1. Historical record: Book of Highways 1760
Through the intervention of staff at the museum and Town Clerk Diana Quast and Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli, the town was able to acquire, at no cost, this historical record that covers Yorktown as well as Cortlandt and Somers. The book was scheduled to be auctioned but the owner made it available to the town. A volunteer from a local DAR chapter transcribed the fragile book and copies have been given to both Cortlandt and Somers officials.
2. Granite Knolls Update
Parks and Recreation Superintendent Todd Orlowski and Rec Commission member Al Avitable gave an update. The complex is between 75%-80% complete and the goal is to have it open by mid-October. The weather and some last minute design changes have caused some delays. Both stressed that the complex wasn’t just for kids but had facilitities such as a putting green, walking trails and a picnic area for adults.
Mr. Avitable said he took exception to comments in a recent newspaper article that he characterized as “political gotcha,” adding that he was speaking as a town resident, not a Republican or a Democrat. Regarding the controversial lighting grant, (see 8/7/2018 meeting summary below), he said that the Rec Commission had never been notified about the possible grant for lighting and that the lighting that was eventually purchased was less expensive than what the previous board had been considering. Councilman Lachterman defended his comments from the previous meeting saying that he had a right to expect answers to his questions.
During Courtesy of the Floor, former supervisor Grace said that contrary to what Supervisor Gilbert said at the previous meeting, he had discussed the lighting grant at length with the incoming supervisor;. He took umbrage at the current supervisor’s characterization of the transition meeting
After Mr. Orlowski advised the board that Marshall Alarm Systems would be submitting a proposal for surveillance cameras at the complex, others noted the vandalism problems at other town facilities and the difficulties the police have in dealing with the incidents.
3. Westchester County “Good Neighbor Policy”
County Executive George Latimer explained a new policy that would give municipalities and their residents an opportunity to review and comment on any changes to county owned facilities within their jurisdiction before the county took any action.
4. Underhill Management (former Murphy Restaurant) Sewer Extension/public hearing
The board opened and closed the hearing and voted to permit the sewer extension which will allow the developer of the new commercial building to construct a 25’ sewer line connecting to an existing manhole on the south side of Underhill Avenue. The new line will allow one line to service all three properties on the site: the new office building and the Coldwell Banker and Grace buildings, instead of three separate lines.
Michael Grace called the hearing “completely unnecessary” and said it had resulted in a real expense to the developer. He said the town should never have consulted its outside bond counsel; it was the counsel that advised the board to hold the public hearing.
5. Local Law to amend Chapter 300 of Zoning code regarding multi family dwellings in Country Commercial Zone.
The board opened and closed the hearing and voted to approve the change with two modifications suggested by Mr. Tegeder. The minimum size of the lot was reduced to 20,000 sf from 40,000 sf and the number of permitted units was changed to 1unit/7,5000 sf from 1 unit/10,000 sf.
The only comment from the public was a clarification of what areas in town are currently zoned “country commercial.”
6. Courtesy of the Floor
Hallocks Mill Rd: Mara Ziedins asked the board to do something about the truck traffic on the road and the intersection with Ridge St/Route 35. Mr. Paganelli said that based on his observations, about 60% of the cars using the short cut are from Connecticut and he suggested that the only real solution to the problem was making the street one way.
Show mobile. (See Town Board, 5/8/2018.) Chamber officers Eric DiBartolo and Serge Esposito objected to a resolution slated to be voted on later in the meeting that would have set a $1000 fee for groups using the show mobile that was purchased last year, plus a $300 charge for town employees to transport the equipment. They asked if the fee was set so that the town could generate revenue and on what basis was the $1000 arrived it. Mr. DiBartolo also took exception to the Chamber being charged for the show mobile for the upcoming street fair when the Chamber had pledged in a contract to give the town $5,000 towards the purchase the mobile, adding that events for which the town was a co-sponsor, like the street fair, there should be no charge. Supervisor Gilbert said he would look into the contract and the board decided to table the resolution pending a review of how to charge for the equipment.
Former supervisor Grace advised the board that it was never the intention of the town to charge organizations with whom the town was co-sponsoring events and that events such as the street fair generate goodwill for the town.
Highway garage/Depot Square. Former supervisor Grace criticized the board again for not taking an official position on his proposed highway garage/Depot Square project. He said that the public was entitled to an explanation. Supervisor Gilbert let Mr. Grace expound on his position for considerably more than the usual three minutes allowed for Courtesy of the Floor comments --- which prompted former councilman Greg Bernard to remind Supervisor Gilbert about the three minute rule that had been exceeded by Mr. Grace as well as other speakers.
7. “Environmental” Panel
The board voted re-establish the Environmental Panel (once referred to as the “e-panel” and disbanded in 2016) but in response to Councilman Diana’s objection to the word “environmental,” the board will consider alternate names that reflect the panel’s task of dealing with development applications. The resolution states that the purpose of the panel is “to streamline environmental permits and [disseminate] other development related information to aid permittees in navigating the permit process.”
The panel will consist of the town engineer, town building inspector and director of planning and other appropriate staff or members of volunteers boards. In response to a Courtesy of the Floor question whether the town would also have an environmental consultant on the panel (the town advertised for a consultant in April) Supervisor Gilbert said the board would be interviewing for a consultant.
8. Pinesbridge Monument
In an item not on the agenda, Mr. Tegeder said the monument is ready to be erected but that a decision needs to be made about its location. The choices are in Downing Park, opposite a Revolutionary War grave or in either Patriot Park or Railroad Park in Yorktown Heights. The board’s preference appeared to be in Patriot Park if there could be screening that would block out the view of the skateboard park.
Economic and Business Revitalization Committee: The following people were appointed: Andrew Drews, George
Souls, Kyle DeVito, Katherine Quinn, Renee Fogerty, Greg Brown, William Beck.
Openings on other bodies. The board is seeking volunteers interested in serving on the following committees and advisory boards; Cable, Open Space, Community Housing, Seniors, Tree Commission.
10. Selected Miscellaneous resolutions
ACCCC formerly YCCC) rental fees: The board waived rental fees for SPARC, an organization that provides social and recreational services to teens and adults with development disabilities and the American Red Cross that will hold a blood drive in the building during the Chamber street fair.
Funds for Hill Boulevard culvert replacement. Although two state grants will eventually give the town $3.4 M for the Hill Boulevard and Greenwood Street culvert projects, the town has to lay out the money first. Although only some preliminary design work has been done so far, and construction is not likely to begin for at least another 12 months, the town has already encumbered the $3.4 M – which means that even though the bulk of the money won’t be spent for more than a year, the funds can’t be used sooner to pay for other expenses. The town will, however, be able to seek reimbursement from the state as it incurs expenses, like the $16,104 for the current resolution to cover the cost or right-of-way acquisition. The issue of encumbering funds well in advance of when they have to be expended affects the availability of the remaining funds in the fund balance.
To discussion litigation
NOTE: The next Town Board meeting will be Tuesday, September 25.