Citizens for an Informed Yorktown


Town Board Meeting

September 17, 2013


1. Appointments

Michael Caprio as a police officer

John Savoca, reappointed to a second five year term on the Planning Board


2. Courtesy of the Floor

Sparkle Lake. In response to questions from Howard Frank about work being done at Sparkle Lake, it was explained that the work was for the MS4 stormwater retrofit project that the Board had discussed on several previous occasions.


Auction of town-owed property: In response to questions from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, regarding the status of a possible auction for the five houses the town took in rem in June, town attorney Koster said her office was still in the process of taking title to the properties and that the Board would have to make a decision whether to go forward with an action. Ms. Siegel noted that if the five houses weren’t sold by the end of the year, the town would have to pay $20,000 for the second half of the school taxes.


Special district fees:  In response to questions from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, regarding the study to determine the cost of administrative services to the special districts, Supervisor Grace said that the town was working on gathering the information. He said he believed that the actual cost may turn out to be higher than what was previously charged, even with the increased charges in 2013.


3. Baptist Church Road Culvert Project/Public Hearing

As explained by Town Attorney Koster, even though the eminent domain taking was “de minimus,” she thought it best to hold this additional public hearing.  The two property owners on either side of the road have not responded to the town’s offer and motions are pending in court. Also, there was a technical error in the town’s filing.


The two temporary easements are 2,900 square feet and 4,000 square feet. The permanent easement, which will permit an extension of the culvert to allow for better drainage, is 1,274 square feet.


Dr. Salatin, the owner of one of the properties, was the only person to speak at the hearing. In response to his question about who would be liable for any damage that occurred to his property during the work, Supervisor Grace said the contractor would be liable, and after that , the town.  Also, in response to Dr. Salatin’s request for more information about the project, he was given a copy of the drawings.


The Board voted to close the hearing, approve the taking and also to renew the previously issued wetlands permit that had expired.


Supervisor Grace said it was in everyone’s interest to get the work done as quickly as possible. He said that the highway department had begun work to relocate a catch basin that was not part of the culvert project.


4. Bid awards

Water Department. The Board approved a series of bids to different vendors for a variety of vehicle parts on the proviso, requested by Supervisor Grace, that the department purchase off the Westchester County contract when that contract had lower prices than the local bid.  The Supervisor said that while he preferred local bids, the town should buy from the lowest cost vendor, which in some instances, meant the county bid.


Emergency Medical Services. The Board awarded a bid for a two year contract to Empress EMS, the current vendor for the town’s paramedic service.   The cost is paid by the Advanced Life Support district.


5. Winery

In an item not on the agenda, Jeff Econom, the engineer for the Winery, submitted plans for an amended site plan that was approved after last year’s transitional rezoning vote .  The plan is the same as the one approved by the Planning Board and Zoning Board in 2011 as part of the Winery’s special permit application. (Because the site plan approved by the Town Board as part of the transitional rezoning included the town-owned property and that property is no longer available, the site plan needs to be amended.)


Mr. Econom also advised the Board that the state DOT has agreed to sell the sliver of land abutting Route 6 to Mr. DeChiaro.  He said that all the site work based on the previous plan was already done and the Winery was ready to request a CO.


The Board was ready to advertise a date for a public hearing on the revised site plan when Deputy Town Clerk Quast advised the Board that a formal application has not yet been filed.  The Supervisor then instructed her to advertise for a public hearing at the earliest possible date as soon as the application had been field. 


(Note: It was not clear if the new plan would be referred out to the town's advisory boards for review as some Board members felt that the amended plan had already been reviewed.)


6. Report from the Town Board

School tax bills: Councilman Bianco advised residents who pay their taxes through their bank to get a copy of their tax bills from the tax receiver’s office. Citing comparative tax rate increases for the various towns in the Lakeland School district that showed the lowest increases for Yorktown residents, he explained that additional development in the Lakeland portion of Yorktown would lead to increased taxes.  Supervisor Grace, citing his own tax bill for a residential property he owns in Cortlandt disagreed, however, and said that while the total tax bill for the Cortlandt part of the district went up, his homeowner’s bill went down. Councilman Bianco said, “I’d like to see it,” and the Supervisor responded, “I’ll prove it.”


7. Selected resolutions

Budget transfers: The Board approved three separate budget transfers  moving $50,000 from the $78,000 received from the county as part of an IMA to various lines in the highway budget.


Also transferred $43,422 from  the general fund from the auction of unneeded highway department equipment to the highway budget.