Citizens for an Informed Yorktown



Town Board

August 5, 2014


1. Presentations

Memorial to Pat Kibbe

Hilltop Hanover updates

Yorktown High School lacrosse team

Police Department awards


2. Appointments

a. Police Officer Craig Scatola was promoted to Police Sergeant

b. Three new police officers were sworn in

c. Joan Landzberg was re-appointed as a member of the Library Board of Trustees

d. Christine M. Julian was appointed Staff Assistant at the library


3. Courtesy of the Floor

East Main Street/Jefferson Valley traffic: Two area residents, citing 14 accidents over the past four years, asked the board to do something about the speeding problem on the street, especially near the intersection with Wood St.  In response, Supervisor Grace said the street had been looked at often in the past and Councilman Murphy said he would look into the situation with Police Officer Eidelman. Speaking later, Susan Siegel (the person writing these notes), advised the board that a traffic engineer had recently completed a study of the street in conjunction with the proposed Lake Osceola Square project and she suggested Councilman Murphy review some of the consultant’s findings and recommendations.


Recycling: Citing repeat problems and a lack of responsiveness with the collection of comingled recyclables by the town’s garbage contractor, Jay Kopstein  asked: “Who’s Minding the Store.”


Spectra pipeline proposal: Paul Moskowitz advised the board that, contrary to some public statements that had been made, the health and safety issue was not the radon gas that flowed through the pipeline but the radioactive material that is deposited in the pipeline when the radon decays and is cleaned out during the pigging operation. He said the town should not allow the pigging operation, which he called an industrial facility.


Shallow Creek: Pointing out that the golf course was located in a flood plain, Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary) suggested the any license agreement include provisions with time frames for obtaining a DEC wetlands permit and completing any of the improvements DEC might require as a condition of its granting a wetlands permit. 


Later in the meeting, the board passed a resolution awarding the RFP (Request for Proposals) to Rocco Cambereri  to show its commitment to him, but it deleted the clause that would have authorized the supervisor to sign the two license agreements. Supervisor Grace said he would look at the draft license agreements to make sure they included the four points that Brian Gray, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation wanted added:  changing the length of the license agreement to 10 years (it wasn’t said from what), adding (or possibly increasing) a performance bond requirement, that the license would re irrevocable and that the licensee would have to get all required permits and meet requirements of all outside agencies.


One issue that remained unclear was under what circumstances the town could cancel the license without having to reimburse Mr. Cambereri for his investment.


Greenwood Street Organic Recycling Facility:  Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary), asked whether homeowners would still be able to bring brush to the site once the 90 day license with R&S Waste Services expired (which had, or was about to happen) and with no new plan in place for the future operation of the facility.  In response, Highway Superintendent Paganelli said he hoped to have a discussion about the long term RFP (Request for Proposal) at next week’s board meeting and that in the interim residents would still be able to bring brush to the site.


Granite Knolls: Susan Siegel (the person writing this summary), asked the board to clarify what its intentions were regarding Granite Knolls. Pointing out that, to date, the town had only a one page concept sketch map of what the future complex would look like, she said that before a SEQRA review of the sports complex could be done, a real plan was needed.  There was no response to her questions of who would prepare such a plan and what the complex might cost taxpayers.


4. Tax Installment Plan public hearing

The board opened and closed the hearing without any public comment and unanimously passed the law which reduces the required down payment and lengthens the time period over which property owners can pay their back taxes.  Supervisor Grace said the town should do whatever it could to lessen the burden on property owners experiencing hard times. Stating that government is addicted to using our money, he also suggested that the state law that sets the interest rate on late payments at 1% a month needed to be changed. 


5. Special Election law

The board set September 2 for a public hearing on two different and new versions of a local law dealing with filling vacancies in elected positions. (Note: The town clerk said copies of both versions would be put on the town’s web site,


Initially, the only version on the table would have given the board 30 days to fill the vacancy by appointment and if that did not happen, the vacancy “may” be filled by the board calling for a special election or waiting until the next general election.


After Councilman Patel raised concern about the possibility that a future board could find itself in another deadlock over appointment or a 2-2 vote to hold a special election, the board agreed to a second version that changed the “may” to  “shall.”


Both versions will include new language stating that the special election be held not less than 60 days or more than 90 days from the date the election is called for.


6. YCCC generators

The board voted to advertise two separate bids for electrical work and plumbing work for the installation of the generators.


7. Legal representation

In an item not on the agenda, and without any discussion, the board voted on a resolution it said dealt with “town attorney representation.” (Note: The observer obtained a copy of the resolution after the meeting. The resolution authorizes the town to pay the cost of hiring an outside attorney to defend the town attorney in an administrative proceeding. The attorney will be paid $250/hour, plus expenses.)


7. Lexington Avenue culvert repair

(See Town Board, June 3, 2014) In an item not on the agenda, Supervisor Grace explained that as part of sending cameras through the culvert to see if it could be relined, the sediment that had been depositied in the culvert had to be removed, but that once the sediment was removed the culvert collapsed; in effect, he said the sediment had been holding up the culvert.  This left the town with two options: an emergency installation of three new 36” pipes, a jot  that could be done quickly by an outside contractor, or installing a box culvert that would  take more time because it involved locating and moving underground utilities and would require closing off the road for safety reasons.


The board opted for the emergency repair which Supervisor Grace estimated would cost between $80,000-$150,000. Because the situation is an emergency, the town does not have to bid out the job but instead will get quotes based on time and materials.  The funds will come from the fund balance and because the repair will be done now rather than as part of a future capital bonding plan,  Supervisor Grace said a new project will be substituted in the capital plan.


The Supervisor added that the Lexington Avenue problem should be considered a learning experience that pointed to the need to have an ongoing maintenance program for the culverts.


8, Selected resolutions passed unanimously

Town Court: Increased the pay for a part time court officer to $25/hour. (The previous hourly rate was not shown.)

Conference attendance:  Approved the assessor attending a required training session

Bid extensions for street light maintenance and repair and traffic light maintenance and repair

Drug and alcohol testing:  Authorized the supervisor to sign a contract with Empire Consulting for testing town employees.