Town Board Work Session
July 23, 2013
Interview for special outside counsel
1. Water Department
The Board covered a variety of issues with Water Superintendent Rambo.
a. Okayed transfer of $40,000 from capital projects line to purchase water maintenance materials.
b. Okayed purchase of 2 Ford vehicles off the county bid as there was no response to the town’s bid; Mr. Rambo reported that local vendors said they could not beat the county bid price. Funds for the purchase are in the district’s 2013 budget. Two older vehicles will be “sold” to other town departments.
c. Okayed going to bid to replace a 1975 boiler
d. Meter project. Mr. Rambo reported that based on a survey of 100 installations of the new meters, the new meters reported an additional 250,000 gallons of water used, representing additional revenue of $24,000. He said that the surveyed meters had an average 85% accuracy reading, compared to a guaranteed 99.9% accuracy for the new meters.
Based on the results, he wants to complete installing the new meters in the remaining 400 accounts. However, these customers have refused to allow entrance to their property so that the new meters can be installed. He said that Cortlandt and Montrose water districts fine customers $50 per billing cycle for failure to comply with requirements of the district. When Supervisor Grace said he wasn’t ready to start fining the 400 users, Councilman Paganelli suggested that Mr. Rambo work with the town attorney to send a letter to the users reminding them of their need to comply. We can’t have some users comply and others not, he said.
Mr. Rambo said it would take a longer period of time to do a more definitive study of the savings generated by the new meters and Supervisor Grace said he wanted to know what the return on the capital investment was before proceeding with Phase II.
Regarding the 38 defective meters discussed at a previous meeting, Mr. Rambo said the manufacturer will replace them at no cost and also reimburse the town for the cost of their installation. The new meters have a 10 year warranty. He said that because, in the past, it would have taken 10 years to replace 2,000 meters, the number of defective meters over that many years wouldn’t have been noticed. Since the new meters were installed over 6 months, the defective number showed up immediately.
2. YCCC Field
(See Town Board meeting 6/11/2013))
Al French of the Yorktown Youth Soccer Club explained that over its long history the club had accumulated a fund balance -- the source of the $50,000 the club is now offering the town to pay for a portion of the cost of refurbishing the field.
Based on estimates obtained by the club, the project, which would be for sod, not seed, would cost an estimated $80,000. Mr. French added that the cost was based on paying prevailing wage. He said the work would take approximately two weeks and that the field would have to ‘rest” for an additional four weeks. While seeding would be less expensive, it would require the field to be out of use for a longer time.
The Board generally had no problem with the project; the issue was one of scheduling. Mr. French said that the field was used about 550 hours a year, with two thirds of the use for soccer.
Councilman Paganelli said he didn’t think the project could be done this year and the Board voted to refer the scheduling issue to the Recreation Commission which won’t meet again until September. If the Town proceeds with the project, it will have to advertise for its own bids.
As part of the discussion, Deputy Town Clerk Diana Quast who is also chairman of the Recreation Commission said that the Commission has prepared a concept plan for the development of three new fields at Granite Knolls. Supervisor Grace had earlier said that the access road to the fields from Stony St as well as the parking would be provided by Spectra as part of the company’s planned work on the gas line. However, Mr. French said that based on the company’s web site, the work wasn’t scheduled to be started until 2016.
3. Library Children’s Room Renovation
(See Town Board meeting, July 9, 2013)
Library Director Pat Barresi and the library’s architect reviewed the renovation plans with the Board. One of the major changes will be enlarging the area for story hour. Because the current area cannot accommodate all those who wish to attend, the library uses a lottery system. It was anticipated that the Board will be able to advertise for bids at its August 6 meeting and that the work will be completed by mid to late October.
Other aspects of the renovation include repositioning the shelves and the media area and reupholstering the existing furniture, all designed to give the room a new, fresh, more open appearance.
4. Yeshiva solar array
The project’s engineer, Dan Ciarcia, explained that based on the tree survey he had received only hours earlier, he wants to reposition one of the two arrays to move it out of the wetland area that had not previously been identified. Councilman Bianco said he would do a site visit.
Although the Board has already set an August 6 public hearing on the stormwater and tree permits, Mr. Ciarcia explained that because of the summer meeting schedule for some of the other boards, it may not be possible to have the Zoning Board approve the special permit in time to meet the NYSERDA deadline that requires some work to begin by some time in September. He suggested that one option may be for the Town Board to approve the permits at its September 3meeting so that excavation work can begin pending the Zoning Board’s approval on the special permit later in the month.
Supervisor Grace noted that the application involved energy savings vs cutting trees. Until the location of the two arrays is determined, the applicant won’t know how many of the 573 trees identified on the survey will need to be removed.
5. Financial Update
Comptroller Caporale gave the Board copies of six month financial updates but there was no discussion of any amounts. She also gave the Board a copy of how $920,000 in FEMA money was allocated back to the budget funds that incurred the costs, e.g., highway, water, sewer, general.
Councilman Bianco mentioned a $75,000 request for funds from Human Resources Specialist Gspurning, but did not identify what the amount was for.
Ms. Caporale asked the Board for authorization to get a single town credit card in light of the county’s refusal to accept town checks. (The town attorney noted that she had to lay out some money; she didn’t say for what.) The town has only one credit card that is used by the police department for purchasing gas. Supervisor Grace said he had no problem as long as there was only a single card that was under the comptrroller’s control.
6. FDR Trail grant
Comptroller Caporale reported to the Board that she was informed by the NYS Parks Department that the Town Board was not in a position to pass a resolution dealing with a state park.
7. Paving budget
Having previously transferred $539,000 in a FEMA reimbursement to the Highway Department, the Board transferred $500,000 of that amount to the department’s paving line so that additional streets could be paved this summer. The FEMA money will supplement the $378,000 in state CHIPS money, which was $88,000 more than budgeted.
Although the Board has a discussion scheduled for August (the date was not clear) dealing with Garden Lane, after some back and forth as to the legal status of the street, the Board decided to direct the Highway Department to pave the street. (In the past, it was generally understood that the town owned only a portion of the road.) Supervisor Grace said that as the “privately” owned portion of the road had been deleted as a separate taxable parcel many years ago, he suspected that there may be a deed to the town that was never filed. And Highway Superintendent DiBartolo said that based on Highway Law, there was an “implication by use” provision that would allow the town to pave the road even in the absence of ownership documents.
Mr. DiBartolo and the Board agreed that the town should oppose any request by Cortlandt to have a traffic light installed on Route 202 at Garden Lane.
Mr. DiBartolo also raised the issue of remaining funds the town was due from the county to pave certain roads as part of the Legacy Fields agreement signed many years ago. When that issue is resolved with the county, he said, additional funds should be available for paving this year. The amount was not clear.
Mr. DiBartolo said that next year, the town would need $720,000-$840,000, in addition to CHIPS money, for paving. He pointed out that paving Stony Street from Judy to Quarry Roads would cost $311,000, and that a small portion of Barger Street completed this year had cost $111.000.
Supervisor Grace noted not the town had not spent money on paving for several years and Councilman Patel , citing the $500,000 FEMA money to be used for paving this year noted that it was because God gave us the storm that we now have money for paving.
8. Selected Resolutions
a. Authorized bid for traffic light maintenance
b. authorized payment of accrued benefits for a departing employees
c. Authorized RFP for paramedic fly car for the Advanced Life Support District.