Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 15, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 8:oopm. Trustee Zgonena was absent.
Mayor Wilson began his update by announcing that the TOWN AND COUNTRY article about Tuxedo Park has come out and he was pleased to report that it seems to have been well received by all. He expressed his gratitude to everyone involved with its production. He went on to report that the Village website has been mostly completed, with only a few kinks remaining. There has been a notable increase in hits to the site since the T & C article came out.
Ornamental Tree Company will finish their clean-up in the Village on Friday December 16. The Mayor thanked DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and his department for all their hard work assisting with this effort.
Mayor Wilson is in receipt of a letter from Sally Sonne, in which she reported that deer drive efforts over the past two weekends had been quite successful, resulting in 42 deer having been driven into the hunting area adjacent to the Village. He thanked Mrs. Sonne and all those involved for their time and effort and noted that the White Buffalo contract for deer culling was on the agenda for discussion later in the evening.
The Tuxedo Reserve Development was on the agenda at the December 14 meeting of the Town of Sloatsburg Planning Board. Although the developers were hoping for final approval on a proposed access road, that Board has decided to keep the public hearing open for at least another month.
Police Chief Ken Sanford was absent, however following is a summary of the police report for the month of November:
Non Criminal Complaints – 26
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 2
Traffic Summonses Issued – 24
Fire Alarms – 4 (all false)
Intrusion Alarms – 2 (False)
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 3
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police –2
Additionally, 9,732 un-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that cleanup from both Hurricane Irene and the October snow -storm is almost complete. The department is a bit behind on leaf pickup, but expects to catch up in the next couple of weeks provided the weather cooperates.
Mayor Wilson inquired after the leaf disposal dumpsters and specifically whether or not use by local contractors had picked up after the Village lowered dumping costs. Superintendent Voss responded that usage had increased a little. The Mayor wondered where contractors and residents were choosing to dump. Trustee Heywood suggested that cost of dumping was high everywhere and many were finding spots North of Town. Trustee Neuhauser commented that some residents were simply storing leaves on their own properties.
Mayor Wilson then inquired about patching on Tuxedo Road, commenting that some residents had expressed concern about its condition. Superintendent Voss replied that he would like to patch there weather permitting.
The DPW would like to move forward with the purchase of a new water truck as discussed at the October Trustees meeting. The cost is $31,000 and will be financed from the Water Fund.. As all the Trustees were in favor of moving forward, it was agreed that Deputy Mayor du Pont would investigate the details.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT UPDATE:
Click here to read a copy of the Building Department’s monthly report.
Installation of a generator at the Village Office should be complete by Tuesday, December 20. DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss commented that eventually, he would like to pursue a generator for the DPW Plant and Mayor Wilson agreed that once installation had been completed at the V.O., they would seek an estimate for the DPW Facility.
Village Improvement Advisory Committee – Representing the V.I.A.C., Trustee Heywood reported that the committee was working on a five-year plan as requested and would be prepared to present this as well as a detailed summary of their discussion at the January Trustees Meeting.
Trustee Heywood also reported that the Hurricane Irene Relief Committee has completed their work for the most part. Trustee Heywood referenced an e-mail that had been widely circulated by that committee’s chair, Mary Jo Guinchard, in which a detailed account of funds raised and dispersed was given. Overall, response from the community was amazing. The idea of establishing an emergency center and as well as a network for emergency communicatios in the town was briefly discussed. Trustee Neuhauser suggested that the communication of this information would be key and that people needed to be made aware of what was there for them.
CharlEn Cathcart inquired about the permitting fee for generator installation. She stated that many residents had installed generators in recent months and many of them did not pay the $200 permit fee because most people were not aware of the requirement. She expressed dismay at having to pay this fee herself, commenting that it was unfair and suggested that if the Village felt the need to require a permit for this, that $25 was a more reasonable amount.
Building Inspector John Ledwith responded that while the Village could decide to waive the fee if they wanted, in his view a permit should still be required in order to ensure inspections.
Mayor Wilson inquired of Mr. Ledwith as to how many residents had applied for permits in recent months when installing their generators. The answer was 7.
Deputy Mayor du Pont suggested that if the Board decided to waive the fee, refunds should be issued for those 7 residents who had already paid. There was a brief discussion with Attorney Rick Golden about how to legally amend the fee schedule and it was agreed that the Board would move forward with this action.
ChauNCIE Rodzianko expressed concern with deer fencing along East Lake Road, commenting that she feels the ugly new fencing has ruined the look of her neighborhood and the road in general. She noted that a discussion of the fence law was on the agenda for later that evening, but she inquired as to what the Board intended to do about the multiple existing fences that had gone up without BAR approval over the last several months. Board of Architectural Review Chair Paola Tocci agreed and wondered why these residents had chosen not to appear before the BAR as approvals there are relatively quick these days and the Board has built a reputation of being as accommodating as possible.
Mayor Wilson stated that most of the residents in question had installed their fences in an effort to protect their children from the threat of Lyme disease and that their decisions had been based on these concerns.
Mrs. Tocci commented that she both understood and sympathized with these concerns, however, in her view, residents still needed to appear before the BAR before making additions/changes of this magnitude. The BAR might be able to help applicants with more discrete installation plans as well as landscaping ideas. She suggested that the Village post some information to this point on their website and also that they send a hardcopy through the mail. She reported that the BAR has asked consulting architect Stephen Tilly, who is currently working on Design Guidelines for the Village, to add a section about fencing to the document. Mayor Wilson inquired as to when a draft version of the guidelines would be available. Mrs. Tocci replied that they were on the agenda for the BAR’s December 20 meeting and that they expected to have a draft by the second week in January.
Trustee Neuhauser expressed her gratitude to the Tuxedo Park Garden Club, recognizing their beautiful work at the South Gate and in triangles around the Village.
DISCUSSION re FENCE LAW:
The Board hopes to have a working draft of fencing legislation by January or February of 2012. Rick Golden provided the Board with a brief history, commenting that a moratorium on property fencing had begun “before his time” however he believed it had been born out of reactions to certain deer fencing in the community. Under the moratorium, residents were permitted to fence in smaller sections of their property, presumably to protect their landscaping from the deer, however perimeter fencing was not allowed. The moratorium expired in 2007. Since that time (and even before then) the Board has been working on various drafts of new legislation, but nothing has been completed to date.
The idea of fencing requirements in general was then discussed. From the audience, Mrs. Cathcart commented that it would de difficult to establish uniform guidelines for fencing in the Village due to the variety of properties that exist here. Trustee Neuhauser agreed, commenting that she was starting to wonder if the Village should revert to a policy of no fencing. Mayor Wilson stated that those residents concerned about Lyme Disease want 100% property fencing.. BAR Chair Paola Tocci commented that there are many tasteful ways to fence in a property and she reiterated her earlier belief that residents should come before the BAR with these projects.
Trustee du Pont stated that he would like some more time to review the former drafts, digest the information and formulate an opinion. The Trustees agreed. The conversation was deferred the January meeting of the Board.
DISCUSSION re 22 LOOKOUT STABLE ROAD PROPOSED SEWER:
This conversation was deferred until January.
DISCUSSION re EAST VILLAGE WATER LINE PROPOSAL:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with having Village Engineer Westin and Sampson complete a study of the East Village Water Line to include all issues and possible project repair approaches at the cost of $4.900.
The idea of installing a natural gas line in the Village was also briefly discussed at this time and it was agreed that this was an idea worth exploring.
RESOLUTION TO CHANGE 2012 BOT MEETING DATES:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving BOT meetings to the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm beginning in January of 2012.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE TRAFFIC GUARD CONTRACT:
Deputy Mayor du Pont briefly reviewed 2 key changes in the Traffic Guard Contract. They are as follows:
Rate increases / longevity and compensation payments will increase at a rate of 3%, mimicking the Police Contract.
Off-duty Guards who are called into service will be paid for a minimum of three hours, regardless of time worked.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the Memorandum of Agreement for Village Traffic Guards through May 31, 2013.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCEITY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Audobon Society’s annual Christmas bird count, which will take place on Saturday, December 17.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE WHITE BUFFALO CONTRACT:
The Board discussed the Village’s deer culling contract with White Buffalo. Mayor Wilson commented that in his view there was no question but that last year’s effort had been a bust.
Deputy Mayor du Pont inquired as to the cost of the program and was informed that was around $25,000, which breaks down to roughly $80 per resident.
Trustee Neuhauser wondered what made the Village think that White Buffalo would be more successful this year.
The Mayor responded that many of last years hiccups had to do with the weather, however he also believed that the previous Board had not been entirely behind the effort, which hindered its progress as well.
Trustee Neuhauser commented that it was a lot of effort and money to invest for minimal results, especially considering the recent deer drive had yielded 42 deer for free.
Deputy Mayor du Pont inquired as to how many deer White Buffalo expected to cull.
The answer was 100
The Deputy Mayor stated that with the $25,000 price tag, this breaks down to $250 per deer which ,in his view, is a lot of money with no guarantee.
Mayor Wilson replied that last years results were not necessarily indicative of what could be expected given that certain members of the Board had shut down their efforts. He also pointed out that due to the large number of acorns that dropped last season, the deer had more to eat and as a result were less likely to go to baiting spots. He cautioned that culling was an ongoing effort and that it could take up to three years before the Village would see results. In his view, to cull for one year and then abandon the process would be a real waste of money.
The responsibilities of White Buffalo under the contract were briefly discussed. Trustee Neuhauser wanted to know how much of the work in terms of purchasing corn etc, and setting up the baiting sites fell on the shoulders of that company. She was informed that the Village had done all the administrative work, purchased the corn etc and that once they had been staked out, the DPW had established the baiting sites.
Deputy Mayor du Pont commented that he was reluctant to spend $25,000 oR culling two years in a row with no guarantee, although he did favor the idea of giving culling a shot. He further suggested that the Village pay White Buffalo in increments, with $15,000 to start, an additional $5,000 once 75 deer have been culled and the final $5,000 once they reach their target of 100.
Mayor Wilson replied that there was no guarantee that White Buffalo would be agreeable to these terms.
Attorney Rick Golden reminded the Board that the current contract was good through February of 2012.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of attempting to negotiate a new contract with White Buffalo using the payment guidelines as suggested by the Deputy Mayor.
RESOLUTION TO AMMEND FEE SCHEDULE FOR GENERATOR PERMITS:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of amending the fee schedule for generator permits by eliminating the fee altogether and to issue refunds to those residents who have paid the fee in recent months.
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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 15, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Police Update
5. DPW Update
6. Building Department Update
7. Committee Updates
8. Public Comment
9. Discussion re Fence Law
10. Discussion re 22 Lookout Stable Road Proposed Sewer
11. Discussion re East Village Water Line Proposal
12. Resolution to change 2012 BOT meeting dates
13. Resolution to approve Traffic Guard Contract
14. Resolution to approve White Buffalo Contract
15. Resolution to approve meeting minutes from 11/16/11
16. Audit of Claims
17. Motion to Adjourn
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 16, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on November 16, 2011 at 7pm. Trustee Zgonena was absent.
Mayor Wilson began his update by announcing the Town & Country Magazine has finished writing their article about the 125th anniversary of the tuxedo and Tuxedo Park. He believes that it is a celebratory article of which residents can and will be proud.
With the help Ornamental Tree Company, tree and limb clean-up form the October snowstorm will begin on Monday, November 21. Work will take place between the hours of 8am and 5pm. Additionally, local contractors will be allowed to conduct clean-up efforts during these hours Monday thru Saturday throughout the month of November. Beginning December 1, Orange and Rockland will be in the Village circumnavigating Tuxedo Lake and identifying dead trees and limbs that pose a direct threat to power lines. Once they have completed this process, they will present their findings to the Board, who will then form a plan accordingly. While the Village will surely incur some costs as a result, homeowners will also be asked to take responsibility for issues on their properties.
Trustee Heywood pointed out that the VIAC had already completed a similar study. Mayor Wilson replied that any assistance they might be able to give would be welcomed.
Trustee du Pont commented that it would be important to remind homeowners that the DPW/Ornamental Tree cleanup efforts would be directed at trees and limbs located on Village property only and that they should NOT drag brush and branches into the street for pick-up. Trustee Neuhauser agreed that this should definitely be made clear. She then inquired as to the process for dealing with residents who might neglect to clear downed trees. Village attorney Rick Golden responded that the Village should send letters to those residents outlining a 30 day time limit for removal, after which the Village could remove the trees and levy the cost back to the residents’ tax bill.
With regard to leaf removal, the Village has placed two 30 ft dumpsters in the vacant lot across the street from the DPW building where residents may dump their leaves for free! Landscapers will be charged $18 a cubic yard to dispose of leaves there.
The Village is still in the market for a pair of generators – one to power the Village Office and one for the Police station. Mayor Wilson commented that this would be discussed in further detail later in the evening. Additionally, the Village has been working on a new storm water prevention plan and looking at a prototype for damage prevention, the details of which were also to be discussed later in the meeting.
Finally, Mayor Wilson reminded residents that hunting season runs from November 19 through December 11, cautioning that awareness is key, especially when hiking in the woods.
Police chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of October:
Criminal Complaints - 6
Non-criminal Complaints - 45
Arrests – 1 (DWI)
Property Damage Complaints – 8
Speeding Summonses Issued – 17
Intrusion Alarms – 3 (all false)
Fire Alarms – 6 (all false)
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Additionally, 10,825 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.
The Board discussed hiring a new full-time DPW employee, Daniel Jones, to replace an employee who has recently gone on medical leave. The hiring of two part-time police personnel (one gate guard and one part-time officer) was also discussed at this time. Trustee du Pont inquired as to whether or not either department had conducted drug testing with these potential new hires. DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss responded that he had. Chief Sanford stated that he had not done so and that typically this type of testing does not occur with part-time employees. He further stated that with full time officers, drug testing must be agreed to as part of the police contract.
Trustee du Pont then inquired as to whether or not the Village still employed a policy whereby one or two of the Trustees interviewed all incoming full-time employees. He was informed that Mayor Stebbins had conducted these interviews personally during his term. Mayor Wilson then asked Trustees du Pont and Heywood if they would be willing to interview Daniel Jones, and they agreed. The Board then voted unanimously in favor of hiring Mr. Jones subject to this interview. They also voted unanimously in favor of hiring Greg Hart and Jeff Yates for the positions of part-time Traffic Guard and Police Officer respectively.
Trustee du Pont then commented that the DPW had done an outstanding job of clearing the roads during the October snowstorm and he expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Village.
Trustee Heywood wondered if the Village had a count of properties that had sustained serious damage. He was informed that they did not, although Mayor Wilson stated that Fox Hill, West Lake Stable and Ridge Roads had been among the hardest hit.
Finally, Superintendent Voss suggested that the Village consider purchasing a small, affordable, portable generator for the primary purpose of powering the Mountain Farm pump station during extended power outages.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT UPDATE:
Building Inspector John Ledwith presented the Board with three building permits as approved by the Board of Architectural Review at their meeting the previous evening. The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving all them, with Trustee Neuhauser recusing herself from the vote on her application.
The Board then discussed the purchase of two new 20kg generators as outlined in the Mayor’s update. Costs range from $6,970 to $9,542. Propane storage tanks would also be necessary (400-500 gallon tanks were discussed) and SOS has given the Village an estimate of $3,672 for these. The agreed intent would be to bury the tanks. Unfortunately, the lowest bidder on the generator has informed the Village that they will need a 6-week lead-time to deliver the equipment. Mayor Wilson commented that in his view, this was unacceptable. Similar machines can be purchased at the Home Depot with zero lead-time required. He would like to see the machines purchased and installed by the end of December. Village Attorney Rick Golden commented that as a result of the recent storm, he believed there was a shortage on Generac generators and that Honeywell makes an almost identical unit that the Village might want to consider. It was agreed that Mr. Ledwith would look into this. Because they feel this is an urgent matter and that the Village must move forward with it as quickly as possible, the Board then voted unanimously in favor of purchasing 2 20kg generators at a cost not to exceed $7,000 (including installation) as well as 2 500 gallon propane tanks, costs not to exceed $3,600.
There were no committee updates. Mayor Wilson inquired of Jim Hays as to the status of the Milfoil situation and was informed that nothing has changed. The Environmental Committee is working on a treatment plan to begin early next spring. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to remove the plants that are submerged in water without fragmenting them. The good news is that the Village can drain the Wee Wah Lake if necessary, which will aid in removal.
Issues with the mulch pile located at the Town recycling facility were also briefly addressed. There is concern that toxins from the mulch may have leached into the surrounding wetlands and might therefore find its way into Tuxedo Lake. The possibility of testing was discussed. Attorney Rick Golden suggested that there is a program whereby the DEC may offer to lower the facilities fines if they in turn agreed to finance an Environmental Project and that perhaps a study of Tuxedo Lake would qualify as such a project. Mayor Wilson suggested that the Village should look into this.
Kathy Norris expressed concern over the response time of O&R following the October snowstorm. She reported having spoken to representatives from the power company and was appalled to discover that they have minimal liability to their customers. She believes they should be held liable. O & R presented Ms. Norris with three options for the Village to consider which could help to speed up response times in the future. She briefly outlined these options as follows:
Storage of 12 telephone polls somewhere in the Village
Installation of 4 Transformers
Installation of a transmission station
This last option was discussed at length, specifically size, cost and potential location for a station. Ms. Norris informed the Board that a transmission station could be installed by the Power Company at no cost to the Village. She suggested a specific location and agreed to discuss it with the property owner. Mayor Wilson thanked her for the information, commenting that all the options as outlined were worthy of exploration and that he would follow up with O & R as well.
Mike Santoianni thanked the Board and the DPW for hydro seeding at the Wee Wah beach club, commenting that grass had already begun to grow there and that it looks great. He then inquired about the installation of the propane tanks as discussed earlier, specifically as to how far away from the structures they would need to be and whether there would be excavation costs involved. Mayor Wilson responded that he believed they would not need to be more than 50 feet away from the structures and that the DPW would most likely do the excavation work.
Jake Matthews thanked the Mayor and the DPW for their work during the October snowstorm, commenting that in his view the CODERED alert system had been extremely helpful and should be kept going.
On behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Niblo, Attorney Dennis Lynch requested that the Board grant his clients a hardship and allow them to install both a well and septic field at their property located on Cliff Road. Following a great deal of discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the hardships and allowing the alternate septic and water systems.
RESOLTUION TO APPROVE $3,700 GARY RICH LAND SURVEY OF CONTINENTAL AND CLUB HOUSE ROAD:
As previously mentioned, the Village has been working on a new storm water drainage prevention plan and looking at a prototype for damage prevention using Continental and Club House Roads as a starting point. Total expenses could reach $40,000, but the Mayor believes that instituting the plan will solve several key problems at one time. The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the $3,700 Gary Rich Land Survey.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE POLICE CONTRACT:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the new police contract. Trustee du Pont noted that the 3.5% increase is due directly to compensation and longevity payments and is based on negotiations with the Police Union. A guards contract is expected to follow in the near future.
DISCUSSION OF THE VILLAGE FENCE LAW:
Mayor Wilson stated that he would like to see legislation in place by February of 2012. Trustee Neuhauser agreed to speak with Board of Architectural Review Chair Paola Tocci and obtain her feedback. It was agreed that the Board would work on outlining parameters for their next meeting, which Attorney Rick Golden could then draft into an introductory law. The Board then briefly discussed how violators would be handled once the law had been passed. Mr. Golden suggested that they could be given a timeframe to come into compliance and that the date could be made retroactive to that evening.
RESOLUTION TO LEVY UNPAID VILLAGE TAX BILLS TO ORANGE COUNTY DEPT. OF FINANCE:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of levying unpaid Village tax bills to the Orange County Department of Finance
RESOLUTION TO APPOINT GARDINER HEMPEL AS FIRE COMMISSIONER OF TUXEDO JOINT FIRE DISCTRICT:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Gardiner Hempel as Fire commissioner of the Tuxedo Joint Fire District.
RESOLTUION FOR EXEPMPTION OF COUNTY TAX FOR 2013 ON WATER SYSTEM PARCEL 13-3-12:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of exempting County tax for 2013 on water system parcel 13-3-12.
DISCUSSION OF VILLAGE WEBSITE AND RESOLUTION TO APPROVE $1000 ANNUAL FEE TO GOVERNMENT OUTREACH GOREQUEST SERVICE:
Mayor Wilson presented the Board with a prototype for the new Village website, which he commented could be made active as early as November 18. While the new site will contain all of the information and links available through the current site, it will be much easier to navigate and visitors should be able to find what they are looking for with one click of a button. Forms, such as building permit applications, will be standardized and made available via the site. Residents will be able to both complete and submit the forms online. The new Design Guidelines will be made available there as well once they are ready. Additionally, Mayor Wilson hopes to allow for payment of water bills and Village Taxes online.
Trustee du Pont stated that in his view the site is a vast improvement. Trustee Neuhauser agreed, commenting that it would provide a very helpful service to residents. Village Attorney Rick Golden cautioned the Board that there are requirements for municipal websites and that there must be enough space to post SEQRA documents there.
Mayor Wilson then outlined the benefits of a service called GOREQUEST, which can be made available to residents through the site. Using this service, residents will be able to submit photos of issues within the Village such as downed trees and wires, extinguished streetlights, potholes etc, via the website. The photos will then be directed to the proper department and the resident will receive a confirmation of receipt. There was a brief discussion about the legalities involved, specifically indemnification of provider. Following this discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of updating the Village website using the prototype presented (this includes a change in service providers) at a cost not to exceed to previously approved $2000 as well aS approving the $1000 for the Government GOREQUEST service.
BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR NEW HIRES:
The Board discussed the idea of instituting a policy of conducting background checks for all new hires, to include criminal, driving and drug checks. Police Chief Ken Sanford reiterated that the checks would have to be worked into the Police Contracts. Rick Golden commented that he would like to further investigate what the legalities for municipalities are in this regard, commenting that they may well be quite different from those of a private company.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 16, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge ofAllegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Police Update
5. DPW Update
6. Building Department Update
7. Committee Updates
8. Public Comment
9. Resolution to approve $1,000 annual fee to Government Outreach GORequest Service
10. Resolution to approve $3,700 Gary Rich Land Survey of Continental and Club House Road.
11. Resolution to approve Police Contract
12. Resolution to levy unpaid Village tax bills to Orange County Dept. of Finance
13. Resolution to appoint Gardiner Hempel as Fire Commissioner of Tuxdeo Joint Fire Dist.
14. Resolution for Exemption of County tax for 2013 on water system parcel 13-3-12
15. Niblo Application
16. Approve 10/19/2011 BOT Minutes
17. Audit of Claims
18. Motion to Adjourn
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 19, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on October 19, 2011 at 7:00pm. Trustee Neuhauser was absent.
Yaboo Fence – Guiderail Completion –Work on the Tuxedo Road Guiderails has been completed and has been universally recognized as a great success. Mayor Wilson thanked former Mayor Houston Stebbins for his leadership in bringing the project to completion as well as members of the Village Improvement Advisory Committee and the Board of Architectural Review for bringing the project to fruition, commenting that the rails are a “great addition” to the entranceway to the Village.
Financial Update – With regard to finances, the Mayor reported that he is in receipt of the quarterly report and that the Village is in a very strong position with roughly $3.1 million in the bank, which is a little under $70,000 ahead of where things stood at this time last year. While he has been advised that the Village typically “breaks even” around this time in the fiscal year, he cautioned that situations are always arising and that he was certain the Village would put the$70,000 to use moving forward.
Town Recycling Facility – Due to problems with the DEC, the town recycling facility has been shut down to local contractors for leaf disposal. Alternate methods of disposal will need to be researched and implemented within the Village and the Mayor commented that one of these methods should NOT be blowing leaves on to other people’s properties. He is open to suggestions for controlling this potential issue and wondered if fining guilty landscapers would be an effective method. Acknowledging that Chief Sanford’s opinion would be also be important, he further commented that if everyone was agreeable to this idea, fine amounts would then need to be discussed and agreed upon,
Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not the facility was closed to everyone in the Town of Tuxedo or just to landscapers from the Village. Mayor Wilson responded that he did not think the site was closed to the Town of Tuxedo as a municipality, however it was closed to private entities. Trustee du Pont commented that he believed that individual residents could still bring their leaves there on their own, however, Public Health Committee Chair Cami Fischer informed them that this was not so. Trustee Heywood then inquired as to why the facility had been shut down and was informed that the DEC has fined the facility $66,000 for violations of various environmental laws. One of these which has to do with the excessive amount of mulch currently be stored at the facility, which far exceeds the amount they were originally approved for. The concern here is that the Mulch will then leach into the wetlands that surround the property and the Town must take steps to remediate this. Timeliness is key.
Mayor Wilson cautioned that t Village should be concerned about potential environmental impacts as whatever leaches into the ground could easily travel through the bedrock and wind up a mile away. They will need to remain diligent and stay on top of the issue.
Trustee Heywood commented that the peak leaf season is upon us and he wondered what the landscapers would do. The Mayor responded that he imagined that they would have to find a place to dump outside of Tuxedo and his guess was that they would in turn increase their rates and pass the cost on to the residents. He reported that he and Mrs. Fischer had looked into possible solutions but space was an issue. He spoke with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss about possibly bringing in a dumpster to be located at the DPW facility, but there is no room there either. The only other option would be to utilize the Racetrack, but nobody wants to do that for numerous reasons.
Trustee Heywood asked whether or not the Village had issued a notice about this situation to Residents and Landscapers alike. Mayor Wilson said that he felt the landscapers would take it upon themselves to bring the leaves elsewhere. The question that remains is what the impact of this will be for residents. He then reiterated that the last thing the Village wants to see is landscapers blowing leaves onto other properties.
Milfoil Update – Mayor Wilson expressed his gratitude to Jim and Nancy Hays, who were the first to discover the milfoil weed that is growing in Tuxedo Lake while out canoeing roughly 10 days ago. Upon discovery, the Hays took samples of the plant, which was positively identified as Milfoil via professional testing, Milfoil is an extremely evasive weed which, if not abated quickly and immediately, can grow rapidly and is capable of filling lakes in their entirety. Therefore the Village must take this discovery very seriously and should be prepared to invest the necessary funds up front in an effort to control the problem. The worse it becomes the more expensive it be will be to control. Susan Goodfellow and Jim Hays have taken the lead combating this problem and are working with Lake Wardens Jim Jospe and Greg Libby to come up with a plan. Mrs. Goodfellow has spoken with the DEC and the Village is in receipt of a proposal to do a mapping of Tuxedo Lake within the next day or two, which will provide an idea of how extensively the weed has spread there. Evidence of Milfoil has also been found in Pond # 3.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of September:
Non criminal complaints: 38
criminal complaints: 1 (closed by arrest)
traffic tickets 19
fire alarms 5
intrusion alarms 4
assisted by Town of Tuxedo Police 1
Additionally, 10,828 vehicles entered the Village via the Front and rear gates.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to progress with updating/eliminating expired white vehicle tags and reported that despite last June’s deadline, he is still seeing a fair number of these tags on a regular basis. Chief Sanford responded that the Department is continuing to work on the issue.
Mayor Wilson announced that as DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss is typically overworked and understaffed as of late, he had given him the night off. He reported that the department has been keeping very busy trying to complete various road repairs and called upon DPW Liason, Trustee Zgonena, for further comment on department activity.
Trustee Zgonena concurred that they are hard at work trying to complete paving projects that were begun a month ago but have dragged on longer than expected due to inclement weather. He and the Superintendent have discussed other long stretches of road that need work, specifically East and West Lake Roads. West Lake Road needs additional shoulder work on the lakeside, where increasingly large amounts of erosion have occurred. On the cliff side, Trustee Zgonena stated that ideally the entire road should be a uniform width, which it currently is not. In order to have a proper two lane highway, what needs to be done at some point in the future is to either widen the shoulder or create additional road. This might be a minor encroachment into the lake, however the alternative is to hammer away at the cliff. One way or another, in the interest of maintenance and safety, Trustee Zgonena feels that the road should be widened in some places.
Additionally, the department will be making a concerted effort to trim back the tremendous amount of overgrowth around the roadways. This important task has taken a backseat recently due to other priorities, however due to the overwhelming amount of rain in recent months, there has been a tremendous amount of growth which has created some traffic issues especially blind corners for large vehicles, which include fire and rescue trucks.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not Tuxedo Road was slated to be repaved and Mayor Wilson responded that he believed it would be patched in places rather than repaved in its entirety. The department has been focusing paving efforts on Pine Hill Road, Cliff Road, West Lake Road and Turtle Point Road, with work planned for Lookout Stable, Brook and Mountain Farm Roads in addition to pothole work at the south end of the lake. Trustee Heywood identified one specific area of road, running from past the bottom of Club House Road all the way to the Main Gate where a fairly large chunk of the road was missing and expressed some concern that leaving this road in disrepair could cause major issues during the winter months. Trustee Wilson said he would mention this to Superintendent Voss. He further commented that this brought to mind another important point, namely that the Village needs to examine alternate storm water run-off solutions on a number of roads He reported having met recently with a storm water engineer, who came to the Village specifically to analyze Continental Road. A plan for that road has been proposed and if it works, the hope is that it can also be implemented on Clubhouse Road, where similar problems have been experienced. Through the process of repairing those two roads, the Mayor is hopeful that the Village will gain the knowledge necessary to begin identifying other roads that are in need of similar repairs.
Tuxedo Lake will be lowered an additional 1 and 1/2 feet to allow for necessary work on the Tuxedo Lake Dam. George Sorice will be doing the joint filling for the Tuxedo Club. While the job itself is not a difficult one, lowering the lake on the pool-side of the dam as is required is tricky. Pumps have been put to use to speed the process up as the work must be completed by November 30 as per the DEC. While the increase in draw-down efforts did prove problematic for some boat owners, Mayor Wilson suggested that it had also had some positive results as lower water levels is what allowed the Hays’ to spot the Milfoil.
In other infrastructure related news, Mayor Wilson reported that Trustee Heywood had been working on the Village FEMA application to be submitted within the next 30 days for damage from Hurricane Irene. The storm exacerbated problems at the Wee Wah dam, destroyed the road leading to the Mountain Farm Road water tanks and put a crack in the East Village water main. The Village is applying for assistance with these projects as well as compensation for the associated over-time hours required to complete them. Trustee Heywood is working with Chief Sanford and Superintendent Voss to put together a comprehensive list.
Finally, the Board discussed plans for a new water truck. This was budgeted for last year, however the Mayor feels that the Village might want to consider financing. the purchase.
Building Department Update:
Click here to read a copy of the Building Department’s monthly report.
Mayor Wilson inquired about estimates for a generator for the Village Office. Building Inspector John Ledwith did not have the paperwork with him, but believed it to be somewhere between $5,500 and $6,100, not including a propane tank, for which he would like to collect more estimates. The Board will revisit this at their next meeting. The Mayor reminded everyone that the idea behind getting this generator was to allow the Village to create an emergency community center during long power outages.
Susan Goodfellow – Environmental Committee: Mrs. Goodfellow explained to the Board for a second time how Jim and Nancy Hays had discovered the milfoil 10 days prior in the area of the Tuxedo Lake Dam and that testing had identified the weed to be Eurasian Water Milfoil…the scourge of New York State lakes these days. The non-native evasive probably started as an aquatic plant. It has also been discovered in pond number 3 and Mrs. Goodfellow suggested that it could very well be growing in the Wee Wah as well. If its not there already, it will be as the smallest fragments of this weed propagate themselves. Jim Hays has assembled a map indicating where he and Lake Warden Jim Jospe observed various concentrations of Milfoil, however the map does not show all the areas where fragments have been spotted. Unfortunately, once milfoil is established, it is virtually impossible to eradicate, however it is possible to work towards controlling. Susan has reached out to Allied Biological, a small outfit, that did a lake study for the Village back in the 1990s, and they have put together a proposal to conduct an aquatic vegetation mapping survey. This will have many advantages. It will be connected to GPS Mapping, and will become a dynamic tool that the Village will very much need as they section off the lake and develop a tight observational program for evaluating what is growing there. In terms of removal, hand removal in the form of dig-out has been recommended. Naturally there is a particular protocol involved with removal and disposal since the top of the weed can easily fragment. The good news is that resident volunteers can be trained. Mrs. Goodfellow wondered whether there might not even be some resident divers who would be willing to offer their time to be trained and then assist with removal. If not, either Allied Biological or the Adirondack Invasive Plant Project can recommend people for this task. The Environmental Committee recommends that the Village take immediate action by beginning to remove the milfoil that is currently present and commissioning the study as proposed.
Mayor Wilson inquired of Mrs. Goodfellow as to whether or not the Village has time to complete the study before taking action. Mrs. Goodfellow responded that Allied Biological has a botanist who can start work on the study at the end of this week. New York State does not require a permit for this work, however a written description of what is being done is required.
The Mayor wondered if the cold winter months would help quell the problem.
Mrs. Goodfellow responded that it would very much depend on the weather, how cold it gets and whether there is snow-cover on the lake etc..
Mayor Wilson reiterated that the Village must make this issue one of its highest priorities as it could become a huge problem if not controlled properly.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to the prime growing season for Milfoil and was informed that the weed flourishes spring thru fall and can have two flowering and seeding periods. Mrs. Goodfellow stressed the fact that the Village has a good shot at getting on top of the problem with commitment and aggressive management.
Trustee Heywood asked Mrs. Goodfellow to outline the worst-case scenario and she replied that in her view both Pond #3 and the Wee Wah are ripe to become entirely filled within a couple of years. While it is unlikely that the weed would destroy water treatment it would obliterate recreation on the lakes and be a total blight on the “crown jewels” of this community.
Public Health Committee – Cami Fischer: Cami Fishcer read aloud a blurb written by Limes Disease expert and author Richard Ostfeld in which he suggests that the significant increase in acorns that occurred in 2010 would result in a serious increase in limes disease in the spring of 2012. Mrs. Fischer and Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti traveled to Milbrook NY to meet with Mr. Ostfeld, who is both a disease ecologist and research scientist at the Kerry Institute. Unfortunately, the growth of the tick population is directly correlated to the growth of the mouse population, and there is little that can be done to control this. When asked for suggestions, Mr. Otsteld recommended spraying pyrethroids, which are a derivative of the chrysanthemum plant, natural and very effective, although he cautioned that spraying should take place 25 feet away from water. Mayor Wilson commented that spraying anything close to the Lake was a concern and asked Environmental Committee Chair Susan Goodfellow for her input. Mrs. Goodfellow commented that if the Village was going to encourage residents to spray, they must be judicious about it. The spray is not selective and also kills honey bees as well as other insects that are helpful to the ecosystem. Mrs. Fischer responded that the company she knows of is very particular about spraying on lawns and that typically only leafy and or wooded areas are sprayed. She further commented that she is aware of many residents who are spraying a wide range of things on their properties and she feels that if the village can educate people on the less hazardous sprays, it would have a positive outcome for the community.
Another method of controlling the problem is via bait boxes, which treat rodents for ticks. Steel boxes are installed in the ground at a rate of 1 or 2 per acre. When small rodents run through these boxes, they receive treatment. The issue with the boxes is cost. Each box is $200.
The final recommended solution is deer control.
Mayor Wilson suggested that in order for residents to take action, they will need to be presented with an affordable, effective package for doing so. Issues with leaf removal are cause for concern.
Mrs. Fischer commented that the pyrethroid spray is less harmful than the spray commonly used on non-organic fruits and vegetables.
Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti suggested that if the Village could clean up the mice, they could diminish the tick problem. There is no way to effectively eradicate the mice, so treating them is the next best options
Mrs. Goodfellow pointed out that staying on top of the deer culling program would be critical and Mayor Wilson agreed, commenting that the Village has been in touch with White Buffalo and that the culling is scheduled to begin in February.
Advanced Technology & Website – Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti, Chair: Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti reported that the committee had nothing new to report. They are working on developing a small website. Funding is needed in order to allow for webcasting. It is believed that between 20 and 40 people would tune in to meeting broadcasts if available. The hope is that these viewers would be able to view the meetings live and also ask questions of the Board. An estimate of roughly $6000-$7000 has been presented. This includes website AND webcasting costs.
Mayor Wilson stated that he feels that it probably can be done for 1/3 that cost as the Village can surely start off in a simple way with a very basic camera. While he had originally hoped that he would be able to do a lot of the necessary work himself, he now realizes that he does not have the time. When he originally began exploring the idea of a new website, the estimated cost to the Village was roughly $2,500, but this was factoring in his heavy involvement with the project. In his view, the Village should either invest the money and make the improvements or leave the site the way it is.. From what he can tell, people in the community unilaterally dislike the website as it is now. Not many people visit it. It is hard to navigate and he thinks people view it as a waste of time. If anything, most people get their information from TPFYI.COM, however this site does not have official Village information on it. The question is what should the site be other than what it is now
Trustee Heywood suggested that one major issue with the current site is maintenance and lack of updates.
Mayor Wilson responded the issue there was that the site’s is archaic and that it is extremely difficult to get into. It must be updated. Obviously, budget issues are a concern, but this is a way for the Village to increase services and potentially save money in the long run. In it’s current form, he feels it costs us as a Village just in the image it portrays.
Trustee Zgonena commented that he would like to see a comprehensive plan for a new site before moving forward. Granted there are many directions the site could go in, ranging from a static presentation of information, similar to what exists now, to a complete multimedia presentation. For a small community of 350 houses, he feels staying with simple is better. He is a big fan of using the site to promote all the wonderful things that exist in the community, but if the plan is to start with a new project altogether, a comprehensive plan is the first step and money is not required to formulate such a plan.
The Mayor agreed but suggested that the Board needed to agree conceptually on what they wanted to spend on the site.
Trustee Zgonena suggested that the estimate of $5,000-$7,000 was excessive and that he had been utilizing Polycom technology for years in the business community for far less.
Mayor Wilson suggested that the technology was not the issue, rather finding a cost effective way to formulate and present content was not easy.
Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti reiterated the idea that webcasting would increase “attendance” at meetings not only through the live broadcasts but it would also allow those would could not attend due to scheduling conflicts to view the meetings at a later date.
Trustee Zgonena commented that he did not necessarily agree that webcasting would boost meeting attendance. He stated that he had been attending municipal meetings in various communities for years In his experience, the same people attend the meetings time and time again regardless of scheduling. Despite the fact that the Village Trustees meeting is a highly publicized meeting, the same residents are always in attendance. He expressed some dismay over the fact that more people attended the annual meeting at the Tuxedo Club than either public budget meeting, one of which was conducted on a Saturday and was therefore assessable to individuals who are busy during the week.
Trustee Heywood agreed that there seems to be a sense of apathy for municipal meetings in the community.
Mayor Wilson disagreed, commenting that he believes residents simply don’t have the time to attend. He hopes to see a new site in place by the end of the year.
Joan Alleman thanked the Board for the new Guiderails, commenting that they are beautiful.
Resolution to approve extension of garbage/recycling contract with Sterling Carting for one year (12/1/2011-11/30/212), at current rate of $12,293.00 per month:
The idea of moving contract renewal to February moving forward was discussed. Village Clerk Debbie Matthews cautioned the Board that if they did not approve the contract as presented, law required them to put it out for bid. Trustee du Pont suggested that the Board approve the contract as presented and then research the legalities involved of expanding it by two months. Based on their findings, they could then discuss this option with Sterling Carting.
The contract was then passed by a unanimous vote.
Resolution to approve medical leave of DPW employee Denis Jones, effective October 18, 2011:
The Board unanimously approved medical leave for DPW employee Denis Jones, effective October 18, 2011.
Resolution to approve Glen Labar as Village Lake Warden:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving Glen Labar as a Village lake warden, as suggested by current lake warden Jim Jospe. Mr. Labar is the President of the Village Fishing Club and as such, spends a great deal of time on Village lakes. Mayor Wilson commented that he feels this was an excellent decision as it will both promote an atmosphere of inclusiveness and increase man power in terms of policing the lakes.
Motion to Advocate $5000 to hire divers to remediate the spread of Milfoil Weed in Village lakes:
The board discussed spending $5000 to hire divers for the purpose of removing milfoil weed from the Village lakes. Trustee Zgonena expressed some concern with this and suggested that the Village conduct a comprehensive study before moving forward with the divers. This was briefly debated. The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the idea.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 19, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
• Yaboo Fence - Guiderail Completion
• Financial Update
• Town Recycling Facility - Village leaf removal
• Milfoil Update
4. Police Update
5. DPW Update
6. Building Department Update
7. Committee Updates
• Susan Goodfellow - Environmental Committee
• Public Health Committee -- Cami Fischer
• Advanced Technology & Website - Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti, Chair
8. Public Comment
9. Resolution to approve extension of garbage/recycling contract with Sterling Carting for one year (12/1/2011-11/30/2012), at current rate of $12,293.00 per month
10. Resolution to approve medical leave ofDPW employee Dennis Jones, effective October 18,2011
11. Resolution to approve meeting minutes from 6/15/2011, 8/1712011, 9/7/2011
12. Resolution to approve Glen Labar as Village Lake Warden
14. Website Budget
15. Audit of Claims
16. Motion to Adjourn
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 7, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on September 7, 2011 at 7:00pm. Trustee Zgonena was not present but attended the meeting from Brazil via Skype.
Hurricane Irene Update – The Mayor began his update by suggesting that when a community experiences a disaster or an emergency situation such as Hurricane Irene, it is his belief that rather than assigning blame and pointing fingers it is important to review the situation in order to determine what was done wrong and what can be done better the next time. Looking back at Irene, the event can be divided into three stages: Preparedness, the event itself and the aftermath. The Mayor outlined the Villages response to each stage. Preparations for the storm began on Thursday Morning when the DPW started lowering the Village dams and Mayor Wilson along with Police Chief Ken Sanford began participating in Orange County Emergency Services conference calls. Beginning Friday, the Village website was redirected to an emergency site and the CodeRED emergency alert system was put into effect. On Saturday, the North gate was opened up for emergency purposes, allowing the police and DPW access to fuel facilities. The brunt of the 10-12 inches of rain was received from Saturday night into Sunday afternoon. The Mayor began communications with Orange and Rockland on Sunday afternoon via their Municipal Services line. As many residents were without power and therefore had difficulty receiving updates from the village, communications via signs posted at both gates began on Tuesday. With regard to how things might be done differently in the future, Mayor Wilson commented that this practice probably should have begun sooner and this would be noted moving forward. On Thursday, Mayor Wilson and DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss met with representatives from FEMA and toured the Village looking at damage on Pepperidge Road, Camp Comfort Road and Mountain Farm Road, as well as Village Water tanks, The Warwick Brook Bridge and the Wee Wah Dam. In terms of things that the Village can improve upon moving forward, the Mayor suggested three things: hooking up a generator to the South Gate (they have one there, it just needs to be hooked up), acquiring and hooking up a generator to the Village Office and finally, attempting to create a 24 hour emergency community center in the Village office when mass outages such as this occur, which would make easier for people who don’t or can’t receive CodeRED alerts to get information and also serve as a place for residents to gather. The Village welcomes feedback from the community as to things they might have overlooked or suggestions as to how things might be improved moving forward.
Power Update – Michael Grant, Orange & Rockland – Mayor Wilson introduced Michael Grant, community relations for Orange and Rockland, explaining that the Village had invited him to the meeting in hopes that he could better inform residents with regard to any issues, questions or suggestions they may have for the utility company. Mr. Grant had with him the Director of Public Affairs, the Section Manager for Emergency Services, the Section Manager for Customer Service Support Operations, and two Public Affairs Managers. After introducing them all, he began by giving a brief over-view of the storm from the O & R prospective. O & R had 120,000 + customers affected by the storm. Devastation across their service area was sensational to say the least. Preliminary analysis is suggesting that they put up 50,000 feet of primary conductor as a result of the storm. Complete restoration of power took them the better part of five days once the wind stopped blowing late on Sunday evening. Mr. Grant feels they did a good job. Following these remarks, he opened the floor to questions.
Trustee Heywood commented that he had experienced a great deal of difficulty getting through to O & R on the telephone and wondered what if anything could be done to improve this issue. Mr. Grant responded by explaining that the utility company shares this concern as they rely on incoming information to craft their response plan. He then turned the floor over to one of his associates, who explained that the O & R phone system was designed like a funnel. Incoming calls are directed to a first level or a “cloud” that can accept an unlimited number of calls, from there, they are bumped down to one of O & R’s 140 lines (the queue) and from there to one of 50 representatives. During a normal month they receive 50,00 calls however during the storm they received 200,000. In the middle of the restoration efforts, they realized that they needed to increase their call-intake ability and activated a disaster recovery center in Blooming Grove, adding 100 lines. The number of live representative taking calls however remained the same (roughly 50) and is likely to remain the same moving forward, which makes it somewhat arduous to get an actual person on the phone during an emergency such as this.
Trustee Neuhauser wondered whether there was anything the Village could implement that would allow somebody on the ground in the Village could do in situations such as these in order to assist crews. She commented that many of the service crews were foreign (out-of-state) and didn’t have the normal forms of communication that the O & R vehicles usually have. Mr. Grant confirmed that foreign crews don’t always have the sophisticated technology to communicate directly with the home base and therefore their work does not always get inputted into their system in the timeliest fashion. However, police and fire officials can always obtain reports via and the emergency services line.
Trustee Heywood commented that he guessed that Tuxedo Park was a microcosm of what the company had been dealing with more widely and that once they got into the Village restoration had happened fairly quickly. However, it was inconsistent, with some people receiving power Thursday and others Friday or Saturday and as there was little to no communication nobody knew what the expectations were. He wondered what the reason for the inconsistency was.
Mr. Grant replied that often times customers assume that O & R knows they are without power and because they rely on calls to let them know where the issues are, if a particular customer has not called in, sometimes the outage is not noted right away. He explained that they had issued 23 separate broadcast e-mails to their municipal distribution list daily updating them as to where they were in the restoration process. Additionally, they instated a new system of daily municipal conference calls in an effort to gather up to date information as well as to keep the individual municipalities informed as to their progress.
Trustee Heywood then commented that he had been told that there was a “pecking order” for repairs and that Tuxedo Park was relatively low down on that list based on it’s size and population. He inquired as to whether or not this was correct. He was informed that the company usually bases response on where the greatest need lies. It is a time-honored practice for them to begin by attempting to restore the most number of customers with the least amount of effort. In this case flooding and road closures prevented them from getting to many of their customers in this area.
Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti inquired as to whether the majority of downed trees and poles had fallen due to the wet conditions or if they had fallen because branches and/or vines from other trees had fallen on them. He commented that in the Village there are many areas where wires are literally intertwined with vines and branches and that he had seen quite a bit of branch-related damage. Mr. Grant replied that the ground was already saturated before the storm arrived and the addition of 10-12 inches of rain loosened the roots of many trees and that in his view this had a great deal to do with why many of the trees fell. Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti then wondered what could be done about the intertwined branches and vines and inquired as to whether or not residents could contact Orange and Rockland and have them come to remove those that were threatening lines.
Mt. Grant suggested that this was a possibility but he also cautioned that in the O&R lines are the highest ones on the poles and that residents should be sure about which lines (i.e. cable vs. telephone vs. electric) were being threatened before making those calls.
Jake Matthews suggested that moving forward in emergency situations such as these, when the communication system is overwhelmed the utility company consider using social media sites, which are always up and running, to update their customers. The Director of Public Affairs agreed with Mr. Matthews and informed him that they were already looking into alternatives such as these. He thanked him for his suggestion.
Mary Graetzer commended the O & R team, commenting that in her view they had done a terrific job. She wondered whether it might not make more sense to have residents call in to one local number such as the Police Gate or the Village Office to report their outages and then have that entity call O&R. Mr. Grant responded that although the number of incoming calls can be overwhelming, it really is more helpful to have the individual account holders call as their telephone numbers are synced directly to their accounts within the O&R system. Trustee Neuhauser wondered if there was a way for a Village to maintain a list of outages organized phone number and report them in that way, which would still cut down on incoming calls for O&R. Mr. Grant reiterated that although this would help to cut down on the number of incoming calls, O & R relies on the number of calls to determine not only outages but also plans for restoration service.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not electric meters could be used to determine power failure remotely. He was informed that this was not possible as the meters are not capable of two-way communication.
Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti asked the O&R team to suggest three things that the community could take away from this recent situation and use to prepare in case of another similar emergency. Mr. Grant responded that the better the quality of the incoming information, the better the system operates. He suggested that if customers can supply not only address and street information but account and pole numbers as well, the process can often be smoother. He then cautioned customers to be extremely careful and not to take any risks when approaching poles.
Mayor Wilson commented that he felt it was important for O & R to realize that Tuxedo Park is somewhat unique in that storms like this can sometimes trap residents here and that the community would like them to think of the Village as high priority because often times they are literally stranded.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Update: The Village is in receipt of a detailed letter from the MTA, which outlines the catastrophic damage to the Port Jervis line and suggests that it will take many moths and many millions of dollars to repair all the damage. In the meantime, bus service will be offered. Click here to read this letter.
East Village Update – Kristian Matthews, East Village Resident – Mayor Wilson introduced East Village Resident Kristian Matthews. He commented that during an Orange County Emergency Services call the Friday before the storm, he had been informed that should the Town of Tuxedo receive 10 to 12 inches of rain as predicted the effect on the Ramapo River would be historic to catastrophic flooding. After posting this information to the Village’s emergency website, the Mayor began notifying those East Village residents that he knew to inform them of this threat. Kristian was one of the residents he spoke with. Mr. Matthews thanked the Mayor for his concern and for inviting him to the meeting The East Village suffered from three main issues: a broken dam in Arden, an oil spill at SOS fuels (which was in his view, entirely preventable) and a severe increase in the amount of water flowing into the already saturated river from other normal sources. (the Tuxedo Lakes, Long Meadow Road etc) These resulted in massive, historic flooding in the East Village community and created a wide range of damage. Some residents suffered no damage at all, some three feet of water in their basement and some had water up to the ceiling of their first floor. In his home, the basement was entirely flooded and needed to be gutted as a result. None of the mechanical systems (heating, electric, hot water etc) are operational.
Trustee du Pont inquired as to how many homes had been affected and Mr. Matthews reported that there were 75 homes total in the area with roughly 50-60 reporting some degree of damage. Those homes located on River Road were hit the hardest and many of them are completely destroyed. Most of the other homes have basements and suffered primarily mechanical damage. In terms of need, he commented that furniture donations, while appreciated, were not necessarily helpful at the moment as those homes where a lot of furniture had been damaged were completely destroyed and there was no place to put furniture. Contractor assistance would probably be more helpful. Many of the residents did not have flood insurance.
Mayor Wilson inquired about environmental damage. Mr. Matthews replied that the in the beginning the smell of oil was absolutely horrible. It has gotten somewhat better, but many of the homes still smell. The climate is damp and musty and because of the ongoing rain this situation is not improving.
Trustee du Pont asked Mr. Matthews how he would recommend that the Board advise/direct Village residents who are looking to help. He mentioned having heard that both St. Mary’s and Our Lady Mount Carmel had funds, which could be supported via donation and then used to assist residents of the East Village. Mr. Matthews responded that he believed this was correct and that he also understood that the Ambulance Corps was attempting to put something similar together.
From the audience, Sue Heywood commented that she was part of team that had been going door to door in the East Village earlier that evening that had been coordinated by Town Supervisor Peter Dolan. St. Mary’s, Our Lady Mount Carmel and the Ambulance Coprs were all a part of the joint effort. She further reported that Peter Dolan had set up an account through Chase Bank for donations and that checks should be made out to The Town of Tuxedo Hurricane Irene Relief fund. All funds would be organized and redistributed by the Town of Tuxedo.
Mayor Wilson interjected and reported that several days back he had spoken with Village Attorney Rick Golden about the possibility of establishing a similar type of account/fund. He then asked Mr. Golden to comment on what he felt was appropriate vs. non-appropriate or legal vs. non legal for the Village in this situation. Mr. Golden responded that there was a constitutional prohibition against municipalities giving gifts of taxpayer money to charity or relief however good the purpose may be. He further explained that while there does not appear to be authority for a municipality to set up such a fund, a private entity could do so. He contacted NYCOM (New York Conference of Mayors) and asked them for their opinion, and their opinion was that it would not be appropriate for a municipality to establish such a fund and/or participate in it. Rather they felt people should be encouraged to establish private funds such as the Red Cross and other local funds.
Mayor Wilson asked if this included towns as well as villages and proceeded to read from e-mail Mr. Golden had sent him earlier, which stated that the position of the office of the State Controller is that local governments may not establish such funds or extend municipal funds as gifts to individuals.
Trustee du Pont commented that it was very clear that both of the churches were capable of dispensing the funds and Mr. Golden agreed that this would indeed be legal.
Mrs. Heywood interjected that the Town would still like for all of the funds to go through the one central account that had been opened.
John Kilduff commented that it had been described to the team as a “special relief fund” and while he was not sure if it held some sort of special status, it had been suggested to them that it did and that there were very specific methods by which the funds can be both deposited and dispersed. The Catholic Church has already given a sizable donation to this fund. The Town of Tuxedo Government presides over it and there will be a committee put together to determine how it will be dispersed ultimately.
Mayor Wilson commented that the problem was that there were e-mails being circulated informing people that an account for donations had been a relief fund had been established at Chase Bank and that all donations were tax deductible. Contributors will receive a letter from the town for tax purposes and all checks should be made out to The Town of Tuxedo – Hurricane Irene Relief Fund. However, the advice that Village has received from council suggests that this may not be appropriate or at least that it would not be appropriate for the Village to establish such a fund.
Mrs. Heywood inquired as to why the Village could not join forces with the Town as opposed to attempting to establish an independent fund.
The response was that is appears as though the Town is not in a position to establish the fund either.
Trustee Newhauser reported having spoken with Reverend Betty McWhorter earlier that evening who had passed along much of the same information regarding the fund, however she had also reported that it had been set up in a manor similar to the fund that had been established for Restoration of the Tuxedo Train Station three years back. She asked Susan Goodfellow, who helped with that effort, if she could offer any information.
Mrs. Goodfellow responded that when establishing that fund, their committee had been very concerned about how to handle donations and had considered setting up a 5013C. They contacted the town attorney for his opinion and he had advised them that they could set up a special fund with donations to be received and managed separately, however no public, taxpayer monies were coming in.
Mrs. Heywood responded that it was donations only being received and not municipal funds.
Mayor Wilson commented that none-the-less personally in order for him to make a contribution he would like to see a 501C3 handling the donation directly. He stated that he was aware that everyone had different levels of comfort ability in terms of what they were able to give, but he felt that it was important for everybody to participate. The number is not important. He further stated that once the appropriate 501C3 had been found that he personally would make a pledge of $3000 to start things off and that if 10 people in the community would match him, he would give an additional $2000. He believes that if $30,000 to $40,000 can be raised fairly quickly, the community can begin making significant changes and helping people to recover by purchasing hot water heaters, washers and dryers and other similar appliances, which is what he understands is the true need at this point.
Mrs. Heywood replied that this was exactly the kind of thing that they were planning to do with the current fund.
Mayor Wilson stated that he was uncomfortable writing a check to the Town of Tuxedo given the advice of the Village Attorney.
Mrs. Heywood suggested that he could make it out to St. Mary’s and they would pass it on. She then reported that the previous day forms had been distributed to every home in the East Village on which they were encouraged to list everything they had lost and then prioritize their needs.
Charlan Cathcart inquired as whether or not FEMA had visited the neighborhood yet and was informed that they had arrived there that very evening.
Mr. Matthews commented that Supervisor Dolan had not notified FEMA initially, even after 67 complaints. The supervisor was supposed to designate somebody from the Tuxedo Highway department to pick up 4000 sandbags from Orange County Emergency services prior to the storm and he failed to do so. Tuxedo was one of the only municipalities not pick-up their allocated sandbags. In his view, there is a complete lack of government support from the Town of Tuxedo. There was no disaster recovery plan. Everything that the Town has come up with seems to be counteracting those things that are being tried y the residents of the East Village, East Village residents attempted to set up a meeting in the Sons of Italy Hall in an effort to organize themselves, however as soon as it had been arranged, the Town set an informational meeting for the same time at a different location and the East Village meeting was therefore cancelled. Carl Wright, Mayor of Sloatsburg was the governing authority that contacted the National Guard and asked them to check on the neighborhood because Supervisor Dolan had not taken any action. He expressed his concern with the account at Chase, commenting that he not heard anything about the funds being earmarked for the East Village or River Road. How do residents know that the Supervisor will send it to the proper place? Who will govern those funds? He personally believes that there should be 7 East Village residents, elected by the people of the East Village to communicate and correspond with whoever is receiving the donations be it St. Mary’s or otherwise.
Trustee Heywood inquired whether or not any East Village residents had been involved in the meeting held at the Town Hall this past Sunday and was informed by Mr. Matthews that they had not. Nobody had been notified of this meeting. He was under the impression that they had been executive meetings. He went on to comment that it was his view that Supervisor Dolan does not like the people of the East Village. The neighborhood recently butted heads with the Supervisor when he “allowed the Thruway Authority to dump dirt on their heads” by creating a berm where there once was a retention swale, which could have arguably alleviated some of the flooding by absorbing some of the water.
Mayor Wilson interjected that it was his understanding that said fill was not clean dirt and that it contained asphalt, which is considered hazardous material.
Mr. Matthews concurred..
Mayor Wilson corroborated the FEMA claim and further stated that out of the 8 to 10 emergency municipal conference calls that took place, he only heard the Town of Tuxedo participating in 1. (roll call is taken during every call) During the calls that took place on Sunday and Monday, governments were asked to assess and keep track of damage as FEMA was to dispersed Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday, when FEMA visited the Village, Mayor Wilson asked them if they had been to the East Village and he was informed that they had gone to the Town Hall but the people there had no idea they were coming.
Mrs. Cathcart asked Mr. Matthews if the Red Cross had been to the neighborhood yet and commented that they used to distribute vouchers for appliances such as washers and dryers etc in situations like this when she had been involved with the organization as FEMA is known to take forever. Mr. Matthews replied that the Red Cross had brought food in but not vouchers however it would not surprise him if this was because they had not been notified by town officials. He reiterated the neighborhoods desire to establish a committee of 7 or so individuals to represent to community and help with fund allocation working through a neutral party. Things that are needed include legal representation for the oil spill, as well as the NY State Thruway Authority and assistance in determining accurate water testing results. (Residents were informed that the water was safe to drink via the highway department, who drove through the community shouting “water’s good”)
Mr. Matthews commended the Police and Fire Departments calling their efforts sensational. In closing, he commented that the Villages support was both appreciated and heartwarming and he cautioned that people be careful to whom they give their donations and how they go about making them.
Trustee Heywood asked Mr. Matthews if he had a ballpark figure as to what the cost of basic restoration might cost. The response was no.
Trustee du Pont thanked Mr. Matthews for coming and assured him that the Village would see what they could do to organize something both constructive and useful to help the residents in the East Village.
Sue Heywood commented that that while she sympathized with the criticism of what Peter Dolan had done before the storm, she wanted to go on record as saying that he would not be the one to decide how the money was going to be spent. A committee has been formed. She agreed with Mr. Matthews that the members of the committee should be elected (aside from the two churches) and suggested that perhaps those private individuals who had put themselves forward should be governed by those elected from the East Village.
The Mayor responded that regardless, the establishment of a town fund was arguably inappropriate.
Susan Goodfellow expressed her gratitude to the Village for their response to the storm, commenting that the CodeRED alerts had been extremely helpful and full of good information. She also recognized the DPW for their consistent hard work clearing drains and debris and lowering the dams. Regarding the situation in the East Village, she shares the Villages concern as to how funds are being collected and dispersed. Also, there is the issue of what help will be forthcoming from FEMA and what might be available from the Red Cross. It is hard to know what kind of help is really needed and what might be needed moving forward.
Kristian Matthews reiterated the importance of having representatives from the East Village, 2 from River Road and 2 from East Village Road on the committee. He cautioned that sadly, the possibility of un-valid claims does exist and that somebody with full knowledge of the neighborhood will be crucial in preventing that.
Trustee du Pont suggested that this underlines the need for the East Village residents to organize themselves and elect representatives.
Mr. Matthews agreed.
Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti expressed his disappointment with Peter Dolan and his lack of response, which is just another failure on his part. He feels that each and every resident in the Village should do his best to see this self-serving individual replaced in November.
Jake Matthews expressed concern over the bridge that connects the East Village to the rest of town, commenting that the bridge is a crucial artery between that neighborhood and the rest of the world and clearly it is in bad shape. Because it is a County owned bridge, he realizes that it is probably not in the Village’s jurisdiction to do anything about it, but he strongly encouraged them to advocate for the construction of a new bridge.
Kristian Matthews stated that the bridge had worked well for years, but due to the combination of sediment in the Ramapo and berms constructed by the SOS Fuel Company which deflect water, flood plains have been eliminated and there is no place for the water to go anymore. Additionally, he commented that there is a company located at the south end of town along the river that processes material and he suggested that the owner would be open to the DEC allowing him to open up the river at that spot, however it his understanding that the DEC will not allow this. Rather than having the County spend a ton of money to construct a new bridge, there might be some real merit in simply cleaning out the river and widening it in certain spots.
In response to Trustee Heywoods earlier question about ballpark figures, John Kilduf commented that about 100 homes had been affected. The cost of a new washer and dryer is roughly $500, making a $50,000 the ballpark figure. Some of the damaged homes had finished basements, which now need to be gutted. While he feels alright about a committee that has the two churches on it, decisions are clearly being made by the Town Government. When he inquired about who was going to be on the committee, he did not get a clear answer. He feels there is no transparency coming from the Town in terms of how the money will be “triaged”. He noted that there was a pattern of miscommunication and a lack of pro-action occurring on Peter Dolan’s part with both the unclean fill going into the berm and the closure of the County Bridge and that this was entirely unhelpful to the residents of that neighborhood.
Kristian Matthews agreed. He commented that things were in a state of chaos down there and it seemed as though the Town Government could care less about them.
Trustee du Pont read the August Police report into the record as follows:
Criminal Complaints – 2
Non-Criminal Complaints – 61
Property Damage Complaints – 2
Traffic Tickets – 37
Fire Alarms – 8
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Medical Calls – 3
Assisted the Town of Tuxedo Police – 4
Assisted by the Town of Tuxedo Police – 0
Additionally, 10,001 untagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
There was no DPW update.
BUILDING DEPARTMENT UPDATE:
Click here to read a copy of the August Building Department Report.
Advanced Technology & Website – Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti – On behalf of the Advanced Technology & Website Committee, Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti reported that the committee has been working on two issues. The first of these is a redesign of the Village website. Secondly, in the spirit of open government, the committee would like to install cameras and microphones in the meeting room which would allow them to broadcast the meetings via web-casting. With regard to the website, the committee does not necessarily want to change the look or feel of the site, but they feel strongly that the functionality must be improved drastically. In looking at the websites of other municipalities, the found several that they liked and requested that the Board visit them and review them in terms of their functionality and provide feedback. They are also open to suggestions/feedback from Debbie Matthews and John Ledwith in the Village Office as well as the entire community.
In terms of installing equipment in the Village Office to allow for web-casting, the committee is suggesting that the Village consider three cameras and small microphones for the table. They are looking for the best quality equipment at the lowest price and have put together an estimated budget of $3,500 -$4000, which includes the equipment as well as the web-casting.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 – TRUSTEES MEETING:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of canceling the previously scheduled Board of Trustees Meeting for September 8.
PUBLIC HEARING – LOCAL LAW INTRODUCTORYNO. 3 (SINGLE HULL BOAT LENGTHS):
The public hearing for Local Law Introductory No. 3 was pertaining to single hull boat lengths on Tuxedo Lake was opened.
Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti suggested to the Board that the boat length should be measured at water level. He questioned a section of the proposed laws that allows for antique boats built prior to 1936 up to 30 feet and wondered if this meant that residents might begin acquiring these larger boats. Village Attorney Rick Golden responded that this provision was a part of the original law and it had not been altered as a part of the revision. The only change is that single hull boats can now be 24 feet as opposed to 20.
Mr. Guazzoni de Zanetti then inquired as to whether or not the new law would increase the value of those boats that were grandfathered under the law and if there were any restrictions on those boats changing ownership. He was informed that there were not.
The public hearing was then closed and the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving Local Law Introductory #3.
YABOO CONTRACT EXTENTION:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the Yaboo Fence Contract until September 19. Trustee Heywood mentioned that a resident had recently inquired about the legality of the Village installing guide rails on the Yanuzzi property and he wondered if there was any merit to this inquiry. He was informed that it is legal for the Village to take steps to ensure the safety of its roads and that this is what is occurring in that case.
WEE-WAH DAM SPILLWAY REPAIR WORK:
Because the recent hurricane and its effects on the Wee Wah dam constitute an emergency threat, the need for public bidding is alleviated. The Board briefly discussed hiring Legacy Stoneworks to complete the repair work on the spillway at theWee Wah Dam at a cost not to exceed $50,000. All were in agreement that the Village narrowly dodged a bullet with Hurricane Irene. Work will commence in October and last 1 to 2 months barring ice delays. Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not the project had been budgeted for and was informed that it had. The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the repairs.
Click here to view a video of this meeting.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 7, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
Hurricane Irene Update
Power Update -- Michael Grant, Orange & Rockland
East Village Update – Kristian Matthews, East Village Resident
4. Public Comments
5. Police Update
6. DPW Update
7. Building Department Update
8. Committee Updates
Advanced Technology & Website – Claudio Guazzoni de Zanetti, Chair
9. September 8, 2011 -- Trustee’s Meeting
10. Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory No. 3 (Single Hull Boat Lengths)
11. Yaboo Contract Extension
12. Wee-Wah Dam Spillway Repair Work
13. Motion to Adjourn
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 17, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on August 17, 2011 at 7:00pm. Trustee Neuhauser was absent. Mayor Wilson was delayed and therefore, Deputy Mayor du Pont began the meeting in his absence.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of July:
Criminal Complaints: 7
Non-Criminal Complaints: 49
Property Damage Complaints: 2
Speeding Summonses Issued: 22
Medical Calls: 0
Intrusion Alarms: 7 (all false)
Fire Alarms: 6 (all false)
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police: 4
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police: 3
Additionally, 10, 294 untagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department is in need of a new trailer and has received a quote for $3,740. While this expense has not been budgeted for, Superintendent Voss believes the cost can be absorbed. Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the purchase of the tag-along trailer from Cam Superline at the aforementioned cost of $3,740. Delivery is expected to take four to five weeks.
Additionally, Superintendent Voss reported that there had been a sharp increase in drainage issues around the Village especially with the torrential rains that occurred earlier in the week. Of particular concern is Club House Road, which poses a difficult situation with its varying elevations and driveways. He suggested that the Village ask their engineer to review the situation before the new asphalt is laid as it is important to make sure that the job has been done and done correctly and in his view “it doesn’t make sense to make it look pretty if it is not going to work.”
Trustee Heywood inquired about the guide rails, which are currently being installed along Tuxedo Road and commented that they appeared to be much larger than expected. He reported having heard several adverse comments from residents who think that the rails are too big and ugly.
Trustee du Pont stated that he feels they look better than they did in the picture that was presented to the Board.
Chief Sanford agreed and stated that in his view, they look great.
Superintendent Voss suggested that in situations such as these, in which major aesthetic change takes place, it is next to impossible to please everyone and therefore, complaints are bound to roll in.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to the length of the installation process and also wondered whether the rails had steel backing as promised.
He was informed that installation was originally slated to take 21 days, however due to the recent weather and upcoming Holidays, a 7-day extension had been requested.
Trustee Zgonena reported that the rails do indeed have steel backing.
No building permits were brought before the Board. As Building Inspector John Ledwith was absent, no report was given.
There were no public comments.
Sale of Excavator to Legacy Stone Works:
After a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the contract for sale agreement of an old DPW Excavator to Legacy Stone Works.
Mayor Wilson then arrived.
Introductory Local Law #3 regarding the amending of Village Code as It Pertains to Permitted Length of Single Hulled Electric Boats on Tuxedo Lake, Wee Wah Lake and Pond Number 3:
The Board briefly discussed the draft of this local law, which would increase the permitted length of single hulled electric boats from 19 to 21 feet in order to accommodate one of the prominent manufacturers of such boats, Duffy, who no longer manufactures a 20-foot boat.
It was agreed that there are some errors within the language of the draft that need to be cleaned up, but they are minor in nature and can be easily corrected. Conditional upon these corrections, the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a public hearing date of September 8, 2011 at 7pm.
Mayor Wilson then proceeded with his Mayoral Update:
Legal News – As of August 16, the pending Donald Hanson vs. The Village of Tuxedo Park lawsuit was officially dismissed, when Mr. Hanson withdrew his appeal. Mayor Wilson expressed his gratitude to the former Trustees for all their hard work and especially to Mayor Stebbins for his perseverance in bringing the suit to a close.
Municipal Financing News – On August 9, the Village received a AA+ rating from Standard & Poor's and on August 10, The bid for the issuance of Public Improvement Serial Bonds for the Village's borrowing of $1,840,000 was won by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. at 3.0%. This money was borrowed for infrastructure capital projects.
a $1.8 Million general obligation bond was awarded to Raymond James.
Guide Rail News – Work on installation of the Tuxedo Road guide rails has begun. The project was initially delayed because some of the rails arrived in disrepair and had to be returned. The Mayor expects installation to be complete by the 2nd week in September.
Website News – Securing a new .gov domain has been both a difficult and frustrating process for the Village. After several weeks, the domain TuxedoPark.org has been secured at a cost of $1,200. Additionally, a shorter domain TXPK.org has also been secured. Mayor Wilson expects that the site will be up and running within 30 days. Once up, residents will be able to acquire e-mail addresses if interested (@tuxedopark.org) 500 addresses will be available to start with another 500 possible if there is demand.
Environmental News – Due to concerns over the highly visible presence of Cyanobacteria (otherwise known as blue/green algae) in the lake, the Wee Wah Beach club decided to close the water for swimming for the first week and a half of August as a precaution while the Village pursued testing. Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that, with enough exposure, can result in many adverse side effects such as skin, eye and throat irritation as well as respiratory problems and in some cases damage to the nervous system. Thankfully, testing proved that the water was safe for swimming and as a result, the Beach Club re-opened the lake to swimming on August 17. Mayor Wilson commented that he had spoken to Village Engineer Rich Messer about potentially using an air-raider to prevent/deal with this issue moving forward and he also suggested that it might be prudent to install a fine mesh net around the swimming area.
Jim Hays inquired as to whether there had been a similar algae bloom in the Tuxedo Lake and was informed that there had not been. He then suggested that the bloom in the Wee Wah was probably a direct result of phosphates having gotten into the system,
Mayor Wilson replied that this could be the case, however he did not believe there was a direct correlation.
Mr. Hays replied that there was surely a correlation and that the Village had placed a ban on the use of phosphates. He further commented that the Village should consider bringing in the DEC to enforce this ban rather than pursuing an aerator, which can be very expensive. The Tuxedo Club uses an air raider in the pond at the golf course and it is not always terribly effective.
The Mayor agreed that pursuing DEC involvement was a good idea.
On August 10 a previously undiscovered den of Timber Rattlesnakes was found on Eagle Mountain. The den reportedly consists of at least 13 snakes, including two pregnant females. As the Timber Rattlesnake is New York State threatened species., this discovery could prove to be a serious impediment to the both the Tuxedo Reserve and Overton Developments because of its location. Further studies will be conducted in the fall.
The Village is working with the newly formed Public Health Committee on possibly adapting a new public leaf removal program for the fall of 2011. The idea behind the new program is that removing the leaves in combination with culling the deer will help to drastically reduce the tick population.
Jim Hays inquired as to the source of this information and questioned the idea that removing the leaves would actually help to reduce the number of ticks.
Mayor Wilson responded that the information had come to him from the committee and that he believed a public presentation would be forthcoming.
In other committee news, the Mayor reported that the Technology Advisory Committee was working on simplifying the live feed process so that anyone might be able to take advantage of live streaming. The current issue is the quality of the live feed, which is not so great. The committee is exploring low cost methods of improving the feed quality.
The Infrastructure Advisory Committee is looking at both the Warwick Bridge situation as well as the Mountain Farm pump station and attempting to find low cost solutions for these potentially high-cost repairs.
A motion to change the September Board of Trustees meeting to September 8, 2011 at 7pm was unanimously approved by the Board.
A motion to approve the Wee Wah Beach Club hydro-seeding and topsoil project at a cost of $1,805, to be taken from the Club’s annual fee was unanimously approved.
A motion to approve a settlement with Primano in the amount of $1,400 as advised by Village counsel was unanimously approved.
Motions to directly hire all planning consultants and to terminate the existing process by which the Village attorney hires these consultants and then bills the Village as well as terminating all services with Planning Consultant Bonnie Franson and Tim Miller Associates and to hire Hudson Highlands Environmental as the Village Planning Consultant were tabled following a brief discussion.
A motion to seek bid proposals for appraisal of the Village Office property for possible listing to sell in September was discussed at length. The Mayor reported having viewed an old long term Village plan, authored in 1961, in which the Village was planning to relocate the Village office to the south end of the Racetrack area. While he no longer believes this to be a practical idea due to changes in the nature of that property, he suggested that combining the Village Office and DPW facilities would be highly efficient. Although he realizes that this is an expensive proposition, he suggested that if the Village had proceeds from the sale of the current Village Office property, it would offset the cost of the relocation/construction of the new facility. While he realizes that the real estate market is not in the best shape, he would like to get an idea of how much the property is worth, which is the reason behind the motion.
Trustee Heywood commented that he would like some time to think about it and suggested that the timing might not be good as the Real Estate market is in bad shape. He referenced another property in the same area, which has been on the market for over 5 years despite having come down in value.
The Mayor replied that the referenced property was a residential property while the Village Office is a commercial property. He commented that the Village Office property was originally owned by the Tuxedo club and used for garage space and storage for its members. He feels that there is a strong possibility that the Club might be interested in reacquiring it. Regardless, he reassured Trustee Heywood that seeking these proposals was only a method of gathering information and that should they discover that the timing was bad, there is a good chance they would do nothing.
Trustee du Pont agreed and commented that he was very comfortable with the idea of obtaining this information.
Trustee Zgonena also agreed and commented that in his view this was a very positive step forward for the Village.
After some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the motion.
A resolution authorizing a General Obligation Bond for new DPW building not to exceed $1.5 million was tabled.
Trustee Heywood raised the issue of bears in the Village, commenting that he has a neighbor who, despite having been spoken to by the Village, repeatedly leaves unsecured garbage out on Sunday night for Monday AM pick-up and that this regularly attracts bears to the property. He reported having spoken with the local garbage man who informed him that similar situations were occurring elsewhere within the Village.
The Mayor suggested that repeat offenders such as these should be fined.
Alternate methods for securing garbage, including various bear proof receptacles, were then briefly discussed.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 17, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge ofAllegiance
3. Mayor's Update
• Legal News
• Municipal Financing News
• Local News
• Guide Rail News
• Website News
• Environmental News
4. Committee Updates
5. Police Update
6. DPW Update
7. Building Department Update
8. Public Comment
• Motion to change September Board of Trustees meeting
• Motion to approve Wee-Wah Beach Club hydro-seeding and topsoil project.
• Motion to approve Primiano Settlement of $1 ,400.
• Motion for Village to directly hire all Planning Consultants, and to terminate existing
process where Village Attorney hires Planning Consultants, then bills Village.
• Motions to terminate all services with Planning Consultant, Bonnie Franson and Tim
• Motion to hire Hudson Highlands Environmental as Village Planning Consultant.
• Full Disclosure: I have worked with Hudson Highlands through Tuxedo Land Trust on
Tuxedo Reserve issues. Village Attorney, Rick Golden, confirms that there is no conflict
• Motion to seek bid proposals for appraisal of Village Office property for possible listing tosell in September.
• Resolution: Village Board of Trustees authorizes a General Obligation Bond for new DPW Building, not to exceed $1.5 million. Bond Advisors to be Public Resources Advisory Group. Bond Counsel to be Orrick Herrington.
10. Audit of Claims
11. Motion to Adjourn
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 20, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on July 20, 2011 at 7:30pm. All members were present.
Due to a water pipe break in the Racetrack area, there is a possibility that the Village might need to place a temporary ban on sprinklers over the upcoming weekend. Leak detection will be taking place on the morning of Thursday, July 21 and the Mayor is hopeful that the break will be quickly identified and repaired.
Following a brief review of the meeting agenda, Mayor Wilson announced that as the meeting was being streamed live, the Board would attempt to take Public Comments via the internet during that portion of the meeting.
Board and Committee Updates:
There were no Board or Committee updates given.
Chief Sanford reported the following for the month of June:
Criminal Complaints: 5
Non-criminal Complaints: 72
Property Damage Accidents: 2
Speeding Summonses Issued: 37
Medical Calls: 3
Intrusion Alarms: 12 (all false)
Fire Alarms: 7 (all false)
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo Police: 4
Assists received from the Town of Tuxedo Police: 2
Additionally, 11,457 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
The Chief went on to report that things have been relatively quiet. With the increase in traffic over the summer months, the department is focusing more on speed control, with increased attention around the Wee Wah Beach Club and The Club. They are also continuing to run surprise D.O.T. inspections for trucks and commercial vehicles.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to vehicle tags and how the process of renewal was going, commenting that the notice had clearly given a deadline of June 1 for renewal.
Chief Sanford responded that the process was ongoing and reminded Trustee Heywood that although the traffic guards have the right to stop white tag holders at the Gate and inquire where they are going, by law they can not prohibit them from entering the Village.
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss focused his report on the aforementioned broken water pipe, commenting that although they are running two pumps (something they have never had to do before) water is still being lost at an astonishing rate. They believe they have pinpointed the problem in the Racetrack area and expect the leak detection team to affirm this when they arrive at 7am on July 21. They are hopeful that once the break has been clearly identified, the problem can be fixed quickly.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not water pressure had been affected by the problem, and Superintendent Voss informed him that they had received one call thus far and had been able to alleviate that issue.
Trustee Neuhauser wondered whether the CodeRED alert system would be used to notify residents about the problem. Mayor Wilson responded that if it had not been fixed by 12pm on July 21, the system would be used.
Building Department Update:
Building Inspector John Ledwith presented the Board with three permits as approved by the Board of Architectural Review the night before and they unanimously approved all three. Next, he presented the Board with a request from Mr. King of Clubhouse Road for the use of a 1/2-inch water pipe, to be installed inside another water pipe for the purpose of alleviating water pressure issues. Village Code requires the use of 3/4 inch pipe in such situations, however Mr. King appealed to the State of New York and was given permission to use the 1/2 pipe. Although New York State approval does not trump the Village Code, the Village Engineer has reviewed the situation and agrees that the potential for pressure issues does exist. Mr. King commented that he has been experiencing a great deal of trouble with his neighbor, who has recently placed No Trespassing signs on Village property and covered the water pipe opening with giant stumps. He further commented that when he complained about this, he received a “snooty little e-mail” in response informing him that the Village would not get involved in neighborly disputes. The Mayor responded that he was not familiar with this situation and would look into it, however, Mr. King should take heart in the fact that the Board was planning to approve his request. They then voted unanimously in favor of allowing the 1/2 inch pipe.
There were no Public Comments
Approval of Yaboo Fence Company for Installation of Guide Rails:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving Yaboo Fence Company’s bid of $212,412 for the installation of Guide Rails along Tuxedo Road. Upon further discussion, Trustee du Pont commented that he would like to see two points addressed in the contract with Yaboo, namely job duration and cost over-run ceiling. He pointed out that both of these points had been issues with the Club House Road water main project and reiterated that they should be clearly outlined in the Yaboo contract. The Mayor agreed and informed the Board with regard to the Club House Road project, that he had spoken with the contractor regarding the condition of the road and had been informed that it would be restored once the trench had been allowed to settle, a process which can take up to 90 days.
Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether or not demolition and removal of the old guide rails was included in the cost and was informed that it was.
Following some more discussion, the Board also voted unanimously in favor of approving Village Engineer Weston and Sampson’s proposal for job over-site at a cost of $8,900.
Speed Limit for Commercial Vehicles:
The idea of reducing the speed limit to 25 mph for commercial vehicles within the Village was discussed. Trustee du Pont commented that the Board had researched the idea of lowering the limit to 25 mph for all vehicles 7 years ago, but they had discovered that doing so would require the approval of the State Assembly. Chief Sanford responded that reducing the limit for all vehicles would require state approval however lowering for commercial vehicles only might not. Trustee du Pont suggested that the Village verify whether or not they could legally change the limit before taking the discussion any further. Trustee Heywood inquired as to whether the Police had any proof that commercial vehicles were speeding with regularity. The Chief replied that because the Village Roads are both narrow and windy, he believed that these larger vehicles should be slowed down. Their speed is an issue, especially in inclement weather. Trustee Zgonena supported this comment and reminded the Board that not long ago a resident had managed to flip their car over on East Lake Road. He wondered what atrocities might have occurred had that been an oil truck on the Causeway.
Mayor Wilson suggested that the next step in the process would be to speak to Village Attorney Rick Golden in order to determine the legality of the change and then the possible drafting of the amendment.
Maximum Boat Length on Tuxedo Lake:
The Board discussed the idea of changing the side limit of single hull design, electric boats to 21 feet. The purpose of this change would be to promote the increased use of single hull design boats and to accommodate their standard size range of 18’ and 21’. Currently, Village code allows boats up to 20’, however Duffy (the main manufacturers of single hull design boats) does not make a 20’ design. The idea would be to allow the increase for single hull boats only and not pontoon boats. Trustee Neuhouser wondered whether the increase in size would effect docking. She was informed that it would not. Jim Hays suggested that if the purpose of the change was promote that use of single hulled boats rather than pontoon boats, the Board should consider shortening the allowed length of the pontoon boats. The Mayor responded that this was a complicated issue and that while the purpose was indeed to promote the single hulled design, they did not wish to discourage the use of pontoons altogether. Trustee Zgonena agreed and commented that the reason the proposed change had been introduced was because of Duffy’s manufacturing constraints and not to change a practice that has been acceptable on the lake for decades. Mayor Wilson then stated that because moving forward with the proposed increase would involve a change to Village law, a public hearing would be required. He suggested that the next step in the process would be to authorize the Village Attorney to research making the change.
2011 Village Bond Issue:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of issuing a 20-year bond in the amount of $1.841,500 for infrastructure projects.
Contract Authorization for Public Resources Advisory Group:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a contract with Public Resources Advisory Group in the amount of $27,500 for 2011 Bond issue, per conditions stated in the contract.
Appoint Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Village of Tuxedo Park:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Joanne Ennis, Town of Tuxedo Deputy Clerk, as deputy registrar of vital Statistics for the Village of Tuxedo Park.
*Click HERE to view a video of this meeting.
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Village Reorganization Meeting July 20, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees held their annual Reorganization Meeting on July 20, 2011 at 7pm. All members were present.
Click here for the list of appointments and procedures, which were unanimously approved by the Board.
Notable changes include:
The Board of Trustees will now meet at 7pm (instead of 7:30) on the third Wednesday of every month.
The adoption of a new Village e-mail policy
A change in Village voting hours from 12pm-9pm to 7am-9pm in order to better accommodate working residents.
The formation of 3 new committees: The Public Health committee, The Communications Committee and the Technology& telecommunications Committee.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 20, 2011
1. Call to Order
2. Mayor's Update
3. Board and Committee Updates
4. Police Update
5. DPW Update
6. Building Department Update
7. Public Comment
8. Approval of Yaboo Fence Company for Installation of Guide Rails Motion to approve Yaboo Fence Company to install new Guide Rails per conditions stated in the Bid Specs.
9. Speed Limit for Commercial Vehicles Motion to discuss possible decrease in speed limit for commercial vehicles from 30 mph to 25 mph for a period of one year, ending on July 20, 2012.
10. Maximum Boat Length on Tuxedo Lake Discuss changing the size limit of single hull design, electric boats to 21 feet. Electric pontoon boat sizes are to remain at 20 feet. Purpose of the change is to promote increased use of single hull design boats,and to accommodate their standard size range of 18' and 21'.
11. 2011 Village Bond Issue Motion for the Village ofTuxedo Park to issue a 20 year bond for the following infrastructure projects: Project TBD Amount TBD 1Total
12. Contract Authorization for Public Resources Advisory Group
Motion to approve contract for $27,500 with Public Resources Advisory Group for 2011 Bond Issue, per conditions stated in contract.
13. Appoint Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Village of Tuxedo Park
Motion to appoint Joanne Ennis, Town ofTuxedo Deputy Town Clerk, as Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Village of Tuxedo Park.
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Village To Hold Annual Reorg Meeting July 20 at 7pm
PLEASE TAKE notice that the Reorganization Meeting of the Board of Trustees for the
fiscal year 2011-2012, Village of Tuxedo Park, has been scheduled for Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, New York, in accordance with the provisions of the "Open Public Meeting Law", Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, Section 94.
TAKE FURTHER notice that the Board of Trustees regular monthly meeting for July
will also be held on July 20th at 7:30 p.m. (following the Reorganization Meeting), in the
Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, New York.
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Village Board of Trustees Special Meeting July 7, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on July 7, 2011 at 6:30pm. All Trustees were present.
The purpose of the meeting was two-fold; first to establish two new Village of Tuxedo Park internet domains and second to consider a 20-year bond issue for financing existing capital projects as per the existing 2008 bond resolutions.
Mayor Wilson began the meeting by commenting that Special Meetings of the Board are not unusual. In fact, there have been three such meetings within the last 30 days and a total of 12 over the course of the last year and a half.
He then informed the Board that the Village’s Bond Advisor had advised the Village on June 24 that should the Village be considering a bond offering within the next 12 months that now might be a good time to consider moving forward. As a result Mayor Stebbins and Mayor elect Wilson met with this advisor on June 30 and discussed the idea of the first week in August as a target date. In order to proceed with this timeline, a resolution authorizing Public Resources Advisory Group and/or Herrington & Sutcliffe as Village bond advisors and bond council is necessary.
Because all of the Trustees have busy schedules, Mayor Wilson originally believed that it might be convenient for the Board to pass this administrative resolution at the same time the he, Deputy Mayor du Pont and Trustee Neuhauser took their oaths of office on July 5.. Due to personal scheduling conflicts, the Mayor was not certain of his availability until that very morning, at which point he checked with Village Attorney Rick Golden, who assured him that he could call a special meeting with less than 24 hours of notice. He polled the trustees and as there were enough available to constitute a quorum, the meeting was held. Unfortunately, Mr. Golden was mistaken in his advice and even though all of the Trustees had been informed of the meeting and its administrative nature, Trustee Zgonena objected that he had not been given enough notice and Mr. Golden subsequently determined that 24 hours notice is required, contradicting his previous advice. The Mayor pointed out that Trustee Zgonena had not objected to special meetings that had taken place on June 26 and July 1, both with less than 24 hours of notice.
At the July 5 meeting, the Board discussed 4 items: an e-mail policy, a cell phone policy, two new internet domain names and authorizing the bond advisor and bond council. Since that time, the Mayor has decided to postpone discussion on the e-mail and cell phone policies until the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on July 20.
Resolution to establish two new Village of Tuxedo Park internet domains: http://tuxedopark.gov and http://vtp.gov:
At Trustee Heywood’s request, the Mayor explained that the thinking behind the domain tuxedopark.gov is that the current domain (tuxedopark_ny.gov) is difficult to remember and that if it were shortened to a simpler name, it might be easier for residents and non-residents alike to find and use the website. Additionally, with the rapid increase in the use of handheld devices, a shorter domain, such as vtp.gov, would be much more user friendly as well. The two domains will mirror each other. The current domain will remain active as well. The Mayor is hopeful to upgrade and update the current website in the future.
Trustee du Pont pointed out that the current site is outdated and that it is his hope to update it in the near future so that it becomes a useful tool for all Village residents.
Trustee Heywood Agreed as did Trustee Zgonena.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of passing the resolution.
Resolution to consider a 20 year bond issue not to exceed $2,000,000 with a closing date no later than December 31, 2011. The purpose of the bonf is to finance existing capital projects under the existing 2008 bond resolutions, and to possibly be amended by the current 2011 Village Board of Trustees. Public Resources Advisory Group will be hired and authorized to proceed with the Village’s Official Statement. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP will be hired and authorized to proceed as Bond Counsel for the Village of Tuxedo Park:
Trustee Zgonena wondered whether the number of $2,000,000 was fixed or if the Village would be able to obtain more money if necessary moving forward.
The Mayor responded that the numbers and the dates were intentionally general as the Village would need to come up with specific projects and dollar amounts within the next two weeks.
Trustee Zgonena stated that he understood this and then reiterated his question as to whether or not the number of $2,000,000 was fixed.
The Mayor replied that in order to obtain more money, a new resolution would be necessary.
Trustee Zgonena wondered if the Board should consider a higher number in order to avoid the necessity of another resolution.
The Mayor responded that he was not comfortable going above $2,000,000, however if the Trustees thought this advisable they could discuss it.
Trustee Heywood commented that his understanding was that this was purely an administrative decision that would allow the Village to move forward to the next stage of a potential bond issue in the future. There is presumably no commitment, although they will need to decide what they would like to use it for within the next few weeks.
The Mayor affirmed this.
Trustee Heywood then inquired as to the cost of this venture and Mayor Wilson informed him that engagement letters detailing these costs would be sent next week.
Following some brief further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
In response to the Mayors opening remarks, Trustee Zgonena then commented that he appreciated the Mayor having graciously held the current meeting ,but that in reference to the other special meetings indicated he had been given more lead time and that in the past the entire Board had been given input when selecting meeting dates and times. He hopes it will be the same moving forward.
The Mayor agreed, stating that in his view this had been a good lesson in determining how the Board can better communicate in the future.
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Village Board of Trustees To Hold Special Meeting July 7, 2011
1.) Resolution to establish two new Village of Tuxedo Park internet domains: http://tuxedopark.gov and http://vtp.gov
2.) Resolution to consider a 20 year bond issue not to exceed $2,000,000 with a closing date no later than December 31 st, 2011. The purpose of the bond is to finance existing capital projects under the existing 2008 bond resolutions,and to possibly be amended by the current 2011 Village Board of Trustees. Public Resources Advisory Group will be
hired and authorized to proceed with the Village's Official Statement. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP will be hired and authorized to proceed as Bond Counsel for the Village of Tuxedo Park.
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 15, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on June 15, 2011 at 7:30pm. Trustee Zgonena was absent.
Mayor Stebbins began his report by announcing that the Board had held a special meeting earlier in the month in order to expedite the purchase of a new excavator for the DPW. The equipment costs roughly $93,000 and will be financed under a five-year note with payments in advance bearing interest of approximately 2.5%. The Village’s old excavator is expected to be sold for $14,000.
Over the past three years, the Village has made completing infrastructure projects and capital budgeting a top priority. A comprehensive list of these projects will be posted on the Village website. Although much has been accomplished, the Mayor commented that there is much yet to be done and he encouraged residents to stay and listen to Westin and Sampson’s report on current and future plans for infrastructure projects later in the evening. He then offered the following thoughts/ideas for the incoming Board of Trustees to consider:
Continuing the search for the Villages 48% water production loss
Lowering the Village speed limit to 25mph for trucks
More frequent use of the GPS unit and inputting the information into the Village’s digital overlay maps
Drafting a new tree law
Investigating how to lower the Villages healthcare costs
Joking that this work could well take up the better part of a year, the Mayor Stebbins also commented that with the exception of lowering the speed limit for trucks, these were all initiatives that the current board had grappled with but had not had time to complete.
The Villages financial position continues to be strong. For fiscal year 2011, preliminary revenues totaled 3,542,000 compared to total expenditures of $3,245,000, which should produce a surplus of approximately $300,000. The Cash position of the General Fund at the end of May totaled $1, 268,000 as compared to $776.000 one year ago. The Capital Fund’s projects at the end of May totaled $883,000. This amount is expected to come down further once invoices for the Club House Road water main project have been received.
In closing, the Mayor expressed his gratitude to the residents who have been supportive and helpful to the Village over the past 4 years by offering constructive criticism as well as effective solutions. Commenting that both volunteerism and public service are essential for keeping village operations functioning normally, the Mayor acknowledged this is a “truly distinguishing characteristic” of Tuxedo Park, which in his view makes the Village an extraordinary and special place in which to live. He went on to thank Debbie Matthews, John Ledwith, Jeff Voss and Chief Sanford for their efforts on behalf of the Village and there help and support during his terms as Mayor.
Deputy Mayor Report:
Deputy Mayor Pompan echoed Mayor Stebbins’ sentiments of gratitude, commenting that he has found his position as Trustee to be both challenging and rewarding. He recognized Debbie Matthews, John Ledwith, Jeff Voss, Chief Sanford and Village attorney Rick Golden and thanked them all for their efforts. He went on to recognize former Trustees Jim Hays and Charlotte Worthy as well as current Trustees Rob Zgonena, Tom Wilson, Chris Hansen and Mayor Stebbins and stated that while they had not always agreed on every issue, he felt that they had worked well together. He stressed the importance of listening to the community, both the vocal minority and the silent majority, when making decisions. In closing, he gave special thanks to Chris Hansen and Mayor Stebbins for their 6 years of tireless, dedicated service to the Village, his wife and the community at large for their support and the New Board of Trustees, whoever they may be, commenting that he now truly appreciated what their service would mean to the Village.
Chief Sanford reported the following for the month of May:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 65
Property Damage Complaints - 6
Traffic Summonses – 26
Medical Calls - 3
Fire Alarms – 9 (all false)
Intrusion Alarms – 7 (all false)
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 3
Additionally, 11,389 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
The department has received an increase in complaints about trucks and trailers speeding and driving erratically in the Village and as a result Chief Sanford contacted the Department of Transportation and with their help organized a “surprise” inspection inside the gate, which proved to be very successful with 13 summonses issued and even 1 arrest, These inspections will continue, unannounced on a monthly basis.
The Chief then thanked the Mayor and outgoing Trustees. He recognized Chris Hansen as the police liason, noting that he had taught him a lot and had always been there when he needed him. He also gave special thanks to Mayor Stebbins, recognizing the dedication and the tireless hours he had put into the job, and stated that working with the Mayor had made him a better Police Chief.
Jeff Voss thanked the Trustees for all of their help and hard work and stated that it had been a pleasure working with all of them. He then reported that delivery of the new excavator was tentatively expected to take place on Thursday, June 23.
To review a copy of the monthly report for the Building and Water Departments as presented by John Ledwith, click here.
The Board discussed a new administrative policy for the Building Department, which clearly outlines a timeline by which residents must deal with code violations as follows:
All actionable code violations will be sited in writing and property/home owners given 60 to 90 days to correct/rectify the sited violation depending on magnitude of the corrections needed. .
Within 10 days of the notice deadline, a second letter may be sent granting an additional 30-day extension, but only if there is reason to believe that timely action will be taken.
After the deadline has passed, the code-violator will be issued an appearance ticket for Village Court
If this summons to court cannot be served within 90 days, the Building Department will bring the matter to the attention of the Board of Trustees, who will then consider whether to have the Village attorney commence a lawsuit in Orange County supreme court.
The Objective behind the policy to help the Building Inspector to stay on top of violations and keep things moving in an expeditious fashion.
Trustee Pompan wondered at what point the Village would have the authority to move ahead and correct violations (such as untrimmed bushes and trees and other such violations that might be considered public safety issues) at the expense of the resident.
The Mayor replied that while having the Village DPW correct the Violations at the expense of the home owner was certainly a potential solution, it did not address the cost of the DPWs’ time, as chasing around after residents who were not doing what they were supposed to do would surely pull their time away from other, more important responsibilities.
It was determined that there must be a method of delineating between those issues which might be classified as potential public safety problems and those that could be considered attractive nuisances.
Trustee Hansen suggested that the Building department include a copy of the resolution with the initial violation notice so that the homeowner was well informed of the process.
Trustee Wilson asked for clarification with regard to what action the Board of Trustees might take should an emergency arise.
The Mayor responded that if the condition constituted a public safety hazard, immediate action would be initiated to remedy the problem and the homeowner would be billed accordingly.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the new policy.
On behalf of the Village Improvement Advisory Committee Alan Heywood expressed his delight with the removal of 40 to 50 dead trees (mostly hemlocks) along Tuxedo Road earlier this week, commenting that their removal would not only improve the appearance of the Village immensely but sets a strong president for tree removal elsewhere in the Village. Having said that, he noted that traffic had been diverted up Fox Hill road during the removal and he expressed his concern with regard to frequent speeding on what is arguably one of the narrowest roads in the Park.
The VIAC continues to work with John Ledwith and Orange and Rockland to ensure that Village street lights are working properly and are still in process of creating a “pot hole survey” for the purpose of identifying those areas that residents feel are most in need of repair.
Jim Hays expressed his gratitude to Tom Wilson, David du Pont, Alan Heywood and Mary Jo Guinchard for their willingness to run for office. He then thanked each of the three departing Board members, outlining their individual strengths and contributions to the Village.
Peter Regna commented that he had been a resident of the Village for a generation and that had seen “a lot of water go over the dam” (both figuratively and literally!) He went on to say that in the last two years the Village has been hit with a plethora of diverse and complex issues and that the current Board had dealt with these better than any Board he could recall. He has never seen a workload as heavy as it has been in recent years and he is to see such a hardworking, dedicated group of individuals working for the Village. Commenting that he was extremely proud of everyone, he expressed his gratitude.
Joan Alleman echoed the sentiments of both Mr. Hays and Mr. Regna commenting that she felt the Board had done an excellent job.
Resolution to Authorize Issuance of a Permit under Chapter 25 of the Village Code for THS to hold their Event in September, 2011:
The Board voted in favor in of issuing a permit to the Tuxedo Historical Society to hold their Autumn House Tour on September 24, 2011. Trustee Hansen abstained from the vote, commenting that while he was in favor of allowing the event to proceed, he did not feel an official vote was necessary.
Respond to the Request of Town & Country Regarding their Article Involving Tuxedo Park:
Mayor Stebbins reported that Town and Country magazine is interested in writing an article pursuant to the Tuxedo and its history, which will involve Tuxedo Park. The author will be a Village resident who is a well-regarded freelance writer and is currently under contract with the magazine for this article. He is recommending that the Village attorney draft an appropriate letter responding to the request favorably.
Trustee Hansen commented that in his view this decision is out of the purview of the Village as they are not in a position to challenge the first amendment rights of any individual wishing to write such an article. In his view, just because the Village maintains gates, which restrict access to the roads within, does not mean they can also restrict people from writing articles about the community. He does not feel this should be a resolution before the Board and he fears passing such a resolution would set a bad president in that it suggests that the Village feels they have the right to trump the first amendment.
Trustee Wilson commented that part of the issue was in letting a company in to the Village to take photographs as there is a current provision in the code that restricts this.
Trustee Hansen pointed out that the real estate companies all widely publish photographs of homes inside the Village and that if the Tuxedo Club wants to allow Town and Country to take photos, it is their right to so.
Trustee Wilson agreed, commenting that because the author is a resident, she has the right to invite whom ever she wishes into the Village without a Board resolution.
Trustee Pompan agreed with Trustee Hansen with regard to the First Amendment and suggested that the confusion stems from the statute currently on the books and the proposed moratorium on granting permits for for-fee activities.
Mayor Stebbins agreed and suggested tabling the issue until they could seek the opinion of the Village Attorney.
Resolution to Approve a Moratorium on the Granting of any Permits under Chapter 25 of the Village Code:
The proposed 6-month moratorium would apply to all for-fee gatherings, tours, filming and the like within the Village and would apply to all such events except for such gatherings and events that have been advertised as of the date of adoption of the resolution and will occur on or before December 31, 2011. The Board will also retain the option of renewing the moratorium for 2 additional 6-month terms.
Trustee Hansen inquired as to whether or not the next Board would be able to unwind the moratorium should they come to a solution before the 6-month expiration date.
The Mayor replied that it could. It would be passed by resolution and could be undone by the same process.
Alan Heywood inquired as to how the proposed moratorium would effect TPAG as they have contractual obligations to run their programs in the coming months.
The Mayor responded that as though events have been advertised and are occurring prior to the end of the year that they would escape the moratorium. However, TPAG will still be required to obtain a permit from the Board for each event.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of enacting the moratorium.
Approval of Police Contract:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a new police employment agreement with terms previously negotiated to run through May 21, 2012.
Resolution to Authorize Sale of DPW’s excavator as Surplus Equipment for $14,000 under Terms to be Negotiated:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the sale of the DPW’s excavator for $14,000 under terms to be negotiated.
Public Hearing on Local Law #2 of 2011 regarding the Defense and Indemnification of Village Officals:
The Public hearing on Local Law #2 of 2011 regarding the Defense and Indemnification of Village Officials was opened. To review a copy of the legislation, click here. As there were no comments from the public, the hearing was closed. Following some discussion, which included some minor language modifications, the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the legislation.
Discuss Enforcement Issues of Requiring Homeowners and Commercial Property Owners to Address Back Flow Prevention and Cross Connections under NYS Building Codes in order to Safeguard Public Water:
As the requirements relating to back flow prevention and cross connections are already a part of NYS building code, the Board of Trustees does not need to take any action on this matter. It is the job of the Building Inspector, in his role of chief enforcement officer, to require that these standards be met within the Village of Tuxedo Park. The Mayor inquired as to what reinforcement or direction the building department was looking for with regard to these issues and secondly, what are that departments plans for addressing these issues.
Building Inspector John Ledwith confirmed that there are a number of requirements regarding a number of different kinds of back flow preventors depending upon the circumstances. He expressed his desire to get together with Village engineer Rich Messer in order to put together a priority list in order to help them to take care of the most liable situations.
Trustee Pompan inquired as to what knowledge and responsibility the homeowners have under state law. He commented that while New York State may have passed new legislation to this end that the professional contractors should certainly be aware of, most of the residents are clueless in this regard. He wondered how the information should be communicated to residents and then enforced.
Mr. Ledwith agreed and responded that while the professionals are well aware of the requirements most of the residents do not know what they are.
Trustee Pompan then expressed concern regarding enforcement penalties for people who may have been entirely unaware of the requirements.
Engineer Rich Messer pointed out that there are different levels of risk at hand and that individual homeowners are on the lower level of that spectrum. He suggested that when meeting with Mr. Ledwith they would prioritize the higher risk areas and plan to address those first with the thought that the lower level risks would be dealt with at some point down the line.
Following some further discussion it was determined that there was no need to pass new legislation as regulations already exist.
Discuss Three Major Capital Projects Involved in Upgrading the Wee Wah Dam: Spillway Repairs, Adding Hydroelectric Units and Armoring the Embankment:
The Village has requested and received a dam breech analysis from O’Brien and Gere for both Pond #3 and the Wee Wah dam. Thankfully, Pond #3 seems to be in good shape.
The Wee Wah dam is over-topped by three feet of water, the solution to which is armoring the downside of the dam. O’Brien and Gere has suggested that this could cost anywhere from $750,000 to $1,000,000. Additionally, the spillway, which was recently partially repaired, must be finished and the raceway wall must also be repaired. (The raceway walls are the long walls that extend out into the lake from the dam) Because of a 28 ft height differential, the Wee Wah is uniquely suited to adding hydroelectric units, which would hopefully assist in supplying power to the sewer plant, located close by and help to run the meter back as well. Unfortunately, the Village has learned that hydroelectric issues are handled by the Federal Government who are purportedly very difficult to deal with.
The Mayor pointed out that there is one Village residence, which maintains partial ownership of the embankment and therefore is jointly liable under DEC regulations. He cautioned that if money is going to be spent a cost sharing agreement must be established. The Mayor has written the property owner a letter informing them of the situation.
In terms of a critical timeline, he reported that the DEC will require an engineering study of the dam to be delivered in 2015 and only at that time will the deficiencies be made known to the DEC. Luckily, a key part of that engineering study will be the spillway design analysis that has already been completed. The Village undertook this early in order to judge the magnitude of the problem.
Currently, the Wee Wah dam is not classified as a high hazard dam, however, should the Sterling Place development be built, it’s classification will be elevated to this level.
Trustee Pompan commented that 2015 deadline somewhat alleviates the rush to finance the repair, assuming there are not any breech issues. He suggested that the Village revist the possibility of state funding.
Following some further discussion regarding some of the engineering specifics and the possible installation of new stop logs, Alan Heywood inquired as to whether or not repairs done last month had been successful and how the Village was intending to finance the repair of leaks on the other side of the spillway.
Mayor Stebbins responded that $45,000 had been budgeted for the project with only $22,500 having been spent to date. The remaining $22,500 will be used to repair the remaining leaks in the fall.
Resolution to Award Contract for Materials for the Tuxedo Road Guide Rails:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the contract for Materials for the Tuxedo Road guide rails to American Timber at a cost of $130,000. Additionally, they also voted unanimously in favor of advertising for bid packages on the installation, with an opening bid date of July 12.
Appoint Two DPW Summer Workers:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring both Luke Heater and Daniel Jones for a period of 10 weeks as summer help for the DPW at a rate of $10 an hour.
W & S Request for Additional Time and Material Payment for their Work on the clubhouse Road Project:
Engineer Rich Messer gave a brief history of the project, which is behind schedule and has exceeded the original estimate as previously approved by the Board by $34,000. The Board discussed possible ways to collect these funds from the contractor as he is largely responsible for the delays. It was agreed that Westin and Sampson would create a detailed breakdown of the $34,000, so that the Board could determine how to proceed.
W & S Infrastructure Projects Report:
On behalf of Westin and Sampson, Engineer Rich Messer provided the Board with updates/reports for the following on-going infrastructure projects:
Wee Wah Dam – Based on the update provided earlier in the meeting, the Mayor requested that Westin and Sampson put together a priority list and timeline for the project.
Reduction of Inflow and Infiltration – Phase 2 of the project has been completed, in which W & S conducted further testing using television cameras in order to determine specific problem areas. The Board discussed various cost effective ways of proceeding with the project in order to bring the system into compliance with the DEC. $100,000 has been budgeted. Following a lengthy discussion of project details, including the priority and cost of various repairs as well as a long-term time line, it was agreed that Mr. Messer would compose a letter in the for of a draft report, outlining the approach moving forward as well as the estimated costs of the project.
Water Audit- Despite having conducted two sonograms on the water system and fixing/patching many problem areas, the Village has only been able to capture roughly 2% of the problem and still finds itself with 45% of water production lost. Mayor Stebbins asked Mr. Messer for his thoughts on the issue. The idea of installing a meter to monitor the water flowing towards to the Hamlet was discussed as was putting together a proposal for a systematic evaluation of the system.
Mountain Farm Road Pump Station – Westin and Sampson will be putting together a proposal for this project to include both design and bidding components. Mr. Messer guestimated that costs would run in the $20,000 range. Mayor Stebbins expressed some concern with the timeline for the project, commenting that he hopes it will be completed before next winter. Mr. Messer assured him that by the next meeting there would be a formal proposal including a schedule.
Resolution for Establishing a Stewardship Plan for the Preservation of The Race Track:
A resolution to put together a group consisting of both residents and other environmental professionals to complete an inventory and create a conservation plan for the Race Track was discussed. Mayor Stebbins read into the record an e-mail from Trustee Zgonena supporting the resolution. Trustee Hansen once again expressed his view that the Race Track has existed in the Village for over 100 years with a variety of different uses and as there is no current threat to the land he does not see the need for putting the land into outside hands in order to ensure preservation. He does not feel that future uses of the property should be restricted.
Trustee Pompan responded that what the resolution as proposed does is to provide an opportunity for a group or groups to come before future Board to discuss and negotiate possible preservation arrangements. It does not handcuff anyone or lock any decisions into place, rather it sets a platform for future discussions regarding preservation.
Trustee Hansen commented that he understood how the process worked, but that in his view passing this resolution was the first step in the direction of preservation. He reiterated his opinion that while he was not against preserving the land, there was no way to determine what the best use for this property would be in the future. He further commented that in his view, once this resolution was passed, the Village was starting down a path from which it would surely be hard to waiver. He suggested that those individuals who are to be responsible for the inventory and plan already know what they would like the outcome to be and therefore the report will be presented in such a manner that it will be extremely difficult not to move forward with official preservation. As there is no threat to the property, he feels that there is no need to take action.
Mayor Stebbins commented that the point of the resolution is to inform both the Board and the community at large what is going on with the racetrack and to underline those valuable aspects of it that should perhaps be preserved.
Trustee Hansen replied that he agrees that the Race Track is valuable, however he does not see the need for the resolution.
Following some more discussion the Board voted 3 to 1 in favor of the resolution with Trustee Hansen voting against.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 15, 2011
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
~ Mayor and Deputy Mayor
~ Police, DPW and Water Dept.
~ Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. New Business
a. Resolution to Authorize Issuance of a Permit under Chapter 25 of the Village Code for THS to hold their Event in September, 2011
b. Respond to the Request of Town & Country Regarding their Article Involving Tuxedo Park
c. Resolution to Approve a Moratorium on the Granting of any Permits under Chapter 25 of the Village Code
d. Resolution to Authorize Sale ofDPW's Excavator as Surplus Equipment for $14,000 under Terms to be Negotiated
e. Public Hearing on Local Law #2 of 20 11 regarding the Defense and Indemnification of Village Officials
f. Discuss Enforcement Issues of Requiring Homeowners and Commercial Property Owners to Address Back Flow Prevention and Cross Connections under NYS Building Codes in order to Safeguard Public Water
g. Discuss Three Major Capital Projects Involved in Upgrading the Wee Wah Dam: Spillway Repairs, Adding Hydroelectric Units, and Armoring the Embankment
h. Resolution to Award Contract for Materials for the Tuxedo Road Guide Rails
i. Appoint Two DPW Summer Workers
7. Old Business
a. W&S Request for Additional T&M Payment for their Work on the Clubhouse Road Project
b. W&S Infrastructure Projects Report
c. Resolution Authorizing Advertising and Bid Opening Dates for Installation of Guide Rails for Tuxedo Road and West Lake Rd.
d. Resolution for Establishing a Stewardship Plan for the Preservation of the Race Track
e. Resolution to Confirm New Administrative Policy for Enforcement Actions by Building Dept.
8. Approve Minutes of Board Meetings for April and May
9. Adjourn to Attorney-Client Meeting and Executive Session to Discuss Police Matters
10. Audit of Claims
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 18, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 18 at 7:30pm. All members were present.
Mayor Stebbins began his report by announcing that all the nominating petitions standing candidates had been received the day before. He welcomed Tom Wilson and Mary Jo Guinchard for standing as candidates for Mayor and Cami Fischer, Alan Heywood and David du Pont for standing as candidates for the two open Trustee positions. He thanked them for their commitment to public service and seeking to improve Village operations for the benefit of all residents.
The Tuxedo Club recently celebrated the 125th anniversary of its founding. Mayor Stebbins has officially declared May 7 Tuxedo Club Day in the Village.
With regard to the Tuxedo Lake Dam, the Mayor reported that the DEC has granted a 6-month extension in order to complete necessary grouting work the spillway culvert, which had been delayed by weather. Additionally, an agreement between the Village and the Tuxedo Club, specifying the roles and responsibilities of these parties for the dam and this agreement settles most of the issues that have been ongoing for years.
Bad weather has also delayed work on the Wee Wah dam, which, according to the contract with Legacy Stone Works, was supposed to be completed by May 21. The Village will do its best to get the water levels in the Wee Wah back to normal as soon as possible in order to ensure a normal swim season.
Westin and Sampson is maintaining a low bidding approach to the Mountain Farm Road Pump Station project, as it is quite complex. The Village hopes to be ready to advertise the project and set a bid opening date next month.
The Village continues to maintain a favorable financial position. Year to date expenses represent 85.7% of the budget (excluding $190,00 of appropriated surplus) with 95.1% of the fiscal year having passed. The cash position in the General Fund totals $1,452,000 compared to $884,000 this time last year. At the end of April, the Capital Projects Fund totaled $967,000. This amount will be drawn down in the coming months with the SSES and Club House Road projects.
Deputy Mayor Report:
Deputy Mayor Pompan wished all of the candidates well and commented that in his view, the level of competition supports a healthy election.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of April:
Non-criminal complaints – 49
Criminal complaints – 1 (closed by arrest)
Property Damage Accidents – 2
Traffic Tickets – 15
Fire Alarms – 2 (both false)
Intrusion Alarms – 8 (all false)
Medical Calls – 0
Assists provided to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 5
Assists received from the Town of Tuxedo Police - 1
Additionally, 8,537 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the front gate.
The Police Department is fortunate enough to have extra money in its budget. Although he recognizes that it is not necessary to spend it all, Chief Sanford suggested that purchasing a video camera system for the Front Gate might be a productive use of some of the funds. Maintaining a visual record of activity at the Front Gate could be a very important security measure for the Village for a plethora of reasons. Not only would it provide a visual backup in terms of capturing license plate numbers and non-residents entering the Village, but it would also serve to protect the Gate Guards in case of altercation. The camera would be mounted on the outside of the old police building and connected to a computer or DVR inside that building. The videos would be kept on file for 36 to 48 hours, at which point they would be recorded over with new footage.
The Mayor responded since the money for the camera system would be coming from leftover funds that had already been allocated within the budget, in his view it would not be necessary for the Board to vote formally. He further commented that the Village Office also has some left over money within its budget and like to Police Department, has needs in terms of security and new equipment. He suggested that the left over funds would be spent on some of these needs.
Trustee Hansen reiterated the importance of NOT keeping a permanent visual record of activity at the Front Gate, as a maintaining a continuous record in that way could prove problematic for the Village legally. He suggested that the erasing of the tapes every 36 hours should be an automatic process and should not require human intervention. It was agreed that Chris would make sure the proper processes were in place before the system becomes operational.
DPW Report: DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was absent. No report was given.
Trustee Hansen inquired about poor water drainage along West Lake Road near the Tuxedo Club. John Ledwith informed him that Village engineers Westin and Sampson had been informed of the issue and would be addressing it.
Trustee Zgonena questioned the quality of the Colanelli paving jobs on both West Lake and Clubhouse Roads, calling them substandard. Mayor Stebbins informed him that what was there now was temporary and that these roads would be repaved when the affiliated projects had been completed. Additionally, Colanelli has requested an extension on its May 24 deadline, however the Mayor feels that the Village should not grant this request until all the restoration work associated with the West Lake Road project has been completed in its entirety. He would also like to consult with Westin and Sampson before granting the request.
To review a copy of the monthly report for the Building and Water Departments as presented by John Ledwith, click here.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of levying all unpaid water bills onto the tax roll according to the previously set schedule.
Village Improvement Advisory Committee – On behalf of the V.IA.C., Alan Heywood reported that both Joe McCann and Uli Pendl have joined the committee. After 6 months of badgering, Orange and Rockland has finally visited the Village and begun removing dead trees as promised. There are several trees along Tuxedo Road located on Tuxedo Park Estates’ property that were initially identified as a threat to power lines, however the Village has decided that it is not their responsibility to remove them. There is one large, dead tree, located on East Lake Road across from the Hays house that threatens power lines, however Orange and Rockland claims they are unable to access it. The Mayor suggested that because there are regulations about removing trees near power lines and that if the aforementioned tree was within a certain distance of the line, the utility company would have to be the ones to remove it. However, if the tree is far enough away from the lines anyone can remove it and if the Hays are concerned about the safety of their home, perhaps they should explore this second option. Nancy Hays responded that in order to remove the tree, power lines will need to be relocated, however, Orange and Rockland seems unwilling to climb the tree and/or move the lines. She then commented that she would continue to attempt to work it out with them before considering other options.
As the weather is improving and the days are longer the situation with Village street lights is not as dire, however there are several lights that are out and John Ledwith will stay on top of the situation.
The committee has agreed to work with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss in identifying sections of roads where there are potholes that are in need of patching.
On another note, the committee suggests that the Village consider an annual (or bi-annual) notice to residents, to be included with the Mayor’s letter, reminding them of issues that they should be aware of when managing their own properties.
Finally, the issue of speeding was raised. It seems that a great number of the offenders seem to possess either Tuxedo Club or Tuxedo Park School tags and the committee recommends that the Village send a polite letter to each of these institutions asking them to remind their patrons of the speed restrictions within the Village. Mayor Stebbins rejected this idea, commenting that such letters had already been distributed. He suggested that instead those who witness these speeding offenses should call the police and report them specifically. Officers will then be able to set up radar in the appropriate spots and ticket the habitual speeders. Trustee Hansen commented that in his view, without hard evidence or proof in the form of statistical data, the Village should not and could not identify a specific group of people (i.e. Club and School patrons) and accuse them of speeding.
Trustee Zgonena then thanked Mr. Heywood for his diligence in following up on the tree issue with Orange and Rockland, commenting that he was aware that it had been a long and frustrating process but that the hard work had definitely improved the quality of safety for all residents.
Although there is a great deal of activity before both Boards, no building permits have been issued in the month of May.
There were no Public Comments
Wee Wah Beach Club – The Village is expecting to receive a $5,000 licensee fee from the Beach Club as per their agreement. In return, the Beach Club has asked the Village to contribute $5,500 for capital improvements to enhance the property with the following projects:
Approximately $5,000 for new sand, which can now be placed on the underwater beach land, which is temporarily exposed due to the lake drawdown for dam repairs. This will make for a much less rocky entry into the lake once the water has returned to its normal level.
At this time, the Village is not sure how the monies will be allocated. The issue of sand is more complicated than one might think as it is being placed into the water and there are issues of turbidity (cloudiness in the water) to consider. It is looking as though they may have to use Long Island Beach sand as opposed to new, clean sand. This sand is more costly and an exact price has yet to be determined.
Trustee Pompan asked for clarification as to whether the $5000 would be coming from the license fee or if it would be an additional $5000 from the Village. The Mayor replied that it would be coming directly from the license fee and explained that ordinarily this money was invested back into Club for improvements to the property. He also stated that he felt the Beach Club might be under the impression that because they had not used the entire amount in years past that these funds had rolled over, however because the Village DPW would be doing a great deal of labor for the Club in terms of transporting and installing the sand, roll over of funds will not occur.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of giving the Club the $5,500 as requested.
Hiring a New Full Time Police Officer – Mayor Stebbins reported having interviewed Chief Sanfords top two picks for the position of full time officer and has determined that Mike Tayback is the better candidate. Chief Sanford agrees. Officer Tayback would be hired at a first year recruits’ salary and would have a 26 week probationary period. After some brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring officer Tayback at a starting salary of $51,284.
Trustee Zgonena inquired about Officer Tayback’s pension, specifically whether or not the Village would assume full responsibility after 15 years considering that the officer has already been working for the Monticello Police Department for the last 5 years. He wondered if Monticello had been paying into the pension and if those payments would count. Chief Sanford responded that the Village would be responsible for the full pension and although Monticello has been paying into that pension for the last five years, New York State would keep that money.
Consider request for a Permit for THS’s Event in September 2011:
The Tuxedo Historical Society is requesting permission to host an event in the Village of September 24, 2011 featuring the Metropolitan Chapter of Victorian Society, which is dedicated to the scholarly study of 19th century culture and architecture. Commenting that the issue of possible required permitting for such events within the Village was on the agenda for Executive Session later that evening, the Mayor suggested that the Board could either approve the request as presented and then modify their approval if necessary OR wait until after their executive session to make a decision. He then stated that his preference was to defer the issue to executive session.
Trustee Hansen commented that he had reviewed the request and in his view, a permit would not be required, however if the Mayor wanted to defer to executive session that would be fine with him.
Chris Sonne inquired as to whether or not a decision would be made that day so that THS would know how to proceed.
The answer was yes. The Board would vote as soon as they came out of executive session.
Authorize Advertising for Bid for a New Excavator and Set Bid Opening Date:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of advertising for bids for a new excavator in the Times Herald Record on (or around) May 25th with a bid opening date of June 8.
*At this time Trustee Zgonena requested permission from the Mayor to make a brief public comment related to the election. Permission was granted. He then came around the Trustee table and joined the public. He began by expressing his desire to strongly support the democratic process. Commenting that he was an independent, unaffiliated Board member, he stated that he had signed as many petitions as possible and that his signature, or lack there of, on any petitions did not constitute an endorsement or a vote against. He looks forward to a healthy, fair election.
Motion to Declare the Current DPW Excavator to be Surplus Equipment When New Excavator is Delivered:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring the current DPW excavator to be surplus when the new excavator is delivered.
Motion To Declare 1999 Chevy DPW Dump Truck to be Surplus Equipment and to be Advertised and Offer for Sale at an Estimated Price $15,000:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring the 1999 Chevy dump truck to be surplus equipment and to offer it for sale at an estimated price of $15,000.
Authorization to Donate Unused, nil Value 1994 Jeep Cherokee to the Tuxedo Park Volunteer Fire district for Training Purposes:
Following a very brief discussion, during which it was suggested that the vehicle would probably be used for “Jaws of Life” practice, the Board voted unanimously in favor of donating the vehicle to the Fire Department.
Motion to Approve the Tuxedo Club’s Request for an Annual Fireworks Display on July 3, 2011 (with a rain date of July 5):
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this request.
Budget Line Item Reallocations:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the budget line item reallocations as prepared and presented by Village Clerk Debbie Matthews.
Motion to Transfer $150,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund:
The General Fund is estimated to have surplus of approximately $900.000 at the end of this fiscal year and the Village is endeavoring to reduce that to roughly $750,000, which will provide an adequate cushion moving forward. As there is a continuous need for funds in the Capital projects budget, the Mayor is suggesting the transfer from one fund to the other.
Trustee Hansen inquired as to whether or not the Mayor believed that the money the Village has raised through financing was sufficient enough to cover the projects that are being contemplated.
Mayor Stebbins responded that the Board had already approved a Capital budget for the new fiscal year, which will make use of all those funds. There are, however, other projects that remain unfunded a.k.a. there are more projects than there is cash.
Trustee Hansen then asked whether or not the funds, once transferred, could be returned to the General Fund should the Board decide not to move forward with additional capital projects and, more specifically, if it could be used to retire debt.
The Mayor responded that he did not believe the funds could be transferred back.
Trustee Pompan wondered if it could still be used to retire debt considering it was being designated for capital projects.
Trustee Hansen stated that he understood why the Mayor wanted to transfer the funds, however he might also want to consider leaving it as surplus and allowing the incoming Board, who will be the ones spending the money, to make the decision as to where they want the funds. He reminded that Mayor that should it be impossible to move funds back once they have been transferred, it would be unusable in emergency situations. He reiterated his suggestion to preserve options for the incoming Board.
Trustee Pompan expressed concern regarding grievance exposure, commenting that should the funds be transferred and then the Village is required to pay back they could wind up with less than a desirable amount of surplus.
Following some further discussion with regard to surplus amounts, it was agreed that the issue would be deferred and Mayor Stebbins withdrew the motion.
Motion to Transfer $120,000 of Water Fund Cash into its Capital Improvement Fund:
The transferring of these funds would help with funding of the Mountain Farm Road pump station project. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the transfer.
Motion to Transfer $30, 027 from the Water Fund to the General Fund:
This transfer would represent the last of the inter-company obligations that the Water Fund owes the General Fund. The Board voted unanimously in favor.
Village Boat Club Licensing Fee:
The Village Boat Club has invested approximately $53,000 into its new docks and beachfront property and they consequently believe that their license fee should be waived. The Village does incur a small expense for supplying power at the pump house for their electric boats and batteries and the Mayors suggestion is to have Trustee Wilson negotiate the license fee, recognizing that the club has not paid any such fee for the last several years and that the Village does not want to set a bad president under the two year license agreement.
Trustee Hansen commented that the license agreement allows for the property to be used by club members only, however in the past he has noted that there are boats stored there that do not have the appropriate stickers. Without the appropriate stickers, there is no way of knowing whether or not the boats have been properly cleaned. He thinks that one of the things the Village should consider doing is requiring the club to put a notice on their members and make sure that they are in compliance with the regulations.
Trustee Pompan commented that the Boat club is an independent organization and that as such, in his view, they should be paying the Village a license fee. Waiving this fee would set a very bad president. He expressed concern as to whether or not the Club is adequately enforcing their policies.
The Mayor stated that one of the reasons the club believes that the fee should be eliminated is that through their membership they generate more boat permits, which is in turn revenue for the Village and they argue that this revenue should be dedicated back to the Club rather than to be absorbed by the General Fund.
Hire Title Search Firm of Hardenburgh Abstract for the Village:
The Village dams have neighbors. One example is the Dyke house, which is located on the downstream side of the Wee Wah dam and is officially in the Town of Tuxedo, but which never the less owns a significant portion of the downstream embankment. In the eyes of the DEC they are considered jointly liable for the embankment with the Village. This puts the Village into the same position as the Tuxedo Club was with the de St. Phalles Irrevocable Trust, who also owned a small portion of the embankment of the Tuxedo Lake Dam. There are other homes in similar circumstances, particularly on pond three, and the Mayor feels that it is necessary to bring in an engineer in order to determine who owns what and where ultimate responsibility lies. The Board was in agreement and they voted unanimously to hire the firm.
Vote to Approve Design and materials FOR guide Rails for Tuxedo Road:
The Board is in receipt of a new cost grid from W & S for the guide rail project. They must first agree on a style for the rails and then a length/distance for the project, taking into consideration whether or not they should replace the guide rail located on the Yanuzzi property, which is in serious disrepair. The Board considered three rail options. Mr. Yanuzzi has stated that he would prefer to have large boulders in place of guide rails. There was a brief discussion about this.
Trustee Pompan commented that in terms of distance it is his view the rails should run all the way to East Lake Stable Road rather than stopping at the bottom of Pepperidge Road. His indicated a style preference of square rails, referencing drawings that had been distributed. The different styles were then discussed.
Trustee Hansen commented that he feels the Village should also put rails at the Yanuzzi property. In his view, all the guide rail work should be done at one time and should be consistent in appearance. Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the style of beveled square rails with pointed posts for a distance of 3,420 linear feet at an estimated cost of $331,398. Trustee Wilson inquired as to the time frame for project completion. The answer was August 2011.
Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids and Setting a Bid Opening Date for Material Purchase of Guide Rails for Tuxedo Road:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing advertising for bids on May 31 with a bid opening date of June 14.
Alan Heywood inquired as to whether or not the bid included removal of the old rails and was informed that it does.
W & S Request for Additional Funds for Guide Rails and Club House Road Water Main Projects:
Regarding the Club House Road water main project, Colanelli has not attended to their business in a focused manner which as in turn placed more of a burden on W & S to deal with the problems that arise, including the relocation of service lines and more legwork with neighbors, requiring more time and effort on their part. W & S is seeking an additional $19,500.
With regard to the guide rail project, W & S is asking for an additional $4,700. This is because the Village requested additional styles for consideration.
The Mayor recommended that the Board approve the additional guide rail funds and defer the additional water main funding. His reasoning is that the $19,500 amount was predicated upon Colanellis’ request for a two-week extension, the necessity of which has not yet been determined.
Trustee Zgonena commented that he has a fair amount of experience with contracting work and that he would like to see an exact breakdown (to the penny) of hourly rates, time and materials, man hours, number of people, qualifications of the people involved etc, because for this amount of money he knows what he would be able to accomplish and it is a tremendous amount. He went on to say that he has a hard time understanding how this much money can be incurred over the course of two weeks.
Trustee Hansen agreed and commented that there is nothing wrong with asking the engineers to justify the spending in the form of an audited breakdown.
It was agreed that the Club House Road request would be deferred and that the Village would request a detailed bill reflecting time and materials already incurred. Once this has been received the Village will request a detailed backup on the request for $19,500.
The $4,700 for the guide rails was unanimously approved.
Consider How Best to Protect the Preserve the Race Track:
The Board reviewed two options for preserving the Race Track as discussed at last month’s meeting. These options include declaring the property parkland and giving it to New York State or obtaining a Conservation Easement and asking that a group like the Orange County Landtrust manage the easement. The Mayor questioned whether either of these options would be acceptable to the majority of the Board with additional conditions or modifications.
Trustee Hansen commented that he does not feel that the Board should prohibit future Boards from doing something different with the property and that he doesn’t want to restrict the land indefinitely.
The Mayor responded that both options were both somewhat hard lined with respect to the consequences for the Race Track but there could be an option to carve out some of the land for other proposed uses and to still preserve the core acreage on which exists the outstanding biodiversity and bird migration.
Trustee Pompan commented that clearly prior administrations had turned to property into a dump and an eyesore and that it was Mayor McFadden who had closed the property and then Mayor Stebbins who had take the initiative to clean it up. He would like to see the Village make it difficult for future administrations to potentially revert back to such an unsightly purpose. He stated that he believed that if the property was turned into parkland, it would be possible, although extremely difficult, to reverse this classification and retain possession of the land. He asked Village Attorney Rick Golden for his input on this.
Mr. Golden commented that while a parkland classification could be reversed, it would be extremely difficult and would require a tremendous effort, as the New York State Legislature would need to overturn the classification.
Trustee Hansen stated that the Race Track had been in the Village and has had various different uses over the last 100 years. While he does not know what the future use is going to be, he does not want to see it put into an outside trust. There is no current threat to the land and he does not like the idea of putting the land into outside hands.
The Mayor reiterated that over time the biodiversity has taken off on the property, with three different types of soil composition, and rare plants etc. In his view, to even consider the idea of turning the property back into a race track or any other such use would completely disregard that natural change. He also favors the idea of putting the “park” back into Tuxedo Park by providing an area for passive enjoyment by residents. Additionally, he pointed out the potential educational use of the land by Tuxedo Park School. Once again he suggested segmenting the land and allowing different uses on some of it while preserving some of it.
Trustee Wilson expressed concern with the idea of a small Board made up of only 5 people making this decision for the Village. He also expressed concern with allowing outside organizations, such as O.C.L.T., to have influence and/or control over village land and he wondered if a similar group could be assembled inside the Village with its own residents.
Trustee Hansen commented that the small board of 5 people is made up of elected officials that represent the Village. If the public has an issue with their decision they can come and formally object.
Rick Golden commented that if they so chose, the Board could make a public hearing mandatory before they make a decision.
Trustee Hansen reiterated his belief that there is no current threat to the land and that the option of doing nothing should be considered.
Trustee Pompan commented that he didn’t understand Trustee Hansen’s comments about threat, as the only potential threat would come from future Boards. In his view, what the Board is attempting to accomplish is risk management.
Trustee Hansen responded by saying that the land is owned by the residents and its use can only be altered by a vote of the Board.
Trustee Zgonena commented that he found it regrettable that it was necessary for him to offer an opinion on this issue as in his view, it is not an issue. That being said, his view is that the land belongs to the community and it is not in the purview of the Board to make this determination. No studies have been presented with current or future needs, alternates or anything else. No competitive process has been selected for O.C.L.T.. Personally, he feels the track should be used in a very different manor, but he declined to elaborate. Things have been creatively adapted for generations and he sees no reason to change. A key and pivotal argument in the Gate litigation is that there is no public purpose served by having various people inside the gates. He feels that no matter how strong legal or board opinions are that he would trust the community’s future on any opinion at all. He thinks the Village has won a hard won battle and has paid with a lot of money time and intellectual capital and he has no interest in risking that.
The Mayor responded that the land could be restricted for use by only Village residents and their guests
Trustee Zgonena responded that with all due respect, Mayor Stebbins would no longer be in office in two months and in a year or two or five things would be very different. When people sue, they can say whatever they want. Whether or not a suit has standing, it can still be filed and it must be answered and it will take money and time to work through the issues. The discovery process of a suit brings up other issues. He has no interest in creating additional risks. He believes the land is beautiful and does not want to see it disturbed however he believes that changing the stated use in this way could compromise the Village in the future.
Mayor Stebbins responded that the Village won the current lawsuit and they have a Federal Court opinion, which defines the terms for the ongoing nature of the Village’s restricted roads. This area of the Village would be restricted to the same people who have the authority to access the Village, therefore it is congruent with the lawsuit. Additionally, he pointed out that there had been a community survey, which indicated that majority of residents; wish to see the property left as it is.
Trustee Hansen agreed, however he stated that Trustee Zgonena had made an excellent point when he said that changing the use of the property by making it public, or creating the semblance of a public park on privately owned land, would change the nature of the situation and could open the Village open to more litigation. Ultimately, the Village might be able to win such litigation, but why expose them to the risk?
Trustee Zgonena suggested the possibility of forming a Sanctuary Club or some such organization to help preserve the property but reiterated his view that he could not get behind the idea of sacrificing control of the property.
The Mayor responded that this was an interesting idea and that he would explore the ramifications of it.
The conversation was then deferred to executive session.
Review Draft of new tree Legislation – Local Law introductory #2 of 2011:
Trustee Hansen suggested that the current Board should review and discuss the law, get it ready for a vote and then leave it for the next Board to vote on it.
Trustee Pompan agreed that time was going to run out for this Board, but he did feel it would be worthwhile to review some of Trustee Hansen’s suggestions and likewise, he has a few of his own to offer.
Trustee Hansen then began to review his draft. He pointed out that the following changes:
Based on an average lot size of 2 acres. Residents should be allowed to remove 1 tree per 1/2 acre as opposed to 1 tree per acre as previously suggested.
The language accounts for fallen, dead, decaying trees and also those that the Village requires residents to remove.
Minimal notification required.
These points were discussed for about 15 minutes, after which Trustee Zgonena suggested that the Board conduct a specialized workshop to discuss the legislation as the hour was getting late and the Board still had Executive Session ahead of them.
Following some further brief comments, the discussion was deferred.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 18, 2011
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
a) Mayor and Deputy Mayor
b) Police, DPW and Water Dept.
c) Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. New Business
a) Approve Hiring a New Full Time Police Officer
b) Consider the Request for a Permit for THS's Event in September, 2011
c) Authorize Advertising for Bid for a New Excavator (18,500 lb. Class) and Set Bid Opening Date
d) Motion to Declare the Current DPW Excavator to be Surplus Equipment When New Excavator is
e) Motion to Declare 1999 Chevy DPW Dump Truck to be Surplus Equipment and to be
Advertised and Offer for Sale at an Estimated Price $15,000
f) Authorization to Donate Unused, Nil Value 1994 Jeep Cherokee to the Tuxedo Park Volunteer
Fire District for Training Purposes
g) Motion to Approve The Tuxedo Club's Request for an Annual Fireworks Display on July 3, 2011
h) Budget Line Item Reallocations
i) Motion to Transfer $150,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund
j) Motion to Transfer $120,000 of Water Fund Cash into its Capital Improvement Fund
k) Motion to Transfer $30,027 from the Water Fund to the General Fund
1) Village Boat Club License Fee
m) Hire Title Search Firm of Hardenburgh Abstract for the Village
n) Relevy Unpaid Village Residents Water Bills
7. Old Business
a) W&S Request for Additional Funds for Guide Rails and Clubhouse Rd. Water Main Projects
b) Vote to Approve Design and Materials for Guide Rails for Tuxedo Rd.
c) Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids and Setting a Bid Opening Date for Material
Purchase of Guide Rails for Tuxedo Road
d) Consider How Best to Protect and Preserve the Race Track
e) Review Draft ofNew Tree Legislation - Local Law Introductory #2 of2011
f) Consider Setting a Public Hearing Date for a New Local Law Introductory #2 of 20 11
8. Approve Minutes of Board Meeting for April 6 and April 20 of 20 11
9. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss Employee Matters, Litigation and Restricted Roads.
10. Audit of Claims
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 20, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on April 20, 2011. Trustee Zgonena was absent. Trustee Hansen was late.
The Mayor began his report by announcing that the budget vote for the Board of Education would take place on May 17. Current BOE chairwoman Joanne Vernon will also be seeking re-election at that time. The Mayor encouraged residents to educate themselves and become more involved with this process as roughly 50% of their taxes go to the school district.
The Village’s deer culling program was terminated early due to the rapid thaw, which resulted in deer not coming to the baiting sites. Because of this, the Village will pay significantly less for the program. A specific amount was not disclosed.
Plans to repair the Wee Wah Dam are in the works. Mayor Stebbins reported that the Board intended to review and approve bids for the project later that evening. Work will commence during the month of May and conclude in time to allow for a full swim season at the Wee Wah Beach Club.
The Mayor expressed his gratitude to DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss, Village Clerk Debbie Matthews and Building Inspector John Ledwith for their creative thinking and assistance with the Tuxedo Road guide rail project. They have determined that bidding out the materials and installation as two separate things, the Village can save roughly $55,000 on the project.
Police Chief Ken Sanford is continuing to interview candidates for a new full-time police officer. This position has been budgeted for.
On a financial note, the Village has spent 75.5% of the budget YTD with 88.8% of the fiscal year having passed. The Capital Budget maintained a balance of $970,000 at the end of March.
Finally, Mayor Stebbins announced that he would not seek re-election in June. He went on to say that he has enjoyed working with everyone and that he feels much has been accomplished over the past four years. Commenting that success can be judged by accomplishment, he wished his successor, whoever that may be, well and expressed his gratitude to the Village Management Team (namely John Ledwith, Debbie Matthews, Jeff Voss and Chief Sanford) for their hard work in running the Village for the last 4 years as well their support of him as Mayor.
Deputy Mayor Report:
Deputy Mayor Pompan offered expressed his personal gratitude to Mayor Stebbins for his years of service.
He then announced that having received very few complaints, the tentative budget was ready for Board approval. A few minor changes were made following the April 6 public hearing and these would be reviewed prior to the vote.
Mayor Stebbins complemented Chief Budget Officer Pompan on the letter he had written residents outlining the budget, and suggested that this may well have been the reason for the lack of complaints and timid public hearing.
Following is the Police report for the month of March:
Non Criminal complaints - 38
Criminal complaints - 2 (both closed by arrest)
Property damage accidents - 2
Traffic tickets - 37
Fire alarms - 2
Intrusion alarms - 3
Medical calls - 2
Assists provided to the Town of Tuxedo police - 2
Assisted received from the Town of tuxedo Police - 2
Additionally, 8463 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
As DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was absent, no report was given.
Water and Building Department Reports:
Click here to review a copy of the monthly reports from both the Building and Water Departments as presented by John Ledwith.
On behalf of the Village Improvement Advisory Committee, Alan Heywood reported that the group is continuing their year-long attempt to work with Orange and Rockland in having several dead and potentially hazardous trees removed from spots along Tuxedo and East Lake Roads. The Utility company keeps assuring the VIAC that they will come and remove the trees, but have not done so to date.
Dena Steele announced that Bear Season has officially begun and commented that she hah had her first sighting of a giant black bear in her own back yard. She informed the Board that the Bear Society would be providing the Village with informative pamphlets entitled “Living with Bears” and expressed her desire to see these included in the next Village mailing. The DEC has passed a new regulation that expressly prohibits feeding black bears or baiting them with either garbage or birdseed. Ms. Steele has spoken with Chief Sanford and he is aware of this. She strongly urged weekend residents to make use of the bear-proof dumpster located at the Village Office.
Sally Sonne inquired with regard to the recently terminated deer-culling program, specifically what was done and what the Village had paid for. The Mayor responded that he was about to begin the process of negotiating payment. Mrs. Sonne replied that it was her understanding through a letter she had received from White Buffalo, that only 10 deer had been removed and in her view this should not cost much money. Mayor Stebbins replied that the number of deer removed did not determine the cost and that it was more of a time focused effort/measure. Mrs. Sonne commented that she hoped the Mayor would let Village residents know how many deer had been taken and how much money the service had cost. The Mayor replied that Mrs. Sonne had in effect just given residents 1/2 of that information by quoting her White Buffalo letter.
Kathy Norris made the following remarks to Mayor Stebbins:
You have done an amazing job in the last few years as our Mayor as have you Gary Pompan. You got us a double A S&P rating for the $1,500,000 bond to fix the dams, settle the DEC lawsuit, installed two new water mains on East Lake Road and Clubhouse Road, engineer and design and finance the new guard rails on the main road, etc. It’s an old custom in Tuxedo Park that when you trust your Mayor and Board of Trustees you don’t bother to go to the Board meetings as there is nothing to complain about. The absence of complaints is a sign of true love and you are truly loved and your accomplishments are very appreciated and I am asking you to run for Mayor again. Please reconsider.
Alan Heywood echoed these sentiments, expressing his gratitude and commenting that the Mayor had inherited a turbulent load when he took office but under his leadership the Village had returned to normal standings. Mr. Heywood also recognized Deputy Mayor Pompan for his solid work on the budget and commented that by working so well together the Board had accomplished a lot. He hopes to see this trend continue moving forward.
Mayor Stebins thanked both Ms. Norris and Mr. Heywood for their remarks.
Review and Approve FY 2012 Budget:
The revised Tentative Budget was presented and discussed. Click here to view a copy of this report. Mayor Stebbins briefly highlighted the following changes in the General Fund:
An additional $8,500 budgeted for asphalt because the Village roads took such a beating this past winter
A reduction of $32,000 for machinery as 1/2 the cost of an $80,000 excavator can be put over to the Water Department. Machinery costs are now budgeted at $98,000, which includes $28,000 for a new DPW truck with plough, $30,000 for a new sewer jet (which is owned jointly with the Town of Tuxedo) and $40,000 for the excavator.
An additional $6,400 to cover street cleaning as well as part-time summer help for the DPW
He went on to point out the following changes in the Water Fund:
An additional $10,000 has been budgeted for engineering costs associated with replacing the pump station located on Mountain Farm Road.
An additional $40,000 for 1/2 of the excavator as mentioned earlier.
An additional $27,000 to balance revenues and expenses.
Chief Budget Officer Pompan briefly reviewed the difference between the General Fund and the Water Fund, explaining that because the Water Department supplies services to the Hamlet, law requires that the two funds be separate and that the Village must be extremely careful that only water expenses be attributed to that fund. Surplus cannot be allocated to the General Fund.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Modified Tentative Budget as presented.
The Mayor then reviewed the Capital Budget, totaling $970,000. This can be broken down as follows:
Club House Road Water Main Project - $190,000
Tuxedo Lake Da,m - $50,000 (new stop logs and culvert repairs)
Wee Wah Dam Repairs - $45,000
Wee Wah Dam Engineering and Permitting Expenses - $75,000
Water Mains - $80,000
SSES - $100,000 (these sewer main repairs are phase two of the I & I reduction process)
Tuxedo Road Guide Rails - $385,000
This leaves $45,000, which the Mayor suggested might be used for engineering of a new DPW facility, however, there are still many details to be worked out with that project.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Capital Budget.
Approve Tuxedo Park School’s Request to Stock Trout in Tuxedo Lake:
Each year on Earth Day (April 22) The Tuxedo Park school requests permission to set between 200 and 250 10 -15 inch trout free in Tuxedo Lake. The fish come from a good, reliable source. Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the annual request.
Discuss Village Website Upgrade and Approve Related Costs:
Trustee Wilson lead the discussion on potential changes and upgrades to the Village Website. Commenting that it will be important to preserve the traditional aspects of the site that currently exist, he suggested that some newer, innovative features could be added to grove up the site. For example, he mentioned the possibility of paying Village taxes and water bills online. He also talked about creating secure levels to the site, accessible by passwords, which could provide ways for government boards and committees to communicate more easily and with privacy. He also mentioned the possibility of streaming Trustee meetings live through the site. Finally, he commented that adding easier to recognize, shorter domain names, such as tuxedopk.gov or vtp.gov would make the site easier to access, especially from hand held devices such as smart phones.
Sally Sonne suggested that all approved Board minutes should be posted to the website as soon as possible after they have been approved.
Trustee Wilson agreed. He further commented that he had also been researching the possibility of switching hosting companies, which might make the process of posting material faster and easier.
Alan Yassky inquired as to how many hits the current Village website receives and wondered if by upgrading the site the Village would be catering to a only a few residents or a great many. He commented that the cost of the upgrade and redesign might not be worth it if only a few people are visiting the site on a regular basis.
Trustee Wilson responded that the preliminary estimated cost was roughly $2,500.
Trustee Pompan commented that generally speaking the Board feels that while the Village currently maintains a website run by volunteers, they would like to make it more modern and possibly use it as a marketing document to promote the historic value of the community. He further commented that there have been conflicts within the Village in the past that have been publicized on other websites and while the information in these publications may be informative to residents, it is not necessarily information that the Village wants projected to the world.
Trustee Wilson responded that there are ways to ensure a primary listing with search engines.
Trustee Pompan then stated that in his view the Board must do their homework by determining fixed costs and also examining the legalities in terms of site content, etc..
He commented that what Trustee Wilson had proposed was a step in the right direction and he suggested that the he recruit a volunteer to help as the project moves forward.
Mayor Stebbins agreed, reiterating the need to know what the associated costs would be. He stated that it would be important to begin with a basic purpose for the site and build on that purpose as the site grows. He suggested that meeting agendas and minutes should be the first basic building block in that process.
Alan Heywood agreed with the Mayor. He wondered whether the costs would justify the means. He stressed the importance of keeping information up to date and fresh in order to maintain a solid readership and pointed to the TPFYI as a successful example of this practice.
Village Webmaster Lesley Devore pointed out that because it is a government site, the Village website could never be as “fun” as TPFYI.
Again, the Mayor pointed out that the current Village site is run by volunteers. He wondered whether there would be a volunteer willing to take on the burden of the new site or whether the Village would have to pay somebody to do it.
Trustee Pompan suggested that over the next several weeks Trustee Wilson should corral the team and put together a list of what can and cannot be done legally. He recommended speaking with the former Website Committee Chair, Ed Stroz with regard to content when putting together this list. Next, costs must be compared so that the Board can determine how to move forward.
Appoint Election Inspectors:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring election inspector Theodora Darling a a rate of $12.50 per hour as well as Chief Election Inspector Nils Gerling at a rate of $14.50 per hour for the Village Election to take place on June 21, 2011.
Approve the Village Boat Club License Agreement:
The Mayor acknowledged that the Village Boat Club has done a superb job with improving and maintaining their facilities, having invested approximately $53,000 into the property. However, the license agreement must now be updated and standardized. He feels that when members sign in, they must acknowledge the risks and agree not to sue the Village. He reminded the Board that general liability was carried under the Villages insurance plan as the Club is only available to Village residents.
Trustee Pompan wondered whether the resident only restriction was always complied with and if not, would the Village be liable if something were to happen.
The Mayor responded that the members will be assuming the liability for themselves and their guests. Club rules dictate that a club member must accompany guests at all times.
Following this discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of a new two-year agreement.
Discuss Solutions for Poor Cell Phone Service in the Village:
Cell phone service within the Village is consistently and uniformly bad. The Trustees discussed the idea of pursuing various solutions. Trustee Pompan wondered if the carriers themselves might provide solutions at their cost. Trustee Wilson reported having met with a wifi company the previous summer at which point he was told there was nothing that could be done. However, since that time television has gone digital and as a result frequencies have opened up and there now exists a possibility that the Village can move ahead with super wifi. Following some further discussion, the Board agreed to table the discussion until their next meeting.
Discuss timing & Amount for Possible New Insurance of Long Term Debt:
Mayor Stebbins opened the discussion by outlining multiple infrastructure projects that still need to be completed and their estimated costs as follows:
East Village Water Main – A water main running under Route 17 via a tunnel near the Chase bank is in serious disrepair. Period flooding is problematic. Repairs are estimated at $750,000
Upper club house Road Water Main – The water main replacement program currently underway on a portion of Club House Road must be extended in order to fully complete the project and properly link/loop the main back into the system. Estimated cost is $250,000.
The Wee Wah Dam – Construction and repairs could easily cost the Village $1,000,000. The dam has been breached and if not for the lowering of the lake level, the seasonally high water level combined with the inflow from Warwick Brook would have water levels 1 foot above road level. The increase through-put of water in the existing structure is used to determine the level of overtopping. The Village is very fortunate that the DEC has chosen not to bundle both dams together as a system of dams. Engineers have suggested, among other things, armoring the downside of the dam at a cost of $700,000.
New DPW Facility – The old ice house has never been the ideal location for the Village DPW and as time goes on and more and more things fall into disrepair, the construction of a new facility must be seriously considered. While Village engineers have quoted the Village roughly $4,000,000 for the project, several of the trustees believe the building can be constructed for closer to $1.5 million. The Village has been talking with various appropriate people to determine how to move forward. Location is also an issue. Ideally the new building would be constructed next to the sewer plant, but the Village does not own the necessary land and this will need to be negotiated before they can even consider siting.
All of these projects combined total $3.5 million. Currently, 8.5% of the Village budget is dedicated to debt service. Unfortunately, since the time when the Village initially issued $1.5 million of debt service over 20 years at 3.7%, rates have gone up. While the Village does have an AA+ rating, if they were to issue an additional $2.5 million, the percentage of Village budget dedicated to debt service would rise to 12 %. These figures include amortization. The Mayor worries that taking on more fixed costs in a weak economy might not be the right thing to do.
Trustee Pompan echoed these concerns and wondered whether or not it would be prudent for the village to take on more debt in the current economic environment. With that said, he also commented that clearly there are major projects within the Village that have been continually deferred and now they must be dealt with. It would be ideal if the village could deal with them on their own terms.
Mayor Stebbins reminded the Board that one of the reasons they had received such a favorable rate when issuing debt service last year was because of Build America Bonds, which are no longer available.
He suggested that the DPW excavator could be easily financed with 5 year equipment notes at 2.7%.
Trustee Pompan agreed.
Trustee Wilson suggested that the Board needed to prioritize projects. It was agreed that the Wee Wah dam should be the first priority followed by the East Village water main, the DPW facility and finally, the Upper Club House road water main.
There followed a discussion about how to split borrowing for the water main projects between the Village and the Water Department.
After this, it was agreed that the Board would investigate a new 20-year debt service for a lesser amount to cover the two top priority projects at roughly $1.7 million.
The Board also voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the equipment notes to cover the cost of the DPW excavator at a rate of 2.78% as previously discussed.
Alan Heywood asked the Mayor if in his next newsletter he would inform residents what affect this type of borrowing would have on Village taxes.
Trustee Wilson supported this idea and also suggested including a descriptive list of the projects at hand.
Review Compliance and consider Approving House Tours for the Tuxedo Historical Society and the events Sponsored by Tuxedo Performing Arts group:
With the impending adoption of Local Law Introductory #1 of 2011 regarding modifications to Village code relating to home occupation, the Board has had to closely examine areas of the code for pertaining issues that require Board attention. One such area is the use of private homes in the Village for events by the Tuxedo Performing Arts Group as well as the Tuxedo Historical Society. Under the new law, such events would be non-compliant without prior written permission from the Broad. Mayor Stebbins recommended approval apologized to both organizations, commenting that the recent litigation against the Village is the reason behind the need for more stringent regulations. He went on to say that moving forward the Board might want to talk with both organizations about reshaping their activities. He then reiterated that the appearance of this item on the agenda was driven by circumstance and not choice and assured both groups that the Board is sensitive to what they are trying to do and feels that they both have merit.
Sally Sonne wondered how these regulations would impact other organizations or groups in the Village such as the Tuxedo Park School or the Tuxedo Club. Both institutions host events and fundraisers that bring non-residents into the Village.
Alan Yassky wondered if the new law would require the Club to seek a permit for every wedding that takes place there. He expressed some concern with consistency and enforcement, commenting that uniformity for all organizations will be important.
Mayor Stebbins agreed and assured Mr. Yassky that the Board would be receiving legal advise from their attorney on this subject later in the evening.
Meg Vaught inquired as to the legality of TPAG under the new law, pointing out that the organization maintains a residential address and regularly brings non-residents into the Village for its events.
Trustee Wilson responded that TPAG would be grandfathered.
Village Attorney Rick Golden commented that very few things actually qualify as Home Occupations by definition and that neither the Club nor the school will fall into that category.
Mayor Stebbins then suggested deferring the conversation to an attorney/client executive session and the discussion was brought to a close.
Review and Accept the best Bid to repair the Wee Wah Dam Spillway:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting a bid from Legacy Stone Works for $22,500.
Authorize Public bids by Setting a New Date for Advertising the Tuxedo Road Guide Rail Project and bid opening Date:
Once again, the Mayor reported that the bidding for this project would be broken into two bids; one for materials and the other for labor. Separating the bidding in this way should save the Village roughly $55,000! As it will take 6 to 8 weeks for materials to be manufactured, it is necessary to get this bid out as soon as possible. The mayor recommended an ad date of April 27, with an opening bid date of May 11.
Having reviewed the proposed materials, Trustee Wilson wondered whether it was prudent in this economic climate for the Village to spend extra money for rounded rails as preferred by the BAR, or if it would make more sense to go with the flat ones. He agreed that the rounded rails were better looking, however he reminded the Board of their earlier decision to issue another $1.75 million in debt service and suggested that perhaps some money could be saved here.
The Mayor replied that because the guide rails are located at the entryway to the Park they provide a first impression for the community and so aesthetics are, in his view, important.
Trustee Pompan asked the Mayor if the decision to go with the rounded rails was based solely on the BAR’s recommendation and if so whether their decision was rooted in aesthetics or safety.
Mayor Stebbins responded that, yes, it was the BAR’s recommendation that had determined the type of railing and that the reason for the extra expense was that the rails must be milled.
Again, Trustee Wilson commented that he understood why the BAR had made the choice they did, however given the current budget issues he wondered whether the flat rails would be adequate. He inquired as to whether or nor the BAR had been made privy to the budget constraints.
Mayor Stebbins replied that they had been given a budget of $300,000.
The recommended rails will cost $385,000.
Trustee Wilson commented that should they decide to go with the flat rails instead, the saved money could be used to buy more rails for repair and replacement down the line. He stated that ideally, guide rails should simply blend in and that what exists currently is an eye sore, which is why it stands out. Once again he said that if the Village had a surplus of money to spend he would be in favor of the best looking option, however he wondered if aesthetics were worth $80.000 in this case.
Trustee Pompan suggested that the Board look at samples of both railings and it was agreed that they would do so.
Consider Actions Necessary to Effect a Conservation Easement on the Race Track Area:
The racetrack area is an undeniable asset to the Village. Its’ soil composition allows for a unique array of plant life to grow there. Mayor Stebbins has suggested that there is arguably no other habitat quite like it in New York State. Therefore, the Village would like to seriously consider legally preserving it. Two methods for doing so were outlined. The first would be to designate the area as New York State parkland. The second would be to seek a conservation easement and give the land over to the Orange County Land Trust.
Alan Yassky commented that once an easement is placed on the property, the Village would lose its right to make any future decisions about it. He asked the Board why they would want to encumber the community and future Boards with this potential burden. He wondered why they couldn’t just keep the property and maintain it as they saw fit.
Trustee Wilson agreed and stated that in his view they should not give control over to another entity.
The Mayor stated that either option would allow the Village to revert to the current state.
Village Attorney Rick Golden validated this claim, although he said it would not be easy to do so.
Trustee Pompan commented that he agreed that the property was a unique asset to the Park and from a legacy perspective he would like to see it preserved in a way that would make it difficult to develop there moving forward. His general inclination would be to give it to the Orange County Land Trust rather than the State,
There was a somewhat lengthy conversation with regard to permitted use of the property and how each classification (Parkland vs. Easement) would affect those uses. As it was clear that the Board was in agreement with regard to the fundamental issue at hand, it was agreed that they would further explore both options in order to determine how they would properly implement their preference for the future.
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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 20, 2011
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
• Mayor and Deputy Mayor
• Police, DPW and Water Dept.
• Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. Review and Approve FY 2012 Budget
7. New Business
• Approve Tuxedo Park School's Request to Stock Trout in Tuxedo Lake
• Authorize Public Bids by Setting a Date for Advertising Mt. Farm Road Pump Station
Project and a Bid Opening Date
• Discuss Village Website Upgrade and Approve Related Costs
• Appoint Election Inspectors
• Approve the Village Boat Club License Agreement
• Discuss Solutions for Poor Cell Phone Service in the Village
• Discuss Timing & Amount for Possible New Issuance of Long Term Debt
• Review Compliance and Consider Approving House Tours for the Tuxedo Historical Society
and the Events Sponsored by Tuxedo Performing Arts Group
• Propose a new Local Law on Residential Back Flow Preventers Consistent with NYS
8. Old Business
• Resolution to Approve Local Law Introductory #1 of 2011 Regarding Modifications to Village
Code Relating to Home Occupation
• Review & Accept the Best Bid to Repair the Wee Wah Dam Spillway
• Authorize Public Bids by Setting a New Date for Advertising the Tuxedo Road Guide Rail
Project and a Bid Opening Date
• Consider Actions Necessary to Effect a Conservation Easement on the Race Track Area
9. Approve Minutes of Board Meeting on March 16, 2011
10. Adjourn to Attorney-Client Meeting
11. Audit of Claims
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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 6, 2011
The Village Board met 0n April 6 for the primary purpose conducting a Public Hearing on the tentative budget for the 2012 fiscal year, although subsidiary items, mainly of a pressing nature, were included in the Agenda.
With the exception of Deputy Mayor Pompan, all Board members were present. Prior to the meeting, in a letter to all Village property owners, Mr. Pompan in his role as Chief Budget Officer had described the financial issues confronting the Village residents and the proposed impact such would have on real estate taxes. Click here to read Mr. Pompan’s letter.
Mayor Stebbins opened the meeting by briefly describing the essential features of the budget. There would be a minor reduction in the total of ‘Other Reserves’ and because of the relatively moribund real estate market, income from mortgages, via the State, would decrease. On the expense side, legal costs were expected to decline to $150k; it was expected that a new excavator would cost $100k, the allocation of employee pension costs, over which the village has no control, would rise by $50k. Debt service costs would rise by about $25k, entirely arising from the successful bond issue of $1.5m in 2010.
There would be no budget increase in Village water rates. The Mayor concluded by saying that the Board had recently completed a thorough review of assessed property valuations upon which real estate taxes were based, resulting in an across the board reduction of 12%. Regardless of the latter and the Board’s determination to keep tax increases to a minimum, at the end of the day, the Village still has to meet its obligations.
Trustee Zgonena commented that every item within the budget had been closely scrutinized, but there is ‘no spare flesh’. It palls that we continue to receive increased ‘allocations’ from Albany over which we have little or no control.
The public hearing was then opened.
Steve Maurer enquired why a charge was incurred to the Town in respect of sewer charges and what was the likely impact on costs for the imminent repairs to the Wee Wah dam. Responding the Mayor said that approx 10 properties within the village, because of their location were tied into the town sewer system incurring the charge. On the Wee Wah the necessary repairs were likely to cost about $30/50,000 and that this matter would be discussed in detail later in the meeting. The problem needed to be resolved now!
Chris Sonne asked whether the village was likely to incur significant further expense on the Tuxedo lake dam. The Mayor responded saying that there was no further expense likely, other than that accruing to the Tuxedo Club. At some time in the not too distant future, it would be necessary to replace the ‘stop logs’ but at relatively minor cost. Mr. Sonne then enquired about usage of last year’s bond funds on the lake and the Mayor said that to date, some $370K had been expended on the lake dam repairs etc.
Jim Hays asked whether the funds due to the Village from the developers of Sterling Place were still due. The Mayor responded that the Village would eventually receive $350k from that source and that he remained in contact with Mr Heimbach. Mr. Hays inquired as to why the anticipated costs for garbage removal were slightly down. The Mayor said that the garbage contract was at the ‘option to renew’ stage and the contractor had agreed to a minor cost reduction, reflective of the stress in the economy.
On the subject of the Water Fund, Peter Regna asked whether any progress was being made in locating the source of physical water loss, which can represent up to 50% of the total. Also, whether any accruing surplus funds in the Water Fund could be used to support the general budget? The Mayor responded that efforts continue to identify the causes of the water loss, which has been a continuing effort for a long time.
Mr Regna then enquired about progress on replacing the Tuxedo Rd guide rail for which $300k had been already allocated. The Mayor responded that the matter had been reviewed by the BAR and that their “preferred” solution would likely cost in the region of $385k. The guide rail continues to be the subject of adverse criticism by both residents, prospective residents & visitors and it generally creates a bad impression/image for the Village. It was on the agenda for further discussion later in the meeting.
Jim Hays then asked about plans to relocate the DPW shed. The mayor responded saying that any relocation at the sewage plant area would require extra space but that until the matter was resolved, there were funds in the budget to repaint the present property.
There being no other questions, the blic hearing was closed at 8.20 pm. It is anticipated that the budget will be formally approved by the Board at the April 20 monthly meeting.
The Board unanimously approved further changes/additions to the permit for Donald Hansen involving the porch, patio and retaining walls.
The Board unanimously approved an agreement between the Village and the Tuxedo Club concerning the Tuxedo Lake Dam. The agreement had been heavily negotiated over the last 1-2 years and it essentially leaves the Village with sole responsibility for the stop logs and secondary evacuation pipe. All other responsibilities for the dam accrue to the Club.
House at Water Plant.
The Board unanimously approved expenditure of $2,000 for partial refurbishment of the property.
DPW Part Time Employees.
The Board unanimously approved the employment of two persons over the summer months.
Wee Wah Dam Repairs.
During the winter months, the dam has sprung more leaks needing prompt repair. The level of water in the lake has been substantially reduced in order for a full assessment to be made by the Village engineer and consultants. As a consequence, the Beach Club swimming season has been jeopardized and the Board would want to avoid loss of this facility if possible. The engineers etc recommend that the work is put in hand sooner than later. The Village attorney has determined that in circumstances such as this, involving specialist skills, the law allows an exception to the public bidding process. The anticipated cost of repairs is likely between $30/50k and after some discussion, the Board unanimously resolved to seek bids from three selected specialists. The bid invitation would require submission by April 20, the contract approved by the Board on that date with the work to be completed in the 2nd/3rd week of May, following which the lake would be refilled in order to allow swimming at the earliest date thereafter.
Tuxedo Road Guide Rail
After many years of debate and consideration by various committees, the BAR has now given its approval to replacement. The guide rails run for about 2750 feet and BAR has agreed replacement with rounded wooden rails with steel backing. The likely total cost is in the region of $385k.
After some discussion of all related issues including durability & maintenance, the Board unanimously resolved to seek bids from qualified contractors. The bid documents will be released by April 13, with submission by April 27 and allocation shortly after. Hopefully the work will be completed by early/mid summer.
DPW Truck Finance
The Board unanimously approved a financing agreement with Bank of America in the amount of $132k at 2.78% pa.
Clubhouse Road Water Line
The Board unanimously approved change orders totaling $11.9k for additional equipment etc
Orange County Energy Efficiency Conservation Grant for $6299
Was unanimously approved.
The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 9.35 pm.
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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 6, 2011
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Public Hearing on the Tentative Budget for the New 2012 Fiscal Year of the
Village of Tuxedo Park
4. Other Business
• Building Permits
• Approve the Village & The Tuxedo Club Agreement Concerning the Tuxedo
• Approve $2,000 for Refurbishment of the House at the Water Plant
• Approve Hiring two Part Time Summer Employees for the DPW
• Wee Wah Dam Repairs
• Approve a Reduced License Fee Payable by the Wee Wah Beach Club for a
Reduced Swim Season as Shall be Negotiated
• Approve Orange County Energy Efficiency Conservation Grant of $6,299 to
5. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss Legal Issues relating to Village
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 16, 2010
The Village Board of Trustees met on March 16, 2011 at 7:30pm. Trustee Hansen was absent.
The codeRED emergency alert system has been successfully launched and was put to the test during the recent flooding, when Route 17 in both directions was closed. The Village has received many positive responses from residents with regard to the system and the Mayor expressed his gratitude to Trustee Wilson for researching and helping to bring this valuable service to the Village.
The Village has received both deer baiting and deer culling permits from the DEC, however the process has been delayed due to weather. The Mayor expects operations to begin shortly.
The spillway located at the Wee Wah dam is in need of serious repair. Mayor Stebbins announced that this would be discussed in greater detail later in the meeting.
Assessment reviews have been completed and mailed out. The Village is working hard to determine what their operating expenses will be while putting together the 2011/2012 fiscal budget. It is the combination of property value and the budget that determine tax rates in June.
The Club House Road water main project will resume shortly. This project was originally slated to take place in the fall of 2010, but was delayed due to a combination of bad weather and delays in finishing the West Lake Road water main project.
Regarding the level of Tuxedo Lake, the Mayor reported that repairs are underway at the dam spillway and once they have been completed, the lake will be refilled to its normal level.
Deputy Mayor Report:
Deputy Mayor Gary Pompan reported that the grievance period has officially ended and that the Board is now hard at work on the budget. The next step is for the Board to hold an executive session in order to review the tentative budget and once this has been done, a public hearing will be set at which said budget will be presented to the public.
The Deputy Mayor then offered his congratulations to Village Police Chief Ken Sanford, whose wife gave birth to twins Luke and Lydia on March 11.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that he had been out to look at the recently purchased Navistar truck at the body shop and things are progressing well. He is hopeful that the truck will be delivered soon.
The crack in the Warwick Brick Bridge, located on the North end of the Wee Wah is getting worse. Superintendent Voss advised the Board that something must be done soon. Mayor Stebbins commented that the Village did have somebody lined up to complete this work, but services had fallen through.
Two overhead doors at the DPW facility were in need of replacement and after collecting three different prices ranging from $3,800 to over $5,000, the Superintendent purchased new ones at a cost of $3,891.
The Village has applied for free leak detection service for the water and sewer lines through Orange County Water and Sewer and this service is scheduled to begin on either March 17 or March 18.
The Mayor commented that there is money budgeted into the capital fund for the Water Department and he inquired as to how it might be spent. The superintendent responded that the pump station located on Mountain Farm Road is in serious disrepair. While it is only run two times a week, the problems there have been escalating for quite some time and at this point, band-aid options are limited. Mayor Stebbins asked the Superintendent whether the project would involve pump replacement or re-engineering. The superintendent responded that it would likely need to be re-engineered and that he had already asked Rich Messer to take a look at it.
Finally, Mayor Stebbins inquired about the timing of road repairs and road striping. Superintendent Voss responded that the department’s primary focus would be on filling in the major potholes and getting the roads ready to be striped. While there is a possibility that the striping may take place prior to Memorial Day, which is preferred, it is likely that it will not happen until June.
Police chief Ken Sanford was absent, however, the following was submitted for the month of February:
Non Criminal complaints - 41
Criminal complaints - 2
Closed by arrest - 2
Accidents - property damage - 1
Traffic Tickets - 13
Fire alarms - 2
Intrusion alarms - 3
Medical calls - 2
Assisted Town Police - 5
Assisted BY Town Police - 2
Additionally, 7,662 non-tagged Vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
Water and Building Departments:
Click here to view a copy of the monthly report.
Village Improvement Advisory Committee: On behalf of the V.I.A.C., Alan Heywood reported that Orange and Rockland will reportedly begin removing designated dead trees from Tuxedo Road and East Lake Road some time within the next two weeks. Additionally, the committee is hopeful that they will complete their audit of streetlights in the near future. If possible, they would like to assist the DPW in identifying specific “bad spots” on the Village roads that are in need of repair by compiling and submitting a list of said spots. Finally, the committee would love to see greater participation from the Village community in identifying issues that they should address. They are also looking for new members.
Jim Hays inquired as to the status of the Village’s I and I project. (Inflow and Infiltration)
Mayor Stebbins informed him that the project was underway and that the testing phase had been completed. Village Engineers Westin and Sampson broke the Village out into twelve subsections, which they then measured under various conditions. The result was that they were able to identify key areas that, if addressed, would help to significantly alleviate I and I issues by up to 40%.
Mr. Hays inquired if and when the Village intended to fix these problems.
The mayor responded that the next phase of the project would take place in the coming fiscal year and assured Mr. Hays that they were paying close attention to the situation, as is the DEC.
Mr. Hays then asked about the DPW shed, commenting that funds had been allocated in last years budget for roof repairs and painting, however painting has not yet taken place. Mayor Stebbins replied that the roof had been repaired and that painting will also take place in the coming year.
Public Hearing on Proposed Local Law Introductory #1 of 2011 Regarding Modifications to Village Code Relating to Home Occupation:
Mayor Stebbins opened the public hearing on Local Law Introductory #1 regarding modifications to the Village Code relating to home occupation. He explained that the issue of home occupation has taken on increased importance and the Board has spent a great deal of time studying it as it relates to litigation issues linked to the restricted status of the Village roads. While the new legislation prohibits home occupation use within the Village, the Mayor explained that those currently existing would be grandfathered.
Nancy Hays asked for further clarification commenting that she was confused and didn’t understand the law in its entirety. Specifically, she inquired about individuals who work from computers in their home and whether or not this practice would still be allowed.
Mayor Stebbins explained that the proposed legislation is aimed at soul source providers working out of their homes and not at individuals working from home offices.
Trustee Pompan reiterated this point, commenting that the purpose was to eliminate commercial businesses that might have associated clientele or patients coming in and out of the Village.
Mrs. Hays responded that it was her understanding that the code as currently written already prohibited businesses with clientele.
Trustee Pompan explained that the code as currently written is contradictory and that the new legislation would clarify the Village’s intent.
Jim Hays asked whether or not non-profit businesses would be allowed.
The Mayor responded that they would not, however he reminded Mr. Hays that the law would be retrospective.
Dena Steele wondered whether or not existing businesses that would be grandfathered under the new legislation could be passed on to new ownership and was informed that they could not.
Alan Haywood asked inquired about TPFYI and whether it would be allowed to continue under the law.
Once again, Mayor Stebbins reminded him that the law would be prospective and that TPFYI would be grandfathered under it.
As there were no further comments, the public hearing was then closed.
Mayor Stebbins then explained that the Board would be unable to vote on the legislation that evening because the Orange County Planning Department had not been given a full 30 days to review and respond to it as is required, however a vote can be expected at the next meeting of the Board.
To review a copy of the law, click here.
Hire Ornamental Tree Service to Remove Trees on Wee Wah Dam Embankment:
The Board unanimously agreed to hire Ornamental Tree Service to remove two trees on located on the Wee Wah Dam embankment as well as several trees on East Lake road. Costs are not to exceed $5000 for three days of work.
Village Engineer’s Report:
Wee Wah Dam Repairs – The situation at the Wee Wah dam became dramatically worse during the recent flooding when stones in the spillway came dislodged. Repairs must be made in order to ensure the upcoming swim season. Mayor Stebbins reported having spoken to local stonemason Kristian Matthews, who has worked on the dam in the past, in an effort to determine what the repair costs might be. Mr. Matthews provided the Mayor with two potential solutions. The first, a band-aid with a life span of 1 to 2 years would cost roughly $44,000 and the second, a more thorough repair, which should last up to 8 years, has a price tag of $84,000. Regardless of which direction the Village takes, the Mayor commented that project overview is definitely needed in order to establish priorities and move forward. He cautioned that the Village’s listing as a Historic District might inhibit their ability to change the look of the dam when making repairs. Trustee Wilson stated that as the dam itself is not a contributing factor of the listing, he did not believe it would be an issue. Trustee Pompan inquired as to the urgency time-wise of making the repairs. Rich Messer responded that stop logs at the base of the dam could be removed right away, which would lower the level of the lake and take pressure of the dam. However in order to bring the water level up enough in order to ensure a swim season repairs would need to be made right away. Trustee Pompan responded that in his view, the swim season is irrelevant. The Village must do a solid and thorough job in making these repairs. He feels that $40-60,000 is a lot of money to spend on a band-aid, when more serious and costly repairs will be needed within a years time. Mayor Stebbins expressed his concern about further damage to the spillway and asked Mr. Messer what the time line for a full repair/redesign would be. He was informed that the process would probably take 6 to 9 months and would involve significant lowering of the lake. Trustee Zgonena commented that in his view, this work needs to be done ASAP and he feels the spillway should lowered permanently until repairs have been made. Trustee Pompan inquired as to why the process of repair would take 6 to 9 months and was informed that it had to do with the acquisition of the necessary permits. Mr. Messer further commented that in reviewing this project he has been focusing largely on saving the swim season and basing many of his suggestions on that. Trustee Pompan stated that if overall repairs were going to cost upwards of $100,000 or $150,000 he did not see the logic in squandering $60,000 on a band-aid for the sole purpose of saving the swim season. Trustee Zgonena suggested that the time had come for the Board to stop discussing the project and take immediate action. Commenting that in his view the situation is high risk, he stated that the necessary studies should be completed within the next two weeks. The Mayor responded that he felt it was important for the Board to have an overview in order to understand the different phases of the project and what they would cost. He wondered if it might be prudent to consider a total redesign. Trustee Pompan commented that if that were the case, the next two swim seasons would surely compromised as it could take up to a year of studies etc. after the level of the lake has been lowered before they are ready to begin the construction phase of the project. The Mayor stated that residents would surely be unhappy if the lake were empty for two years. Trustee Zgonena stated that he felt they should take the water level in the lake down completely, review the situation and then repair/refurbish the dam accordingly. Mr. Messer suggested that the Board should research another quote for the band-aid, suggesting that if put in place, the band-aid would allow the Village to get all of their “Ps and Qs” in place with hopes of beginning construction in the fall of 2012. Trustee Pompan agreed commenting that if the cost of said band-aid were in the $20,000 range, it might be a more realistic option. Trustee Zgonena wondered whether it might not be more sensible and cost effective to redesign the dam rather than to refurbish it and stated that in his view they should seriously consider “wiping the slate clean”. It was agreed that Mr. Messer would move forward with creating a report/overview of the project and in the meantime water levels in the lake would be lowered while the Village researches another estimate for the band-aid.
Club House Road Water Main Project - This project, originally slated to take place in the fall of 2010, is now slated to being on April 4 and will run through May 20. Mr. Messer explained that a temporary water system will be in stalled and will run down both sides of the road. Water will be supplied to the homes via spigots. The Mayor commented that the residents of Club House Road must be notified of the project’s start date immediately. He then inquired as to what the water pressure would be with the temporary system in place and was informed that it would probably be better, although residents would have to be careful about running multiple devices at one time.
Guide Rails for Tuxedo Road – The Board of Architectural Review was given the opportunity to review and comment on several different options as presented by Village engineers. The Mayor commented that he felt this process had gone somewhat awry in that their preference was for the most aesthetically pleasing choice and not necessarily the most practical or effective. Trustee Zgonena stated that in his view, this decision was not in the BAR’s purview and that bringing the project to them was merely a courtesy on the part of the Trustees. He asked Mr. Messer to outline what the specific requisites were from an engineering standpoint in order to assist them in making a determination. He agreed that the BAR’S preference of rounded wooden rails with wood-encased posts was the best looking option but wondered whether it was the safest. Mr. Messer responded that the wooden option was an acceptable choice. Trustee Wilson asked Mr. Messer to provide a maximum speed of impact that the wooden rails would be able to withhold. Mr. Messer responded 35 mph and the trustees agreed that this was too low. Mayor Stebbins expressed his concern about the structure of Tuxedo Road and suggested that eye beams might be the best option as opposed to posts as discussed. Trustee Zgonena stated that in his view the Board should rely heavily on their engineering firm to advise them as to the best option and make their decision based on that rather than the opinion of the BAR. Trustee Pompan inquired as to the start date for the project and was informed that it would probably begin on or around June 1.
DPW Facilities – The Board reviewed and discussed several different options for a new DPW facility as presented by Village Engineers. Trustee Zgonena commented that has an issue with the costs as proposed. He reported having carefully reviewed the numbers as well sharing the options as outlined with other professionals and they are all in agreement that Westin and Sampson’s proposed costs are more than double what they should be. Mr. Messer replied that the cost estimates provided in the report do not reflect what the actual costs of the project will be. Rather they are a guide based on average bid amounts from similar projects Westin and Sampson has worked on. Trustee Zgonena expressed further concern stating the current DPW facility is a money pit and that what the Village really needs is to construct a new facility quickly. However, the high numbers associated with the project make it seem unattainable which is why it continues to be shelved. He suggested that a basic, warehouse type of structure consisting of a concrete pad and a steel structure could be constructed for roughly $1,000,000 as opposed to the $5,000,000 price tag in Westin and Sampson’s report. Mr. Messer replied that the elevated costs come from the individual features that the building will need to have in order to serve the DPW’s needs. Trustee Zgonena responded that features can always be added on at a later date. The numbers as proposed by Westin and Sampson break down to a cost of $300 per foot and he believes the work can be done for $60-$100 a foot. He then reported that he and DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss had recently visited the Town of Tuxedo DPW and that this facility, which cost the Town roughly 1.5 million to construct, was more in line with what the Village needs. Mayor Stebbins commented that when constructing the facility the town had done some of their own labor, thus saving them a fair amount of money. He wondered whether Westin and Sampson’s report could be “unbundled” in a way that would allow the Board to pick and chose what they need. Mr. Messer reiterated that the report as presented was a composite and the numbers within were based on averages from other projects. He suggested that the Superintendent go through the report and cross out those features he doesn’t need. The Mayor rejected this idea commenting that the composite style report as presented does not work for the Village. He would rather see a full breakdown with costs ranging from $1,000,000 to $4,000,00 and “menu of choices” that would allow the Village to pick and choose what was needed. He further commented that he would speak to Town Supervisor Peter Dolan and attempt to get a breakdown of the construction costs for the Town facility. Mr. Messer inquired as to what an acceptable price for the facility might be. Trustee Wilson replied $1.5 Million. The Mayor then reminded Mr. Messer and the Board that the Village has not yet secured the land for the project as planned and that should that acquisition not take place for one reason or another, location will become an issue.
Setting Special Meeting Dates for the Village’s FY 2012 Budget Review Process –
It was agreed that the Board would review the tentative budget during that evening’s executive session and a public hearing date was set for Wednesday, April 6 at 7:30pm. The Board hopes to approve the budget during their regular monthly meeting on April 20.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 16, 2010
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge ofAllegiance
• Mayor and Deputy Mayor
• Police, DPW and Water Dept.
• Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. Public Hearing on Proposed Local Law Introductory #1 of 2011 Regarding
Modifications to Village Code Relating to Home Occupation
7. New Business
• Hire Ornamental Tree Service to Remove Trees on Wee Wah Dam Embankment
• Review Eligible Projects for the Water Department's Capital Account
• Village Engineer's Reports
i. Wee Wah Dam Repairs
11. Club House Road Water Main Project
111. Guide Rails for Tuxedo Road
IV. Back Flow Preventers
v. DPW Facilities
• Review the Costs and Repair Options for the Spillway of Wee Wah Dam
8. Old Business
• Discuss Road Repairs and Timing for Road Striping Services
• Setting Special Meeting Dates for the Village's FY 2012 Budget Review Process
9. Approve Minutes of Board of Trustees Special Board Meeting on March 9, 2011
10. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss FY 2012 Budget and Employee Matters
11. Audit of Claims
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 16, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday February 16 2011 at 7:30pm. All members were present.
Mayor Stebbins reported that despite rates having been lowered by the assessor, many grievances were received at the tax assessment hearing on February 15. The Board will continue to review these grievances and will advise on them as soon as possible.
He also reported that a departmental budget workshop would be held on February 17 at the Village Hall beginning at 7:30pm.
The Village’s deer management program is getting underway. Icy conditions delayed some of the preliminary work, however the program is now moving ahead. The Village has received one permit from the DEC and is awaiting another. Those residents participating in the program will be notified as things move forward.
Finally, the Mayor announced that Village Engineer Rich Messer would be presenting a review of current and on-going infrastructure projects within the Village later in the evening. He encouraged those present to remain for this portion of the meeting so that they could see first hand the infrastructure improvements that are taking place.
Deputy Mayor Report:
Deputy Mayor Pompan once again reminded residents of the February 17 departmental budget workshop and encouraged all to attend. He further commented that this hearing would serve as the beginning of a detailed budget process and would give residents a good idea of how their tax dollars are being spent.
Commenting that it had been a quiet month, Chief Sanford reported the following for the month of January:
Non-Criminal Complaints: 27
Criminal Complaints: 1
Traffic Tickets: 6
Property Damage Complaints: 1
Intrusion Alarms: 1 (false)
Fire Alarms: 3 (false)
Medical Calls: 1
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police: 4
Assists Received From the Town of Tuxedo Police: 1
Additionally, 7, 807 untagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
Registration for the CodeRED Emergency Alert System is going well with roughly 60 households signed up to date. Chief Sanford announced that there will be a test call for all those currently registered on Friday, February 18 at 11:30am.
With the promotion of Officer Ryan Eirand to full-time, the department is in need of a new part timer to fill his vacated spot. Chief Sanford stated that he hoped the Board would approve his hiring Nicholas Vega of Tuxedo to fill the spot.
Finally, the chief reported that he would have samples of possible new vehicle tags to show the Board very soon. The samples were delayed as the printer had fallen ill.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the recently purchased Navistar truck has been delivered to the body shop for plough and sander installation and he hopes they will be in receipt of it very soon. Additionally, he commented that it was a good thing that the winter weather has slowed down seeing as the Village’s sand and salt budget is almost gone.
Finally, a new pump has been successfully installed at the water plant and a new screen washing system, designed to save the Village water, has been installed at the Sewer Plant.
Water & Building Departments:
To View a copy of monthly reports for both the Water Department and the Building Department, click here.
Advisory Committee Reports:
There were no Advisory Committee Reports
Peter Regna inquired as to where the Village stands with the Hansen litigation and whether there was any new information that the Board could divulge to the public regarding this matter.
Mayor Stebbins replied that there was no new information, however the Board remains cognizant of the issues and is continuing to work hard to address them.
Mr. Regna applauded the Board for their position and commented that he was sure he spoke for many residents in saying that he was proud of them for “sticking it out” and standing strong on behalf of the Village. He stated that should the Village win the appeal, it would hopefully put the entire situation to rest and he would be thrilled to see the “gate issue” go away.
The Mayor responded that he felt everyone would be happy to see the issue resolved once and for all.
Review Committee’s Recommendations for a New Proposed Tree Law:
Trustee Pompan opened the discussion by providing a brief history as to how and why the committee had been formed. Identifying the committee members as Jennifer Cacioppo, Susan Goodlfellow, Joe McCann, Tamir El Reyes and Ann Madden he explained that together they represented a good cross-section of the community with differing views. In his view the proposal as presented to the Board is an attempt at a good compromise.
On behalf of the committee, Jennifer Cacioppo then presented the Board with an overview of their recommendations. Stating that they had taken into consideration all of the letters received by the Board as well as feedback from the community following the presentation of the previous proposed tree law, Mrs. Cacioppo outlined the major concerns as historic preservation, environmental issues, property owners rights and municipal law. The committee feels strongly that the legislation must be very clear and easy for residents to find, follow and understand. They suggest that the Board consider a more typical municipal permitting process and recommend that the Board take into consideration NY State Laws as well as industry standards. Enforcement must become a true deterrent, which it currently is not. Protecting the watershed should be the number one goal of the legislation and it should apply equally to every property in the community regardless of whether it lies on a ridgeline or precipice.
Trustee Hansen asked the committee if they could expand on their recommendation regarding State Law.
Susan Goodfellow responded that in the 1950s the Department of Health specifically addressed the Tuxedo Lake watershed in law form by stating that there was to be no pollution of this reservoir. Trees and the taking down of trees around the lake have a serious impact on the watershed mainly in the form of storm water run-off.
Trustee Wilson commented that he was pleased that the committee had identified protection of the reservoir as their number-one goal as opposed to property owner rights, which seemed to be the major focus back in July. He applauded their direction.
Trustee Hansen requested that Mrs. Goodfellow forward a copy of the State Law to each Board member for review and she agreed.
Mayor Stebbins inquired as to whether the committee had identified any other municipalities that had addressed these issues in a way that they had admired.
Mrs. Cacioppo replied that many of the other municipalities they had looked at had more standard tree issues and that the fact that tree-related decisions are made by the consensus of a governing Board in what sets the Village apart.
Trustee Pompan stated that the Village is in a unique situation because of the reservoir.
Trustee Wilson noted that in the committee had not addressed diameter restrictions in their proposal. Whereas the previous proposed law had suggested that removing trees with a 4-inch diameter or greater would require permission from the Village, the new proposal does not indicate a specific diameter and in fact, substitutes an X where a diameter should be indicated.
Mrs. Goodfellow responded that the committee did not feel that they had the necessary expertise to make the decision and that in their view, this recommendation should come from those who have reasonable backgrounds in this area. She further noted that currently there is no place for residents to go and discuss overall tree maintenance or “tree plans” as the Boards are not equipped to advise on such plans and that this is a problem.
Trustee Zgonena commented that the patience of the community and the Board has been tested lately with ongoing litigation and that he would frown on any new law that contained arbitrary or capricious language and therefore left the Village open to more litigation. In his view, aside from the lake, the Village’s biggest asset is the gates, which they recently came close to losing and were, in fact, not completely out of the woods with yet as the threat has not gone away entirely. He believes that most residents were happy with the old law and feel that it should simply be modified as the single biggest complaint was that it lacked enforceability. Commenting that he is not a fan of “Big Government” he suggested that permits should be required for ALL tree cutting across the Board. Having a written permit on file would give the Village the “teeth” it needs to enforce fines. He stated that he is not a fan of consulting experts for anything within the allowed allotment and that projects that exceed the allotment should require a plan. In his view, to review cases on a tree-by- tree basis would be crazy. That is where permits should come in.
Mrs. Cacioppo replied that liability is certainly a concern.
Trustee Pompan commented that he believe that there should be a notification system, whereby the Village is notified of all trees that are removed, however permits only need be issued when a resident intends to exceed the allotted amount. He wondered whether this is in fact what Trustee Zgonena meant, suggesting that the difference between permit and notification here was merely semantics.
Trustee Zgonena responded that notification was not what he had been referring to. He suggested that as the Village is seeking revenue to offset rising costs as well as tax grievances that a fee of $25 per tree might be a reasonable.
Trustee Hansen commented that level of compliance was the big issue with the old law. While 99.5 percent of residents are willing to comply, the .5 percent (roughly 1 in 300) that do not comply are the problem. Over the past 20 years thousands of trees could have been cut down legally, but they were not.
Mrs. Cacioppo stated that the Village could not use tree permitting as a revenue generator and that any fees charges should cover reimbursement of costs ONLY.
Trustee Hansen agreed and stated that he wished to correct the record by stating that the Village is not looking for alternate forms of revenue.
Trustee Pompan thanked the committee for their hard work and the discussion was closed.
Resolution Regarding Terms of Employment for DPW Superintendent:
A resolution mandating that the DPW Superintendent reside within the Village in housing located on Village property was made. The property located at one Chastellux Lane, directly adjacent to the water plant was specifically designated. Following a brief discussion of details, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this resolution.
Resolution Specifying Starting Salary for Ryan Eirand of $51,284:
The Board unanimously approved a resolution specifying a starting salary of $51,284 for recently hired full-time police officer Ryan Eirand.
Approve Hiring Nicholas Vega as Part Time Police Officer:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Nicholas Vega as a part time police officer.
Approve Payment Up To $3,000 to Rino Paving and Construction for Water Main Repairs:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of reimbursing Rino Paving and Construction up to $3000 for water main repairs. During the leak detection process last spring, Rino was charged with repairing a leak that was believed to exist on their property, however when the construction company finally excavated early this winter, it was discovered that the leak in question was actually on a Village main located 3 feet away from the tap. Therefore, Rino is seeking reimbursement for the excavation costs. DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss has reviewed the bill and believes it be fair.
Agreement to Settle West Lake Rd. Water Main Project’s Construction Cost Variances and Damage Claims:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of settling the West Lake Rd. Water Main Project’s Construction Costs Variances and Damage Claims as per terms outlined in a letter from engineers Westin and Sampson dated January 10, 2011.
Village Engineer’s Report on Status of Infrastructure Projects:
Village Engineer Rich Messer presented the Board with a brief review of infrastructure projects both completed and ongoing. He began his presentation by listing those projects that have been successfully completed including:
Sewer Plant Maintenance Repairs
Repairs to the foundation of the chlorine Building
Elimination of wastewater over flow at the sewer
Repair of the Gruterich Wall and adjoining roadway
He continued on with a review of projects on-going, including:
Remodeling and possible relocation of the DPW Plant – a report containing several different layout options was circulated and discussed. The entire project will run the Village anywhere from 5.4 to 6.8 million dollars. Rich Messer suggested that rather than to move ahead with everything at one time, the project could be developed incrementally over time.
Reduction of Inflow and Infiltration – The Village maintains a very high level of Inflow and Infiltration in its sewer system (Inflow and Infiltration is when excess ground water leaks into the sewer system from things such as broken sewer pipes, leaky manholes, or house gutters & sump pumps illegally linked to the system) and the DEC is requiring that it be lowered. Phase one of this project, in which W & S has identified 17 sub-areas for testing has been completed. The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with phase 2, to include testing, after which the W & S will present the Village with a full report as well as recommendations for repair.
Club House Road Water Main Relocation – A new proposal for this project was discussed. The oversight details of the project have changed slightly. As this is a project that will directly affect residents living on Club House Road, the Mayor feels that the details must be carefully ironed out. He expressed some concern over water line priorities and a discussion of the line running under Route 17 into the East Village ensued. It was agreed that a new proposal would be created after which the Board would make a determination with regard to priorities.
Tuxedo Road Guiderails – Photographs of wooden guiderails, similar to those currently located on Eagle Mountain Road, were presented and discussed. Questions regarding how well the proposed rails would hold up in a traffic accident were raised. Mayoe Stebbins requested photographs and details regarding the back side of the rails (not given) and also asked to see some other options for review.
O’Brien & Gere’s Engineering Contract for Preparing a Breach Analysis Report on Pond #3 and Wee Wah Dams:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving O’Brien and Gere’s Engineering Contract in the amount of $6,500 for a breach analysis report on Pond #3 and the Wee Wah Dams.
Discuss a New Propsed Home Occupation Law and Set a Public Hearing Date:
Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a Public Hearing for new legislation regarding Home Occupation in the Village for March 16, 2011.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 16, 2011
1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
• Mayor and Deputy Mayor
• Police, DPW and Water Dept.
• Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. New Business
• Review Committee’s Recommendations for a New Proposed Tree Law
• Village Engineer’s Report on Status of Infrastructure Projects
• O’Brien & Gere’s Engineering Contract for Preparing a Breach Analysis Report for Pond #3 and Wee Wah Dams
• Agreement to Settle West Lake Rd. Water Main Project’s Construction Cost Variances and Damage Claims
• Resolution Specifying Starting Salary for Ryan Eirand of $51,284
• Resolution Regarding Terms of Employment for DPW Superintendent
7. Old Business
• Discuss a New Proposed Home Occupation Law and Set a Public Hearing Date
8. Approve Board Minutes for December 15, 2010 and January 19, 2011
9. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss Village Personnel and Litigation Matters
10. Audit of Claims
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 19, 2011
The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Deputy Mayor Pompan was absent.
Mayor Stebbins reported that he has been working with the DEC in an effort to get the Village’s deer culling permit approved. The application has been submitted and if all goes according to plan, the program is expected to commence in the latter half of February. White Buffalo, the professional firm who will be responsible for the culling, will be seeking 8 to 10 locations within the Village for baiting and many residents have been agreeable to having their properties used.
The Code Red Alert System is underway. All Trustees as well as select Village Employees will be using the weather alerts on a trial basis in order to determine whether or not they should be included in the overall package. The Mayor reminded residents that while these alerts might prove helpful, the best source of travel and safety information is the Police Gate and traffic guards. Chief Sanford agreed and added that everything is ready to go from his end. He has completed training and now the system must marketed to the residents in such a way that they are encouraged to sign up.
The Mayor commented that it might be wise to market the idea to the Town of Tuxedo as well as residents are also greatly effected by road closures there.
With regard to finances, the Mayor reported that the Villages budget and cash positions are both favorable. 54.5 % of the budget has been spent year to date with 68% of the budget year having passed. The General Fund carries a balance of $2,328,000 as opposed to last year at this time when the balance was $1,866,000. (A $450,000 difference) The Capital Fund held a year-end balance of $1.2 million, however this number will be reduced to roughly $993,000 once January invoices, the bulk of which cover the cost of the West Lake Road water main project, have been deducted. The Village expects to be billed for the Club House Road water main project in the spring.
Finally, Mayor Stebbins announced that Village Engineer Rich Messer has been invited to attend next month’s Board meeting for the purpose of providing an update on on-going projects in the Village. (West Lake and Club House water main projects, Tuxedo Road guide rails etc.) Residents are encouraged to attend and educate themselves on these projects as they represent tax dollars at work.
Chief Sanford reported the following for the month of December:
Non-criminal Complaints: 65
Property Damage Complaints: 1
Traffic Tickets: 16
Intrusion Alarms: 8 (all false)
Fire Alarms: 4 (all false)
Medical Calls: 2
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police: 6
Additionally, 8,459 untagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
The subject of new vehicle ID tags was briefly discussed. Chief Sanford reviewed his new approach to tagging vehicles, which would entail issuing 2 types of stickers: one for residents and one for non-residents, which will be two different colors. Moving forward everyone will be required to renew their sticker on a yearly basis (Chief Sanford suggested they run from June to June) and each year the colors will change. This will make it easy for the Gate Guards to identify outdated stickers.
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was absent. No report was given.
On behalf of the Water Department, John Ledwith reported that 4th quarter water bills had been sent out and are due by February 1. He reminded residents to please pay their bills on time. Two of the four customers who are utilizing payment plans to settle their accounts have not fulfilled their obligations and letters have been sent advising them that if their obligations are not satisfied by mid-February they could face termination of service.
With regard to the water loss analysis, Mr. Ledwith reported the main meter, which pumps the water directly into the tanks, has been calibrated and is now 98-100% accurate. This calibration combined with several repaired leaks has water loss down to a record low of 41%. This is down from 45% last year at this time and 55% in 2008. All the same the Village shows a 10-year average water loss of roughly 49%.
The Mayor commented that due to the severity of this problem they have begun to explore the idea of a new meter pit, which would measure the water going to the Town and the Hamlet for the purpose of determining where the problem is. Losing 1/2 of the water over a 10-year period is a problem that must be solved! That said, a new meter pit would be a costly way of determining the answer as it could run the Village $50,000.
Advisory Committee Reports:
There were no Advisory Committee Reports
There were no Building Permits
Peter Regna inquired as to whether the Board could divulge any information with regard to the Hansen Lawsuit.
Mayor Stebbins responded that Judge Seibel’s position was publicly known and that the Board considers it to be favorable. Mr. Hansen, however, has found it necessary to appeal although he has not yet indicated what the merits of that appeal will be.
In other words, the Board awaits the specifics of the appeal.
Mr. Regna then wanted to know whether Mr. Hansen had raised any new arguments against the Village. The answer was no. Finally, Mr. Regna stated that it was his understanding that the cost of the litigation would be born by the Village win, lose or draw, however should Mr., Hansen lose his appeal, he wondered whether the Village would be able to charge him for the associated litigation costs.
Mayor Stebbins replied that he was not entirely sure, however it was his understanding that the Village would be responsible for their own defense costs.
Regarding the Code Red Alert System, Jim Hays commented that people are deluged with weather information everywhere, from the TV to the Computer to the Radio to their phones. He suggested that it might be helpful to use the system to inform residents whether or not garbage and/or recycling would be collected during inclement weather.
Trustee Wilson responded that this type of information would be better posted on the Village website as the Code Red Alerts were supposed to pertain to emergency situations.
Trustee Hansen suggested that the Village might set up a dedicated extension at the Village Office to inform residents what was going on in this regard. Chief Sanford commented that the trouble often is that Sterling Carting does not inform the Village if they are coming and that the first step should be asking them to keep the Village informed when service will be disrupted.
Approval of Additional Deer Culling Funds:
Mayor Stebbins announced that when the Board approved the Deer Culling at their December meeting, they forgot to include an additional $5,000, which is needed for processing the deer once they have been exterminated. The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the additional funds. Trustee Hansen inquired as to whether or not the venison would be made available to residents. The Mayor responded that he would find out and if so, advertise where the meat could be obtained.
Approval to hire Ryan Eirand as a Full Time Police Officer:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Ryan Eirand as a full-time Village Police Officer effective February 1, 2011.
Commentary on and Calendar for Preparation of New Fiscal Year 2012 Budget:
The Mayor read aloud a memo dated January 18, 2011 and written by Chief Budget Officer Gary Pompan to all Department Heads requesting that they submit their proposed budgets to his attention at the Village Officer by Friday February 11. The following Thursday, February 17, there will be a workshop with the entire Board at 7:30pm in the Village Hall and all department heads must attend. Final drafts will be due on March 19 as the Tentative Budget must be submitted on March 20, 2011. The Village will hold a public hearing on the Tentative Budget no later than April 14, 2011 with final revisions due by May 1.
Approve June 21, 2011 as Village Election Day:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving June 21, 2011 as Village Election Day.
General Discussion about Village Property Assessments:
The Mayor stated in brief that all decisions regarding assessments were made by the Village Assessor, John Ledwith, and that the first step in the process would be for Mr. Ledwith to post a new Property Assessment Roll, which we will do no later than January 31, 2011. Until that data has been posted, the Mayor commented that it would not be entirely productive to discuss the matter. He did, however, state that the Village is aware of the current economic climate and supports fair and equitable assessments.
Trustee Zgonena pointed out that in his view the Boards of the past had done an excellent job in this area and that residents need to realize that many of the tax increases that they face come directly from Albany in the form of mandated Health Care increases, pension top-ups and other required contractual increases and are out of the Village’s control.
Discuss New Legislation regarding Home Occupation:
The Mayor reported that towards the end of 2010 the Board had instituted a moratorium on Home Occupation permits because in their view, the Village Code was not entirely specific in this area and there were areas of convergence that needed to be sorted out and cleared up.
Trustee Hansen added that the reason the Board had addressed the issue was because a resident has been looking to establish a business in their home and this is a practice that the Village has not allowed in the past. He further commented that in his view, businesses within the Village should be eliminated. He carefully pointed out that this did not refer to individuals working from home. He also cautioned that both the Tuxedo Park School and the Tuxedo Club should be indicated and cleared in the new legislation.
Mayor Stebbins replied that under any new legislation both institutions would be grandfathered, as would be any existing businesses. He further commented that as it stood prior to the moratorium there was a clear legal issue involved as well and given Judge Seibel’s opinion regarding the Hansen case, the Board had felt it was a good idea to suspend the practice until they could explore it further.
Peter Regna stated that when the issue had last been discussed the differentiation was that the Village would look favorably upon businesses where the resident was the only proprietor with no additional employees and no clients entering the Village.
Jim Hays reminded the Board that there are several apartment houses in the Village that could be considered businesses.
The Mayor replied that these would be grandfathered.
It was then agreed that the Board would wait and discuss the issue with Village Attorney Rick Golden before proceeding any further with the discussion.
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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 19, 2011
1.Call Meeting to Order
2.Pledge of Allegiance
• Police, DPW and Water Dept.
• Advisory Committees
4. Building Permits
5. Public Comments
6. New Business
• Approval to hire Ryan Eirand as a Full Time Police Officer
• Commentary on and Calendar for Preparation of New Fiscal Year 2012 Budget
• Approve June 21, 2011 as Village Election Day
• General Discussion about Village Property Assessments
7. Old Business
• Discuss New Legislation regarding Home Occupation
8. Approve Board Minutes
9. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss Hansen Appeal
10. Audit of Claims
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