Town Board Meeting October 14, 2008

The Town Board met on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 7:30 pm. All members were present.

In his Supervisor’s report, Peter Dolan noted that since he first took office, the court fees have increased from approximately $210,000 per year to over $400,000 for this year …….. and without issuing additional speeding tickets!

The Highway Department is in the process of installing a water system at the Powerhouse Property. They are almost done with this project.

Flu Shots will be offered to all Town Residents over the age of 18 on November 7 from 3pm – 4 pm. The location will once again be the Cafetorium at the George Grant Mason Elementary School. The cost is $30 (free with Medicare card). Call 351-4786 ext. 415 by November 1 for an appointment.

The following items of business took place in the regular part of the meeting:

  • Jerry Magurno was reappointed to the Board of Assessment Review. His new term will expire on September 30, 2013.
  • Deborah Villanueva, who presently works in the Town Building Department, was appointed to the Town Recreation Board with a term ending in 2010.
  • The Orange County Historical Society is celebrating the 325th Anniversary of the Incorporation of Orange County and the Board passed a resolution in support of this effort.
  • A Special Permit was granted to the Forest of Fear which is already open. The Permit allows for police coverage in addition to a permit to operate certain carnival rides.
  • It was announced that the Town’s Tentative Budget has been received. A Preliminary Budget will come next in the process and at that point there will be a Public Hearing. This will be followed by the Final Budget .

Tom Landry, a resident of River Road, appeared before the Board to express his concern about flooding on his road and the possibility of that situation being made worse as a result of the filling occurring at the Powerhouse property. He had several years worth of pictures, starting with Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which he presented to the Board. After listening to Mr. Landry’s presentation, Supervisor Dolan explained to him in some detail what has been happening at the Powerhouse property. The DEC granted the Town permission to put fill on the flood plain, but not on the floodway (which is where the water actually moves). The problem with the flodding lies with replacing the bridge which is currently acting like a dam when debris hits it, as well as removing a berm which was put in by Orange and Rockland when they were lighting the new Commuter Parking Lot. Councilman Darling added that the Town is continuing to consult with the DEC as well as the Army Corps of Engineers. This latter group has been given money to study the tributaries of the Hudson under which the Town qualifies. This process will take some time. Supervisor Dolan hopes that at the end, we will end up with a plan which alleviates flooding from the Powerhouse property to Take a Break and Contractor’s Row. The County Engineers have stated that they plan to put in a new bridge during the ’09 calendar year.

In other business, it was noted that there are some outdoor furnaces in Town and people have been complaining about them as they give off thick smoke as well as a foul odor when they are operating. It was suggested that the Board put a moratorium on any new such furnaces while they look into what they want to do about this situation. Town Attorney Don Nichols advised that th is would be best handled through a local law, which was then introduced. There will be a public hearing at the next meeting of the Board on October 27. A moratorium on the building of outdoor furnaces has been put into effect pending the adoption of this law.

Councilman Castricone stated that he understands that the MTA is looking to reintroduce a commuter tax in order to finance rising fuel and other costs. The Board will look into issuing a resolution which opposes this tax at their next meeting.

In the public comment part of the meeting, Tuxedo Park resident Jim Hays asked if the Town has scheduled any public hearings on Tuxedo Reserve’s proposed Amendment to their Special Permit. He was told that public hearings will be scheduled after the Board receives their recommendations from the Planning Board. Mr. Hays then inquired as to whether or not the Board would be studying the differences in the financial impact of the Tuxedo Reserve project. He commented that since some of the proposed housing has changed from single family homes to multi family dwellings, the tax impact will change as well. He also expressed concern regarding traffic studies. Since Tuxedo Reserve is seeking to increase their commercial space from 3000 square feet to 30,000 square feet, Quail Road will need to be able to handle large (up to 18 wheel) trucks which will service the businesses in the new Commons area. As approved, Quail Road will not be able to handle such traffic.

Mary Graetzer of Tuxedo Park asked if the LDC has set up the process for businesses to apply for loans. She was told that the first meeting of the LDC will be held within the next two weeks and that they will be addressing the process at that time. Mrs. Graetzer went on to express concern that the applicant, Tuxedo Reserve, seems to be driving the review process with the Planning Board. She commented that she had attended a TAC Committee meeting at which the applicant was pushing for the Planning Board to schedule workshop meetings and finish their report within a 45 day time period, which they believe began on the date that the application was officially referred to the Planning Board (September 8th). Mrs. Graetzer further commented that since the applicant had not presented the proposed amendment to the Town Board at the time it was referred, the idea that the Planning Board should be expected to formulate a report within 45 days of that referral date is rather disturbing. The Board members responded that they maintain total confidence in the Planning Board and assured Mrs. Graetzer that they would have “all the time they need,” to make their report. Mrs. Graetzer then inquired as to whether or not the Town would be setting up any workshops for themselves with Consultants for the purpose of reviewing the proposed amendment and was informed that as of this time, there are no plans to do so. Supervisor Dolan further commented that all Board members have walked the Tuxedo Reserve property and will be receiving mutiple memos from the Planning Board and their consultants on the subject of the proposed amendment. Mrs. Graetzer responded that she hopes the Board will consider scheduling some workshops as she feels there is a lot to be learned in order for the Board to properly judge the project.

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