. Town Attorney McDermott reported that he has a July date in court on a preliminary injunction and that criminal charges are being filed.
Police Sergeant: Justin Foley
Assistant Superintendent Recreation: Kyle Thornton
3. Hess Gas Station Amended Site Plan/Public hearing
The board opened and closed a hearing and voted to approve an amended site plan changing the signage at the Route 202 gas station which will now be a Sunoco station. The free standing Hess sign will be changed to a lower monument size and the canopy will reflect the Sunoco colors.
4. Blasting Permit Law/Public hearing
The board opened and closed a hearing and voted to approve an amendment to the local law that increases the insurance requirement for a blasting permit to $1 million per occurrence from $50,000.
5. Litter law/recorded images violations/public hearing
The board opened and closed a hearing and voted to approve an amendment to the local law that would make it a civil violation if a camera captured an image of a car license plate and the operator of the car was seen dumping.
The goal of the law is the act as a deterrent to dumping.
Bob Buchanan, a resident of Indian Hill Road just south of the Putnam border spoke about the dumping that he has witnessed and the need to take action. Dan Strauss, who has frequently addressed the board about the littering issue supported the law and Howard Frank suggested that the law be expanded to include graffiti. (The town attorney advised Mr. Frank that he was working on a separate graffiti law.)
Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, said she also supported the law, but suggested that the town gather more information about the technology of the cameras, who would monitor them, cost, etc. before passing the law. The sense of the board was: we’ll pass the law as is and work out the technical details later.
6. Local law on private and parochial schools and helistops/Public hearing
Town Board, 5-24-2016.) The board opened and closed a hearing and voted to approve the amendments that shifted approval authority for both special permits to the Planning Board from the ZBA and broaden the potential locations for helistops. Jay Kopstein repeated his objection to the term “helistop” as being inappropriate because that would permit refueling and other uses he considered objectionable; he wanted the word changed to “helispot.” Supervisor Grace said that the current law prohibited refueling. It wasn’t clear if after the law was passed the wording would be changed.
Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked why the law was being amended to allow helistops on large residential parcels; there was no answer, although Councilman Patel did indicate that in the past, helicopters had landed at Brookside School and that IBM would likely make its helistop available for first responders.
7. Local law changing definition of home occupations/ public hearing
(See Town Board, 5-24-2016.) The board opened and closed a hearing and voted to approve the amendment. Recalling past neighborhood problems involving delivery trucks in the middle of the night, Howard Frank suggested that the law include restrictions on truck deliveries. Supervisor Grace said that this issue was covered by an existing law.
8. Bid Advertisements
For computer and networking equipment
For street and traffic light maintenance
9. Bid awards/road paving
The board extended a bid for asphalt road paving. Highway Superintendent Paganelli advised the board that the price for 2016 will be $77.70, down from last year’s price of $89.70/ton. He said the town expects to spend approximately $700,000 on paving: $375,000 from the state CHIPS program, $240,000 from the town budget, and an additional $86,000 he anticipates from the state. The money will enable the town to pave approximately 6.5 miles. The department is still reviewing which roads.
10. Mohegan Avenue retaining wall
The board approved a resolution to hire Charles A. Manganaro Consulting Engineers to design and survey the replacement for the Mohegan Avenue retaining wall at a cost of $26,000, plus additional allowances is other work needs to be done.
11. Verizon Cell Tower
The board approved a resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign a lease with Verizon for the installation of a new cell phone tower at the Police Department. As part of the agreement, Verizon will provide the town with electronic equipment valued by the town at $153,000. The town will also receive 20% of any sub-rental fees Verizon receives.
12. Courtesy of the Floor
Commerce Street flowers: In response to a question Dan Strauss, Supervisor Grace said that flowers would be planted soon. Mr. Strauss also raised the issue of property maintenance for some Heights commercial properties.
Hallocks Mill sewers. In response to comments and questions from residents from Sunrise Street and Elizabeth Road on the status of extending sewers to their neighborhoods, Supervisor Grace provided an update on the sewer situation, advising residents that “we’re getting there.” (See June 7, 2016 discussion below.) He advised the residents that based on his recent trip to Albany no money would be available from the state and that state officials advised him to look to NYC for additional funds. Depending on whether additional funds could be found, he said the town was looking at both a “no cost” and a “low cost” option which he said could be in the neighborhood of $1,500/year (annual operation and maintenance plus the bonding cost for the construction of the sewer laterals) to sewer 300-500 houses.
In response to the residents’ comments about the need to begin discussin how to allocate the $10 million of East Hudson to help defray the cost, the supervisor said it wasn’t necessarily true that the town would be getting $10 million from the fund (he called the $10 million figure “folklore” and a “legend”) and that discussions were in progress with other northern Westchester supervisors about how to divvy up the remaining money the county is holding in the East of Hudson fund.
When Supervisor Grace said that the town would prioritize “hot spot” neighborhoods for inclusion in a single non contiguous sewer district, residents of Elizabeth Road asked that they be considered.
The supervisor did not respond to the request from the Sunrise residents that a letter be sent to all unsewered homeowners to update information on their interest in being sewered.
Pump station upgrades. As part of the discussion of sewer extensions, Supervisor Grace said the town was exploring the possibility that it could eliminate the need for a new Jefferson Park pump station if the county would approve transferring the 26 homes from the Hallocks Mill Sewer District to the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District and reroute the collection system to an existing pump station at Route 6 and Curry Street. While there would be costs associated with the switch (they were not identified), they would offset the $700,000 cost of building the new pump station.