July 14, 2020
1. Con Edison/Wetlands permit/public hearing
The board opened and closed a hearing for a permit related to Con Ed’s continuing work to replace an existing gas line. The proposed work will be along Granite Springs Road, from roughly Ridge Street to Curry Street. The company expects the work to be finished this yea. There was a discussion about Con Ed applying for a general wetlands permit for work it anticipates beginning next year but this discussion was tabled pending more details from the utility on exactly what those plans would be and for what locations.
There were no public comments. The permit was approved.
Mr. Paganelli advised the board that after Con Ed completes the work, the Highway Department will undertake drainage improvement on Granite Springs Road.
2. Reboot Yorktown/Media presentation
(See Town Board 6-16-2020.) Representatives of Thompson and Bender began outlining their revised media plan before a technical problem shut down the video feed. During the brief part that was televised, the representativbes said that the plan would be targeted to CEOs who live in Westchester and were looking for suburban office space as an alternative to their current NYC locations. The program would start August 3 and run through November and include a combination of ads, direct mail , social media and would spotlight what has been happening in Yorktown in recent weeks.
3. Solar Law
Mr. Tegeder walked the board through revisions in the draft of the law that was the subject of a public hearing last July. (Note: due to technical problems with the video feed, the beginning portion of Mr. Tegeder’s presentation was not shown.)
The proposed law distinguishes between small and large scale solar installations, between roof and ground mounted installations, and between installations, roof and ground, that are accessory uses to an already developed property and the main or primary use of the property.
Councilman Diana objected to allowing ground mounted systems as an accessory use on residential properties, calling them “unsightly.” While Supervisor Slater said that screening could overcome this problem, Mr. Tegeder said that it would be hard to screen systems on already developed lots. After more discussion, there appeared to be a consensus that these installations would be prohibited on smaller lots, possibly one acre or less, although decision was made.
Supervisor Slater suggested that language be added to the Intent section of the law that would outline the town’s preference as to where large scale solar installations should be located, such as brownfields or unused agricultural land; locations that would involve the clear cutting of trees would be at the bottom of the preference list. In response, Mr. Tegeder said that while preference language could be added to the law, the language would not exclude other locations from being considered.
After the discussion, the board voted to schedule a public hearing on July 21.
4. Arts & Culture Council
There was general agreement that the town could and should do more to promote the arts in Yorktown. While the Chamber of Commerce set up a committee earlier this year, the group’s activities came to a halt due to Covid-19. The board agreed that the Chamber’s efforts should be combined with a proposed town effort to form a new Arts & Culture Committee with 5-7 members with co-chairs representing the town and the Chamber. Three members would be appointed by the town and 2 from the Chamber. (It was not clear if the co-chairs would be part of the five members or in addition to the five.) The town attorney was directed to prepare a resolution for adoption at a later meeting,
5. Tractor Supply Company/Route 6
Matt Darling, VP of New England Retail, parent company for the Tractor Supply Company, advised the board that the company plans to purchase a 5 acre site on the north side of Route 6 close to the Somers border to construct a new retail outlet. He explained that because the store needs a large outdoor storage area, none of the town’s existing vacant stores were appropriate. The site is part of a larger 17+ acre site that was once close to approval for a proposed combination warehouse/office development but the plan never proceeded to final approval.
Because the site is zoned for industrial use and does not allow retail, the property will have to be rezoned.
The closest Tractor Supply stores are in Patterson and Wappingers, currently under construction.
6. Food Security Task Force
Explaining the town’s growing number of food pantries and their increasing importance in serving the community, Katherine Frase of the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry discussed the need for the groups to coordinate their efforts and also raise the community’s awareness of the need. The board was supportive of the idea.
7. Par 3/Shallow Creek Update
Mr. Quinn advised the board that after reviewing the required stormwater plan (SWPPP) he had received the day before, he sent his comments to the applicant and was waiting for a response before signing off on the plan and submitting it to the DEC. The goal was to be able to forward the plan to the DEC by the end of this week. The site is still under a stop work order until the wetlands permit is issued.
On a related issue, Mr. Tegeder reminder Sean Murphy, the spokesperson for the applicant, that he needed to complete the parking plan review that is pending before the Planning Board. Mr. Murphy said that the process has been slowed down due to Covid-19.
8. Hallocks Mill Sewer extension
Supervisor Slater advised the board of two issues that have been holding up progress on the extension plan and the county’s release of the $10 million East of Hudson money that will finance the $14.3 million project.
The first issue, which he said has been resolved, is that town has had to assure the county that it would make the money in excess of $10 million available.
The second issue that remains unresolved is how to deal with the 120 properties (out of 315) that will need low pressure systems, at an estimated cost of $15,000, to hook up and the county’s concern that the cost will mean that many homeowners will not hook up. The county wants the town to include the cost of the pumps, which Mr. Quinn estimated would cost $7,500 to $8,000, be included in the overall cost of the project. If this was done, it would add approximately $1million to the total cost of the project. (Note: it was not clear what the additional installation costs for electrical and plumbing work would be and whether those costs would also be folded in to the total cost of the project. It was also not clear whether homeowners who would be able to hook up with a less costly gravity installation would also receive some form of subsidy.)
To address the problem, and to avoid having to bond $14+ million for the project, Supervisor Slater proposed that if the town included the cost of the pumps in the total project cost, that the town ask the county to pay the first $10 million worth of construction costs and that the town would then only have to borrow the balance. The board agreed with the supervisor’s suggestion which the town should take in its ongoing discussions with the county.
On related issue, the board discussed when it should proceed with an infiltration and inflow (I&I) study of the existing trunk lines that will be needed as part of the town’s plan to get a 2.5 mgd SPDES permit. Mr. Quinn suggested that the project could be carried out next spring. The implication was that the larger SPDES permit would be needed to allow phases 2 & 3 of the extension to proceed; Supervisor Slater said that the town should not short change these residents and should look at the “bigger picture.”
Councilman Diana said he had some questions and reservations about the plan but did not elaborate what they were. And Mr. Quinn anticipated that it could take up to 8-10 months before the issues with the county were resolved.
9. Low Pressure Sewer Code Amendment
As a follow up to discussions related to the Colangelo (Featherbed) subdivision, the board referred out proposed amendments dealing with the installation and maintenance of low pressure sewer systems. A hearing was set for August 4.
10. Renewal of WSP On-Call Service
The contract calls for the company to do needed quarterly inspections for the Greenwood Street culvert that has been flagged as a concern by the state as well as other inspections of bridges and culverts as needed. The services are paid for based on an hourly rate. Mr. Quinn advised the board that the money in last year’s $10,000 contract has been used up and that there is no money in his department’s budget to cover renewing the contract. Supervisor Slater said that before the contract could be renewed, where the money would come from would have to be identified.
11. Selected resolutions
Intermunicipal Agreement. The board approved an IMA with the Yorktown School District for shared services.
Auction of town vehicle. Approved using Absolute Auctions to auction off a 2008 truck no longer needed by the Refuse & Recycling Department.