Town Board Meeting January 7, 2008

The Town Board met on Monday, January 7, 2008 at 7:30 pm. The first Board meeting in January is usually a Reorganization Meeting for the coming year. However this year, due to the number of issues before them, the Board decided to postpone the Reorganization Meeting until January 22.

The first item on the agenda was a Public Hearing for the Sewer Rates in the Woodlands. Frank Peverly, President of the Woodlands Homeowners Association, reported that since everything is running smoothly, there will be no change in the rates, which have remained the same since 2000. The Board voted unanimously to set the rates at $50 per month to be billed semiannually.

The next item was a presentation by The Related Companies, developers of Tuxedo Reserve, on Amendments they have requested to their Special Permit. For the most part, these Amendments are technical items that have been identified by the town Planning Board as deviations from the Special Permit. Some of these deviations address the waivers granted to the Applicant by the Planning Board, some are those things which come under the jurisdiction of the Town Board and others are the result of DEC regulations or conditions encountered by the Applicant as they began fieldwork at the site.

Bruce Warwick, Vice Chairman of The Related Companies, spoke first. He assured the Board that Related is fully committed to the Tuxedo Reserve project and that they have their financial backing in place. Following these remarks, Andrew Dance , Project Manager, gave a brief overview of Northridge (Phase One, Section One of the project )for which the town Planning Board has granted conditional preliminary approval. Finally, George Derrick of Langan Engineering and Steven Barshov, Attorney for Related, both gave brief explanations of the proposed amendments.
Following the presentation, there was a short question and answer period. When asked for a basic timetable for building, it was explained that the first steps in the construction process will be Infrastructure and Utilities, followed by erection of a Greeting Center (on the site of the old Applewood Kennels). Construction on the Roads will begin by accessing the site via a road adjacent to Park Avenue, which was constructed in order to allow the Applicant access to their wells. Construction of the roads will commence at the middle of the site and move outward until reaching Route 17. Mr. Dance estimated that there will be at least a year of construction on the site before work is started on the first houses. At this time, the water system still needs DEC approval and the wells need to be approved by the Orange County Department of Health. Both approvals are being worked on and are expected shortly. When asked if Related will be the developer building the houses, Mr. Warwick replied that while other (probably local) builders will be building the houses, Related plans to be the “master developer” on the project and will remain involved in marketing and quality control. A public hearing on the amendments will be held immediately preceding the Board’s next regular meeting on January 28th.

Following the Tuxedo Reserve discussion, the Board turned to the Sterling Mine Court development. Only 14 of the proposed 23 houses in this development have been built and the developer appears to have abandoned the project. During the month of December, the Board set a deadline of January 7, 2008 for the developers to show why they shouldn’t be declared in default, which would allow the Town to take over the Bond money and finish the project. Finishing the project entails the completion of roads and landscaping. There are three partners in the development, Alvin Blumenfeld, Allan Ritter and Joe Amorosso. Mr. Amorosso was present and stated that Mr. Blumenfeld, who was not present, has agreed to pay for the roads and landscaping and has provided a letter of credit to cover these costs. Since nothing can be done about either the roads or the landscaping at this time of year, the Board agreed to give the developers until the January 22 meeting to provide a signed agreement from Mr. Blumenfeld stating that he will pay for completion of roads and landscaping as well as signed contracts for both of these endeavors. If the Board is not in receipt of these things by January 22, the Town will declare the developers in default and take over the Bond money needed to complete the project.

Supervisor Dolan reported that he has been approached by Verizon, who wants to erect a cell tower at the Town’s Sewage Treatment plant. The Board voted unanimously to allow the Supervisor to negotiate with Verizon and to get a provision that will allow the Town to place a microwave dish on top of the tower in an attempt to solve some of the communication problems encountered by the Police Department as well as the Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps.

The Board also unanimously passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with Warwick Valley Humane Society for Animal Sheltering.

During the public comment period, Mary Graetzer of Tuxedo Park asked about a rumor that Tuxedo Reserve was behind in their payments to the Town. The Supervisor explained that Tuxedo Reserve had been in arrears for $273,000. They lost their funding around October 1st but have new funding in place now and have paid a large majority of this sum with the rest to follow.

Betty Ann Eberling announced that the Chamber of Commerce will be reviving the Clean Sweep program. On April 19, 2008 residents will be encouraged to turn out and clean up the roads in Town. Supervisor Dolan agreed that the Highway Department will help out with trucks collecting the trash. Mrs. Eberling also proposed that the Board consider raising the litter fines to $250 and posting warning signs at Town entrances. The Board agreed to look into this.

Dale Mottola, President of the Chamber of Commerce inquired if the town might consider asking Tuxedo Reserve to provide a road, which would run from Eagle Valley to Route 17 giving the people in that part of Town easier access to our Town Center. Supervisor Dolan replied that he is already working on this.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30.

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