Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 21, 2008

The Village Board of Trustees met on May 21, 2008 at 7:30pm


In his Mayoral Report, Mayor Stebbins stated that an Executive Session had taken place earlier that evening. As required by law, he informed the public that the reason for the executive session was to discuss matters pertaining to the DEC/Tuxedo Dam litigation.

Elections for two Trustee positions will take place on June 17, 2008 and the candidates have been identified. Because Trustee Darby will not run for re-election, Mayor Stebbins took a moment to express his gratitude on behalf of the Village for the tremendous efforts Trustee Darby has put into the position over the past two years. He went on to outline some of these efforts including Trustee Darby’s financial work as well as his legal insight and negotiating skills. Finally, the Mayor commended Trustee Darby for his excellent work on the Sterling Place Settlement.

Mayor Stebbins went on to comment that there are a substantial number of items currently in front of the Board, which he hopes will be kept out of the political arena. In closing, the Mayor encouraged everyone to participate in the election by voting on June 17.


In his Budget Report, Trustee Darby stated that Village is in a sound financial position. Regarding the General Fund, the individual departments have done very well with their budgets. The DPW has saved roughly $22,000 in expenses this year while the Police Department has saved $32,000. While a portion of these savings are due to the fact that the Village did not pursue Capital Projects while sorting out their infrastructure plans, good budgeting on the part of the department heads is the primary source of savings.
Water Fund revenues are up from $513,000 to $535,000.

In conclusion, Trustee Darby suggested that the challenge the Village now faces is to develop an infrastructure-spending plan.


On behalf of the DPW, Acting Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that a large portion of East Lake Road would be resurfaced on Friday, May 23.

Hydrant flushing in the Village began on Wednesday, May 21 and is progressing smoothly. Residents may notice some discoloration in their water during this process.

Finally, Tuxedo Lake was treated with Copper Sulfate on May 21. This bi-annual process is done to address algae build-up, which can ultimately clog the filters. Prior to the treatment, Mr. Voss consulted Princeton Hydro (the firm contracted by the Village for Lake Management) with regard to the amount of copper sulfate used, and was advised that the Village has been under-dosing Tuxedo Lake.

Mayor Stebbins commented that once Princeton Hydro has completed the initial study of the Wee Wah, it will be treated in a similar fashion.


During the Public Comment period, Sally Sonne expressed her concern that not enough residents are recycling. She went on to comment that she was aware that the Mayor had addressed recycling in his monthly letter to residents but perhaps a more forceful approach is necessary in order to ensure that residents recycle and do so properly.

The Mayor responded that roughly 70% of residents are not recycling, despite his repeated efforts to encourage them to do so. This past month a sign was posted at the Front Gate on Tuesdays reminding residents to recycle the following day. However, the number of residents who recycle did not increase. Trustee Shaw commented that perhaps a fine should be instituted for those residents who are not recycling and the Mayor agreed that this could be a possible solution.


The Board reviewed and completed an Environment Assessment Form (EAF) for Local Law #4 of 2008, relating to lakes and ponds. The Village Planning Board had reviewed the EAF at their May 19 meeting and their draft recommendations were presented to the Board of Trustees. In reviewing and completing the form, the Board was asked to weigh the proposed legislation against several questions in an effort to determine whether or not the law will have any significant adverse effects on the environment. Because the proposed legislation is not site specific and will not require zoning changes in the Village code, many of the questions on the EAF did not apply. However, those questions that did apply ranged in subject from potential impacts on the land, water and air to aesthetic, agricultural and historical resources that may be affected. While it was suggested that the legislation would have some affect on both the water and aesthetic resources in the Village, the Board determined that these impacts would be small to moderate. After some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of a Negative Declaration, meaning that the proposed legislation will have no significant impact on the environment.

The Public Hearing for Local Law #4 was then continued.

Trustee Darby commented that suggestions made by Jim Hays on May 8 with regard to the steam cleaning of trailers had not been incorporated into the latest draft of the law. He further recommended that docks entering the Village be added to the list of items that require steam cleaning.

Trustee Shaw read a portion of a letter, written by Mike Santoianni, suggesting that additional methods of boat decontamination be considered, as steam cleaning is not a sufficient method for some.

Trustee Hansen suggested that the Board determine a list of approved cleaning methods, to be made available for residents at the Village Office.

Andy Jackson commented that to the best of his knowledge, docks are not being removed from the Village and therefore should not require steam cleaning.

A somewhat lengthy discussion on whether or not the Village should require decontamination of docks ensued.

Mike Santoianni suggested that any boat, trailer or dock entering the Village to be deposited in the lake must be steam cleaned or otherwise decontaminated and that the law should read as such. Mayor Stebbins responded that in its current form, ANY boat entering the Village must be cleaned regardless of whether or not its purpose is to be deposited in the Lake. Mr. Santoianni countered that the law is too restrictive and that there are residents who own boats for use outside the Village who should not be required to clean them.

Trustee Shaw commented that in her opinion the law needs more review in order to clarify its intent. She further commented that in its current form, the law refers to The Wee Wah Beach Club, The Village Fishing Club and the Village Boat Club as the only organizations who utilize the lake and that the Tuxedo Club must be added to that list. Mayor Stebbins responded that the reason for this is that the Tuxedo Club is a lake front property owner while the 3 listed organizations are not. Greg Libby retorted that as a single taxpayer, the Tuxedo Club has been granted more docks than any other lake front taxpayer, which is unfair. Mayor Stebbins commented that the Tuxedo Club has a historical relationship with the Village and Mr. Libby responded that history should not outweigh the rights of taxpayers. He continued on to point out that under current restrictions a single taxpayer with lake front property is permitted one dock while the Tuxedo Club maintains 28. He argued that the Board cannot pass the proposed legislation until the Tuxedo Club’s dock situation is more clearly delineated.

Trustee Hansen commented that the proposed restrictions regarding the rebuilding of permanent structures and specifically the deadline for identifying these projects is too restrictive. He further suggested that an inventory of docks along with a clear plan of what expansion will and will not be allowed for both the Tuxedo Club and the Village Boat Club should be considered and determined before the law is passed.

Greg Libby agreed with Trustee Hansen and requested that the Board approve the Village Boat Club’s application and include it as part of the legislation.

A discussion about the various dock expansion plans for both clubs ensued.

Lake Law Revision Panel Chair Jock McKinnon commented that it was the panel’s intent when creating the legislation that both clubs be allowed to proceed with their proposed expansions.

Trustee Darby commented that the Board should approve the Boat Club application, reaffirm the Tuxedo Club application, alter the proposed legislation to include previously discussed cleaning issues and then pass it.

Trustee Hansen responded that reaffirming the Tuxedo Club’s application was not a good idea because one of their proposed docks could directly interfere with the issues surrounding the Tuxedo Lake Dam. He then inquired as the whether or not it is necessary for the law to pass before the Board can approve the Village Boat Club’s application. He was informed that it is not, however, because the legislation lays the ground work for the Club’s expansion, they will not be able to advance past the Board of Zoning Appeals without having the law in place.

Trustee Hansen then asked whether or not the Village Attorney has reviewed the proposed legislation. Mayor Stebbins responded that Planning Board attorney Mike Donnelly has reviewed it as part of that Board’s EAF review process but that Roemer Wallens & Mineaux have not. Trustee Hansen responded that he does feel comfortable voting on the law until it has been reviewed by Roemer Wallens & Mineaux. Trustee Shaw agreed with Trustee Hansen on this point. She further commented that the Board should take more time to review the legislation before moving forward. Trustee Darby disagreed with Trustee Shaw, suggesting that the Board should act in the near future in order to allow the Village Boat Club to commence with heir application.

Due to the late hour and the number of issues still on the meeting agenda, the Board decided to table their discussion until the next Trustees meeting, which has been tentatively set for Monday, June 2 at 7:30pm.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of closing the Public Hearing on Local Law #4.


The Public Hearing on Local Law #2 of 2008 relating to the proposed Gateway Overlay District was opened.

Greg Libby commented that property owners within the proposed district had not been properly notified of the legislation or the public hearing. Attorney Mike Donnelly responded that the Village is not required by law to notify these residents.

Meg Vaught asked whether or not the proposed legislation would have an affect on Tuxedo Park Estates, a proposed subdivision located on Tuxedo Road. She was informed that it would still be possible for the project to proceed under the proposed law.

Richard O’Rourke, attorney for Tuxedo Park Estates, presented the Board with a packet of letters from various agencies objecting to the proposed law. He suggested that the legislation was an unlawful attempt to thwart the Tuxedo Park Estates project. He further commented that the Board of Architectural Review already has the power to impose many of the restrictions outlined in the law and therefore it is redundant. He suggested that the legislation is subjective as well as invalid and unconstitutional and threatened legal action should the Board move forward with the law.

The public hearing was adjourned.

Next, the Board reviewed and completed an EAF for Local Law #2. Again, as the legislation is not site specific, many of the questions on the form did not apply. Those that did apply however ranged in subject from the project’s potential impact on water and land resources as well as aesthetic resources and plant and animal life. It was agreed that while the legislation will have a moderate impact on the growth and character of the community, the over-all environmental impact will be slight and therefore the Board voted unanimously in favor of a Negative Declaration.
Due to the late hour, the Trustee comments were delayed until the special meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 2, 2008.


Mayor Stebbins presented the Board with an amended version of the License Agreement for the Wee Wah Beach Club. Specific changes to the agreement involve sections referring to supervised play of children at the Beach Club. After some discussion with regard to supervision and staffing issues, the Board voted unanimously in favor of signing the agreement.


After deciding to increase umbrella coverage from 5 to 10 million, the Board voted unanimously in favor of renewing the general liability insurance policy with Selective.

A request made by the Town of Tuxedo Recreation Department for use of the Wee Wah Beach Club as part of the Summer Rec. program will be referred directly to the Beach Club as per the new silence agreement.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the Tuxedo Club’s request for fireworks on or around July 4, 2008.

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