The Village Board of Trustees met on October 14, 2009 at 7:30pm. All members were present.
A Private Attorney-Client meeting took place for approximately one hour. The regular session began at 8:40pm.
Mayor Stebbins began his remarks by reporting that Village finances are in good standing, with the General Fund running roughly $340,000 higher than it was at this time last year.
Next, the Mayor took a moment to thank the Board for all of their hard work to date. Specifically, he recognized Deputy Mayor Hays’ work monitoring the Tuxedo Reserve Development as well as his work with Environmental Committee developing forthcoming legislation that will strive to protect the Village Lakes. He thanked Trustee Worthy for her help in lining up both a Consulting Architect for the BAR and a Historical Architect to pursue Design Guidelines for the Village. He also recognized her work on Tree legislation. He commended Trustee Hansen his detailed review of the Village Health Insurance Policy and his on-going work with the Police Department. Finally, he thanked Trustee Pompan for working diligently with John Ledwith on Water Department affairs and noted that he will be heading up the Budget process after the first of the year. Having noted all of these things, Mayor Stebbins commented that in his view, the Board has been working very well together and it is his hope that they will continue to do so.
Deputy Mayor’s Report:
On Sunday, October 18 at the Sons of Italy hall in the East Village there will be a pancake breakfast with proceeds going to assist Lou Debrino of Tuxedo in his battle with lung cancer. Full details can be viewed here.
On Monday October 26 there will be a very important public hearing in the Town Hall with regard to Tuxedo Reserve and the developers proposed amendment to their special permit. The proposed amendment includes many changes to the plan, some of which directly reverse things that the previous Town Board worked hard to put in place. The Deputy Mayor commented that while not all aspects of the amendment are negative, the decisions made by the Town Board now will affect all residents in a profound way and that it is crucial that people pay attention to what is happening now. Some of the proposed changes include:
A large increase in multi-family housing, development within the Tuxedo Lake watershed where there previously was none planned and a major increase in the amount of commercial space.
Finally, Deputy Mayor Hays reported that a proposal has been sent to the DEC with regard to improving the Village Storm-water Drainage System. Currently, storm-water drains directly into the Village Lakes. The goal is to reroute this storm-water and thus decrease the amount of hazardous material that ends up in the lakes. The proposal calls for the DEC to finance G.I.S. mapping of the existing system as well as engineering proposals for the repair and possible redesign of that system.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of September:
Criminal Complaints 3
Property Damage Complaints 3
Traffic Tickets 4
Medical Calls 1
Fire Alarms 4 (all false)
Intrusion Alarms 6 (all false)
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo Police 1
Assists given to the Town of Ramapo Police 3
Additionally, 10,103 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the front gate.
Trustee Pompan commented that in his view, speeding in the Village as well as a general disregard for traffic laws, specifically keeping to the correct side of the road when driving, has become a major issue in the Village. He suggested that often times it is non-residents and more specifically trucks of all kinds that are responsible for this kind of behavior.
Chief Sanford responded that the police are making every effort to be more diligent when it comes to speeding.
Trustee Worthy noted that since the roads have been re-striped, crossing the double yellow lines on the curves of Tuxedo Road has been less of an issue, however, it is still a problem on the causeway.
Mayor Stebbins commented that it is currently a police policy to escort large trucks to their destinations within the Village and that perhaps this courtesy needs to be extended to slightly smaller trucks as well. He continued on to say that he is in agreement with Trustee Pompan and that it might make sense for the Police to consider greater surveillance of the problem combined with a more blanket enforcement of the laws. He further stated that the Village has been receiving complaints about speeding for some time now and that it may be necessary to increase staffing in order to properly address these issues.
Chief Sanford responded that he and Trustee Hansen are currently working on some potential solutions to this problem and that recommendations will be forthcoming.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that hydrant flushing will begin on Thursday October 22 and is expected to last roughly two weeks, with flushing in the Village occurring first, followed by flushing in the Hamlet.
Additionally, he reported that the water main leak detection process is almost complete and that he is awaiting the final report.
Mayor Stebbins commented that if no major leaks are detected than it will be necessary for the Village to look deeper into the problem in order to determine where the water is going. This might entail figuring out which homes have leaks in the lines that connect them to the main. He also requested that Superintendent Voss submit a report detailing un-metered water use by the Village. Additionally, he requested that the town Fire Department as well as the Highway Department be asked to report back on the amount of un-metered water they are using.
Water Department Report:
On behalf of the Water Department, John Ledwith reported that water billing for the 3rd quarter totals $165,000, which is right on target,
Additionally, he presented with the Board with a draft Termination of Water notice, as requested at the previous meeting, to be sent to Town of Tuxedo customers who have delinquent accounts. Because the Village does not have the jurisdiction to levy unpaid water bills to Town taxes the way they do in within the Village, termination is the only method available for these delinquent accounts. After some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the implementation of the water shut-off plan.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of issuing a building permit to Eric Honor and Maureen Coen for a swimming pool and spa as previously approved by the BAR.
There were no public comments
Advisory Committee Reports:
There were no Advisory Committee Reports
Laukitis Driveway Request:
Dan Laukitis was on hand to answer questions as the Board reviewed his request to pave a portion of Brook Road, which would in turn allow him to reactivate half of his circular driveway. Mr. Laukitis has an application before the BAR currently for renovations to his home and this includes a new driveway design. Currently, the Laukitises use only one half of their driveway as the other portion lets out onto a section of Brook Road, which is unfinished. The portion in use is very steep and has proved hazardous for the Laukitises during the winter months. In order to move forward with their new driveway design, the unfinished portion of Brook Road must be redone so as to provide access to the currently unused area. Peter Regna pointed out that there are 4 lots owned by Tuxedo Reserve developers that are located directly behind this portion of Brook Road and that perhaps the Village should consider doing as little work as possible because once these lots are sold and/or developed, the developer will surely bare the cost of paving the Road. Mayor Stebbins responded by pointing out that development of these lots could take a very long time and that the Laukitises should not have to wait. After a fairly detailed discussion, during which DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss provided a rough outline of the work involved, the Board decided they needed more time to consider the request. Mayor Stebbins commented that this should in no way inhibit the rest of the Laukitis application before the BAR.
New Part-time Police Officer and Traffic Guard:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Ryan Eirand as a new part-time Police Officer in the Village. Likewise, they unanimously approved the hiring of David Yates as a new part-time Traffic Guard.
Review Request to Stock Trout in Tuxedo Lake:
The Board discussed a request from the Tuxedo Club to stock trout in the Tuxedo Lake. A detailed report submitted to the Board by Lake Warden Greg Libby was reviewed and discussed. Mr. Libby has expressed some moderate concern with the proposal and suggested that Tuxedo Lake does not need any more trout. Additionally, he suggested that If any fish stocking is performed the minimum size of the fish should be 16", which would make it difficult for the cormorants to eat the newly stocked fish. Following some further, the Board decided to write a letter to the Tuxedo Club expressing these concerns and requesting a copy of their fish stocking permit.
Discussion of Village Health Insurance:
As per Mayor Stebbins request, Trustee Hansen spent some time researching the Village Insurance policy and investigating the possibility of a better deal. The results of this research were presented to the Board. The end result is that the Village is currently receiving the best deal possible with Empire.
SEQRA Review for Various Projects:
With the help of Village Attorney Rick Golden, the Board completed SEQRA review for the Sewer Plant projects, the Tuxedo Lake Dam Water main projects and the Storm Water Improvement Program. After giving each of these projects a negative declaration, meaning that in their view these projects have no potential for significant adverse environmental effects, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with applications to the New York Environmental Facilities Corporation for each, which will allow the Village to apply for subsidized funding.