Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Town Board

July 19, 2016


1. Speed zones: Schools and park districts/Public hearing

Councilman Bernard explained that the purpose of the law was to add the George Washington, Elizabeth Ann Seton and Lakeland High School to the list of regulated school zones and also to add park zones.


Saying the school zone restrictions made no sense, Bill Rubin, the only member of the public to speak at the hearing, questioned the need for the 15 mph limit at certain schools where children were not walking to school. He also questioned why the speed limit was in effect to 6pm, long after the children were gone. In response, Supervisor Grace said that Mr. Rubin’s points made sense but that he didn’t think the police would entrap motorists exceeding the speed after school hours.


The hearing was closed and the law was passed with a 5-0 vote.


2. Puppy Mill legislation

The board voted to set a public hearing for August 2 for a local law that will prohibit the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores . For a copy of the law, visit:


3. Advertise for bids

For washing to town vehicles


Re-bid for traffic light maintenance. Highway Superintendent Paganelli explained that he didn’t want to award the bid to the sole bidder and that other companies that had bid in the past missed the deadline but were still interested in bidding.


4. Awarded bids

Street light maintenance and repair services to Hanover Electric, the low bidder


Computer equipment to Sullivan Data for $23,238. Although the low bid was from a Dayton, Ohio firm for $22,375, the town invoked the “best value” provisions of the Town Code to award the bid to a local firm on the basis that its close proximity to the town would reduce shipping costs and provide more efficient service for maintenance and repair.


5.Railroad Station

The board gave the supervisor the authorization to re-sign a revised agreement for up to $46,957 with Walter Sedovic Architects  for services related to the restoration of the railroad station. Based on the original agreement signed in 2004, the town has already paid Mr. Sedovic $26,238. Supervisor Grace explained that the contract was to get some momentum on the project. In response to a question from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, he explained that the architect will review the scope of work that could possibly be done in house, time and resources permitting, but that the town would have to hire outside specialists for other work.  He said that some work could be done this summer, noting that a corner of the building was in more immediate need of work. Additional work could be done next year.


6. Street lights

In an item not on the agenda, Supervisor Grace thanked Highway Superintendent Paganelli for replacing four  lights on Commerce Street that had been missing for many years. Mr. Paganelli said he has exhausted his street light budget and that with almost 60 more lights in need of repair, he said he would be coming back to the board for additional funds.


In response to Councilman Patel’s question about LED lighting, Mr. Paganelli explained that  given the falling prices for LED fixtures and the cost of repairing the older lights, when a light needs to be repaired it may make sense to retrofit it with an LED light, except in residential neighborhoods where they are too bright.


7. Fog lines

In an item not on the agenda, Highway Superintendent Paganelli said he expected delivery in about 10 days of the machine that will enable his department to paint fog lines on certain streets so motorists can see the edge of the road. Some of the initial streets mentioned include Hill, Lee and Strang Boulevard and Underhill Avenue.


8. IT Services

The board authorized the supervisor to sign two contracts with Sullivan Data, one for $24,367 for the installation of computer upgrades, and one for $13,000 in connection with the town’s planned installation of the Laserfiche System Project Managment Program, aka digitization project.


9. Senior buses

In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Patel noted that two senior vans were out of service pending repairs, causing problems for some seniors. He wanted to know what alternative transportation could be made available. In response, Supervisor Grace said the vans were being repaired and that a new van was son order.


10. Courtesy of the Floor

Sober house  (482 Underhill Avenue): Nick Toumanios reminded the board that he had spoken about a month ago about the long overdue meeting between residents and operator of Constellations Recovery that was a requirement in the facility’s special permit.  He also inquired about changes that appeared to be going on at the facility. And Al French wanted to know why he hadn’t gotten a response to an earlier email to the board requesting an emergency meeting regarding the changes which looked like the facility may have been abandoned.  He added that based on a brief conversation he had with the supervisor about a week ago who said he had had a conversation with the owner, he thought that the owner may be seeking state certification from the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)  as a  “residential design conversion.” He said he had checked with OASAS but to date no application has been filed, but if one was, then the agency would want input from the town and residents.

Mr. French said that residents are still waiting to learn the status of the investigation into the death last year at the facility.


In response Supervisor Grace said that based on his understanding of the meeting requirement in the special permit, the meeting didn’t have to be held until the fall but added, “I may be wrong.”   He called the certification issue just a rumor that was based on new state regulations approved in November, 2015 that allowed for voluntary certification for reintegration type facilities. He said he wasn’t aware of any applications that had been made by Constellations Recovery but that if he learned of any such application, residents would be informed. He added that he did not consider “abandoning” the facility to be a change in the special permit that a constituted a violation of the permit or something that would trigger the requirement for an emergency meeting.


Solar panels. Dr. Howard Tarkin, a resident  of Jordan Drive, complained that his neighbor had begun to install industrial sized solar panels in his backyard that were visible from his house and which he felt were negatively impacting the value of his property. He said that when he checked with the Building Department, he was told that the neighbor had obtained a building permit.  In response, Supervisor Grace said it appeared “counterintuitive” that a person would use a backyard, usually used for recreation, for solar panels, and he said he would look into the issue. At issue was what constituted a “structure.”  Town Attorney McDermott said he would also look into the issue.


Available grant funds. Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, asked if the town was planning to apply for the $175,000 that was available to each northern Westchester town through the East of Hudson Funds for a variety of water quality and stormwater projects of the town’s choosing. She said there was no required match. In response, Supervisor Grace said that while some towns had decided to apply for their $175,000 for their “pet projects,” Yorktown wasn’t going to “jump” on the funds and that instead he preferred to see the money used for more “constructive” projects use such as sewers, although he did not specify any sewer related project or what would happen to Yorktown’s $175,000 if the town did not apply for the funds.