September 1, 2015
Note: The meeting was not televised due to a scheduling conflict on the part of the town’s regular cameraman.
Supervisor Grace announced that the NYSDEC has issued a draft interim new SPDES permit for the town’s sewage treatment plant. The permit will allow the town to create sewer extensions for currently unsewered streets in the Hallocks Mill Sewer District. The interim permit keeps the existing 1.5 million gallons per day (mgd) flow limit, but calculates the flow based on a rolling average that uses the previous 12 months as opposed to looking at flow levels for each month. The town will continue working towards a final permit with a cap of 2.5 mgd.
As a follow up the supervisor’s announcement, I asked that a committee be set up next week to begin discussions on how the $10 million in East of Hudson funds that was set aside over a dozen years ago to help offset the cost of sewer laterals should/could be allocated to those Hallocks Mill homeowners who want to be sewered.
For residents currently in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer district who are unsewered, both the supervisor and I explained that there would have to be support from at least 51% of the interested homeowners in order to create a sewer district. The project cost would also have to take into consideration the assessed value of homes to be included in the project.
I also pointed out that there are about 300 existing homeowners in the Peekskill Sanitary Sewer District who are paying about $200 a year in sewer taxes with little likelihood that they will be sewered because of the potential cost. I suggested the homeowners and the town might want to consider being taken out of the district as a way to reduce their taxes.
2. Baptist Church Road
In a unanimous vote, the board approved two resolutions that pave the way for the reconstruction of the Baptist Church Road culverts and stone wall to begin by September 8th at a cost not to exceed $950,000.
The resolutions included one authorizing the supervisor to sign a contract with the contractor (because the project has been declared an “emergency,” the contract can be awarded without competitive bidding. The contractor is also a “sole source” provider for the work that is to be done for a portion of the project.)
The second resolution authoizes the supervisor to sign a settlement agreement with Dr. Salatin. Under the terms of the settlement, the town agrees to dredge the silt from the pond on his property and construct the new retaining wall above the culvert that includes a stone veneer over the concrete (this option will cost $100,000 more than the option without the veneer). In return, Dr. Salatin will drop his damage lawsuit against the town. Supervisor Grace justified the additional $100,000 expense as being “proper and the right thing to do.”
The work is expected to take 6-8 weeks and Highway Superintendent Paganelli said the work should be finished by November 8th at the latest.
3. Jefferson Valley/East Main Street
During Courtesy of the Floor, Jefferson Valley residents Maria Donadio and Janice Donadio brought to the board’s attention several long standing issues they felt have been ignored by the town: parking along East Main Street, especially at the intersection with Wood St; the replacement of a damaged lamppost dating back to Hurricane Sandy; removal of the unsightly “Wet Willie” building; and the speeding problem along East Main Street.
While acknowledging the work the highway department had done to clean out the brush at Wood Street, they wanted to know when the site work would be finished so that it could be used, as planned, for parking. Highway Superintendent Paganelli said his department was planning to complete the job but that a question as to the ownership of the site had to be clarified first.
Supervisor Grace said that for constitutional reasons the town could not act to take down the derelict building and he said he hoped the owner of the former Osceola Beach property would take care of the issue.
In response to the residents’ request for stop signs, Supervisor Grace explained that whenever one traffic calming device is added, it can produce negative consequences elsewhere. He added that speed bumps were not a solution as they caused accidents. In response to his suggestion that sidewalks on both sides of the street can be a calming device, the question was asked: where would the money for that come from? (The existing sidewalks, installed several years ago, were funded, in part, with Community Development Block Grant funds.)
I suggested that Supervisor Grace schedule a work session discussion on the traffic issue and bring in the town’s professional traffic consultant to provide input. Councilman Diana said he would contact the police department about doing traffic enforcement in the area.
4. Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant for trails
The board approved the submission of an application to the Hudson Valley Greenway for a $10,000 grant for the Route 118 to Baldwin Place connection to FDR trail. The grant has a 50% match. I explained that the grant, which would pay for a dirt trail suitable for hikers, would be a backup in the event the town did not get the $440,000 state grant that was for a paved trail that would have also accommodated cyclists. In the event the town receives both grants, the Greenway grant can be used as part of the town’s match for the state grant. Applying for the Greenway grant was suggested by the Yorktown Trail Town Committee.
5 Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG)
In a quick work session discussion after the regular meeting was adjourned, Planning Director Tegeder advised the board that Westchester County municipalities have until October 23 to apply for $4 million of available CDBG funds. Pending his review of revised CDBG eligibility guidelines that are based on census track income information, he will provide the board with more information about possible sidewalk projects for Veterans Road and Downing Drive at a September work session discussion.