Town Board

July 16, 2019


1. Announcements

Supervisor Gilbert reminded residents that there’s a section in the parking lot at the police department for Ebay and Craig’s List exchanges. The lot is under video surveillance.


2. Courtesy of the floor

Summit Hill: Several residents from Jefferson Village spoke against the project Supervisor Gilbert repeated that no decision on the rezoning application will be made until the developer provides the additional information the town has requested.


Tree Law: Linda Miller responded to several comments made at last week’s public hearing questioning certain provisions of the law and in advance of the board’s July 23 work session discussion on possible changes to the law.


Solar Law: Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked the board to consider siting commercial solar farms on a site specific basis rather than an opened ended approach that would  allow them on any residentially zoned parcel that met a minimum size requirement.


3. Landmarks Preservation Law/public hearing on amending the law

Town attorney Abbate explained that the purpose of the proposed amendments was to separate and distinguish the exterior and interior of a building that might be considered for landmarking so that only the exterior could be landmarked.  The need for the amendments became apparent after the October, 2018 hearing to landmark only the exterior of the ACCCC.

In response to Ken Belfer’s question whether a change in the building’s windows would be covered by the new law, the board said yes. Jennie Menton spoke about removing the unsightly window air conditioners.


The board approved the amendments 5-0.


4. Landmarking the ACCC/reconvened public hearing

(See video of 10-16-2018 hearing.)After approving the amendments to the Landmarks Preservation Law that allowed the board to designate only the exterior of the building as a landmark, the board reopened the hearing.  Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, questioned the need to landmark the exterior in the absence of any threat to the building, suggesting that the landmarking would add   u8nnecessary bureaucratic delays to future building improvement projects.  Lynn Briggs, head of the Landmarks Preservation Commission spoke about the building’s history and how it met the law’s criteria for preservation.


The board voted 5-0 to landmark the exterior.


5. Section 8 Housing Voucher program/Public hearing on 5-year plan

As required by law, the board held a hearing on the program’s 5-year plan and revisions to its administrative plan.  As explained by Kaaren Perez, the program’s administrator, the only changes were to limit the program’s availability to residents of northern Westchester and nearby Putnam communities and a change to occupancy rules to increase flexibility.   In response to questions from the board, Ms. Perez explained that about 40% of the residents served by her office are from Yorktown and that there are about 50-54 rental units in Yorkton under the program. She explained that once a person gets a voucher from her office, they can use it anywhere in the United States.  Currently, there is no waiting list for vouchers. Ms. Perez explained that when the waiting list is reopened, typically it’s for seven days, is done electronically, and is limited to 400 entries. As vouchers become available, Ms. Perez, interviews applicants to determine their eligibility for the program.


Ken Belfer, Chairman of the Community Housing Board spoke about the importance of the program.


In order to conform to federal law, the hearing was adjourned so that the public has the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes for 45 days.


 6. Energize New York Benefit Financing Program, public hearing

(See Town Board 5-14-2019.)  The board repealed  the existing Energize New York  chapter in the Town Code as that program no longer exists and noting that there was no downside to the legislation voted to adopt a new law that is consistent with the revised  Open C-Pace Financing Program that provides financing  for energy improvements to commercial and non profit buildings. During Courtesy of the Floor, Patty Peckham spoke in favor of the program.


7. Grant application for Sewage Treatment Plant

The board authorized the submission of a grant application under the 2019 Wastewater Quality Improvement Program for a $1.7 million grant  that, if awarded, would lower the cost for bringing sewers to 315 parcels currently on septic systems. The overall project cost is estimated at $14.3 million, with $10 million coming for already committed funds.  


8. Proposed professional services agreement for studies at the sewage treatment plant

Pending a memo from the town engineer, the board tabled voting on a resolution that would have authorized the supervisor to sign an agreement with the engineering firm of Tighe & Bond for $14,300 to develop series of improvement plans for the plant that the DEC and DEP are requiring as part of the town’s request to increase the plant’s SPDES permit that controls the amount of sewage the plant can treat. Due to the heavy rains over the past several months, the plant has exceeded its 1.5 MGD permit level.


Councilwoman Roker wanted more time to study the agreement, one of two proposals submitted to the Engineering Department.  Under the town’s procurement policy, the town board can authorize professional service agreements of under $15,000 based on a recommendation of the department head. Proposals in excess of $15,000 need three quotes or an RFP.


The agreement would include an inflow and infiltration study, a plan to reduce the phosphorus level in the plant’s effluent and a plan to reduce the temperature action limit.


9. Pump station fuel tank leaks

The board authorized a budget transfer of $45,000 from the Yorktown Sewer fund balance to the  pump station maintenance and repair budget line to remediate two fuel leaks that were discovered as part of the project to replace the Jefferson Park and Jefferson Valley pump stations. The existence of the tanks, that were not being used, was not known to the town and they were not listed on the inventory of tanks that the town routinely inspects.  The spills were reported to the DEC and all contaminated soil has been excavated and is currently stockpiled on each site. The authorized funds will be for the soil removal.


During Courtesy of the Floor, a Forest Court resident whose property abuts one of the pump stations, asked the board to test the soil on his property to see if the leak had migrated onto his property.  He also talked about continuing drainage problems on his property that have gone unresolved through several administrations.  Councilman Diana said that while it was unlikely that the spill from the pump station tank migrated onto the resident’s property, he suggested that the town might want to install test wells on the property to assure the homeowner. Mr. Quinn advised the board that that would require an additional appropriate.


10. Appointments

Police Department: 2  new police officers and a new police dispatcher were appointed.


11. Selected resolutions

Railroad Station Rehabilitaiton project: The board authorized a $476,386 budget transfer from the General Fund fund balance to a new capital project line for the project. Once the project is completed, the NYSDOT will reimburse for $295,762.