July 11, 2017
1. Granite Knolls Sports Complex/Public hearing
The board open and closed a hearing for stormwater, wetland and tree permits. After closing the hearing, Supervisor Grace said that the board expects to have resolutions ready for the July 18th meeting to approve the three permits and to award the $3.8 million bid to Montesano Brothers to begin construction.
The supervisor said that Legacy would close after Thanksgiving and that at least the fields at Granite Knolls would need to be open by Spring, 2018.
More than two dozen people spoke during the hearing before a crowd estimated at 150 people. Most supported the project and urged the board to approve it without delay. Many spoke about how other towns had much nicer fields and that the town had to have a vision and think about our youth. A few speakers raised questions about the cost, traffic on Stoney Street and other issues. One person spoke against having a recreational facility in close proximity to the pipeline. And one person stated that she had no issue with the Granite Knolls plan but suggested that more balance was needed that reflected the interests of town residents not involved in sports. She suggested that $4 million could also be spent for these residents.
Cost: Supervisor Grace said the town was prepared to award the bid to the low bidder who came in with a $3.8 million bid. The high bid was $9.6 million with a cluster of bids in the $5 million range. He said he was confident that the $3.8 million bid would cover everything except the artificial turf for three fields and some buildings. He said that although he had been saying that the project would be built “at no cost to taxpayers,” these additional items, for which costs are not yet available, are estimated to cost about 10% more.
As for the revenue, the supervisor said he was confident that Enbridge (formerly Spectra) would cover the $3.8 million, and possibly more, although the town is still in negotiation with the company. If additional town funds are needed, he said they could come from the Trust & Agency Fund, the recreation fee that developers pay into; the fund currently has about $300,000 and he expected more.
If more town money was needed, some suggested that the $1.5 million that Spectra gave the town in 2015 should be used. In general, though, both the town board and the speakers who supported the project were not concerned about the possibility of the extra costs.
Supervisor Grace said the low bidder had been fully vetted. In discussions with the bidder, it was decided not to include a late penalty clause in the contract because the contractor shouldn’t be held responsible for delays due to the weather.
Site plan and other issues
Details of the trail system on the east and side sides of the playing fields need to be worked out. Joe Riina of Site Design Consultants, the engineer for the project, said he would work with Jane and Walt Daniels who oversee the trails on any modifications.
Bruce Barber detailed the wetland and tree removal mitigation plan. Approximately .82 acres of wetland will be removed and 14 acres of wetland buffer impacted. Tree removal will be done over four acres. A new wetland meadow will be created on the east side of the site bordering Stoney Street and two acres will be modified according to the guidelines in an already existing Forest Management Plan. He also noted that the planned stormwater improvements would eliminate the current stormwater runoff from the site that causes icing on Stoney Street.
Detailing the distance of the fields from nearby houses, Mr. Barber said he did not expect any problem with noise. The lighting will be night sky compliant.
Supervisor Grace said that the plan includes an emergency exit to the existing driveway belonging to the Shrub Oak International School but that the original plan to use the driveway as the main entrance into the facility was not feasible because of grade issues.
Traffic: Although a Stoney Street resident expressed concern about the safety of Stoney Street, and a second resident said that a proper traffic study had not been done, the board, and other residents did not see traffic as an issue.
Parkland Alienation In response to comments from two speakers, Supervisor Grace said that no parkland alienation was involved and that a license agreement with Enbridge for the use of Legacy Fields would not be needed. He justified the increased work space and new temporary access road into Legacy the town is allowing Enbridge to use, explaining that because it will shorten the work time for Enbridge, the company will be more generous to the town in terms of their financial contribution.
2. Road paving
The board approved a $1.4 million budget transfer from the General Fund fund balance into the Highway Fund for paving.
3. Parks Department Stage
The board approved the expenditure of up to $65,000 to purchase a used show mobile to replace the department’s current portable stage that has problems. The used vehicle is coming from Arizona and the cost includes transportation. A new show mobile would cost between $140,000-$150,000. Parks Superintendent Todd Orlowski advised the board that the vehicle could be made available to other organizations for a fee.
4. YCCC Bathrooms
The board authorized advertising for bids for the project. There was a discussion of whether funds from an earlier Senator Leibell grant was still available.
5. Maiden Lane wetlands permit
A hearing was set for August 1 for a wetlands permit. A new house is being bjuilt on the footprint of the house that burned down many years ago.