September 10, 2019
Litigation and negotiation
1. Announcements from Supervisor Gilbert
Fire inspections: the town has hired a part time fire inspector and will be proceeding with some overdue inspections of public assembly facilities.
Kmart: The owner hopes to interest a “better class” of tenant but nothing can be done until the owner knows if Kmart will be surrendering its current lease.
Lakeland School District taxes: Putnam County made an error in the value of Putnam properties in the Lakeland School District. The impact of the error is being reviewed but the supervisor did not anticipate any increase for Yorktown taxpayers.
Swastikas: The recent appearance does not reflect the character of Yorktown and will not be tolerated.
2. Highway projects/status report
Town Engineer Quinn and Highway Superintendent Paganelli provided a power point update on the status of current potential future bridge and culvert projects. (When a stream is crossed, if it’s over 18’ wide, it’s a bridge; less than 18’ it’s a culvert.)
Hill Blvd and Veterans Rd projects. Both projects are in the final stages of getting design approval from DOT and will be funded by state grants; 95% for Hill and 100% for Veterans Rd. The two projects will be bid together, hopefully in the fall/winter with construction starting in the spring.
Mohegan retainng wall. The bid was awarded in May, 2019 to replace the existing wall which has been shored up on a temporary basis and is considered safe. The vendor has suggested a different but equivalent form of concrete block be substituted but this is likely to delay the job and Mr. Paganelli wants the work completed before the onset of winter and bad road conditions. After the town attorney assured the board that it was legal to change the job specifications after the contract was awarded, the board approved a resolution to hire a consulting engineer at a cost of not to exceed $25,000 to review the proposed new materials; it was not clear if the vendor, who is asking for the substitution, will ultimately be responsible for this additional cost. Mr. Paganelli said it was 50/50 whether the wall would be replaced this year.
Future projects: Mr. Quinn advised the board that in consultation with Mr. Paganelli, these five projects were those most in need. To date, the projects are only conceptual and additional board resolutions would be needed to begin actual design work. The goal is to have one or more of the projects “shovel ready” in anticipation of the next round of state grant funding. The presentation included rough estimates of the costs of the actual work (see below) with additional costs for preliminary engineering design work ranging from $75,000-$400,000.
1. A “gabion wall” on Strang Blvd that needs either to be replaced ($600,000) or rehabilitated ($250,000).
2. Highbrook Road, first the culvert, than the headwall ($600,000)
3. Ridge Street culvert ($350,000)
4. Greenwood St culvert ($1.6 million). Because the state has “red flagged” this culvert, the town is already required to do regular monitoring.
5A. Old Kitchawan Road culvert ($640,000)
5B. Old Crompond Road culvert ($325,000)
3. Request to join Hunterbrook sewer district.
Mr. Quinn explained that the county, which owns a parcel on the north side of Route 202 and which is used as a storage facility by the Dept. of Environmental Facilities wants to become part of the town’s Hunterbrook Sewer District which is part of the larger Peekskill Sanitary District. The septic system that services the facility’s one bathroom and floor drains has problems. The county has agreed to pay to be part of the system and it was been estimated that this would generate about $12,000/year into the Hunterbrook district. Although the Hunterbrook pump station is experiencing flow problems, Mr. Quinn said that the additional flow from this site would be minimal and not create a problem. A draft IMA (Intermunicipal Agreement) has been prepared. The board, concerned that no future truck washing takes place at the site, asked that the IMA include a provision that the town would ne notified of any proposed change of use at the site . The board had no problem with the county’s request; Councilwoman Roker noting that this was a good quid pro quo if the town ever wanted something from the county. A public hearing will be scheduled.
4. 1690 Amazon Road, Stormwater permit
(See Planning Board 9-9-2019.) Mr. Quinn explained the access issue as well as noting that while the development of a half lot did not require a full stormwater plan (SWPPP), since the future of the back lot was also in question, this would meet the one acre threshold requiring a full SWPPP. The two parcels are owned by the same person but in different names and the owner said he has no immediate plans for the back lot. At issue was the fact that if the owner provids an easement on the front lot for access to the back lot, something he is prepared to do, that would involve stormwater issues affecting the back lot. The concern of staff and board is that the issues involving the back lot be settled now and not left to an uncertain future. The applicant was advised to work with staff to flesh out his concept for the back lot and return to the board.
5. Sunoco special use permit for sign/Lee Blvd and Route 6
(See Town Board 8-13-2019.)The applicant showed a rendering of the sign with a monument base. In response to the suggestion that the monument part be extended upwards, the applicant said that this would actually look worse. The applicant also explained that because the pole sign was on state property, the state would not allow the shrubs to be cut down in order to make a lower monument sign more visible. Although the town’s preference is for monument signs, the board was cognizant of the specific issues on this site. A public hearing will be scheduled, possibly for September 17.
6. Imagine VR Studio at the JV Mall
The applicant plans to open a virtual reality studio on October 18. Because he plans to be open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, for security reasons, he needs a separate entrance; this requires a site plan change. He advised the board that the mall management is okay with his request. The board had no problem with the request but following procedure voted to refer out the application and set a public hearing for October 15. The applicant may have to adjust his hours until the new exit can be constructed.
7. Ethics issue
In an item not on the agenda, Councilman Lachterman admonished the board for not publicly saying anything about an ethics complaint he said he filed 17 months ago with the Ethics Board. The subject of Councilman’s ethics complaint was not revealed. He said that since the Town Board received the Ethics Board’s findings in March, he has asked six times for the issue to be addressed, accusing the board of covering up the issue. In response, Supervisor Gilbert and Town Attorney Abbate said that this was a closed session item that should not be discussed in the open. Supervisor Gilbert stated that the board has not buried the issue, adding that both the Open Meetings Law and town’s Ethics Law may be reasons why the issue could not be discussed in public. Councilwoman Roker said that the Ethics Board’s findings had been discussed but that it was also her understanding that the issue could not be discussed in public. Calling the issue an “abomination,” Councilman said he would continue to pursue the issue.
8. Miscellaneous resolutions
Fluoridation: The board voted to advertise for bids for the construction of a fluoridation facility for the Catskill Water supply.
Cameras in town parks: The board awarded a bid for the purchase and installation of cameras at the two aquatic facilities, Legacy Park and Granite Knolls Sports Complex at a cost of $48,728.