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Village Board of Trustees Meeting, May 17, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm.  All members were present.

The meeting began with a moment of silence in remembrance of long time Village Resident Ingrid Warren, who passed way recently.

Mayor’s Update:

Officer Ascione’s Retirement - Police Officer Jim Ascione has retired, effective May 31, 2017.  Mayor Guinchard announced that preceding the next regularly scheduled meeting in June, at 6:30pm, there would be a reception in his honor.

Wee Wah Fishing Club Agreement – Following a brief review, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the agreement.

Water Levy – Mayor Guinchard made a motion that 2017 unpaid Village water accounts, totaling $41,534.89, be levied onto 2017 Village Tax bills, as has been the Village practice historically.

Trustee Mcfadden inquired as to whether the list of outstanding accounts had been prepared prior to or after the dismissal of John Ledwith.

Mayor Guinchard responded that it had been compiled that morning.

Trustee McFadden wondered who had done the work.

The answer was Denise.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know whether the Village had made any settlements or entered into negotiations with any of the outstanding account holders since Mr. Ledwith had left. 

Trustee Guazzoni responded that Denise was not authorized to make any settlements.

Trustee McFadden then wondered if any of the Trustees had made any such negotiations.

“I don’t think we do that,” responded the Mayor.

“We don’t have the authority,” added Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee McHugh identified an error in the report as presented, indicating that one of the accounts was fully paid with the owner having sold his house and departed.  He wondered how it was possible for the system to have missed a payment in full.

“That’s a whole other issue that we are dealing with,” responded Mayor Guinchard.

“What do you mean?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

“She is finding that there are some errors in the system,” explained the Mayor.

“In the system or in the work?” asked Trustee McFadden.

“In the work,” replied both Mayor Guinchard and Trustee Guazzoni together.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know who was overseeing Denise in order to ensure that the information produced was accurate. 

The Mayor responded that she had been speaking with her and that Denise had also been working with the Harris Company directly, before going down the list to see which accounts had been paid.  The Harris Company is the company responsible for the software used. 

Trustee Guazzoni wondered if there were any financial penalties for having the bills levied.

The answer was no.

He then wanted to know when the levy would occur adding “there are certain people who are here tonight who are also on this list.  Should we give them the opportunity to come in tomorrow and talk with Denise?”

“It doesn’t make a difference if it goes on their tax bill,” commented Trustee McHugh.  “Some people chose to do it that way.”

The Board then voted unanimously in favor levying the unpaid bills as proposed.

Statement Regarding John Ledwith-

Commenting that she knew that many residents had been looking for an official statement from the Village with regard to a recent employee matter, Mayor Guichard read aloud the following:

“As you know, John Ledwith was an employee of the Village of Tuxedo Park, having the Civil Service title of Deputy Clerk Treasurer for the term May 31, 2017 through the term May 31, 2017. (TPFYI understands that this does not make any sense, however it is what was clearly stated by the Mayor)  Mr. Ledwith will not be reappointed to that position at the expiration of his term on May 31, 2017.  Mr. Ledwith was assigned additional part-time positions with the Village of Tuxedo Park, but did not hold those titles under Civil Service as is required by Orange County Human Resources and State Civil Service law as interpreted by the Department of Civil Service.  Accordingly, Mr. Ledwith cannot and will not be assigned to those positions going forward.  I have received numerous requests for information about the basis for the Board’s action in this regard.  What follows is the Villages response in its entirety at this time: During the period of January 5 to January 6, 2017 the New York State Comptroller conducted a risk assessment of the Village.  Subsequently, the Village hired a CPA to conduct a forensic audit of various Village financial transactions.  Based on the forensic audit report, among other information and after conferring with legal counsel, Mr. Ledwith’s assignment to the positions other than Deputy Clerk Treasurer was terminated by a majority of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park, effective May 12, 2017.  However it should be noted that Mr. Ledwith was an employee at will and no reason was required to terminate him from his pending assigned positions nor is there any legal entitlement to reappoint to the position of Deputy Clerk Treasurer at the end of an appointed term.  Further, with respect to the assignments of Building Inspector and Assessor, Mr. Ledwith was a ‘hold-over’ since July of 2016 and had not been appointed to any such positions by the Village.  On May 16, 2017 a full audit of the Village of Tuxedo Park operations was commenced by the New York State Comptroller.  Due to the existence of this pending review of the Village’s operations, possible litigation concerns and based upon best practices in the field of Human Resources, the Village of Tuxedo Park will make no further statement regarding Mr. Ledwith’s separation at this time.  It is critically important to know that no formal criminal charges or civil proceedings have been commenced against Mr. Ledwith.  This is the complete Statement of the Village of Tuxedo Park in this matter.  No other statements are authorized by the Board.  No negative inferences should be drawn against Mr. Ledwith as a result of the Village’s actions.  Further this statement should not be construed to validate the existence of any specific fact or allegation that is being investigated by the New York State Comptroller or any other Government agency.  The Village will provide further information to the public if and when it is deemed necessary and appropriate.  Thank you so much.”

Trustee McFadden stated that he would like to make a comment.

“There are not comments at this time,” responded the Mayor.  “I would like to move on to the Police Report, can you wait a moment?”

“It’s actually on this topic,” replied Trustee McFadden.

“Police report?” called out Mayor Guinchard, ignoring Trustee McFadden’s request altogether.

Police Report:

Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of April:

Non-criminal Complaints – 246

Criminal Complaints – 2

Arrests – 1

Motor Vehicle Accents – 3

Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 7

Warning Tickets – 4

Fire Alarms – 6

Intrusion Alarms – 10

Medical Calls – 2

Assists given to outside agencies – 4

Additionally, 1053 vehicle tags were issued. 

Public Comments:

Trustee McFadden commented that he had never been consulted with regard to the statement the Mayor had made about John Ledwith.  The Statement clearly identified itself as the official statement of the Village Board, however for what it is worth he would like it known that he has no comment on it.  He was not privy to it and it is not his statement.  With regard to the forensic audit report, he stated that for the last couple of months he had been asking for a copy of the report and after numerous requests, did not received it.  He was told that it was not finished or that it was been reviewed by the attorney.  The Trustees were only issued a copy of the report a couple of hours before the meeting where it had been determined to fire Mr. Ledwith.  The report that was provided to the Trustees was not on company letterhead, so he does not even know the identity of the company who compiled it.  To him it appeared as though it had been cut and pasted onto other paper.  He has since asked both the Village attorney and the Mayor for a copy of the original, on company letterhead.  He has also asked for the price and the engagement letter for the forensic report.  To date, he has received no response to these requests.  With regard to the Comptrollers report, he stated that it appeared as though this was not the first time that the Village had acted on such a report.  He has never seen any comptrollers report that required any actions including this most recent one, so he has no idea what is being referred to when they talk about the Comptroller’s report and the activity that they are asking the Village to conduct.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that Trustee McFadden only visited the Village Hall once a month.  He pointed out that Village Hall was open every day from 9-4.  He tries to stop in 2 to 3 times per week.  All the files are open for Trustee McFadden’s review, but he only comes once a month.  “There is a difference between somebody not serving him something on a silver platter and something not being available to him.  You actually do have to come to Village Hall, open up the books, open up the files and educate yourself a little bit.  This type of grandstanding is just a little bothersome.”

“These were all items discussed in executive session,” responded Trustee McFadden.  “None of them are available in the Village Office.” 

“They are available for Trustees,” suggested Trustee Guazozni.

“No they were not!” asserted Trustee McFadden.

“To be fair Claudio,” commented Trustee McHugh,  “ The water report audit was not available in the Village office.  I asked Debbie for a copy of it and she said there is no such thing.  So I beg to differ.” 

“And I am standing with a FOIL request,” stated JoAnne Hanson from the audience, “that says ‘ please be advised that at this time a 2017water bill audit, formal written letters from Heather Morris of Orange County Civil Service and written correspondence from New York State regarding risk management money handling in administration have not yet been received in the Village Office.’ “

“The Trustees have mailboxes that should be used for such documents,” suggested Houston Stebbins. “None is asking for things on a silver platter.”

Trustee Moon asked Mrs. Hanson whether or not she had made a formal FOIL request.

“Absolutely,” responded Mrs. Hanson.

“My view is that if you made a FOIL request, it should be disclosed,” responded Trustee Moon.  “Those documents should be disclosed to Mrs. Hanson.”

“It’s saying that they haven’t been received in the office,” pointed out Mrs. Hanson.

Trustee McHugh suggested that as a Trustee, when the attorney is asked for information, he has an obligation to respond to the inquiry.  He went on to say that Trustee McFadden had asked three simple questions with regard to the engagement letter, fee structure and the full report.  Neither he nor Trustee McFadden had received any communication back with regard to these requests, nor has the Village been billed as of yet for said audit.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent stated that for clarification purposes he wanted to point out that he was not the records officer, rather he was in charge of appeals.  Records requests go first to the Village Clerk and if there is an appeal, which he has not seen, it would then come to him.

Nancy Hays wanted to know who exactly had seen the reports in question.

“All of the Trustees have seen them,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.  “Please do not fall for the grandstanding.”

“All the Trustees have it,” reiterated the Mayor.

“The doors are open to the Village.  All the files are open to everybody, you just have to show up more than once a month,” stated Trustee Guazozni.

“If they are requested, they should be provided,” responded Mrs. Hays.

“Yes, that is true,” replied Trustee Guazzoni.

Mayor Guinchard reiterated that all of the Trustees had all of the documents.

“We don’t have an engagement letter, nor do we have the bill,” stated Trustee McHugh, “and we have a partial report that we don’t know is a full report.  That is where we currently stand right now.”

“That is a full report, correct?” the Mayor inquired.

“We don’t know because nobody has acknowledged that,” replied Trustee McHugh. “When you get a full report and it doesn’t state what date it was issued and it’s not signed by the person who does it, it leaves one questioning the credibility and the veracity of what you are receiving.  That is all I am saying.”

Mr. Nugent stated that the only report he had seen had the name of the group on it.  It is not on letterhead, but the group’s name is on there and it is dated.

“Brian, I have asked numerous times for that information and you are just giving it to me here at this meeting,” stated Trustee McFadden.

“What information?” responded Mr. Nugent.

“That it was the full report and that there were no other originals.”

Mr. Nugent suggested that Trustee McFadden had asked this question during an Executive Session and that he had responded at that time, pointing out that the report was not on a graphic letterhead.

Trustee McFadden then wondered why the report had been accepted in this form, not on letterhead and without a signature.

Mr. Nugent responded that he was not aware whether or not it was required that there be a logo on the report in order for it to have been submitted.

Trustee McFadden suggested that it was a matter of good business practices.

Mr. Nugent responded that this was another issue.  He further reiterated that there was no other version of the report in existence that he had seen.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know if Mr. Nugent had the engagement letter.

Mr. Nugent responded that he believed that he did and that he had thought that this had been provided.  Again, he stated that he was not the records officer.  The Clerk is the appropriate person to ask.”

“Every time I have asked, it has been referred to you by the Mayor,” stated Trustee McFadden.

There followed a discussion about the Comptroller’s report and the Risk Assessment, with the Mayor asserting that the Trustees had seen the report and Trustee McHugh arguing that they had not.

Mayor Guinchard explained that the process was as follows: “They come in for a risk assessment.  They then either give you a report from that and they are done, closed and they go away…OR….the find reason that they need to come in.  They send the list, which Debbie received on March 1.  This should have been circulated to all of the Trustees.”

“It was not,” stated Trustee McHugh.

“We don’t know when they come back in because obviously they do their own scheduling,” stated the Mayor.  “They come in unannounced…you get a phone call that says ‘we’re coming’ and you make yourself available for the entrance interview.  They came to Debbie yesterday.  Now everything begins.  That’s just how they work.  The risk assessment is over and now we are into the audit.”

Mr. Nugent added that the report would be the last thing to come in after which the Village would have the opportunity to respond to recommendations and/or findings issued.

Trustee McHugh then wanted to know specifically what had been said within the Village Statement regarding Mr. Ledwith pertaining to risk assessment.

In response, the Mayor began reading from the statement “Subsequently, the Village hired a CPA to conduct a forensic audit of various Village financial transactions.”

“We hired a CPA to conduct a water audit,” stated Trustee McHugh.  “It was in executive session.  It’s not ‘various things.’  It’s a water audit.”

Mr. Nugent suggested there were various transactions within the Water Department.

Trustee McHugh commented that the statement as issued, did not make it clear that the various village transactions referred to the Water Department and he wanted to confirm that this was the case.

The answer was yes.

Trustee McHugh then asked the Mayor to review what she had said in the statement with regard to the Comptroller.

“On May 16, 2017 a full audit of the Village of Tuxedo Park operations was commenced by the New York State Comptroller,” replied Mayor Guinchard.

“You said March 1,” responded Trustee McHugh.

The Mayor explained that March 1 had been the date on which they had sent a letter asking for various information to the Village Clerk.  The timeline of interaction with the Comptroller was then reviewed.

Joanne Hanson stated that she would like to read into the record the letters that were sent to the Trustees on behalf of the Planning Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals.  She also inquired again about her FOIL request, noting that the response she had received indicated that they requested materials did not exist in the Village Office.  She suggested that obviously there was a letter in existence and that she felt this should be publicly available.

The Mayor agreed with this.

“You are also indicating that this water audit is also publicly available.  It’s been received.  The Board of Trustees has it.”

“Yes,” responded the Mayor.

“So, it is publicly available and we can all get a copy and take a look at it?” inquired Mrs. Hanson.

Mr. Nugent responded that the entire audit was not available as certain information would be redacted, briefly outlining the types of information that would need to be redacted.

There followed a brief discussion regarding which information the Village Clerk actually had in her possession and could make available to the public.

Mrs. Hanson then stated again that she would like to read two letters into the record.

“It is very important to me that this individual be able to find subsequent work, so let us not mention his name that can be Googled by his next employer when he goes for an interview,” stated Trustee Guazozni.  “The more we talk about this individual, the harder it is for him to….  Just redact his name please.”

Mrs. Hanson responded that Trustee Guazozni had already made this point with her and all the same, she felt comfortable reading the letters aloud as they contained praise for the individual in question.  She feels that any future employer would be thrilled to read the letters.

She proceeded to read aloud two letters, one from the BZA and the other from the BAR formally requesting that that the Board reinstate Mr. Ledwith as Village Building Inspector.

Kathy Norris inquired as to whether the former Building Inspector had been licensed and if so as what.

Mayor Guinchard responded that he was licensed as a Building Inspector Code Enforcement, but he is not on the Village’s Civil Service.

As a point of clarification, Mr. Nugent pointed out that Code Enforcement was the only position for which State certification was required.  Mr. Ledwith was certified.

Mrs. Norris the stated “In law, selective enforcement occurs when Government officials such as Police Officers, Prosecutors, Regulators, and Building Inspectors, exercise enforcement discretion, which is the power to choose whether or how to punish a person who has violated the law.  The Biased use of enforcement discretion is usually considered a legal abuse and a threat to the rule of law.   So, can the Village of Tuxedo Park be sued by residents for a Building Inspector approving something not to code?”

Mr. Nugent responded that he would prefer not to speculate on potential situations.

“But can they sue a Village?” Mrs. Norris inquired again.

“Usually not,” replied Mr. Nugent.  He went on to explain that anyone who is in a position that is discretionary in nature cannot be forced to either do or not do something where they have that discretion.  Of course, if there were a back pattern where one particular person were being targeted and constantly dismissed in court and there was some personal issues and other factors as well, that person could certainly bring an action, which more than likely would be against the individual, but the Village could be named.

Mr. Niblo wondered whether the individuals who had signed the letters read by Mrs. Hanson were active members of the two Boards.

The answer was yes.

He went on to suggest that there was a common denominator in the letters in that all of the individuals they represented had worked with Mr. Ledwith for a certain amount of time.  He feels there is a bias there, as when one works closely with somebody for 22 years, they get to know that person on a personal level.  “You expect maybe  wheels to be greased for you a little bit, some a little bit more than others, but I can tell you as a new owner that built a house here, I got none of that.  I was buried.  John gave us suggestions and then he sat here and said nothing when we were told we couldn’t do it.  We needed a well put in and we needed a septic system put in.  He told us that there was no way that we could run a line for that long for that amount of money that it would cost to hook up to the water and the sewage….and we came here to the Planning Board meeting and he sat there like a dope and everyone said ‘no no!  You shouldn’t have bought the property if you couldn’t afford to do the installation.’  I have talked to other people who say that John was a bully to them.  My wife….is there something about when women are by themselves and husbands are not around to talk rough to them?  You didn’t go through it!  There is a common denominator here!  All of you were on one board or another and got to know him and there was a friendship there but other people, who don’t know him, who can’t support his job or speak up to help him keep his job…  He cancelled meetings on you if you forgot to do things.  I’ve been there.”

“Selective enforcement,” called out Kathy Norris.

“I have a comment about the Gate House,” stated David duPont “or the lack there of.”

He went on to say that he assumed that when the booth had been removed from its former foundation the Village had received monies from both the driver’s insurance as well as their own insurance.  They had been making reasonable progress in terms of rebuilding efforts but now, it seems as if nothing is being done anymore.  He wondered whether the current Trustees had a specific timeline in mind for when the new booth will be built.

The Mayor responded that an RFP had been completed and they received 1 bid.  Without prevailing wage, the cost was $400,000 and with prevailing wage it was closer to $600,000.  Chief Melchiore, John Ledwith, the Architect and the Mayor had a meeting and it was agreed that the bid was extreme.  Upon further investigation, they discovered that smaller companies had not bid on the project because they felt it was not worth their time and effort for such a small but important project.  In order to make the project worth their while, the larger companies need the cost to be higher and this is why they believe there was only 1 bid and It was as high as it was.  So now, they have gone “back to the drawing Board.”  They all love the proposed architecture as it matches the existing buildings, and would like to find a cost effective way to maintain that integrity.  The architect and John Ledwith have been researching other ways to do this.  The community wants the booth, but the Mayor does not believe that they want to spend $600,000 on it, so the bid was rejected by the Board.  At the same point in time, they had also been wrapped up in the bidding and bonding for the Wee Wah dam project, so they had to “triage a bit” in order to get the other project going.  Now they feel they are back on track and can commence working on finding a solution for the booth.

Trustee McHugh added that there is nothing in the budget for the next fiscal year for the project.  There is, however, a left-over $70,000 “slush fund” that has been specifically allocated for the project.  If something can be done for $70,000 with prevailing wage and everything factored in, then it can be built.  If it cannot be done for this amount, then it cannot be built given the fact that they have not budgeted for it.

Trustee Guazzoni interjected that the Village had put over $700,000 into savings accounts.  He added that there are two savings accounts, one that belongs to the Water Company and one that belongs to the Village.  They have a combined $700,000.  “We can have a resolution any day to pull any amount of money for a particular project.  We are looking to build this at a cost that is decent.  Maybe we can break it up into little pieces.  It’s a matter of doing the work…and I’m gonna say, you’ve got three people here working and if more people care to do a little bit of the work than this thing would get done.”

The Mayor added that there are parts of the project that will have to be much different than what they were insured for because of building code.  “They will pick up the prevailing wage.  Reasonable cost.”  She added that she had called them and addressed this issue directly and they had agreed to cover it.  Whatever reasonable bid the Village obtains (and $600,000 doesn’t seem reasonable to any of them) they will then look at that, evaluate it and provide the Village with the “extra bump” to help. The architect believes that it can be built for roughly $100,000.  The issue appears to be that in Orange County there is not a pool of contractors that are willing to do this small of a project with prevailing wage.

Lili Neuhauser inquired as to who had built the bus station in town.

The Mayor responded that she did not know.

Alan Yassky stated that the cost of the bus station had been roughly $80,000.

Trustee McHugh commented that the Village had a ballpark $400,000 general surplus.  The Water Company has even more than that.  They cannot ask residents from the Town to pay for the booth, so they will not be taking from the Water account.  “What we are talking about is ….we have $400,000 which is 10% of our budget and we are doing the largest bond issue in our life and we are praying to God that we can get this thing executed, so we are not going to be pilfering money from that in light of the fact that we need to prepare ourselves given we’ve got an 8% cost overrun on the dam project.”

The Mayor agreed that the Village could only use monies from the General Fund, adding that these monies were really only supposed to be used for emergencies.  With regard to the dam she went on to say that they contractor they had chosen was, in her view, really qualified and she finds it very disrespectful when they are getting ready to engage into a 4 million dollar project to speak ill of somebody who is getting ready to put their shovel in the ground.  The project has already begun with work on the sewer lines.  It is happening.  It is a price fixed amount with contingencies built in.  The Village is doing well with the interest rates.  The Engineer working on the project is “amazing.”  They are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to oversee the project.  “So to say that this project is not a good project, I think is really a slap in the face to not only the engineer but the company who won the bid.”

“I never said anything like that.   You are intimating….” Responded Trustee McHugh.

“I didn’t say you did,” retorted the Mayor. “I just said it was said.”

“You said you were commenting on my comment,” stated Trustee McHugh.

“I apologize,” stated Mayor Guinchard.  “I meant the money part.”

“The other thing is that there were several bids for the dam.  They ranged from $6,000,000+ to the winning bid of $3.7.  All of them were qualified.”  She went on to suggest that the Village was very fortunate in that the historical integrity was allowing them to keep the architecture of the dam.  “We are not rebuilding the dam.  We need a great stone mason and a great concrete outfit and the company who won the bid….that’s their specialty.  All the components are there.  So I don’t want you to not have the confidence that we are spending this kind of money blind.  That’s not happening.  There is nobody on this Board who has ever been told that they could not be part of the process.  I love it when any of the Trustees want to get involved because that’s much easier for me and it also lets them know what’s going on.  But, if they choose not to get involved, I cannot babysit them and we have some Trustees that have preferences to do some things and not others and some that prefer just to do whatever.  I’m not going to criticize whatever they choose to do, but if they don’t choose to be involved in a major project, I cannot sit there and give them every moment, item by item, conversation by conversation that goes on for me…from meeting with the Governor to meeting with CHA and driving back and forth and trying to get grant money.  There are so many components!  Please have confidence in that!  If you don’t want to like the person doing it, fine, but please have the confidence that the system does work.”

“I would like to gently rebut Trustee McHugh,” stated Trustee Guazozni.  “We have a constant argument here about whether it is the job of the Police to protect what is on only the land, or both the land and the water.    Is it the job of the police to protect our water tanks, or not?  If it is the job of the police to protect the water tanks and our water supply and our water company than the water budget should be paying for part of the booth.”

This was met by a loud, mumble of protest from the audience.

Bringing the conversation back to the booth, Gary Pompan  commented “We had a vote of the residents of the Village who approved by a huge majority having the booth.”  He wanted to know how, both procedurally and administratively, after that occurred that there had been no discussion or provision in the budget for 2017/2018 for the project.  He appreciates that they might not have known the exact amount but feels that there should have been a marker or some contingency put in.  He believes it is absolutely clear that the Village cannot use any of the Water Company reserves for Village projects because they will be sued by non-Village participants in the company.  “Whatever reserves, if they are adequate or not….for the Village…that’s actually what the whole point of the New York State Comptrollers audit.  In fact if anybody goes on the website, they can view every municipality in the State of New York having been audited whether they are deficient or not.  How that has anything to do with John Ledwith and how it has anything to do with this forensic audit, I think needs to be very clear in the minutes that one has nothing to do with the other.  If you go back to the forensic audit, any competent audit accounting firm is going to give you a detailed engagement letter, which we need to see, because the report that comes needs to be on letter head, needs to be signed by the firm and needs to be something that matches what the engagement letter says.  I have worked for an accounting firm for 31 years and anything less than that would be absolutely unacceptable to any client and in fact if the Village accepted that, I would say that is a deficiency in the Board’s approach to this.  You’ve got to have the engagement letter.  It should be available to the public so we can see what was done, what they were asked to do and whether those procedures actually matched up.  Going back to the booth, the question I still have is, how is it possible that procedurally nobody put anything into the budget and now whatever the amount is, whichever administration is going to have to deal with this, they are going to be short.”  He went on to suggest that the fiduciary responsibility of the Board had been to take and dictate what the residents what the residents requested and wanted.

The Mayor responded that the $75,000 could not be in the budget and had to be in its’ own account.

Mr. Pompan wondered if this was in the Capital Budget and whether it had been earmarked.

Mayor Guinchard informed him that it had been earmarked and was a part of the Capital Budget.  This is available for all residents to review if they would like to.

Trustee McFadden commented that they had done the survey and the results made it very clear that the majority of residents wanted a booth.  Following this, there was a transaction with a paper road, where there was a donation of $300,000+ that was earmarked for this project in exchange for the sale of the road.  There were, however, a lot of unforeseen contingencies with the repair of The Keep and that dug into the fund significantly.   The Mayor and the architect had been in agreement that the construction of a new booth would cost roughly $80,000 and the Board had been assured that it could be done for this amount.  The project was subsequently put out to bid.  Trustee McFadden noted that he had stated on the record numerous times that the drawings were not bid drawings…rather they were design drawings at best and when design drawings are distributed to a contractor, they do a CYA and return with a higher price because they have no idea what the final design is going to look like.  There was nothing specified on the drawings with regard to the interiors, no equipment etc.  The Village came full circle with a bid that was understandably high given the circumstances and then on the record the Mayor stated that they would be brining the project “in house” meaning that Alan Yassky was going to do the project and get it done for $80,000 in 4 weeks.  He does not believe it can be built for $80,000 nor does he think it is a 4-week project.  The drawings need to be completed and until that time, there is nothing to discuss.  It is not in the budget.  He feels it will not be built for $75,000 and that something would have to be done in terms of a seismic shift in order to get it built at this point in time.

Mr. Pompan noted that the project architect had done all the work for free.  Stating “you get what you pay for,” he suggested that this was probably not the right approach to have taken.  He further suggested that it might have been prudent, when going out on the bond offering, to maybe get an extra couple hundred thousand as opposed to now having to wonder where they will be able to get the money and if the project will ever get done, which he feels is an absolute shame.

The Mayor responded that the Village could not have added another couple hundred thousand to the bonds as they were already “tapped out.”  She further suggested that they had needed to prioritize and that while the Village was able to operate without a Booth, they could not do so without water tanks.

With regard to the donation, she pointed out that the funds had been given for the repair of the Keep.  Trustee McFadden was present for that process.  When the money was brought forward it was for the Police buildings and because the Keep was having to be restored.  She further suggested that she had never provided any exact figure for the project commenting “If Trustee McFadden wanted to really get involved, he could have gotten involved!  He could return emails!  He could return phone calls!  He could return texts! …all of which he does not.  There is nothing that keeps a Trustee from getting involved.”

Trustee Guazzoni agreed commenting that nobody had really “taken this project by its horns” in the last two months. “ Our plates are very full over here,” he said motioning to himself and the Mayor, “and over here, nothing happens,” he concluded motioning to Trustee McFadden. “It’s easy to grandstand once a month.”

Alan Yassky commented that the plan for the booth that had been drawn does not fit on the site.  He is absolutely convinced that it cannot be built.  He has priced it out.  He believes they could end up with a booth on the $140-150,000 range.  The project as most recently proposed pushes so far back that trucks will be able to enter through the Front Gate without hitting either the overhang of the booth or the overhang of the Keep.  He believes it needs to be redesigned with workable drawings.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered how long Mr. Yassky felt it would take to complete the project.

Mr. Yassky suggested that it would take two months and that the Gate would need to be closed for almost a month. 

“What amazes me,” commented the Mayor “is that so much work has been put into this…and the criticisms that come out of the audience.  Nothing keeps you from participating with solutions.  I love solution making!  It’s so easy to criticize an individual, but its so much harder to stand up and help with solutions.  I can say that in this room the only ones that step up to the plate are Mr. Salierno and Mr. Alan Yassky.”

“That’s not fair,” responded Mr. Yassky.

“But I am just saying to really dig your heels in for this project or for any of the major projects“  Mayor Guinchard continued.  “A lot of people were criticized or maybe give a suggestion, but really to dig in.  It takes everyone’s positive attitude.  We have this amazing community…we really do!  There are amazing members of this community with lots of great resources and many of them volunteer on all aspects.  We have committees that are very active that do a lot of things that you may not know about…Pilgrim Pipeline, the Budgets, the Finances, Tree Advisory Board, The Trail Committee….there is so much good that comes out of this community.  I really would encourage us to move forward to get things moving on and to get them going because we could sit her criticizing, but let’s turn the page and find something right and get it going.  That’s what this community is about!”

Barbara duPont commented that it was her understanding that since the Police had taken over the Gate that the training now dictated that they must ask visitors where they are going and if they provide an address, they are let in.  She has had countless people visit here whereby she has called the Gate and provided the name of her guest, her name and location where they will meet, but when they arrive she discovers that either the Gate was wide open and they were not stopped, or so long as they provided an address they were admitted with no further information required.  She is wondering about the security of this community, which is the reason a lot of residents move here and is something they cherish.  She feels it has been dramatically changed from the way it used to work and yet she does not believe there has been any public discussion about it.

The Mayor asked Chief Melchiore to address this comment.

Detective Taback responded, commenting that he could speak directly to the question about training as this is something he is responsible for.  He feels things are much safer now than they were in the past. “I know what they do because I train them to do it and I sit there with them,” he stated. 

Noting that she had a great deal of respect for the Department and everything that they did, Mrs. duPont stated that she was constantly told by visitors that they had not been asked for the name of the person they were visiting when entering the Village.  Rather, they are asked if they know where they going and that was it. 

Chief Melchiore stated that before leaving the meeting, he would take Mrs. duPont’s name and number so that they could check on this matter and follow up with her directly.

 Mrs. duPont thanked the Chief, commenting that she appreciated this, but further wondered if they could explain exactly what the procedure for non-resident visitors entering the Village was.

The Chief reiterated that he would take Mrs. duPont’s name and number and they could set up a meeting to go over the protocols.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that when and if something like this occurs, residents should report it right away.

“Do they want calls all day?  Everybody has a story like this!” stated Mary Graetzer.

“If they do, they should report it,” responded Mayor Guinchard. “If there is something wrong, I encourage you to call.”

Mrs. duPont commented that her perception was that there had been a change and that it was no longer necessary for residents to call the Gate to let them know when they were expecting visitors, who they were and where they were going.  She wondered if this were in fact true and if visitors were simply being allowed entry with only a name and/or address.

“No,” replied Mayor Guinchard.  “If you’re not on First Call and they say your name, they will open that gate and let them in.  If you are on the First Call, they will look on that list.”

“My understanding from the time we moved here 20 years ago was that either you called and left the name of who’s coming in, or if you didn’t do that, they would call you and say ‘is this person legitimate?’ “

“It’s never been like that since I’ve been here,” stated the Mayor.  “I was asked if I wanted to be on the First Call list.”

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that Mrs. duPont add her name to this list.

Mr. Pompan wondered if the list was actually still in effect.  “I’m on first call and I have never gotten a call since the new Police Department took over.”

“Really?  I am called,” asserted Kathy Norris.  “If somebody goes to the Gate and asks for me, they call me immediately.  They don’t let them in.”

“Well you are the lucky one then,” responded Mr. Pompan.

The Chief reiterated that he would look into the situation.

Lili Neuhauser inquired about the DPW and Police contracts and asked for an update.

Mayor Guinchard responded that the DPW contract was done and that the Board would be discussing the contents of it during executive session, before coming back out and voting on it. 

“It’s done now?” inquired Mrs. Neuhauser.

The answer was yes.

“So, on April 12, when you said it was done, was it done then?”

Mayor Guinchard responded that it had been.  “Lili, listen to me for a minute.  DPW was done in April. They had to vote.  All the employees have to get together to finish voting.”  She further indicated that this was the first meeting of the BOT since that vote had occurred, and now the Board would be voting on it. 

Trustee McFadden wondered what would happen if the DPW were to vote no.

The Mayor responded that this was a question for the attorney adding “if you wanted to know, you should have called me and asked me.”

“Go to meetings once in a while,” added Trustee Guazzoni.

Paul Gluck commented that he wanted to turn back to the subject of John Ledwith and his termination.  Stating that he understood that they were not taking any comments, he asserted that he had a few he wanted to make.  He read allowed the following, which is part of an online petition formed by residents in the wake of Mr. Ledwith’s dismissal. “Our Village employees deserve to be treated fairly. Terminating an employee is a drastic act. Just because, in theory, an employer can act to fire an at-will employee “for no reason” does not mean that it is the right thing to do. If there is a basis for firing an employee – particularly one of Mr. Ledwith's tenure and history – it should be clearly articulated, documented, and communicated to the employee. 

With Mr. Ledwith's absence, the Village, the functioning of its Boards and the success of its ongoing projects – including a major Dam project and a potential rebuilding of the Front Gate – are in danger of being disrupted by the loss of a valuable, perhaps critical, resource.”  He further commented that the petition made reference to the fact that there does not appear to be any determination of malfeasance, theft or other serious illegal activity and calls on the Board of Trustees to reconsider their decision to fire Mr. Ledwith and to consider that any transgression could be dealt with in a manner more consistent with Human Resources best practices.  In it’s short life online, this petition has been signed by 81 residents including former Mayors, former Trustees, the Chairs and most members of the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Board and many others in this community who have worked with John and found him to be, while perhaps not perfect, a good employee.  Mr. Gluck hopes that the Board will not take any action that would prevent a future administration from returning him as an employee if that is the course of action that administration decided to take.

Jim Hays seconded these remarks, further stating that many of the current Trustees were “fairly green” as Board members and that it was possible that they might overreact to a situation, which is understandable.  This kind of overreaction can be corrected.  He asked the Board to go into an executive session and reconsider their decision in this matter further commenting “you have picked up a hornets nest and a it’s going to come back.  You have done many good things and there is lots of good energy but this, I think, was a mistake.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who have had trouble with John.  That’s understandable.  It’s difficult to be a Code Enforcement Officer and not have some people object to what you’re doing if you’re enforcing the code.  That can happen. In general, it is the Board’s responsibility to support the Building Inspector and to support the Assessor and not undermine him.  He needs to have a certain amount of independence.  He should not be at the bidding of the Mayor.  He’s not the servant of the Mayor.  He is an independent person who has a legal responsibility to uphold the code and for that he needs your support.  If you fire him, that leaves a big question for the next Building Inspector.  Is that going to happen to him?  How independent can he be if for some reason….and we don’t know what the reason was….and that makes it very difficult for us. Please go into executive session and reconsider.  I think it’s important and I think it would be the best for all of you if you do.  If you don’t, which you may not, then there will be a lot of questions that are asked and I think there should be an investigation into his firing.   One or two Trustees can initiate this investigation and I think it should happen.   There are a lot questions that need to be asked.  Some of those questions have already been asked, but I have a list of 8, which I want to read into the record.”  Noting that some of these questions had already been posed, Mr. Hays then read allowed the following:

  1. Did the Board of Trustees vote to fire John Ledwith?  When?  What was the resolution and who voted in favor and who against? If any Trustees abstained or did not vote, why?  What were the terms of the termination given to John?  How did John respond?
  2. Was John given a reason why he was being fired at or before the time he was told?  If so, what was it?  If not, why not?
  3. One Trustee has been reported as saying that the Board engaged a forensic accountant to review John’s performance of his duties in relation to the Village Water Department?  Is this correct?  Who was the firm, when were they engaged, what was their scope for work, and what was their report?  Was there a written report?  If so, please make it publicly available.  If not, why was there no written report? Did they make a recommendation regarding John’s termination?  If so, what was it?
  4. Did the Board or the Mayor make a determination that John was guilty of misconduct or was incompetent?  If so, what was the misconduct  or conduct found to be incompetent?  Was John accused of any dishonesty or illegality? Was John informed and given an opportunity to explain?  If so, what was the explanation he offered and why was it insufficient?
  5. When was John’s last performance review?  Was the same or similar misconduct or incompetence noted in his performance review?  Was the performance review generally favorable or unfavorable?
  6. Did the Board seek legal advice regarding the conditions under which it was permissible to remove John from each of his positions with the Village before he was fired?  Was that advice in writing?  If so, please make it publicly available.  If not, why not?  
  7. Was the Board advised that John was not entitled to the protections of Section 75 of the Civil Service Law which provides in substance that an employee in the non-competitive class with five years of continuous service may be removed only for misconduct or incompetence?
  8. Did the Board  obtain before John was fired any advice from employment professionals regarding how the Village could find a replacement for John in his various functions and the likely cost?  If so what was the advice?  Has such advice been sought since then?

“I hope it won’t come to all of this, but it will come to all of this…..please reconsider,” pleaded Mr. Hays, handing a copy of his questions to the Village Clerk.  “It was a horrendous move for somebody who has been here for 22 years.  How many Boards of Trustees have served with John?  How many Mayors have served with John?  And none of them felt that his performance rose to a level where he should be fired.  He may have made some mistakes.  We all do.  I am not arguing that he didn’t make mistakes…he probably did!   We all make mistakes.  But were they at that level?  I think in the minds of most of the people in this community it has to be very egregious to fire him and do it so precipitously.  Thank You.”

This was met by a loud round of applause from the public.

Trustee Guazzoni responded “Had it not been serious, we would have waited until June 21 to terminate him.  Just think about that.  Secondly, you are requesting a lot of information that could really hinder this individual from getting his next job.  I personally care about this individual and his not been impeded from further employment.  Please keep things off of the internet and off of searchable engines.  Your petition is very searchable on Google.  Use his initials please.”

Mr. Gluck suggested that the petition was actually quite favorable to Mr. Ledwith and rather that it reflected poorly on the Village for having acted the way they did.

Commenting that he had previously determined not to speak on this issue but could no longer help himself, Alan Yassky stated “Claudio, I sat here at the reorganization meeting in 2016 and you jumped on his bones from day 1.  You didn’t want to reappoint him.  You didn’t want any part of him.  We’ve got the tapes inside and I’m sure we could bring them out and listen to them.  You went on for 30 minutes, where you wouldn’t reappoint him…where you wouldn’t do this or you wouldn’t do that.  Bottom line, I want to ask two questions.  1. If my company is ever audited, and they find something wrong, they don’t go after the employees….they go after the employer.  You guys are the employer.  If you didn’t like what was set up in the books, you damn well should have changed it!  PERIOD.  You were the supervisors.  2.  I’d like to know if anyone that voted against him, or anyone on the Board applied for certiorari formal or informal to have their taxes reviewed that John turned down.  That’s a serious charge!  That is a serious conflict of interest, if you asked for one and were turned down.  I know you were turned down Claudio.“

“I wasn’t turned down,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.  “I didn’t get one and I wasn’t turned down.  I had to go to Article 78.”

“Bottom line is, I think there is something very wrong if you have an employer going to an employee and asking for a special favor…reduce my taxes….with the implication being that if you don’t, you’re in trouble,” alleged Mr. Yassky.

“That’s not what happened,” asserted Trustee Guazzoni.

“Well, it may or may not be, but the implication is there,” responded Mr. Yassky.

“You could grieve publicly,” suggested Mr. Hays. 

“Couldn’t you say the same thing if you needed an approval for your house and you’re a Trustee?  Isn;’t that bias?,” inquired Mr. Niblo.  “John if you approve this you are going to lose your job.  It’s the same thing!  It should be separate then!  That’s the way it should be.”

“Or your boat house….right Alan,” added Trustee Guazozni.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” responded Mr Yassky.

“Yeah, exactly,” retorted Trustee Guazzoni. 

“Because that’s another lie you have been working on,” alleged Mr. Yassky.

“This is turning out to be a little too combative,” suggested the Mayor. 

Trustee McFadden commented that with all due respect he felt there was a something with regard to which he needed to defend himself, but the Mayor asserted that with all respect she wanted to move on. 

“No,” stated Trustee McFadden.  “There is something I need to say.”

“I would like to close the Public Comments.  We will move on to the DPW,” stated Mayor Guinchard.  “I’m so sorry.”

DPW Report:

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had been very busy with work on the Wee Wah Dam.  They have been working on both water and sewer mains there.   Additionally, both he and John Bello attended CSLAPS training the previous week. 

Mayor Guinchard wondered if there had been any resident volunteers who completed the training as well.

The answer was no.

The Mayor then asked Trustee McHugh if there was a reason why there had been no volunteers at the training.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had been encouraging volunteers however the theory behind their process was that they were trying to institutionalize things for the purpose of ensuring continuity throughout.  What they are going to try and do is to encourage students who are interested to go out with either Superintendent Voss or Mr. Bello when they are performing the work, so they can learn that way. 

The Mayor pointed out that both the Superintendent and Mr. Bello were also Village residents. 

Village Engineer Pat Hines agreed, commenting that they had discussed this with the NY Federation of Lakes, that in order to keep the program going the Village would be utilizing Village Employees.

The Superintendent also reported that he had recently attended an Orange & Rockland seminar on Smart Readers that would be installed in Orange and Sullivan counties beginning in 2018.  Three months prior to installation, Orange and Rockland will come and give a presentation about the program to the Village, if the Village so chooses.

Trustee Guazozni wondered whether this would cost the Village anything.

Superintendent Voss responded that there would be a rate change.  He added that they are hopeful that it will help decrease the length of power outages amongst other things as the readers relay information to O & R every 15 minutes.

Mary Graetzer wondered if they would be installed in the Town as well as the Village.

The answer was that they would be installed throughout Orange and Sullivan counties.  They have almost completed installation in Rockland. 

Trustee McHugh then pointed out that the DPW had lost an employee that was not replaced and that the department had also come in under budget for the fiscal year.  Additionally, they had been tasked with helping the Tree Advisory Board and had done a wonderful job and now have been asked to take on the CSLAPS program, which they have done without protest.  With all of this in mind, he suggested that the Community owed the DPW a tremendous amount of gratitude.

This was met by a loud round of applause.

Building and Grounds Report:

Engineer Pat Hines reported that over the course of the last 3 weeks the Building Department had performed 3 municipal searches, worked on 2 tree complaints, handled 1 property maintenance complaint, worked on a dock permit, having 2 building permits under review, issued 1 referral letter to the BZA, worked with Version to review some potential small cell tower sites, and have 4 pending complaints to be reviewed over the next several days.

Trustee McHugh inquired about current building projects that had been approved by the BAR and were in the construction phase.  He wondered whether these were being monitored.

The answer was yes.

Mayor Guinchard added that things were progressing right on schedule with the bond issuances.

Mr. Hines commented that they had also been working on an issue with the chemical storage tank at the Water Plant.  They are looking to change over to a non-hazardous product.  They have done some preliminary testing with not very satisfactory results, so they are continuing to work on it. 

Lakes Update - Trustee McHugh provided a brief update on the lakes, reporting that divers had installed a fragment curtain earlier that day in Tuxedo Lake.  CSLAPS will begin in June.  Solitude Lakes Management will complete a survey in early June and mid-June they will do suction harvesting in high traffic areas.

Mayor Guinchard suggested that they needed to vote on authorizing Superintendent Voss to move forward with a copper sulfate treatment if needed.

Trustee McHugh countered that what they actually needed to vote on was Solitude’s annual Lake Consultant contract.  This includes $870 per month consulting fee with up to 7 hours per month.  Additional hours are $145 per month.  Having Solitude attend a meeting will cost $250 and site visits are $360.  What they would like to do is get the consulting fee up and running so that they can start analyzing the CSLAPs data and providing recommendations…then dovetailing this with the mapping of Tuxedo Lake.

Mayor Guinchard wondered who would initiate Copper Sulfate treatments if needed.

Trustee McHugh responded that these treatments cost $2,000 and they could decide upon that if and when they were needed.

The Mayor recommended that they approve the consulting as well as one treatment, which would allow Superintendent Voss the flexibility to move forward if needed without having to chase down paperwork.

Dena Steele inquired as to what reports Solitude would be giving, specifically whether there would be a monthly, written report detailing what they had done and found.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had the survey and things would be framed moving forward.  He would like a monthly report that dovetails in with the CSLAPS so that they have a hard copy that everyone can see. 

Ms. Steele wondered if providing these written reports was built into the contract.

Trustee McHugh responded that it was not, but they could amend the agreement to add this.

It was agreed that this would be a good idea.

With regard to Pond #3 and the Wee Wah, Jim Hays wondered if anything would be done in these lakes, noting that the Wee Wah is in critical shape due to the low water levels.

Trustee McHugh responded that this would be addressed following the site visit.  They will be forming a resident based committee and once this has been done, they will complete a collective walk of the three lakes in order to more clearly define what they are looking to do and develop an approach.

Mr. Gluck wondered if Solitude would be looking at the data that the Village has collected via CSLAPS and the Water Department and providing an assessment.

The answer was yes.  “What we are trying to do is get a trend analysis and a living document so that everyone can see it,” noted Trustee McHugh. 

Mr. Hays wondered whether the Gate was speaking to landscapers about the use of phosphates.

Chief Melchiore responded that they were not.

Mr. Hays suggested that they should.  “We went through all of this months ago,” he continued.  “This should be done early in the season when they do it!  That should have been happening two months ago and it should certainly happen now!”

Mayor Guinchard added that she and Superintendent Voss had been investigating different ways of treating the roadways during the winter as the use of salt near the reservoir is a concern.

She then proposed that with regard to the proposed contract they only approve 1 copper sulfate treatment.  If it is in Tuxedo Lake this will cost $3,865 and if it is in the Wee Wah $1,375 and Pond #3 $895.  Due to construction on the dam, the Wee Wah will not need a treatment.  Solitude will be consulted before any such treatment. 

The Board voted unanimously in favor of this.

They then voted unanimously in favor of hiring Solitude Lakes Management at the fee structure aforementioned by Trustee McHugh with the addition of a requested written report.

Herbert Dock - The Board then briefly reviewed the Herbert dock application, which was recently approved by the BAR and has now been referred to them for the issuance of a Building Permit.

Following the brief review, the Board voted in favor of approving the application with Trustee McHugh recusing himself and Trustee McFadden abstaining.

CHS-EWA – CHS has presented their EWA # 6 in the amount of $301,000.  At the request of Trustee McFadden, the Mayor provided a brief breakdown of this.  At the end of the project the as-built survey is updating the emergency plan, end of the as-built is $23,800.  Any instrumentation that is needed, $2,500 and other estimated material testing up to $6,000.  When added to the existing approved numbers, this brings the total to $301,000.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the EWA.

Committee Reports:

Grant Writer - Noting that the conversation during Public Comments had been very spirited in nature, Grant Writer Fred Rella that the community had come together beautifully at the Arbor Day celebrations at the Race Track at the end of April.  He feels that it is possible for people to come together for the good of the community.

Moving on to the Wee Wah Dam, he noted that when he first started working in the Village this project had a projected cost of $2,000,000, but it was now up to $4,000,000 +.  CHA has been paid almost $500,000 since October of 2015.  The Bond is $3,650,000.  The State of New York has not had any grants for dams since 1996.  There are 5,800+ dams in New York State.  40% of these are in need of repair.  This dictates that they needed to look at non-traditional routes for getting funding for this project.  They were lucky enough to get two small grants of $50,000 each through the Municipal Facilities and Capital Improvement Program.  Mayor Guinchard attended an event in Woodbury at which the Governor was present and she managed to catch his ear and inform him of the project.  As a result, a meeting was held with the Governor’s regional representative, which was followed by a meeting with the Deputy Secretary of the Environment up in Albany at which a presentation was given.  The presentation was given at a crucial time as Albany was in the process of developing their budget.  Since this time, they have learned that the Governor has set aside $100,000,000 for dams for the first time since 1996!  The money will not be available until the fall of 2017 and the Village will have to apply for it, but it is very good news that they were able to get up there and make progress in this way.  It will not only benefit the community of Tuxedo but many communities in the area.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to how much the Village would be applying for.

Mr. Rella responded that the monies could not be used for work that had been completed prior to the availability of the grant, so they will have to wait and see where they are in the fall when the monies become available. 

Mr. Rella further reported that the Village would be receiving 3 license plate readers…once for each Police Vehicle.  The New York State Police will be paying for the scanning equipment, installation and printer. 

Trustee McHugh wondered why the readers were going into the police vehicles instead of being installed at the Village entrance.

“There’s no grants for the entrance,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether the scanners could be converted.

The answer was no.  The reader will have to go into a vehicle. 

Lastly, with regard to the 103DOD program, which provides surplus equipment via the Department of Defense, Mr. Rella reported that both Chief Melchiore and Detective Taback  had worked diligently and had been able to acquire some weaponry and would be going out for ammunition as well.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to what type of weaponry had been acquired.

The answer was long rifles. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of extending Mr. Rella’s contract from June 2017 to May 2018 at a rate of $2,000 per month or $24,000 a year.

Trails Committee- On behalf of the Trails Committee Trustee Moon reported that the Fox Hill trail had been walked a few weeks ago and was in good shape.  Work is being done to connect the wild life sanctuary to the trail system and this is almost completed.

Liaison Reports:

Trustee McFadden reported that nothing had changed since his last report with regard to term limits.  In terms of Village properties, he reported that he had been working with Mr. Ledwith and this had been very helpful.  He wondered if he should work with Mr. Hines moving forward.

The Mayor responded that he should and further inquired as to which properties had been looked at what had been done so far.

Trustee McFadden replied that everything had been put on hold since the departure of Mr. Ledwith.

With regard to the Village website, Trustee Guazzoni reported that the new site had gone live, but remained as a Beta version.  It can be found at www.tuxedopark.online.  He would love comments and suggestions.  Once comments have been received, the old website will be pointed to the new one.  There will then be 4 ways to access the new site.

Trustee Guazzoni next reported that he had been working with Verizon wireless and that a location had been determined for the installation of a new cell tower.  “If all of the community doesn’t have 5 bars, I will be very surprised,” he stated.  It might take more than one antenna, but the goal is to bring 5 bars of Verizon wireless to all residents.  This is important because it limits radiation to the brain during cellphone usage.

Mary Graetzer inquired as to where the property was located.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that they were looking at Village owned properties such as the Ridge Road water tanks and the Water Plant.  The rent is $3,000 per antennae.

“Do we all have to convert to Verizon?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

“I didn’t knock on AT & T’s door yet,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.  “Maybe you can do that.”

The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss contracts and employee matters.

When they restarted the meeting after their session, the following actions were taken:

 - Approval of the purchase of a water meter reading device which will interface with the Village’s current software for a price up to $2000.

 - The settling of two water bill accounts

 - Approval for Mayor to sign the DPW contract/memorandum of agreement to run from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2020. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting, May 17, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Police Report
5. DPW Report
6. Building & Grounds Report
a. Herbert Dock Request
7. Committee Reports
a. Grant Writer
8. Solitude Lake Management Contract
9. Public Comments
10. Audit of Claims
11. Approval of Minutes
12. Adjournment

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Special Village Board of Trustee Meeting To Be Held Monday, May 8 at 9am

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a special Board of Trustees meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, May 8, 2017 for the purpose of authorizing the Orange County Real Property Tax Service to assist the Village with its current 2017 Village tax billing and any other necessary functions as required by NY State and Orange County for 2017 property tax billing. The meeting will be held in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987. Please note that Trustee John Moon will be attending via Face Time from 570 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10022

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 28, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Friday April 28 at 7pm.
Trustee Moon was absent.

Board attorney Brian Nugent participated via conference call.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard opened the meeting by announcing that the Board had a few “housekeeping” issues to attend to before moving on to their agenda.

The first of these was two create two seasonal civil service positions for the DPW so that they can hire summer help.  Historically, these employees have made $10 per hour, but the pay rate has not been set yet.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of creating the positions.

Secondly, the Mayor proposed that they create another civil service position for a part time assessor. 

Trustee McFadden inquired as to what the background was with this, wanting to know specifically what the Village’s plan was and who this person would be.

The Mayor explained that they would not be voting to hire a person but rather to create the position with Civil Service. 

Trustee McFadden wanted to know if this person would be hired to replace John Ledwith.

Trustee Guinchard responded that the Village has never had a Civil Service assessor before, even though they thought that they had.

“So what’s the basis of it and why are we doing it?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

Mayor Guinchard called on Mr. Nugent to explain how the process worked with Civil Service.

Mr. Nugent explained that the Village did not currently have a proper assessor with Civil Service.  If they wanted to fill this position, they would need to create it. 

“We thought it was in existence.  They told us it wasn’t in existence, so we have to create it,” summed up Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee McFadden inquired of Mr. Nugent as to any additional costs that might be associated with the position change.

Mr. Nugent responded that there was no cost involved in creating the position.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the position should have been created back in 2006.

Mr. Nugent concurred.

Trustee McHugh inquired of Village Clerk Debbie Matthews how the Village had managed thus far without having this position and whether or not the State had ever come down on the Village for it that she was aware of.

She responded that she had not seen anything of this nature.

“Well….now that they know….” commented Mayor Guinchard.  She then inquired of Ms. Matthews as to what the State might be able to do to the Village if they did not create the position.

Ms. Matthews suggested they ask Mr. Nugent this question, which they did.  Trustee Guazzoni also wanted to know what consequences might be for the Village since they had had somebody acting in this position for years without the proper designation.

Mr. Nugent responded that he did not believe there would be any consequence.  Moving forward, without the official title, Mr. Nugent advised that the State could withhold certification of payroll.  This being said, he further stated that in his experience the State wanted to work with municipalities and not against them.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether the Village was required by law to have this a Civil Service position.

Mr. Nugent replied that the Village was not required to have an assessor and that they could choose to have the Town assessor perform the duties.  If they do not want to use the Town’s assessor, they would need to create the position.  Mr. Nugent was not sure what the consequences might be for personnel if they refused to create the position.

Trustee McFadden reiterated that what he wanted to know was whether or not the Village needed to create a Civil Service position in order to hire their own tax assessor.

The answer was yes.  Mr. Nugest further advised that any municipal position has to have a Civil Service title, except for elected officials.

Again, Trustee Guazzoni wanted to know whether Mr. Nugent felt the Village would be subject to penalty because the position had not been created in 2006, but the Village had utilized personnel that they referred to as the tax assessor for the last 11 years.

The answer was no.

From the audience, Planning Board Chair Joanne Hanson inquired as to whether or not the public would have the opportunity to ask questions about this.

“No.  Not right now….just so we can keep moving,” responded the Mayor.

“Why not?” inquired Ms. Hanson asked. “When?” chimed in another audience member.

“There are no public comments tonight.  This is a special meeting on the budget,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

“You are not talking about the budget,” stated Gardner Hempel.  

“You are talking about the assessor and the legal questions regarding it,” added Mrs. Hanson.

“I don’t think we are going to have public comments tonight,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

Mayor Guinchard suggested that they either had to create the position or use either the County or Town assessor.

Trustee Guazzoni echoed these sentiments, repeating what the Mayor had just said verbatim.

Trustee McFadden stated that he would be abstaining because this issue had been brought up for the first time only minutes ago and he had not had the opportunity to fully examine it.

The Mayor suggested that they could table it, if Trustee McFadden preferred.

“I don’t think we have a person in mind,” added Trustee Guazozni.

Trustee McHugh requested that Mr. Nugent write something up for the Trustees detailing what the Village’s options were so that they could make an informed, intelligent decision at their meeting. 

It was agreed that this would be done.

Next, Mayor Guinchard announced that there were two Solitude Lakes Management contracts to be considered.  The first is for a plant survey of Tuxedo Lake and the other is for an aquatic plant algae control of Tuxedo Lake.

Trustee McHugh explained that the first contract would cover a plant survey of Tuxedo Lake, replicating the work that was done in 2011 and evaluating the extent of the milfoil.  Once this has been evaluated, Solitude will present the Village with an estimate in terms of what it would cost for chemical treatment, should they choose to go that route vs. the mechanical route the Village has been employing to date.

The survey will cost $4,050, which is the same amount that was spent previously for this study.

The second contract is open ended but free.  This one asks for permission and will provide a cost structure and table of all the different pesticides or chemical treatments they might use and what the cost is on a per acre basis.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the first contract, but decided to table the second one.

Resolution – 2017-2018 Tentative Budget:
Mayor Guinchard explained the following:

“When we passed the budget on April 19, there is actually a way that the comptroller wants the tax caps to be looked at by a formula that is online and you have to actually do part of your budget online now.  So when that’s done….it formulates it.” 

She went on to say that the auditor had taken a look at this, along with Ms. Matthews and had discovered some things that needed to be done for a prior year as well “because that’s how it is done now going forward with the Comptroller.”  With this, she reported, there was a decrease for residents as taxpayers, but this needs to be calculated and done correctly.  The Mayor then circulated a copy of the calculation to the Trustees for their review.    She then announced that the levy would be going from $3,608,453 to $3, 593,828.

She then made a motion to rescind the motion they had made on April 19, adopting the General Fund.

Trustee McHugh commented that his issue was this pertained to an inter-fund transfer of $12,000 from the water fund to the general fund.  His philosophical problem here is that residents in the Town pay into the water fund and therefore, he believes those funds should stay in the water surplus and not be moved over to the general fund.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that this was a good point.  He then proceeded to outline, presumably for the audience’s benefit, the manner in which the General Fund and the Water Fund exist as well as to recap of what Trustee McHugh had just said.  He went on to suggest that the reason the money was being transferred was to cover administrative fees associated with the Water Company, which is technically run out of the Village Office using Village equipment.  He further commented that New York State allows up to $1,000 per month to be transferred to cover administrative fees, covering costs such as computers, phones, and everything else they use in the Village Office.

Trustee McHugh countered that the Water Department already had phones and other administrative bills that the Village had already paid for these and these were appropriately accounted for within the budget. 

“But what happens in this office is not appropriated for,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.”  “Debbie’s time and the manager of the Water Company and the computers and the air conditioning and the internet and the lights and heating this place in the winter.”

“I think we allocate personnel time for that,” responded Trustee McHugh.  He went on to indicate that he had also noticed that they had “jacked up” and taken more money from the appropriated surplus.  “so there has been two changes.”

“No, we brought it down,” responded Mayor Guinchard.

“No, you took it from $65,940 to $67,482,” he replied referencing the budget before him.

The Mayor indicated that this needed to be done in order to balance things out.
Finally, Trustee McHugh noted that the budget did not account for rebuilding the Police Booth. 

The Mayor concurred.

“So the budget for 17/18 does not include the Booth and we have $70,000 left over to do the Booth, if we can do the Booth,” stated Trustee McHugh.

“That is its own fund,” replied Mayor Guinchard.

Going back to the $1,000 per month transfer from the Water Fund to the General Fund, the Mayor noted that the auditor had told them that if the Village used employees in the Village office to stuff the bills and putting postage on them, they should be doing an inter-fund transfer to cover these costs.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that they should have been doing this all along but were not.  “We are just being more transparent,” he stated.

This was met by widespread laughter from the public.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of rescinding the General Fund budget adopted on April 19 and approving the new, revised budget.
Next they addressed the Water Fund, voting unanimously in favor of rescinding the budget they adopted on April 19, and approving the revised version.

Resolution – Modify 2016-2017 Adopted Budget:

Mayor Guinchard explained that the auditor had recommended that they modify the adopted 2016/2017 Water Fund budget to include the $12,000 inter-fund transfer for the purpose of reimbursing the General Fund for administrative costs.

Trustee McHugh commented that he would like to see the recommendations from the auditor before he voted on this issue.  “I prefer to see it in advance, before the meeting,” he added. 

It was then agreed that this would be tabled until the next meeting.

The meeting was then adjourned.

Lili Neuhauser inquired of the Mayor as to whether or not the audience would be allowed to make any comment on the situation with John Ledwith. 

“There is no public comment.  We were just doing a budget session,” responded Mayor Guinchard.

“So from this point forward, if it’s inconvenient, we’re not going to able to ask questions about the people we pay the salaries for?” Mrs. Neuhauser replied.

“This meeting is adjourned,” stated the Mayor.

“Truly I think that you owe this community some sort of explanation.”

Mayor Guinchard suggested that she allow the Village Attorney to respond to this line of questioning and proceeded to call him on the phone.

“We are paying the lawyer’s fee too,” shouted Manda Sanandaji.  “So why don’t you get him there and we can ask him the question.”

“But Brian is not the one who fired him, Mary Jo.  It’s not a Brian question,” suggested Nancy Hays.  “We are asking you directly.”

By this time, Mr. Nugent had answered the telephone and Mayor Guinchard asked him to address the issue at hand.

“Mary Jo, with due respect, the question was for you and not for the attorney,” called out an audience member.  “You are the one that fired John and we would like an explanation as to know why.”

“Brian?” responded Mayor Guinchard, adding “the lawyer has stated that we cannot discuss employee matters in public.  We can only discuss it in Executive Session.

Brian, can you explain that we cannot discuss employee matters in a public venue?”
Mr. Nugent responded that this was a true statement.

“I believe you can call an Executive Session and invite anybody you want to,” suggested Gardner Hempel.

The conversation with Mr. Nugent was then terminated.

“Wow…you’re not going to go there, are you?” demanded Mrs. Neuhauser.

“No,” replied the Mayor.

“That’s really great Mary Jo.  You guys are just wonderful. Nice Job,” Mrs. Neuhauser responded.

“We cannot discuss employee matters.” The Mayor reiterated.

 “You are talking about transparency?  This is not transparent!” called out one audience member.

“We are the taxpayers!  We pay the taxes and we are entitled to know why,” stated Mrs. Sanandaji.

“What is your name, Maam?” inquired Trustee Guazzoni.

Mrs. Sanandaji responded, identifying herself and indicating that she and Trustee Guazzoni knew one another.  She further suggested that Mr. Ledwith had worked for the Village for 22 years.  “I don’t know when you came.  I have lived here since 1979 and I feel that I am entitled as taxpayer, who has been living here since I was 29 years old, to know why you fired this guy.  Tell me why.”

“The official reason that we fired him was no reason,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

This was met by a chorus of laughter combined with cried of disbelief from the public.

“In this way, the Village cannot be sued,” continued Trustee Guazozni.

“Don’t hold your breath,” called Mary Graetzer.

Trustee Guazzoni indicated that there was more to the story that would come out as time went on.

Mrs. Sanandaji commented that Mr. Ledwith had been a loyal employee of the Village for years.

“Be patient.  Two weeks from now we can tell you the full story,” responded Trustee Guazozni.

“In light of the bonds you are taking out and the projects we have in front of us, you think it is prudent to go forward without this man and his wisdom of 22 years?” asked          Mrs. Neuhauser.

“We cannot discuss….” began the Mayor.

“Tactical error you guys,” suggested Mrs. Neuhauser.

“Lili,” responded Trustee Guazzoni, “this employee’s wisdom closed Tuxedo Road for two years.”

“That’s not a point that matters, sir,” suggested Ms. Hanson.

“Oh, now you’re putting that on him,” Mrs. Neuhauser stated. “That’s nice Claudio!”

“It wasn’t him alone, Lili,” replied Trustee Guazzoni. “None of the roads were closed…uh….you know…”

“I would like to talk just structural matters,” stated Mrs. Hanson.  “Are we allowed to have a Building Inspector who also the assessor, and can you please give us the statute that refers to this?”

Mayor Guinchard indicated that she had Ms. Matthews had spoken to Civil Service and had asked them whether a full time employee could be a Building Inspector.  She asked Ms. Matthew to expand on the conversations they had had with Civil Service.

Ms. Matthews responded that Civil Service had told them that they could create a position to accommodate the situation.

“….and what was their comment when we were trying to accommodate?” inquired the Mayor.  “That everything was a conflict.”

“There is an inherent conflict between somebody who is…” began Trustee Guazzoni.

“No,” interrupted Ms. Hanson. “I am asking for the statutory prohibition.”

“Well, we were asked not to do it.  We didn’t…” began Trustee Guazzoni.

“It’s the rules that they put on Civil Service.  It’s how it is.  Orange County,” stated Mayor Guinchard.

Ms. Hanson responded that she had read all 49 pages of the Orange County Rules and had not seen this statute anywhere.

“State rules,” interjected the Mayor.
“I think what the audience is asking for is the legal statute that you are moving forward on,” suggested Ms. Hanson. “You are trying to create an independent assessor position.”

“The County Law is stronger than the State Law,” responded the Mayor.

“You have made that statement.  I have read the entirety of the County rules today, and I have read the description of Building Inspector.  I’ve read the description of….”
“It can’t be vested in the same person,” interrupted Trustee Guazzoni.  “I cannot tell you why.  There is a letter of opinion.”

“A letter of opinion….not a statute,” responded Mrs. Hanson.

Trustee Guazozni suggested that the letter of opinion explained the statute. 

“Can we please, as a Village, see that letter so that we can assess it?” asked Ms. Hanson.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that the reasoning behind the split of power between the Tax Assessor and the Building Inspector was that information gleamed from being a Building Inspector could not be used on the tax assessment side.  “You do not have to allow the Tax Assessor onto your property.  If you say ‘stay off my property’ to the Tax Assessor, he has to stay off of your property.  He can look at your property from afar.  A Building Inspector, when he is on your property, he cannot use that information and give it to the Tax Assessor. You can’t do that.”

Ms. Hanson responded that she appreciated this discussion but what she was trying to understand was whether or not there was a legal statute or a prohibition.

“It’s really kind of a simple thing,” stated the Mayor.  “You can have a Building Inspector.  You can have a Tax Assessor.  You can have many positions in the Village, but there are certain positions you can’t hold at the same time.”

“and I am saying…where is the Statute?”

The Mayor explained that every employee has to be part of Civil Service.  Certain positions can be combined, but others cannot.  “Debbie and I have been on the calls with Civil Service for….a year and a half?  Well…since we got the Chief.”

“Those powers were invested in the same person in 2006 by McFadden when he was Mayor,” suggested Trustee Guazzoni “and he didn’t check with New York State, He didn’t check with Orange County,…he just…..”

Ms. Hanson stated that she felt she was asking a fairly straight forward question.  She reiterated that she had read the entirety of Orange County’s rules and was asking for the specific statute to back up what Trustee Guazzoni and the Mayor were suggesting.

“I am no lawyer,” stated the Mayor “but Civil Service pretty much said that we could not do it.”

Ms. Hanson wanted to know who the Mayor had spoken to at Civil Service.

The Mayor responded that Ms. Hanson should call them and ask.  She felt certain that they would confirm the fact that the Village was not allowed to combine these positions.

Ms. Hanson responded that she would be happy to call Civil Service.  “I believe that page 27 of the Orange County Rules says that one can create a special position.  So, the question is, is there a statutory prohibition against combining the Assessor and Building Inspector?”

Mayor Guinchard suggested that Ms. Hanson should speak to Mr. Nugent and go through all the legalities involved as there are Case Studies to support this.  “I cannot explain to you more on these issues.  There are certain positions….”

“So we fired John because of this?” inquired Mrs. Neuhauser.

“No,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.  “We fired John because of no reason.”

The Mayor suggested that she and Ms. Matthews had been working on the Civil Service situation for over a year.

“Do you feel good about what you have done?” Mrs. Neuhauser asked.

“It was very difficult,” replied Trustee Guazzoni.  “Lili, he and you closed the road for two years…so stop it.”

This was met by a cry of outrage from the public.

“We cleaned up your mess,” continued Trustee Guazzoni.
This angered the Public even further.

“Now you are pushing it way too far,” cried Mrs. Neuhauser.

“Oh Come on,” stated Mrs. Sanandaji.  She went on to suggest that clearly it was “very easy” for Trustee Guazzoni to drop other people’s names,  but it was entirely inappropriate for him to call an ex-Mayor out for something that had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

“It’s John  Ledwith’s and her fault,” replied Trustee Guazozni.  “both of them.  They share responsibility.”

“Oh nice Claudio,” shouted Mrs. Neuhauser.  “Be a man!  Seriously!  Unbelievable!”
Mayor Guinchard attempted to bring things back under control by stating that anyone employed by the Village had to be on Civil Service.

“Stop yourself now,” suggested Gardner Hempel.  “Save yourself.”

“We saved the future of the Village,” countered Trustee Guazzoni.

Chiu Yin Hempel commented “I am not a political person, but given the fact that you guys are so convinced that on the issue of  Tax Assessor and Building Inspector cannot exist in one  person and you cite that there are statutes to this effect, conversations to this effect, is it not possible for the sake of transparency (which is the word for government these days) to email one of us as a representative that precise statute and the precise numbers of the people that you have consulted with so that we can actually see for ourselves and convince ourselves that this is the case.  Even if you are right and we can’t have the Building Inspector and the Tax Assessor exist in the same person, what Debbie just said is that you could create a new position that can reclassify it or whatever it is.  In my limited life as an executive, not government….I have never been in government and looking at this I have no desire, but in the executive world, which I hope is not that far away from government otherwise we would have a hell of a government, is that a person can leave for broadly three reasons: 1. Cause, which is like embezzlement, sexual harassment, murder and kidnapping.  2. Performance, which would be subject to job description, performance reviews, warnings etc. or 3. Redundancy/reorganization issues.”

“You left out a forth reason,” suggested Trustee Guazzoni.

“No reason?” inquired Mrs. Hempel.

“At will, yes,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

“The entire New York State is at will,” suggested Mrs. Hempel.  “We minimized the risk to the Village,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.  “We have done everybody a favor.  You will see in the future.”

“I would submit,” added Paul Gluck “that there are a number of people who believe that the risk to the Village is significantly greater today than it was three weeks ago.” 

There was a chorus of agreement from the public.

“As a lawyer I think you should get the file, look at the file and don’t opine before you open up the file,” responded Trustee Guazozni.

“As a lawyer, I think the administration should hand that file over to a select committee of the community and let them take a look at it.”

_________O’Sullivan wondered whether the dismissal of Mr. Ledwith had been a unanimous decision of the Board.

“It was a unanimous decision of the people who were here voting,” replied Trustee Guazzoni.

“Answer the question!” called out various members of the public.

“There are five trustees…” stated Mr. O’Sullivan.

“Of the five, one had to go home early and the other left in the middle of the discussion.  It was a unanimous decision of the three people who were here.”

“Given the seriousness of the issue at hand,” suggested Mr. O’Sullivan, “would you not say that all five should have remained for the vote?”

“No,” replied Trustee Guazzoni. “One went home and the other left.”

This elicited several cries from the audience suggesting that the issue should have been tabled without the benefit of a full Board to vote on it. 

“You tabled many things that were of far less significance than this tonight,” suggested Rob McQuilken.  “This is a very big issue.”

“I would just like to make a comment very quickly,” stated Mayor Guinchard.  “We hear you.  We have more information than you have.  I am not going to discuss an employee because I think that is not appropriate.  We cannot discuss, as I am sure many of you are in corporations and have your own businesses, we would never discuss an employee matter in a public manner that goes on the internet.  It is just not appropriate at all.  I don’t know of any company…”

“Actually,” responded Mr. McQuilken “it has ended up that there is a great deal of speculation and gossip that is all over the internet in the absence of any clarity from you.”

“That is unfortunate,” replied the Mayor.  “I did not put anything out at all.  You didn’t see a thing from me on the internet.”

“Well it was somebody who claims to be privy to a lot of sensitive information that is now, in a half-assed way, circulating in the public.  That’s not acceptable,” responded Mr. McQuilken.

“Well, that isn’t acceptable,” agreed Mayor Guinchard.  “I can’t stop you from writing something.  As citizens you can write anything you would like to write.  I can’t stop you.  All I know is, I did not put anything out.  I would never put something out on an employee. That’s just wrong.”

__________ O’Sullivan commented that she and her husband were new Village residents and that they had filled out a form so that they could receive information form the Village and in so doing, they provided their email address.   “Two days ago,” she stated “I received the most hateful e-mail about this situation before I knew anything from somebody I’ve never heard of….somebody who is not here and not on the Board and I am wondering….how did she get my e-mail address?”

“How did she get your e-mail address?” echoed the Mayor.  “I have no idea.”

Sheila Tralins then commented “I appreciate all of your dissatisfaction with this, but I am an employment lawyer for a living and frankly, it is not respectful to the employee to discuss them in public positively or negatively in this situation.

Although I appreciate you all have good thoughts for him and some don’t.  Second of all, you have to protect the Village and we don’t have the facts at this point.  As much as I appreciate John’s longevity, he was helpful to me, I don’t have all the facts to be able to draw a conclusion on results taken by the Board and perhaps there’s threatened litigation and in that case we just have to protect the Village.  As much as it is unpalatable to many of you, and I can appreciate that, legally their hands are tied.”

“The employment issue is completely separate from structural issues,” suggested Ms. Hanson.

“I don’t know how she got your e-mail address,” asserted the Mayor to Mrs. O’Sullivan.  “You have not even allowed it to go to the Village yet.  I can tell you that realtors have your email address, whoever you did transactions with, closings….I have no idea.”

“I respect that the Board is not in a position to discuss a personnel matter,” stated Mr. O’Sullivan, “but I do have the very strong concern that I live in a Village where I see a Board of Trustees acting in a capricious or malicious manner towards any employee or, for that matter, towards any person.  It seems to me, on the surface at least anyway, that’s been capricious.  Whether it has been malicious or not I do not know, but it is certainly capricious.

“It’s very very important capricious and arbitrary prosecution of people within this Village,” stated Trustee Guazozni.  “We are very cognizant of that and it is something that we have been looking at for the past two years.  Trustee John Moon is a corporate Lawyer.  He did not come to this meeting because he could not be here.  Those words that you said are very key in the discussion.  We can’t share anything right now.  Have some patience.  Maybe 2 or 3 weeks from now we will be able to share more.  Just have some patience.  That is all we are asking.”

“Mary Jo said you were going to address the structural issue,” commented Ms. Hanson.  She went on to state that she had reviewed minutes from the month of January whereby the Board had been looking to create the position of part time Building Inspector and that it seemed clear that they felt it important to make certain structural changes and that these have impacted Mr. Ledwith in terms of his job. “We don’t have to talk about what John did or didn’t do,” she stated “whether it was satisfactory or not.  But we can talk about what the law allows in terms of combining various rolls.”

The Mayor responded that since “way before January” the Village had been looking at different ways to make the situation work.

Ms. Hanson suggested that this brought them right back to the base issue of wanting to know where the specific statue existed that prevented these rolls from being combined.

“It’s not only statute, it’s case law,” replied Mayor Guinchard.

“You know Greg Stevens?” inquired Trustee Guazzoni. “Give him a call tonight.  He will give you a huge opinion on this.  He know exactly where these things are.”

“He’s a lawyer?” inquired an audience member.

“No, he’s the Tax Assessor,” replied Trustee Guazzoni.

“No he’s not” chorused several members of the audience.

The conversation regarding the statue defining the combination of these position continued for several minutes, with Ms. Hanson presenting a copy of the Orange County rules and she and Mayor Guinchard disagreeing with interpretation there of.  Ms. Hanson believes that it is possible to apply for and create a special position to account for this.

Allan Burnett suggested that the Village request an opinion letter on this issue. 

“Allan has a good point!” responded Mayor Guinchard. “We’ll have Brian do an opinion letter.  We’ll have him put the case laws in and all that because I think that what he should do is for all the positions…so that everyone knows.:

“I too am an attorney and I have written opinion letters,” stated Mr. Barnett.

Again, the Mayor referenced having had several phone calls with Civil Service on this matter.

“It’s very disturbing that you have moved on something when it hasn’t been nailed down…that there is a statute that says that the positions as they were were not legally.”

“They’re not,” asserted the Mayor. 

“They told us,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

“Verbally?” inquired Ms. Hanson, further wondering if there was anything in writing.
The answer was no.

“What we are asking is that, beyond talking to Greg Stevens, is there some need to separate the roll of Building Inspector from that of Assessor and we would like to get some legal justification for that.”

“We were asked to do this,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.  “We were asked to structure it a certain way.”

Again, Mr. Barnett pushed for the legal opinion letter.

“I am concerned that Brian will write it the way the current Board tells him to,” stated Ms. Hanson.

“Actually, if you have the opinion letter, than another lawyer can look at it and evaluate the facts,” replied Mr. Barnett. “and I would also like to have a situation ‘how do you cure a defect’ because I cannot believe that under New York Civil Service Law that there’s not some way to cure a defect that has being going on for a number of years and has been in the record and everybody knows it…and that the only solution is to terminate.  I think you will find in New York State Civil Service, having been a CFO in an insurance company, that the law protects the employees and there are methods to cure defects.”

“You are summarizing incorrectly,” suggested Trustee Guazzoni.  “He wasn’t let go because of this deficiency.   This deficiency occurred…. Assume you are running a hospital…and it happens….how many times do you see that a Doctor has been operating for five or six years before they find out that…”

“Claudio, I’m sorry, you are slandering John,” interrupted Ms. Hanson “You are comparing him to a malpractice mistake.”

“Well….yes I am,” admitted Trustee Guazzoni.

Ms Hanson then asked for the name and number of the individual the Mayor had spoken with at Civil Service and this information was provided to her.

“Can I say something?” asked Ms. Matthews.  Permission was granted.

“John is on the civil service list as Deputy Village Clerk,” she stated.

“but not for the other jobs,” added Trustee Guazzoni.

“But he has been submitting documents.  I have seen them in the Orange County Record under both titles,” asserted Ms. Hanson.

“I know.  He didn’t get caught.  McFadden set it up incorrectly.  I don’t know what else to say,” responded Trustee Guazozni.

“I appreciate that Civil Service wants you to define the positions,” commented Ms. Hanson “but that doesn’t say that they cannot be combined and occupied by that person.”

“They have to know who occupies them,” suggested Mayor Guinchard.

“Trust us, we acted in the best interest of the Village,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.  

“The structure of the jobs and whatever aside,” stated Mrs. Hempel, “I want to pick up one point that Barbara duPont just said.   At the Trustees meeting where you decided to let John go, two of the Trustees left.  This is a very serious Human Resource position of an employee who has worked in the Village for 23 years and whom a lot of us have had positive working experience with…very closely and not as property owners but as Planning Board Chair, ex-BAR Chair, current Planning Board members, a former Mayor, Gary Glynn and the entire BZA.  Given the seriousness of the matter, why didn’t you guys table it so that the other Trustees could abstain or vote no, or bring about further discussion, instead of voting 3-0.”

“One walked out and the other had to go home,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

‘They left right at the vote,” added the Mayor.

“This is not funny. We acted in the best interest of the Village.  It is us who are in a position of privilege in the Village who view John Ledwith in a certain way.  Others who are weak….others who have no voice…there are 100 other people who view John Ledwith 180 degrees to what you said.  It is us who have to check our privilege. We have to check our privilege.”

“Are you calling Village residents weak?” inquired Meg Vaught.

“Some of them are,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

“I think there are some of the Trustees who are pretty weak too,” suggested Mary Graetzer.

“Exactly,” agreed a fellow member of the Public.

With this remark, the meeting dispersed.

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Village Board of Trustees to Rescind Recently Adopted Budget in Favor of Revised Version on April 28

A special Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of rescinding the 4/19/17 vote on the Village tentative budget and re-voting on a revised budget.  The revised budget can be found on the Village website:  http://tuxedopark-ny.gov/

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 19,2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, April 19 at 7pm.

All members were present.

Mayor’s Update:

Moment of Silence – Mayor Guinchard called for a moment of silence in memory of long-time Village resident Valerie Napolitano who passed away last month, as well as Officer Dustin James of the Village of Walden Police Department, who passed away on April 18 in an accident at the age of 31.  Officer James was a former partner to Detective Taback and was also involved with many of the other officers on the Village force.  Additionally, she asked that “for those who have suffered from various acts of violence around that we have all been hearing about on the news over the last week or so” also be remembered.

Resolution – Planning Board/BZA Training Hours – Both the Village Planning Board and Board of Zoning Appeals are looking to reduce their mandated training hours from 4 to 1.  Planning Board Chair Joanne Hansen explained that the reason for the requested reduction is that currently, much of the training these Boards receive pertains to commercial zoning, which is irrelevant in the Village.

 Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether the training was State mandated and who provided it.  He wondered if there would be a “spoke” course option available to the Board members should they decide to move forward with the reduction.

Mrs. Hansen explained that the training was mandated, but that municipalities had the power to reduce the requirement.  She further commented that she was in constant receipt of various training offerings and felt that it would not be difficult to find appropriate one/ones to pursue.  There are a range of different options, but they come primarily from the State.  In the past, they have completed trainings specific to SEQRA and environmental review.  They been able to successfully tailor it from year to year depending on what the Boards are working on.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered if there were online courses available.

The answer was yes.

Trustee McHugh wanted to know whether or not all Village Board members were currently in compliance with the mandates and who was in charge of monitoring this.

Mrs. Hansen responded that she could only speak for the Planning Board and that they were in compliance.  She added that historically they have used a combination of methods (books, online courses etc) to fulfill the requirement.

Trustee McHugh then wondered whether or not it might be beneficial for all new Board members to complete the 4 hours of training during their initial term, while veteran members would be permitted to do the 1 hour as maintenance.

Mrs. Hansen replied that it would depend on the background individual Board member as to whether or not something like this would be beneficial.  While the 4 hours would probably be appropriate for somebody who did not have any background, many of the new Board members already have a wealth of experience and would not, in her opinion, require the lengthier training.

 Mayor Guinchard suggested that this decision could be left up to the Board Chairs and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Trustee McFadden commented that it seemed to him as though requiring more than an hour, even for a new member, would basically be a waste of time as most of the other courses are not relative to the Village, which is restricted to residential zoning.

Trustee Moon thanked Mrs. Hansen and her colleagues for their community volunteerism, further commenting that if the Trustees could assist them by unburdening them from irrelevant training, he was happy to support it.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.

Resolution – Appoint Election Inspectors-

The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing the following election inspectors for the June 20, 2017 Village Election at the rate of $200 per day:

Jay O’Nell & Kurt Hog – Voting Machine Operators

Donna Dumont & Brooke Ing  - Table Inspectors 

Alternate – Desiree Hickey

Resolution – Raise Garage Rentals from $100 to $115 per month (8 units)-

Commenting that the garage rental rates have not been raised in approximately 4-5 years (currently $100 per month) Mayor Guinchard proposed that the Board vote to raise them by $15 monthly.

Trustee McHugh wondered why they were only increasing the rate by 15%.  He wanted to know who had determined this amount.

Mayor Guinchard responded that she and the Village Clerk had made the determination.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether all of the garages were occupied and if so, why they were not increasing the rent to $200 per month.

The Mayor responded that she felt that would be too heavy of an increase.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to the total number of units.

The Mayor informed him that there 8 in total and that there is a waiting list for them.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know what the new revenue would be on an annual basis.

Mayor Guincahrd noted that new revenue would total $1,440.

Given that there is a waiting list, Trustee McHugh suggested an increase to $150 per month.

“Make Sally Sonne Happy,” he quipped.  “She thinks they’re cheap.”

Trustee McFadden commented that this reminded him of the boat tax that boat owners have been forced to pay, many of them on top of lake-front taxes,  and therefore, he would be voting against it.  He believes the increase would be “nickel and diming’ the people who are renting the garages.  He is also opposed to a  significant increase.

The Board then voted 3-2 in favor of the increase, with Trustees McHugh and McFadden voting against.

Announce – Bulk Pick Up Date – Saturday, May 20-

Bulk Pick Up Day in the Village will be Saturday, May 20.  Items must be curbside by 7am.  Trustee Guazzoni reminded everyone that items such as batteries, paint, yard waste and car parts were excluded from the pick up.

Resolution – Arbor Day Proclamation Renewal-

The Board voted unanimously in favor of renewing the Arbor Day Proclamation for 2017 and authorizing the Mayor to sign said document.

Public Comments:

Mike Santoianni of Clubhouse Road commented that last year in the newsletter it had been stated that Club House Road would be resurfaced and re-engineered because of the drainage issues, which is why they held off on repaving in the fall.  He pointed out that there had been quite a few roads that were re-engineered with gravel, bedding, drainage and various improvements throughout the Park.  He is not sure why the Clubhouse Road improvements need to go to a bond referendum, because the residents who live there have been paying taxes all along and it has always been part of the plan to resurface the road.  He further stated he was not sure that people realized how much damage heavy rains cause in that area because layering and layering and layering macadam has changed both the pitch and height of the road.  The old clay tile is only half there.  There is no drainage pipe.  There are a few catch basins, but the road is getting inundated from as far up as Circuit Road through crushed pipes that come down.  It is a big issue that has to be looked at and although the DPW has been on top of it for years now, it remains an infrastructure issue.  As he understands it, there is currently a discrepancy amongst the Board as to whether or not this work should or should not be added to the bond issue, but he would like to know whether or not the project is going to move forward will full engineering to properly re-grade so it is not constantly high and going into the downhill side of Clubhouse Road.   There are at least 4 or 5 residents living there who have to put out sand bags whenever there is a big storm.  Residents on Clubhouse Road Ext and the upper section of Continental Road are also victims of erosion, and there are potholes like craters there!

Trustee McFadden stated that the bond specific to these repairs had passed the month prior.

Mayor Guinchard added that Village Engineer Pat Hines would be calling into the meeting at 8:10pm to go over in detail what would be happening with the roads.  The roadway is going to be completely rebuilt.  She reiterated that the portion of the bond relevant to this work had passed 4-1 at the last meeting, however in order to move forward, they need the entire bond to pass and be encompassed together due to the high cost of issuing bonds.  That being said, she acknowledged that it was extremely important to them that this work get done.

Mr. Santoianni asked for clarification, wondering if this meant that the work would be happening or if something else had to occur amongst the Board before the work could be authorized.

The Mayor responded that this discussion would take place later in the meeting.  She cautioned that if the other sections of the bond did not pass, it would be extremely expensive to do this work on its own, however she alone cannot make that decision.  It would have to be a discussion amongst the entire Board. 

Mr. Santoianni responded that he would like to point out for the Board’s consideration during this discussion that he had added up all of the assessed value and full market value, based on the tax documents, and Clubhouse Road alone, if one adds up the property contribution, is between 10-12 million dollars.  For a short distance, there is a large contribution that has been repeatedly deferred on this road.  The residents there understand why this has occurred and that more than repaving, the road needs to be rebuilt, but other roads of similar length, such as Laurel Road, have been completely re-engineered within the last year and the residents paid for it.

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss clarified that Laurel Road had not been re-engineered.  It was re-graded.

Mr. Santoianni apologized for his error, but pointed out that the road had been graded with drainage installed along the sides and new pavement.  These three components were done to a roadway with only 4 homes on it.  This work was necessary no doubt.  Noting that he might be ignorant to what full re-engineering might entail, he commented that if Clubhouse Road were to receive new drains, re-grading and repaving, its residents would be happy.

Mayor Guinchard noted that all of this and more needed to be done on Clubhouse.  She assured Mr. Santoianni that the project is being given the attention that it needs.  The problems there go much deeper than simply re-surfacing.

Trustee Guazzoni noted that the bonds would need a super-majority vote (4 or more in favor) in order to pass.

Mr. Santoianni responded that he hoped there was a “Plan B” in place as the water was still coming down the road regardless.

Trustee McHugh inquired of Superintendant Voss as to which Village roads, if any, had been re-built during the past fiscal year.

The answer was none.

Trustee McFadden commented that it was his understanding that the bond they had approved the previous month had already started its process.  He asked Village Clerk Debbie Matthews if she could explain this process to the audience.

Mrs. Matthews responded that the Notice of Adoption had been published in the paper.  It must be posted for 30 days and after this, a second notice called an Estoppel Notice is posted for 20 days.  After that, if the Board approves moving forward, the Financial Advisor puts it out for bid.  She further cautioned that doing a small portion of the bond only, such as what was approved the month prior, did not pay as there was no market for bonds of this small size.

Police Report:

Chief Melchiore briefly introduced Officer Ryan Smith, who is new to the Village.

He then reported the following for the month of March

Non-Criminal Complaints – 264

Property Damage Accident – 1

Traffic Tickets Issued – 6

Traffic Warnings – 1

Fire Alarms – 3

Burglar Alarms – 7

Medical Calls -2

Assists Given to other Police Departments – 1 (Department was not named)

Vehicle Tags Issued – 1,042

Mayor Guinchard stated that the Chief had been using his own vehicle to transport himself to the many meetings that he attends (911 Center, Sheriff’s Dept, DA etc)  She asked that the Board approve reimbursement at a rate of .54 per mile with a cap of $100 per month.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this.

The Chief is in receipt of several different brochures from the DA with regard to various methods of security.  Some of these include violence, seniors, and home camera enhancements.  There are many safety/security services available.  She advised anyone with questions about any of these things to contact the Chief.

Trustee McFadden asked if the information could be posted to the Village website.

The answer was yes, a link can be provided.

DPW Report:

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the big snow storm at the end of March had kept the department very busy.  After widening the roadways, they had some repairs to do to some of the equipment and when those were completed they began the task of cleaning up the damage that is caused annually by plowing.   Additionally, they finished the last of the necessary tree-removal for the WeeWah Dam projects.  They also did some work down at the South Gate House, painting the upstairs, which will eventually be used by the Village for storage and they built an evidence cabinet for the Police Department.  They began the process of sweeping the roadways, but the sweeper broke down.  The Superintendent has since repaired this equipment and work will resume shortly.  There is more work to be done at the dam with capping a water main and installing a new sewer main.  This work will begin very soon. 

Mayor Guinchard thanked Superintendent Voss and his department for all of their hard work, noting that they had completed most of the tree mitigation for the Dam project, saving the Village a ton of money and they complied with all the residents’ wishes in the process, which has resulted in zero complaints!

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how the Village had faired with road salt over the course of the winter.

Superintendent Voss responded that they were slightly over budget.  He guestimated $1-2,000.

The Mayor then reported that she and the Superintendent had “been given a new way of treating roads possibly with another municipality outside within New York and New Jersey.”  They will be reporting back within the next month or so with regard to these findings as they analyze specifically what it would entail.

Building & Grounds Report:

Building Inspector John Ledwith was not present and therefore, no report was given.

To view a copy of the report for the month of April, click here

Mayor Guinchard noted that the Village would possibly be obtaining a mini Verizon cell tower that should improve cell service within the Village and will generate some revenue as well. ($5,000 per year) The Tower will not be visible with an antenna of only 2 and ½ feet and they are considering installing it by the water towers.  The contracts are currently under review by the Village Attorney. 

Committee Reports:

Trustee Guazzoni reported that a beta version of the new Village website has been launched and can be found at www.tuxedopark.online.  They are currently receiving comments while transferring all of the pertinent information over.  Eventually, the plan is to redirect the old address to the new site.  There will be 4 ways to access the site (the current .gov address being one of them) but the actual host address will be tuxedopark.online.

Trustee McFadden thanked Trustee Guazzoni for spending his personal time working on the development of the new site.

Mayor Guinchard then thanked Trustee McHugh for his work with the WeeWah Beach Club.  He has been meeting with the Club to figure out the milfoil mitigation amongst other issues.  The Village is hopeful that the Club will be able to operate this season, despite dam repairs, and will keep everyone updated as things move forward. 

Trustee McFadden stated that his reports were the same as they had been in March.  The Term Limits is in the same hands and they are waiting for everything to finish with Building & Grounds.

On another note, Trustee Guazzoni commented that there were a number of yellow Dead End signs on various roads around the Village and in view of “less signage is better than more signage” he wondered if they could find a way to remove these, unless they are absolutely necessary.

The Mayor suggested that Trustee Guazzoni meet with Chief Melchiore and discuss this further.

Presentation – Solitude Lakes Management:

Before turning things over to Glenn Sullivan of Solitude Lake Management, Trustee McHugh reported that leading up to this meeting, there had been a lot of dialogue back and forth with Solitude and he had done his best to alert them to the issues in an attempt to frame the discussions. In general, Trustee McHugh would like to formalize the process, whereby Mr. Sullivan will be coming either once a month or every other month to provide the Board with trend analysis. Between 2003 and 2016 the Village has spent $335,000 on the lakes.  This includes Copper Sulfate treatments, milfoil pulls, Princeton Hydro, CSLAPS, various permitting, stocking of fish and Watershed Assessment Associates.  This year alone the Village has spent $60,000 and they anticipate spending an additional $25,000, which will encompass milfoil pulling, installation of the barrier on the south end of Tuxedo Lake and Solitude Lake Management fees.  In terms of what will be happening this year and in the next fiscal year, Trustee McHugh reported that they would be continuing with CSLAP, however the program will be led by DPW employees who are residents of the Village.  Volunteers can and are encouraged to be involved, but the program will be the responsibility of the DPW.  A milfoil pull will be taking place and the barrier on Tuxedo Lake will also be re-installed.  The DPW will continue to regularly clean the screen between Tuxedo Lake and the Tuxedo Lake Dam in an effort to minimize the spreading of milfoil into Pond #3.  The Village has also begun a dialogue with lake shore residents regarding the installation of berms on their properties to address erosion issues as well as geese.  There has been some traction on a low key basis, which is a positive thing.  Finally, they have hired a certified Lakes Manager. (Mr. Sullivan)   With regard to WeeWah specific issues as they pertain to the lakes now that they have been lowered/drained and the best way to eradicate and/or manage the milfoil issue, Trustee McHugh has given Mr. Sullivan all of these questions and asked him to speak to these issues in particular.  Without further ado, Trustee McHugh then introduced Glenn Sullivan of Solitude Lake management.

Mr. Sullivan began by providing a little background on himself.  A 20-year certified Lake Manager, Mr. Mr. Sullivan was the owner of Allied Biological until 2015, at which point, that company merged with three others to form Solitude Lake Management.  The last time Allied spent a considerable amount of time in the village was back in 2012 when they conducted some plant surveys and bathymetric mapping in an effort to document the lakes and their plant composition.  Since that time, their involvement has been reduced and they have become more of a consultant to the Village, working on algae analysis prior to and after Copper Sulfate treatments as well as the occasional treatment itself.  For most of the lakes that they manage, it is fairly normal that they are there 2-3 weeks over the course of the season.  In communities where there are multiple lakes, they are generally there on a weekly basis.  From their prospective, the Village is a very “hands-off” community with respect to its lakes and they believe a more “hands-on” approach should be adopted.  They would like to see better direction and more continuity.  Some of these measures were mentioned earlier by Trustee McHugh, specifically CSLAPS, which they would like to see run in a more consistent and manageable way.  CSLAPS is a huge asset to the Village as it would cost a considerable amount of money for a private company to complete this kind of work.

Milfoil seems to be the largest lakes-related issue that the Village currently faces.  Over the past several years, a large sum of money has been spent on management practices and this is likely to continue, as they suspect the level of milfoil has not decreased.  One of the things Solitude strongly recommends is re-mapping the aquatic plants in order to provide an accurate idea of what is actually there.  This will also allow them some prospective in that they will be able to compare what is there now to what was there in 2012 and therefore determine whether or not the management practices that have been employed have been effective.  Without this kind of hard data, they cannot make solid recommendations.  Tuxedo Lake is a deep lake with a very small littoral zone. (The littoral zone is the area in which plants can grow)  Even though it encompasses a relatively small portion of the lake, it still requires management.  Anytime Solitude sees invasive plants come into a lake system, they want to attack it aggressively because otherwise, they could be looking at decades of maintenance.  The Village is still on the upside of the milfoil expansion, but in order to eradicate it, he cautioned that they might want to think about being more aggressive. 

Mayor Guinchard inquired as to exactly what he meant when he suggested a more aggressive approach.

Mr. Sullivan responded that his impression was that the extent of the milfoil in Tuxedo Lake probably exceeds current management efforts.  Hard harvesting is fantastic when there is only a 1/10 of an acre infested.  It is expensive, but it works.  Once the smaller scale of this particular type of management has been exceeded, it is no longer cost effective and the problem persists.  This is why they feel it is crucial that the Village move forward with mapping.  If the mapping shows that they are ahead of the problem, that would be great, but he suspects that this is not what it will say.

Mayor Guinchard then wanted to know what the next step would be should it turn out that the hand pulling was not aggressive enough to control the issue.

Mr. Sullivan responded that milfoil is spread by fragmentation.  Any kind of physical or mechanical management practice runs the risk of spreading the problem.  As careful as they might be, if they are cutting with a harvester and collecting it, there is still going to be fragmentation.  “I know nobody wants to hear it but, milfoil is typically managed with herbicides because that is the best method for that particular plant.”

Trustee McHugh wondered if this could be done on a reservoir.

The answer was yes.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether or not this was approved by the DEC.

The answer was yes.

“I don’t think anybody has ever recommended that to us before,” commented Trustee McFadden.  “It’s a shame.”

“It’s something that if you really want to get after your milfoil….it’s probably what you should be thinking about,” replied Mr. Sullivan.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether use of the herbicide would be less expensive than divers/hand harvesting.

The answer was over time, yes, but initially, maybe not.  The cost would depend on the scale of the treatment.  That being said, it would probably be less expensive than the hand harvesting.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered if Mr. Sullivan could harbor a guess as to how many milfoil plants were currently growing in Tuxedo Lake.

His response was “a couple million.”

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that if there were currently a couple million plants in existence, clearly hand harvesting was not working.

Moving on to the issue of copper sulfate, Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Sullivan if he could speak to this, noting that the previous year the lake had turned turquoise for a couple of weeks and that this had been a big cause of concern throughout the community.

Mr. Sullivan explained that there were certain times of the year and certain water qualities that cause copper sulfate to change the appearance of the lake in that way.  The chemical still works and in fact, in that very application the cell count on algae went from 1500 down to less than 100.  The application worked, but there was an evident change in appearance. There are other products that can be used.  Copper sulfate is used because it is the cheapest, it is widely available and because the New York DEC has an exemption in their laws that makes it usable without a permit in a public water supply.  There are better, copper based algaecides, which are liquid and better for the marine life.  He feels it would be relatively easy to acquire a permit for one of these and he cautioned that the Village might even have to do this because new DEC regulations require that with a copper sulfate treatment people downstream must be notified.  Additionally, there is another New York State law that states that nothing can be done in the lake for 24 hours (fishing, swimming, drinking) following a copper sulfate treatment.  These regulations make it harder to use copper sulfate at the moment.  The other products however, while easier to use, cost more money.  There is a third, peroxide based product available which is effective on some types of algae, but costs considerably more and does not work as well, although it does provide an alternative to copper.

Trustee Moon inquired about the CSLAPS data, noting that he had taken a look at it on the website and was impressed by both the volume and granularity.  Although he does not understand most of it, he noted that some of the data points seemed to be anomalous.  He wondered whether or not Solitude had come up with any preliminary conclusions about trends to the lake with respect to voluminous data that had been presented.

The answer was not yet.

Jim Hays wondered whether the chemical treatments would actually kill the milfoil or just knock it back.

Mr. Sullivan responded that it would kill the milfoil, but whether or not it killed the root crown was different.  In most cases, the plants are killed for one season, but when they come up again the following year, they need to be zapped again.  There are potentially years of root crowns sitting in the sediment.  The process is to let them come up and then kill them  until they have exhausted the supply.

Mr. Hays wondered how long this would take.

The answer was usually 3-5 years, but the scale changes considerably over that time, with notable reductions from year-to-year.  In order to work however, the approach must be aggressive, with the plants being attacked as they come up and before they can create new root crowns.

Mr. Hays then noted that the Village was an a particularly important moment with the WeeWah as the  water levels had been lowered substantially and much of the bottom, which was once covered with milfoil, is now exposed to the air.  He walked the bottom just this past weekend and it appeared as though most of the milfoil had completely disintegrated in the areas that have been exposed.  He wondered whether or not the milfoil would die off completely under these circumstances.

Mr. Sullivan replied that if the Village were to refill the lake and keep it filled, the milfoil would certainly come back in those areas from the root crowns, which are still in the sediment.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether root crowns exposed to freezing temperatures were killed.

The answer was that under the right circumstances, a deep freeze can and does kill some of the root crowns.

Mr. Hays wondered whether treating the root crowns with herbicide while the water was drawn down might be an effective method of eradicating it.

Mr. Sullivan informed him that the DEC would not allow a dry application on a water course like that.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether or not Mr. Sullivan felt they should add something into the budget based on his initial assessments.

Mr. Sullivan responded that much of his assessment had been based on antidotal information and before he would suggest something like that, he would need more information.  He recommended that the Board think about what direction they wanted to take based on what he had told them.

Dena Steele commented that algae is really a result of excess nutrients and the Village has repeatedly been told that storm water run-off was the main source of nutrients in the Lakes.  There are phosphate fertilizer restrictions in place, but there continues to be an abundance of nutrients entering the lake from a variety of sources.  She wondered if this was something the Solitude would look at because the Village could keep doing copper sulfate treatments, but as long as they keep allowing the influx of nutrients in the lake, the problem would not be addressed.

Mr. Sullivan responded that the fact that Ms. Steele knew these things already indicated that she knew what the best practices were that the Village should be taking.  There are certain things that have already been presented within the CSLAPS reports and further studies are not necessary in order to determine what needs to be done.  Reducing the amount of road salt as much as possible is one such suggestion. Use of phosphate-free fertilizers and the elimination of geese are also recommended.  It is important to keep in mind however that there are also nutrients on the bottom of the lake and these could be the nutrients that are causing the algae problem.  Long term, if the problem persists, they may need to consider taking a look at the bottom of the lake.  He does not believe the Village is at that point though.

Sally Sonne inquired as to the name of the milfoil herbicide that was being recommended.

Mr. Sullivan responded that there were several, some of which include Sonar, Aquathal K and Komeen.  There are a dozen or more.  It is a matter of finding the one that best fits the situation.

Mike Santoianni asked Mr. Sullivan if he had any experience working with the matting process for eliminating milfoil.

The answer was yes.  The mats provide limitation by area and effective in controlling any plants that are underneath it.  The longer the mats are in place, the more effective they will be.  If a rotation is done on a 6 week basis, within that time frame the plants that were originally killed off will begin to re-grow after the mat has been moved.  It is an effective small scale solution.

Mayor Guinchard commented that in another project the Village was working on with above ground invasive plants, there was a machine that fractured the plants and prevented some of them from coming back.  She wondered if there was something like this that could be employed under water.

The answer was yes, but because milfoil spreads through fragmentation, this would not be an effective method of removal.  Mr. Sullivan further cautioned that regardless of what action was taken, every spring the milfoil plants would fragment and spread on their own. 

MHE – Pat Hines – Infrastructure Report:

The Mayor introduced Village Engineer Pat Hines, who participated in the meeting via conference call.

She further reported that there are two components to the bonding project that the Village has been working on.  One of these is the rebuilding of Continental and Clubhouse roads.  This is a full engineering project and MHE has already been onsite for a couple of months doing preliminary work.

The second component pertains to the Village water tanks, of which there are 3.  Two of these are fiber glass and one is concrete.  All three are in need of repair and restoration, which will be costly.  The roads will fall under a 15-year bond while the water tanks fall under a 30-year bond.  Mr. Hines has completed an analysis, complete with cost guestimates for these projects.  Hard copies will be circulated to the Board as soon as possible, but in the meantime, Mayor Guinchard asked him to provide a verbal overview.

Commencing with the Clubhouse Rd. project, Mr. Hines reported that the conditions had been evaluated and that the recommendations were for roadway reconstruction. Because of the pitch of the roadway, combined with the numerous driveways there, extra attention will be needed in order to avoid impacting the driveways while making sure that water is directed properly within the limited space that exists.  In total, roadway reconstruction combined with the installation of new/upgraded drainage system and a 10% contingency/design fee is expected to cost the Village $175,594.

Moving on to Continental Road, Mr. Hines explained that there was a water main replacement component to this part of the project in addition to the reconstruction of the roadway.  This will require a separate bid.  The water main replacement, added to the 10% design/contingency fees is expected to cost $195,923.  The road reconstruction will cost $195,205.

Mayor Guinchard added that these monies would come from the water fund.

Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Hines to clarify which section of Continental Road would be reconstructed.

The answer was the portion running from Clubhouse Road to Lorillard Road.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether these estimates would be put out for formal bidding.

The answer was that portions of them would be.

Trustee McFadden then asked Mr. Hines, based on his expertise, whether be believed that the bond in its current amount would cover the entire project or if there would be left over expenditures.

The answer was that the project will exceed the bond amounts.

Trustee McHugh wondered if there were a reason why the Clubhouse Road project was commencing at the intersection with Stable Road and not at the top of the hill.

The answer was that this is where the drainage issues originate from.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the entire road would be repaved, including the upper portion.

The answer was yes.  The DPW should be able to do this work.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether or not there would be a weight limit on the lower portion of the road after the work had been completed.

The answer was no.

The Mayor commented that many communities limited certain weights of trucks during the thawing season to allow for lesser impacts on the roadways.  She asked Mr. Hines if he would recommend something like this for the roadways in question.

The answer was no.

The discussion then turned to the water tanks.  Mr. Hines reported that he had been provided with a Field review that had been completed by Statewide Aquastore regarding the fiberglass tanks and they are recommending interior reconditioning of the tanks as well as exterior reconditioning, to including various protective natures and safety hardware.  The total estimated cost of this project, which will need to include prevailing wage, as well as engineering costs $130,124.

The third water tank, which is located on Potucket Road, may need to be replaced entirely.  The situation here has not yet been fully assessed however.  It will need to be drained and analyzed. 

Once the tanks have been relined and/or replaced, Trustee Guazzoni wondered how long they would be good for.

The answer was 15-20 years.

Trustee McFadden asked for clarification that the third tank might need to be replaced entirely.

Both Trustee Guazzoni and the Mayor assured him this was the cheaper option.

Mr. Hines reiterated that the situation had not yet been assessed.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to the order of magnitude cost.

The answer was $200,000.

In an attempt to further clarify what was being discussed, Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Hines whether he was correct in asserting that what was being presented tonight was estimates based on the review of another companies field study.  He further asked for confirmation that nothing had been done at the Potucket tank.

The answer was yes.  Mr. Hines stated that engineering studies would have to be done moving forward.

There followed a brief conversation with regard to the water tank on Potucket Road as it will relate to the Overton Subdivision.  Ultimately, it was determined that they do not have a proper water analysis for the subdivision yet, although it is believed that water pressure is more of an issue than volume in that area.

Mayor Guinchard commented that some of the money to pay for these projects would come from the water fund and the Village would have the ability to try for water infrastructure grants as well.

Award Dam Bid:

Engineer Mike Quinn reviewed the 4 bids received for the dam project with the Board and provided them with his recommendations.

In summation McNamee Construction had the lowest bid.  CHA has checked their references and everything appears to be in order.  They feel comfortable recommending them for the job.

Trustee McFadden asked Mr. Quinn if he had worked with them before.

Mr. Quinn responded that he had not.  He further commented that he was encouraged by the fact that McNamee had experience with stonework and bridge restoration.  This kind of work will be a big piece of the project.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether they had worked on any similar projects, specifically a dam of this scope and scale that the Village might be able to look at.

Mr. Quinn responded that they did not have a dam that the Village could look at however, they had done projects in the 8.4 million and 4.1 million dollar range.

Trustee McFadden wanted to know if they had ever worked on a dam before.

The answer was no.  Mr. Quinn added that this did not concern him however.  They are familiar with the concrete work and the earth work that will be necessary.

Trustee McFadden expressed his concern that because McNamee had never worked on a dam before, the Village might have to get more involved in terms of supervision, for which they would end up relying on CHA, which would in turn increase the fee.

Mr. Quinn responded that the way things are currently set up, they will have full time inspections and will be monitored on a daily basis in order to ensure that they remain on track. He does not foresee any issues with a lack of oversight.

Trustee McFadden then inquired as to whether or not any of the other contractors had constructed a dam of this size.

Mr. Quinn responded that Servidone and Legacy, the two highest bidders, did have experience.

Trustee McFadden replied that what “jumped out” at him was the fact that the two companies who had experience with this kind of work had significantly higher bids.  These bids are 5 and 6 million dollars while the bids from the non-experienced companies are 3.9 and 3.6 million.

Mr. Quinn noted that the second lowest bidder had dam experience, but not with a dam of this size.

Trustee McFadden reiterated his concern that the companies with experience had much higher bids.

Trustee McHugh commented that McNamee had provided them with a list of projects they had worked on; 17 in total.  Of these 1 was 8 million, 2 were 2 million and all the others were below 2 million with many of them hovering around the $200,000 mark.  To him, this is a bit of a red flag which suggests that this project is a “big nut” that they are trying to go ahead with and they don’t necessarily have the experience.  This is a concern.

Mr. Quinn responded that the bridge construction and bridge rehab projects on the list demonstrated that they had the skill set necessary to do the project.  They also have experience with stonework.  His impression in speaking with them and reviewing their credentials is that they have more full service, although they are admittedly small.

Trustee McFadden indicated that their small size was of concern to him.  He suggested that once they opened the dam up, it was possible that they might discover a brand new scope of work that they would have to deal with.  If something like this should happen, he wondered whether or not they would be able to throw the necessary manpower at the project, given their small size.  Would another sub-contractor be necessary?  He suggested that the larger companies would probably be able to handle a contingency such as this.  He further wondered whether there were contingency numbers built into the bids and what percent they constituted.  He asked Mr. Quinn if he felt there should be a number built in for change orders throughout the process.

Mr. Quinn responded that these things were indeed built in.

The contingency numbers and various aspects of the bids as they relate to specific aspects of the project were then discussed in some detail at length.

Trustee McFadden reiterated his concern about McNamee’s small size.  He wondered what would happen if they were to fall behind schedule.

Mr. Quinn replied that while the timeline was definitely tight. The work itself did not require a lot of men.  He believes that if they languish, it will be because of a changed condition.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the job at hand was “not brain surgery.”  He reminded the Board that these people would be rehabilitating the dam, not building a new dam.  This work requires an average skill set. McNamee has bridge experience.

Mayor Guinchard wondered what the next steps of the process would be if they decided to move forward with McNamee.

Mr. Quinn responded that the next step would be to award the bid and move ahead with an agreement.  Once the agreement was signed, they could establish a start date and begin to move forward.

Following some further discussion the Mayor made a motion to award McNamee the project at a total base bid of $3,651,931.

Trustee McFadden stated that he had quite a few issues with this.  The Village has spent 15-20 years lining this project up and to hire a company that has never worked on a project of this nature and who comes in as the lowest bidder in all probability due tot his lack of experience, would be a big mistake.   He suggested that they skip the two lowest bidders altogether and go with the lowest qualified bidder.

Again, Trustee Guazzoni pointed out that they were not rebuilding the dam, rather repointing and refurbishing it.  He believes that the skill set required matches correctly with McNamee.

Trustee Moon commented that he appreciated the concerns expressed by his colleagues, however he believes Mr. Quinn had answered these concerns in a reasonable fashion. 

Trustee McHugh wondered whether there might be some functionality to pull back on some aspects of the project if necessary, specifically the parapet wall, should they need to in order to ensure that the dam portion of the project was completed.

Mr. Quinn responded that they would be stressing the need to get out of the water by the end of 2017 so that the Village could resume functionality of the lake.  The restructuring of the roadway and the construction of the wall can wait until 2018.  He further stated that while he understands Trustee McFadden’s concerns, he believes that McNamee has the necessary skill set to complete the job.

Following some further back and forth between Mr. Quinn and Trustee McFadden, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of awarding McNamee the bid, with Trustee McFadden voting against.

Bond Resolutions:

The Board entered into a conference call with their bond council Kevin Roach, bond Advisor, John Shoffer, bond advisor and Maureen Coen, Chair of the Village Finance Committee.  Finance Committee members Shelia Tralins and Claude Guinchard were also present. 

The discussion was lengthy.  The end result was that the Board voted unanimously in favor of issuing two bonds as follows:

  1. $3,635,000 – for the cost of the construction, reconstruction or addition to various river relating reservoirs located in the Village.
  2. $400,000 – for the cost of the construction, reconstruction, widening or resurfacing of various highways, roads, streets and parkways located in the Village.

To listen to this discussion, follow the links below.

Bond Discussion Part 1

Bond Discussion Part 2

Bond Discussion Part 3

Continuation of Public Hearing on 2017-2018 Tentative Budget:

Mayor Guinchard opened the discussion by explaining that the tax cap was now being calculated in a new way with the auditor through a program with the comptroller, which allows them to pull the information in the same way every year and should prevent any future errors from occurring.  This year’s cap is $3,607,889.  The budget has come in at $3,606, 859, which is $1,400 below the cap.  The Village will only be using $65,940 out of surplus and the Mayor commented that she had tightened up the budget even more in an effort to avoid having to pull additional surplus funds.  Trustee McHugh pointed out that although the budget indicates that the surplus will be drawn down, assuming everything else is constant, the Village will actually be replenishing the surplus to do a settlement over property and an insurance claim.  The surplus will actually increase as of May 31 by $60-70,000, which will keep things flat and bring the total reserve to roughly $400,000.  The Mayor concurred with this statement, further commenting that she hoped the replenishing of these funds might help the Village to get back their AA+ rating.

There was a short debate with regard to the monthly stipend paid to the Village Justice, with Trustee Guazzoni suggesting they reduce it from $400 to $1 and Trustees McHugh and McFadden arguing against this.   Trustee McHugh commented that philosophically speaking, he was dead set against it.  If the Justice should decide that he does not want to accept a salary, he is welcome to donate it to the Tree Advisory Board or make some such donation.  Trustee Guazzoni argued that the Trustees worked for no salary and he believes that the justice should do the same. 

Trustee McHugh argued that eliminating the salary would basically be precluding anyone from outside the community from becoming judge.

Village Clerk Debbie Matthews pointed out that the current judge is not a Village resident.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that Trustee McHugh was assuming that the justice was working for the $400 monthly stipend.

Trustee McHugh confirmed this.

Mayor Guinchard stated that they had lowered the salary just as they were forced to lower many things across the board.  It was lowered by $480 annually.

Again, both Trustees McHugh and McFadden asserted that they disagreed with this decision.  Trustee McHugh suggested that, as crass as it might sound, the Judge had the same return on investment as a judicial appointee, such as Grant Writer Fred Rella, does.

Trustee McFadden suggested there were other places to take this money from. 

The Mayor disagreed and inquired as to where exactly Trustee McFadden suggested they take it from.

Trustee McHugh commented that they were $1,400 under the cap as it was.

Trustee Guazzoni disagreed with this statement.

The Mayor asked Mrs. Matthews to add the $480 back in and recalculate the cap.

Trustee McFadden suggested that what was being proposed was arbitrary.

“No, we are making everything equal,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

“So you are giving him a decrease while our employees are getting raises.  How does that make everything equal?” asked Trustee McHugh.

“He is an elected official,” responded Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee Moon interjected and stated that the Police Chief had spoken with him earlier in the day and raised the issue of a $3,000 traffic counter.

“It’s in there,” responded the Mayor.

“No, it’s not in,” exclaimed Trustee McHugh.  “What we agreed to was the updated technology to get your interface on your systems for $16,500.  I did not want a traffic counter.  I wanted a license plate reader, which effectively should do both of those functions.  So we agreed to go with a license plate reader.  We did not agree on a counter.”

“It’s back in, Alan,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.  “We re-instated it today.”

“I’m sorry….you took $480 form a judge who gives you revenue and you threw in $3,000?  Why do we need a counter.”

“We need a counter,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee McHugh asked the Chief to explain to him why the counter was needed vs. a license plate reader.

The Chief responded that most of the complaints that they received within the community pertained to either speed or traffic.

Mayor Guinchard interjected that earlier that day she had nearly been run off the road by a speeder.  “They were going so fast and they did not even stop to see if I was ok.  It was unbelievable.  I almost flipped my car.  I was very shaken up.”

The Chief continued on to say that more and more of the complaints that are coming through are traffic related and the department has no real way to determine how to measure these things.  The traffic counter will allow them to determine the type of vehicle and the direction of travel, as well as the date and time of day.  He believes it will help them to crack down on both speed and traffic accidents.  It will also allow them to monitor specific situations in order to better determine where traffic issues exist.  The counter can also be used to help control the coastal roadways around the lake with skidding, oil in the road, etc.  The license plate reader on the other hand, is a stationary tool and is more limited in its capabilities. 

Trustee McHugh argued that it would be able to tell them how many residents were coming into the Village each day.

“In one location only,” replied the Chief. “And there is no way to document or investigate speeds or traffic control.  It will not be a novelty or a luxury item”

“He needs a traffic counter.  You are not a Policeman, you don’t know.” Trustee Guazzoni commented.

“Well you’re not a judge,” retorted Trustee McFadden. “Just like we want attract part time police officers, we should raise the judges wages so that we can attract better judges.  They are a revenue base for the Village.”

Trustee McHugh stated that he understood the Chief’s argument and while he did not agree with it, he was going to back down.

Again Trustee McFadden made a plea for raising the judge’s salary.

The Mayor then stated that the Board would need to step into an executive session to briefly discuss a contractual matter.

A 20-minute executive session followed.

When the meeting resumed, the Public Hearing was continued.

Stating that she was speaking on behalf of Mr. Gluck and Mr. Santoianni, who had left while the Board was in executive session, Meg Vaught inquired as to what the anticipated percentage of tax increase would be for the 2018/2019 budget as a result of the bond resolutions.

The answer was that the Board really had no way of determining this as there were too many factors at play.

“Somewhere between 0-100%” quipped Board Attorney Brian Nugent.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the 2017/2018 budget at $3, 855,310.  The assessed evaluation will be $65,992.  The percentage change in tax rate per thousand will be .917977.  The percentage change in appropriations will be 3.2447%.  For the record, the Mayor stated that without the bond, it would have been a $3,709,706, which would have been under what was adopted the previous year.  The general fund appropriations is $3,935, 310.

Next, the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the 2017/2018 water fund budget at the amount of $813,026 with the total water fund appropriations being equal to that at $813,026.

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Public Hearing for 2017/2018 Village Budget, April 12, 2017

Click here to listen to Part 1

Click here to listen to Part 2

Click here to listen to Part 3

Click here to listen to Part 4

Click here to listen to Part 5

Click here to listen to Part 6

Click here to listen to Part 7

Click here to listen to Part 8

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 19, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
a. Moment of Silence
b. Resolution – Planning Board/BZA Training Hours
c. Resolution – Appoint Election Inspectors
4. Public Comments
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Report on Booth
8. Committee Reports
9. Presentation – Solitude Lake Management
10. Public Comments
11. Award Dam Bid
12. Bond Resolutions
13. Continuation of Public Hearing on 2017-2018 Tentative Budget
14. Approval of Minutes
15. Audit of Claims
16. Adjournment

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Tentative Village Budget 2017/2018

Click here to view.

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Race Track Nature Preserve Presentation April 8/Public Hearing on the Budget April 12

Please be advised that the Tree Advisory Board is giving a presentation on the Race Track Nature Preserve to Village residents on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Village Hall. The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of holding a public hearing on the Village 2017-2018 Tentative Budget and any other matters that may come before the Board. Additionally, the regular monthly Board of Trustees meeting will be held on the third Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. All meetings will be held in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Mayor’s April Newsletter

Click here to read.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 15, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 15 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard began by expressing her gratitude to both the Village Police Department and DPW for all of their hard work during the recent blizzard.  She also thanked residents for staying indoors and keeping off the roadways.  She then announced that neither DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss nor Building Inspector John Ledwith would be present at the meeting but their reports would be circulated.
 
Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of February:
Non-criminal Complaints – 235
Criminal Complaints – 5
Arrests – 4
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 1 (property damage only)
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 7
Warnings – 8
Fire Alarms – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 9
Medical Calls – 5
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Given to the Town of Ramapo Police – 1
Vehicle Tags issued – 1035 (781 – resident 454 – non-resident)

He then introduced Officer Matthew Jackson, who is new to force.  Officer Jackson is in training and will be out and about with Detective Taback shortly.

Mayor Guinchard then asked the Chief to explain the Village’s thank you to the Red Cross, which has been posted to the Village website, and what it meant.

The Chief responded that the Red Cross had given the Village a cargo trailer full of emergency items for the emergency shelter including 150 cots, 150 blankets, a shelter kit, a cooking kit and a mental health kit.  These resources will be shared with the Town of Tuxedo as well. 

The Department is also working on revamping the “wellness reports” for seniors and residents in need of medical equipment.  The lists will be updated and then the department will routinely contact these individuals to make sure that everybody is in good condition.

The Chief then echoed Mayor Guinchard’s appreciation to the community for keeping off the roadways during the recent storm, which allowed the DPW to do a solid job plowing and sanding.  There were no motor vehicle accidents reported and no vehicles towed.

Resolution – Bid Award – Sludge Removal Services:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the contract to Residual
Management.  This is a new company for the Village, but they were the lowest bidder and DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss is confident that they are a good choice.

Resolution – The Village Election will be held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in the Village Hall from 7am to 9pm.  Positions for Mayor (2 years), two Trustees (2 years each) and one Village Justice (4 years):
The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.

Dam Presentation by CHA:
Mayor Guinchard introduced Mike Quinn of CHA, who has been working with the Village on the dam project for almost 2 years.  The project is finally “shovel ready” and the BID documents will be advertised starting March 16.  A full set of plans and specs are available for review at the Village Office.  The project will be funded via bonds, and the Finance Committee has been working diligently on this.  Mr. Quinn’s presentation will be posted to the Village website within the next few days for review.  The presentation addresses the necessity for doing the project, the DEC’s involvement, communication to the Village and its residents, traffic and road closures, the long-term viability of the project, annual inspections, necessary maintenance, the 10-year engineering assessment, the start date for the project, what it will look like, work to be done by the DPW and erosion control.   There will be a CHA construction trailer at the DPW while the project is underway and this is where construction meetings will take place.  Work will be performed on both the Wee Wah and Pond #3 dams and is expected to begin at the end of May 2017, concluding sometime in late 2017/early 2018.

A copy of Mr. Quinn’s detailed presentation can be viewed here.

Following the presentation, the Trustees were given the opportunity to ask questions.

Mayor Guinchard inquired as to who would be bidding on the project and whether they (CHA) had specific contractors that they were familiar with in mind for the work.

Mr. Quinn responded that CHA would be contacting several of the companies that they have worked with and found to be good contractors.  He hopes that these will be the lowest bidders. 

The Mayor responded that she was hopeful that CHA would be able to steer the Village away from poor contractors based on their many years of experience in the business.

Mr. Quinn replied that it was all but impossible to steer the bidding process but they feel that much of the detail that is in the contract drawings should scare off many of the local outfits as there will skill requirements that are unique to certain contractors.  The dewatering piece alone is not a trivial matter and will command experienced workers.
Trustee Guazzoni commented that it seemed to him that the Village had three options as follows:

  1. Do nothing and the current dam deteriorates
  2. Tear down the dam and go back to “having a stream the way it was in 1850.”
  3.  Rebuild the dam to spec and return the two lakes to their historical levels.

Should the Village decide to do nothing, he wondered whether the DEC would come in and breach the dam or if they would allow it to fester.

Mr. Quinn responded that the dam was on the DEC’S radar as there was a long history of starts and stops with this project.  They are happy to see the progress that the Village is making and in their view, the dam has a compliant owner.  Should the job be ignored and fail to move forward, the result would be an enforcement action whereby the State would begin going through the necessary legal channels in order to compel the Village to do what must be done.  In this case, the two options would be that either the Village breaches the dam or State forces them to either breach it or bring it into compliance.

The Mayor pointed out that if the Village were to breach the dam, many properties would be damaged and/or destroyed as a result.

Trustee Guazzoni replied that he was fully aware of this, but he wanted to make sure that residents understood the options when looking at the costs associated with the project.  As currently proposed, it is expected to cost 3.8 million.  This breaks down to roughly $700 per family per year for 30 years in order to maintain a nice lake.  Trustee Guazzoni feels that this is a very small amount to pay for this.

Mayor Guinchard commented that unfortunately, the previous Village engineer had not provided “the entire picture of everything” when putting together their plans.  Not only was there a lot more involved than what was originally presented, but the previous plans did not call for full restoration of water levels in the lakes and this was not acceptable to the current Board.  Environmentally speaking, she then asked Mr. Quinn to discuss any endangered species that might be adversely affected by the project, specifically listing rattlesnakes and bats.

Mr. Quinn replied that they had already taken down many of the trees and that this was done mainly in an effort to help the bat population, as they burrow under the bark during the warmer months.  They will also be erecting a rattlesnake barrier fence.

Trustee Moon inquired about CHA’s communications with the DEC.  Mr. Quinn indicated that threatened and endangered species was one topic they had communicated about, but he asked Mr. Quinn to explain the nature and extent of other topics that had been discussed.

Mr. Quinn responded that in order to do any sort of work on a dam, a dam modification permit was required.  He has been working with Scott Bramer in the central office on this.  The Engineering Assessment, the Engineering Design Report and the permit drawings have all gone through him and he has signed off on the project.  In terms of the Environmental piece, they have been discussing the project with “fish and wildlife people” in order to make sure that when they lower the lake, they keep it at a level that will ensure the safety of the various species within and avoid any sort of fishkill.  They are still waiting on the region to provide them with a Notice of Complete Application.

“So, to the best of your knowledge the DEC is satisfied with this plan?” inquired Trustee Moon.

The answer was yes, although they are still working out some of the details with regard to the rattle snake barrier.

Trustee McHugh asked for confirmation that all of the necessary paperwork had been filed with the DEC Region 3.

The answer was yes.

He then referenced an additional $367,000 fee, noted in the BID document, which is for project management.  To date the Village has spent $434,000 with CHA.  He wondered if this was already a big chunk of that number or if the Village should be expecting to pay it over and above everything else.

Mayor Guinchard noted that Pond #3 had been out of Inspection and that ultimately two inspections, one at each dam, had been required.  These totaled roughly $60,000.  Then there were 3-4 EWAs (Extra Work Authorization) that needed to be done and this cost $369,000.  Then there was a #5 EWA for $98,000.

Mr. Quinn concurred with this.

Trustee McHugh wondered if this then meant that there would be an additional $800,000 added on to the total cost.

The answer was yes.

The Mayor then provided a brief, detailed breakdown of costs to date.

Trustee McHugh commented that at the 2/16/16 presentation the project cost had been estimated at 2.2 million.  This figure was revised in April to 2.586 million.  In November, Pond # 3 was added, brining the total to 2.853 million.  His concern is that between February and April the number was bumped up 15% due to cost over-runs.  The numbers that were used were from April 2016, but it is March 2017.  He wondered whether Mr. Quinn was concerned about this.

Mr. Quinn explained that the 2.8 figure had not included any of the construction/engineering services or general conditions, which is typically 10% of the construction value.  When these costs are included, the number jumps from 2.9 to 3.5. 
Mayor Guinchard added that this information had been clearly broken out in the book, had Trustee McHugh read it.

Trustee McHugh responded that he had read the book and that “the numbers are the numbers.” He suggested that a 25% “kicker” had been added, which is how the current figure was arrived at and this was, in his view, indisputable but this does not make a difference.  He was really more curious to gauge Mr. Quinn’s confidence level more than anything else.

Mr. Quinn replied that there were initial preliminary estimates, but the engineer’s opinion cost added a vast level of detail to the project that was missing from the earlier reports. 
Trustee McHugh countered that the report they had received on December 19, which included the Engineer’s report within it, had for the most part been the same 2.85 million.  Then a 25% kicker to cover cost over-runs was added. 

Mr. Quinn advised that on top of material and labor costs there was an additional General/Material Conditions cost of roughly 10%.  Contractors need insurance, they have to pay holidays, etc. Soft costs such as these account for the 10% bump up.  On top of this there was a 7% contingency for design changes or unperceived conditions.  This amounts to another “couple hundred thousand.”  Then there are engineering oversight costs.  Mr. Quinn believes they have been entirely up front with regard to costs.

Trustee McHugh responded that the numbers were what they were.  His concern is more with the potential for further unforeseen price hikes. “If it’s 25%, great.  If it’s double or triple that, then we have a problem.”

Mr. Quinn responded that he fully understood this concern.  He further stated that while he could not guarantee that there would not be unforeseen costs, their estimates were based on years of experience and they believed them to be as accurate as possible.
Trustee McFadden inquired as to when the Bids would be opened.

The answer was April 12.

Trustee McHugh wondered how long the project would take to complete the project once they had broken ground.

Mr. Quinn responded that they had set a substantial completion date of March 2, 2018 and final completion of April 6.  This is predicated on starting the project sometime in the last two weeks of May.

Trustee McHugh wondered how much of the project would be done in March of 2018 and the answer was 90%. “We don’t want to lose two seasons of WeeWah. We’re not going to have use of the Wee Wah lake this summer, but the goal is to have the work completed and the lake filled a year from now,” stated Mr. Quinn.

Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Quinn to explain what people would be able to see and what would be changing as a result of the project.

Mr. Quinn responded that the existing stone masonry would not be torn down or removed.  Most of the additions will be either internal to the spillways or below water level.  There will not be a lot of visible change.  The one significant enhancement/change will be the addition of a parapet wall, which will run along the dam side of road.  This will be covered with granite.

Turning to the audience, the Mayor asked if there were any additional questions for Mr. Quinn.

Former Mayor Houston Stebbins inquired about the structure of the Bid documents and specifically whether they had been broken into labor vs material, with the Village buying the materials in an effort to avoid 8% sales tax.

Mr. Quinn responded that they had not.  Procurement of materials would take place throughout the project.

Mr. Stebbins wondered why the contractors could not act as the Villages agent, buying on behalf of the Village in order to avoid the sales tax.

Following some discussion it was determined that this structure had already been established and was made clear within the existing documents.

Mr. Stebbins commented that typically contractors added a profit margin on materials as well as labor.  He suggested that this be examined and the Village should remain aware of it.

Mayor Guinchard replied that they would do so.

Dena Steele commented that Mr. Quinn had suggested that the dam had been classified based on the existing properties below it.  She further stated that the Town of Tuxedo had been discussing the possibility of installing solar panels there or possibly a pool or moving the ambulance corps.  She wondered if these things might change the classification.

The answer was no.  The dam is already at the highest possible classification.

Ms. Steele then wondered whether there was any sedimentation build up at the base of the dam because of the Warwick Brook and Pond 3.

Mr. Quinn responded that the borings did not show a great deal of sediment.

Ms. Steele then wanted to know how storm water runoff would be handled once a parapet wall had been installed and whether there would be gaps to allow water to flow back into the Wee Wah.

The answer was that the water would all flow away from the parapet towards the downstream side of the dam.

Ms. Steele inquired as to whether the existing masonry was granite.

The answer was yes.

Finally, Ms. Steele wanted to know what would be acceptable landscaping below the dams as trees were not acceptable.  She wondered whether shrubs and grasses could be planted there.

Mr. Quinn explained that the slope needed to be mow-able so that the dam could be easily accessed.  Tall grasses can be planted there and then mowed down.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the Tuxedo Club might be able to plant grasses along their property abutting the Tuxedo Lake in order to help prevent erosion.  This was briefly discussed.

Bond Resolutions for Dam and Infrastructure Projects:
Mayor Guinchard introduced John Schopfer, Financial Advisor and Kevin Roche, Esq.- Bond Counsel, who joined the meeting via conference call.  Representing the Village Finance Committee, Maureen Coen presented the Board with a bonding plan for the Dam and other pending Village Infrastructure projects.

The Mayor explained that once the resolutions were passed, the Village would have 10 days to publish them.  They will take 30 days to become effective.  There is then another 20-day period during which the resolutions are still subject to legal, constitutional challenges.  Once these two time periods have elapsed, there is a 1 week period during which the Village looks to offer the bonds and then there is a week after that when they go to auction and then close.

Commenting that best business practice would be not to sign any contracts until all the various time periods had elapsed, Trustee McFadden wondered how many days in total they would have to wait before they could commence the project.

The Mayor responded that is the resolutions were passed that evening the best-case scenario for getting started would be the very end of May.  There is a total of 64 calendar days that they must wait once the clock starts ticking.

Ms. Coen then outlined the Finance Committee’s plan, which basically consists of issuing three bonds for three projects: the dam, the reconstruction of Club House and Continental Roads and the relining of three water tanks.  The committee is suggesting dual purposes of each of the bonds just in case there are over-runs and/or savings.  They are trying to avoid a repeat of the Village’s current situation, in which there are bonds issued but the proceeds can only be used for specific purposes as authorized by the resolutions and some of these purposes are not broad enough to cover what is needed, so the proceeds are sitting there in escrow and the Village is paying interest on them.

There followed a discussion of the various costs of the various projects and how the various estimates had been reached and the numbers for the bonds determined.  The proposal for the bonds was then laid out in some detail.

The first bond will be a 15 year/life for $300,000 with an average life of 9.1 years.  This will cover the restoration of the roads at a cost of roughly $150,000 apiece. 

The second bond will be a 30-year for $606,000, with $135,000 to cover the water distribution and the remaining for various items related to the dam project.  This is done in case the dam in comes in under cost, then these monies can be used for other projects throughout the Village.  Average life on this one is 19.2 years.

The final bond for the dam rehabilitation works out to $2.864 million.

Ms. Coen noted that these numbers had been based on estimations and would need to be adjusted accordingly.

In order to get the process rolling, the Board must adopt bond resolutions, however since they do not yet know what the actual costs will be, the usual practice is adopt the resolution with a price cap that is higher than the anticipated cost.  The Village is not required to spend the cap amount, but this way they will not have to repeat the bond process should the actual costs come in higher then the current estimates. The committee is recommending a cap of an additional $50,000 on the water distribution bond and $100,000 on the dam restoration.  They feel the $300,000 for the roads is a fairly firm number and can stay as-is.

Interest rates were then briefly discussed.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered what the Village’s rating was on the bonds, considering thier checkered past.

The answer was AA-.

The Mayor and Trustees then thanked the Financial Committee for all of their hard work in putting everything together.

The Board then moved ahead with each resolution individually.

The first was for a $300,000 bond for roadwork.

Trustee McFadden commented that he felt it would be remiss to the taxpayers not to mention something that he had discovered recently, which is that Governor Cuomo has put 2 billion dollars aside to assist Villages and Towns with various municipal projects.
The Mayor responded that she was aware of this and was already in conversation with the Governor’s office about it.  The plans have been sent and Fred Rella, the Village Grant Writer, is working with them. 

Trustee McFadden next commented that the Village does not have any actual bids for any of the projects at hand and that he would prefer to wait a month until they had these bids in hand before moving forward with the bonds. 

Trustee Guazzoni suggested they add 20% to the cap.

Trustee Moon commented that because it was an “up to” cap-type of resolution, he would be ok with Trustee Guazzoni’s suggestion, but he would also be ok with the proposed $300,000.

Trustee McHugh commented that the estimate for the work was based on the engineer having walked the roadways with the Building Inspector and come up with a ballpark figure.  He wondered whether there was any hard data on paper or if they were basing it on the verbal estimate.

The answer was that they were basing it on the verbal estimate, but there will be a more refined figure prior to actual the issuing of the bond.

The nature of the project was briefly discussed.

This was followed by a discussion about what would happen if the Board decided to approve some of the bonds and not others.

Trustee McFadden reiterated that the State has set aside money to assist communities with these types of project.  There is a good example n Auburn, where they received $2 million.  If the Village were to be successful in acquiring some of this money, it could negate the need for the bonds.  Again, he suggested they wait until they had received some answers from the State and also until they had some solid bids for the projects at hand. 

Trustee Moon pointed out that interest rates are moving against the Village and that voting in favor of these resolutions was a green light for the process in general.  They would not be committing to taking on any debt, it would simply be moving the process forward.  He feels it would be “deeply unwise” to table the resolutions.

The Board voted then 4-1 in favor of approving the resolution for moving forward with the first bond for the reconstruction of Club House and Continental Roads in the amount of $330,000 (adjusted as per Trustee Guazzoni’s suggestion) with Trustee McFadden voting against.

Next, they moved onto the second bond resolution in the amount up to $650,000 for the water supply/distribution.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to what kind of estimates they had for this work.

The answer was that they have an oral estimate up to $135,000 for the water tank relining.  The rest of the money is for dam-related expenditures.

Trustee McHugh commented that he would be voting no. 

Trustee Moon reiterated that in light of the fact that approving the resolution was initiating a simple process by which the Village can get more specific bids and acquire more information in an environment of rising interest rates, he believes it is their duty to vote yes on behalf of their constituency and conduct further investigation.  He voted Aye.

Trustee Guazzoni agreed with Trustee Moon, commenting that moving ahead with these resolutions did not mean they would have to draw the money down.  He also voted Aye.
Trustee McFadden commented that the Village did not have any solid bids for the project at hand.  Additionally, he pointed out that there was a possibility they could obtain grant monies, which could alleviate the need for the bonds altogether and would be great for the taxpayers.  Again, he suggested they wait a month until they had more solid figures.  He voted No.

Mayor Guinchard voted Aye and initially declared that the resolution had passed, before correcting herself and pointing out that they needed a super majority in order to pass the resolution, meaning that 4 of them would have to vote in favor.

Finally, they moved on to the third resolution for a bond in an amount up to $2.970 million for dam rehabilitation. 

The Mayor reminded everyone that they would need a super majority in order to move forward. 

“We don’t want to pull the water restoration out of the Milfoil budget,” commented Trustee Guazzoni.

Trustee McHugh then wondered why the Water Department wasn’t issuing the bonds.

He was informed that the Village was the party responsible for issuing bonds.

Trustee Moon commented that he wanted everyone to be clear that the vote they had just taken would take a huge chunk of funding away from the dam and could make the entire project unworkable.  Now that they all knew a super majority was needed, he wondered if either Trustee McHugh or Trustee McFadden wanted to reconsider their vote.  

“The vote has been taken,” stated Trustee McFadden.  “I knew it was a super majority.”
Trustee Moon countered that the engineer had informed them earlier that the DEC was concerned about the auxiliary spillway breaching.  Moving forward with these resolutions is a simple way to permit the process to move forward.  He urged Trustees McHugh and McFadden to reconsider their votes and allow the projects to move forward and collect bids. 

Trustee McFadden responded that he respected what Trustee Moon was saying but he felt that there was no urgent or immediate danger that the DEC was going to come down on the dam.  The bids will be in by April 12.  Interest rates went up .25% earlier that day and he does not feel there will be another “bang” in the next month.  He reiterated his feeling that they should table the vote until next month after the bids had been received.
Trustee Guazzoni commented that there was a big part of the dam project that requires water pipes to be redirected and a lot of this money would be going towards that.

Without the funds, it will be extremely difficult to move forward with the project.  Having said this, he suggested they vote on the second resolution again.

Trustee McHugh commented that he understood the circumstances quite clearly.  His personal opinion is that he would like to see the bids before they pass the resolution because he does not feel the numbers proposed are even remotely close to what they will actually have to borrow and he feels moving ahead based on the wrong numbers would be “a worthless exercise at this juncture.”  He believes the dam construction numbers will be closer to five million.  On April 12 they will have their bids and then they can vote.

The Mayor asked bond council to confirm what this would do time wise to the project.

The answer was that the project would be delayed roughly 6 weeks.

The Mayor expressed her concern with this, commenting that May and June were critical months to be working and that things could get pushed back into the following winter when inclement weather could be a hindrance.

Trustee McHugh responded that this may or may nor be the case.  They have no way of knowing.  They have no concrete numbers to give them any basis for moving forward.

He is not comfortable giving a free option out to a contractor and essentially saying “this is the maximum amount the Village will pay.”  He believes this method “communicates completely the wrong thing.”

Trustee McFadden commented that he agreed.

Trustee McHugh stated that he understood Trustee Guazzoni’s points, but he was still voting no.

Trustee Moon stated that he understood Trustee McHugh’s points and appreciated his thoughtful analysis.  He voted yes.

Trustee McFadden voted No.

The Mayor Voted yes, commenting that the Village had already hired a reputable engineer who had a history of sound estimates.  She feels they need to allow for the project to move forward.   She expressed concern that the DEC might interpret their failure to move forward that evening as an attempt to “put blocks” on the project and not fund it.

Trustee McHugh responded that this was an absurd suggestion and that they were fiduciaries of the Village and as this is the largest bond issuance in Village History, they had a responsibility to make sure the money was spent soundly.  They need to get an indication of what the price levels are.  Should the project come in at 10 Million, it won’t matter what the DEC says, they will have to “enact Trustee Guazzoni’s draconian approach and return to a stream.”  Nobody wants this, but it is a possibility.  He does not believe they are sending any message to the DEC other than that they are acting as responsible stewards of the Village.

The Mayor countered that she agreed, but they were in the midst of budgeting and this would throw a wrench into that process.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had already agreed that they would be putting a debt service of $205,000 on it.  They needed to “hope to hell” the bids came in below that.  They have budgeted for it.  If it doesn’t go through, they have $205,000+ that they take out of their budget.

There was some discussion as to whether or not this could be done.

There was also further discussion regarding the DEC and their potential reaction to the resolutions not moving forward that night.

Trustee McFadden suggested that a delay of one month was not a “deal killer.”  He further commented that he did not understand anyone’s “super urgency” to get this thing done that night as opposed to once they had the bids in front of them in April.  It would never be presented that way by the engineer, who has the relationship with the DEC, that the bonds were not going to be issued.  Rather he would explain what the issues are, and he is confident that the DEC would “play ball” with the Village.

Trustee McHugh stated that in his view the most compelling argument was that the Village had spent $434,000 on the dam with CHA since retaining them.  If this doesn’t show their intent to move forward with the project, he doesn’t know what does.

Again, Mayor Guinchard made a motion with regard to the third bond.

Again, Trustee McFadden commented that he felt they should wait until the bids had come in, so that they would know exactly where they stood.  He does not believe one month will cause a huge delay. 

Trustee Guazzoni commented that he did not feel they would be able to move forward having authorized only one of the bonds.  He expressed concern with the delay commenting that cement needed to be cured at a certain temperature and they would be losing critical work-time, which could ultimately increase the costs.  If they do not like where the bids come in, they do not have to pull the money down.  Approving the resolution is simply an authorization to move forward and collect bids.

Trustee McFadden suggested that Trustee Guazzoni was employing a “scare tactic” by suggesting that the project could drag over into the following year.  “There’s a lot of fat in the construction schedule.  I’m sure our engineer could crack the whip and even bring in extra people if necessary so that we wouldn’t have to wait a year.”

Trustee Moon reiterated his earlier points.  If the bids don’t come in where they want them to, they can stop the process.  He views it as “no harm/no fowl” to get the ball rolling.

Trustee McHugh reiterated his earlier point that he did not feel the DEC would take failure to move ahead that evening as a foot dragging effort, siting the amount of money the Village has poured into the project over the last several years. 

The Board voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward, but without a super majority the resolution did not pass.

The Mayor then wondered whether they should move forward with the first bond given that the second two had not passed, suggesting it would not be cost-effective for the Village to do so.

She was advised that it would not be cost-effective.

Trustee Guazzoni then stated “I just feel very sorry for the people who live on Club House and Continental Roads tonight. 3 of us tried to get their roads paved”

“Four of us did,” interjected Trustee McHugh.

“Unfortunately, they are going to have to wait,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

There was then some discussion regarding what they should do next, given that one of the resolutions had passed and the other two had not.

Trustee McHugh stated that he was hoping everything could just be put off to the April meeting, by which point they would have the numbers and could responsibly approve everything. 

In response to Trustee Guazzoni’s remarks, Trustee McFadden commented that the road bond had passed, so for Trustee Guazzoni to suggest that residents on Club House and Continental Roads would not have their roadwork completed, was in his opinion inaccurate.

Trustee Moon commented that the residents of Club House Road are an important constituency.  That road has been a mess for a long time and he feels their voices should have been heard.

“Here! Here!,” chimed Trustee Guazzoni.

“To say that their voices won’t be heard is to imply that we are not looking out for their financial interest,” responded Trustee McFadden.  “Unless we have bids, which will be an accurate determination of how much taxes people are going to pay that live on Club House, then I think it makes a lot of sense to wait until the bids come in.”

The Mayor responded that she felt they did have a rough idea of what it would cost based on the experienced opinion of the Village DPW.

“We owe it to the taxpayers,” replied Trustee McFadden.

The Mayor countered that she felt they also owed it to the taxpayers to move these projects forward in as expedited a manor as possible.

“The bond passed!  Why haven’t the Club House people’s voices been heard?” asked Trustee McFadden.

“I’d like to say that Continental and Club House Roads are in dismal condition,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.  “I think that the people living there have been more than patient and hopefully they’ll remember who is supporting the rebuilding of the roads and who is not.”

“It was passed 4-1,” stated Trustee McFadden.

Committee Reports:
Mayor Guinchard reminded everyone that there would be a budget workshop on March 22 from 6-9pm.  At the beginning of the workshop there will be a discussion regarding health insurance and the agent will be present.

Trustee McHugh reported that Solitude Lakes Management would be coming to give a presentation.  He has been working with them using the February 2014 template.  The Board will be provided with a general overview of what they are thinking of presenting and asked to provide feedback.  AE Diving was in the Village last week to install the barrier at the South end of the Tuxedo Lake in hopes of getting ahead of the curve and minimizing any floating milfoil they might have coming down the lake. Even though the lake had thawed, the barriers, which were stored over the winter by the DPW, were so heavy that AE was worried they would sink their boats.  Therefore, hey will be coming back in April.  The divers did go in the water to observe where the largest amount of milfoil was settling and earmark what they anticipated would be necessary this year.  The best-case scenario was 55-65 days worth of vacuumed harvesting, with one session in the spring and another in the fall at a rate of $1.080 per day.  They have also obtained barrier matt quotes as well for possible installation at the Wee Wah Beach Club and in Pond #3. The DPW is in the process of obtaining prices for iron rods, which would allow them to move the mats around.  He will have estimates on these costs at the next meeting. 

The Public hearing for the budget will take place on Wednesday April 12 at 7pm.

The Mayor is in receipt of a letter with regard to garbage disposal for weekend residents and the possible reinstallation of a dumpster at the Village Office for this purpose.

Following some discussion, it was agreed that things had improved immensely both in terms of litter on the ground and, more importantly, lurking bears since the dumpster had been removed and therefore, it would not be reinstalled.  The Mayor suggested that if anyone had a better solution, they were open to suggestions.

Trustee Guazozni reported that there had been a soft launch of the new Village Website to all Village Committee members the week prior.  There have been a lot of comments and changes have been made.  A new version will be launched to a limited group this week in beta form for further comments.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the prose had changed. 

Trustee Guazzoni responded that it had changed a number of times according the input of various people.  He wondered why Trustee McHugh was asking.

“It was very flowery,” responded Trustee McHugh.  “I prefer factual rather than flowery prose.”

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 15, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Dam Presentation by CHA
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
8. Committee Reports
9. Public Comments
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims

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Village Board of Trustees Budget Workshop/Special Meeting March 8, 2017

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a budget workshop on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. followed by a special Board of Trustees meeting at 8:00 p.m. The special meeting is for the purpose of approving dam and infrastructure bond resolutions, authorizing the bid process for the Wee Wah dam project, and any other matters that may come before the board. Both meetings will be held in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 15, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, February 15 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard began by reminding all residents that they should remember to check the Village website during storms as the Village received a lot of important, useful information from O & R, which they in turn post there.

Next, she announced that Patrick Donaghy has resigned from the Board of Architectural Review.  She thanked Mr. Donaghy for his years of service, further commenting that the BAR is currently interviewing applicants and hope to have 2 new members to fill the vacancies by March.

Resolution – Change Planning Board Meeting Dates – The Village Planning Board would like to move their bi-monthly meetings from the 1st and 3rd Monday to the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of this change.

Resolution – Restricting the Possession of Firearms and other Dangerous Weapons inside Village Hall – A resolution restricting the possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons inside Village Hall was proposed.  Addressing the Chief of Police directly, Trustee McFadden noted that the Chief had expressed to the Board a lot of the issues and holes that currently exist in Village security and he had asked them to purchase a lot of special equipment, which they have begun doing.  He therefore wondered why the Chief would support something like this.

Chief Melchiore responded that it would be easier for everyone involved to prevent the possession of firearms inside of Government Buildings.  He further commented that this has been done elsewhere.

“It has?” responded Trustee McFadden.

“Yes,” replied the Chief

 “Why are you recommending it now?” inquired Trustee McFadden

The Chief responded that he felt it would be easier for them to protect people and that either they needed to pass a resolution of this nature or the department would have to ask the municipality to purchase a metal detector.  He feels the resolution would be better.  “We don’t want to restrict the use of fire arms in households or in public areas….just inside the government building.”

“You don’t?” called out somebody from the audience.

“So will there be a full time police officer here for the entire meeting?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

The Chief responded that he was present most of the time at the meetings and that he had promised the Mayor and Trustees that if he could not be there, there would be a representative of the department present. 

“And you are carrying now?” asked Trustee McFadden.

The answer was yes.

“So, we are going to be guaranteed that somebody will be here with a weapon?”

The Chief replied that unless there was an emergency call, there would be an officer present at all meetings.

“Well, that doesn’t sound like 100%,” replied Trustee McFadden,

Chief Melchiore responded that he could assign an officer to be present; until any such time that an emergency might occur.

Trustee McFadden wondered if this in turn would constitute overtime.

The Chief assured him that it would not.

The Board then voted 4-1 in favor of approving the resolution, with Trustee McFadden voting against. 

Resolution – NEAMI Third Party Agreement – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the NEAMI Third Party Agreement.  NEAMI is the third party administrator handling the claims for Perma, which is the insurance company who deals with Workman’s Compensation for the Village.

Dam Presentation at April BOT meeting – The Board agreed that they would prefer to have a dam presentation from CHA (engineers) at their March meeting.  This will be arranged. 

Race Track Presentation – Proposed Special Meeting April 8 @ 11am-
The Tree Advisory Board would like the Board to hold a special meeting on Saturday, April 8 at 11am for the purpose of hosting a presentation by Larry Weiner Assoc., who are the landscape architects working on the Race Track.

TAB member Christopher Gow explained that the presentation would provide detailed information with regard to both the long-term vision and methodology behind the project.  The reason for the Saturday meeting date is to allow as many residents to attend as possible.   After a brief discussion, it was determined that the Board did not need to schedule a special meeting in order to host this presentation at the Village Office and that everyone was in favor of scheduling the presentation as requested.

Governor Cuomo’s Consolidation Plan - Mayor Guinchard asked Board Attorney Brian Nugent to briefly explain Governor Cuomo’s proposed Consolidation plan, further suggesting that everyone should Google it and educate themselves as what is being proposed could potentially have negative impacts on the Village.  The Mayors in Orange County will be meeting on Friday February 17 to discuss it.

“It’s terrible,” interjected Trustee Guazzoni.

Mr. Nugent explained that the proposal is suggesting that municipalities will not receive aid and incentive funds from the State unless the legislature enacts his proposed consolidation statute.  The Statute as proposed would have each County create a plan for consolidating Government services within and submit it, and if they do not do it or its not accepted, it can then be put to a vote…and if it fails they have to do the same thing the following year and try to come up with a new plan.  Most people are upset for two reasons.  First, the Governor is basically tying up the funding that would normally be distributed to local municipalities for general incentive and aid and attaching it to the passing of the Statute.  In other words, he is in a way holding the Legislature hostage by saying that the municipalities will not receive the money unless they enact his consolidation proposal.  Secondly (and most problematic for Villages and Towns) the Counties would be the ones who were responsible for designing the plans for consolidation and not the Villages and Towns that would be affected.  The proposal is in the early stages, but the Governor is hoping to see it on the ballot in November. 
Trustee Guazzoni wondered if consolidation could mean folding the Village into the Town. 

Mr. Nugent responded that it could mean a lot of things; folding Villages into Towns or consolidating Water Departments and/or Police Departments, all at the discretion of the County and not the individual municipalities.   How exactly it would be done, Mr. Nugent doesn’t know, but this is the grand plan.

“So it is by coercion and not by mandate,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

Mr. Nugent responded that it would be mandated in the sense that all of the associated costs would be absorbed by the local municipalities.

Trustee McFadden wondered what the likelihood of the proposal passing was.

Mr. Nugent replied that he felt the likelihood of anything happening this year was very slim.   There has already been some pretty heavy pushback on it and there are a host of potential legal issues as well.  He thinks it will probably wind up being tied up in litigation even if it does pass. 

Mayor Guinchard added that there had already been a big press conference in opposition to this held in Albany.  Mayors across the State are holding meetings and representation from the Town of Tuxedo will be accompanying her to the meeting on the 17.  

From the Audience, Dena Steele inquired as to whether there were any specified size requirements pertaining to potentially folding Villages into Towns.

The answer was no.  Mr. Nugent cautioned that the consolidations would not necessarily be Villages into Towns, but could focus more on Departments.  They are looking to see an increase in shared services, such as County police forces and larger water departments and street departments. 

Water Quality Discussion – by Village Engineer Pat Hines (McGoey, Hauser & Edsall)/ CSLAP Discussion:

The Mayor introduced Village Engineer Pat Hines, who explained that he had been asked by the Mayor to take a look at some water quality issues in the three lakes within the watershed.  He was able to generate information from the Village clerk’s office and the Water Department records, which he used to put together a basic overview as follows:

In 2011, there is documentation indicating that Eurasian Milfoil was discovered in all three lakes. (For those who do not know, Eurasian Milfoil is an aggressive invasive species) The Village began addressing this by hiring a firm called Aquatic Invasive Management and through swimming and scuba diving, they were manually harvesting the plants from each of the lakes during the summer months.  Reports show that this has been fairly successful.  In checking to see what other effective measures might be employed, Mr. Hines discovered that some other municipalities have introduced grass carp into their lakes as a method of control, but this is not a viable solution as milfoil is not one of their preferred foods and they would eat the more native vegetation first, leaving behind the invasive plants to reproduce.  Milfoil is an aesthetic issue.  The plant will grow until it covers the surface of the water.  If the Village intends to control this, Mr. Hines believes that the method they are currently employing is the most valid one.  The Milfoil is not limited by depth in the two smaller lakes, so these run more of a risk of being completely over taken, where as Tuxedo Lake is deeper, which helps limit the growth more to the shoreline areas.  The Village is also working with Solitude Lake Management (formally Allied Biological) who perform periodic sampling in the lakes with regard to algae and phytoplankton.   This is done to maintain aesthetics and keep the lake from turning green from algae during the summer months, but the sampling also monitors the need for copper sulfate treatments.  These treatments help to maintain the aesthetics but also helps to avoid taste and odor issues in the potable water, which could result from the algae blooms.  Mr. Hines recommends continuing these treatments. 

In 2012, as a result of the issues at the mulching facilities in the Town, the Village hired Watershed Assessment Associates and they performed macroinvertebrate (insect/larva) surveys in the watershed tributary to Tuxedo Lake.  They did three samples on Warwick Brook, Patterson Brook and the Potting Shed.  The results were very positive.  The report recommended a bi-annual screening beginning in 2016.  Mr. Hines does not know if this was done, but feels that the sampling provides a good baseline and also is a good way to get a quick health check on the water feeding into the lake.  He recommends that it be continued.

In looking at the last 4 years worth of annual reports on the treated portion of potable water, he noted that there have been no violations of any of the Health Department standards for the testing of that potable water, which is a good thing.  The treated water quality is very good and there are no issues there.  This is a result of the depth of the lake and the intakes being deeper in so that there are no issues with any of the other components that might exist elsewhere in the water. 

The discussion then turned to the CSLAP program.

Mayor Guinchard noted that Village had been extremely lucky for a long time to have volunteers such as Susan Goodfellow and Sue Heywood and a number of others.  Unfortunately, it is not easy to find volunteers who are willing to maintain programs like this over a long period of time.  For something as important as the reservoir, the Board does not want to have anything fall through the cracks.  Additionally, they want to make sure that there is consistency with gathering and keeping the data if they are unable to procure volunteers.  This leads them towards having a professional take control.  They do not wish to take away the volunteers and believe that they can find a place for them somewhere, but if they utilize professionals, they can ensure there is a placeholder to keep the program running.  The DPW can be utilized as they already have experience with sampling, and Mr. Hines or Solitude can provide more specific directive as to where they should being taking the samples from.  Again, she expressed her gratitude to all the volunteers for the 10+ years they have put in helping with this initiative.  The data that they have collected has proved invaluable in assessing the current situation.  She also thanked Trustee McHugh, who has served as Liaison on this initiative,  further commenting that he would continue in that role,, however now he would be working directly with Mr. Hines in coordinating the efforts. 

From the audience Sue Heywood asked for clarification as to whether or not the CSLAPS program was being abandoned and if not, whether the Village had applied for it this year.  She further suggested that although they did not have the pool of volunteers they used to, two individuals could successfully run the program quite easily if they are willing to put the effort into it.  She and Susan Goodfellow were able to do this for years.  Although she had to drop out for a period of time last fall, she is prepared to work on it again. 

Trustee McHugh responded that what they were trying to do was to both professionalize and institutionalize the program.  This way, everything will be constant and there will be an impartial third party involved in case, God forbid, something were ever to happen with the Pilgrim Pipeline or anything like that. 

Mrs. Heywood countered that the resident volunteers involved with CSLAPS were present in the Village almost all of the time and even though they were only physically testing for 4 months, two times a month, in between they were able to keep their eye on the lakes and if problems arise, they contact the appropriate entity.  She believes these two efforts should work in conjunction with one another and does not feel that the Village should abandon the volunteers.

Mr. Hines responded that CSLAPS also feels that it is important to maintain the volunteers, as it is actually a volunteer based program.  The data that is collected by the program over time can be used to track trends in the water quality, so there is a definite benefit in continuing the program.  He spoke with the director of the program, who was both happy and encouraged to hear from him, as they were unsure if they Village wanted to continue with the program due to sporadic participation over the last year.  He did discuss the idea of having the DPW get involved in order to jumpstart the program back into productivity and was told that this would be ok but that ideally they would prefer volunteers to run the program.  Anyone who performs their samples must attend their training.  One great thing about the program is that because it is significantly funded by the DEC the laboratory testing is much less costly than it would be otherwise.  Currently the Village pays $370 a year for all the testing on the two smaller lakes, which is significant savings and probably represents the cost of a single sample otherwise.  For Tuxedo Lake, the Village pays $470, as they have to take two sets of samples in both shallow and deep water.   In looking at the data there are some current trends that show that since 2008 the phosphorous levels in the lake have been increasing.  This is a clear water quality issue.  The level of conductivity is also increasing.  There is definite value to this data and to the practice of tracking it long-term in an effort to protect the watershed. 
With regard to Pilgrim Pipeline and the issue of any potential spill Mr. Hines advised
that currently the data that the Village is collecting is not geared towards this and that the sampling that is being done is not identifying petroleum products or any other chemical type spill in the lakes. 

The Mayor interjected that Mr. Hines would be working with the Village with regard to the Pilgrim Pipeline and would be assisting them with the SEQRA process.  She went on to say that there are a lot of different things happening and various conversations that are occurring between Town and Village Officials and Engineers and Planners concerning the Pipeline.  She encouraged anybody who had any questions about what was happening to pick up the phone and call the Village Office or one of the Trustees or herself and inquire.  “To say your officials are not doing anything is absolutely false because there is a lot going on,” she commented, “especially town-wise because part of the Town and that is where the project is potentially being proposed.  We have to work with the Town because they are the ones who really direct a lot of things as well, because they are worried about the water also.”

Trustee Moon commented that he would like to thank Mrs. Goodfellow for raising this issue.  He believes it is very important that residents speak up and let them know when things are not going as they should be.  In this case they were able to jump on it right away.  He then noted that Mr. Hines had talked about increases in phosphorous and electro-conductivity.  He wondered what sort of plans they were planning to devise to study and reverse these trends.

Mr. Hines responded that currently they were not seeing high action levels and there have been no specific algae blooms related to either.  The conductivity could be associated with chlorides and ice control (salt).  Looking at these kinds of issues within the watershed (control and use) could prove helpful.  This was discussed for several minutes. 

Christopher Gow inquired about the importance of buffers between the roadways and people’s lawns and the lake.

Mr. Hines responded that buffers were great and that maintaining vegetation along the shoreline was really the best way to keep phosphorous out of the water because it will stick to that vegetation.

“So we should encourage homeowners not to have their lawns go right to the lake.  They should have a buffer zone.”

“Right,” responded Mr. Hines.  “A lot of phosphorous comes from the homeowners that are applying the Chem Lawns and over use of spray on fertilizers.  Any of that stuff that runs off is a big contributor to phosphorous and nitrates in the lakes.” 

“That’s not supposed to be used,” stated Dena Steele.

Lili Neuhauser then inquired as to what the Village could do to mandate those residents who are living on the Lake, because clearly some of these behaviors are occurring and they need to be stopped. 

Trustee Guazoni suggested that any type of grass fertilizer contains phosphorous and therefore “anybody who has a bright green lawn is guilty of throwing phosphorous into our lake.  It’s not only the people at the lake’s edge.”

Mr. Hines agreed with this assessment.  He went on to say that although there had been an increase over time, the phosphorous numbers in the lake over all were relatively low.  This is the main reason the algae blooms have not been out of control.

In response to Mrs. Neuhauser’s question about how they should move forward, the Mayor stated that she had been talking with the Chief because the first line of defense is the Front Gate.  She wondered if there were any other measures they could take to make the community more aware of the situation.

Mr. Hines responded that a lot of it comes down to education on the use of these types of chemicals.  A mailer with the water bills (or other such Village wide mailings) can be effective. 

“We do that already,” stated Mayor Guinchard. 

Mr. Gow wondered how wide the buffer of vegetation between people’s lawns and the lake should be.

“The wider the better,” responded Mr. Hines.  “There is really no minimum, but the more natural vegetation you can have and distance to the lake, certainly helps.  It provides cooling, and shade is important in shallow waters as it effects oxygen levels in the water which in turn effect algae blooms.”

“It’s a clear case of prevention is cheaper than a cure” stated Mr. Gow.

Dena Steele commented that one of the concerns she had had for a while is that when it comes to lakes management, the Village seems to focusing off-and-on on anecdotal evidence and has stepped away from professional management and a long-term game plan and the long term schedule of regular testing of a variety of different things.  She personally found it very upsetting that within 12 months the Village had application of Copper Sulfate three times, and the third time the lake looked unbelievable!  It was not only an algae bloom, but there was Ciano Bacteria as well.  “This is our drinking water and we are putting in a heavy metal” she commented.  “This is not something I feel terribly comfortable with. “ She wondered what Mr. Hine’s firm’s credentials and expertise were in providing the Village with guidance and whether their role would be outlining a management for protecting the lakes moving forward.  CSLAP is just one part of this.  There is a big scope.  “What do you recommend in the long-term schedule of protection?” she inquired.

Mr. Hines responded that he had only been reviewing it for the past 4 days and did not feel he could answer that question.  His firm does work for various municipalities that have reservoirs and help them with various management plans.

There followed a brief debate with regard to how many copper sulfate treatments there had been over the course of the last year with Ms. Steele suggesting that there had been 3 over a 12-month period and Mayor Guinchard asserting that there had only been two during the course of the fiscal year.

Ms. Steele suggested that the Village was in need of “cutting edge” help. 

Mr. Hines indicated that Solitude Lakes Management (formerly Allied Biological) was monitoring the lakes based on the phytoplankton and algae they are finding they are making recommendations.

“I don’t think we had any problems with Ciano algaes,” stated Trustee Guazzoni.

Jim Hays disagreed commenting that it was the Ciano bacteria or “blue/green algae that had turned the lake such a latex blue color.”

Trustee Guazzoni countered that the Village had tested the water and been advised that dead algae had been the cause of the de-coloration.

Mr. Hays reiterated that another name for this was Ciano Bacteria and that this is what was causing the issues with color.  He further stated that while Mr. Hines seemed to be suggesting that there weren’t any major problems, last summer during one of the algae blooms the CSLAPS volunteers had sent a letter to the Board cautioning the algae was so thick that the scum near the shore could be dangerous and that people and animals should stay out of the water.

Mr. Hines responded that his comment had been in relation to the drinking water and not the use of the lake for recreational activity.

Mr. Hays then stated that he was also very concerned about the Milfoil problem.  He has some experience in the Adirondacks and there are Adirondack lakes that have become so clogged with the invasive that property values around them have gone to zero.  The Milfoil in the Village lakes is spreading and they have yet to do a survey to determine what the extent is, but there are places in the Wee Wah and Pond #3 that are completely covered.  It is getting very thick.  In his view the Village needs a long-range plan to beat it back and it’s going to cost a lot of money.  The longer they let it go however, the more it is going to cost and the lakes could become unusable.  

Village Grant writer Fred Rella commented that the Department of Environmental Conservation had an invasive species grant that was due March 27.   It is both terrestrial and aquatic and it is $100,000.  He will be working with Mr. Gow and the TAC on the terrestrial one and had been planning to ask Trustee McHugh about pursuing it for the Milfoil Issue as the monies could be used for either the physical or chemical removal of Milfoil and the hiring a firm to help remediate these issues and prevent it moving forward.  

Trustee Guazzoni stated that he was in agreement with Mr. Hays and that he had been to lakes in Minnesota where they had let the problem go and then either have to invest in matting or purchase a harvester for 2.5 million dollars.  “We do this now, or we buy the harvester later,” he cautioned.

Mr. Hines stated that the company that had been performing the physical removal of the Milfoil has been mapping the issue.  All of these results have been provided to Solitude.  Pond #3 was surveyed and harvested.  The Wee Wah was surveyed but divers were not employed there because of the on-going dam project. 

The idea of matting was then discussed.  Trustee Guazozni wondered whether the intended to use matts in the Wee Wah Trustee McHugh responded that if they wanted to make swimming at the Wee Wah Beach Club enjoyable, they should consider using matting in that area.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how many matts would be needed.

The answer was 3-4.

Trustee Guazzoni then stated that the Board was considering doubling the Village budget for Milfoil.

The conversation then turned briefly to the south end of Tuxedo Lake and the barrier curtain, which had been installed to prevent the Milfoil there from spreading.  It has been relatively effective.

Mrs. Neuhasuer wondered what the Village was now looking at spending vs. what they had been spending when they were keeping the problem relatively under control under Mrs. Goodfellow’s leadership.

Trustee McHugh responded that Mrs. Goodfellow had spent a lot of money on studies, but with regard to physical removal it was considerably less. 

Mrs. Neuhauser replied that there had not been as much milfoil to remove.

Trustee McHugh agreed, but further suggested that they had experienced warmer temperatures and fewer rainfalls.

Mrs. Neuhauser reiterated her belief that the Village needed to be “really tough” with the residents in terms of phosphorous.  Beyond the science, she believes that the Village can be doing much more to educate people and help prevent the problem from getting worse.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that there were a lot of residents who enjoyed “very green, sparkly, emerald lawns.”

Mayor Guinchard commented that the new divers they had employed this past year thought that the previous divers, hired under Mrs. Goodfellow’s leadership, had done a horrible job because they harvested in cloudy water, which ultimately made the problem worse.

Mrs. Nuehauser responded that she was not looking to place blame on any one person or group and that they needed to determine how they were going to move forward. 
The Mayor suggested that there were a lot of different factors at play and that it was not just one issue that could be tackled.

Mrs. Neuhauser wondered whether there should be a police presence on the lake.

The response was that this had actually been done in the past and that in fact, the Police Department had issued some tickets to individuals who were caught boating at the south end of the lake after the lake after the restrictions had been put in place. 

The Mayor suggested that education was a key factor and that they should be working with the Tuxedo Club and the Boat Club on this.  Also people should not be moving docks around regardless of grandfathered status.

Mr. Gow suggested that the DEC had a great presentation about invasive species and he wondered if they should organize one to be hosted at the Tuxedo Club.

Mayor Guinchard wondered how they could be sure they were capturing the correct audience and further suggested that it might be helpful to have multiple presentations for different audiences.

Mrs. Neuhauster commented that Landscapers were a big part of the problem.

Mrs. Heywood suggested that all trucks needed to be stopped and inspected for chemicals at the Front Gate.

Mr. Hays asserted that there was already a resolution on the books in the Village banning the use of phosphates and that Landscapers caught using it are supposed to lose their rights to work in the Village.  He feels that if this is made clear in the springtime as they enter the Village via the Front Gate, that they will not want to take the risk. 

Mayor Guinchard wondered whether the             Village would be in their rights to turn away any truck with phosphorous on board.

Chief Melchiore advised that this would not be possible because many companies will have the chemicals on their trucks for other stops that they might be making outside of the Village on any given day.  He further suggested that what they could do create more commercial vehicle checkpoints.  They are already working on a program to advise the contractors on a bunch of ordinances anyway, so they will make this a part of that.  They are also going to meet with their Environmental Conservation Officer as well as the Lake Warden and the Tuxedo Club.  They are going to both educate and enforce. 

Peter Regna noted that in “cruising the web” he had stumbled upon a material called Aquaside, which appeared to be a pellet that kills milfoil.  He wondered about the viability of this type of treatment.

Trustee Guazzoni advised that the use of herbicides required a severe permitting process because of the reservoir.  Additionally, the two smaller lakes feed into the Ramapo River.

Ms. Steele reiterated her concern that the Village had been employing antidotal practices, such as stocking the lake with certain fish, rather than creating a long-term plan to combat and control the problem.

Trustee McHugh argued that Solitude Lakes Management had advised them that they had been doing things backwards and that since that time, the Village had been following their recommendations for moving ahead.

Mr. Hays suggested that when the Board moved forward with things like this, it was important for them to openly communicate with the residents so that they were aware that plans were being made and that the Village intended to promulgate them, because frankly he felt that people had no idea and that it appeared as though nothing was being done. 

Again, Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the Village would be doubling their Milfoil budget.

“We are discussing it,” interjected Trustee McFadden.

Mrs. Neuhauser wondered how much this would amount to (the doubled figure)

The answer was $100,000 for one calendar year.  It is anticipated that it will take 3-5 years to get the problem under control.  $52,000 was spent this past year. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that she felt they should double the budget for the coming year, but then evaluate the situation on a year-by-year basis.

Ms. Steele stated that she felt the grants referenced earlier by Mr. Rella could be a great thing.

Trustee Guazozni then wondered about the dangers associated with Copper Sulfate.

Mr. Hines indicated that he could not provide this information.

The Mayor asked Mr. Hines to speak briefly to the quality of the drinking water and Mr. Hines reiterated that there were no problems and that the water treatment plant was doing a great job with no violations over the course of the past 4 years.

Public Comments:
Mrs. Neuhauser noted that she had been seeing a lot of the older vehicle tags throughout the Village and she wondered what, if anything, the Village was intending to do about this.

Mayor Guinchard responded that while the Police could stop these individuals at the Front Gate, they could not legally confiscate the old tags.

Trustee Guazzoni noted that the older tags were also being honored at the South Gate.
Chief Melchiore responded that this was going to stop and that all vehicles with outdated tags would be stopped and sent around to the Front Entrance.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that if the Village were to receive an electronic license plate reader, the tags would not be necessary.  They are currently awaiting news of a grant that would allow them to obtain this equipment.

Michele Lindsay provided the Board with a brief Town Board Update.  A public hearing on the Town’s proposed Comprehensive Plan was held the night prior and they received many comments.  They will continue to receive written comments until February 27, after which they will probably be taking all of the comments and channeling them into some sort of workshop style meeting for the purpose of incorporating them into the plan.
A meeting with the Department of Transportation has been scheduled and the Town has been working with the Village of Sloatsburg on the Complete Streets Initiative.  Sloatsburg recently received a fairly hefty grant to assist them in making improvements to the Route 17 corridor through their town and Tuxedo is hopeful to be receiving some funding as well.  The two municipalities would like to work together on the initiative in order to maintain some continuity.  One idea they have been discussing is a “Road Diet” which would turn 17 into a 3-lane roadway, with the center lane utilized for turning only.
The County will be installing a new 911 tower in Maplebrook and there has been a push to add Verizon cell service to this, which would improve reception for their many customers in the area.

Next, Mrs. Lindsay thanked the Board for posting her letter regarding the Pilgrim Pipeline to their website.  She indicated that currently there was a big push among all Towns and Villages long the Hudson River is to get representatives in Albany to amend the transportation law to add Towns.  As the law currently stands, villages and cities have the ability to ban the pipeline but towns do not.  She and Supervisor Rost recently met with Senator Bonacic to see if he would be willing to sponsor the amendment in the Senate, but unfortunately the Senator has stated that he is not in a position to do so.

Moving forward, once the DEC announces that the process is beginning, the Town will be holding more SEQRA related workshop meetings.

Trustee McFadden wondered, should the Federal Government come through with funding for any infrastructure type projects, whether there was anyone in the Town that was aware of how to get involved with this and applying for this type of funding and if the Village might want to get involved in this.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that she supposed they would need to wait and see what kind of infrastructure projects the funding would applicable to.

Trustee McFadden suggested there could be funding for things like bridges, tunnels and roads, with a private sector/government sector partnership.  While it may be too early, he felt that it might be important to get involved and in his view, the motivation might need to come from the Town.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that a ½ interchange at Route 17A was still in the Comprehensive Plan.  She felt it might be a good exercise to have specific infrastructure projects identified and suggested that she would speak to the Highway Department about it.

Trustee Guazozni asked for an update on Tuxedo Farms.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that they were still busy with grading the property and laying some of the basic infrastructure.  They have indicated that they would like to start building in the spring, however they are looking for a number of waivers from the Special Permit as approved in 2010.  Some of these include the use of Vinyl siding and non-operational window shutters along with a change in the size of front door posts. The Farms will be presenting all of the requested waivers at the next Town Board meeting on February 27 and Mrs. Lindsay encouraged everyone to attend.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of January:
Criminal Complaints – 4
Non-Criminal Complaints – 251
Arrests – 1
Vehicle Accidents - 3
Traffic Tickets Issues - 12
Traffic Warnings Issued – 10
Alarms – 10 (3 Medical)
Assists Received from other Police Departments – 2
Vehicle Tags Issued - 1,024

Declare Equipment as Surplus – the Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring some old computer equipment as surplus.  This equipment will be destroyed.

Police Officer Appointments & Retirement - The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the retirement of Officer Jim Ascione, effective May 31, 2017.

They also voted unanimously in favor of appointing 2 new part-time officers, Ryan W. Smith and Mathew J Jackson.  Both have completed the first phase of the Police Academy and will be sponsored by the Village for the second phase, which includes firearms training.  The officers will cover the cost of phase two along with the necessary ammunition and the Village will provide the firearms. Upon completion, they will be certified as Police Officers and will be officially hired by the Village.  There will be agreement whereby the officers must remain with the Village for at least 1-year and should they leave prior to that, they would have to reimburse the Department for any expenses accrued. 

Trustee McHugh inquired about the deer culling.

Detective Taback responded that he had completed a distance survey, which is a part of what is needed to obtain a culling permit.  Understory and foliage are a large part of this as well.  There are approximately 63 deer currently living within the Village, 20 of which are does.  They do not recommend a cull for this year.  The threshold is 14 does per square mile.  Next year, a cull will be needed.

DPW Report:
The DPW has been very busy responding to issues associated to the wide range of weather that has occurred over the last several weeks.  In addition to this, they have begun removing trees on and around the Pond #3 dam in preparation for the work that will be done there.  Use of a tree service will be necessary in order to remove some of the larger trees.  They have also been busy cleaning and removing debris from the area across the street from the DPW facility.

Mayor Guinchard reported that she had asked Superintendent Voss to provide her with an estimated cost per inch for snow and ice remediation and that this has been very helpful.  She thanked him for his efforts in this regard.

The Superintendent noted that the Village is currently at the threshold for the amount of salt they put in for.  When they reach 120% of what was filed for, the price increases by 10%.  He advised that they might want to increase these amounts in next year’s budget.
Trustee McFadden inquired as to how much had been budgeted.

The answer was that $50,000 was budgeted and $48,000 has been spent to date.

Building & Grounds Report:
Projects Updates – Building Inspector John Ledwith reported that the Village was continuing to work on lining up the necessary license agreements for those people who have property adjacent to the Pond #3 and Wee Wah Lake dams. 

Working with John Kinnear they have finalized the plans for the Booth renovations.  6 sets of the plans have been distributed to interested contractors. 

There were some issues with a communication line between the water plant and the water tanks, which were repaired.

Mr. Ledwith also met with representatives of Verizon with regard to a possible micro tower in the Village, possibly to be installed at the Ridge Road Water Tanks.  This is new technology that would involve a tower to be installed on top of an existing poll.  This addition would only be able 2 feet in height and 1 foot in diameter.  The tower would be “fairly invisible” although it would have to extend slightly above the treetops.  Mr. Ledwith feels that it would be a net positive for the Village monetarily. 

Mr. Ledwith also met with a representative from the water company to discuss some ideas on possibly replacing the water meters, which is an idea that has been touched on periodically over the past two years. 

Ms. Steele wondered whether Mr. Ledwith was coordinating with Mrs. Lindsay with regard to the emergency tower that was being installed in Maplebook as they will also be installing a Verizon tower in that location.

Mr. Ledwith responded that what would be installed in the Village was not an emergency tower but rather a Micro Boost Station.

Ms. Steele replied that she understood that what was being proposed was not an emergency tower, however if Verizon was already planning to install something on top of the emergency tower in Maplebrook, it might alleviate the need to install an additional boost station within the Village. 

Mr. Ledwith responded that the boost station would be free of cost for the Village and that both towers would surely be of assistance to customers in the Village. 

Committee Reports:
Update by Grant Writer Fred Rella – The Village was awarded an additional $50,000 for the Wee Wah Dam through the State Municipal Facilities, sponsored by Senator Bonacic.  Mr. Rella and the Mayor will also be meeting with the Senator on a date yet to be determined to discuss the idea of more significant funding for the dam project.  Congressman Maloney submitted a request to the Senator via a callout that he put to certain communities for projects.  The projects that Mr. Rella has put in for are the dam repair work, a DPW truck, a wood chipper, Milfoil control and eradication and a license plate reader and SUV for the Police Department.  The Congressman was instrumental with the Dam Safety Act and the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act in which $433 Million dollars were recently allocated for this purpose.  Currently, the method for disseminating these funds is being determined but Mr. Rella feels that because he is the Village’s Congressman and he is well aware of the situation that exists with the Wee Wah Dam and it’s connection to potable water for so many people, that the Village has a good shot at getting something substantial out of it.

Two tree grants will be filed at the end of February.  The first is for a tree inventory to be done in the Village and the second is for the actual acquisition of trees.  Each grant is in the amount of $50,000.  The Village cannot acquire the trees unless they do the tree inventory first, so the two go hand-in-hand. 

Tree Advisory Board – Mr. Gow provided the Board with a brief update on the Race Track Nature Preserve.  In order for them to achieve their goal for the space, which is to create a self-sustaining preserve that will not require watering or much maintenance at all, they must first remove the invasive species that currently exist there.  This is quite costly.  To date, TAB has not received any grants, although they are working on this.  Landscape Architect Larry Weaner, who is working on the project, just received $500,000 in State Funding and $130,000 in Federal funding in order to assist with invasive species removal on another project he is doing just over the Hudson River, so they are hopeful.  In the meantime, TAB has raised $128,000 from past and present Village residents and they are looking to acquire permission from the Board to utilize $100,000 of these funds before the growing season starts to begin eradicating the invasives.  Again, the methodology for the project will be outlined by Larry Weaner himself during the aforementioned presentation on April 8.  Mr. Gow further reported that Arbor Day would take place on Saturday, April 29 at 2pm down at the Race Track.  They will be unveiling a plaque identifying the founding stewards who have donated $5,000 towards the project as well as awarding a prize in honor of the individual who has helped the most this year.  At 5pm, at the Cheymore Gallery, a limited addition print of the Racetrack, created by Gallery Owner, artist and life-long Village resident Mae Shore, will be unveiled.  The print will also be available at a gallery in New York City. 

Following some minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing them to move forward with using the $100,000 to get the invasive removal underway. 
Mayor Guinchard added that TAB had been asked to speak at the conference for Tree City USA in Albany next month.  Chair Hempel has put together a beautiful presentation and everyone is very excited to attend.

Finance Committee – Trustee Moon reported that the committee has been interviewing new auditors.  The previous auditors have been on board for at least two decades and they feel it would be a good idea to get a fresh set of eyes involved. 

Secondly, the committee is working to enhance internal controls.  “Our internal controls are fine,” stated Trustee Moon “We do not mean to cast any dispersions or impune anybody’s integrity.”  He went on to say that are looking at things such as the handling of currency.  Making FOIL requests or photocopies is one thing, but handling larger amounts of cash is something the Village might look to avoid.

Mayor Guinchard added that they had already begun enhancing some of the controls and although they were planning to wait until they heard back from the comptroller and the auditors before making more detailed enhancements, there are three things they would like to put into place immediately.

The first is that moving forward the Village will no longer be able to accept cash for more than $20.  Secondly, Trustees will be authorized to sign deposits and bank statements, and finally once vouchers are signed, checks must be compared directly to them and signed off on by the Mayor.

Following some discussion, these three things were approved unanimously.

Trustee Liaison Updates:
Trustee McFadden reported that with regard to Term Limits, he had put in some suggestions to Attorney Brian Nugent and in his opinion this is ready to bring to the floor whenever the Board wishes to talk about it. 

With regard to Village property use, he commented that as had been discussed in other meetings they were waiting for the budget to be ready before they began making recommendations.

As for the sewer system, specifically the idea of different types of properties with different types of uses, some in the Town that are using the Village sewer system etc., he and Mr. Ledwith made a report to Mr. Nugent several months ago and so, whenever the Board wants to bring that to the floor it is ready for discussion.

Regarding the Ridgeline Law, in speaking with the Planning Board and BZA, both groups felt strongly that there were no changes needed in order to prevent the type of drilling and noise that occurred last summer.  This can be done under current law now that they have been educated and have an understanding of what they could have stopped but didn’t (recommending different drill techniques and things of this nature) They feel that they do not need any new legislation or changes to the code.

With regard to the new Village website, Trustee Guazzoni reported that the latest beta would be ready for a soft release within a few days and could be expected to go live next week sometime.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 15, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
a. Resolution - Change Planning Board Meeting Dates
b. Resolution - Restricting the Possession of Firearms and Other Dangerous Weapons Inside Village Hall
4. Water Quality Discussion - by Village Engineer Pat Hines (McGoey, Hauser & Edsall)
5. Trustee Liaison Updates
6. Police Report
a. Declare Equipment as Surplus
7. DPW Report
8. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
9. Committee Reports
a. Update by Grant Writer Fred Rella
10. Pilgrim Pipeline Update
11. Public Comments
12. Approval of Minutes
13. Audit of Claims

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 18, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Trustee McHugh was absent.

The meeting began at approximately 7:15pm following an attorney/client session.

Mayor’s Update:

Mayor Guinchard opened the meeting by reminding everyone to be extremely careful with regard to ice, noting that she had recently fallen and injured herself, resulting in emergency surgery.

Grievance Day – Grievance Day will take place on Saturday, February 21 at the Village hall from 5-9pm.

Budget Workshop Dates – The Board scheduled budget workshops for the following dates and times: February 15 from 5-7, February 21 from 4-5pm, March 8 from 6-9pm, March 15 from 5-7pm and March 22 from 6-9pm.

NYCOM 8th Grade Essay Contest – Mayor Guinchard announced that the New York State Conference of Mayors is inviting all eighth grade students currently enrolled in a school located in a city or village in New York State to participate in a statewide essay contest addressing the topic “If I were Mayor, I would….” Copies of the flier outlining the details were sent to TPS as well as to Meg Vaught for distribution both in George F. Baker as well as on TPFYI. Information has also been posted to the Village website. The deadline for submissions is March 8.

Recognition of Outstanding Ambulance Corp Member – The Mayor will be attending the annual Ambulance Corps dinner next weekend, at which she will be presenting a certificate in recognition of an Outstanding Ambulance Corp member.

A resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign off on the license agreements for the easements involved with the WeeWah and Pond #3 dams was unanimously passed.

A resolution regarding indemnification for Board members was briefly discussed and unanimously adopted. The resolution was an affirmation of the Village Board’s current position concerning the actions of individual Village Board members, which essentially states that the Board members are indemnified in so much as it pertains to their role as Board members, but if any of are found guilty of something pertaining to their actions as an individual, they are on their own legally. Individual Trustees do not have the power to act for and/or on behalf of the Village. Statements published to others by individual Trustees do not constitute statements made by the Village or the Board of Trustees excepting specific authorization by resolution of the Trustees. The disclosure of confidential information discussed during executive sessions is a violation of New York State municipal law and if could result in removal from office if knowingly made. Finally, the resolution publicly denounced and affirmed its opposition to any statements made by any Trustee that is defamatory or slanderous toward any person and expressed its opposition to the disclosure of confidential information acquired during executive session.

A copy of this resolution can be viewed here.


Trustee Liaison Reports:

There were no Trustee Liaison reports.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of December:
Criminal Complaints – 0
Non-Criminal Complaints- 153
Automatic Fire Alarms – 2
Other Alarms –11
Medical Calls – 3
Traffic Tickets Issued –32
Traffic Warnings Issued – 5
Vehicle Tags Issued – 1,010
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 3
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police –0
Assists Given to the New York State Police – 2

Additionally, an estimated 1000 vehicles enter the Village via the Front Gate every day.

Appointment of Part Time Police Officer – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing part-time police officer Sean Grady at a rate of $23.52 an hour effective January 23, 2017. This brings the total number of part time officers in the Village to 17.

DPW Report:

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department has been keeping very busy with various tasks. The roadways have required a fair amount of salting recently due to the high number of small snows/ice. Additionally, because the weather has been fairly mild, they have been able to sweep some of the roads. A dumpster was filled with scrap metal at the DPW facility and will be picked up shortly. They have also been working with the Police Department on various tasks at the station and have been assisting the Tree Advisory Board with the placement of logs along the stream beside Tuxedo Road. Finally, there was one water leak, which they dutifully repaired.

The Village’s sledge howler contract (waste water management plant) expires on March 31 and Superintendent Voss requested that the Board set a bid opening date for this, further suggesting that they consider having it coincide with the bid opening for the Booth project.

For the benefit of the public, Mayor Guinchard explained that the sledge howler was a something that the Village needed to do annually as part of their regular maintenance at the Waste Water Management Plant.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of setting a bid opening date of March 1 at 2pm.

There followed a brief discussion about the Village’s fuel contract and when it was set to expire. It was agreed that this information would be reviewed in order that any necessary action could be taken in a timely manner.

Superintendent Voss then reported that the previous Friday he and Chief Melchiore had traveled to the RED CROSS where they picked up various disaster preparedness items, which are now being stored in the South Gatehouse. Some items received include 50 cots, blankets, 25 coats and hand warmers. Chief Melchiore added that in the near future the RED CROSS would also be sending the Village a 20-foot trailer loaded with additional disaster supplies. These resources will be shared with the Town of Tuxedo.

The Chief went on to note that online disaster training has begun in the Police Department. He expressed his gratitude to Superintendent Voss and the entire DPW for all of their work in assisting his department with all of this.

Mayor Guinchard further expressed her gratitude to the Superintendent, noting she felt it was important to thank publicly for his assistance during her accident, as the ambulance would not have been able to reach her without his help.

Building and Grounds Report:

A copy of the building and grounds report can be viewed here.

Building Inspector John Ledwith reported that by the end of the week he anticipated that 6 of the 8 license agreements with regard to work on the both the WeeWah and Pond #3 dams would be in place by the end of the week. Additionally, the Village in conjunction with Chiu Yin Hempel and the Tree Advisory Board has filed an application with Trees for Tribs for some plants and shrubs to be used in stabilizing the soil along the WeeWah Lake near the DPW facility. He has also been working with Orange and Rockland on a plan to relocate utility wires that currently run into the Village right at the Front Gate. The wires would be rerouted up the hill across from chase bank to Nursery Road and then back into the Village further up along Tuxedo Road just before the first, big sweeping curve the right. The rerouting of these wires will help to clean up the front entrance and improve the overall aesthetic there.

Proposed plans for the Booth are available for public review at the Village Office. The Board intends to set a bid opening date of March 1 for this project.

Home sales in the Village have been active.

Finally, the Police Department conducted some visits to a few derelict properties, which have become, for all intensive purposes, attractive nuisances. The Building Inspector noted that he would like to discuss this with the Trustees further in an executive session as he believes these particular homes are detracting from the property values around them.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how many telephone poles would be removed as a part of the O & R wire relocation.

The answer was 4.

He further noted that a directional sign for Route 17 had been installed right near the intersection of Park Ave. and Tuxedo Road and he wondered if it might be possible to remove it.

From the audience, Town Board member Michele Lindsay responded that she would inquire about this.

Set Bid Opening Date for Booth Project- The Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a bid opening date of March 1 at 2pm for the booth project.

Project Updates – Wee Wah Resolution – The Board voted unanimously in favor of a resolution authorizing the Mayor to submit a written request to the DEC for the downgrading/reclassification of Pond #3 to from a B to an A. (low hazard) In brief, this reclassification would allow for a reduced inspection schedule which would ultimately save the Village money.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether the DEC was considering the Wee Wah and Pond #3 as one body of water.

The answer was no. For a number of reasons, most notably it’s proximity to the railroad; the Wee Wah Dam has recently been reclassified and raised to a C.

Committee Reports:
Trustee Guazzoni noted that the real estate market in the Village was currently strong, with 30 properties having been sold in the last year and 30 more currently on the market. 20 of the properties sold fetched priced of over 1 million with one exceeding 4.5 million. 10 or 11 of the houses currently on the market have a 2 million dollar price tag attached.

In general, property values are going up and people seem to making return profits on their investments. He believes that the Village is being rewarded for decent management practices in the past year.

Public Comments:

Michele Lindsay briefly updated the Board with regard to 4 important Town related issues.

First, the Town Board will hold a public hearing on the updated comprehensive plan Monday January 23 at 7pm. This plan was last updated in 2010. Notable changes include some zoning updates (historically, zoning was not made to comply with the comprehensive plan) as well as various other small “tweeks.” The basic goal, given the financial situation in the town, is to diversify the tax base. Tuxedo Farms will double the amount of housing in the Town and so they are looking to diversify the tax base beyond housing.

Secondly, the Town has been moving towards a community choice aggregation for electricity. The Town will have to pass a local law allowing the company that does aggregation to collect data on usage so that they can put together a proposal for the town with regard to supply prices. At this time, they are looking at residential and commercial entities. The company is signing up several towns and will then negotiate prices. It is an opt-out program, which means anyone can opt out at any time. It is renewable based. The company is called Good Energy. It’s not a huge savings, but is a savings none-the-less. If the Village wanted to proceed with a similar plan, they would need to pass their own law.

Trustee Guazzoni and Mayor Guinchard noted that the Village had also met with them last year.

Next, Mrs. Lindsay reported that the Related Companies are seeking several waivers from the Smart Code the Tuxedo Farms project. Specifically, they would like to allow for Vinyl siding. Additionally, they would like to change the some of the rooflines and are also hoping to move away from fully functional shutters. The Town is looking to put together a workshop meeting to be attended by the Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board and Architectural Review Board for the purpose of reviewing and discussing the proposed changes. This meeting will be open to the public. A date has not yet been set.

Finally, with regard to the Pilgrim Pipeline, Mrs. Lindsay reported that under the Pipeline tab on the Town Website there was information regarding a state-wide call in that will be running next week where residents can place a call to Governor Cuomo asking him to put a stop to the project. Click here to access this information.

Mayor Guinchard added that both the Village and the Town had been working hard behind the scenes to combat the pipeline. She further noted that there seemed to be quite a few rumors floating around the community about all of this and she encouraged anyone who might have a question about it to go directly to the source rather than to rely on the rumor mills.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that he had heard that the Quarry Field property was being rezoned for residential and commercial use. He wondered if there was any truth to this.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that the Town owned the property in questions and she believed the intent was to use it for recreation, although they had been considering it as a potential location for a solar field. She does not believe it has been re-zoned but will check.

Audrey Perry commented that there was an old, sign located near the South Gate that reads “Entrance for residents only. All others please use main gate.” The sig is old, dirty and on the wrong side of the road, which makes it difficult to see. She suggested that perhaps if the sign were updated to include some different, more decisive language and then installed on the correct side of the road, it might be more effective in deterring unwanted traffic back there.

Trustee Guazzoni agreed that the sign needed to be replaced and further suggested that there should be two signs, one on either side of the road. He also agreed that the language should be updated and more matter of fact. He has already been working on this. It will be taken care of.

While on the topic of the South Gate, Mayor Guinchard noted that the new long arms had been installed. She inquired as to whether or not the supports would be installed in the near future.

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss responded that they needed to do some concrete work in order to put them in and that this would be done in the near future.

Meg Vaught inquired as to the status of the new Village website.

She was informed that it was completed and ready to go, although a launch date was not provided.

Finally, Mayor Guinchard noted that the Village was looking to initiate some sort of Police Officer appreciation, similar to what is done by the ambulance corps and the fire department. She has begun conversations with the Chief as to how to appropriately move forward with something like this.

The Board then entered into an Executive Session, after emerging from which they voted on two additional motions.

Authorize Signing of Agreement

A motion was made by Mayor Guinchard, seconded by Deputy Mayor Guazzoni that the Board authorize the Mayor to sign a memorializing agreement with a resident concerning a prior dispute over a utility installation.

Vote of the Board: 4 ayes, 0 nays

The motion was passed by a 4-0 vote

Create Part Time Position

A motion was made by Mayor Guinchard, seconded by Deputy Mayor Guazzoni that the Board authorize the creation of a part time building inspector/code enforcer, if necessary.

Vote of the Board: 3 ayes, 1 nay (McFadden)

The motion was passed by a 3-1 vote.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 18, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
a. Announce Grievance Day - February 21, 2017 from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
b. Set Budget Workshop Dates
4. Trustee Liaison Updates
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
8. Committee Reports
9. Public Comments
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims

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Village Budget Workshops to be held in January and February

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a budget workshop on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. as well as the regular monthly Board of Trustees meeting, same date, at 7:00 p.m.; a budget workshop on February 15, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 p.m., as well as the regular monthly Board of Trustees meeting, same date, at 7:00 p.m.; a budget workshop on February 21, 2017 from 4:00-5:00 p.m., prior to the Board of Assessment Review (Grievance Day) meeting, same date, being held from 5:00-9:00 p.m., all being held in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 21, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on December 21, 2016 at 7pm.  Trustee McFadden attended via telephone.

Mayor Guinchard opened the meeting by calling for a moment of silence in honor of Thomas Rost, Town Supervisor Rost’s brother, who died suddenly this past week.

Trustee Moon noted that Mr. Rost had been a graduate of the US Military Academy, and one of the best ice hockey players they had ever had.  He was also one of the leading scorers of all time in NCAA. He had 118 career goals at the Military academy, 116, 169 career assists and he spent 284 minutes in the penalty box.   While in the Arm he received 20 citations of merit.  He was guided by hard work, honesty and humility.  He will be missed.

Board attorney Brian Nugent then noted that although it was permissible for Trustee McFadden to be attending the meeting via telephone, he would not be able to vote that way.  In order to vote, Trustees must be video-conferenced into a meeting.

Mayor’s Update:

The Tuxedo Farms easements are closed.  All the transfers have been completed and the closing has occurred.  The Village will get the parcels; the Northern Tract, The Fox Hill Tract and the southern buffer, all of which will have conservation easements on them.  Easements for Both the Northern Tract and the Fox Hill Tract will be held by the Orange County Land Trust and the Southern Buffer will be held by the Town of Tuxedo.

Mayor Guinchard publicly thanked former Mayors Madera and Kroeber as well as Peter Regna and the “many many others” who have worked for endless years to make sure that the agreements were in the best interest of the Village.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni wondered whether the land would remain in the Town of Tuxedo or if it was going to become part of the Village. 

Mr. Nugent responded that they would be Village owned properties in the Town.  If they wanted to, the Village could annex the properties and bring them into the Village.  This would require a petition to the Town followed by a meeting of both Boards to determine whether or not the annexation would be in the best interest of both municipalities.  As part of the agreement, the Town has already stated that they will agree that the annexation is in everyone’s best interest. 

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether the Village was paying taxes on the land. 

Mr. Nugent responded that he believed the Town had taken the position that because of the nature of the property and the fact that it was for conservation, they would not tax the Village.

On another note, the Mayor reported that she and  John Ledwith had attended a FEMA Homeland Security workshop in the 911 center, where they learned about emergency services.  The workshop was extremely informative and Mayor Guinchard expressed her appreciation at having been included.

Finally, Mayor Guinchard wished everyone Happy Holidays and best wishes, commenting that she hoped 2017 would be a great year for everyone.

Village Court:

Newly appointed Village Justice, Judge Hasin then introduced himself to the Board and the community, commenting that he wanted to provide a brief update with regard to some of the “comings and goings” in the Village Court.  He went on to say that his predecessor, Judge Levinson, who served the Village for decades had only presided over 2 arraignments during his years of service however, since having been appointed in July, he had presided over 6 or 7!  He believes that the police are being diligent as far as protecting the residents of the Village as well as people who might be traveling on the roadways.  Things have been a lot busier than he initially expected they would be, but he is happy because “a busy court is a good court and he feels that things are running smoothly.  He then encouraged anyone who might have any questions about the court to go ahead and ask them.

Peter Regna inquired as to whether there was anything before Judge Hasin’s bench that might be of interest to the Village’s “rank and file.”  Specifically, he wondered whether all the arraignments were traffic violations or if there was anything that might be of interest to the residents.

The answer was no.  They are mostly traffic violations.  There are some criminal matters pending, trespass, DWI, this type of thing and there is a representative from the DA’s office who appears in conjunction with these cases.  He only has jurisdiction to hear misdemeanors. 

Village Grant Writer, Fred Rella, commented that there was a program called The Justice Court’s Assistance Program (JCAP), which provided judicial equipment on an annual basis.

Judge Hasin responded he was aware of the program and that he would like to meet with Mr. Rella to discuss some of the possible opportunities for the Village.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether the court was open to the public.

The answer was yes.

Judge Hasin then commented that what he would like to do, provided it would not be an opposition, was to come before the Board once a quarter to update them on what was going on and answer any questions that they, or any members of the community might have.

The Mayor agreed that this was a good idea.

Tree Advisory Board:

On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Chair Chiu Yin Hempel provided the Board with a report outlining the group’s progress to date and their plans for the future.

To view a copy of this presentation, click here.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether the events would be open to the general public.

“Completely,” responded Mrs. Hempel. 

Traffic and parking at these events was then briefly discussed.

Trustee Moon thanked Mrs. Hempel for her presentation.  With regard to the “de-viners” he wondered how they were disposing of invasive species.

Mrs. Hempel responded that this particular group was dealing only with vines, which can be broken down and returned to the soil.  

Deana Steele added that when they had removed some fragmites, they bagged it and took it home to dispose of via the garbage. 

Trustee Liaison Reports:

With regard to the Water Company, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni commented that there were roughly 20-25 residents who had their houses winterized each year.  This means that the DPW goes into their homes and removed the water meter, bringing it back to their garage for storage.  The in the springtime, they clean up the meter and bring it back for reinstallation.  The Deputy Mayor suggested that while this is a nice concierge service, it is being funded by all taxpayers.  He then proposed that those 20-25 residents in question be billed directly for the roughly 2 hours of time that it took the DPW to do this work.  He does not believe it would cost more than $95 per year.

Trustee Moon wondered what the purpose of removing the meter was.

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss responded that most of the meters were seasonal, used for sprinklers and things of that nature.  There are a few residents who close their homes up entirely for the winter, and the meters are removed so that they don’t freeze. 

Again, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni suggested that the residents who are benefiting from these services should be billed for them, rather than to spread the cost of the labor out across the entire tax base.

Trustee Moon wondered whether these property owners would have the option of somehow modifying their water intake.

The answer was no, as it needs to be metered.  If the meter freezes, it will break.

The possibility of installing a shut-off valve before the meter was then discussed.

Mr. Nugent suggested that if the Village were to start charging a fee for this service, they would need to officially establish one via the Village Code.  An amendment would be necessary in order to do this.

The discussion continued at some length, but ultimately, no action was taken.

Next the Deputy Mayor reminded residents that when driving, those traveling down hill must yield to those traveling up hill.

The Mayor then announced that 911 was launching a new service whereby individuals can text 911 in case of emergency.  Information will be posted to the Village website. 

Police Report:

With regard to the emergency plan, Chief Melchiore reported that the department had been authorized to pick up 50 cots, 50 blankets, a box of latex gloves, some hygienic kits and 25 coats.  He asked the Board if they might consider authorizing the use of a truck for the purpose of retrieving these items and storing them in the Village for use in case of emergency.  The materials will be stored at the South Gate. 

He then reported the following for the month of November:

Non-Criminal Incidents - 85

Property Damage – 1

Traffic Tickets issued – 22

Traffic Warnings – 3

Intrusion Alarms – 7

Fire Alarms – 6

Medical Calls – 2

Assists given to outside police agencies – 2

Tags Issued – 990 (741 – resident / 249 – non resident)

The department has also begun conducting traffic surveys on various roads within the municipality.

With regard to the assists given to outside agencies, Trustee McHugh noted that one of these had been given to a non-neighboring municipality (Mahwah).  He wondered if there were extraordinary circumstances that warranted this. 

The Chief responded that this had been a drug-related investigation and that the Village Police had coordinated with them, although the arrest ended up taking place in New Jersey.

The Mayor suggested that the DPW could assist with picking up the emergency equipment and asked that the Superintendent and the Chief coordinate this. 

With regard to deer culling, Mayor Guinchard noted that there may not be enough deer to cull this year.  Detective Tayback will initiate a count and then report back to the Board with his findings.

DPW Report –

Superintendent Voss reported that after completing some paving work up on Lookout Road, the Department had been keeping busy with leaf pick-up.

Additionally, they repaired 3 water leaks and there is another one in need of repairs on Route 17 between the Junction and the IGA.  This is a minor leak.

Trustee McHugh wondered how the leak had been discovered.

Superintendent Voss responded that when shutting off the water to the Junction, they discovered there was a leak in the shut-off valve.

The Mayor wondered if the department would have time to “grid out the Park” and check all of the lines for leaks over the winter months.

Superintendent Voss responded that this might be a little more difficult but he felt they could move forward with it. 

Finally, last week a company came in and repaired two holes in the Ridge Road storage tanks.  They went inside the tanks with a robot and discovered that there is some work that needs to be done there.

The Deputy Mayor inquired as to how old the tanks were and whether they would need to be completely drained in order for the work to be done.

The Superintendent responded that he believed the tanks had been put in sometime during the late 1980s and that yes, the tanks would need to be drained in order for the work to take place.  There is some sediment in there that needs to be cleaned out.  He is waiting to get some quotes.

The Mayor wondered what it would mean to residents if the tanks needed to be drained.

The answer was that it would not mean anything, so long as they did them one at a time. 

Both tanks need work.

“It’s not going to be cheap, but it needs to be done,” stated Superintendent Voss.

Mayor Guinchard wondered, ballpark, how much something like this might cost.

The Superintendent responded that he could not offer an official answer, although he felt they would probably be looking at a figure somewhere between $15-20,000 per tank.  This would cover the cost of full tank restoration; cleaning, relining and resealing.

The Mayor wondered what the life expectancy on the tanks was and Superintendent Voss responded that he did not know off-hand, but that he would find out.

It was then agreed that the Board would conduct a budget workshop on January 18 at 6pm, for the purpose of receiving a presentation of the proposed DPW budget.

Building & Grounds Report:

To review a copy of the Buildings and Grounds report, click here.

Project Updates - Mr. Ledwith has been heavily involved with getting the neighbors to both the Wee Wah and Pond #3 dams to sign the License Agreement as the Village needs access and to do some work on their properties with regard to the renovations of both dams. 

Mr. Ledwith has also been working with Trustee McFadden with regard to the sewer plant expenses and how they might be able to better redistribute some of these. 

Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Ledwith to provide an update on The Booth.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the BAR had reviewed the plans for the Booth.  All of the major concerns have been addressed.  The BAR is also concerned about the actual stone and mortar work and how the building will look.   They would like to see some samples.  The Village is now waiting for the project architects to put together a bid package, after which they can put the project out with the hopes of having things squared away by the end of February.

Mayor Guinchard added that Chiu Yin Hempel had graciously accepted the role of Liaison for the BAR to work with the Board, the Building Inspector and the Architects.  They will make sure that what is constructed there is in keeping with the historic buildings surrounding it.  “It’s pretty much a mini-Keep that will be going there,” stated the Mayor.  She then asked Mrs. Hempel if she had any additional comments to make.

Mrs. Hempel responded that she would be serving as a liaison and not as a representative of the BAR and she looks forward to working together with everyone.

Committee Reports:

Grant Writer – Grant Writer, Fred Rella, noted that the last time he had appeared before the Board he had received authorization to have the Mayor sign the Tree City USA application.  It has since been officially confirmed that the Village is a Tree City USA for the second year in a row.   The DEC will be releasing an annual grant for doing tree inventory, tree plantings and tree maintenance, due in March.  There is a $50,000 cap in each category.  Mr. Rella will be working with Mrs. Hempel to develop an inventory so they can effectively apply for the grant.

Earlier in the year the Village received a grant of $50,000 for the Wee Wah Dam form the New York State Municipal Facilities Capital Grant Program.  There is some more paperwork that is due with regard to this and Mr. Rella stated that he would need to collect some signatures that evening.  Additionally, he has put in for an additional $100,000 on behalf of the Village.  Senator Bonachek is expected to make the related announcements on this just after the first of the year.  Once these announcements have been made, Mayor Guinchard and Mr. Rella will try to meet with the Senator and discuss additional funding as they believe they have found a route for receiving $1,000,000 +. 

There is a New York State Police program called TRACS (Traffic and Criminal Software Grant) This would help the Department obtain PC computers in their patrol cars.  With the help of Detective Tayback, an application for the three police vehicles was submitted.  One of the vehicles was awarded roughly $10,000 worth of equipment.  This will also tie the Village into the Orange County Database System. 

This is an annual program, so they will be able to submit again for the other vehicles.

The Deputy Mayor wondered if there was any chance they might be able to pursue automatic license plate readers.

The answer was no, not with this particular grant.  That being said, there is a grant coming the spring that might allow for these.

Regarding the 1033 program (Department of Defense) the software on the computers in the Police Station had to be upgraded as access to the website is restricted.   Only individuals who are authorized to make arrests can log into the site, which means Mr. Rella cannot do so.  He has been working with Detective Tayback on this as well. 

Mr. Rella also assisted the Chief with a Department of Criminal Justice service called the PPEP program (Police Protective Equipment Program) Through the Federal Government, the Department of Criminal Justice Services was awarded $250,000 for tactical and protective equipment.   The Village has submitted for tactical helmets, rifles and high ballistic proof vests for each vehicle.

Public Comments:

Dena Steele cautioned that residents should not put up their bird feeders as black bears are still out and about.

Jim Hays congratulated both Mrs. Hempel and Ms. Steele for their work on the Tree Advisory Committee and thanked the Board for their support of TAB, commenting that he felt it was a really great thing.  He went on to say that at the same time that Mrs. Hempel is planting trees, there are residents who are cutting them down.  There is a tree law in place, that is admittedly hard to enforce, but residents continue to cut down trees regardless, often times compromising property lines in the process.  He suggested that part of the tree law should require residents to inform Mr. Ledwith when they are planning to remove any trees and that if they do not do this, there should be a healthy penalty.  At least this way, Mr. Ledwith might be made aware of these situations before they occur.

Mrs. Hempel agreed that this would be helpful, as it would provide Mr. Ledwith the opportunity to survey the scene and make appropriate recommendations to ensure proper erosion control.  She feels that trees need to be considered not only in terms of the environment, but also in terms of public safety and protecting the Lake. 

Mr. Hays added that he felt that many people believed that removing trees would provide for a better view, but often times it was possible to preserve the trees and simply remove some branches in order to obtain the desired view.  If Mr. Ledwith had prior knowledge, he might be able to save some trees by recommending this kind of branch removal.

Mr. Nugent pointed out that one of the provisions that was made when the TAB was established was that this Board would have the ability to develop a tree ordinance.  He suggested that they should definitely be involved.

Mayor Guinchard suggested that she would work together with former Trustee Gluck to take a look at the current code and make some possible revisions, which they would then introduce to the TAB for review and comment. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 21, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Trustee Liaison Updates
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
8. Committee Reports
9. Public Comments
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Budget Workshop December 12, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Discussion of Reservoir Study
4. Budget Discussion
5. Adjournment

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 5, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Adjourn to Executive Session to Discuss Contracts
4. Advisory Committee Update on Pilgrim Pipeline
5. Public Comments
6. Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 16, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday November 16 at 7pm.  All members were present. 

The meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of Village residents Rolf Gruterich and Alex Salm, both of whom passed away recently.

Chief Melchiorre was then briefly introduced Officer Louis Roman to both the Board and the public.  Officer Roman is a recent addition to the Village Police Force.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard reported that the Village Welcome Packet is in the process of being updated and should be complete within the next day or so.

Certificates of recognition for Paola Tocci, Robert Simon, Christian Bruner and Anne Madden have been made.  As none of these individuals were able to make the meeting, the certificates will be mailed directly to them.

The Village has accrued some late fees for a few minor bills.  Village Clerk Debbie Matthews requested that when turning vouchers, departments flag and date those that are due after the Board meeting.  This way she can pay the ones that need to be paid prior to the meeting.

Trustee Liaison Updates:
With regard to the milfoil, Trustee McHugh reported that the Village is still waiting to learn whether or not AE diving will be able to return for one more session this fall.  They have already been booked for the spring.  He has asked them to prepare 1, 3 and 5-year plans detailing their recommendations.  This has been submitted and Trustee McHugh in turn passed it along to Solitude Lake Management and asked for their opinion.  He has also requested similar 1, 3 and 5-year plans from them.  Subsequently, they are developing a proposal.  Once the Village has received this, there will be a presentation. 

With respect to the Trail Committee, Trustee Moon reported that the trails are open and autumnal outdoor enjoyment.
 
With regard to the website, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni reported that a beta version has been shared with the Trustees and comments are welcome.  Next week, another, non-searchable beta will be run publicly and if this goes well, traffic will be redirected from the to site to the new one.  The Village is roughly 2 weeks out from a new website.

Additionally the Deputy Mayor reminded everyone that now that the leaves are mostly down from the trees noise and light travel with more ease.  He urged everyone to please be conscious of their neighbors in this regard.

Trustee McFadden commented that he did not have any liaison reports.  He did, however, report that following a Board conversation regarding the Ridgeline law last month,  he, Trustee McHugh and Building Inspector John Ledwith had conducted a conference call with members of the other Village Boards for their input, and discussions are ongoing.

Additionally, Mayor Guinchard had asked him to look into the term-limits law and he has made one recommendation.  Noting that he was certain that there would be more suggestions from the other Trustees, he further commented that he and Village attorney Brian Nugent were currently working on some language.  He anticipates that both of these matters will be discussed again next month.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiorre reported the following for the month of October:
Criminal Offenses – 3
Non-criminal Offenses – 112
Arrests – 3
Traffic Tickets – 19
Traffic Warnings – 5
Property Damage Complaints – 1
Vehicle Tags Issued – 961 (728 Resident & 233 Non-resident)
Medical Calls – 3
Fire Alarms – 6
Other Alarms – 21
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assist Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2

The department will be conducting another traffic and speed survey on the main roads leading into the Village from both gates in the near future. 

Trustee McHugh wondered what this entailed exactly, and specifically whether there would be a rubber line across the roadway.

The Chief responded that at one time rubber lines were used, but this time around they will use a box.  This will allow them to collect a multitude of statistics in addition to how fast the residents are traveling such as time of day and direction of traffic.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether the equipment was being borrowed.
The Chief responded that it was, but he was hopeful that they would be able to include the purchase of equipment in next year’s budget so that they could continually run surveys of this nature.

Turning to the Noise and Light Laws, Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not any tickets had been issued or complaint made with regard to these restrictions.

Chief Melchiorre replied that he had not seen any such complaints.  The building inspector had asked them to take a look at the lighting and they found 12 street lights out, which were reported to O & R.

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department has been continuing with their paving, having done some work on Lookout Stable Road and Turtle Mountain Roads.  They have decided not to pave Clubhouse Road this year.  Rather it will be patched well.  He spoke with Patrick Hines and is awaiting a callback with regard to the engineering of that road as well.

Exterior cleanups were completed at the Village Office as well as the South and Main Gates.  Additionally, new locks were installed on the South Gatehouse, which is now vacant.  Hydro-flushing was completed last week.  A large pipe running across the Devereaux property was repaired/replaced last week.  In between all of these tasks, the department has also been picking up leaves.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not the department was still pursuing water leakage/loss during their downtime.

The answer was yes, although there has not been much down time over the course of the last several weeks.  Commencing next week, they will begin looking for leaks using the equipment recently purchased by the Village.

The Deputy Mayor wondered whether or not the Southgate house had been winterized.

The answer was yes.

Mayor Guinchard added that Mr. Ledwith and Superintendent Voss would be mapping out the water lines as best as possible so that when they do detect leaks, they will be able to keep track via color coding.

Trustee McHugh wondered if this work was being completed in the Village only or if it extended to the East Village.

The answer was that they were doing everything.

The Deputy Mayor wondered whether or not it would be possible to train more people as to how to work the detection equipment, suggesting that perhaps even one of the Board members might be able to give it a shot.

The Mayor responded that she felt it would be better handled by the DPW and the Water Department.

Building & Grounds Report:
Building Inspector John Ledwith reported that he had been working with a few property owners regarding some hazardous trees that need to be removed.  Additionally, a large rock was removed from the side of Tuxedo Road roughly 3 weeks ago as there was a concern about it shifting into the roadway.  There have been 3 Certificates of Occupancy issued over the past 30 days and 2 underground oil tanks removed as a function of property sale.  The Building Inspector has been working with the new BAR Chair in reviewing applications.  The BAR has been busy with good projects, largely renovations, updates and modernizations.

Project Updates – The East Village Water Main project is currently on hold.  This is because the BID prices received were deemed extremely high and unreasonable.  At the Mayor’s request, Mr. Ledwith has sent the letter received from Westin and Sampson to the other Village Engineers in order to determine whether or not they agreed that the BIDs were unreasonable.  A response is expected within the next few  days.

Mr. Tavani has moved to repair the water leak on his property and the Village has sent multiple letters to a resident on Patterson Hill Road in the Town, who also has a leak in his line.  This resident is reportedly trying to get assistance from his insurance company for the repairs.

With regard to the Wee Wah dam, the neighboring property owners have been notified (approximately 8) with regard to the necessary easements.  The Village will require “something in hand” in order to facilitate the easements and get them signed. Village Attorney Brian Nugent commented that the current plan was to put together license agreements. 

The Deputy Mayor requested that Mr. Ledwith provide a brief explanation of what is happening for the benefit of the public.

Mr. Ledwith explained that the DEC had determined that the extent of the dam construction will extend on to other people’s personal property.  These are properties that are relatively close to the dam.  One might not think that these individuals owned the dam, but in the eyes of the DEC, they do own a small piece of it.  With this, there is work that needs to be done on their properties.  Some of this work is non extensive.  Some of it is simply tree removal.  However, the Village requires permission from these individuals in order to facilitate the construction or the tree removal. 

The Deputy Mayor added that as dam owners, these property owners could be liable for part of the repair costs.  As the repair work on the dam could be as high as $3-4 million, the Village is attempting to find a way around so that these individuals are not punished fiscally for owning property where they do.

A letter was sent to the Tuxedo Club regarding several issues.   Some of these include security issues related to South Gate access, the movement of some dock on Tuxedo Lake (which the Village did not appreciate), their tax estuary and some minor issues with regard to their kitchen.

Committee Reports:
On behalf of grant writer Fred Rella, the Mayor reported that the Village is waiting to hear back on an application they put in for a $100,000 grant with Senator Bonacic’s office for additional dam funding.  The determination will be made after Thanksgiving.  The Mayor further commented that the Village wanted to congratulate all of the elected officials who won the recent election, as all of them were individuals that the Village had already been working with, which provides for good continuity. (Brabanec, Bonacic, Maloney)   Additionally, Mr. Rella has been “very busy” working with the Police Department and the Department of Defense 1033 program.  All of the paperwork has been completed and they are preparing to go online and look through the surplus items.  A full report will be given next month
On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Mayor Guinchard stated that a full report will be provided next month.  She congratulated the committee on their successful event at the Racetrack, further commenting that they had been working hard on many fronts.

The Deputy Mayor wondered when the Board would be discussing the East Village Water Main.  He further wanted to know how much it would cost to put some sort of meter or gauge between the Village and the leaky line.  “Before we spend a million dollars fixing a line that feeds 18 houses…..we might want to leave it as is.”

Superintendent Voss responded that it was not just the water loss.  It is an asbestos pipe that has been repaired multiple times over the years.  What if something were to happen under the Ramapo River or the Thruway. 

Trustee McHugh wondered what would happen if they were to do nothing and then there was a catastrophic event.

The Superintendent responded that he did not know.

Mr. Ledwith suggested that if it happened under the thruway, they would probably be allowed to temporarily do something under the overpass.  That being said, it cannot be repaired or replaced where it is now, as it runs under 4 lanes and through a median on the Thruway.

The Deputy Mayor wanted to know how many houses were fed by the line.

The answer was close to 40. 

The Deputy Mayor suggested that the Village should attempt to discover how much water they were actually losing before investing $1.5-1.7 million into the project.

The Building Inspector suggested that they should wait until they hear back from the second set of engineers before deciding how to proceed.  They had been under the impression that the project would cost $500,000, but the BIDs had come more than back double.

The Deputy Mayor countered that even at $500,000 he felt they should invest a lesser amount in order to determine how much water was being lost before they proceeded.
There followed a discussion about this.  Ultimately it was agreed that the Building Inspector and the Superintendent would speak with the engineer with regard to possible testing options and report back with recommendations by January.

Resolution – Emergency Response Plan:
The issue of potential costs was discussed.  Preparation of the document has not cost the Village anything.  Fred Rella is pursuing grants and if there are any financial aspects to these, they will be brought to the table prior to execution.  All of the things being investigated by the Chief are either surplus or things such as cots, ready to eat meals and bottled water.
The Chief added that once the plan had been approved, they would be contacting the American Red Cross and the Military for many of the items.  He does not see any costs associate with the plan, other than those that might come with the actual emergency, which the Village would assume anyhow. 

The Mayor added that the Chief had spoken with Town Supervisor, Mike Rost, and discovered that the Town’s plan was not up to date.  They are now in the process of updating it. 

The Chief concurred, stating that he now had a copy of the plan, which is being updated.  Once the Village plan has approved, the Police will be contacting the Town, the Ambulance Corps and the Fire Dept. for the purpose of coordination.  The Village, Town and County will be working together on this.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to what costs the Village might incur in a “worse case scenario” if they did not receive any of the grants.

Trustee Moon directed everyone’s attention to page 3 of the plan which reads “the purpose of the plan is to develop a comprehensive management program that seeks to mitigate the effects of hazard.”  It does not require the spending of any money.  As an aspiration the Board may want to spend money, but these expenditures would have to be approved.  There are no unfunded mandates in the plan.  He feels it is good to have a plan in place and he feels it should be approved.

The Mayor commented that the Chief had experience developing similar plans in other municipalities where he has worked.  She further pointed out that at the previous meeting, Mr. Nugent had suggested that without a plan, the Village had more of a liability than they did with one in place.  She added that the Club already has a generator, so the Village will not need to purchase one.  If they receive one via a grant, that will be at no cost to the taxpayers.

The Chief stated that in his experience with these types of plans, when there are overtime costs etc, they are able to charge FEMA and FEMA reimburses them for those expenses.  Without a plan, there will be no funding, equipment or refunds.

Trustee McFadden commented that as he had read through the plan, he noticed that there seems to be quite a bit of required training associated with it and a large amount of responsibility afforded to the Chief Executive, which would of course turn over with that position.  There is a lot of table learning and three levels of practice, in addition to a lot of terminology and various designations.  It seems to him that there are hours and hours of learning involved.  Heaven forbid there were to be a disaster tomorrow, even with the plan implemented, he feels they would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  For him, what it boils down to at this point is human resources.  This is a small community.  He wondered if this was something they could actually handle and whether the Chief could put a number on the amount of training hours required. 

The Chief responded that there was a lot of training involved.  They will probably not be at 100% but they will be geared up in the right direction and confident that they can handle an emergency situation, with assistance via their various contacts in the Town and the County.  Tuxedo is always on its own.  The whole area became an island somehow and will need to fend for itself.  In the initial 3-5 days following a disaster, they will be on their own.  He is confident that the community can handle the plan and the training involved.

Trustee McFadden wondered if there would be a lot of ongoing training for Board and community members.  If the Club is to be used a designated cover spot, will Shelby need to be trained?

The answer was yes to both questions.  Multiple representatives from all departments will have to be trained.  Once approved, the training will begin.

The State and the County will provide a lot of free training and equipment.

Trustee McFadden wondered if the Mayor had any idea what her involvement would be in terms of a time commitment.

“Probably as much as I have been spending already,” responded the Mayor.  “I have no problem with it.”

“I don’t have any problem dedicating 30 or 35 hours to this,” stated the Deputy Mayor.

“I have no problem with it either,” added Trustee McFadden. “I just want to make sure everyone understands what we are getting into.”

The Mayor commented that it was important that everyone understand that it was not a matter of being asked to do these things, rather the County was mandating it.  These things have to be done.  “If you are going to sit at this table, you need to know that you have to take on these responsibilities as well.  This is part of the job now.  There is no way around this anymore.”

Trustee McFadden wanted to make sure that this would be communicated to the public in the Village, so that they know in advance prior to running for a position on the Board all the additional responsibilities that will now be involved.”

The answer was yes.

“I think if you are going to run for a position, you should be willing to put in whatever time it is going to take,’ commented the Mayor.

Trustee McHugh wondered if they could create a line item in the general budget to reflect this.  It sounds as though there would be personnel and labor costs involved, rather than hard dollars.  From the sound of it, bringing everyone up to speed might cost a fair amount.

Given the fact that most of these people already have full-time jobs, will they have to pay overtime?  He would like to see a line item on the budget, allocated for the training hours so that they can quantify what their obligation is.

The Chief commented that much of the training will take place while the officers are already working.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the plan.

Resolution – Fire Commissioner Appointment:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of supporting the appointment of Gardiner Hempel for another 5-year term as Commissioner of the Joint Tuxedo Fire District, commencing January 1, 2017.

Resolution – O.C. Tax Exemption on Water Facility in Town:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of requesting the above tax exemption from the county.

Public Comments:
Michele Lindsay reported that the Town Board would be meeting the following evening for one last workshop on the 2017 budget and the expectation was that it would be approved at that time.  The preliminary budget is under the tax cap of .76%.

Trustee McHugh wondered if this figure was working under the assumption that there would be no night shift for the police.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that the budget included a fund balance restoration of $250,000.  There is also a contingency line.  The negotiations with the police can go in a lot of different directions.  There is one full-time officer that will be replaced with part-time.

Trustee McHugh further wondered if there was potential for the reinstating of a night shift officer.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that there was, but she was not sure how extensive it would be.  Negotiations are ongoing. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that this had been addressed in Supervisor Rost’s most recent update and suggested that Trustee McHugh put himself on the list to receive these updates.

Trustee McHugh wondered if the Town was negotiating with the PBA and further whether they were negotiating within the confines of their budgetary constraints.

The answer was yes they are negotiating within the confines of their budgetary constraints, but not all negotiations are taking place with the PBA.

Mayor Guinchard then read aloud from the supervisor’s update the section pertaining to the police.

Next, Mrs. Lindsay reported that Orange County 911 is looking to upgrade a tower in the Maplebrook area.  This is a win/win as it will improve cell service in the area.

The Town Board held a scoping workshop about the Pilgrim Pipeline and there will be another meeting on Tuesday, November 29 at 7pm at the Train Station.  This meeting will be run by some residents who have gotten involved with the activist group, Citizens Against the Pilgrim Pipeline.  They are hoping to launch a letter writing campaign in support of transportation legislation, which seeks to give Towns the same right to ban pipelines as Villages and cities have.  In addition they will answer questions and hopefully get residents more interested and involved with the scoping process.  The DEC has given the application a positive declaration under SEQRA, but they have not given any indication as to when the process will actually begin.  The Town wants to be ready.

With regard to Tuxedo Farms, Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether Mrs. Lindasy had any idea as to where the Village stood in terms of when the land transfer documents would be signed.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that as far as she knew, the easements had been signed but the transfer had not yet taken place.

Trustee McHugh wondered what the impediment was.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that there was some speculation about this.  Roughly a year ago, Megan Guy of Related Companies announced that the developer was negotiating a possible alternate route for the pipeline with Pilgrim, and perhaps this was the reason things had been held up.  The Town is not involved in any negotiations that may be taking place.  They had signed all of the documents and are waiting to close, just like the Village.

Trustee McHugh suggested that the Town had more leverage than the Village given the scoping and the construction.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that she had attended a town Planning Board meeting the week prior where Related was seeking a 1-year extension on their filling and grading permit.  The attorney for that Board informed them that they could not legally hold up the extension of a permit that had already been granted.  Certainly if the applicant returns to either the Planning Board or the Town Board with any new waiver requests, they would have some leverage.
Trustee McHugh then asked for a brief update on the proposed solar field.

Mrs. Lindsay replied that the Town had applied for a connection and was approved by O&R but as it turns out Con Ed Solutions, who would do the project, needed to have a commitment from the Town by November 21, which would not give them enough time to perform the proper reviews or conduct public hearings.  They were informed that as long as they had something together by the end of the first quarter of 2017, they could file a new application and all of the benefits (financial incentives for contractors and power purchase agreements) would remain in place.  If they are able to find a spot that would work for the Town, the Village and the School District, they would be looking at a minimum of a 30% discount up to 45%.

Dena Steele commented that she wanted to follow up on what Mrs. Lindsay had said with regard to the proposed transportation amendment.  She feels that it is really in the best interest of the Village just as much as it is the Town to see it approved.  Although some residents may believe that the pipeline is not anything that needs to be worried about so long as they can keep it out of the Village, she believes this is an incredibly nearsighted view.  She cautioned that if the pipeline went through the Town anywhere, it would degrade a multitude of aspects pertaining to way of life in this community.  It is definitely in the Village’s interest to have the Town protected by the right that the amendment would allow them, which is to have jurisdiction over regulated pipelines running through the town limits.  She further suggested that there was a chance that the Town might seek a letter of support from the Village.

This idea was discussed at some length and the Mayor ultimately suggested that the Board vote to give her the authority to sign such a letter.

The Deputy Mayor commented that he did not feel comfortable voting on this until he had seen both the legislation and the proposed letter.

Mr. Nugent stated that the legislation was already in existence and that the proposed amendment would simply add the word Town to the existing language.

All the same, the Deputy Mayor asserted that he was uncomfortable voting on it.

The Board then voted 4 in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the letter, with the Deputy Mayor abstaining. 

With regard to the Eagle Mountain Trail, Mrs. Lindsay commented that last year she had asked about protection from people accessing the Village via this trail, particularly hunters.  She received permission to hang signs, but has not found any to date.  As hunting season approaches, she is becoming concerned about it.

The Deputy Mayor suggested that if Mrs. Lindsay could find a design she liked and put together the wording the sign could be laminated in the Village Office using their equipment. 
Mrs. Lindsay also noted that in the past there have been some issues with people parking at the Eagle Mountain Trail entrance for the purpose of hunting in Sterling Forest.
There was a brief discussion with regard to possibly delineating the trails. 

Paul Gluck suggested that the majority of the trail was actually in the Village and only a small piece was in Sterling Forest.  Although the trail does eventually hook up with other trails in Sterling Forest, this occurred pretty far up on top of Eagle Mountain.

Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Gluck if he would be willing to sit with the Chief and review the map for the purpose of guiding him on the boundaries within those areas. 
Mr. Gluck responded that he would be happy to do this.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 16, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Trustee Liaison Updates
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
8. Committee Reports
9. Emergency Response Plan
10. Resolution - Fire Commissioner Appointment
11. Resolution - O.C. Tax Exemption on Water Facility in the Town
12. Public Comments
13. Approval of Minutes
14. Audit of Claims

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 2, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday, November 2 at 7pm.

The Deputy Mayor attended via Skype.

Emergency Response Plan:

Mayor Guinchard opened the disucssion by asking the Board if they had any questions for Trustee Moon regarding the proposed Emergency Plan.  Trustee Moon was absent from the October meeting where the plan was initially proposed.

Trustee McFadden responded that it had been his understanding that this discussion was to be put off until the regular November meeting however, if Trustee Moon had any comments, he would love to hear them.

Trustee Moon responded that he had read the plan and it was both extensive and comprehensive. It is based on other Emergency Plans in the region, so there is congruity to it as well.  It is well thought out.  The main function of the document is to inform public officials as to what their roles and responisibilites are in situations of chaos, and he feels that it certainly does that.  

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether there were any non-recurring costs.

Trustee Moon responded that the answer was no.  The document does not allocate resources in any way nor does it create personnel or add equipment.  What it does is inform existing people what they should be doing during an emergency.

Mayor Guinchard added that as per the Chief,  once the document had been approved  the Village could obtain some supplies via various emergency services like the Red Cross.

Trustee Moon agreed, reiterating that the plan created no unfunded mandates.

Trustee McHugh begged to differ, stating that at the October meeting, they had discussed the necessity for additional generators at the Tuxedo Club as the result of that venue being designated a shelter.  The Village will be partially responsible for those costs and therefore, approving the document will bring about some direct costs.  There are also secondary expenses, but it has been suggested that these can be off-put via grants with Homeland Security.

Trustee McFadden agreed with this assessment, but then wondered what would happen if the Village was unable to obtain said grants.

Trustee McHugh replied that he felt there were going to be some direct costs, although he could not say what they would be.  He further stated that as per the October meeting, Michele Lindsay was going to check whether or not the Town has an Emergency Plan in place and if so, what it entails.  He wondered whether the Village had received a copy of the Town’s Plan or forwarded them a copy of the proposed plan.  Noting that the proposed plan was template from Monroe’s plan, he wondered where there might be discrepancies between Village and Town plans and how these would be reconciled?

 John Ledwith responded that he had neither received a copy of the Town Plan nor forwarded a copy of the Village Plan to the Town.

The Mayor stated that the document needed to be approved by the Village first, and then the Chief would bring it to the Town.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether they knew for certain if the Town had a plan in place.

The answer was no.

Trustee McFadden wondered about any potential liability.

Trustee Moon responded that the document mitigated liability as it was well written and sets forth a reasonable course of action for people.  He feels that the Village will have less liability with the document in place than they would without it.

Board Attorney Brian Nugent added that this was not really a legal document, but more an operational one.  In emergency cases the Village does not have liability. In fact, the law specifically exempts them.  He feels there would be more risk of a claim if the Village had nothing place and something were to occur.  Somebody might then be able to claim that as a Government Agency, the Village should have had something in place. 

The Mayor added that Fred Rella would be moving forward with obtaining all of the grants but that he could not do this until the document had been approved.

Trustee McFadden wondered if they might be able to view a list of all the proposed grants and what they might cover, so that they could get an idea as to what the potential expenses might be should the Village not receive them.  He would also like to take a look at any related hard and soft costs. 

It was agreed that this would be done.

Resolution – Designate FOIL Appeals Officer:

Brian Nugent explained that the way Village Code currently reads, FOIL appeals go to the Board of Trustees but they have the power to designate somebody else to handle the appeal.  The proposed resolution would designate his office to receive the appeals and respond to them, so that the Trustees would not have to.  The reason why this makes sense is two-fold.  The State Committee on Open Government states the opinion that once the appeal has been filed with the Clerk’s office, the Board must meet to resolve it within 10 days time.  While he does not necessarily agree with this opinion, this resolution would alleviate the need to schedule such a meeting.  Secondly, the Trustees would ultimately be seeking his advice on how to respond to the appeal anyway.  Assuming that this is the case, the proposed resolution would make the process more efficient.  This is not specific to any pending appeal, although there is one pending and that is why the issue came up.  This would be going forward, for the pending appeal as well as any others that might come up.  The Board of Trustees as well as the Committee on Open Government will be copied on all responses.  He further suggested that at any point the Board could pass another resolution and resume responsibility, either on a case by case basis or entirely.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether all of this was already in the Village Code.

Mr. Nugent responded that the ability to make the designation was existing in the Code and that the Board would be exercising that right by moving forward with the resolution.

Both the FOIL process and the appeal process were then briefly outlined and discussed.

Trustee McFadden wondered if the Trustees were forfeiting their ability to have a say in the response.  He wanted to know if they could have a look at the responses before they were sent out.

Mr. Nugent responded that the proposed resolution did give his office complete power over the response because if it had to go back to the Trustees, they would then have to schedule a special meeting within the 10 day time period, which is what they were trying to avoid.  However, if the Board wanted to, they could add a provision by which they would be able to review the response and then determine whether or not they wanted to schedule such a meeting to discuss further.

Trustee McFadden responded that this was really a procedural decision.  He was not entirely sure he wanted to abandon the current procedure, but he deferred to the other Trustees.

Trustee McHugh wondered how often appeals of this nature occurred.

The answer was that the pending appeal was the first one.

He then wondered whether this would be within the Village’s legal fee arrangement or if it would cost them more money.

The answer was that it falls within the arrangement and will not cost the Village any additional money.

Mayor Guinchard then asked Trustee Moon and Deputy Mayor Guazzoni if they had any questions.

Trustee Moon responded that he felt it was fine.

The Deputy Mayor commended Mr. Nugent commenting, “I like the way it reads.”

Trustee McFadden noted that, according to his research, typically this type of thing is handled by Village managers.  He wondered if Mr. Nugent was aware of any other municipalities that employed their attorney for this sort of work.

Mr. Nugent responded that there were others, although he could not list them all by name.  Off the top of his head, he named the Town of Orangetown in Rockland.

There followed a brief discussion as to how the Board would receive notification of appeals and what the process would be for inserting themselves back into the process if they so chose.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution as proposed.

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Agenda For Special Board of Trustees Meeting November 2, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Emergency Response Plan
4. Resolution - Designate FOIL Appeals Officer
5. Adjourn Meeting

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Village Board of Trustees To Hold Special Meeting November 2, 2016 at 7pm

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of discussing the Village's Emergency Response Plan and any other matters that come before the Board. Trustee Guazzoni will attend via Skype from 15th floor, 635 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Budget Workshop October 26, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Resolution-Appointment of Part Time Police Officer(s)
4. Budget Discussion
5. Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 19, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, October 19 at 7pm.  Board member John Moon was absent.  Deputy Mayor Guazzoni attended the meeting via Skype.

Mayor’s Update:
The Mayor began the meeting by announcing that 911 was currently out of service due to a glitch in the Verizon System.  Until the issue has been resolved, anyone experiencing an emergency who calls 911 and gets an operator instead of emergency services should contact the Police Gate and they will be able to contact 911 directly.  The number at the Police Gate is 351-4741.   Commenting that she would be issuing a CodeRed, she requested that TPFYI and Trustee McFadden both post something to their respective sites and also mentioned that she would be contacting the Tuxedo Club in an effort to get the word out.

On October 24, the Town will be having a Pilgrim Pipeline meeting.  At the Mayor’s request, Town Board member Michele Lindsay explained that the meeting would take place following the regular monthly meeting and would be lead by Town Planner Bonnie Franson.  The purpose is to review all of the environmentally sensitive areas that have been identified in the Comprehensive Plan as well as to explain the scoping process and how residents can voice their concerns.  During the regular monthly meeting, there will also be a preliminary budget review.  On November 9, there will be a Public Hearing for the Tuxedo Farms project as the developers are seeking a 6-month extension on the first phase of the project. 
Trustee McHugh commented that during the BAR meeting the previous evening, it had been suggested that the Town police were no longer using their station in Southfields for incarceration.  He wondered if this was factual information. 

Mrs. Lindsay explained that individuals who are arrested are brought to the Court for arraignment after which they are either released on their own recognizance or brought to the County Jail.

Trustee McHugh then wanted to know what happened with arrested persons during the overnight hours, when the police are not working and the Court is not open.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that she was not 100% sure, but she would find out and follow up as soon as possible.  Any arrests that occur during the overnight hours are made by the State Police. 

Mayor Guinchard then asked Chief Melchiorre to explain the Village’s process for arrests. 

The Chief explained that arrested persons are processed at the Village facility.  A judge is then contacted and he/she makes a determination as to whether or not an arraignment is required.  If necessary, the department will then contact the Sheriff’s Department and they will send a deputy to transport the prisoner to Orange County Jail.  Otherwise, they are released on their own recognizance. 

Moving on, the Mayor reported that there have been two resignations from the BAR; Paola Tocci and Robert Simon.  On behalf of the Village she expressed her gratitude to them for their years of service. Both Ms. Tocci and Mr. Simon will be invited to the November meeting of the BOT, where they will be presented with certificates of recognition.  They will be greatly missed and the Mayor hopes that they will be able to serve the Village again in their capacity.  She went on to welcome the new BAR Chair, Sheila Tralins and also to announce that Julia Simet would be stepping into the role of Deputy Chair.  A resolution to accept the resignations of Ms. Tocci and Mr. Simon was then made and unanimously approved.  Next, the Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Chiu Yin Hempel to fulfill Mr. Simon’s term, which expires in June of 2017.

Bulk pick-up day in the Village will be Saturday, October 22.  Items must be curbside by 7am. 

The first budget workshop will take place in the Village Hall on Wednesday, October 26 at 7pm.  All are welcome to attend, although there will be no public comment.

Plans for the Booth/Village Entrance went before the BAR for the first time on October 18.  The Mayor feels that the session was very informative with a lot of good comments and suggestions.  She thanked the public, specifically the Garden Club and Trustee McFadden, for keeping people informed about the meeting and encouraging them to attend.  After receiving a ton of suggestions, the architects will now revisit and revise the plans.  One revision that has already been made is the elimination of the proposed parking lot behind The Keep.  This area will remain green.  Chief Melchiorre has indicated that all the department will need is an area with some sort of footing, (stones or a pad of some sort) that is large enough for 1 vehicle, in order to provide for safe passage when they need to enter and exit the building from the rear.  They do not believe that there will be a tremendous amount of use and therefore, the grass should remain in good shape.  Should the needs of the department change down the line, they can revisit the issue at that time. 

Trustee Liaison Updates:
Trustee McHugh – Booth & Milfoil – With regard to the Milfoil, Trustee McHugh reported that (as most people have probably noticed) a fragment barrier has been installed at the south end of Tuxedo Lake, the purpose of which is to both act as a physical deterrent to boaters and, more importantly, to make sure that highly concentrated milfoil in that area does not spread further down the lake.  The estimated time for vacuum harvesting in that area is 3 weeks.  Harvesters were in the Village for two weeks, during which time they focused mainly on Pond #3 and then Tuxedo Lake by the Village Boat Club and the Tuxedo ClubBoathouse.  Currently, they are scheduled to return in November for further work.  Trustee McHugh has also been talking with both CHA and John Ledwith with regard to lowering the lake levels in an attempt to be more proactive in addressing the milfoil in different ways.  In conjunction with this AE Harvesting (vacuum harvesting) has been in touch with Solitude Lake Management (copper sulfate treatments) to discuss possible other ways of addressing the issue. 

The Mayor wondered how much the Lake would be lowered.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had lowered the levels in the Wee Wah the previous year and it did not appear to have much of an effect due to the mild winter.  There have been issues in the past when the lake has been drawn down too low and so CHA has been speaking to the DEC, the result of which will be a third party informing the Village as to set levels to which they can draw down the lake in order to be more aggressive in fighting the milfoil. 

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni – Website- The Deputy Mayor reported that the website has been coming along and they believe they have developed it to a point where they will be able to distribute a beta to the Trustees as early as October 24.  They are hopeful that it will be going live in 10 days to 2 weeks time.  When it initially becomes active, the site will be in a very simplified form and then with each passing week they will be adding additional parts.

Mayor Guinchard then announced there remains one open position on the BAR.  The Village has reached out to Christian Bruner, but they have not heard back from him as of yet.  She implored each of the Trustees and newly appointed BAR Chair Shelia Tralins to reach out to Mr. Bruner as well.  If anyone else is interested in applying for the position, they should submit their resumes to Chair Tralins and the Trustees for consideration. 

Police Report:
Chief Melchiorre reported the following for the month of September
Non-Criminal Reports – 105
Criminal Reports – 5
Arrests – 4
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 4
Uniform Traffic Tickets – 65
Warning Tickets – 6
Fire Alarms – 1
Other Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Provided to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Vehicle Tags Issues – 823 ( 619 – resident / 204 – non-resident)

Additionally, approximately 3,000 non-resident vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

As per the request of Mayor Guinchard and Trustee Moon, the department will periodically be bringing officers into the monthly meetings of the BOT to introduce them to the community.  The Chief then introduced one of the newest part-time officers, Joshua Anderson. 
 
Mary Graetzer commented that in years past when the Chief would provide a monthly report, the average number of untagged vehicles entering the Village via the front gate was somewhere between 10-12,000.  The last two reports however, have indicated that this number has been reduced to 3,000.  She wondered whether this meant there were 9,000 cars that were unaccounted for or if there were fewer people coming in.

The Chief responded that they had conducted a traffic survey by installing a speed and traffic counter at the Gate.  The approximate number of vehicles over a two-week period was roughly 3,000.  This depends on the day of the week and the time of day.  They have stopped recording the number of vehicles that they turn away.  The exact number is unknown.  They are tightening the security. 

Mrs. Graetzer pointed out that 6,000 vehicles was still half the number of what had been reported historically.  Again, she expressed some confusion with regard to the differential.

Chief Melchiorre replied that he could not speak to what had occurred prior to July.  The statistics that he is keeping began on July 1.

A member of the audience then asked the chief to explain the nature of the 4 arrests.
The Chief responded that they were for driving while intoxicated, menacing/failing to comply with a police officer and a couple of other traffic related issues.

Trustee McFadden inquired of the Chief whether he had a monthly report of the overtime expenses as well as shifts that were/were not covered. 

The answer was no, but it could be provided.

Jim Hays commented that it seemed as though the Village had experienced a sharp increase in the number of arrests and he wondered if the community was experiencing a crime wave.

The answer was no.  The Chief explained that the department was changing their control techniques and as a part of that they were questioning more non-residents.  For example, contractors and vendors or individuals looking to cut through, they are discovering that many of these individuals have warrants or suspended vehicles or suspended licenses or suspended insurance and they are monitoring this activity and taking the necessary corrective action.  In other words, if somebody has bad equipment or is unlicensed or uninsured, the Village does not want them here.  This is why there has been an increase in traffic and suspicious activity. 

Emergency Plan - Mayor Guinchard then asked the Chief if he would explain the emergency plan and what it entails to the public.

The Chief explained that the plan was put together by a committee consisting of himself, the Mayor, the Highway Department, Fred Rella, Jeff Simet and John Ledwith.  Together this group developed and emergency plan that is now being presented to the municipality.  Board approval is needed, and then they can approach outside jurisdictions (such as the Town, the Sheriff and the County) in an effort to finalize the plan.   The Village is required by law to have such a plan in place.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not the committee had reviewed what sort of plan the Town has in place, or whether the Town had a plan at all.
The Chief responded that he had not seen anything from the Town.
Mrs. Lindsay indicated that she would find out.

Trustee McHugh further commented that it would make sense to him that the two municipalities form these plans in conjunction with each other. He then wondered whether or not the Village was being forced to create the plan and if so, by whom and why isn’t the Town also being forced to create a plan?  It seems to him that the Village is undertaking a huge liability and burden unnecessarily and unless they are being forced to do so by State agencies, he does not understand why they are moving forward. 

The Chief responded that Mr. Ledwith could provide more details with regard to his correspondence with the County but from a police prospective, they needed to preserve rights and protect the residents and therefore they needed a plan in case of natural storms and hazardous materials.  They are particularly concerned about the dam as well as potential hurricanes and storms. 

Trustee McHugh responded that if the Village were to put an action plan in writing, then they would be obligated to fulfill that, while if they do not do this, things are far more nebulous and the Village will not be held to a certain standard that they have set.

Chief Melchiorre replied that the area of Tuxedo and Tuxedo Park was known to be an island within itself.  Anything they do as a municipality, they need to be able to protect the residents for at least 5 to 7 days before the County kicks in.  Once the Board accepts/approves the plan, they will approach the Town and coordinate efforts before moving on to O & R and the telephone companies etc.  The Village has a mini-incident command center, but at a certain point they will need to turn things over to a larger group, with more experience in long-term events.  

Trustee McHugh responded that he understood this, but they were now talking about funding generators for the Tuxedo Club and St. Mary’s and providing housing and in that regard they were incurring capital costs that they had not previously been aware of. 

Mr. Ledwith commented that these capital costs were being incurred to the benefit of the entire community.  He further stated that there was an intention to attempt to get some grant money to pay for some of the expenses.  The County has made a formal request that the Village develop this plan and in so doing they have outlined some specific requirements.  There must be handicapped access, a kitchen, a generator and food.  In considering these things, the reality is that the Village has bits and pieces of these things, but they do not really have everything that is needed.  Therefore, they decided to move forward with developing the plan and examining where within the Village there might be a suitable shelter.

The Chief added that once the plan was in effect, they could go out looking for funding and free equipment and supplies through military surplus and the RedCross. 

Mayor Guinchard then asked grant-writer Fred Rella to explain how grant money might be obtained to help offset the expense of the generators.

Mr. Rella responded that County has stated that they will help municipalities to acquire some of the materials that are needed such as generators and lights by providing grant opportunities.  Additionally through the Department of Defense excess surplus equipment program provides a great opportunity for obtaining free product. 

Mayor Guinchard added that the committee had already met with the Tuxedo Club and St. Mary’s and that they have agreed to serve as shelters.  Jeff Simet has mapped out the entire community in order to ascertain which residents are weekenders and which are full time, and will keep this record updated.  Once the plan is fully developed, it will be very comprehensive and it should flow seamlessly, remaining updated.  Hopefully it will never be needed but if it is, there will be a place where residents can go.

Trustee McFadden commented that he fully supported this type of plan.  It sounds to him as though there is a series of decisions that will be made down the line as they involved the utilities and so on.  With this sort of decision tree, being that they were responsible for taxpayer monies, he wondered if they might be able to break the expenditures up into a series of approvals for the benefit of the taxpayers. 

It was explained that what was before the Board currently was just the general plan for the community of Tuxedo and it pertained to what would happen prior to the involvement of outside agencies. 

The Mayor inquired of the Chief whether there would be any expenses incurred once the plan had been approved and he responded that they expected to receive everything they needed through grants and the Red Cross.  It is important to acquire these things prior to a major incident because during an incident, these agencies are not easy to communicate with.

Again, Trustee McFadden expressed his support for the plan but commented that he would prefer to table it until November as he only just received it and wanted more time for review.  He expressed some concern with the general practice of applying for and receiving grants in the Village given the Front Gate and the private status of the community.

The Mayor assured him that this had all been extensively vetted through the Village Attorney. 

Board Attorney Brian Nugent added, in response to Trustees McHugh’s earlier comments, that typically during an emergency situation there was no liability for municipalities unless there was an issue of gross negligence.   He suggested that the Village might actually have more liability if they were to do nothing.   He further commented that the plan was not mandated; rather it was authorized under article 2B of the Executive Law in New York State to create the plan and then to work with the surrounding municipalities to make sure there was no conflict.  He advised that if they were going to proceed with the plan, the Village should probably circulate it to the Town of Tuxedo and the other surrounding municipalities to inform them and ensure that there were no conflicts. 

It was agreed that approval would be tabled until November, allowing time for Mrs. Lindsay to look into what, if any, plan the Town has in place and submit this information to the Chief for review.  Additionally, Trustee Moon will be asked to provide his feedback.

Appointment of Part Time Police Officers – Mayor Guinchard made a motion to approve the appointment of 2 new part-time police officers at a rate of $23.52 per hour effective October 20.

Trustee McFadden stated that he planned to approve the proposed hired but he was still concerned about both overtime and shift coverage and he would like some answers with regard to these things.  At the last meeting, it was explained that they had everything covered.  He wondered whether they had lost people.  He also commented that he wanted to reiterate a recommendation he had made a couple of months back that the Village re-hire traffic guards.

Trustee McHugh wanted to know where these hires would bring the Village in terms of their target level of part-time officers and specifically whether they were at capacity or if they would need to hire more.

Mayor Guinchard responded that she believed these hires would bring the total of part-time officers to 16.  Currently, there is one part-time officer who is unwell and another full-time officer who is injured.  20 is the target number.

The Deputy Mayor commented that a part time police officer who could carry a weapon and protect residents would cost $23.52 per hour, but a unionized Gate Guard would make twice that amount and would be unable to protect residents as they cannot carry a pistol.  He does not see any sense in not hiring these individuals. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of hiring the officers.

Memorandum – Mr. Nugent explained that what was being presented was a proposed rule/regulation from the Chief pertaining to the Police Department concerning the receipt of gifts and gratuities. He advised the Board that they would need to adopt a resolution approving what was being proposed and officially making it a part of the rules & regulations. 

The Mayor then made a resolution that, as per the Chief’s suggestion, the rules & regulations be updated to reflect that the Police Department would not accept or receive any gifts in the form of money, gift cards, loans, hospitality, entertainment, sports, event passes, travel cards, food or beverages.  Any and all gifts shall be refused. 

Trustee McHugh commented that there was currently a law on the books restricting these types of gifts to $25 or less.  He asked the Chief for clarification in that what he was requesting was that no gifts of any amount would be allowed moving forward.
The Chief replied that what he was asking for was already in the rules & regulations but he was basing the request on past history.  Gifts will not be accepted moving forward.

Trustee McHugh responded that it seemed to him that this was more for the residents then, instructing them not to gift the officers.

Mayor Guinchard affirmed this commenting, “I don’t think they will refuse brownies or cookies, but other than that they cannot accept anything.”

There was a brief discussion about this, and ultimately the Chief commented “I don’t want to stop Aunt Mary or Grandma from dropping a homemade tray of brownies for the officers on duty.”  He further commented that the purpose was really to prevent the gifting of items like restaurant gift cards or larger spreads of food.  The department cannot accept these types of gratuities.  This rule is already “on the books” but he is looking to enforce in a more uniform fashion, so it has been brought before the Board in an effort to educate the residents.

Mr. Nugent added that the purpose was really to avoid individual gifts being given to a specific officer and things of this nature as opposed to somebody dropping off baked goods.  It is not a new rule, but rather what they are looking for is affirmation of existing regulations in an effort to better enforce them.

A member of the public requested clarification, commenting that if a resident needed help from an officer for whatever reason and that help was provided, they would no longer be able to show their appreciation with a small gift of some kind.

Chief Melchiorre responded that the residents were paying the officers to provide a service and this was their job and they would provide that service regardless of gratuity.

“Right, but if one wants to thank them in some way other than giving them brownies….we can no longer do that, right?” inquired the resident.

“You cannot,” responded the Chief, further explaining that because the officers are already being paid for their service, this type of thing must be avoided.  “It’s difficult for somebody from the outside to understand,” he continued, “but at least with something like cookies, if they are given, every member of the department working over the course of three shifts can eat a cookie.  If you are trying to pay an individual officer, we are avoiding that.”

The Deputy Mayor commented that this was being brought to light because there had obviously been abuse in the past.  He further suggested that such abuse had occurred with contractors coming in from the outside and giving gifts to past police officers or gate guards and with residents giving gifts with monetary values of $5-600.  This cannot be allowed.  Everyone must be treated equally.

Trustee McFadden inquired of the Deputy Mayor as to what evidence he had to support that contractors had given the police gifts in order to get through the Gate.

“I’ve had conversations with People Mac, and I am not going to go into them in front of everybody right now,” responded Deputy Mayor Guazzoni. 

Trustee McFadden then inquired as to whether the aforementioned $25 limit was a local law.

The answer was yes.

Trustee McFadden commented that he was going to vote against approving this because it still mentioned the word food and he also did not feel as though they needed to be telling the residents how they should behave.   He feels there are enough regulations in life.

Trustee McHugh commented that he did not want to vote for it because there was already a law in place and what the Chief is instructing his officers to do should suffice.  He does not understand why the Board should have to validate this. 

Mr. Nugent commented that it was already a rule and the Chief did not require Board approval to enforce it as they have already approved the rules & regulations for the department.  Failure to reaffirm it will not change the outcome.

Trustee McFadden asked whether they might be able to view a copy of the approved regulations before voting.

The Mayor inquired of the Chief as to whether or not this kind of thing was common in other police departments.

“This is anti-corruption,” responded Chief Melchiorre “and I’m sorry, we can’t accept it.”

Trustee McHugh reiterated that he did not see the need to reaffirm the existing regulation.

The motion was then withdrawn.

DPW Report:
Mayor Guinchard expressed her gratitude to the DPW, commenting that they had done a fabulous job with the Village roadways.  She then requested that Superintendent Voss include an update as to what will be happening with Club House Road as part of his report.
The Superintendent responded that Club House was one of the last roads they would be doing.  They will be putting a thin layer of asphalt on it in order to get through the winter.  There are drainage issues there that need to be reviewed by an Engineer because of the different elevations of the driveways, etc.  It needs to be properly engineered in order to be done correctly. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that John Ledwith had reached out in an effort to assess engineering costs.  The Village plans to include this work as part of their bonding for the Wee Wah Dam because they “have some room in there for that.”  Engineering a road is a big ticket item at over $100,000.  Club House Road is very much in need of this work.  All of the infrastructure has recently been replaced so it is a perfect candidate for re-engineering. 

Trustee McFadden wondered whether there was a paving plan in place.

Superintendent Voss responded that he was working on one and would have it within the next couple of months.  This paving season is over. 

The Mayor suggested that Trustee McFadden work with the Superintendent in putting together a 5-10 year plan for paving and he agreed.  He further suggested that he felt they should first examine their finances in order to determine what they could realistically afford on an annual basis so that they could develop a reasonable plan based on what they can afford. 

Mayor Guinchard responded that the use of tar and chip had been a big help in terms of reducing costs.

The Superintendent went on to report that the Department had been busy with paving. Patching, doing work at the Race Track for the Tree Advisory Board, work at the Police Station, work with Nelson Tree Service on a big tree removal at the intersection of Club House & Tower Hill Roads and trimming the hedges at the entrance of the Village.  They still have Club House to pave, and depending on where they are with money, they may move forward with 1 or 2 additional small paving projects.

Building and Grounds Report:
To view a copy of the Building Department report for the month of September, click here.

Trustee McFadden mentioned that there was a cable hanging across Turtle Point Road.  One of the tree services ran into it and it is hanging in the road. 
Mr. Ledwith responded that he would look into this the following day.

Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Ledwith if he could comment on the C.C. Road construction project and where it stands, as there has been so much uproar in the community about the noise issue. 

Mr. Ledwith responded that the initial approval of the project called for a fair amount of site work, which necessitated drilling and some rock removal.  Unfortunately, in order to get adequate footings into the hillside to support the house, they had to do a lot of drilling and put pins into the rock to support the footings, which will essentially support the house.  This work was at the root of the noise that neighbors were hearing over the summer months.  All of the drilling and pinning has now been completed and all of the rock that needs be removed from the site has been removed.  There will not be any more noise of this type.  Now they are actually starting to form the footings and the slabs for some of the larger areas, such as the garage.  They are staying within their permit.  The limit of disturbance has been pretty well contained. 

Trustee McHugh then inquired about the stone facing and whether or not that would be finished off or on the site. 

Mr. Ledwith replied that unfortunately there was nothing in writing or formally agreed upon as to how the stonework would be finished for the facing of the house.  What they have agreed to do is to put up a sound enclosure and to use air powered saws instead of electric ones.  They believe that the combination of these things will significantly reduce the amount of noise production.

Trustee McFadden asked for some history about the project and the related noise issues and Mr. Ledwith provided this information.

Trustee McFadden then wondered whether relaxing the Ridgeline Law might help to avoid similar situations from occurring in the future

Mr. Ledwith replied that everyone’s requests were different and it really came down to what the individual homeowners were looking for.  He feels that the Village needs to limit the amount of site disturbance that is allowed.  Over the last 5 years or so there have been several projects where there has been a tremendous amount of site alteration.  According to the Village Code, structures are supposed to fit the site and the site should not be contoured to fit the house, which is essentially what is happening in a number of places.

Trustee McFadden suggested that bringing the Board Chairs together to discuss this might be a constructive first step.

Mr. Ledwith stated that he felt there was a very good case for not allowing this type of work (drilling and rock chipping) to occur over the summer, as it is very disturbing.

The Mayor suggested that blasting should be included.  She also suggested that they might want to consider restrictions on work during the spring thaw as roadways become more susceptible to damage during that time.

Trustee McFadden commented that he would be concerned about enforcing more regulations on private property, for example not allowing a property owner to construct an approved project during the summer.  Again, he suggested that they might be able to revisit the law or mediate the height of structures through the BZA in an effort to alleviate the situation.

Mr. Ledwith agreed with this but again suggested that it might be a good idea to limit the most egregious noise, specifically rock removal and drilling, during the summer months.

It was agreed that the Trustees McFadden and McHugh would work together with Mr. Ledwith and the Board Chairs to review this and would provide a preliminary assessment at the next meeting. 

East Village Water Line – The East Village water main project was put out to bid but the bids that were received were incredibly high at 1.5 and 1.7 million respectively.  Village Engineers  Westin and Sampson reviewed the bids and advised that they exceeded the budget and were not competitive.  They have suggested that the project be rebid over the winter with a new projected start date of May 2017.

Following some discussion with regard to the number of customers served and the overall timeline for the project the Board agreed that rebidding was the best option.  They then voted unanimously in favor of rejecting the bids.  Mr. Ledwith will provide further information at the November meeting.

Grant Writer:
Resolution – Dept. of Defense Grant - Village Grant Writer Fred Rella requested that the Board authorize the Chief to sign an interagency agreement for the Department of Defense 103 program.  (This is the program that allows the Village to get surplus equipment from the Department of Defense at no cost.)  The agreement, which will have to be signed annually, allows the Department of Criminal Justice Services to oversee an inventory protocol process of anything that is acquired.  It is a boilerplate agreement that goes out to all the participating communities.

Trustee McFadden commented that he was not 100% comfortable with the grants in general and so he would be abstaining.

The Board then voted in favor of authorizing the Chief to sign the agreement with Trustee McFadden abstaining.

Resolution – Tree City USA - Next, Mr. Rella informed the Board that they would need to re-apply for Tree City USA status as this is an annual program.  He reminded the Board that there are five core requirements as follows: 1. There must be a tree ordinance in place, (this was established last fall) 2. There must be a Tree Committee in place, (also established last fall) 3. The Village must expense a minimum of $2 per capita per resident within the community (This has been done) and finally there must be an Arbor Day Celebration (this occurred at the Mayor’s home last spring) along with an annual proclamation.  The Mayor will need to sign a signature page and return it to Mr. Rella to put the wheels in motion for 2017. 
There followed a brief discussion about the upcoming Race Track Nature Preserve Dedication scheduled for October 22 from 3-5pm.  The Mayor commented that this particular committee was a fantastic, fun group who dedicated a ton of time and effort towards making the project success.  Together they have raised $85,000 for the project, which will be a major enhancement and asset to the community.  She congratulated the committee, commenting that this was truly an exciting time for everyone involved.  She further commended the DPW for all of their hard work and assistance with the project.

Tuxedo Park Garden Club:
On behalf of the Tuxedo Park Garden Club, club President Jeanmarie Hitchen provided a brief update with regard to some of the Club’s recent activities including the planting of over 400 new daffodils that will be coming up next spring in addition to all of the fall plantings throughout the Village. This year marks the Club’s 50th anniversary and they would like to commemorate that by planting a new anniversary garden along with a year-long celebration.  They have chosen an area in the East Lake Road triangle, near the split with Tuxedo Road, a little further in from the Graetzer bench by a maple tree for the garden.  A rough sketch was presented and briefly reviewed.  (Click here to see a copy.) 

Trustee McFadden inquired as to how many members were in the Club.

The answer was about 30 active and 60 affiliate for a total of roughly 90.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know whether it was still a quazi-private club or whether they had open membership.

Ms. Hitchen responded that they were a non-profit organization and that residents who were interested in joining could come speak to her as she was both the President and the Membership Chair.

Trustee McHugh expressed some concern with one of the proposed non-native dogwood trees, commenting that he believed it was invasive.  This was briefly discussed and ultimately it was determined that although it was non-native, it did not pose any risk as an invasive species.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the Garden Club’s request to plant their anniversary garden in the East Lake Road triangle. 

Committee Reports:
Tree Advisory Board – Again, Mayor Guinchard reminded everyone that the Race Track Nature Preserve Dedication Ceremony would be taking place on Saturday, October 22 from 3-5pm.  There will be light refreshments.  All are encouraged to attend. 

Public Comments:
Paul Gluck commented that at the BAR meeting the night prior, he had asked a question regarding what process would be put in place for public viewing and public comment on the updated drawings of the booth, which were only just made available at that meeting.

The Mayor explained that the architects were now busily updating the plans again based on the feedback they had received.  The plan could well go through a few iterations.   An updated copy will be available in the Village Office and once a finalized version is set in stone and ready, it will be released to everyone at the same time in order to avoid confusion. 

Mr. Gluck responded that he felt it would be important to circulate it to the community before it was set in stone so that there is some process there.  The previous administration promised the community that there would be a full and wide opportunity for them to comment on the design.  When the drawings were first presented, there was a ton of comment and the people were promised more information and updated plans as they became available so that they could continue to provide feedback.  Mr. Gluck hopes that there will be several opportunities for this to occur and it will built into the timetable for the project to ensure that they do the best possible job for the residents.

The Mayor responded that architecturally speaking, the booth would very closely mirror the buildings that were already there.  She believes that the collective view between the Trustees, the architect and the BAR is that they would like to stay true to the entrance and the importance that it gives.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to how the architect had been chosen, commenting that the services were being provided for free and further wondering what the incentive for this might be.

The Mayor explained that initially two architects had come forward offering free services and the Village had collected and analyzed drawings from both before reaching a decision.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether either firm had been expecting anything in return, such as future employment in the Village.

The answer was no. 

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know whether they would be submitting working drawings for use during the bidding process.

The answer was yes.

Finally, Trustee McFadden asked whether the Planning Board would be asked to review the plans.

The Mayor responded that there were no plans for that.

Trustee McFadden responded that he felt they should consider this. He feels it would be beneficial to allow that Board a “look see.”

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Mayor’s Newsletter October 2016

Dear Residents and Neighbors:

This is the seventh Mayor’s newsletter to the Village since I took office on July 6, 2015.

Previous versions of these newsletters can be found on the Village website at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov under the heading “Mayor’s Newsletter”. Please read any inserts that accompany this newsletter as these may contain important dates and upcoming events and information. Please note, the Mayor’s Newsletters and any inserts accompanying the Mayor’s Newsletters are approved and official communications of the Village of Tuxedo Park. Similarly, any information posted on the Village website or message boards at the Main Entrance and South Gate are approved and official communications by the Village of Tuxedo Park. We also post updates on Village matters on the Village website at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov. Conversely, any messages posted on personal blogs, personal texts, personal email broadcasts, Twitter, Facebook, non-Village websites, or any other means of electronic or written communication referring to Village matters are not officially endorsed by the Village of Tuxedo Park and only represent the personal opinions of the individual(s) or organization(s) creating such communications.

The last few months have been busy as usual and the Board of Trustees would like to say “thank you” to Debbie Matthews, Desiree Hickey, John Ledwith, Denise Spalthoff, Chief Melchiorre, the Officers, Judge Hasin, Judge Citrin, Jeff Voss, DPW, Water Department, Sewer Department, BAR, Planning Board, BZA, and all the volunteers who are on committees. It takes each and every one of you to keep things going in our community and the Board appreciates all you do and continue to do. Personally, I would also like to thank my fellow Trustees for your commitment, time and energy.

DPW, Water Department, Sewer
The DPW, Water Department, and Sewer Department performance is reported at every BOT meeting by Jeff Voss who gives us a detailed report for the month.

One of the projects this quarter that should be highlighted was the repair of a major water line under Rt. 17. This line is one of several major water lines for our department. The Rt. 17 repair, along with other repairs of water lines have been happening over many months. These repairs have significantly reduced the water loss in the system.

Hydrant Flushing (For daily updates call answering machine at 845-351-2777)
The Water Department will be flushing water mains in the Village beginning Monday, October 31st through Friday, November 4th from 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Homes in higher elevations may be without water past 2:30 p.m. There will be no flushing on Saturdays or Sundays. Check the Village website (www.tuxedopark-ny.gov) for the full water main flushing notice.

Road Maintenance:
Thank you to Jeff Voss and the DPW for all their continuing hard work on the maintenance, paving, and “chip sealing” of the roads.

Roads completed:
Paved - Tuxedo Road (Causeway), Laurel Road, upper Crows Nest Road
Chip sealing - Fox Hill Road, Pine Hill Road, Acoma Road, West Lake Drive, South Lake Place, Eagle Mountain Road, Cannon Hill Road

Work in progress:
Patching areas where needed.
Clubhouse Road will receive a thin coat of asphalt for the winter because we are asking our engineer to re-assess rebuilding Clubhouse Road and address drainage. This project will be slated for late Summer/2017.

Eurasian Milfoil:
As residents can plainly see at the south end of Tuxedo Lake, we are employing a new technique called a “turbidity curtain” (also spearheaded by Trustee McHugh) to contain the proliferation of this aggressive invasive species. In addition to the turbidity curtain, we have installed white buoys to mark areas where there is a high concentration of Eurasian Milfoil (the affected areas are located between the white marker buoy and the lake shore). We thank all Village residents that boat, sail and row on the lakes for not breaching the areas as these areas contain the large concentrations of the Eurasian Milfoil and we are trying to avoid spreading this invasive species by preventing “segments” of these plants from breaking off and invading other areas of the lakes. At the Oct. 19th BOT meeting, Trustee McHugh will update us on the work done to date of removing Milfoil by professionals last month. Please visit the Village website at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov regarding milfoil locations to avoid on

Tuxedo Lake.

From Glenn Sullivan, Certified Lake Manager, Solitude Lake Management (October 12, 2016):

Copper Sulfate treatments from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2016:
7/9/15 1000 lbs. 12/18/15 1000 lbs.

Copper Sulfate treatments from June 1, 2016 to present:
06/17/16 1000 lbs.

“According to the 2015 CSLAP report, Tuxedo Lake is 288 acres with an average depth of 26.7 feet. The allowable limit of copper sulfate in water is 1 ppm, which equals ~20,000 lbs. DEC further restricts permissible levels to 0.3 ppm in the upper 6 feet, which equals 1,382 lbs. We use 1,000 lbs. In the entire lake, 1,000 lbs. is ~0.05 ppm.”
Trout Stocking:

According to Peter Van Zandt, the second half of the trout stocking of Tuxedo Lake this calendar year, paid for by The Tuxedo Club, will occur on November 3, 2016. The first half of the trout stocking was done earlier in the year and was paid for by the Village of Tuxedo Park. Trout stocking has been an important contributor to the improvement in water clarity since the program began several years ago.

The “South Gate” Gate Mechanism Up-grade:

Trustee Alan McHugh did great work procuring, hiring the contractor and coordinating the installation of the new replacement gate mechanisms at the South Gate. This was critical as it restored reliability and security to the South Gate. The Board voted to immediately replace the gate mechanism and Trustee McHugh stepped up to the task.

The “Keep”:

The “Keep” renovation at the Main Entrance to Tuxedo Park is largely complete. The Police continue to operate from the Keep (including operating the Main Entrance gate and the South Gate), which was the original police headquarters for the Village. We are working on upgrading the technology associated with monitoring the Main Entrance and the South Gate in the Village.

The “Booth”:

The Board of Trustees voted to rebuild a new “manned” booth. The construction plans are being prepared and will be vetted in coordination with the Board of Architectural Review. The finalized construction plans and request for proposal (RFP) will be submitted for bid and a contractor will be selected. The projected construction of the new “manned” booth will be Spring/2017 or earlier if weather permits. The new booth will be bullet proof and built to withstand a large vehicular impact while protecting the Police occupant inside. Architect John Kinnear, was selected by the Board of Trustees based on his conceptual drawings and is performing this work on a pro-bono basis for the Village. The booth design will match the stonework and architecture of the “Keep” and the “Lodge” at the Main Entrance. The Board of Trustees will keep Village residents posted on when the new “manned” booth construction is set to begin and when any potential disruption to residents and non-residents might occur or is occurring. Chief Melchiorre will provide for alternative ingress/egress routes as needed for vehicular traffic during these periods.

Please note: The current intercom system between Police at the Main Gate and resident/non-resident motorists is only temporary (it was installed quickly at the time of the accident that destroyed the old booth) and we know from many residents that it is very difficult to communicate with the Police through this temporary intercom system. The new Booth design includes significantly improved technology for communication/interaction between Police and resident/non-resident motorists both from the Booth and from the Keep. The Board of Trustees expects to install the new “permanent” intercom system prior to construction of the new manned booth in order to improve communications at the Main Entrance as soon as possible.

Police:

In addition to our full-time Police Officers, which presently include two Officers, a Detective and our Chief, the Village has hired a new group of part-time Police Officers (note: these new part-time Police Officers are in addition to our existing part-time Police Officers for an approximate total of 16 part-time Officers). The Chief is also in the process of hiring additional part-time Police Officers to round out our part-time force to a total of 20 part-time Officers. Note: Part-time Police Officers are limited to working 20 hours per week on average and are paid a standard hourly wage for hours worked with no additional benefits. In our up-coming monthly scheduled Board of Trustee meetings, we will introduce a subset of these part-time Police Officers at the beginning of each meeting. The purpose of this introduction is for Village residents to become familiar with their part-time Police Officers and for the part-time Police Officers to get to know Village residents.

Thank you to Trustee Moon for the time he commits as liaison to the Police department. His expertise and professionalism is very beneficial to the Police department and many other situations that concern the Village. Also, thank you to Chief Melchiorre for all that he has been doing and continues to do on a daily basis for our community and the Police Department. His 40 years of experience speaks for itself. I am hearing from our Officers and residents who have met the Chief how much they are enjoying his leadership.

Please contact Chief Melchiorre at (845) 351-4741 (the main Village of Tuxedo Park Police telephone number) or by email at police@tuxedopark-ny.gov to make an appointment to meet in person or to provide any suggestions or comments.

Wee Wah Dam:

The Wee Wah Dam remains a top priority. Clough, Harbour & Associates LLP (CHA), headquartered in Albany, New York, the engineering firm contracted by the Village for dams and dam inspections, is finalizing some details to begin the phase where they will begin to prepare bid documents (RFP) to go out to construction companies during Q4 2016-Q1 2017, with dam construction beginning when weather permits in Q2 2017, and completion expected by Q3 2017.

This project is complex and the Board appreciates the time Alan Yassky offers as a volunteer to our community in reviewing the details of this project. The Financial Committee, chaired by Maureen Coen, is working together with the BOT to evaluate the best possible alternatives for issuing municipal bonds to pay for the Wee Wah Dam and other infrastructure needs of the Village. The Village also continues to pursue grants for infrastructure.

Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board (TAB), Tree City USA, www.tptreeboard.org:
Chiu-Yin Hempel (Chairman), Dena Steele, Christopher Gow, Jack Kilgore, Fred Rella, Jeff Voss, and the Mayor (Committee members). The Tree Committee promotes environmentally friendly maintenance and planting of trees throughout the Village including applying for grants to support such efforts.

Please join us at the dedication of the Race Track Nature Preserve on Saturday October 22nd from 3pm until 5pm. Rain date Sunday, October 23rd, same time - check the Village website for updates at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov. More information is available in the enclosed invitation or at www.tptreeboard.org. Take a walk in the Nature Preserve at any time from dawn to dusk or join the guided tour every Saturday at 2pm to learn, first-hand, about the multi-year plan to transform the original Race Track, at one time a Village composting ground, to a beautiful unique native meadow surrounded by a healthy forest. To help protect our native plants, nesting birds, and avoid tick and possible injury, please stay on the mowed circular path. Keep your pets on the path, pick up after them, and carry out what you carry in. Enjoy and, better yet, get involved with this exciting new chapter of our Village natural history as it unfolds which is not only a stunning vista as one enters the park, but ecologically very significant. Thanks goes to the Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board, the Village DPW, volunteers for organizing the Dedication Ceremony of the Race Track and fellow residents who are making restricted donations for the purpose of the Race Track restoration as the project relies entirely on grants and donations. From Trustee Moon, trusteejohnmoon10987@gmail.com:

The Trail Committee has made great progress clearing the trails in Tuxedo Park, and most of them are now passable. Continued maintenance is necessary. In addition, the Committee is working on plans for trail signage and mapping. Residents are welcome to enjoy Tuxedo Park's newly restored trails. Words of thanks are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Christian Sonne for their support.

Resident and Non-resident Vehicle Tags:

Resident vehicle tags expire every 3 years. The green tags expired July 31, 2016 and are being replaced with the white/green trim tag. Yellow, black or any other tag than that prior described will not be honored.

Non-resident vehicle tags expire annually, July 31st. The current non-resident vehicle tag is a teal color.

Please visit the Village website at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov contact Village Deputy Clerk Denise Spalthoff at (845) 351-2251 or dspalthoff@tuxedopark-ny.gov with any questions regarding vehicle tags.

In memoriam: “May loving memories bring you strength, comfort and peace.” anonymous
The Board of Trustees wishes to extend our heartfelt condolences to the following:
Denise Spalthoff and family for the passing of her mother and former employee of the Village of Tuxedo Park, Kathleen Spalthoff (May 14, 1936-September 13, 2016). Kathleen was a dispatcher for 20+ years for the Village and many Village residents knew her very well. Denise continues to honor our Village with her outstanding work in the same way that her mother did.

The Jackson family. Andy Jackson (August 25, 2016), a Village resident and former Property Assessor.
Nicholas Szendroy and family. Teresa Szendroy (August 5, 2016)
Marcy Stegmann and family. Edgar Powell Stegmann (August 4, 2016)
Serene Swirbul and family for the passing of her husband Leon Philip “Phil” Swirbul (June 12, 2016), a Village resident and former Trustee of the Village of Tuxedo Park.
Jocelyn Armstrong and family. Peter Armstrong (May, 2016)
For any other members of our community not mentioned

Orange & Rockland (O&R):

Please visit www.oru.com to sign up to receive alerts of power outages that may affect you, to report outages, etc. There is also an O&R mobile app for your smart phone that you will find most helpful. It is critical that when there is a power outage, you always report such outage to O&R directly either by phone (877-434-4100), online, or text. Each report is logged in and helps O&R to locate the areas of impact.

CodeRed:

We encourage all residents to sign up to receive CodeRed announcements. If you haven’t done so already, please go to the Village website at www.tuxedopark-ny.gov and click on CodeRed to sign up. If you don’t have computer access or wish to speak to someone, please call CodeRed at 866-939-0911.

Suggestions:

Your suggestions are always important. The Board of Trustees will be given all suggestions to review and, if warranted, discussed at the meeting following such suggestion. E-mail to suggestions@tuxedopark-ny.gov, mail (ATTN: Suggestions), drop off in person, or after hours slide under door at the Village Office.

Reminders:
Check the Village website for updates and dates of various Village board meetings.
Mayor of the Village of Tuxedo Park Open House - see below for invited speaker, Come as you are and stop by to say hello or discuss anything on your mind.

194 East Lake Road
Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 w/BAR, BZA & Planning Board Chairs
Help us to be green, to reduce paper use and postage costs. You can elect to receive future editions of this newsletter via e-mail by sending your name(s) and e-mail addresses to suggestions@tuxedopark-ny.gov and requesting to be put on the newsletter email distribution list. Please state whether you will like only electronic, mail, both, or neither.

As always, please call, text, email, or come see me at your convenience. To accommodate your calendar, I am always available at the Village Office by appointment. Please note, my standing office hours are Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Regards,
Mayor Mary Jo Guinchard
mayormaryjo@gmail.com
845-351-4745, ext. 5 (office)
713-501-9960 (c)

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 19, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Public Comments
5. Police Report
a. Appointment of Part Time Police Officer(s)
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
8. Committee Reports
a. Milfoil Update
b. Website Update
c. Tree Advisory Board
9. Public Comments
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims
12 . Adjournment

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 1, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met at 12pm on Saturday October 1.  All members were present. 

Following an hour-long executive session, the Board reentered public session around 1pm.

A motion extending the BID opening date for the East Village Water Main Project from October 4 to October 11 at 2pm was unanimously adopted.

Appointment of Boards:
A motion was made for reappointing Jon Whitney as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals as well as Deputy Chairman.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether or not Mr. Whitney had “termed out.”

The answer was yes.

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know how it was possible that he be re-appointed. 

The Mayor responded that under special circumstances, when nobody comes forward to fill a vacant position after it has been open for a lengthy period of time (in this case 2 months) an exception can be made.

Trustee McFadden responded that he felt they should allow more time.  He believes that the Term Limits law should be given more weight.

Mayor Guinchard replied that this had already been discussed with the attorney.

Trustee McFadden stated that he felt they were setting a precedent that every time they were unable to find a candidate within 2 months, they would break the Term Limits law.  He would rather see a 4-person BZA, which is still a quorum, rather than setting this bad precedent.   He recommended that they keep Mr. Whitney in a “holdover” spot until next June.  Perhaps somebody new will come forward.

Trustee McHugh stated that this made sense and he was happy to agree with it.  It would buy the Village some time and they could then make the appointment at their next Reorganization Meeting in July of 2017.

The idea of keeping Mr. Whitney on the BZA as a “holdover” was then discussed.
Trustee McFadden noted that if a candidate did not come forward by the month of June, they could then debate the subject as a Board and determine whether or not they felt they should break the Term Limits Law and reappoint Mr. Whitney.

The Mayor pointed out that according to the law, the Board positions were 5-year terms, which went in sequence, so that there was always one Board member rolling off.  She recommended that they reappoint Mr. Whitney with the five-year envelope, but he would be for only 1-year of that envelope in order to keep them on the 5-year track.

Trustee McFadden wanted to know how this would be any different then reappointing him. 

“It’s the same if you don’t reappoint him because a holdover will just stay in that position,” responded the Mayor.

Trustee McFadden stated that he did not understand the difference.

Trustee Moon inquired as to what was the rational behind the two-month period. 

The Mayor responded that they had actually been looking for somebody since June.

Trustee Moon wanted to know if the two-month period was written into the law. 

The answer was no.

The Deputy Mayor commented that he agreed with Trustee McFadden.  He believes that the law has term limits for a reason.  He further suggested that they should discuss and correct the loophole in the law, which allows for an unspecified period of time.  He cannot see any difference in the amount of power Mr. Whitney would have whether he is a holdover or an appointee for one year.

The Mayor agreed that the two were the same.

Mayor Guinchard pointed out that in June, there would be another BZA member rolling off as well, so there would be two slots to fill at that time.

The Deputy Mayor responded that one would be a 5-year slot while the other would be a 4-year slot, and the cycle would therefore remain the same.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of keeping Mr. Whitney as a holdover in his role of Deputy Chair to the BZA until the month of June.

Moving on to the Planning Board, the Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Sherry Bishko to fill the vacant seat on the Planning Board for a 5-year term.

Next, a motion was made to appoint Julia Simet as Deputy Chair to the Board of Architectural Review.  This motion was unanimously adopted.  The Mayor then made a second motion to appoint Sheila Tralins as both member and Chair of the Board of Architectural Review, replacing current Chair, Paola Tocci who has been in a holdover position. 

Trustee McFadden began to say that putting somebody with no experience into the position of BAR Chairman was not a good idea, however Mayor Guinchard cut him off sharply stating, “We cannot speak about individuals.  We already had this discussion.”

“Okay,” responded Trustee McFadden.  “Rather than doing that, I will vote no.”

From the audience, Lili Neuhauser stated. “No Qualifications?  We get no information whatsoever?”

The Mayor then asked attorney Dennis Lynch to explain exactly what the Board was permitted to say about individuals in open meetings when they were making appointments.

Mr. Lynch, who attended the meeting via telephone, then provided an answer, which was inaudible to everyone in the audience.

“What did he say?” inquired Anne Gwathmey.

“We cannot talk about people because of defamation of employees,” responded the Mayor.

“But we read their CVs!  They are not employees, they are volunteers,” cried various people from the audience.

“There is no public comment.  I’m so sorry,” replied the Mayor,

“No you’re not.  You are not a bit sorry,” retorted Mary Graetzer.

“Forgetting the individual who we are discussing here,” stated Trustee McFadden, “I think it is probably better practice to place somebody in the position of a Chairmanship of something as important as the BAR to have been on the BAR before and have some time to absorb the traditions of the BAR, the procedures of the BAR….get familiar even with the applications, which can take some time.  For example if there is an application that is in the middle of being resolved, they obviously have to learn about that.  I think that is a positive thing to do.  I also think that in the past when there was a vacancy, we have had the BAR, the ZBA and the Planning Board make recommendations to the Board, which typically would rubber stamp it.  I think that is a good process.  I also think it is a good process that the Board who has the vacancy be consulted when there is a possibility of putting a new person on that Board, and be part of the decision making process so that there is some ownership there and some entitlement there.  I just wanted to make these statements before the vote.”

The Deputy Mayor commented that he felt that the individual in question was qualified. 
Trustee McHugh commented that he was the Trustee Liaison to the BAR.   He feels that they have done a superb job and that the process is far better now than it has been in the past.  It has been more streamlined.  Yes, it has its problems, but everything in Village Government has problems; it’s a matter of degree.  This being said, he thinks what is certainly very important, to Trustee McFadden’s point, is that it is key that these individuals attend the BAR meetings, see how that Board works and see the dynamics of the process.  It is a Board of Architectural Review and he feels it would be far better to have an architect or somebody who is a trained architect on that Board as opposed to a layperson.  This is not to suggest that a layperson can’t do the job, but he feels it would be more beneficial and would make more sense to have somebody with that skill set.

Trustee Moon commented that in his view the key attributes of a BAR Chairman are fidelity to law and fairness to applicants. 

The Board then voted 3-2 in favor of appointing Sheila as both member and Chair to the BAR, with Trustees McFadden and McHugh voting against.

Entrance To The Rear Of The Keep Building:
Mayor Guinchard began by thanking the Deputy Mayor for staking out the proposed parking lot area.  She further commented that the Village had found that they were having to use the rear entrance to the Building quite a bit over the last several months and they were finding that there was potential for individuals to slip, fall and get hurt in that area.   She feels they need to proceed with the recommendation that a parking lot be put there as quickly as possible so that it can be asphalted with enough time for it to cure so they could then do tar and chip on top of it.  Screening will need to be planted all around it so that it would not be seen from the egress side (leaving the Village) Ingress is not so bad, but it could still be screened a bit more. 

The Deputy Mayor commented that the pickets he had installed were within 6 to 9 inches of where they should be.  His concern is the proposed width of the entrance.  He feels it should be a lot narrower.  It should be done in tar and chip to keep it a neutral color and also should be shielded with some landscaping.  The parking lot that is currently be used in front of the Keep belongs to St. Mary’s.  He feels it is an eyesore and that the Village should not be squatting on other people’s property. 

“I think what you are proposing is even more of an eyesore,” commented Mary Graetzer from the audience. 

“There is no public comment,” stated Mayor Guinchard. 

“Well, you just got it whether it is allowed or not,” responded Mrs. Graetzer.

“We are squatting on somebody else’s property,” stated the Deputy Mayor.  “There are contractor’s cars outside, so when we come in the Gates, there is a pick-up truck…there’s this, there’s that…and it’s church property.  Imagine if it were your property and the Village was using your lawn.”

“Is the Church complaining?” asked Mrs. Graetzer.

“The Church has complained,” replied Deputy Mayor Guazzoni.

“And this is so important to them, that they are here,” replied Mrs. Neuhauser sarcastically.

“I’m telling you that the church has complained.  It is their property,” reiterated the Deputy Mayor.

Mayor Guinchard then reported that she and Trustee Moon had met with the Church and that they would be doing a document with them for indemnification because they are concerned.

“If somebody slips and falls on somebody else’s property, they are liable for it,” stated the Deputy Mayor.

Trustee Moon commented that he felt these concerns could be worked out with the Church, as they are good neighbors. 

“We are squatting,” stated Deputy Mayor Guazzoni.

“Did they come to us?” inquired Mrs. Neuhauser.  “I don’t think so.  You went to them, clearly.  There has never been an issue.”

Dena Steele commented that Reverend Woodcock had told her that there was an issue and that somebody had gotten hurt in front of The Keep and was seeking recourse against the Church, as it was their property. 

“I stand corrected.  My apologies,” stated Mrs. Neuhauser.

The Deputy Mayor continued on to sat that he felt it would be much nicer for those entering the Village through the Gates to not have contractor’s pick-up trucks out there.  He would rather not squat on religious land.

“If you would stop working on the Keep, there will not be contractor’s trucks parked there,” commented Mary Graetzer.

Again, the Deputy Mayor stated that he felt the proposed entryway to the parking lot was much too big and that they should try and figure out what the smallest entrance/egress they could have might be. 

Mayor Guinchard responded that the would ask both the Chief and the Ambulance Corps to speak to this, in order to determine exactly how much space was needed.

For the time being however, she feels they need to get the process started.  The DPW will do the work, which will save the Village quite a bit of money.  There is time right now to move forward and the weather is still good.  They will have to investigate what exactly they can plant at this time of year, in terms of hedges etc.

The Deputy Mayor further commented that this was the prisoner’s entrance to The Keep and the Keep had been getting a lot of use lately.

“For prisoners?” inquired Mrs. Gwathmey.

“Yep,” the Deputy Mayor responded.

Trustee McHugh stated that, with regard to the Deputy Mayor’s comments about contractors in front of the Gate, the reason why contractors were waiting in front of the Gate was because they were waiting to get permission to enter the Village.

Therefore, putting a parking lot behind the Keep would have no effect on this issue.
He believes that the entire project as proposed should come before the BAR and should be tied to a landscaping plan, which should be tied into the plans for the new booth.  He feels all of this should be packaged together as one project and presented at the October 18 meeting of the BAR.  He agrees the parking lot is an eyesore, but he would prefer to have the eyesore outside the Park rather than inside.  He believes that having police cars parked outside the Front Gate is a huge and powerful deterrent and he wants them there.  The Village has 3 police cars and in his view, one should always be at the Front Gate, one at the South Gate and the third cruising around.   There should not be a parking lot issue.  The last thing he wants is to see this area become a parking lot, because that is not the intent of this.  He finds it a bit troubling that the Police Chief has made the determination that he no longer wants to have his office in the Keep, but would rather have it in the Police Station.  Trustee McHugh does not understand why they don’t just keep the Police Station where it is, which would minimize the cost to Village.  Also, in this case, a car would pull up and any potential prisoner would be brought immediately into the Station and dealt with that way.  For something more serious, he hopes they would be going somewhere else, as opposed to having somebody handcuffed to a bench, which is what he believes would happen in the Village Station.

Trustee Moon commented that the part of the parking area in front of the Keep that is owned by the Church raises a host of legal issues.  It’s not who owns the property; it is who is responsible for its upkeep.  He believes that it is the Village.  There is also a question of adverse possession since The Village had it for a number of years. All of this being said, he believes that the church is a good neighbor and that some sort of uncomplicated agreement can be worked out with them to alleviate these issues.

With respect to the parking lot in the back, he agrees with many of the points made by Trustee McHugh however, he has been told by both the Chief and many Police Officers that they do need the area back there paved for the safe transportation of prisoners.  The other added benefit, in his view, is that there will be a police car inside the Gate that can respond quickly.  He does not like the idea of the lot, but he acknowledged that the Police were recommending these things and he supports the Department.

Trustee McFadden commented that he agreed with Trustee Moon that there was an adverse possession of law.  This is usually a 7-year term, but the Village has obviously been taking care of the property for a lot longer than that.  He was not aware of the situation with the Church and feels that the Village should definitely work something out with them.  There is an existing law on the books from 2005 that the police are not allowed to park their civilian vehicles in the front of the Keep, but rather are required to park them behind the lodge.   In his view, there is a safety issue with the proposed lot.  There could be somebody coming through the Gate at the same time that a police vehicle needs to exit the lot for a call.  This could be a potential collision.  He also feels that the BAR should study this in the context of the entire project, as there could be safety issues.  It needs to be reviewed in a holistic way, considering all of the factors involved.  He feels that the BAR should also review the landscaping plan.  With the regard to the Deputy Mayor’s comments about the workmen’s vehicles, he wondered whether the intent was for these trucks to be relocated to the new parking area. 

“They won’t be able to get in there,” suggested Mrs. Gwathmey from the audience.

“No, but we have to deal with them because they are an eyesore,” responded the Deputy Mayor. He went on to state that he was referring to the contractors who were working on the Keep as well as those who keep both the Keep and the Lodge clean as well as the DPW.

“Ok, well there is a resolution that states that these people should not be parking there, so we should enforce it,” responded Trustee McFadden.  “Does the Chief know about this?”

The Mayor responded that she did know, but if laborers were working on the back side of the Keep and having to haul things, they were then having to haul them all the way around.

“Look, they are on the payroll,” responded Trustee McFadden “so rather than us spending a ton of money on a parking area, let’s enforce the law and see how that works out. This is just my view.”

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni wanted to know how much money was being talked about.
The Mayor responded that it would cost $7,000.  She further cautioned that if somebody were to fall or trip and get hurt in this area, that figure would surely be a lot more.

Trustee McFadden commented that he felt the cost was prohibitive and the Village did not have this money.  He feels the use is questionable.  His biggest issue however, is that he feels the Police Vehicles should be parked outside the Gate as a deterrent.  To have them on the inside of the Gates because somebody feels they are unsightly on the outside implies that that person “doesn’t get it.”

The Deputy Mayor commented that the Village had been able to save $300,000 in their budget.

“Spend it on the Lake,” called out various members of the audience.

“I think that’s great,” replied Trustee McFadden.  “Let’s pay back some of our debts.”

Mayor Guinchard stated that there would always be a police car parked in front of the Keep with the engine running, as this is what is required.  She further stated that what she wanted to do was to give the project the permission to move forward so that it could come before the BAR on October 18.  She feels it needs to be done.  She would also like to have the engineer review the plans so that they can provide feedback to the BAR as well in terms of landscaping.

The Deputy Mayor added that he felt that if there were a prisoner being brought into the Keep, which has happened, this person was not yet guilty of a crime and therefore was entitled to screening so that people would not see “The Perp Walk.”
This comment was greeted by laughter from the audience.

“If you were to FOIL public documents, you would not be laughing,” cautioned the Deputy Mayor.

Mayor Guinchard then made a motion that they approve first the asphalting and then the tar and chipping of the area behind the Keep to be determined of the size and the screening, landscaping etc., by the BAR.  The BAR will not make the final determination on this issue, the Trustees will, but their recommendations will be received and considered.

“Will there ever be public comment on this issue?” inquired Mrs. Graetzer.
No response was given.

Trustee McFadden suggested that before the BAR received the application, the Planning Board should have to approve it, as per the approved process.

The Mayor countered that this was not so, suggesting that if there was already a building on the property, the application should go directly to the BAR.  The Planning Board is only for situations where there is no structure on the site.

The Deputy Mayor pointed out that the Village was not required to go before the BAR.  They were doing it to be nice.  They feel that the BAR is important, but not a required process for the Village.

Trustee McHugh commented that he wanted things to be clear.  The Village would set an example by taking their application before the BAR, but he feels that they should not do ANYTHING until they have received BAR approval and held a public hearing on the issue.  Subject to both of these things, they can then decide how to proceed.

“Yes!  Thank You!” called out several members of the audience.

Trustee Moon stated that he felt this was implicit with going before the BAR.
The Mayor then called for a vote.

“What are we agreeing to?” inquired Trustee McHugh.

“We are agreeing to go before the BAR,” responded the Mayor.

The Board then voted 4-1 in favor.

“Mac, we are voting to go before the BAR,” commented Trustee McHugh.

“I know,” responded Trustee McFadden. “I am trying to stop it now…to no avail, but I am still trying to stop it now because I don’t want it.”

“So there will be no public comment allowed on anything?” inquired a member of the audience.

“Not on anything today,” responded the Mayor.

The meeting was then adjourned.

To Hear an audio recording of this meeting in its entirely, follow the links below:

Special BOT Meeting October 1 #1
Special BOT Meeting October 1 #2

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Village Board of Trustees To Hold Special Meeting October 1

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will be held on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, for the purpose of adjourning to Executive Session to discuss employment matters, and in public session to make board appointments, to discuss rear access to The Keep building, and any other matters that may come before the Board.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 21, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, September 21 at 7pm.  Trustee McFadden was absent.

The meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of both Andy Jackson and Kathleen Spalthoff.

Mayor’s Update:

Announce Bulk Pick Up Day – Saturday, October 22 – The Mayor announced that Bulk Pick Up Day in the Village will take place on Saturday, October 22.  Items must be curbside by 7am.

Some of the various Village Committees have requested the use of the Village Hall on weekends for meeting purposes.  Mayor Guinchard stated that although they would love to be able to accommodate these requests, there is a liability issue involved.  The building must be both locked and under alarm.  Only certain people have the codes to get into the Village Hall, the Mayor being one of them.  If she is unavailable to accommodate for the time, she suggested that many committees conduct their meetings in their own homes.  She further commented that she was hopeful that one day they would be able to allow for meetings in the Hall, but in the meantime, either herself or Deputy Mayor Guazzoni, Debbie Matthews or John Ledwith are the only ones with access.  In the case of an emergency, a Police Officer can access the building, but they are not permitted to open it for resident committees to meet.  She stressed that this was not a personal thing, reiterating that there were liability issues involved.

Next, the Mayor stated that she would like the Board to consider beginning their budget workshops, suggesting that they hold one workshop per month beginning in the month of October.  It was agreed that they would meet for this purpose on October 26, November 29 and December 12 at 7pm.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiorre reported the following for the month of August:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 133
Criminal Complaints – 2
Arrests – 1
Traffic Tickets – 13
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 6
Medical Calls – 4
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists received from the State Police – 1
Assists received from the Ramapo Police – 1
Assists received from the Sherriff’s Department – 1
Vehicle Tags Issued – 656

Additionally, approximately 3,000 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of appointing part-time police officer Louis Roman, effective September 21 at a salary of $23.50 per hour.  Officer Roman is a 20-year veteran of the New York State Police as well as a Criminal Investigator.  

The Village currently has 16 part-time officers and 3 full-time officers, in addition to a full-time Chief working for the department.  The Mayor requested that the Board consider adding an additional 4 slots for more part-time officers in order to accommodate vacation time, sick time, personal days and grievance days for the full-time officers.

The Deputy Mayor pointed out, for the record, that even though the positions were being added, they were part-time and if the officers did not work, they would not be paid.  The Village is adding more people so that they can have a “bigger basket to pick from” but it will not cost the Village any more money.

Trustee Moon added that increasing the number of part-time officers would reduce the likelihood of overtime.

Trustee McHugh pointed out that there would be a one-time fee associated with adding the officers in terms of uniformed guns etc.

Following this discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of adding the positions.

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present.  Building Inspector John Ledwith gave the report instead.  In addition to some routine maintenance at the water plant, a couple of water main leaks have been repaired.  Additionally, all chemical storage has been brought into compliance. 

The Mayor added that the Village has seen a considerable difference in the amount of pumping necessary at the water plant since a number of water main leaks have recently been repaired. A more detailed report will be provided next month.

The Deputy Mayor noted that the Village had recently resurfaced several roads using tar and chip.  He inquired of the public as to how they felt about this method.

One audience member responded that she felt it was great and that it seemed to be the best, most long-lasting type of road surfacing obtainable.

The Deputy Mayor then asked for a cost comparison between the chip and seal method recently used and the paving method used in years past.

Mayor Guinchard responded that a total of 7 roadways had been resurfaced using chip and seal and the total cost of this was $25,000.  Depending on the area of road to be resurfaced, one road can cost just as much using the more traditional blacktop method.  She added that chip and seal can only be used if the situation allows for it and that often times certain roads cost more because of their condition. 

Paola Tocci commented that she felt it was a much more organic look and a more appropriate look for the Village.  She further stated that now was an ideal time to do it as oil prices are at an all-time low and asphalt has never been cheaper.  Tar and chip feeds off of these things.  She feels that the life cycle cost of the tar and chip will outweigh the initial costs.  

The Mayor agreed, commenting that they were “really starting to get on a schedule of things” and also would be attempting to put together a long-range plan for the future so that they could ensure that they addressed any infrastructure that might be underneath the roads before they invested in the resurfacing. 

Alan Yassky added that he believed the tar and chip was roughly 20% cheaper than asphalt.

The Deputy Mayor wondered whether or not the driveway and parking lot for the Village Hall could be done in tar and chip.

Mr. Yassky responded that there was no reason why it could not however, he suggested that they would need to look at the base of the lot to determine what was going on there before they could make that decision.

Chiu Yin Hemple commented that she was not sure which choice (tar and chip or asphault) was the better one in terms of storm water management, particularly along the Causeway, which is right next to the reservoir.  She suggested that they might want to consider this.  She agrees that the tar and chip is more aesthetically pleasing but from as it relates to storm water management, it might behoove them to ask these questions.

The Mayor responded that Tuxedo Road would be repaved and they would not be using tar and chip there.

Building & Grounds Report:
To view a copy of the Building and Grounds report click here.

Mayor Guinchard inquired as to whether or not the Water Department had discovered any new leaks.

Mr. Ledwith responded that they had made a few repairs, but had not found anything large at this point.  They are making headway.

With regard to the upcoming Bulk Pick-up Day, the Deputy Mayor asked Mr. Ledwith to list items that would not be acceptable for pick up.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the garbage company had list of such items and it was agreed that this information would be posted to the Village website.

The Mayor then enquired about the lease on the property at the South Gate and specifically, when it expired.

The answer was December 31.

The Mayor then asked the Board whether they wanted to renew the lease, noting that they paid taxes on the building and collected rent, which resulted in roughly a $2,000 profit (before upkeep costs) for the Village on an annual basis.  She further commented that the Village could use the Real Estate for various things for the Police Department and emergency services and also to house an officer if needed.

Trustee McHugh stated that he was in favor of not renewing the lease.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni commented that he felt there were pros and cons on both sides.  Currently the property is leased to a Town of Tuxedo Police Officer.  Having a Police car parked there at all times adds a Police presence to the South Gate.   That being said, because it is being rented out, the Town charges the Village taxes on the building.  If it were vacant, or used for Village purposes, there would be no taxes. 

Ultimately, net/net, he is in favor of not renewing the lease and using it for Village purposes.

The Mayor added that it would still be used by the Police Department, so there would still be a Police presence there. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of not renewing the lease and brining the building back into the hands of the Village to be used for municipal purposes.

It was agreed that Mr. Ledwith would inform the current tenant as soon as possible.

Project Updates:
The Booth – Mr. Ledwith reported that they had received some initial communication from the architect and were anticipating a full report in the coming weeks.  It was agreed that once everything had been received, the information would be passed along to the BAR.  The Mayor requested that in the meantime, the members of the BAR should take a look at the drawings, currently on display in the Village Hall.   BAR Chair Paola Tocci acknowledged this request.

The Village is in receipt of tentative plans for the parking area behind The Keep.  4 parking spaces will be created there on Village owned property.  The DPW will be able to complete a majority of the work involved for roughly $7,000.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni inquired as to whether or not the land would be graded.
The answer was yes.

The Deputy Mayor then wanted to know what would be done regarding water management, noting that there was a beautiful old tree in the area.

“We’re dealing with it,” responded Alan Yassky.  He further commented that the tree would be preserved with a wall build around it for protection.

Mayor Guinchard explained that right inside the rear entry of The Keep, the Village has created a “secured room.”  It is a holding room for the Department, so if for whatever reason the Department has somebody that they need to secure, they can bring them in through the back door without any risk to the community and bring them directly to that area.  She further suggested that there had been some situations where this had been necessary.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to the square footage of the proposed parking lot, noting that it looked enormous.

Mr. Yassky responded that it was roughly 2,500 square feet.  The 4 slots for the vehicles are 9x18, which is slightly below the standard for supermarkets.  There is just enough room to pull in.  The lot will be strictly for Police use only.   A map of the area was presented and briefly reviewed.

Trustee McHugh suggested that he would like to see this project tied in with the construction of the new booth.  He would like to see a schematic drawing that shows everything altogether.  He expressed concern that the proposed parking lot was, in his view, quite large and commented that he felt residents were going to be upset about having a lot in that area.

Mayor Guinchard replied “All I know is that now is the time to do it because of asphalt prices.”

“They are going to remain low for a while,” responded Paola Tocci.

Trustee Moon suggested that they needed to take a look at the whole area before they made any decisions about moving forward.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni stated that he would like to see a decrease in the number of cars that park in front of The Gate, as he feels this is not overly aesthetic and could hurt real estate values.  He feels if they could redirect some of those cars either to this new lot or to another one, it would be beneficial. 

Paola Tocci wondered if the Police Department might be able to utilize some of the Church lot for overflow, but it was explained to her that this would constitute a liability and could not be done.

The Mayor stated that she felt it was something they should probably do and the sooner the better as it will complete the Keep project. 

There followed a discussion regarding which, if any, of the land in question belonged to the church.

The Deputy Mayor asserted at that 75% of the asphalted parking area in the front of the Gate belonged to the church.

Dena Steele responded with the addition of the proposed lot, they would be adding cars to the back of the building and that people would have to look at this as they were exiting and also as they were entering on the right hand side.  She wondered if it might not be dangerous to have the lot right there.

Again, Trustee McHugh stated that he would prefer to see this proposal grouped together with the plans for the Booth and then presented to the BAR, where the public could view it as a finished product and it would be allowed the benefit of that entire process.  He reiterated that he felt the lot was quite large. 

The Mayor suggested that the lot had been presented previously as a part of the plans but Trustee McHugh objected, stating he had never seen it before.

Mayor Guinchard suggested that they defer the decision to October, which would give them all more time to consider it.

Trustee McHugh requested that markers be put on the property so they could better envision what it would look like.

Mr. Yassky responded that this could be done, but it would be costly.

Trustee McHugh stated that he felt it would be money well spent.

There was brief discussion as to how much the staking would cost.  Mr. Yassky suggested that it might be as much as $1,200.  The Trustees then wondered if they might not be able to do it themselves, noting that it did not need to be exact and that they just wanted to get a general idea (within a few feet) of how it would look.

Ultimately it was agreed that the Deputy Mayor would stake the property and that the subject would be revisited in October.

Next, the conversation turned to The Lodge, which is the larger of the two stone buildings at the Front Gate, and specifically the parking lot located behind it.  The Village only owns a small portion of this lot and have been operating under a Gentleman’s Agreement with the Brennan family, who have allowed them to enter the property from the Town side.  There is nothing in writing.  Recently, Mr. Brennan has expressed an interest in better maintaining the driveway that the Village uses for access and the DPW has suggested it might be easier to pave it.  The Village will be discussing this with Mr. Brennan but in doing that, Mr. Ledwith suggested that they would like some sort of Easement Agreement put in place.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni inquired as to how much the work would cost.

The answer was roughly $8,500.

There was a brief discussion as to whether or not they should resurface with gravel rather than paving.

Ultimately it was agreed that they would wait to hear back from their attorney regarding the easement and discuss the situation further in October.

East Village Water Main – Things are proceeding with this project.  There was supposed to be a bid-opening meeting on September 20, but nobody showed up.  Engineers Westin & Sampson subsequently listed the project on a website that deals with State contracts and since that time they have had 4 interested parties.  They are planning to meet on Monday to discuss the process of rebidding so that they can keep the project moving along.  Mr. Ledwith anticipates that that Westin & Sampson should have time to review the BIDS and report back in time for the information to be reviewed at the October meeting.

Committee Reports:
Tree Advisory Board – The Committee has begun drawing up a contract with Larry Weaner and Assoc for their work on the Racetrack.  The Village’s standard contract applies completely to this project with the exception of article 12, which pertains to a performance bond.  As Mr. Weaner is a consultant, they do not feel this is applicable.  He gets paid for each completed stage of consulting work.  Therefore they are requesting that the Board waive article 12.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of doing this.

It was agreed that the Village Attorney would review the contract prior to signing.
Mrs. Hempel then reminded everyone about the tree diseases/invasive species seminar that would be taking place in the Village Hall on Friday, September 23 at 9am. She apologized for the timing of the meeting, but noted that they were attempting to accommodate landscapers when scheduling. 

Paola Tocci commented that she would be unable to attend due to work but wondered whether or not there might be any informational “leave behinds” that she could distribute to the BAR.

Mrs. Hempel responded that they would be recording the meeting and posting it on their website.  The DEC and Invasive Species presentations will both be posted as well. 

Finally, Mrs. Hempel reminded everyone that the Dedication Ceremony for the Racetrack Nature Preserve would take place on October 22 from 3-5 and that she hoped everyone would attend. 

Milfoil Update – Trustee McHugh reported that divers had been in the Village over the course of the last 10 days.  After viewing the situation at the south end of Tuxedo Lake, they recommended that a turbidity curtain be installed.  This is essentially a giant screen spanning the width of the lake at the south end that drops down roughly 5-6 feet and will help to control the spread of the milfoil fragments.  It will be installed over the course of the next few days.  The divers also spent 4 days in Pond #3, which has gotten very bad.  Additionally, they did some “cherry picking” around the Boat Club docks.  The Village will be attempting to have this firm come back in the future as they feel they have been far more effective than the previous group with regard to getting the fragments and the roots up.  That being said, Trustee McHugh noted that it was going to be “a long haul.”

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni wondered how many milfoil plants there were in Tuxedo Lake.

Trustee McHugh responded that the divers had estimated that it would take 4 years to deal with the south end of the lake.

Mary Graetzer wondered if there were any plans to do anything about the Wee Wah.
Trustee McHugh responded that it would be drained.  In the long term, they had discussed the idea of putting down curtains with iron rods in the swimming area to control the plants.

Mrs. Graetzer wondered when the Wee Wah would be drained.

Mr. Yassky responded that at best, this would take place in April.

The Mayor wondered if they couldn’t drain it over the wintertime in hopes of freezing off the milfoil.

Mr. Yassky replied that they could do this, but there were other issues at hand that they would need to discuss.

Mrs. Hempel commented that the Tree Advisory Board would be receiving another 150 trees and shrubs from the DEC, which they intended to plant at the end of October.  All of them will be planted along the south end of Tuxedo Lake.  By increasing the buffer zone, they hope to be able to stop some of the runoff coming from the mountain across East Lake Road, which will hopefully reduce the milfoil growth.  This will not be an instant fix, but it is certainly one strategic way of attempting to prevent further growth of milfoil in the reservoir. 

Grant Writer – Fred Rella noted that the Village would need to begin the process of reapplying for their Tree City USA status.  He will have the paperwork ready for the next meeting.  Regarding the Wee Wah Dam, he submitted a $100,000 grant with the State Municipal Facilities Capital Program.  He expects to hear back on this in late October.  He went on to outline a strategy for approaching Senator Bonacic with the hopes of securing additional funding for this project.  He explained that each State Senator is allocated funds (several million dollars) for assisting communities with various projects. The Senators subsequently put out solicitations to the various municipalities seeking potential projects.  In this case, Senator Bonacic is looking for projects between $50,000-$100,000, in hopes of spreading the wealth to as many communities as he can.  Once this occurs, Mr. Rella suggests that the Village attempts to secure a meeting with Senator at which they should stress the importance of the project, explaining that the water supply feeds not only the residents of Tuxedo Park but also 4 million people down stream within the Greater New York Hudson Valley area and that this item should be included in the State Budget under this program. 

Next Mr. Rella stated that the Chips Program is a program from the Department of Transportation in which funds are allocated to municipalities for the paving of roads.  The amounts can be quite significant.  The two primary criteria for awarding the money are the amount of miles of roadway that are paved and the amount of registered vehicles in your community.  This is a reimbursement program.

Reimbursements are awarded quarterly.  Mr. Rella checked with the County and discovered that the Village is not on the list of communities looking to receive this money.  He was advised to call a representative in Albany in order to determine whether or not the Village would be eligible given the private status of its roadways.
Mr. Rella will forward this information to the Village Attorney.

Mr. Nugent responded that he had some concerns.  While the Village might be eligible, DOT funds to this kind of program are geared towards interconnectivity.  The Village does not fit that mold.  The question is, if the Village accepts the funds, do the roadways somehow become exposed.  He is not in the rush to get the Village on any lists but advised that they could have a conversation with the State to see what their thoughts might be.

Finally, Mr. Rella reported that they have put in for three lap top computers for Police vehicles that would tie into the Statewide system in Orange County with the Sheriff’s Department. They will find out about this in late October.

Trails Committee – Sally Sonne reported that in the year since the committee has been formed a lot has been accomplished.  No maintenance had been done for years and years and now most of the large trees have been removed thanks to one of the committee members who owns a bobcat and has been able to help tremendously.  Some trees did come down over the summer months and there is more work to be done, but for the most part the bulk of the work has been done and the trails are open and very good for cross country skiing.  This is very exciting.  Their signature trail is the Eagle Mountain Trail.  There are two sides to this trail, north and south.  The north side is quite clear however the south side is not and the committee plans to do some work on that this fall, hopefully opening it up so that people can go up one side and down the other.  Mrs. Sonne would also like to remind people that there are wonderful driving trails around the Village in Harriman State Park, Sterling Forest State Park and Palisades State Park.  Just last week she and the Mayor met with two gentlemen from the New York/New Jersey trail conference, and they are doing some very exciting things.  There will be a program at the library in the evening on October 5 about bears on trails.  Mrs. Sonne encouraged residents to attend.    Moving forward, the committee will be looking into creating a trail map as well as installing markers along the various trails. 

Trustee McHugh inquired about the grant which was given to the Village had been by the Mullford Foundation for trail maintenance and how specifically that fit into all of these plans.  He further commented that the previous year, with Trustee Gluck, the Board had approved signage and therefore he was confused about what was being proposed.

It was explained that the markers approved under Trustee Gluck were simple shapes along the trails while what was now being proposed was more prominent signage identifying each individual trail.  With regard to the money, Mrs. Sonne responded that the committee had been pretty economical with their spending.  They have had to pay a few men for the removal of various trees, but they had received a good deal on this.  The money is being spent, but that is what it is there for. 

The Deputy Mayor wondered how close the trail on Eagle Mountain came to the eagles’ nest that is located on Eagle Mountain.

Mrs. Sonne responded that the trail did not come close to the nest at all, which is actually located closer to West Lake Road.  She further noted that the DEC had advised them not to work there during the spring because it was nesting time, and they had complied.

Trustee Moon expressed his gratitude to Mrs. Hempel, Mrs. Sonne and Trustee McHugh for donating their personal time as members of these committees toward enhancing the community for all residents.

DOT Committee- Deputy Mayor Guazzoni noted that the committee was continuing to look at road signage, with the general view that less signage is preferable to more signage.  He commented that if there were any signs that residents would like to see removed or changed, they should e-mail himself or Trustee McHugh.  This list will be brought to the Police for review.

Public Comments:
Paola Tocci stated that she was present on behalf of the Board of Architectural Review to request that they re-appoint Christian Brunner to the vacant position.  She then presented his CV, commenting that until recently, Mr. Brunner has been serving on the BAR and has been a valuable member.  His expertise has been sorely missed. He has indicated both a willingness and readiness to continue his service.  Ms. Tocci further pointed out that at their meeting on the evening prior, there had been a quorum issue and she feared that there might be one at the next meeting as well.  She would hate to see them have to cancel meetings because of this.    Mr. Brunner graduated from MIT, one of the finest architectural schools in the country, with a degree in architectural design.  He had a GPA of 4.6 out of 5.0 and he was also a teacher there, teaching a course on computers and architecture 1.  Ms. Tocci then read aloud a brief description that Mr. Brunner wrote about his experience the first time he was appointed to the BAR.

Mayor Guinchard responded that the Board would be taking this decision into executive session as there had been several other candidates who had come forward for the spot.

Ms. Tocci replied that she had only heard of one and that nothing had been disseminated to her for review for the fellow Board. 

The Mayor responded “we’ll be in touch.  Thank You.”

Peter Regna commented that having served on the BAR himself for 22 years, he had to say that if they could find somebody within the community who had that kind of background in architecture and had actually studied on a formal level, it would be very fortunate.  There just aren’t that many residents in the community who have dedicated a good portion of their educational life to architecture.  He recommended that the Board move forward with the appointment of Mr. Brunner.

Ms. Tocci added that the Board had made it their mission statement to ensure that the BAR was comprised of people who had design, architecture and construction credentials.  She feels that this is very important.  She believes a lot of angst can be avoided if the BAR is peopled with individuals who have this type of background.

Again, Mayor Guinchard thanked Ms. Tocci for her remarks. 

Speaking as liaison to the BAR, Trustee McHugh stated that over the course of the last year he had seen Mr. Brunner in action and he honestly felt he had been superb in terms of facilitating discussion and letting people move through the process seamlessly.  

Commenting that he had served on the Board himself and did not intend to criticize as he understood the complexity of the job, Jim Hays stated that he had a few issues that he would like raise.  First, he stated that it was his understanding that signs advertising political candidates were not supposed to be displayed on lawns or tacked to the side of buildings.  Noting that he was not sure whether or not this was spelled out in the Village Code, he suggested that if it was in there, he felt it should be enforced.  In his views, such signs will not alter anyone’s political view but will rather serve to increase contentiousness within the Village.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent explained that the Village could not prohibit one type of sign while allowing another.  This was briefly discussed and it was determined that there was not a specific restriction within the code with regard to signage like this, although historically it has been discouraged by the Village.

With regard to the Milfoil, Mr. Hays commented that he had worked to fight Milfoil in the Adirondacks for just short of 10 years and had therefore had some experience with it.  Milfoil is an incredibly aggressive plant and it needs to be treated in a very aggressive way because once it gets the better of a lake, it becomes horrendously expensive.   There are lakes in the Adirondacks that are spending $500,000 just to make the lakes usable!  Tuxedo Lake is deep, so it will stay around the edges but the Wee Wah and Pond #3, may have to be mowed or pulled every single year….the whole lake!  He feels it is well worth investing more money up front to beat it back.  If the Village does decide to drain the Wee Wah during the winter months, which he hopes they will do, the freeze can help to kill some of it.  Then the Village can go in next spring and beat back what is left.  Ultimately, they will always have to do something, but hopefully not something that will be tremendously expensive every year.  He urged the Board to develop a 5-year plan for dealing with this problem with the help of a professional.  This is incredibly important.

Alan Yassky responded that there is a certain species of bat that hangs around dams and the Village has been informed that the only time they can remove trees in that area is between November and March.  If the trees are not removed during this time period, work on the dam will be delayed another year.  He suggested that if the trees could not be removed there would be no sense in lowering the lake because they would not be able to proceed with the dam work.  Of course they could always lower lake regardless of the situation with the dam, and then simply refill it in the spring. 

Trustee McHugh commented that they had lowered the lake by 6 feet the previous winter but it had not worked as 30 days of consecutive freezing temperatures is necessary to kill the milfoil and this had not occurred. 

Mr. Yassky pointed out that lowering the lake was a somewhat complex process as they needed to take the necessary precautionary steps to avoid killing the fish.  This calls for a permit as well as the pumping of air into the remaining water in order to keep the fish alive.  This is extremely expensive.  When they attempted to fill the lake back up this past spring, it did not reach full status until late July/August.

The Deputy Mayor inquired as to whether or not Mr. Hays had any experience in the Adirondacks with chemical treatments.

The answer was yes.  The Chemicals do not eliminate the plants though.  They will knock the plants back and help contain them for a few years.  They are also extremely expensive.  Mr. Hays pointed out that the benefit of draining the lake was that there was a chance that the exposed plants would be killed.  Then they could go back in and attempt to harvest the remaining plants. 

Anne Gwathmey inquired as to whether the plant could be killed by a controlled burn.

The answer was probably not as the roots would have to be permeated.  30 days of freeze would be the best way to kill off the plants.

The Deputy Mayor then commented that certain lakes had used insects to combat milfoil and he wondered if this was an effective treatment.

The answer was no.  Mr. Hays stated that the insects in question already existed in this environment and were doing nothing to control the problem.

Moving on, Anne Gwathmey commented that one of her neighbors had cut down 14 trees and had 4 more marked for removal.  She reported having voiced her concern to Mr. Ledwith that the trees were being removed but nothing was being replanted in their place  His response was that the Village could not force residents to replant.  Mrs. Gwathmey wondered why the Village would then allow a resident to take down 14 trees if they were not all dead. 

Mr. Ledwith commented that the resident who had removed the trees was Mr. Hanson and that he had been assured that 1 for 1 replanting would occur.  According to Mr. Ledwith, all the trees that had been marked were either in some sort of decline or dead.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni asked Mr. Ledwith if he had verified each of the trees removed.

Mr. Ledwith responded that he had not looked at each and every one individually, but he had walked by a large cluster of trees and believed there were approximately 14. 

Trustee McHugh noted that the Village Code stated that residents could only remove a certain number of trees above a certain height each year.  He wondered what hurdle a resident had to pass in order to obtain permission from Mr. Ledwith to exceed that number. 
Mr. Ledwith responded that in most cases, if the trees were dead, they were considered hazardous and therefore it was in everyone’s best interest that they be removed.  

Trustee McHugh replied that he understood this, but his question pertained to situations that were more aesthetic in nature, with the top 1/4 of the trees alive while the lower portion were devoid of branches and appearing to be dead.

Mr. Ledwith responded that if he saw a tree where a limited amount of upper branches may still be living, but ¾ of a tree is dead, there is really no sense in him making that close of a judgment call.  The tree should come down.  It is not in the Village’s best interest to have a tree with limbs falling.   It is a liability issue.

Mrs. Gwathmey wondered if there were a time period within which Mr. Hanson would need to replace the trees.

Mr. Ledwith responded that this had not yet been discussed.

Mrs. Gwathmey wanted to know if it could be discussed now in order to ensure they were replanted. 

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni asked Mrs. Gwathmey whether she had noticed any live trees that had been marked.

The answer was yes, about half of them, however she noted that her definition of a live tree was different than that of other people.

Trustee Moon commented that he felt there was a larger issue at hand to which he wanted to direct everyone’s attention. The Village has received a letter with regards to Mr. Hanson’s plans to complete his on-going project.  He questioned the duration of the project to date noting that he believed it had been in progress for 13 years.  He then wanted to know whether there was a date certain for completion of the project.

Mr. Ledwith responded that there was not.

Lili Neuhauser interjected that Mr. Hanson had previously set a date for completion, but that was probably about 3 years ago.

Trustee McHugh commented there was no building permit in place.  He further stated that within the community there are residents who obtain building permits and then “violate or play around with them” and then there are residents who are “egregious violators” and do not even have a permit, but continue to do whatever they want regardless (such as taking 14 trees, which they are conscientious enough to ask permission for but at the same time have a construction site with a 20-foot bin in their back yard for the last 11 years)

Mary Graetzer commented that in her view, this was outrageous.
 The Mayor wanted to know how long Mr. Hanson had been operating without a building permit.

Mr. Ledwith responded that he did not have that information at hand.

The Deputy Mayor then suggested that the Board finish this conversation in executive session.

Lili Nehauser commented that the hedge along Park Avenue near the entry to the Village was rather overgrown.  She drives an SUV and it is often quite difficult to see on-coming traffic.  She does not know if maintenance is the Village responsibility or the Town’s, but she feels that the hedge needs to be taken down.

Mrs. Neuhauser then inquired whether or not the Board had any representatives who would be attending the informational meeting about the Pilgrim Pipeline the following evening.

The Mayor responded that they did have “people” going.  She further commented that they would be posting information about the meeting to the Village website for any residents who might also wish to attend. The information has also been circulated to the Advisory Committee.

Finally, Mrs. Neuhuaser brought up the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting that will be taking place on Thursday, September 29.  She inquired with regard to Mayor Guinchard’s application what the procedure would be, specifically whether the issue would remain solely before the BZA or if it would also come before the Trustees. 

Noting that she was the applicant and therefore would not respond, the Mayor deferred the question to Mr. Ledwith. 

Mr. Ledwith stated that it was his understanding that BZA approval was needed and that also the Trustees would have to modify a prior agreement in order for it to happen.

With regard to Tuxedo Lake, Sally Sonne commented that she felt that the geese and the cormorants were contributing more nutrients and fertilizer to the lake than anything else around it.   The lake is becoming disgusting and it is in great part because of the over abundance of birds.  She commenting that she did not have any suggestions to offer right now, but she felt that it was something that should be addressed, as it has basically been ignored until now.

Mayor Guinchard responded that with regard to the cormorants, there is only one way to get rid of them, and it is not a very nice way.  Professional assistance would be required.

Mrs. Sonne responded that this was something to consider. 

Moving on, Mrs. Sonne then commented Village committees often could not meet during daytime office hours as most of the members were working and therefore evenings and, more often than not, weekends is were the best times for them to meet.  Referencing the Mayor’s earlier comments about how she and the Deputy Mayor were the only one who had access to the Village Hall during off hours, she wondered why one of the other Trustees could not access the building at those times as well.  She inquired as to specifically what the liability issue with this would be. 

The Mayor responded that if anything were to happen….

“Like what?” inquired Mrs. Sonne.

“Anything.  Files go missing.  Debbie is the records keeper and that is 100% her liability.”

Mrs. Sonne responded that she had asked Debbie earlier whether anything like this had ever happened before.

“It probably never has, “ replied Mayor Guinchard “but if something were to happen….

“So, we are conducting a meeting here…and people are going through the files?” responded Mrs. Sonne somewhat incredulously.

“Can you just lock the door?” suggested Chauncry Rodzienko.  “If you are concerned about things going missing, just lock the door.”

“We would have to add several locks,” replied the Mayor.  “These two locks are similar so we would have to change the locks on this door.  It’s something we could do but we would have to consider it.”

Mrs. Sonne commented that she felt the Mayor might consider allowing the other three , trusted Trustees to also have access.  She feels that a Village Committee meeting should take place in the Village Hall.  She doesn’t mind having a meeting in her house, but she feels this make things more exclusive, which is not in, in her view, what Village committees should be like.  If there is any way that it can be worked out, she believes these committees should be allowed to meet in the Village Hall with their Trustee Liaisons.   The Village should trust that these small groups can sit in the space and conduct a meeting and would not go through the files.  These are residents who have volunteered their time and to insinuate that they are a liability is a little bit insulting, in her view.

“I didn’t make the rules,” responded the Mayor.

“Is this really part of the rules?” asked Mrs. Sonne.

“It’s something that was passed on,” stated Mayor Guinchard.

Mrs. Sonne expressed her disbelief, commenting that she had served on a lot of Village committees and that in the past, they had always met there.

The Mayor responded that she had been told that she was not give out the key or the code to the Village Hall.

Mrs. Sonne wanted to know who had told her this.

The Mayor responded that she had been told this when she was given the key from Debbie.

Mrs. Rodienko wanted to know who had told Debbie this.

“They don’t like to give out keys,” responded Mayor Guinchard.

Mrs. Neuhauser stated that there had never been any issues like this while she was Mayor.  She certainly did not have a problem with trusting those who were volunteering their time.  She would have a Police officer open the space prior to a meeting and she would come down and lock it up afterwards.

“I’m just carrying out what I was asked to do,” stated the Mayor.

“But you are the Mayor!” responded Mrs. Neuhauser.

Again, Mayor Guinchard stated that Debbie had requested that things be this way.

Mrs. Rodzienko pointed out that Debbie worked for the Village and that she would therefore do what that Mayor asked of her.

Mr. Nugent interjected that this was not so with respect to records.  Debbie is the custodian of the records.

The audience asserted the fact that there had never been any issue with this before.
Mr. Nugent suggested that if the Board wanted to secure the building in such a way that some room could be used for the community and there was no concern that would be okay.  The Mayor’s point is a valid one.  Just because something was happening before, that does not mean it was the right thing.   Debbie, as the Village Clerk, is the custodian of records and the Village has a responsibility to secure those records and its facility.

Mrs. Rodienko responded that she was not proposing that the building be left open at all hours for anyone to come marching through, but rather at specific, published times with a lock on the records.

Mr. Nugent responded that this could be done.

The Mayor responded that she had actually told Mrs. Sonne that the Village would look into doing exactly that, but that they could not accommodate the committee meetings immediately.

Mrs. Sonne responded that she felt the Village should look into doing this for the future and that all of the Trustees should have access.

Mrs. Rodzienko wondered why another Trustee could not unlock the building if the Mayor was unable to do it herself.

Mayor Guinchard responded that this decision would be up the record keeper.

This statement was met with loud groans from the audience. 

“This is absurd,” stated Mrs. Rodzieko.

“It’s not absurd,” replied the Mayor “if something were to happen….”

“We can get a locksmith here tomorrow,” suggested Mrs. Rodienko.  “It’s not a big deal.”

The Mayor reiterated that the Village could look into this moving forward.  She agreed that the Village Office would be the more appropriate place for the committees to meet, but again stressed that this would ultimately be up to the records keeper, as she more liable than anyone else.

Joan Alleman warned the Board that they would be putting the security of the Village Roads at serious risk if they were to accept any public monies for their upkeep.  She begged them not to accept any monies that were raised from taxes other than those paid by the residents.

Turning back to Tuxedo Lake, Jim Hays commented that cormorants ate fish while geese ate grass.    Geese graze on the land but are more comfortable on the water.  He suggested that if the Village was to plant a barrier around the lake so that the geese could not readily move between land and water, they would feel uncomfortable and might well move on.  He has seen this practice work in other areas.

Mrs. Neuhuaser agreed, commenting that the Club had removed a huge hedge and this made a big difference in the number of geese that graze there and this is causing more of a problem.  Anybody who has a lawn coming down to the water should be encouraged to plant a buffer.  
Dena Steele commented that geese cannot see over buffer zones of roughly 25 feet.  If they cannot see access to the water, they are less likely to come onto a lawn.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees meeting September 21, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Moment of Silence - Andy Jackson & Kathleen Spalthoff
4. Mayor's Update
a. Announce Bulk Pick Up Day - Saturday, October 22, 2016
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. Projects Updates
8. Committee Reports
9. Public Comments
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims
12 . Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 24, 2016

The Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, August 24 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Acknowledgment & Proclamation-Past Fire District Chief Stefan Christian:
Mayor Guinchard reported having attended that Tuxedo Fire District Installation Dinner this past Saturday night, at which Past Fire District Chief Stefan Christian was honored for 6 years of service as Chief.  Commenting that the dinner was one of the most incredible events she had attended in a long time, she highlighted the seemingly universal praise Mr. Christian had received from not only the Town of Tuxedo, but many of the surrounding communities as well.  On behalf of the Village, she presented Mr. Christian with an engraved clock in appreciation of his service, further proclaiming that August 25, 2016 would be known as Chief Stefan Christian Day in the Village.

Mayor’s Update:
Consultant for Union Contract Negotiations – The Village will be engaging a consultant to assist them with union contract negotiations.  At Trustee McFadden’s request, Mayor Guinchard explained that the Village has worked with this particular consultant, Michael Richardson, in the past and that he would be working in conjunction with Village Attorney Brian Nugent to assist with various needs that the Village might have during the negotiation process.  He is very well known, has a strong resume and works with many of the surrounding municipalities in Orange County. 

Trustee McFadden further commented that the Village had hired him back in 2005/2006 to negotiate the union contract with the Police and Traffic Guards and that he had also been of assistance with the corruption issues that were on-going at that time.  In Mr. McFadden’s view, he is very good at what he does.

The Board then voted 4-1 in favor of hiring the consultant, with Trustee McHugh voting against.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele commented that she wanted to provide a brief report concerning wildlife in the Village.  The two Eagle chicks have fledged over the summer months, bringing the total number of Eagles on Eagle Mountain to 6 for the past 4 seasons.

Many people have mentioned to her that they have been seeing foxes around and about with some frequency, especially during the daylight hours.  Ms. Steele assured everyone that this was not a cause for worry, reading briefly aloud from the US Humane Society’s “Wild Neighbors” regarding foxes.  Although the red foxes are primarily nocturnal, as long as they feel secure and have cover the will be out in the day time.  This does not mean that they are rabid.  Foxes are generally not dangerous to humans at all, unless they are rabid, which is extremely rare, or have been captured and are being handled.  Lastly, Ms. Steele commented that there have been frequent bear sightings in the Village and she is concerned about the Hamlet and the Town of Tuxedo not really having a good practice on managing their garbage.  Some residents are putting out trash the night before collection and there are non-bear proof dumpsters as well.  Both things are bear magnets and Ms. Steele worries that the bears will keep traveling through the Village to those sites, which will create a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

DPW Report:
Commenting that DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present, Mayor Guinchard expressed her extreme gratitude to him as well as John Ledwith for their hard work in repairing a water leak that was discovered underneath Route 17, just north of Town Center.  Ultimately it was determined that the leak was responsible for the loss of roughly 15,000,000 gallons of water annually!  Thankfully, it was discovered and repaired before there was a rupture.  The DPW worked very hard, along side professionals to keep costs down for the Village during this process.
Chris Hansen inquired as to how the leak had initially been detected.

Mayor Guinchard replied that the Village was working with leak detection in two ways.  The first is a free service through Orange County, whereby a leak detection crew will hunt down up to 5 leaks at a time for no cost.      Additionally, the Village has purchased some leak detection equipment.  The County service detected this particular leak.

Trustee McFadden added that the Village had procured 3 estimates for the work and had ultimately decided that they did not need to go out to bid if they could keep the project under $35,000.  To this end, they negotiated with the lowest bidder, who was agreeable to keeping costs beneath this figure, so an official RFP was not done. 

The Mayor added that the pipe had been fully tested prior to closing the road in order to ensure that there were no additional leaks on that particular line. 

Police Report:
Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of July:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 173
Criminal Complaints – 5 (all closed)
Accident Reports – 4 (all without injuries)
Traffic Tickets Issues – 42
Written Traffic Warnings – 1
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given To Orange County Sherriff - 2
Vehicle Tags Issues – 429  (333 Resident & 96 Non-Resident)

Additionally, approximately 3,000 vehicles traveled through the Front Gate each week.

Appointment of Part Time Police Officers - The Board briefly discussed the appointment of 2 new part-time police officers. 

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not they had a resolution regarding hiring practices, as per a discussion from the Board previous meeting.

The answer was no.

Trustee McHugh suggested that they could not hire anybody new until they had resolved the issues associated with that.

Trustee Moon acknowledged what Mr. McHugh was referencing but commented that he did not feel the two things were connected.  He feels that the Village can move forward with hiring the gentlemen as proposed separate and apart from the other issue.  He further commented that the Village needs part-timers to man The Gate and that he was prepared to vote in favor of hiring them. 

Trustee McFadden suggested that there was a pending issue of indemnification.

Mayor Guinchard responded that this had nothing to do with the hiring of these part-time officers and she further recommended that they take that discussion into Executive Session at the end of the meeting. 

Trustee McHugh wondered if they could defer voting until after the Executive Session. 

The Mayor responded that they could not as these were two totally separate issues.

“To you they might be, but to me they are not,” responded Trustee McHugh.

The Board then voted 3-1-1 in favor of hiring the two officers, effective August 23 at a rate of $23.50 per hour, with Trustee McFadden abstaining and Trustee McHugh voting against.

Tree Advisory Board –
One Behalf of the TAB, Board president Chui Yin Hempel provided the Board with a brief overview of the Board’s activities to date, along with an update regarding all the exciting plans they having coming down the line in the months ahead. 

Included in this presentation was the announcement of two important dates.  The first is September 23 when they will hold a seminar for homeowners and landscapers alike covering tree diseases and invasive species management with the DEC and other professional guest speakers.  The second is October 22, when they will hold an official dedication ceremony for the Racetrack Nature Preserve from 4:30-6:30pm at the Racetrack.  Detailed plans for this renovation were outlined and discussed, including both efforts to date and plans moving forward.  In brief, the TAB hopes to hire Larry Weaner Landscape Associates to assist in both preserving the area and creating a park-like atmosphere for all residents to enjoy.

To view a copy of this presentation, click HERE.

With regard to the plans for the Racetrack, Trustee McFadden inquired about parking.

Mrs. Hempel responded that parking would have to be along the public road.  While this is not optimal, there is plenty of room along Club House Road.  It is not much different from the overflow onto West Lake Road when the Club has a major event.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to both the cost of retaining Larry Weaner Landscape Associates and creating the vision outlined in the presentation.

Mrs. Hempel responded that Larry Weaner Assoc. would be putting together a comprehensive master plan and that plan would be outlined in stages, which would allow them to better plan for the work.  The cost for this is $21,000 and change.  This includes both construction and administrative work.  She went on to report that a group of concerned Tuxedo Park residents, calling themselves The Friends of The Racetrack, had already raised $25,000 and that this figure was growing! The project will have zero financial impact on the Village budget, while providing significant environmental and aesthetic benefits to the community and having a positive effect on property values.  There is no other known community in New York State with preserved nature facility such as this.   Mrs. Hempel then requested that the Board please approve the TAB’s request for an official dedication ceremony (to include installation of a plaque, followed by an educational tour of the property lead by the Garden Club) on October 22 from 4:30-6:30pm along with permission to serve beer as part of the festivities.

This was briefly discussed and ultimately it was determined that it would be better to serve non-alcoholic beer and cider at the event. 

Given all the time and effort that is being put into preserving and enhancing this property, Trustee McHugh wondered if the Board should consider some sort of action that would preserve the property in perpetuity so that it can never be sold or developed. 

Mrs. Hempel responded that it was certainly the TAB’s hope that this would be the case. 

Board Attorney Brian Nugent responded that this could be done, but it would have to with either a covenant or deed restriction.  While the Board could pass a resolution stating that the property was to be preserved, a future Board would have the capability of undoing any such resolution. 

Dena Steele commented that in the past the Village had considered putting a conservation easement on the property, to be held by the Orange County Land Trust.  This would then take the property out of the hands of the Village.  

Mr. Nugent commented that this would basically require the same process, the only main difference being that the OCLT would hold the easement.

The Mayor wondered if it might not be more economic for the Village to institute the deed restrictions and retain the deed themselves.

Anne Gwathmey pointed out that they property was governed under New York State Law as an official wetlands area. 

Trustee Moon expressed his sincere thanks to Ms. Hempel and the entire TAB, commenting that they had done a great job with spectacular results.  This comment was met by a round of applause.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni also offered his thanks to Ms. Hempel and the TAB, commenting that he felt it was fantastic that the committee had not only identified the work that needed to be done, but found a way to finance it.

Ms. Hempel responded that The Friends would continue to raise more money as more funding would be needed in order to fully implement the plan. 

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not all of this information was available on the TAB website. 

The answer was that it would be posted by the end of the coming weekend.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether or not the TAB was a 501c.

The answer was no.  The donations would come in the form of checks made out to The Village of Tuxedo Park and labeled as restricted gifts for the Racetrack Nature Preserve Project.  This is 100% tax deductible.  There is no need for a 501c.

Trustee McFadden then echoed Trustee Moon’s remarks, thanking the committee for all of their efforts. 

Mayor Guinchard then suggested that the Board move forward with passing a resolution that would start the process of preserving the property in perpetuity.

Trustee McFadden suggested that they table this until they could learn more about it and what specifically would be involved, commenting that he did not see the need to rush into deed restrictions right away. 

The Mayor responded that she felt they should move forward with approving the dedication of the land and Trustee McFadden agreed that this would be fine, but reiterated that he felt the rest of the discussion should be tabled.

Mr. Nugent suggested that the Board could authorize the attorneys to review the issue of the dedication and then respond back to the Board with an analysis of what would be involved, and this would not entail any resolutions.

It was agreed that this is what would be done.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the dedication ceremony as proposed on October 22.  They also voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the TAB to hire Larry Weaner Assoc.

Main Entrance Configuration:
The Main Entrance configuration was then discussed at great length. (roughly 2 hours and 10 minutes)  To hear a recording of this discussion, please follow the links below.

Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 1
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 2
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 3
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 4
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 5
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 6
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 7
Main Entrance Configuration Discussion Part 8

To view the adjusted results of the Main Entrance Configuration Survey, click HERE

To view a copy of The Keep Expenses to date, click HERE.

Pilgrim Pipeline Update:
After briefly reviewing the background, Gary Pompan reported that he had received an e-mail late that afternoon from Jennifer Metzger informing him that it was believed that the Pipeline would be initiating the SEQRA process any day now and that scoping for the project would begin.  Consequently, they are asking all 30 of the Towns and Villages that are involved in resisting the Pipeline to pass resolutions requesting a 90-day public hearing period.  The concern is that once the SEQRA process begins, a formal draft will happen in the scoping will be submitted and they want to make sure that all of the communities are given the appropriate amount of time to comment if they so choose.  A draft resolution has been prepared and given to the Village Attorney.  Passing this resolution will not bind the Village into any action, but it does show support.  Once adopted, it will be sent to both the Thruway Authority and the DEC, who are co-leaders in the process.   Mr. Pompan cautioned that it was a time sensitive issue and while he understood that the Board might not have room on their agenda to pass it that evening, he did not feel that it could wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting at the end of September. 

Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the Town of Tuxedo would be passing a similar resolution.

Mr. Pompan responded that he did not know as he had only just received the e-mail late that afternoon, but he intended to reach out to Town Board member Michele Lindsay to discuss.   Currently there is no definitive knowledge other than what was originally provided months ago and those plans called for the pipeline to run through the Village.  Mr. Pompan believes that there are most likely some sort of negotiations going on between the Pipeline people and The Related Companies as the pipeline is also slated to go straight through the Tuxedo Farms development.  The Town does not have the same ability to reject the pipeline as the Village does.  That being said, the underlying goal of all the Towns and Villages that have come together on this issue is to kill the project. Mr. Pompan believes that this is probably a long shot.  Many of these municipalities have already done various environmental studies and are putting together lengthy comments in advance of the SEQRA process. 

Deputy Mayor Guazzini inquired as to what the Village’s main goal was.

Mr. Pompan responded that as residents of the Village there was one goal and as residents of the town, there was another.  He reiterated that the underlying hope was that the project would be squashed in its entirety.  The Village may have the ability to get the line re-routed somehow, however it will still be in close proximity, which is not good in case of a spill.  The situation is not great one way or the other, but moving forward with this resolution is basically a show of support to the resistance.  If the Village wishes to make comments at a later date, they will probably have the opportunity to do so.

Board Attorney Brian Nugent then briefly reviewed the resolution with the Board, advising them that they could move forward with it if they wished.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution as proposed.

Building & Grounds Report:
CHA Update – John Ledwith reported that there have been a number of hours put into investigation work on the current dam structure.  DPW has assisted by drawing down the water in order to expose what was previously beneath the surface.   Mr. Ledwith believes that they will have final construction drawings ready within the next 6 weeks, at which point they should be able to provide more accurate construction costs based upon the methods they feel are necessary to reinforce the dam and make it safe.  At that point they can discuss the various financing options.

Set Bid Opening Date – East Village Water Line – The Village is in receipt of the draft contract documents for this project.  The attorney has reviewed them.  Following some brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing a BID opening date of October 4, 2016.  The hope is that this BID can be awarded at the regularly scheduled October meeting of the Trustees.

Mayor Guinchard then askedMe. Ledwith for a brief update/review of the water main repair recently completed on Route 17 (as discussed earlier before he had arrived) and he provided one.

Beard – Request for Irrigation Well – Greg Beard has requested a well for irrigation purposes.  The well has already been drilled and Mr. Beard has provided the Village with specs.  The Village Engineer has confirmed with Mr. Lediwth that the questions posed in his original letter to Mr. Beard were on point, the most important one being that he make sure that the irrigation system is completely separate from the municipal system so that there is no risk of any back flow.  Mr. Ledwith will check on all of these things when he next visits the site.  He advised the Board that the Village Code does allow for wells for irrigation purposes and has allowed them in the past.

The depth of the well was briefly discussed.        

Referencing the letter that had been received from Mr. Beard, Deputy Mayor Guazzoni commented that Mr. Beard referred to the well as something that would be drilled in the future.  He asked Mr. Ledwith to confirm that it had already been drilled.

The answer was yes.

Mr. Nugent pointed out that under the Village Code, one of the things that the applicant would have to demonstrate is that the well would not adversely affect the neighbors property.  He wondered if this were part of Mr. Ledwith’s review.

Mr. Ledwith responded that to the best of his ability it was.

This was briefly discussed, with procedures for securing the appropriate documentation outlined.

There is no action required from the Board at this time.  Mr. Ledwith will move forward accordingly.

Trustee McHugh commented that in terms of the Water Department, here was a customer who had been a windfall benefit to the tune of $20,000 last quarter and now they will be losing that revenue.  He wondered if there was anything the Village could or should do to the rate structure to encourage residents to stay on the municipal water rather than drilling wells.

The Mayor commented that she felt that when it came down to this much water, a well would be drilled no matter what.

Deputy Mayor Guazzoni pointed out that there would be additional costs beyond just drilling the well in form of electricity to power the pumps.  Additionally, Mr. Beard went through a million and a half gallons of water this past quarter alone.  The Deputy Mayor is not sure he would be able to pull that much water out of a well.

There followed a discussion regarding the company who had drilled Mr. Beards’ well, who reportedly said they drill an average of 5 wells a year in the Park.  Despite this remark, the Village does not see 5 new wells annually.  The Mayor wanted to make sure that everyone who is drilling wells in the Village is going through the proper permitting process with both the Village and the DEC.

Committee & Liaison Reports:
Lakes & Milfoil Update –
Trustee McHugh reported that A.E. Diving would be arriving the following Tuesday to commence milfoil harvesting.  The plan is to show them both lakes, after which they will ideally spend a day on Pond Number 3 before moving to the south end of Tuxedo Lake, which is where the issue is at it’s absolute worst.  The harvesters will be in the Village for 10 days, so it will be a question of triaging where they should go and nailing down the areas where they should focus their efforts.  The cost is $1,500 per day.

Mayor Guinchard requested that Trustee McHugh provide regular updates to the Board during the 10-day period and he agreed to do so.

She also requested that signage be posted at both gates making the residents aware that there would be divers in the water.

The Deputy Mayor wondered whether there would be any optionality if the divers were unable to complete the job within the 10-day time frame.

The answer was yes, however it is much more difficult for a myriad of reasons to harvest later in the season.  The permit is good for a year, so theoretically they could come back in the late spring/early summer and probably be more effective.

The Mayor suggested that they also remain as diligent as possible with regard to lowering the level in the WeeWah as a cold winter would go a long way towards freezing away the milfoil in that body of water.

Garbage/Recycling Contract – Set Bid Opening Date-
The Board voted unanimously in favor of renewing the current contract for 1-year at the same cost.  This will constitute a savings to the Village as they budgeted for a 10% increase. 

Public Comments:
There were no more public comments.

Following the approval of minutes, the Board entered into an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing, employee matters and liability matters as they pertain to lawsuits.  When they returned to the public session, they voted on two resolutions.

The first, authorizing the Mayor to sign all documents related to the closing of Tuxedo Farms, for up to a 90 day period was approved unanimously. 

The second motion was to transfer all police liaison roles previously assigned to Trustee McFadden, at the Reorganization meeting, to Trustee Moon.  The resolution passed with 3 votes.  The Deputy Mayor and Trustee McHugh abstained. 

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 24, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
a. Consultant for Union Contract Negotiations
4. Police Report
a. Appointment of Part Time Police Officers
5. DPW Report
6. Building & Grounds Report
a. CHA Update
7. Garbage/Recycling Contract - Set Bid Opening Date
8. Committee Reports
a. Tree Advisory Board
b. Lakes & Milfoil Update
9. Public Comments
10. Main Entrance Configuration
11. Approval of Minutes
12. Audit of Claims
13. Adjournment

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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 29, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Discussion-Village water line leak on Route 17
4. Update on Eurasian Milfoil removal
5. Update on South Gate
6. Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel issues
7. Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees to Hold Special Meeting July 29

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a special meeting on Friday, July 29, 2016 at 7:00p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of discussing the Village's water line leak on Route 17 and an update on Milfoil removal. Trustee Claudio Guazzoni will be Skyping in from 635 Madison Avenue, New York City, NY 10022.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 26, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, July 26 for their annual Reorganization meeting followed by the regular monthly meeting.  All board members were present.

Reorganization Meeting:
Prior to the commencement of the Reorganization meeting the Board entered into a 10-minute executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel.  Alan Yassky was invited to join them.

Following the executive session, the reorganization meeting took place.

Click here to review a copy of the reorganization document.

All motions were approved unanimously save the 8a (Holidays) which Trustee McHugh voted against, commenting that he felt they should remain consistent with the Holidays as laid out by New York State rather than striving to be politically correct.

The Mayor noted that regular monthly meetings of the BOT will take place on the third Wednesday of each month (rather than the fourth Tuesday) commencing in the month of September.  This will allow the Village to have a presence at monthly gathering of local government officials from the surrounding municipalities, which takes place on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

Regular Monthly Meeting:

Moment of Silence: The Mayor began the regular session with a moment of silence in recognition of the all the recent tragedies in the world, as well as with police departments across the country and the terrorist acts that took place earlier that day.

Mayor’s Update:
a. Announce open position on BZA, PB and BAR – There are currently open positions on the BZA, PB and BAR; one on each Board.  The Mayor suggested that they accept applications for a period of one month, with the intention of making appointments at their August meeting.  Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether the Mayor would like recommendations  from the Trustees.  The answer was yes.  He wondered if there were any specific criteria or job descriptions associated with the positions.  The answer was no.

The Mayor reminded residents that all vehicle tags are set to expire on July 31.  The new tags (white with green lettering for residents and teal for non-residents) are available now.

The Village of Greenwood Lake has been awarded the Hoboken Film Festival this year.  This is an exciting event for Orange County and the Village wishes them well.

Trustee McFadden commented that he had received some comments and communications from residents with some “suggestion box” type concerns and he wondered when the appropriate time to address these might be.

Mayor Guinchard responded that these should be addressed as “New Business.”

Police Report:
Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of June:
Criminal Complaints – 4
Non-criminal complaints - 106
Traffic Tickets – 12
Medical Calls – 1
Intrusion Alarms – 5
Fire Alarms – 6
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2

Additionally, approximately 12,000 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate, which is roughly 3,000 per week.

*This is the first time an approximate number has been provided in lieu of an exact total.

Appointment of Part Time Police Officer – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Eric Johnson as a part time police officer, effective August 1.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to the vetting process for new hires in the Police Department, specifically whether or not the Board members would be conducting interviews or if the police department would be responsible for the entire process.

The Mayor responded that the Police Department handled the process and that candidates were not presented to the Board for approval until all vetting and background checks had been completed.

Detective Tayback added that it was an extensive process, consisting of 4 interviews, a thorough background check and a home visit.

Police Department Furniture Purchase - As the renovation of the Keep is almost completed, the Chief has requested some new furniture for the new space.

Trustee McFadden stated that he would be voting against it as he felt there might be some cheaper alternatives and he believed they should do a full inventory of what currently exists.  He further commented that if these efforts have already been undertaken by another Trustee, and the rest of the Board felt comfortable with it, he would be happy to change his vote to a positive one. 

Mayor Guinchard responded that she had done the work, or rather Denise had, and they felt confident that they had found the best prices.  The majority of the furniture will come from Staples with the exception of the Chief’s Chair as he “needs a heavy duty chair” according to the Mayor.

This satisfied Trustee McFadden.

Trustee McHugh wondered which budget this would be coming from and specifically what line item.

The Mayor initially answered that it would come out of the Police budget, but it was determined that there was no line item for it.  The Mayor then stated that these items could be funded by the donation from Michael Bruno as they were technically part of the Keep renovations.

Trustee McHugh then wondered whether or not the department did not already have some of these items in the current building.

“There is really not much in that police station,” responded Mayor Guinchard.  She went on to suggest that much of the old furniture had been destroyed or was damaged and had been thrown away.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of purchasing the furniture. 

Mayor Guinchard then expressed her sincere gratitude to the new chief for the countless hours he has put in doing stuff “all over the place.”

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that it had been “business as usual” with his department; patching various roadways, cutting grass, cleaning drains & catch basins, removing and installing signs, removing fallen tress, etc.

With regard to paving the roadways, the Superintendent suggested that the major projects he would like to undertake this year are Laurel Road and Continental Road, both of which need to be ground and repaved.  For just paving overlays, they would like to do Club House Road, Tuxedo Road from the upper Club parking lot to Tower Hill and West Summit Road from Cannon Hill to the Darling residence.  There are also a number of roads which they would like to do tar & chip on and to this end the Superintendent will be meeting with a contractor next week to discuss pricing.

Mayor Guinchard inquired as to when the SSES work would be completed on Continental Road.

Building Inspector John Ledwith responded that he felt it was about 90% complete, but he would check.

The Mayor then suggested that they should take a good look at any and all infrastructure that might be located beneath the roadways to be resurfaced and make sure that all of the pipes were in good shape before the work was done.

Changing the subject, Trustee Guazzoni commented that Peter Humphrey used to clean up the vines and brush along the causeway between the roadway and the water.  In his view, this stretch of road is one of the most important parts of Tuxedo Park and its real estate value.  He feels that this stretch should be the top priority in terms of resurfacing but he also feels that it should be a top priority to get rid of the low growth and vegetation, the same way Mr. Humphrey did historically.

“That’s your priority?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

“That’s my opinion,” responded Trustee Guazzoni, further commenting that when people came into the Village during the summertime and saw the lake for the first time they would have a more favorable impression of the real estate value.

Responding on behalf of the tree committee, Dena Stele stated that they had already begun to remove some of the invasive vines but that area is critical waterfront and actually should be more heavily planted than it currently is with things that can hold back all of the stuff that comes off of the road. 

Bringing the subject back to repaving the roads, Trustee McFadden wondered whether or not the Village would be considering accepting Chip money from the state.

The Mayor responded that due to the restricted status (and in order to maintain it) the Village could not accept any State funding for the roadways. 

This was briefly discussed, with varying opinions.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent suggested that although there might not be a specific statute that says that if the Village takes money from the State, the roads become public, it is prudent to exercise a great deal of caution when it comes to this.

Ultimately it was agreed that Trustees McFadden and Moon would look further into it.

Building & Grounds Report:
Click here to view a copy of the Buildings and Ground report.

The Village received $22,500 for a truck that was damaged a winter ago.  This money was deposited back into the General Fund.

The Village needs to obtain a chemical storage permit for a small chemical storage tank at the water plant.  As the Village has been in violation in this regard until now, the cost of paying off the necessary fees and obtaining the permit will be roughly $4,000.

With regard to the water loss analysis, a leak was identified on Route 17 about ½ mile north of the Village entrance.  The line goes under 17 up to depth of 14 feet, which is unfortunately far beyond the capabilities of the Village water department.  The Village can apply for the permit from the DOT but they will need some help repairing the line.  Mr. Ledwith took the liberty of collecting three estimates as follows: $39,800, $62,705 and “not to exceed $225,000.”

This was discussed at some length.  Trustee McFadden wondered whether the Town might be able to assist, but as the water line belongs to the Village and runs underneath the county road, they are not in much of a position to help and frankly, the scope of work is beyond their capabilities anyway.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to the status of the East Village Water Main project and whether or not this repair could be dovetailed in with that.

Mr. Ledwith explained that a large part of the East Village project involved a completely different technology where they were actually pulling a new pipe through the ground.  There is excavation at either end, but it is not like digging a 15 foot hole in Rt. 17.

Superintendent Voss commented that the low bid came from a familiar party, William Stalnacker, with whom the department has worked before.  The reason his price is so low is because the DPW will be working along side of him in making the repairs. 

Trustee McHugh wondered if there were not another way to reach the line by going North, past St. Mary’s,  that would alleviate the need to cut into Route 17. 

The answer was that this would be a considerable distance to excavate and the cost would surely be prohibitive.

It was agreed that the financials needed to be reviewed, but that time was of the essence.  

The DPW and Mr. Ledwith were asked to put together a concrete proposal in terms of cost and scope of work as soon as possible.  Once this has been prepared, the Board will schedule a special meeting to determine how they plan to move forward with the project.

This meeting will take place on Tuesday August 2 at 7pm.

With regard to water bill collection, Mr. Ledwith reported that of the 19 customers who had been in excess of $1000 in arrears with their payment, 6 had paid in full and 13 are making progress.  He suggested that the Board should consider developing a policy pertaining to how they would be addressing penalties on accounts that are in arrears moving forward as the penalty is currently 10% of the open balance per quarter, which has proved problematic for some people who are making payments on their debt.  This was discussed at some length.  Trustee McFadden suggested that they waive penalty fees for those who were making active, recurring payments.  Trustee Guazzoni agreed, suggesting that they afford Mr. Ledwith the right to waive the fees at his discretion.  Trustee Moon agreed and further suggested that they check and make sure that they were not violating the New York State Usury Laws by charging a 40% per year interest rate  (10% per quarter) Trustee McHugh stated that he wholeheartedly agreed with Mr. Moon and that he felt it was obscene what they had been charging.  He believes it should be 10% per year or lower. 

The Mayor then suggested that they agree to allow Mr. Ledwith the flexibility to speak with the gentlemen who were handling the water and then report back to the Mayor who would in turn give him the authority to waive some of the penalties.

Trustee McHugh disagreed with this suggestion, commenting that he felt they should change it and do away with the flat 10% per quarter.  He feels they should reduce the rate and encourage people not to be deterred from paying their bills.

Trustee Moon suggested they have an amnesty period, at the end of which they could determine a new rate.

This idea was then discussed.

Trustee McFadden suggested that following the amnesty period they employ a collection agency but Trustee McHugh disagreed commenting that he felt it was a small utility and they needed to be sensitive to people in financial distress.

Ultimately it was agreed that the attorney would draft a policy for review in August to hopeful take effect with the September billing cycle.

CHA Update – Mr. Ledwith reported that CHA had been doing a lot of testing.  They had divers in the water a couple of weeks ago by the auxiliary spillway to check out the stabilization and investigate the soils.  There do not appear to be any big issues.

Everything is progressing on schedule.

Trustee McHugh inquired about any implications that may have resulted from the change of classification of the Pond #3 dam.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the only implications he was aware of had to do with the inspection schedule.  The less hazardous it is, the fewer inspections are necessary. 

Committee Updates:
Lakes – Trustee McHugh reported that the Village was in receipt of the necessary permit from the DEC for milfoil removal.  They are planning to move forward with vacuum harvesting as opposed to the hand pulling that they have employed in years past.  The reason for this is that the vacuum should allow better control of the milfoil fragments when they break off. A barrier will be installed around the areas that are being harvested so that what is not caught with the vacuum will be stopped by the barriers.  The company that will be performing this work has not yet committed to exact dates, but the Village is hopeful that they will spend two weeks working given then severity of the issue.  In the meantime, buoys have been strategically placed around the lake to deter people from going into areas that are particularly bad.  There will be additional buoys going out as the area by Peter Regna’s has become quite bad as of late.  Essentially, they are requesting that boaters stay in the center part of the lake in an effort to avoid disturbing the milfoil.

The Mayor inquired as to the cost of the pulling and Trustee McHugh responded that he still needed to gather some information.  Specifically, they are looking to obtain DEC permitting for the Wee Wah and Pond #3 to use chemicals should all other methods of removal fail in those lakes.  It is a five-year permit.  He will gather the necessary information and present it at the special meeting on August 2.

The Mayor further commented that the boating restrictions were clearly outlined on the Village website, complete with a map detailing the restricted areas.  This information is also available in the Village Office.

Technology  - Trustee Guazzoni reported that there had been trouble on and off over the course of the last several years with the gate arms at the South Gate and they now need to be changed.  The Board will be reviewing options and the hope is that within the next 4 weeks they will be able to update the entire mechanism, which is 20 years old.

The entrance to the South Gate has been closed until further notice because the mechanism has broken down and is inoperable.  This is admittedly a major inconvenience and as soon as it is back up and running, they will continue working with it until such time as it can be replaced. 

Trustee McFadden wanted to know if the Board would be presented with quotes and choices.  He noted that he had received something earlier, but he felt the cost was extremely high. 

The Mayor interrupted Trustee McFadden, noting that because this dealt with security, they would need to discuss it in executive session. 

Trustee McFadden responded that he understood that but he still wanted to make a point however, the Mayor cut him off two times, insisting that it would need to be discussed in an executive session. 

Roads – Trustee Guazzoni reported that they would be reviewing all the road signs.  There are many that have become non-compliant and he feels that less signage is better than signage.  In this regard they will be reviewing everything to determine which signs are absolutely necessary.

From the audience, Bill Bortnowsky suggested that in his experience as the Chief of Police, if they Village wanted to put up a new sign,  it would require a traffic and engineering study which can be quite extensive.  It is also his understanding that to remove a sign, they might have to do the same.  He has discussed this issue with the DOT.  If Trustee Guazzoni is proposing that they remove road signs that have been deemed necessary, he should consider that this might create a liability for the Village if they remove it for the wrong reason, namely aesthetics.

The Mayor interjected that the new chief would be dealing with all the signs as some of them had fallen out of compliance.  He will be conducting a full review. 

Mr. Bortnowsky asserted that the Chief did not have the authority to make these decisions either and the Mayor responded that he had been in touch with the DOT and that actually, it had been him who had identified several of the signs that were not in compliance.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that some of the current stop signs should actually be yield signs as nobody stopped at them. 

This was met by widespread laughter.

Grant Writer Agreement: The Board is in receipt of a draft agreement for Mr. Rella for the coming year as well as a summary report of the work he has done over the past year. 
With regard to Trustee McFadden’s earlier inquiry about chip money, Mr. Rella stated that the Tree Committee had asked him to investigate a possible grant for trail installation at the Racetrack, but upon doing the due diligence he had discovered that if they accepted the funds, the trail would have to be made public and as a result of this, they had chosen not to pursue the grant.  This does not mean that the Village should not pursue the chip money, but he cautioned that it is something they should take into consideration moving forward.

The Village has been looking into the possibility of setting up an emergency center where Village residents could go for a shower, a warm meal or even an overnight if necessary.  To this end, a small committee was formed and they have looked at several possible locations around the Village.  The Mayor cautioned that they could not release the locations until the chief had determined that they were viable.  Mr. Rella continued that the establishment of such a center was something that was being stressed by the Orange County Dept. of Emergency Management. Updates will be forthcoming, Tying into this, the Police Department has signed up the Department of Defense 1033 program, which will allow them the opportunity to get free goods and services that are surplus to the Department of Defense.  There is a list of items that changes on a weekly basis and all the Village has to do is pick up the ones they want.

With regard to the shelter, Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether the Village was working with the Town in terms of shared services.

Mr. Rella replied that there would be meetings with the Town Supervisor to discuss collaboration.

Trustee Guazzoni asked for an update on ALPRs (automatic license plate readers) commenting that he had sent Mr. Rella information on 3 potential grants.

Mr. Rella responded he had checked them and there were no opportunities there.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that other communities had received grants there but Mr. Rella asserted that they had not to the best of his knowledge.  He further commented that he had reached out to Senator Bonacic  in hopes of obtaining what is called a Bullet Grant, which would be a set amount of funding that would come to the Village for the purchase of that type of item. 

There has been a lot going on with the tree committee and Mr. Rella reported that next month Chair Hempel would be present to update everyone about all of their progress as well as an upcoming community event. 

The Police Department will be receiving two laptop computers for their vehicles (value $18,000) free of charge in the fall. 

Mayor Guinchard then made a motion that the Board approve the agreement with Mr. Rella , which would run through 7/27/17. 

Trustee McFadden inquired as to how the services were paid for.

The Mayor responded that it was a set monthly fee and that they had budgeted for it. 

Trustee McFadden then wanted to know if Mr. Rella was compensated if he obtained a grant.

The answer was no.

He then wanted to know how much Mr. Rella had brought in to date.

The Mayor responded $68,000.

Mr. Rella pointed out that nobody outside of the Village had been aware that the Village was interested in grant money prior to his involvement, so there had been a bit of a mobilization process had to occur in the beginning. 

Trustee McHugh commented that when Mr. Rella had initially been retained, he had used Suffern as an example of his successes, stating that over 12 years he had been able to bring 12 million to their budget, with an average annual success rate of 1-2 million. 

Noting that the Village had gotten a 3-fold return on their investment of $20,000 (his fee) with the $68,000 that he had secured, he stated that he would like to see a 20-fold return.  He accepts the fact that there is a learning curve, but wanted to know what was being done wrong…or how they could get from where they are now to where they wanted to be.  After a year of working with the Village, does Mr. Rella think that their aspirations of $1,000,000 a year are too high and should they then, rein them in?

Mr. Rella responded he did not believe anything had been done wrong.  In fact, a lot has been done right.  Often times it is a matter of him learning about projects in a timely manner.  For example, the water main project on Route 17 that was discussed earlier, he cannot help with this as the Village needs that money ASAP.

Trustee McFadden wondered whether or not there was a liaison working with Mr. Rella to keep him abreast of the Village’s needs. 

The Mayor responded that he works with all the departments, meeting frequently with the Chief, Mr. Ledwith, Superintendent Voss and herself.  She further suggested that the Village Gates made the community ineligible for many grants. 

Trustee McFadden wondered whether the Village’s historical status might afford them any specific grant opportunities.

Mr. Rella responded that there were opportunities, but often times there were specific criteria that came along with these.

He further suggested that if any of the trustees had specific ideas in mind, they should let him know.

The Board then voted 4-1 in favor of accepting the draft agreement, with Trustee McHugh voting against. 

Ronald Reede Request: Mr. Reede is requesting permission to use the Wee Wah Beach property for a private, father/daughter camping event in early September.  He has recently updated his request to include swimming in the Wee Wah with the supervision of a lake certified lifeguard, whom he will supply.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether the attendees at the event would be primarily Village residents or, if the proposed 25 families would be coming from other places.
Mr. Ledwith responded that the guests would be made up of up to 25 father/daughter families; ninth grade girls with their Dads.  Mr. Reede has also requested that departure time on Sunday be extended from 12 noon until 2pm.

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Wee Wah Beach Club, Mary Graetzer requested a copy of Mr. Reede’s proposal.  She further pointed out that the proposed date for this event falls within the active lease period of the club.  They are extremely concerned about their share of the liability for anything that might occur.  Mr. Reede has not been known to follow protocol in the past.  They are concerned about potential swimming as well as insurance.

Trustee McHugh asked Mrs. Graetzer to elaborate on Mr. Reede’s failure to follow protocol.
Mrs. Graetzer responded that Mr. Reede had physically altered the property and also has lit unauthorized fires.  In her view, he has not proven himself to be “an ideal citizen.”  The last time the event took place, former Trustee David du Pont wrote up a special agreement for Mr. Reede to sign, which took some of liability away from the Beach Club and she would like to make sure that the same thing happens this time around.  Even with such an agreement in place however, the Club still has concerns regarding their liability.  She believes that the Department of Health will have a lot to say as to whether or not they can have swimming there..  Trustee McHugh wondered if it would alleviate the Club’s concerns entirely should the event take place after the lease had expired.

Mrs. Graetzer responded that as a resident she would still have some liability concerns, however she reiterated that it would be better for the Beach Club if the event took place after the lease had expired.

Trustee McFadden commented that he believed that some of the Board members had been operating under the assumption that the lease would be over.  Now that he understands it would not be, he feels that the Beach Club should be provided with a copy of the agreement to show to their attorney and that the decision should be tabled.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that that what the Board was really doing was setting a precedent with regard to residents hosting private events on Village owned property.   Do they really want to do that?  He doesn’t know.

Trustee Moon recused himself as his spouse is on the executive committee of the Beach Club.

Trustee McHugh commented that he felt Mrs. Graetzer made a strong point with regard to the date, and he feels Mr. Reede should change his date.  The Beach Club leases the property from the Village and therefore, he does not feel they are entitled to view a copy of the agreement as it stands.  With regard to the proposed certified lake lifeguard, he feels the Village would need to review who that person is and that they or their insurance company would have to make sure they were comfortable with the person.  To Trustee Guazzoni’s point, he commented that he did not disagree.

The Mayor suggested that time was of the essence for the Reedes and therefore she would like to bring it to a vote.  Even if the date changes, she believes there are enough concerns on the table that could effect moving forward.

There followed a discussion regarding whether or not residents are able to utilize the Beach Club property following the closure of the Club each year.

harlan Cathcart implored the Board to please review with the insurance company the liability issues associated with the swimming.

Sheila Pompan wondered if Mr. Reede was required to pay a fee to the Beach Club in order to use the property.

The answer was no.

Following some further discussion, the Mayor indicated that she believed they needed to vote on the request so that they could provide the Reedes with an answer as to whether or not the event could move forward.

A motion was made and seconded, however all 3 Trustees in the Mayor abstained so the vote did not carry.

It was agreed that the Village would go back to Mr. Reede with their concerns.

Authorize Purchasing & Financing of Police Car:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing and financing a 2015 Ford interceptor for at total cost of $38,701.40 with a financing rate of 3.69%.

Public Comments:

Charlen Cathcart read the following into the record on behalf of her husband, who could not be present:

Upon arriving back in Tuxedo Park for the summer on June 29, we discovered that the washing machine was broken.  We called a serviceman, who could not come until July 6 to repair the machine.  We found out that it was not repairable so Charlen went out on July 7 to purchase a new washing machine.  She bought the one that could be delivered as soon as possible as we had company coming and knew every bed would be used.  At this point we also had our own dirty clothes piling up.  Sears promised that the machine would be delivered on the afternoon of July 12 between the hours of 2:45 and 4:45pm, however, SEARS did not arrive until 6:05pm and were told they could not come into The Park.  The driver called SEARS, who in turn called Charlen, to schedule another delivery date.  She immediately called the Gate to find out why the delivery was not allowed into The Park.  The guard on duty said no deliveries were allowed into the Park after 4:30pm and when she implored him to allow the delivery, she was informed that the truck had already left.  Having grown up here in Tuxedo Park, I have never heard of such a law.  Not being able to reach the Mayor, I contacted one of the Trustees, who informed me that there was a law stating no deliveries after 4:30pm, but it was left up to the discretion of the policeman on duty.  Later Charlen talked with the Mayor who told her that the policeman on duty was supposed to telephone her before denying entrance to delivery trucks but the Mayor did not receive a call.  I understand that deliveries of construction material can be noisy, but a washing machine?  What about an Oxygen tank?  This law should be examined and amended to apply only to construction related equipment and not to normal deliveries.

The Mayor thanked Mrs. Cathcart for her comments.

Gary Pompan commented that he felt something had clearly changed since the police had taken over at the Front Gate.  Now that he and his wife are in the Village quite a bit, he stated that he had some comments, some observations and a question.  The Pompans used to be on a call list with the Gate, however they never receive a call anymore when non-residents enter the Village using their name.  They have had guests showing up at their door unannounced and they have experienced other people’s guests arriving at their door as well and when questioned, it is clear that nobody at the Front Gate has questioned where these people are going or provided them with any directions.  They have also had situations where there has been somebody at the Front Gate who calls them because the police aren’t aware that they are residents of the Village. They do not recognize their name nor do they know their address.  There seems to be complete disorganization going on at the Front Gate.  He has also observed that the Gate is open most of the time during the day.  Although it appears to be closed during rush hours, after 9:30am and prior to 6pm anybody and everybody can enter the Village.  He does not feel there is any discretion given about this.  What has happened to the booth??  He sent an email to several of the Trustees when this issue was under discussion.   He knows there has been some debate over its importance but he feels that the booth is extremely important, especially with what’s going on.  He has been in The Keep.  It is impossible for the officer on duty to see who is coming in and have a real conversation/make a real observation of what that individual is bringing in or asking to bring in.  He feels the booth served its purposes.  He understands there is a safety issue but he feels it can clearly be taken care of.  The people have been waiting.  He supposes that the Keep is “about to give birth,” although he feels it has probably been more than 9 months, and the people still do not know anything about it.  He feels this is a real problem in terms of security.  Additionally, since Denise has left the booth, the service model has completely fallen apart.

These remarks were met by a loud round of applause from the audience.

Mayor Guinchard responded by recommending that Mr. Pompan call the Chief to go over these issues.  The Chief is currently on vacation however, Detective Tayback is there and would be happy to speak with Mr. Pompan.

Trustee McFadden commented that as manager of the Police Department, he would also be willing to meet with any resident and if they would like him to, he would be willing to go with them to the department to present their case.

The Mayor responded that residents actually had to go directly to the Chief.  It was his job to explain to the people what is going on.

Charlen Cathcart inquired as to what the Chief had to do with having a booth there.

The Mayor replied that the booth was tied into “the security and all of that” so he was a part of that process.

Mrs. Cathcart suggested that these decisions were up to the Board.

The Mayor stated that the Board would be making the final decision.

Mrs. Cathcart agreed, further suggesting that she felt they needed to be looking into this, which is what Mr. Pompan had been saying. 

Mayor Guinchard responded that they definitely would be looking into having that discussion.
Mary Graetzer commented that it was her understanding that the Board had asked the residents what they wanted, people answered, and then Mayor made some vague comments indicating that a booth would be put back.  She asked for an update on this.  She inquired specifically as to what would be put back in that space and when the residents could expect to see it.

Mayor Guinchard responded that hopefully the residents would know something very soon.

“That’s not an answer MJ” shouted Mrs. Graetzer.

“It’s Mary Jo, thank you,” responded the Mayor.  She went on to state that there were some security issues that they were having to discuss with their attorney that evening in executive session regarding some things that had been brought to light.  They will hopefully be making decisions very soon.

Sally Sonne wondered why security issues had to be discussed in executive session and under what provision of the Open Government law this was taking place.

The Mayor responded that Mrs. Sonne should talk to the Chief about this. 

Mrs. Sonne retorted that this had nothing to do with The Chief.  She then asked the Village attorney under what provision of the Open Government Law and the provisions for going into Executive Session does a discussion of security and the Village Gates fall.

Mr. Nugent responded that matters that may endanger or jeopardize the public safety of residents can be discussed in executive session.  Security issues fall under this provision. 

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that discussing perimeter security out in the open defeated this purpose.  The booth is part of the perimeter security.

Mrs. Sonne commented that she believed that the public was interested in knowing what was really going on.

The Mayor replied that as soon as they got through the security issues they could move forward but “it is what it is.”  She further suggested that former police Chief Bortnowsky and Former Mayor Neuhauser could surely relate to this.  The Village must honor public safety.
Bill Bortnowsky commented that he was in favor of the booth.  He left the department fully functional with a fully staffed department back in 2002 and they did not have any of these problems then.  Everything was in tip-top shape.  His budget was flawless and passed every time.  Moving on he stated that he wanted to speak for a moment about officer John Mauro.  He was a part time police officer who started with the Village in 1979 and just retired after 36 years of service to the Village.  Not all of the residents know him well as he usually worked weekends and midnights.  His father was an NYC police officer and arms instructor and so was John.  He trained the Village officers and brought them out to the city range at no extra charge.  He wanted to be a police officer his entire life.  At the age of 10 he was crushed by a school bus and broke nearly every bone in his body.  Following several years of recovery, he still wanted to be an officer and successfully pursued that goal.  He became a fulltime correctional officer with the Rockland County Sheriff’s Dept. (he is still there now) and began working for the Village in 1979.  He has also been a member of the State Guard.  He has attended more schools than anybody in the department.  Mr. Bortnowsky asked the Board, at minimum, to give John some sort of official letter of recognition or commendation and since John has never caused any problems (not one complaint against him in all the 36 years he has worked for the Village) he suggested that he should be awarded both a retired police shield and a retired police ID.  He would greatly appreciate it if the Board would consider these things, as he believes John deserves this after 36 years of service. 

This was met by shouts of “here here” and applause from the audience.

Charlen Cathcart added that Mr. Mauro had also been an active member of the Volunteer Ambulance Corps for many years and is an active EMT.

The Mayor responded that the Board would take this into consideration.  She then suggested that Trustee McFadden bring forth the issues he had mentioned earlier.

Trustee McFadden then referenced the turning away of the delivery as detailed by Mrs. Cathcart and the inconvenience this caused.  It has also been brought up to him that nobody answers the phone at the Village Office and that Voice Mail is all one ever receives.  He wondered if anything could be done about this.  There are also some residents who are begging to have the community dumpster put back at the Village Office.  He also suggested that moving forward, he would like to see more detail with regard to overtime hours and the necessity/reason for those hours included on the Police Report.  He referenced the issue with the Front Gate being left open as mentioned earlier and suggested that he had been told that anyone was able to access the Village and that one could not even make contact with the Officer behind the mylar.

“There is no mylar there” retorted the Mayor.  It is bullet proof glass.

“Can you see through it?” inquired Trustee McFadden.

“They can see out” responded Trustee Guazzoni. 

“We cannot see them!” shouted several people from the audience and Trustee McFadden clarified that this was what he had been referring to.  When he looks up there, he cannot see anybody.  He has also received some complaints about the aesthetics of the area where the booth used to be.  Perhaps this area could be fixed up while they were debating which direction they would take.

The Mayor suggested that Trustee McFadden bring the gate issues to the Chief.

Former Mayor Neuhauser commented that she inquired about police coverage during the midnight-7am police shift 2 months ago and after ten minutes of averting an answer, she had finally been told that there were “some bumps in the road” in terms of scheduling.  She believes that in light of the fact that the Town is unable to fill that shift as well (and the Supervisor has indicated to her that they will not be able to fill it again until the new year at the earliest) residents need to know whether or not that shift is being covered fully by the Village. 

The Mayor responded “all your shifts are covered fully 24 hours a day and if you have questions directly you can call the Chief and he will address them.”

Mrs. Neuhauser stated that she had been hoping that the new chief would be present at the meeting so that she could speak to him directly. 

The Mayor indicated that he had been present the month prior and that Mrs. Neuhauser was welcome to give him a call. 

Mrs. Neuhauser wondered whether he was part-time, and was informed that as of July 1, he was full time. 

Trustee Guazzoni interjected that he believed the issue at hand was that residents want to know if they are being protected 24/7 and the answer is yes.

“So every shift has two officers on duty?” inquired Mrs. Neuhauser.

“Yes,” responded the Mayor “unless there is a scheduling issue, but that is their scheduling and any questions in regard to that must be directed to the Chief.”  She continued on to say that the Village was staffed, although they had 4 more positions that they would be filling.

The Board is not responsible for the scheduling, but residents should know that they are fully covered and protected.

Charlen Cathcart commented that it was her understanding that with regard to fire hydrants around the Village, if they did not have a blue, neon collar on them, they were out of service.  She feels this is something that should be addressed for the safety of everyone.

John Ledwith explained that the absence of a blue collar did not mean that a hydrant was out of service.  The ones with the blue collars have been identified as those with the best pressure.

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Regular Monthly Meeting July 26, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Moment of Silence
4. Mayor's Update
a. Announce vacancy on BZA
5. Police Report
6. DPW Report
7. Building & Grounds Report
a. CHA Update
8. Committee Reports
9. Ronald Reede Request
10. Authorize Purchase & Financing of Police Car
11. Public Comments
12. Approval of Minutes
13. Audit of Claims
14. Adjournment

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Reorganization Meeting July 26, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss personnel issues (approximately 15 minutes)
4. Reopen regular session
5. Oaths of Office were Administered to the New Trustees at the June 28th BOT Meeting
6. Resolution - Appointments
7. Resolution- Employee Salaries
8. Resolution - Official Undertakings
9. Resolution- Open Meetings Law Requirements (Village Boards Meetings Days and Times)
10. Resolution- Schedule 2017 Reorganization Meeting
11. Resolution - Procurement Procedure
12. Resolution- Advance Approval of Claims
13. Resolution - Mileage Allowance
14. Resolution- Attendance at Schools and Conferences
15. Resolution- Designation of Depositories
16. Resolution - Village Email Policy
17. Resolution - Village Election Voting Hours
18. Resolution- Rules ofProcedure
19. Resolution - Trustee Roles and Projects
20. Resolution - Advisory Committee Trustee Liaison Roles
21. Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 28, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, June 28 at 7pm.  All members were present.

The meeting began with a moment of silence for all of those who were affected by the terrorist attack in Turkey earlier in the day and also in memory of former Trustee Philip Swirbul as well as long time Village resident Peter Armstrong, both of whom passed away recently.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard thanked the Board for all their hard work, commenting that the job of Trustee is a tireless one, which requires tough decision making, although it also both “wonderful and fun.”   She noted that the current Board had done a great job of being open minded and working together to reach solutions.  She then provided a brief recap of the past year, referencing the Milfoil issue in the lakes, the Wee Wah Dam, the demolition of The Booth and restoration of The Keep, and replenishing of surplus funds among other issues the Board has tackled.   

Recognition of Trustee Gluck, Trustee Kilduff and Judge Levinson for their service to the Village:
The Mayor thanked Deputy Mayor Gluck, Trustee Kilduff and Judge Levinson for their years of service to the Village.  She recognized each of them individually, noting that she had really enjoyed working with them all.  Each was presented with a certificate of appreciation. 

Judge Levinson spoke briefly.  He recalled that it was former Mayor Neil Madera who had originally asked him to take on the roll of Village Justice and further stated that it had been his pleasure to serve this “unique municipality” since September of 1994, where the cases are “strange” but they have dealt with them over the years.  He recognized both of his court clerks as well as Debbie Matthews and John Ledwith and wished his successors, the new Village Chief of Police as well as everybody in both the Village of Tuxedo Park and the Town of Tuxedo the best of luck moving forward.

Congratulations to Newly Elected Trustees (two-year term beings July 4th at 12:00 noon):
Trustees Elect David McFadden and John Moon were then sworn into office along with the new Village Justice, David Hassen and Acting Justice Mark Citron.  Mayor Guinchard welcomed them all, congratulating them on their new positions and commenting that she was looking forward to working with them all.  Trustees Moon and McFadden will officially begin their terms of service on July 4 at noon.

Welcome Incoming Chief (start date July 1):
Mayor Guinchard then introduced and welcomed the new Chief of Police Alex Melchiorre, who will begin working on July 1.  Chief Melchiorre comes to the Village from the Village of Monroe Police Department.  The Mayor looks forward to everyone having the opportunity to meet and work with the Chief, whom she said had been extremely gracious and wonderful in getting everybody ready for his first day in the Village.  She further commented that he had a great open door policy and would be more than happy to speak with anyone at any point in time.

Chief Melchiorre was then ceremoniously sworn in.

Police Report:
Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of May:
Criminal Complaints – 3
Non-criminal Complaints – 68
Traffic Summonses Issued – 3
Property Damage Complaints – 2
Medical Calls – 5
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 8
New Vehicle Tags Issued – 15
Assists Received from the Town of Ramapo – 1

Additionally, 11,320 non-resident vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

Appointments – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing part time officers Janice Reynolds and Joshua Anderson.  The two will begin working on June 30.

Update on TP Tags – All current vehicle tags are set to expire on July 31.  The new tags are on their way, and applications can be filled out now and filed with Denise in the Village office.  The tags will be free for residents and will be good for 3 years.  Non –residents must pay an annual fee of $75.  The new resident tags will be white with green lettering and a green boarder.  Non-resident tags will be teal blue.  All of the tags will be reflective so that the Officers in the Keep will have no trouble viewing them.

DPW Report:
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had been doing a lot of work at the Wee Wah Beach Club.  They dug out the volleyball court, scraped it down about 4 inches and replaced the sand.  The parking lot had a lot of grass and weeds growing in it, so they scraped off a couple of inches there and replaced the stones.

Additionally, they have been doing a lot of brush cutting around Village Buildings (Police Department, Water Plant, Storage Tanks, South Gate) in preparation for the installation of cameras if and when the Village decides to install them.  They have also been doing a lot of weed whacking on the edge of the roadways and cleaning the Tuxedo Lake screens with regularity.  They have not seen a lot of milfoil on the screens, which is probably due to the fact that the harvesting has not yet begun. 

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not there was a game plan for paving the roads.
Superintendent Voss responded that they were waiting for the sewer manhole replacement & relining project to be finished before moving ahead with any serious paving. There will be a lot of patching going on in the meantime and he expects to have a game plan in place shortly to present to the Board.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired about the height of Tuxedo Lake and whether or not it was currently low with respect to historical levels.

The answer was yes.  The Superintendent estimated that it was roughly 4-6 inches lower than usual.

Mayor Guinchard then reported that she had been contacted by a resident and that together with Jeff Voss the three of them had come up with five “really great” questions concerning the current health of  the Village lakes and these were posed to Chris Doyle, a lake biologist from Solitude Lakes Management (formerly Allied Biological).  Mr. Doyle responded to the questions in detail and both the questions and his answers will be posted to the Village Website ASAP.  The Mayor then read aloud each question along with Mr. Doyle’s responses.  All of this information can be viewed by clicking here.

In brief, despite the recent algae bloom and the somewhat shocking change in color and appearance, the water in Tuxedo Lake has been tested and deemed perfectly safe for drinking.  The lake was treated with copper sulfate but it took longer than usual for the dead algae cells to dissipate due to gas vesicles that were allowing them to retain their buoyancy.  Mayor Guinchard has also been in touch with the Health Department and the DEC, who have given the Lake its’ clean bill of health.  Both departments are in constant contact with Superintendent Voss, who tests the drinking water on a daily basis according to Health Department standards.  The CSLAP program is also underway under the guidance of Trustee McHugh. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck suggested that it might be a good idea to ask Chris Doyle to come back and repeat his presentation as it is crucial to remind residents that many of the problems occurring in Tuxedo Lake are the result of nutrient loading (phosphates, & nitrogen fertilizer) as well as run off and lack of adequate plantings at the base of the reservoir.  There are several measures that Village residents can take that will lower the amount of nutrient loading into the reservoir to help reduce and prevent future issues. 

The Mayor agreed that this would be a good idea and asked Trustee McHugh to reach out to Mr. Doyle in this regard.  She further reminded residents that they should always check the Village website for official reports, when it comes to updates regarding the lakes. 

With regard to the milfoil, Trustee McHugh commented that last year the Village used a puller that most people found to be unsatisfactory, as they were not cleaning up the fragments properly when they pulled.  As a result, a new firm has been engaged this year and they will be doing vacuum harvesting, during which they will install barriers in the areas where they are pulling so as to provide a double control environment in an effort to minimize the fragmentation.  The DEC has changed their rules and a permit is now required before this work can take place.  The Village is currently in the process of working with the DEC to procure this permit.

The Mayor thanked both Deputy Mayor Gluck and Trustee McHugh for their work in mapping the areas of the lake where the milfoil appears to be the most aggressive so that ultimately boats can be kept away, which should help decrease spreading.  Buoys will be installed within the next week and a map is available on the Village website.

On another note, Superintendent Voss noted that they have been having a hard time keeping the water storage tanks full because of the dry weather.  Residents are watering like crazy and the pumps are running from midnight straight through until 9am.  The rain the previous evening was the first time the pump shut down in 3 weeks.  If things continue in this manner, the Superintendent warned that it might necessary to restrict watering hours. 

Following a relatively brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Superintendent to put water restrictions in place, should they become necessary.

Appointment of summer worker – The Board then voted unanimously in favor of appointing Peder Abrahamsen as a summer worker for the DPW.

Building & Grounds Report:
Building Inspector John Ledwith was not present due to illness.  His report is in the process of being finalized and will be circulated as soon as possible.  In the meantime, Mayor Guinchard reported that East Village Water Main project was moving ahead as planned.  They are currently awaiting some responses from the DEC, but do not anticipate any trouble.

The SSES project on Continental Road is progressing nicely and, weather permitting, should be completed by mid-July.

Ronald Reed has requested permission to host a father/daughter campout on the Wee Wah Beach Club property on September 10.  He previously hosted a similar event back in 2014.  More information will be presented at the next meeting. 

Committee Reports:
TAB – On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Chair Chui Yin Hempel presented the Board with a detailed report outlining what the committee has been up to, how they are planning to move forward and what their projected expenses will be.  A copy of this report can be viewed here.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether the committee was asking for more money or rather simply outlining what they felt they would be able to do within the scope of the budget they had already been provided.

Mrs. Hempel responded that she believed in cooking a meal with the material that they had….and she did not believe in credit.  The Village very kindly provided the committee with a $5,000 budget, and they intend to use every penny of it.  The first $4000 will be used very quickly focusing on invasive species management control and tree protection, primarily in the Racetrack and Augusta Brook areas. 

Trustee McHugh observed that they were doing a triage approach by identifying the most aggressive issues and going after them.  He wondered what Trilliam had advised them in terms of the total scope of the project and dollar amounts.

Mrs. Hempel responded that Trilliam had identified six progressive species that they are now tracking and triaging.  Then there are some other species that can be removed by volunteers.  Specifically, David du Pont owns the necessary equipment and is happy to do the work, but Trilliam has advised that it must be done in September.  A weed whacking truck (a bobcat with a mower on it) will be needed to remove the extensive amounts of barberry.  The Village does not own one of these but Superintendent Voss has discovered that it will cost roughly $500 a day to rent one and the committee feels that with the remaining $1000 in addition to the donations they believe they can procure, it should not be difficult to move ahead with this work as well.  Currently, they are holding back on moving forward with this however, pending on what the landscape BID proposals tell them about what the replanting schedule will be.  There is no point in removing things only to have them grow back if they do not replant at the same time.  So, in many ways they are hedging their bets as they don’t know, aside from the six invasive species identified in the report, what they are going to do with the rest or when they will do it.  Likely it will happen in September, but they do not want to commit to this time frame until after July 1, when they will have a better idea as to the vision for replanting.  Likewise, they cannot answer any questions about how this portion of the project will be funded yet, because they don’t know.  What they do know is that the cost will be greater than what the Village can afford and therefore, they will be seeking grants and donations to pay for the effort.  Although much of this is unknown, they are comfortable with it as it is progressing and will be keeping everyone well informed.
Trustee Gluck inquired as to how the Augusta Place plantings were being maintained.
Mrs. Hempel replied that HC Landscaping (Humberto) had volunteered to maintain them and had been watering the trees for free.  Additionally, a resident has donated 12 tree gators and the committee will be purchasing some tree tubes.  The DEC will also be donating additional tree tubes and all of these are being installed on the plants to protect them from deer. 

Trustee Gluck inquired as to whether the herbicides to be applied in the Racetrack were safe for domestic animals. 

The answer was that they are as safe as they can be.  For the most part the plants are located in areas that are densely surrounded by other growth and where most people will not go anyway.  Everything is being done according to DEC procedure. 

The Mayor suggested that additionally they could post signs a both gates and possibly use a CodeRED alert to let residents know when the area was being treated so that they could be sure to keep their domestic animals away.

Trustee Kilduff commented that when he had initially come in to support the Tree City USA initiative, he just thought they were going to receive a sign, some free trees and a party, but the committee has really seized the opportunity and grabbed the bull by the horns and he is very appreciative of all the work they have done.  In his view, it is classic and clearly represents how much people really do care about the Village. 

Referencing Mrs. Hempel’s earlier comments about living hand-to-mouth, Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to whether or not there was any Japanese Knotweed growing in the Village, commenting that it was a very healthy herb.

Mrs. Hempel responded that there was and that it was “quite a red dot on the map.”

Trustee Guazzoni commented that the knotweed contained high levels ofresveratrol and suggested that perhaps the committee could do something with this.

Dena Steele suggested that there were large batches across from the DPW as well as next to the rain garden in the Village Hall parking lot if Trustee Guazzoni was interested in harvesting.

Mayor Guinchard commented that she had never seen such a vivacious committee.  Their energy is contagious!  She expressed her gratitude to all the members for all of their hard work and continued efforts.

Mrs. Hempel responded by thanking the Village Board for providing them with the opportunity.

For clarification purposes, the Mayor informed everyone that while the DPW was working with the T.A.B., they had not added any additional hours to their schedule to complete this work.  Rather, the schedule has been rearranged to accommodate the needs of the T.A.B.  She thanked both Mrs. Hempel and Superintendent Voss for working together to allow for this to happen.

Website Committee – Mayor Guinchard reported that the new Village website would hopefully be launching sometime in the next month.  It will be an official .gov website. 

ther – While not officially a committee update, Trustee Guazzoni reported that he had found a small report filed with the New York Historical Society written by WW Astor in 1888, which was a report to The Executive Committee of The Tuxedo Club from the committee appointed to examine into the original historical names of the Tuxedo Region.  It includes a copy of the manuscript map of this portion of NY State and NJ made for Washington in the years 1778-79.  A photocopy of the first page was circulated to the Board members as well as TPFYI.  The information, which explores the origins of the name Tuxedo Park, will be posted to the Village website in the near future.

Public Comments:
Audrey Perry commented that residents who rely on wells rather than reservoir do not receive water bills and therefore, they miss out on information that is often included with these mailings (for example, the T.A.B. updates.)

It was agreed that this would be looked into and that the Village would make sure that these residents received the information.

CHA Proposal :
 Commenting that Alan Yassky was present to answer any questions that might arise, Mayor Guinchard opened the discussion/review of the CHA proposal for the Wee Wah Dam.  When last discussed, the Board requested that CHA provide them with a 90-day timeline/action plan for moving forward with the project.  The paperwork was reviewed.  The DEC required the Village to submit engineering assessments for both the Wee Wah Dam and Pond #3.  These assessments will funded by the bond and will not be an additional burden on the taxpayers.  The assessment for the Wee Wah dam has been done, but it still needs to be done for pond #3.  Mr. Yassky explained that there is minimal work to be done on the pond #3 dam and briefly outlined what needs to be done there.

The entire project (work on both dams) will cost the Village $3.23 million and will be funded by a 20-year bond.

Trustee Guazzoni took this figure and divided by 430 tax parcels to arrive at the figure of $7,500 per parcel, which spread out over 20 years equals $326 per parcel per year (not including interest.)

There is a 25% contingency that was added onto the project to cover any unknowns that might pop-up.  The project could well end up costing the Village much less than 3.2 million. 
Trustee Gluck inquired as to whether or not the work on Pond #3 was included in this figure and the answer was yes.

Mr. Yassky commented that the State of NY has requested the removal of any water lines that run through the dam, but this is not possible.  As a result, the State is requesting that the Village replace the line with a double thickness pipe of about 500 feet.  After speaking with Superintendent Voss, they have determined that the line can be truncated on either side and this should save them roughly $80-90,000.   All of this will need to come out in the end when they receive the final numbers from the State.  The CHA estimate also includes the expense of a General Contractor to oversee the entire project, however the Village is not planning to use a GC and will instead contract the individual jobs by expertise, which should represent quite a large cost savings in Mr. Yassky’s view. This past week, the DPW created a road down the backside of the dam which will allow them to bring a drilling machine in for the purpose of drilling down into the inside of the spillway in order to determine exactly what is being talked about.  Divers will go into the space between the two walls, which is actually 27 feet deep, to make sure there is not any additional work that needs to be done there.  A drainpipe will eventually be installed there and covered with concrete so that they can easily open the valve and drain the lake when needed.  Speaking to the level of the lake itself, Mr. Yassky commented that over the last 4 years the levels have been between 6-8 feet below where they historically were, rendering the Beach Club almost useless and depreciating the lake front properties there.  The new dam will allow levels to return to their original depth. Westin & Sampson had been engineering a dam that would have required the levels to remain 6 feet below what they always were.   Nobody ever knew this because nobody ever asked W & S what levels they had been planning for. 

The Mayor wondered if this was on of the reasons for the increase in cost but Mr. Yassky explained that the main reason that the expense of the project has gone up because the DEC reclassified the dam, changing it from a B to a C because of the railway that lies in the flood plane.  

Mayor Guinchard commented that she had every confidence in CHA as they had a “superb” with the DEC.  This is a very complicated project ,which has been on-going for 10 years.  She expressed her gratitude to Mr. Yassky for all of his hard work.

Sally Sonne inquired about the allocation of the repayment of the loan as outlined by Trustee Guazzoni, specifically wondering whether this was done by tax parcel.
The answer was no.

She further commented that putting it this way was entirely deceptive for the public and it should not be described this way.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that he had just been trying to give people an idea of what it looked like on average.

Trustee Kilduff commented that he did not think Trustee Guazzoni had intentionally been deceptive and Trustee Guazzoni agreed that this was not his intent, further commenting “everything is taken the wrong way these days.”

Trustee McHugh inquired of Mr. Yassky as to what the timeline for the project would be.

Mr. Yassky responded that it had been extended a bit because there had been some delays with the original comments…both submission responses.  My. Yassky believes that project will be completed by September of 2017, but next year’s swimming season will be lost.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving both schedules as presented by CHA with two separate motions. 

Public Hearing – Continuation  - Local Law Introductory  #4 of 2015 – Exterior Lighting:

To Review a copy of the proposed Local Law click here.

Dena Steele referenced section C.2 regarding causing discomfort or impaired visibility, noting that they had removed any type of test and she feels this is a highly subjective standard.  Also, in Section G it states “no lighting source shall be more than 20 (changed from 30) feet and that the area beneath it should be greater than 10 feet in radius.  Again, she could see this working on Club House Road or other congested spots but in areas where the houses are more spread out or bigger areas with bigger driveways, she feels 10 feet is somewhat unreasonable.

Trustee Guazzoni interjected that the 10 feet doesn’t apply to the area it covers. He suggested that Ms. Steele take a moment and re-read what was written, further commenting it was in his view self-explanatory.  It’s more the 20-30 feet.  The distance begins where one starts measuring the height of the pole.

Mayor Guinchard added that the 20-feet was taken from the Village Code.

Ms. Steele responded that she was having trouble determining what the regulation was based on the way things were written.  Also, regarding the flags, she wondered whether this would apply to the Tuxedo Club, noting that theirs was quite visible and that if the intent was to protect the night sky, perhaps they should be asked to turn the lights off.  Section M states that only low voltage shielded boat dock lighting would be permitted.  She wondered if this was true at all times, commenting that decorative lighting such as the lights on the side of The Tuxedo Club Boathouse, does not serve much of a purpose.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that the lighting at the Boat Club was on a 15 minute timer.

Ms. Steele pointed out that the lights at the Club Boathouse were not and she wondered whether it would apply there.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the lighting at the Club Boathouse was in compliance as the bulbs were shielded and pointed downward.

Ms. Steele wondered what the point of this was if ultimately the goal was to protect the night skies and these lights served only a decorative purpose. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck pointed out that if one looks around Tuxedo Lake there are really two types of lighting on docks and boathouses.  The first is low wattage lighting that is aimed at the docks and is on, in some places all the time, for the purpose of helping boaters to locate their docks when they return at night.  The other type of lighting is higher up and more like flood lighting in nature.  The intent of the law is not to alter the low wattage lighting that is there for safety, but rather to restrict the other type of brighter lights.

Ms. Steele responded that she understood this but again wondered about the decorative lighting, which does not aid boaters in finding the dock.  In her view allowing these is simply inviting more lighting at that Boathouse and the Club should be required to turn them off at midnight, or whenever they close.  It is pointless to have them on all night.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that what applies to the Boathouse also applies to people’s homes and some residents want to have a low lummage (can’t find this word in the dictionary L )  on the outside of their house all the time.  What the proposed legislation controls are the bigger spotlights that are higher up and point either to the roadway or the neighboring homes.  It does not address lower level lighting such as that found at the Boathouse.

Ms. Steele responded that it addressed exterior lighting, whether low lummage or not.  She feels this particular lighting is a waste and somewhat distracting.

David McFadden asked whether the Board was intending to vote on the proposed legislation that evening. 

The answer was that they did not know.

Mr. McFadden responded that what was before them was a substantively different version than what was originally presented and suggested that it required a vote of approval and then a new public hearing so that the residents could comment.

Trustee Guazzoni replied that the Board Attorney had not found this to be true.

Mr. McFadden retorted that it not matter what the attorney had or had not found to be true.

He knows that it can be done one of two ways.  If there were simply a language change or some other such adjustment that did not alter the meaning, then a continuing public hearing would be sufficient, but if there have been significant changes, it could also be argued that a new public hearing was necessary. He understands that this might not be what they want to do, but it would certainly not be illegal to move forward in that regard.  In his view, this is a moral question.  The Board knows that he won the election and that he is opposed to the law.  He commented that he was hoping that they would take the opportunity, because Trustee Kilduff is leaving and happens to be pro-law, to “put a quick vote under the table” before he gets on the Board.  Either the law withstands scrutiny or it doesn’t, but right now he feels there has been quite a big statement made by the voters that says they do not want this law.  He came out clearly with this point of view while Trustee Kilduff came out clearly  with the opposing view.  He would hope, morally speaking, that they would not vote on the law that evening knowing that they would be getting a new voice on the Board shortly and this would create a true debate rather than a 3-2 vote in favor the law when the community does not want it in place.

Trustee Kilduff replied that he felt it was a huge assumption to suggest that this legislation was the determining factor in the election.

Mr. McFadden responded that he would then focus on the way to run a hearing.

Trustee Kilduff responded “We know how to run a hearing.  Let me show you.”

The Mayor commented that this was not a debate, rather it was a public comment period and she requested that Mr. McFadden ask his questions, further stating that he could address the attorney directly if he wanted to.

Mr. McFadden responded that he was making public comments that he felt were worth discussing.  He then addressed the attorney directly, asking whether or not it was true that the Board could go either way in this situation.

The attorney responded that virtually every local law started out one way and ended up another.  This is the very process by which laws are enacted.  Sometimes laws are transformed substantially during the process and others not, but there is nothing wrong procedurally in the way that the Board has proceeded in the evolution of this particular law.  If there had been substantial changes made that evening, the Board would not be able to legally vote as a clean draft must be on their desks for 7 days prior to voting and also before the public.  Certainly, it is the prerogative of any Board to pull a matter entirely and give up on it, or start with a new version if that is what they want to do.

Mr. McFadden agreed with all of this, but further commented that it was also true that because there have been major changes made that the Board could choose that evening to approve the final draft and then schedule a new public hearing, giving the public ample time to review it and formulate comments.

The Attorney responded that the Board could really do whatever they wanted in this regard.
Trustee Kilduff stated that they had been doing exactly that for months.

“Excuse me,” began Mr. McFadden

“I am not going to excuse you,” retorted Trustee Kilduff, “we have been doing exactly that for months.”

At this point the Mayor interjected and suggested that they move along as they could easily argue these points all night long.

Mr. McFadden agreed, commenting that he was asking them to consider the opinion of the voters who did not want them to pass this law and had voted him into office because he said he would oppose it.  He feels it would be a big mistake for them to try and shove it through on the last day.

Chauncey Rodzienko stated that she agreed with Mr. McFadden.

Following these remarks, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of closing the public hearing with Trustee McHugh voting against.

Mayor Guinchard then suggested that the next step in the process was to go through the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) with the attorney.

Trustee McHugh commented that prior to commencing that process, section K contained open time periods and these needed to be finalized.  He wondered how they could close the public hearing without defining these time slots.

"That is for us to do,” responded the Mayor.

“So we are going to unilaterally do it without public input?” inquired Trustee McHugh.

Both Mayor Guinchard and Trustee Guazzoni responded that they had received public input and the latest draft had been available to the public for 7 days as required by law.

The Attorney then walked the Board through the E.A.F. process and the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing council to prepare all of the necessary documents associated with giving the proposed legislation a Negative Declaration under SEQRA.

The Board then discussed the time frames listed in section K, with each Trustee providing their opinions as to what time existing recreational lighting should be shut off on weeknights as well as weekends.

Trustee Kilduff suggested the earlier timeframe of 9pm.

The Deputy Mayor stated that these times would most impact the two existing facilities in the Village with this type of lighting.  He wondered if any of the individual property owners who will be affected (there are 2) had provided any input.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that one of them had proposed 9pm and the other 10pm.
Trustee McHugh wondered what the noise ordinance dictated, suggesting that in terms of the police and enforcement it would be much easier if the two were consistent.

Secondly, he pointed out that there was one resident who had decided to build a pool on top of a mountain that was lit up and this was affecting everyone’s night sky.  He wondered if this would be included and affected by this law as technically it was recreational lighting.

He was informed that New York State does not allow them to regulate indoor lighting and as the pool in question is actually enclosed, it is considered interior lighting so it will not be included.

Trustee McHugh then reiterated that he felt the timing should coincide with the noise ordinance but that barring that, he favored the later time.

Deputy Mayor Gluck stated that he favored the later time as well.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested they split the difference and make the time 9:30pm.

The Board then voted on this, choosing the later hours or 10pm for week nights and 12am for weekends. Both the Mayor and Trustee Guazzoni abstained from this vote, the Mayor noting that she was doing so because her next-door neighbor is one of the properties in question. 

Some minor language tweaks were then discussed and ultimately made.

The Deputy Mayor inquired about pillar lighting, noting that they had removed the section devoted to this but still had a section devoted to lights that shine over the property line.  Virtually every pillar light will shine over the property line and illuminate something and therefore a provision for this should be added. 

The Board was in agreement and this was added in.

The Board then voted 4-1 in favor of passing Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015, with

Trustee McHugh voting against.

Trustee Guazzoni then read the following statement:

“I would like to be perfectly clear… This Lighting Law gives homeowners additional rights that they did not have in the past.

I know there are rumours going around the Village these past few months… and with the Village Election, and all, these rumours have gotten greater and greater in volume… and lesser and lesser in veracity.

I would like to clear-up some profound misunderstandings and misconceptions about this Light Law.

Misconceptions coming from people who actually never even took the time to read this law and to fully understand it… I say so because if they did take their time to actually read it, they would have plainly understood that this law gives Residents additional rights that they  do not currently have, while not diminishing any rights that Residents do currently have.

So, this law is a net gain for Residents’ Rights.

Then there are a few voices who say… “Well, I have no problem with potholes on Summit Road where I live … why should there be any potholes what-so-ever on Ridge Road…?”  Ladies and Gentlemen… there is a strata of humble, and meek, and almost forgotten people in our Village… (and Trustee Gluck and I have met with a number of them)… and this Light Law is an attempt to protect their rights, and calm their concerns.

Let me state this loud and clear.

his Light Law is pro-resident… this Light Law is pro-family… this Light Law is pro-individual rights… this Light Law is good for our Real-estate Values… this Light Law is very Libertarian in nature because it returns fundamental rights to the individual homeowner.

This Light Law returns to the residents of The Village of Tuxedo Park the right to self-determine the level of lighting in their own homes during the nocturnal part of their lives.
If you, as a Resident, wish to enjoy the great night darkness… well God Bless You… you now have the right to do that… you are no longer at the mercy of your aggressively high-lumens neighbor.

On the other hand, if you wish to enjoy your house fully lit and on display at night… well… may God Bless You also… you now have the right to fully light up your own house… just remember to point those spot-lights towards your own house, not away it.

In summary, this Board is returning to you, to the Residents of Tuxedo Park, the right to decide how you want to live your lives at night-time… it’s your choice… your neighbor is no longer choosing for you.”

The Deputy Mayor commented that in his view, the light law was not perfect but as they say in legislation “when you make sausage it’s pretty ugly.”  The law is the result of a lot of compromise.  One of the driving factors in getting to this point in his view is that it would not have been appropriate to continue the discussion with the next Board of Trustees.  They took an undue amount of time over the last several months to get here.  If the next Board wishes to revisit it, they can do so and amend it.  Moving forward he would like to see a deeper and broader effort made towards a true dark sky initiative that would impact construction and renovation projects at the time they are made and would put the force of law behind some of the BAR guidelines. 

The Mayor agreed, commenting that she had asked the Deputy Mayor if he would help in this regard.

Chui Yin Hempel commented that having observed the Board at work for the last several months, she felt that they had done a lot of really great things.  She encouraged them to communicate more to the residents about the various things they had achieved and discussed, both with and without full agreement.  She feels that there is a lot of information out there and, personally speaking, she likes hearing directly from the source about what is going on.  She feels the Mayor’s Letter is very important.  TPFYI serves a wonderful purpose but she cannot stress more the importance of communication. 

Trustee McHugh agreed, commenting that he felt the public meetings highlighted their differences but ultimately they agreed more than they disagreed and this was not coming through in the meetings.  Another reason he believes they have chosen not to be as vocal with regard to their successes is that the timing is “pretty awful” given they have two labor negotiations going on at the moment and this is a sensitive matter.  Talking about whatever or savings or additional revenue are being incurred is not beneficial with regard to these negotiations.

Mrs. Hempel concurred and again encouraged them to put out some sort of  “State of The Village,” suggesting this would go a long way towards clearing the air.  At the end of the day, she feels this Board has really come together and in her view, there is nothing wrong with dissent or questioning. In fact she believes this makes for stronger resolutions and decisions.  She thanked the Board, commenting that she really appreciates all that they are doing.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 28, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Moment of Silence
4. Mayor's Update
5. Recognition of Trustee Gluck, Trustee Kilduff, and Judge Levinson for their service to the Village
6. Congratulations to Newly Elected Trustees (two-year term begins July 4th at 12:00 noon)
7. Welcome to Incoming Chief (start date July 1st)
8. Police Report
a. Appointments
9. DPW Report
10. Building & Grounds Report
11. Committee Reports
a. TAB
12. Public Comments
13. CHA Proposal
14. Public Hearing-Continuation-Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
15. Public Comments
16. Approval of Minutes
17. Audit of Claims
18. Adjournment

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Important, Basic Village Election Information

The Village Election will take place next Tuesday, June 21, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, located at 80 Lorillard Road.

The Following three candidates are running to fill two Trustee seats, currently held by Paul Gluck and John Kilduff:

John Kilduff - Pine Hill party
David McFadden - Cap and Reduce Taxes party
John Moon - Presque Isle Party

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Please visit our B.O.T. Election Page for more detailed information about the candidates and their views on current issues. 

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 7, 2016

The Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Trustee Guazzoni attended via Skype.  Trustee Kilduff was late.

Home Rule Legislation:
Mayor Guinchard began by stating that a resolution regarding the Home Rule Legislation had been circulated to the Trustees via e-mail.  Both the Senate and the Assembly have approved the wording and Board attorney Brian Nugent prepared a final draft for approval that morning.  If approved, the Mayor will drive the document up to Albany in the day.  She inquired of the Trustees as to whether or not they had any questions.  There were none.

The Mayor then read the resolution in its entirety into the record. 

Trustee Guazzoni explained that State Law requires that all municipalities maintain a minimum of 4 full-time policemen.   The Village has asked for an exemption from this law in order to bring their number down from 4 down to 2.  This does not mean that they have to reduce the number to 2, but it will give them the option of doing so.  That being said, they would like to bring the number of full-time officers to 2 and staff the rest of the department with part-time officers.  The exception was granted, although it was difficult to come by.  Trustee Guazzoni is in favor of this move. 

The Deputy Mayor added that the law before them was actually something that had been passed in a prior version in December of last year.  What is being done now is simply an update to include the actual bill numbers.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving resolution.

The Mayor then stated that once all the appropriate paperwork had been filed, the matter was scheduled to go before the NYS Assembly later that week and the NYS Senate next week. 

Appointment of Police Officer:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring both Mr. Maxim Sanders** and Mr. Joseph Panzeeka** as part-time police officers.

Mayor Guinchard further commented that there were several other applicants following the release of their ad, and two more gentlemen were being interviewed the following day.  She feels they are bringing in an incredible group of individuals and she is very pleased about this.

Appointment of Deputy Clerk:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Denise Spalthoff as Village Deputy Clerk as of June 1.

Local Law Introductory #4 – Exterior Lighting:
An updated draft of the law has been circulated to the Trustees and the Mayor inquired of Mr. Nugent as to whether or not he had received any comments to date.

Mr. Nugent responded that he had not.  He further stated that as he had previously advised, he felt the Board needed to determine whether or not the current version, which has a narrower scope than what was previously discussed, was something they wanted to consider moving forward.

The Mayor then opened the subject for discussion amongst the Trustees.

Trustee McHugh commented that this item had not been included on the meeting agenda and he did not feel it was appropriate for them to discuss it without it being properly noticed with both the Trustees and the residents, especially as it seems to be somewhat of a “lightning rod.”  Trustee Guazzoni did submit a new version to Mr. Nugent, but it was not clear what exactly had been changed and Trustee McHugh feels it might be very helpful if Mr. Nugent could indicate exactly where the changes/modifications have been made when he circulates his revised draft.  He had been under the impression that they were working from a version dated sometime late in January, but as per the previous couple of Board meetings, it was clear that there had been several revisions.  He is not sure which draft they are working from anymore and if he has no idea, the general public certainly does not know.  He feels they need some clarity as to exactly what draft they are working from and specifically what modifications have been made. 

Mr. Nugent responded that the draft they were working from was the one that Trustee Guazzoni had submitted most recently.

Mayor Guinchard added that they had made it very clear at their previous meeting that once they had a workable draft in hand, they would be adding the discussion thereof to next possible agenda.  The intent is to keep the dialogue moving along so that it might be ready for Public Hearing at their next regularly scheduled meeting.

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that he did not recall having a discussion with regard to scheduling a special meeting at their previous meeting.  He agrees with Trustee McHugh in that having this, which is somewhat controversial, appear on a public announcement 24 hours before a special meeting is not the way he would like to proceed with this type of legislation.  He feels that any discussion of this, because of a variety of aspects associated with it, should be out in front of the public with adequate notice for them to attend and not as an appendage to a meeting that was called at 9am for another purpose.  He further commented that there are 9 different versions of the proposed law floating about.  He does not know why they have chosen to proceed with this particular one as opposed to the 8 others.  The Board has gone through it all in quite a bit of detail and he feels they would be better served by stopping this particular process and starting over.

Trustee Kilduff stated that often times Local Laws seemed to take on a life of their own.  This one in particular, in his view, is attempting to solve a real problem…particularly as it pertains to sports lighting.   Trustee Guazzoni canvased laws from several other jurisdictions when putting together his initial draft and it was quite extensive, perhaps too much so, but Trustee Kilduff feels that generating multiple drafts during the revision phase is a normal part of the process.   He applauded the Mayor for taking the time to sit down with one particular resident who has recently installed lighting that Trustee Kilduff believes to be “the most scary” kind to a lot of people.  A big sports installation is something that he feels should be regulated, especially if people are not going to regulate themselves.  Commenting that he was not sure what the problem was exactly, he stated that he certainly did not want to start all over from the beginning because this would undoubtedly be an extremely time consuming process for everyone involved.  He supports having the Trustees talk about it whenever they get together and letting the public know that they are going to do just that….so that they can keep the ball rolling forward and “get over the goal line.”  Some of the measures within the proposed law have been controversial because they have been looking to set a scientific measurement of what specifically needs to be regulated.  But in setting these measurements they will be making things very black and white by determining an important baseline for offense. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that when the Board has an opportunity to meet and something has come in, she feels it is important that they be able to discuss it.  The purpose is not to push anything through without the public being aware.  It was a public meeting and anyone can obtain a recording if they want.

The process of law making generally includes multiple drafts.  This is not at all unusual. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck wanted to know who the “we” was on this process who has carried the legislation forward. 

The Mayor responded that she and Trustee Guazzoni had met with Greg Beard to see where the hang-ups were.  Mr. Beard has agreed that sports lighting should be regulated.  As per his public comments a couple of meetings back, he also believes that the sound law and the lighting law should be in harmony.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had put a sound law in place, but had chosen not to use a decibel meter reading, which may be a rational way of measuring noise, but they were fine to legislate without it. 

What he and the Deputy Mayor are now having huge problems with is Trustee Guazzoni purchasing a light a meter and going around the Village at night, measuring the light that is emitting from certain people’s houses.  Why is one piece of legislation perfectly fine without a metric reading but this piece of legislation is not fine without it and requires what might be considered an intrusive level of readings.  The logic escapes him.  They have invested $2000 in the purchase of something when they have not even agreed that they will be using it as a metric!  It seems crazy to him.

The Mayor replied that it had been discussed and that, in fact, both the Village Attorney and the Village Judge have advised them that they need to have decibel reader.

Trustee McHugh responded that he had an issue with the fact that the Judge advised that they should have it, but they had already passed legislation (noise) without having it. 

The Mayor suggested that this needed to be amended as well.

Deputy Mayor Gluck suggested that when the noise legislation had been passed it had been done very purposefully. Unless there is a process that begins to talk about officially amending legislation, he does not want to cast any doubt that the Village stands behind its current noise ordinance as it stands.  If they should get into a discussion about it, there is no doubt in his mind, that the legislation as it stands is valid, appropriate and enforceable. 

The Mayor agreed with this but further commented “anything can always have room for improvement.”

Trustee Kilduff suggested that noise and light were two different things.  He further commented that he felt the reason that Trustee Guazzoni has suggested two different types of measurements is because there are two different aspects to light.

Deputy Mayor Gluck responded that he was focused more on the process and that he felt that the process of considering the legislation that day, without notice, was problematic.  He further feels that there are substantial issues with how voting on this will take place in terms of who can and cannot vote on it.  He also feels there are issues with respect to conversations that have taken place among interested parties in this legislation.  Part of the reason why he thinks it is important to start over again is because if they proceed with it in its current formulation with its current history, he cannot be sure where it goes at the end of the day.

Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Nugent to comment on this.

Mr. Nugent commented that it did not make any difference whether they decided to move forward with the current draft or stop the process and begin again.  It was up to them as to how they wanted to proceed.  He advised that in starting again, they would have to disregard all of the public comment that had been given.  Although it would be in their minds, it would not be an official part of any new legislation.  This is really the only legal difference.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that the purpose of moving forward with the discussion was to get this latest draft into the hands of the residents as soon as possible.  This is the third version of the draft…actually it is 3.2…not 9 or 10 as suggested by some of the other Trustees.  It was fully distributed to all of the Trustees 5 to 7 days ago and if his fellow Trustees chose not to open their e-mail, this was really not his concern.

Trustee McHugh advised Trustee Guazzoni to be careful with this line of argument as the agreement at their last meeting had been that Trustee Guazzoni would distribute a draft by the following Tuesday however, it was not sent out until Thursday.  First and foremost, Trustee Guazzoni had not conformed to what he had agreed to.  

Trustee Guazzoni requested that Trustee McHugh not interrupt him.  He went on to say that he felt there was a misconception with this legislation that Trustees or the Police would be able to drive around the Village with a light meter and ask residents to turn down their lights, but this is not the case.  The law is triggered by a neighbor filing a complaint with regard to light trespass.  If a complaint is not filed, nothing is enforced.  The misconception that Trustees and Police will have the power to go around measuring people’s lights is scaremongering in his view and it is misleading.

The current law will allow the two existing lit tennis courts in the Village to remain, but it will prohibit the construction of lit courts moving forward.  Trustee Guazzoni had the existing courts lit up so that the Trustees could observe what they look like at night and at the previous meeting, he invited any of them who wanted to see it again to contact him so this could be arranged.  Nobody contacted him.  He feels it is important that this be on record.  The main purpose of the law is to prevent any future lighting of sports courts in the Village, not at The Club, not at the school and not at any residence.

The Mayor stated that when she, the Deputy Mayor and Trustee Guazzoni had driven around using the light meter, they had done so in order to see how the mechanism worked and how different lights measured.  It is important to make sure it does what it says it does and also to begin to understand how the science works.  It is important to determine what the baseline is going to be before you can determine what would be reasonable vs. not reasonable.  Additionally, it is helpful for the judge to have a factual reading when determining a case.

Mr. Nugent agreed, advising that with or without the meter the law would be constitutional however, he feels more judges will dismiss cases without a quantifiable reading.

Trustee McHugh commented that if the legislation were to be separated, he was 100% in agreement with regard to the stadium lighting.  He is also supportive of tying this in with the noise ordinance in terms of timing.  If the legislation before them were exclusively that, he does not believe the discussion would be going on and on the way it has been.  He further noted that Trustee Guazzoni had stated that he had not driven around the Park with a light meter, but this was not true, as they had just heard.  He would like this reflected in the record as it is a statement of fact.

The Deputy Mayor stated that as far as he was aware, the most recent draft circulated via e-mail was not intended for Trustee comment, but was rather a submission to the Village Attorney so that he could get things in order.  There was no invitation or expectation that he saw that Trustee Comments should or could be made.  He also pointed out that he could not recall any specific invitation from Trustee Guazzoni to view the lit tennis courts.  He feels that what is being proposed is grossly different from the way any other jurisdiction does things.  It does not address up-lighting or side-lighting or construction standards.  He feels it is not the way to go.

Trustee Kilduff commented that while he was no expert in the legislative process but in his view, they have been moving forward appropriately.  He feels that they owe it to the public to put forth a current version of the law, regardless of how many versions have preceded it.  As far as what it doesn’t cover, he stated, “I’m not going to sit here and let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  Up-lighting, down-lighting, I am not ever sure what the hell that is, but I am willing to listen to the experts and the folks in our community about how these things should be geared so that they are not intrusive.”

The Deputy Mayor commented that there has been commentary made, specifically an extensive conversation on April 7, the results of which are not reflected in what is being proposed in the current draft.  Many of the provisions that have been divisive since January are still in there or have been put back in.  

There followed a discussion with regard to how the various drafts had changed over the last several months. 

The Mayor stated that she felt it was “fantastic” that the Trustees agreed and disagreed and that this was reflected in their process.

Following some further discussion the Deputy Mayor stated that he felt the legislation might garner the support of the disinterested Trustees if they were to pull out the section on recreational lighting and the restrictions on existing recreational lighting.  This would make things much less controversial in his view.

Combining the two things together, with the potential for an interested person, that creates a lot of the problems from a process point of view.

Mayor Guinchard then suggested that Mr. Nugent would circulate the new revised draft and that each of the Trustees should make their comments to be circulated as well.  This is how the process works.  Further commenting that she was not intending to be rude but it was crucial that she get the Home Rule documentation in order so that she could get on the road for Albany, she stated that they now would be moving on with their discussions.

Re-Affirmation of Home Rule Resolution:
There followed a discussion as to whether or not they should re-open the Home Law resolution they adopted earlier in order to include Trustee Kilduff, who had arrived late.

Ultimately, it was determined that they did not need to do this, but The Mayor made a second motion stating that they would take a poll to re-affirm the supportive vote to include Trustee Kilduff in case Albany were to ask for each Trustee’s view.  She believes it is important that they have strong, unanimous Board support. 
Again, all the trustees were in favor.
 
Public Comment:
Lili Neuhauser commented that she was rather surprised at the lengthy discussions that are occurring on a monthly basis regarding the light law, while there seems to be no input, transparency or clarity when it comes to the Home Rule and the Police Department--issues that most residents find far more important.  She would like to know a little bit more about the Home Rule piece.  Also, the Police Department and the fact that nobody is currently patrolling the streets is, in her view, much more important that the lighting law.

Mayor Guinchard responded that the Board had been discussing the Home Rule since December.

The Deputy Mayor further stated that in the beginning of December the Village had petitioned the legislature to allow the Village a reduction in full-time officers from 4 to 2. 

Mrs. Neuhasuer wanted to know if the Village was now going to Albany to see if they would pass this exception for the Village of Tuxedo Park specifically.

The answer was yes.

Mrs. Neuhasuer wondered if there were other municipalities behind it.  She feels that at this point, residents might want to know a little more clearly the details of what is going on.

The Mayor responded that there were other municipalities that had been granted exceptions in the past and that the Village is not alone.

Trustee Kilduff added that there were other, larger communities in New York that were only required to maintain 2 full-time officers.  The Village is required to have 4.  In order to make the move from 4 to 2 they need to pass the law, which will give them the optionality.

Susan Goodfellow commented that at the State level, when new legislation is proposed, it is accepted by both houses and then goes to committee, after which there is a vote.  She wondered if this were procedurally different.

The answer was no.  The law has already been through committee and has been sponsored by both Senator Bonacic and Assemblyman Brabenec.

Mrs. Goodfellow responded that this was a fast process.

Trustee Kilduff stated that he wanted to clarify for the record that the community was well policed and that there were patrols happening and that everything this in “fine shape.”   There was a little bit of a staffing bump that occurred for a variety of reasons but it was in the best interest of the Village’s long-term financial health and other reasons to do what they did.  They are rapidly ramping things up and bringing new folks on board.

Mrs. Neuhauser wanted to know if the new officers would have a full training process.

The Mayor responded that they were fully trained officers.

Trustee Kilduff stated that all the new hires were probationary.

Mrs. Neuhauser suggested that the Village was somewhat unique in that the procedures are a bit different.

The Mayor responded that they did have to go through training and that this would be up to the Police Department. She recommended that if Mrs. Neuhauser had any questions for the police that she should contact Detective Tayback or the incoming Chief, who starts July 1.

Mrs. Neuhauser replied that she had been under the impression that the new Chief was already here.

The Mayor informed her that he was mentoring until July 1.

Mrs. Neuhauser wanted to know where she could find information as to who the new Chief was.

The Mayor responded curtly that this had been discussed in previous meetings.

Trustee McHugh interjected that he was the Police Chief from the Village of Monroe.

The Mayor added that it was a complete transfer done through civil service.

Mrs. Neuhauser wanted to know if he would be full-time.

Trustee Kilduff responded that he would be classified as full-time.   He will count as one of the 2 (or 4) full-time officers.

Mrs. Neuhauser then wanted to know if he would be doing patrols.

The answer was no.  Mayor Guinchard suggested that he would not even have time to get into a car because he would be working so much doing all sorts of other things.

Mrs. Neuhauser wondered if he was being paid during the mentoring phase.

The answer was no.

Again, the Mayor suggested that Mrs. Neuhauser speak to Detective Tayback for all the details.  She further stated that he was a wonderful chief and that he travels around to many different police departments throughout the county and mentors there, free of charge in many cases.  He is very well known and very unique in his work ethic.  He will be at the next Board meeting.

Trustee Kilduff added that he has also been working with the Town on their integration of 911.

Mrs. Neuhauser inquired as to where the Village stood on the 12-7 shift in terms of Village and Town coverage.

The answer was that the Village has 2 officers on duty at all times.

Mrs. Neuhauser responded that she sees Officer Ascione in the Keep, operating the Gate all of the time.

The Mayor responded that there would always be a police officer on the Gate moving forward. 

Mrs. Neuhauser stated that in terms of right now (not down the road but currently) Jim Ascione is sitting in the booth all the time.  She wondered who was on patrol when this was happening.

The Mayor responded that it was whoever they had slated for patrol.

Mrs. Neuhauser asked for confirmation that there were two officers on duty, one in the Keep and one on patrol, at all times.

Mayor Guinchard responded “that’s our goal.”

Mrs. Goodfellow stated that she was unclear.  Was this the goal, or was each and every shift currently covered by two officers?

The Mayor responded that each and every shift was currently being covered how the police department was covering them.  For safety purposes the incoming chief has asked that anything that the public wants to speak about regarding the police, they need to call the department directly and speak with Detective Tayback.   Some of these questions could be directly related to safety issues that the Board should not be discussing.

Mrs. Neuhauser responded that these were pretty basic issues in terms of what residents expect for their safety and security.  It is why many people choose to move to the Village.  The answer to her question should be a very simple yes or no.  Again, she inquired as to whether or not the Village was covered from 11pm-7am by two officers…and also whether there were 2 officers currently on duty at all times during the day.  She further commented that she had been at the South Gate for two hours the previous day and that during that time period the gate was open more often than not. 

The Mayor responded that the back gate had been malfunctioning.

Mrs. Goodfellow suggested that there were issues with the Front Gate as well.  She went on to point out that when Mrs. Neuhauser had directly inquired about what the current level of coverage is, the Mayor had first responded that there were 2 people on duty at all times, but then she later stated that this was the goal, and when pressed further, she had requested that all questions be directed to the Police Department directly.

“Any questions regarding the police…I always recommend you call the Detective,” replied the Mayor.  “He will give you all the answers that you are needing.  We are not the Police Department.  The way the Police Department is structured now is 24-7.”

Mrs. Neuhauser retorted “You carry a badge that says you are the Commissioner of Police.”

“Yes I do” responded the Mayor.

“ I think therefore,” continued Mrs. Neuhauser “ you would be the ultimate answer person for these questions, which I think are pretty basic.”

The Mayor responded that the questions were basic but from a safety prospective, with everything that is going on in the Town with their lack of overnight coverage,  the Village wants to make sure that they are completely secure and that whatever they are discussing is appropriate according to the Police Department.  It is best to hear from them directly.  There are a lot of rumors going around that are not true.  This is why the Board is directing people to Detective Tayback, so that they can hear directly from the officer in charge.  This is at the direction and mentoring of the incoming chief. 

Mrs. Goodfellow wondered whether the Mayor was ultimately saying that she did not know what the staffing situation was.

Trustee McHugh commented that it was his understanding that when they made the decision to remove the Gate Guards, that there would be 2 police officers on duty at all times.  This is what he, as a Trustee, voted for. 

Mrs. Goodfellow wanted to know whether or not he knew this to be the case the currently.

He responded that he did not know it to be the case.

“That’s the answer to the question!” exclaimed Mrs. Goodfellow.  “You don’t know.”

“It’s supposed to be the case,” stated Trustee Kilduff.

“But you don’t know this…” responded Mrs. Goodfellow.

“I have an understanding that possibly at times it has not been the case.  Is that what you are looking for me to say?” retorted Trustee Kilduff.

“I am looking for a straight answer” responded Mrs. Goodfellow.

“The straight answer is that there is supposed to be.  We know there have been staffing issues as you are well aware, so at time…”

“I am not aware” stated Mrs. Goodfellow.

Trustee Kilduff then explained that there had been staffing issues, which they were attempting to resolve in order to fill all the shifts as soon as possible.  In the meantime, they are doing everything they can to make sure that every shift is filled.  He cannot say with a “metaphysical certainty” that every shift will be filled over the course of the next week.  But they are going to try as hard as they can to make sure all the shifts are filled.  They are not trying to “cheap out” but reducing the number of officers, they are trying to ramp up as quickly as possible.  They had some shortcomings.  The received a number of resignations from part-time officers that were on the rosters.  They had an injury.  They also have officers who are not coming forward to fill shifts they otherwise might have in support of the Gate Guards.  It is a bit of a labor dispute at the moment.  This is the true answer.

Mayor Guinchard then stated “One thing you might not know is that there have been times when you have not had an officer here because they would go off and be doing things they shouldn’t be doing.” 

At this, the other Trustees quickly suggested that they remain on topic and not explore this statement any further. 

The Mayor then stated that she felt the Police Department was really turning into a wonderful department, but it takes time to get the staffing up to speed.

Trustee Kilduff added that, in the interest of full disclosure, some of the officers had been asked to do more hours than they had done historically and this has not gone Moving forward, the new Chief and Detective Tayback are demanding that everybody on the part-time roster is going to be required to give a certain number of hours per week.  Some of the current officers have stated that they do not want to do this or they don’t want to impact the Gate Guards in a negative way, so in response the Village put ads in the paper and are having to ramp it back up.  It is a bit of a bump in the road and he is sorry for it.  The Trustees did not foresee that folks on the roster would not step up and want the extra hours.  It is a typical restructuring.  They are working as fast as they can to get things fully staffed. 

Trustee McHugh reiterated that if there was a hiccup in the staffing right now it was not because of financial considerations.  They authorized over-time during the transition.  If people are under the perception that the Village is being excessively frugal and that is why the staffing issues exist, this is not the case.

Mayor Guinchard concurred commenting that none of this would impact the budget.
Sally Sonne asked for some clarification.  What they have been told is that moving forward there will be 2 police officers on duty all the time.  In the past, there have always been two people on duty per shift as well; one officer and one Gate Guard.  Surely a police officer, part-time or not, is paid considerably more than a Gate Guard. 

She understands this is being done for budgetary reasons…

The Mayor and Trustee McHugh interrupted Mrs. Sonne here, pointing out that the decision had been made for safety reasons and not budgetary ones.

Mrs. Sonne then stated that the Trustees had suggested that they needed an armed officer at the Gate at all times for safety reasons, but if somebody wanted to come to the Village and harm somebody, in all likelihood they would not have a confrontation at the Gate.  Rather, they will get in and go wherever they are planning to go and carry out their plan.  Maybe they will be caught and maybe they won’t, but likely it will not be by the armed officer on duty at the Gate. 

The Mayor responded that it was the optics in having an officer there out front.

Trustee Kilduff suggested that the cost differential was not that much at all and that in his view, the change is totally worth it.  It is “the bargain of the century.”

The Deputy Mayor suggested that in the simplest terms, it was better to have two officers on duty at all times in case the Village ever needed them both.  Essentially, the cost is the same.  Previously, what the Village had was one officer and a Gate Guard, who could not respond in any type of emergency.

The Mayor then stated “Just so you know, a civil servant can not question people at an entry.  A police officer has the authority to question suspicious people.”

“So they will be in an Island booth with eye-to-eye contact then” stated Mrs. Sonne.

“Yes” Mayor Guinchard replied.

“Wait a minute!  Don’t say that straight off” interjected Trustee McHugh.  “Eye-to-eye can be eye to a screen where the officer is in the Keep.”

The Mayor suggested that there could be many scenarios and that there might be times when officers were in one place or the other.  It would be up to the Chief to decide how the department would be using the booth and the Keep.  The beauty of the Chief they have hired is that he has experience with security.  He understands the optics of having shifts however they need to do so that “the average bad person” gets the message that it is not safe to come in.    For residents, nothing will change. 

Mrs. Sonne reiterated her view that it was unlikely that there would be a confrontation at the gate.

Trustee Kilduff responded that having a first line of defense or “a gun at the Gate” had never really been their concern.  It was more the issue of secondary back-up and also the issues with the Town not having coverage.  Also, it puts the Village in a better legal position having actual officers questioning people who want to come in than they were with civilian guards.

Nancy Hays wondered whether residents would be able to vote on whether or not they would prefer to have the Gate Guard in the Keep vs The Booth.

Mayor Guinchard responded that there had been a lot of open discussions and surveys and she believed they had done a fairly good polling of the population.  Many residents want the Booth back and it will be going back.  It will be pushed back a little bit to give more room for the impact from the front.  She is working with the Building Inspector and a member of the BAR to bring the project through the process.  They want to finish the work that needs to be done on the Keep before they move to the next phase.

The Deputy Mayor commented that he felt there was something of an emergency situation with respect to milfoil on Tuxedo Lake.  He suggested that as an interim step that they restrict motorized boat access in those areas, particularly at the south end, as the boats pick up the weed and spread it. 

The Mayor inquired as to where the Village stood with the milfoil removal.

Trustee McHugh responded that the group they had worked with historically had been somewhat evasive as to when they were coming, so they were working in trying to get a new group to come down from Maine to spend a longer period of time more aggressively harvesting.

The idea of buoys and visual markers to restrict certain areas was discussed.  
It was agreed that Trustee McHugh would discuss with the Tuxedo Club and the Deputy Mayor would speak to the Boat Club.  Additionally letters will go out to all residents with boat permits. 

Trustee Guazzoni reported having spent some time with the new Chief the week prior, looking at the perimeter of the Village and discussing ways to keep it secure.  One thing that the Chief has recommended is that the Village replace the arms on the South Gate with skirted arms.

It was agreed that this would be discussed further and addressed in the near future.

** These may not be the correct name spellings.  TPFYI is awaiting confirmation and will update the report as soon as possible.

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Village Board of Trustees to Hold Special Meeting Tuesday, June 7 - 9am

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of reaffirming the resolution on Home Rule legislation and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Trustee Guazzoni will be attending by Skype from:  7000 N. Resort Drive, Conference Room B, Tucson, Arizona 85750.

**Home rule is the power of a local city or county to set up its own system of self-government without receiving a charter from the state. Home rule is allowed under some state constitutions. The authority to act in local affairs is transferred from state law to a local charter, adopted and, as need be amended, by the voters through referendum. Home rule shifts much of the responsibility for local government from the state legislature to the local community. A county that adopts a home rule charter has the ability to amend its governmental organization and powers to suit its needs. A home rule charter is, in essence, a local constitution.

A home rule county is still subject to restrictions found in the United States Constitution, state constitutions, and in state laws applicable to all counties. While not restricted to only things specifically authorized by state law, home rule counties can do anything not specifically forbidden by state or federal law.**

( http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/home-rule/)

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Agenda For Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 27, 2016

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Friday, May 27, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of considering extending the effective date (May 31, 2016) for the abolition of Village Traffic Guard positions by up to 60 days. Trustee Guazzoni will attend via Skype from 15th floor, 635 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. 10022.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 24, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, May 24 at 7pm.  Trustee Guazzoni attended via Skype.  Trustee Kilduff was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:

  1. Recognition of TAB Contest winners – Mayor Guinchard recognized the winners of the Tree Advisory Board’s recent Tree Drawing contest, by presenting them each with a certificate as follows:

3rd Runner-up - Tate Sink
2nd Runner-up – Zoe Vaught
1st Runner=up – Maddie Nicholson
1st Place – Eliza Vaught
She further announced that the drawings would be on display at the Village office for anyone who would like to view them.  This contest will take place on an annual basis moving forward.

  1. Recognition of Thomas Derbyshire, DPW Retiree – The Mayor recognized Thomas (Tommy) Derbyshire, recent DPW retiree, on his 33 years of service, presenting him with a certificate and a small gift on behalf of the Village. 
  2. Recognition of Promotion – Daniel Haglund, DPW – Mayor Guinchard recognized DPW member Daniel Haglund on his recent promotion to the position of  “Working Leader.”   This position has been left vacant when Mr. Derbyshire retired.
  3. Appointment of Village Justice and Acting Village Justice – due to the retirement of longtime Village Judge, Judge Levinson, The Village will be appointing a new Judge, David Hasin (who has been serving under Judge Levinson for quite some time) and a new Acting Judge, Village Resident Mark Citrin.  These appointments will take effect on July 1.
  4. Resolution – Renew Village General Municipal Insurance Policy with Marshall & Sterling for 2016-2017 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement of renewal with Marshall & Sterling for the upcoming year.

Community Spotlight – Tuxedo Park Garden Club:
On behalf of the Tuxedo Park Garden Club, Jean Marie Hitchen and Debo Miller presented the public with a quick over-view of the Garden Club and some of the work they do throughout the community.  The Garden Club is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization consisting of roughly 50 members, some more active than others.  Throughout the year, they put time into many community projects in the form of plantings throughout both the Village and the Town.  Funding for these come from their annual appeal to residents.  Their work can currently be seen at The Police Station, the Post Office, The Library, the Village and Town Halls and in many of the Village Triangles, not to mention the beautiful garden just inside the Front Gate.

In addition to community projects, the Club’s Program Committee puts together several events throughout the year, which are both educational and fun!  Some of these include events like garden tours (both public and private) and the recent Cooking With Flowers class held at the Tuxedo Club.  These events are funded with membership dues.

In the coming year, the Club hopes to have an online presence where they can share information about their activities as well as provide general gardening information and tips.  They are also working in conjunction with the Tree Advisory Board.

The first documented date of establishment for the Club was in the fall of 1966, and therefore, they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary very soon!  With this in mind, the Club is planning a year-long celebration, filled with various events to both celebrate and commemorate all the hard work and effort the Club has put into helping to beautify the community over the years.  They are open to suggestions and encourage residents to contact them with any ideas they might have for the celebration.  They also encourage everyone to please support their annual appeal, which allows them to keep the community beautification efforts going year-round.

Public Hearing – Continuation – Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015 – Exterior Lighting:
At Mayor Guinchard’s request, Trustee Guazzoni reported that since the last meeting they had been working diligently on Local Law #4, otherwise known as the Dark Sky Initiative.  Many residents have provided their opinions and continue to do so and therefore, they have decided that they would like to leave the public comment period open for at least two more weeks in order to collect still more opinions from the public with the hopeful intent of bringing things to a conclusion at the end of June.

The Mayor followed up by reiterating that there had been a couple of meetings in recent weeks and they were hopeful that they would have a draft for the Trustees to review at some point in the very near future.  She then inquired as to whether any of the other Trustees or members of the public had questions or comments they would like to discuss.

Trustee McHugh commented that he would like to drop the whole thing and start anew.  He feels that they have exhausted the proposed law in its current form and it has gone nowhere.   He believes that the best course of action would be to go with a clean slate, limit the scope and develop something that they can all agree on before reporting back to the public.

Mayor Guinchard responded that this was exactly what was being done.

Trustee McHugh then suggested that they close the public comment period then and start fresh, with an entirely new draft, rather than to have the current hearing drag on.  He further commented that he didn’t even know where they stood with the legislation that was currently on the table, let alone the general public.

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that there was a draft version of the legislation that had been made available to the public back in January, but there have been at least half a dozen revised drafts since then.  He doesn’t know what the public is commenting on!  There is nothing solid before the Board or the Public.  In his view, there is not adequate support on the Board for Local Law #4 of 2015 to go anywhere.  He feels it makes sense to stop the process.  If there is a desire to reintroduce something new that can garnish enough Board support to be put out in a cogent, organized fashion, this would be a good process in his view, but again, he feels it best to stop working on the current piece of legislation.   He recommended that they close the public hearing and either vote on the law in its current form, or let it die.

The Mayor countered that she felt they should leave the hearing open.  She feels they should wait and see what Trustee Guazzoni brings forward, and at that point, after everyone has reviewed it and depending on how it has been changed, then they will decide whether or not to move forward. She further commented that she knew that they had had several meetings in an attempt to make revisions as per the suggestion of the Board at the previous meeting, and she believed that they should be given the opportunity to present what they had been working on. 

Trustee McHugh wanted to know whom it was who had held several meetings.

The Mayor responded that Trustee Guazzoni, herself and Greg Beard had met.
Trustee McHugh pointed out that this presented a fundamental problem as Mayor Guinchard had recused herself from the discussions and therefore, she could not be involved in the process. This is one reason why he feels they should close the public hearing, develop something with a more limited scope that they could all agree on, which would ultimately allow them to get something concrete put in place quicker.

Mayor Guinchard asked Board Attorney Brian Nugent for his opinion.

Mr. Nugent responded that it was entirely a Board decision.  They could choose to continue the public hearing and allow the public to comment, or they could choose to discontinue consideration of the current document and come up with a new, narrower view of the law.  They could also continue the current process, leaving the hearing open, and simply ask for a narrower scope, but they would need to decide what they want to narrow it to, by specifically labeling issues that needed to be addressed.

The Mayor commented that it had been decided at the last meeting that this group would meet and work to create a more fine tuned document that they would then present to the Board.  With this in mind, it makes sense to her that they leave the hearing open.

Mr. Nugent responded that they could do this, leaving it open and then presenting a narrower draft of the law to the public seven days prior to the next meeting, where the hearing would be continued.

Trustee McHugh interrupted, seeking some clarification about the process of recusal.  Specifically, he wanted to know if one had recused themselves from a piece of legislation, and then they un-recused themselves, how that process would work.

Mr. Nugent responded that typically, barring outright conflicts of interest, recusal was discretionary action.  In this case the Mayor decided to recuse herself, but there was no legal requirement that she do so and therefore, she could legally rejoin the conversation if she wanted to.

Trustee McHugh stated that the Mayor had an issue with her neighbor and this was why she had initially recused herself.....so that it would not appear that she was biasing the legislation in any way.  Now, all of a sudden she has begun openly negotiating with the same neighbor and this “reeks” to him.  Commenting that he felt there were many aspects of the proposed legislation they actually agreed on, he again suggested that they wipe the slate clean and start again.  The current legislation has become so cumbersome, with 6+ reiterations and no apparent progress.  Perhaps they need to start at the BAR and Planning Board level and build from there.  However they decided to do it, in his view the current process is dysfunctional.  To date they have given 10 or 12 hours over to public hearings and the public doesn’t have any comment at this point because they don’t even know what the Board is talking about.

Deputy Mayor Gluck asked for some clarity about difference in process between going back to square one, where they would have to develop and introduce a new piece of legislation as opposed to bringing something else forward at the next meeting within the confines of the current process.   He wondered why they would want to continue with all the baggage and questioned whether it made any difference procedurally?

Mr. Nugent responded that it did not.  They could begin the process all over, or they could modify what was currently proposed and then adopt that.  If they feel that the other Boards should be involved in the genesis of the legislation, then perhaps they should discontinue and redevelop.  Ultimately it is a question of how long they anticipate needing and how much public participation they want to collect before they are ready to consider a narrowed down draft.  If it is going to be further down the road, it would probably be best to discontinue, but there is no legal consequence either way.

Again, the Mayor pointed out that the Board had agreed at their previous meeting that they would wait and comment on a revised draft. 

Trustee McHugh responded that given the fact that the Mayor had recused herself, (for the right reasons as far as he was concerned) and then created a dialogue with somebody who would be directly affected by it, the best thing to do was to start again with a clean slate.  The Mayor would not need to recuse herself the second time around.

Deputy Mayor Gluck interjected that he was not too sure about this.  He felt that the Mayor recusing herself was the right thing to do.  If she had not, there may have been an obligation for her to do it anyway, but they don’t know for sure because she had recused herself.
Trustee Guazzoni commented that it was unfortunate that Trustee Kilduff was missing.  He feels that Trustee Kilduff favors collecting more opinions and bringing the current law to some sort of conclusion.  He believes that in all fairness they should keep it open a little longer and see if they can pull something together within the next 30 days.

Trustee McHugh disagreed, commenting that if they were to bring it to a vote right then, it would not pass.  Again he stated that he felt they should discontinue it.

Deputy Mayor Gluck wondered exactly what they felt they would be doing in 30 days time.  Would there be something posted on the Village Website without further Board action concerning what is being proposed in advance of the next meeting.

The Mayor responded that there would be.

Deputy Mayor Gluck suggested that this would constitute a difference in process.  He feels that if there is a proposed legislation that is being put before the public than either a Trustee needs to introduce it or a group of trustees can amend the legislation and then put it out.  Given the extensive discussions that have gone back and forth, he feels that they need to begin at square one.  The debate they are currently having at the Board level is whether or not there was sufficient agreement among them to change what had been proposed and get that before the public.  He believes that there has not been.

The Mayor responded that everyone had made comments with suggestions as to what they felt should be taken out and/or left in the draft.  Now they need to allow time for that process to occur.   Why should they start the process all over again when they have already got it going?  The public is “sort of abreast of some of the issues.”  She feels they need to see where it goes and then decide.  She reminded them yet again that they had agreed to allow this to happen and that now they needed to allow it to “play out.”  If they do not like what is proposed at the next meeting, then they can take it down a different path, but she believes that they owe it to the public to leave the hearing open.

Trustee McHugh wondered what it was that they were leaving open.   Again he pointed out that this was the sixth reiteration of the legislation and he was unsure as to where they were on it.

 “Well, we are going to leave it open,” replied Mayor Guinchard.

“We have not decided that we are leaving it open” responded Trustee McHugh.

“But it remains open,” stated the Mayor.

To this Trustee McHugh suggested that he could make a motion to close it right them and have the vote go in his favor.

Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Nugent what the process would be for leaving it open.

Mr. Nugent responded that it was currently open but if one of the Trustees wanted to make a motion to close it, they could do so and if there was support it would be closed.  Then if they wanted to raise it again they would have to formally introduce a new draft and make a motion to set a public hearing.

Trustee McHugh immediately made a motion to discontinue the public hearing as well as consideration of the current draft of Local Law #4.

The Deputy Mayor seconded this.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered what would constitute a quorum given that Trustee Kiulduff was absent.

Mr. Nugent responded that a quorum was 3 and that Trustee Guazzoni would count as notice was put out regarding the videoconference with plenty of time.

A vote was then conducted with Deputy Mayor Gluck and Trustee McHugh voting in favor of closing the hearing and dismissing the proposed law and Trustee Guazzoni and the Mayor voting against.

The Deputy Mayor argued that the Mayor did not have the right to vote because she had recused herself.

Mr. Nugent responded that the Mayor had put herself back in the discussion at the last meeting, but either way the result would be the same because “two votes can’t carry a vote anyway.” 

Deputy Mayor Gluck then suggested that if they made a motion to continue the hearing, they would be in the same situation, as it would not carry either.

Mr. Nugent responded that they did not need a motion to continue the hearing; they just needed to set a date, or if they did not it would remain eternally open.  He pointed out that the time period in question was roughly 30 days.  In that same time they could develop a new draft, publish it and put it out there for consideration if they wanted to.  The result would be the same, except they would be losing all the previous public comment because once they begin the process anew, they cannot legally consider the comments that were a part of the previous discussion.

Trustee McHugh argued that ultimately, the feedback they have collected to date would be incorporated in the new draft.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that new data points had come in over the course of the last week.  They met with the owners of the two tennis courts that have lighting and requested that they turn the lights on so that they could gage the effect the lights had on the community.  He believes they need to do this again and further investigate the portion of the law pertaining to stadium lighting.

Trustee McHugh wondered how they were to proceed from this point.

Mr. Nugent responded that the vote of 2-1 to close the hearing did not carry.  They now needed to figure out what they wanted to do so they could move forward.

Trustee McHugh responded that he would like Trustee Guazzoni to come up with a more concise, articulate version of the law that was palatable and that the public could view as a fresh draft rather than “reiteration #9.”

Following some further review of the process with Mr. Nugent, the Mayor suggested that they table the discussion until Trustee Kilduff returned as the hearing would be remaining open anyway seeing as Trustee McHugh’s motion to close has failed.

Mr. Nugent suggested that the only caveat to this was that they would need to set a date for the continued hearing.  This can be done without a vote.  He further stated that if they wanted, one of the Trustees could introduce a new local law concurrently.

For clarification purposes, Deputy Mayor Gluck wanted to know whether the proposed Local Law #4 that was being discussed was the one that had been distributed to the public back in January.

The Mayor stated that there had been several revisions since then.

Trustee Gluck agreed, but pointed out that none of these had been presented to the public.

Again, the Mayor stated that they would be tabling this until the next meeting, which will take place on June 28.  She further commented that Trustee Guazzoni would present a revised draft before then as planned, hopefully with enough time to circulate it to the public prior to the meeting.

Deputy Mayor Gluck stated that he did not understand the process.  He wondered if each of the Trustees could create their own proposed drafts and have these go out to the public, like Claudio’s”, for consideration prior to the next meeting.  To date, the Board of Trustees has been attempting to come up with a draft that had majority support for public circulation, but it is starting to sound to him like a process by which Local Law #4 becomes one particular proposal from one Trustee.

The Mayor responded that each of the Trustees has been providing feedback throughout the process.

Mr. Nugent stated that originally this had been the case, but recently Trustee Guazzoni had taken more control. 

The Deputy Mayor then stated that he felt that if they were going to put something up on their website for the public to see and consider he felt it either needed to be something that came from the Board as a whole, or it needed to be a fresh, new proposal. 

Mayor Guinchard suggested that Trustee Guazzoni should give his draft to Mr. Nugent, who would in turn circulate it to the Board for feedback.  If there is enough time to make comments and also notice the public, this will then be discussed at the June 28 meeting.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether he could make a motion to approve Local Law #4 in its current form.  He suggested that if he did this, and it did not pass, then it would die and a new piece of legislation would need to be introduced with regard to a Dark Sky Initiative.

Mr. Nugent confirmed that this was the case.

Mr. McHugh then made said motion.

Mr. Nugent informed him that first he needed to close the public hearing.

Mr. McHugh responded by making that motion as well.

Trustee Guazozni suggested that it was not fair to Trustee Kilduff, who was keen on the law and was not there to express his view.  Again he stated that he felt they should leave the hearing open.
At this point, Mayor Guinchard stated that it was time for them to move on.  She stated quite firmly that they would be leaving the hearing open. “We’re not closing.  As Mayor I say we do not close and we will set the date for June 28.”

“We have not agreed that you unilaterally can say what we are not doing.” countered Trustee McHugh.

Mr. Nugent stated that typically the Mayor would be the one to close the public hearing.

Mayor Guinchard stated she felt as though they were “beating a dead horse.”

“We have been for nine months,” retorted Trustee McHugh.

“Well, I didn’t start the process, so I am just trying to make it where we have something to look at.”

Mr. Nugent then advised that they should set a date for continuation and then, once Trustee Kilduff had returned, the five of them could discuss it further and make a determination as to where they wanted to go with it.

The Mayor then made a motion to table the discussion and leave the hearing open until June 28.

The Deputy Mayor stated that he did not believe the Mayor could make that motion as she had an a vested interest and if she were not recusing herself, this would become an issue.  He suggested that they leave things, as they are, with the hearing open but not adjourned to any specific date.  Then, if there is a draft of the law that a majority of the trustees agree should be put to the public prior to June 28, it will go out, but if there is not, it won’t.

This was debated and discussed for an additional 10 minutes.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the Deputy Mayor and Trustee McHugh really needed to see the two tennis courts in all their “ fully lit splendor at 9 or 10pm.” as an important part of the law prohibits any further sports lighting of this nature. 

The Deputy Mayor wondered how soon Trustee Guazzoni would have a draft.

The answer was Tuesday, May 31.

The Board then debated the idea of a special meeting for the purpose of reviewing said draft.

The Deputy Mayor commented that before they called a special meeting regarding legislation that was not even out there yet, they should review the draft and determine whether or not there was trustee support for what was being proposed.  He wondered why there seemed to be such a “mad dash” to move forward.

After several more minutes of discussion, it was finally agreed that the discussion would be tabled with the hearing to be continued on June 28.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele reported that a mother bear and her two cubs have been spotted in the Racetrack area, headed for the Hamlet where there has been garbage left out.  She also heard earlier in the day that a bear got into some garbage up on Pine Hill.  She reminded everyone to bring in their bird feeders at night and to wait until the last possible minute to leave their trash out as the bears are definitely “out and about” and can be quite aggressive. 

On another note, she commented that she wanted to address the discussion that has been going on in the Town with regard to Solar Panel fields, which she thinks the Village could possibly benefit from. Without having looked at any of the financials, her concern is location.  Currently, they are considering a slope over Quarry Mine Field, which is in a flood plain.  Ultimately, putting the field here would require clearing 8 acres of trees and then filling in a wetlands for a soccer field.  She feels that all of this would be very poor storm water management practice and she hopes that the Village would not support such an action.

Mayor Guinchard asked Ms. Steele to call Trustee Kilduff, who has been working with Councilwoman Lindsay on this initiative, to find out how much of this information he is aware of.

Peter Regna inquired of John Ledwith as to the status/progress of the Villa Inna project on Camp Comfort Road.  He stated that the rock splitting has been going on for almost 2 years with constant chipping audible from West Lake Road and huge trucks removing material on a regular basis.  He wondered if there was any “due date” for the project when the chipping might cease.

Building Inspector John Ledwith explained that over the last 2-3 months what had been occurring on the site was actually drilling for “mini piles” which will form the foundation for the structure.  There is actually very little rock removal at this point.  He has been told that this will be completed by the end of May, so with any luck by the end of next week most of the loud noise will be finished.  He has visited the site on several occasions and they are following the plans.

Next Mr. Regna stated that he believed there was a Village ordinance that required property owners to remove fallen trees within 50 feet of Village Roadways.  He understands that getting through the winter months can be difficult, but feels that now that spring is upon us, it might be a good time to enforce this.  Recognizing that he has a fallen tree that needs to be removed on his own property, he further stated that the property along the south side of Tuxedo Road, across from the Race Track, is littered with fallen, dead trees and looks disheveled.  He encouraged the Board of Trustees to enforce the ordinance or, if they could not, perhaps the DPW could do some work to clean up some of the more egregious situations.  

Mr. Ledwith responded that some letters had gone out in this regard earlier in the week, more for trees that were dangerously hanging over the road as opposed to fallen ones.    He further commented that he would take another look at the situation.  

Anne Gwathmey stated that she would like to ask the Village Attorney about his interpretation of Village law #1 of 2014. 

Mr. Nugent asked Mrs. Gwathmey if she could be more specific.

Mrs. Gwathmey replied that it referred to the issuance of extensions for building permits beyond the period of completion for projects.  She further stated that they had a neighbor who had been constructing for 10 years and the project seemed no closer to completion.  She would like to know what is being done to hold this neighbor’s feet to fire because his ongoing project is now affecting quality of life in the neighborhood and they would like to know exactly what is going on.

Mr. Nugent responded that he did not know specifically what was going on and that perhaps Mr. Ledwith would be the proper person to ask.

Mrs. Gwathmey responded that she had already asked Mr. Ledwith, but wondered whether or not Mr. Nugent was being kept abreast of the legalities involved, or the illegality of work-with-no-permit as would seem to be the case here.

Mr. Nugent responded that he was not aware.

Mrs. Gwathmey then inquired whether Mr. Nugent was familiar with the Hanson case and he replied that he was.  In fact, Mr. Hanson was a former client of Mr. Nugent’s Firm and therefore, he would not be able to discuss it anyway. 

Mrs. Gwathmey wondered whether Mr. Hanson was working with a current permit.

The Mayor suggested that they ask Mr. Ledwith.

Mrs. Gwathmey responded that she had already asked Mr. Ledwith about it and felt that she was beyond him at this point.

All the same, Mayor Guinchard asked Mr. Lediwth for an update.

Mr. Ledwith reported that Mr. Hanson had approached him on a few occasions over that last 4 years looking to complete different aspects of his project.  All of these aspects, at one point or another, have been delayed.  They are trying to work to a completion point, but the delays and the winter months are holding things up.  Ultimately, they are trying to work to a safe solution for the project, but it is currently in “fits and starts” because of all the delays and Mr. Hanson is working without a permit.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to how long it had been since the permits expired.

Mr. Ledwith responded that he could not venture a guess, but it has been over a year.  Currently he is working on certain aspects of his driveway and some plantings.  These aspects were discussed last summer and they were originally scheduled for completion in the fall, but ended up being delayed.   

Trustee McHugh wanted to know whom they had been discussed with.

The answer was Mr. Lediwth and the Mayor. 

Trustee McHugh then wondered to what degree the BAR, who is ultimately responsible for the whole thing, had been involved in the process.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the BAR had granted the original approvals.

Trustee McHugh then wanted to know if the work being done was consistent with the BAR approvals.

The answer was that some of it was and some of it was not.

Trustee McHugh wanted to know if the deviations from the approved plan with relatively minor or egregious.

Mr. Ledwith replied that he would rather not say.  They wish it was working out better, but the application has been a difficult one for many years.

Mrs. Gwathmey asserted that this would be the 5th summer in a row with constant stone cutting.  She wondered how much more they needed to take?  If there is a law in place, the Village needs to enforce it!

The Mayor wondered how much work remained.

Mr. Ledwith did not have a concrete answer.

Mrs. Gwathmey suggested that almost every piece of stone on the driveway was being hand cut and tools were being sharpened for an hour afterwards. 

The Mayor wondered if the tool sharpening was happening after hours.

Mrs. Gwathmey replied that tools should not be sharpened at all unless they are in a confined area.  Mr. Hanson has a temporary lean-to that he is using.

Mr. Ledwith said he would check into this.

The Mayor inquired whether Mrs. Gwathmey had called the police to report the noise after 4:30pm.

Mrs. Gwathmey wondered how many times she needed to call.  She further commented that she had been calling for years.

Detective Tayback suggested that 1 call would be sufficient.  He assured her that he would personally go to the site if there were noise after 4:30pm.

Mrs. Gwathmey stated that she would call, but ultimately this was a Village issue that had not been dealt with.  The noise coming from that property ruins the summer for many of the people in that neighborhood.

Moving on, Mrs. Gwathmey expressed concern over the fact that Mrs. Hanson has been feeding feral cats.  This is a health issue, as the cats then stroll down the hill towards her house, crossing two properties in between.  She suggested one of two possible solutions.  The Village could ask Mrs. Hanson not to feed the cats, but Mrs. Gwathmey does not believe that she will comply with this request.  A second option would be to capture the cats, and neuter them so that they cannot reproduce.  She would be happy to contribute Have-a-Heart traps to the cause, but she will not bear the expense of neutering the animals.  In her view, the Village needs to get serious about this because it’s not fair to the animals.

The Mayor responded that if Mrs. Gwathmey felt there was a humane issue at stake, there were laws in place for that and she should call the police department.

Mrs. Gwathmey agreed that she would do this.

Finally, Mrs. Gwathmey inquired of DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss whether or not Club House Road would be paved over the summer.

The Superintendent responded that he was not sure it would be paved, but it would definitely be patched during the early summer.

The Mayor interjected that there was an SSES project currently going on in that area, which would take about 2 months to complete.  Once it has been completed, the road will be touched up.

Mary Graetzer commented that she had been noticing recently with some frequency that the arm of the main gate is left up and it seems as though “there is not a gate guard to be seen anywhere.”  She does not know how long the arm is left up for, but that it is left open at all constitutes a breach in security that concerns her.

Detective Tayback wondered whether Mrs. Graetzer had made any calls to the Police Department with regard to this issue.

The response was no.  She further stated, “why would I bother to call if there is nobody on the Gate?”

Detective Tayback responded that if nobody reported the situation it could not be addressed.

Mrs. Graetzer responded that that very afternoon at 5pm, there was nobody there and the gate arm was open.

Detective Tayback stated that he would review the security camera footage from that time period.  He wondered about how long she felt the gate had been open.

Mrs. Graetzer responded that she did not know.

The Detective suggested that sometimes it might appear that Gate has been left open when in actuality the guard on duty recognizes the vehicle coming and has purposely opened the Gate.

Mrs. Graetzer responded that she did not believe that this was what was happening.

Mayor Guinchard reiterated the Detective’s request that should Mrs. Graetzer see this again, she should call the Gate to complain.  There should always be a guard on duty.

Report of Police:
Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of April:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 56
Criminal Complaints – 1
Arrests – 0
Property Damage Complaints – 1
Uniform Traffic Tickets – 2

Additionally, 12,123 un-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

The Detective then made another plea for residents to report their issues directly to the department.  If he is aware of what is happening, he can follow-up on these things and make sure they are addressed.

Mayor Guinchard reported that the Village has hired a new chief.  His name is Alex Melchiorre.  He is a retired, 40-year veteran who will be coming on full time beginning July 1.  He has been mentoring with the Department and will be at the next meeting so residents can meet him. 

With regard to the 2 uniform traffic tickets, Trustee McHugh noted that this constituted a drop off of about 90%. 

Detective Tayback responded that he was aware of this and would be happy to discuss with Trustee McHugh. 

Report of DPW:
Superintendent Voss reported that the 2 water leaks on East Lake Stable Road were repaired following the installation of the insertion valve, approved by the Board at their last meeting.    They have also begun removing some dead trees along Tuxedo Road.  He acknowledged that there is a lot of work to be done here, but it will need to be done in bits and pieces as the department has a lot of other things on their plate as well.  They are continuing to investigate pricing for the repair of a water leak along Rte. 17, but in the meantime the leak detection team will be returning to continue looking for leaks in the Village.

Trustee McHugh wondered when the Village might be able to notice this work in simple metrics.

The Superintendent responded that this was the worse time to notice because people are sprinkling etc.  He suggested that they might notice a difference with the next billing cycle.

The Deputy Mayor wondered whether the level of Tuxedo Lake had returned to where it was the supposed to be.

The answer was yes.  Water is now spilling over the Tuxedo Lake Dam Spillway. 

The levels in the Wee Wah have also been brought up.

The Mayor thanked the DPW for all their efforts in assisting the Tree Advisory Board.

Peter Regna also offered his gratitude to the DPW for their construction of a retention pond on Mountain Farm Road, which has alleviated a flooding issue in that area.

Grant Writer Update:
Village Grant writer Fred Rella began by congratulating the Mayor on recently becoming a grandmother. 

The Village has been accepted into the Department of Defense 1033 program, which will allow them access to various surplus equipment free of charge.  Detective Tayback has been granted access to their website, and can search through the equipment and make determinations.  The Village must pick-up the equipment they wish to have.

The Village has also been working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department under the New York Home land Security Program.  An application for a utility terrain vehicle (basically a quad with a trailer) has been submitted. 

Mr. Rella has also been working with a New York Traffic Enforcement Technology Grant.  He has put in for laptop computers for the 3 police vehicles.  The cost for this equipment and installation would be approximately $25,000.  The Village should hear back some time in October, but Mr. Rella believes this is “pretty much a done deal.”

Finally, with regard to the $50,000 in grant monies awarded to the Village for the Wee Wah Dam, Mr. Rella reported that there was paperwork ongoing, however it is in the final stages and once the last round is complete, the Village can begin accessing the money.

With regard to the Department of Defense stuff, The Deputy Mayor suggested that the equipment was subject to request to be returned to the DOD.  In other words, if they want to equipment back, they can request this.

Mr. Rella confirmed that this was true, but he had never heard of it happening. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck then wanted to be sure that Mr. Rella was checking and double-checking to make sure that none of these grants had any requirement or entitlement for public access.

The answer was yes, they have been checking for this. 

Madden Request:
Sean Madden and his attorney Richard Ellsworth addressed the Board with regard to their request for electricity at the Madden Boathouse on East Lake Road.  As per the process, they have appeared before the BAR and received approval for 1 electric pole to be installed on the Madden’s property and now they need to complete the connection from East Lake Road, down a public roadway to the Madden property.  With all due respect to the Board, Mr. Ellsworth stated that it was his understanding that this connection was their legal right under the Public Service Law.  He has had some very beneficial discussions with Mr. Nugent regarding this.  The road in question is indeed a public road that provides access to a private, residential property.  Plans have been submitted to the BAR, the BOT and the Building Inspector.  They are asking for two poles.  One at the intersection of East Lake Road and the other about halfway down the public roadway.  They are not looking to make any substantial improvements to the property. All they want is the ability to run electricity to the Boathouse so that the Maddens can have an electric boat.

Mr. Nugent commented that he had reviewed the history of the property and determined that the access road was a dedicated Village road.  Under the Transportation Corporation Law, a utility has the right of way along Village roadways and streets for the purpose of bringing service to a private resident. 

Village Engineer Patrick Hines commented that it was his understanding that although the utility company had the right to install the service, the Village was within their rights to ask them to move the poles if they conflicted with other, pre-existing utilities, such as sewer and water.  In reviewing the revised map, it appears that one of the proposed polls is located right on top of the existing sewer line.

Mr. Madden responded that this was not the case.  The right of way is actually 16.5 feet wide, but it is represented by 1 inch on the map.  The location has been marked at the site with paint.  The water line could not be included in the survey as it runs along the most southern part of the property, right on the boundary of the right-of-way.   The sewer line starts out roughly 5 feet north of the water line and then quickly bows out to about 12 feet.  This distance varies over the course of the right-of-way and the Madden property from 9.5 to 12 feet, but for most of the right-of-way, it is 12 feet.  Where the proposed poll is located on the map, the water line is right at the edge, with the sewer 12 feet away and the poll 4 feet north of that.  16.5 feet are represented in 1 inch on the map.  He further stated that, for the record, they did not care where the poles went, they just wanted the electricity.

It was suggested that one of the proposed poles might actually be on the neighbors’ property.

Mr. Madden responded that there were thousands of utility poles in the Village and, for obvious reasons, none of these were installed right on the road.  Industry standard is to have a 25-foot clear from the middle of the road to the installation point.  Typically this is embodied in some sort of franchise agreement.  The Village’s agreement is silent on the amount of clear required, but this agreement is dated 1990.  The nearest pole to the right-of-way to the north on East Lake Road on the same side of the street has equipment that goes 17 feet off the side of that Road.  There is another one on the other side of the street that goes 13 feet.  The Brunners have a pole right in the middle of their yard that is only 8 feet off the same roadway. 

There are poles and equipment at varying distances from the road all over the Village with no rhyme or reason.  He believes that where the proposed pole is located on East Lake Road, it should not bother anybody.  It is right next to a fire hydrant. 

Mr. Hines suggested that the utility company would need to obtain an easement in order to install a pole on private property.

Mr. Madden responded that he did not believe this had ever been done.

Mr. Nugent suggested that the only issue at hand for the Board here was whether the proposed poles were in an ok spot with respect to their utilities and infrastructure. 

Mr. Madden suggested that as soon as the Village issued the permit, Orange and Rockland was “ready to rock and roll.”

Mr. Nugent commented that the parties simply needed to agree as to the ideal location for the placement of the poles.

Placement was briefly discussed.

Mr. Nugent then suggested that the Village Board did not need to issue an approval.  Ultimately, it will now be the Building Inspector’s determination that will lead to the building permit.

Mr. Ellsworth then stated that given the fact that the proper applications have been filed and the applicant’s on-going cooperation with the process that he would hope that they would be able to obtain the permit from the Building Inspector in short order.

Mr. Madden the interjected, stating that he actually would like to have Board approval.  Mr. Ledwith referred his application to the Board for approval back in early January.  That evening constitutes their 6th public meeting, including a BAR meeting to approve a single, O&R issued utility poll.  O&R is now waiting for the Village to tell them they can proceed.  Until now, they have been told that they cannot proceed.   Mr. Madden feels that at minimum, after what he has been put through, he is owed a vote.

The Mayor responded that the problem stemmed from the fact that work had initially been done without a permit and this was why there were so many public meetings.

Mr. Madden responded that this was false. 

The Mayor asked the Building Inspector whether or not there had been approval to do the initial digging.

Mr. Madden responded that there was not approval, but this did not affect the substance of whether or not it was an appropriate thing to get approval for.  They made a mistake, which they acknowledged right away.  They were then punished by the Mayor and the Building Inspector for that mistake.

“You were not punished by me,” responded Mayor Guinchard. 

“Oh Please,” retorted Mr. Madden, “Stop!  The process here has been deeply flawed and after we get approval and put our power in, we will talk about what redress is appropriate for us.”

Mr. Nugent advised the Board, in light of these comments, not to make any comments.  Board approval is not required.  It is Mr. Ledwith’s determination to issue the building permit, once both parties had agreed as to where the poles should go.

Mr. Madden stated that he did not care where the poles were placed.  They would be installed and maintained by O &R. 

Mr. Nugent replied that this would shorten the process.  The Village and  O& R could work out the location of the poles and then Mr. Ledwith could move forward with issuing the permit.

Trustee McHugh pointed out that the BAR had issued their approval subject to BOT approval.  He suggested that this was a slippery path.

Mr. Madden further stated that at the time of the BAR meeting, the Mayor had not been informed of Mr. Nugent’s view of the law and from the back of the room she had introduced what he felt were a bunch of unnecessary caveats to the approval that referenced things like “prove you have a right to utilities.”

The Mayor responded that she had gotten these from the attorney.

Mr. Nugent stated that he had only just realized that the road in question was an actual Village road.

Mr. Madden retorted that it was too bad that Mr. Nugent had not been at the March 14 meeting, where road status was initially determined.  The issue that is hanging out there, in his view, is that on March 16 the Building Inspector, with the influence of the Mayor as she has indicated to him, took the matter back from the Board with no information, no factual analysis, no notice, no hearing and basically put a gun to their head and demanded that they remove the conduit.  The sole basis of Mr. Ledwith’s argument was the belief that the Village sewer and water lines were co-located in the middle of the right-of-way and the code required that they be 10 feet apart.  Mr. Ledwith had suggested that if the Village ever needed to repair the lines, and they could not be repaired in place and had to be moved, then the Madden’s 3-inch conduit might be in the way.  This turned out to be entirely erroneous however, as proved by a $425 test suggested by Mr. Hines, which showed that the pipes were separated.  Mr. Hines actually recommended that they go underground!  Village Code dictates that they go under ground!  The BAR also suggested going underground.  At the time Mr. Madden suggested that he bury the conduit while they worked out something out, but that he be allowed to leave the conduit installed to provide the option of going underground should it be determined that this would be the best course of action. The Village however, commanded that Mr. Madden take it out immediately or else they would do it and send him a bill.  Mr. Madden feels that this was an erroneous exercise of Police power and he considers it to be outrageous.  The question is, what are they going to do about it?

Mr. Nugent inquired as to who had approved the location of the lines when Mr. Madden originally buried them.

Mr. Madden responded that Mr. Fairclough had gone to the Village, looked at the records, spoken to Mr. Voss and then located them as far away as he could.

There followed a debate as to whether or not Mr. Fairclough had actually spoken with Mr. Voss.

Again, Mr. Madden confirmed that a mistake had been made initially as Mr. Fairclough believed the right-of-way belonged to the Maddens.  This mistake however, does not impact the substance of whether or not they should have gone overground or underground with the lines and whether they had a right to access the utilities.  To access public utilities and to go through what the Maddens have gone through…to spend the money and the time….as somebody who believes in good Government, Mr. Madden believes it is outrageous.  He has financial damages for sure, but he is not interested in these. He is interested in some sort of process that questions the fact that the Board had never voted prior to the Village forcing him to spend money on erroneous purposes.  If the Village had done a modicum of due diligence, they would have known exactly where their own equipment was.  He would like to work with the Village.  He does not feel he should have had to hire a lawyer to gain access to electricity.  Why is the answer always no?  He has been living in the Village for over 10 years, he has invested in a historic home and now he has invested in a dilapidated property and is attempting to improve it….and this is what he gets!  The basic fundamentals of good government and due process have been compromised in this case.

Commenting that he was finished for the time being, having had his rant, Mr. Madden suggested that he would be coming back to the Village in the future and was hopeful that they would engage with him constructively in evaluating the mistakes that had occurred and what could be done moving forward to put safeguards in place that will prevent the Building Inspector from having the ability to take a matter that has been before the Board back and force a resident to do something.

With this, he stated that he would be looking for a building permit. 

Report of Buildings and Grounds:
Click here to view a copy of the Building Department report.

The Wee Wah Beach Club has informed the Village that the Health Department is requiring them to post a sign listing rules and regulations.  A small print out was presented and location discussed.  The sign will only be in place during the summer months when the Club is open.

CHA Resolution – Work on the Wee Wah dam is moving along nicely.  CHA has indicated that they are seeking approval of tasks 1 and 3 as previously presented to the Board.  Mr. Ledwith suggested that the Village should ask CHA for a 90-day schedule so that they can approve things in 90-day increments and more easily keep track of what they are doing.  He does not favor the stop and start method they have been utilizing.  He empathized with the Board’s skepticism, suggesting that the Village was spending money without being able to see any results.  In essence, the $10K they are currently seeking is a small part of the overall project and they hope to keep the project moving by approving tasks 1 and 3.

Trustee McHugh commented that they had asked CHA to reach out to the DEC and report back to them, but he had not heard anything yet.

Mayor Guinchard responded that she had received an e-mail, which she forwarded to Debbie with the directive to distribute it to all Trustees.  This did not occur.
The Mayor then attempted to pull the document up on her computer.
Following a rather brief delay and some discussion, Trustee McHugh commented that he would be willing to approve the tasks contingent upon the receipt of a rolling 3-month timeline from CHA.

The Deputy Mayor cautioned that they could not make the approval conditional and suggested that they approve it outright but request a critical path outline for the entire project.  The Board was in agreement with this.  They then voted unanimously in favor of approving tasks 1 and 3 as proposed.

Tree City USA Sign – Mayor Guinchard reported that the Village had asked the Town for permission to install the sign along Rte. 17, but the Town is not receptive to this idea and has suggested it be installed in the Village.

Deputy Mayor Gluck stated that he was not so sure they should put a sign on Rte. 17, commenting that whenever there was something that could be construed as an invitation to come into the Village, it created issues.

The Mayor then asked if they would prefer to have the sign installed within the Village and various locations were discussed.  It is apparently a very utilitarian sign.  The Village is required to display the sign as part of the Tree City USA Grant.  Ultimately it was decided that the Village Office might be the best location.

Main Entrance Update and Resolution – Work has been completed with most of the wiring and they are ready to close the walls.  Chases have been put in, which should allow for easy installment of whichever security system they decide to move forward with.  In an effort to avoid a special meeting, the Mayor suggested that

They pass a resolution granting the Mayor and the Building Inspector the authority to approve invoices for work up to $30,000, excluding the security system, the details of which have not been put together yet. 

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not they were complying with the “three bid rule.”

The Mayor responded that everything that currently in motion had been on going for a while.  They were just finishing up the work at this point.

Trustee McHugh suggested that it made more sense not to close up the walls with sheet rock before they had decided on a security system.

Mayor Guinchard argued that this was why the chases had been put in.

This was debated for a while and ultimately it was decided that a portion of the wall would be left open.  The Board also voted unanimously in favor of giving the Mayor and the Building Inspector the authority to approve invoices up to $30,000 for work on the Keep (excluding the security system) as requested.

Committee Updates:
Tree Advisory Board – On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board Dena Steele thanked the DPW and the Garden Club for their assistance in planting the 150 trees and shrubs that were given to the Village by the DEC Trees for Tribbs program.  The committee will continue to work with Trees for Tribbs and are looking forward to a fall planting either along the racetrack or the lake.

With some funding that they had, the committee took down 8 hazardous trees by the southern end of the lake, along the Racetrack and also further east on Tuxedo Road.   They have received preliminary evasive management plan for the Racetrack and the tree inventory has also been completed.  They will be reviewing and discussing these at a meeting this coming weekend.  They have sent out requests for proposals for the restoration and management of the Racetrack and responses should be in by July 1.  A more detailed report will be provided in June.

Trustee McHugh raised the issue of budget, noting that the committee had gone beyond their budget of $5,000.  When Ms., Steele inquired as to the specific expenditures that put them over budget, Trustee McHugh pointed to two dumpsters, which had been used by the DPW to take away dead trees.
This was discussed at some length and ultimately it was determined that the Committee should not have been charged for the dumpsters.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired about the “dreadfully awful” mercury light that is shining directly down from one of the O & R polls near the front gate by St. Mary’s.  Specifically, he wondered what the process for having it removed and replaced with a normal bulb would be, commenting that the excessively bright light was harmful to the surrounding trees.
This was discussed for a few minutes after which Mr. Ledwith agreed that he would call O & R and ask them to come remove the offensive bulb and replace it with a normal one.

The Board then entered into an executive session.   When they emerged they voted unanimously in favor of the following:

Retaining special counsel to defend the improper practice charge filed by the PBA.

Authorizing the Mayor to execute, as necessary between now and the next BOT meeting, closing documents and any correspondence that the Village attorney receives relative to the closing for Tuxedo Farms and that the Trustees be copied as well.

Authorizing the Mayor, after reviewing 3 quotes being obtained by John Ledwith, to approve the purchase of leak detection equipment for the Water Department for an amount not to exceed $5,500.

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Agenda For Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 24, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
a. Recognition of TAB Contest Winners
b. Recognition of Thomas Derbyshire, DPW Retiree
4. Public Comments
5. Appoint Village Justice and Acting Village Justice
6. Report of Police
7. Report of DPW
8. Report of Buildings & Grounds
a. Main Entrance Update
b. CHA Resolution
9. Committee Updates
a. Grants
10. Public Comments
11. Public Hearing-Continuation-Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
12. Audit of Claims
13. Adjournment

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Three Candidates Vie For Two Open Spots On The Village Board Of Trustees

The following three residents have submitted nominating petitions for the position of Village Trustee:

John Kilduff - Pine Hill party

David McFadden - Cap and Reduce Taxes party

John Moon - Presque Isle Party

The Village election will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at the Village Office from 7am-9pm  and will fill two Trustee seats, which are currently held by Paul Gluck and John Kilduff.

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Village Election - General Information

Village Election - Tuesday, June 21, 2016 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road.

Petitions –

• Minimum of 18 signatures required
• First day to submit petition - May 10, 2016
• Last day to submit petition - May 17, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

Absentee Ballot Application – Last day to submit:

• Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - Application for absentee ballot to be mailed.
• Monday, June 20, 2016 - Application submitted in person and absentee ballot given same day.
• No absentee ballots are issued on election day.

For further information, please contact Village Clerk Debbie Matthews at dmatthews@tuxedopark-ny.gov or (845) 351-4745, ext. 4 or Mayor Mary Jo Guinchard at mayormaryjo@gmail.com or (845) 351-2752.

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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Special Meeting Thursday, May 12 11am

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of appointing additional election inspectors, discussing CHA's Phase 2 Proposal, and any other matters that may come before the Board. Trustee Kilduff will be attending via Skype from 900 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 and Trustee Guazzoni via Skype from 15th floor, 635 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. 10022.

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting Thursday, May 5 - 1:30pm

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY for the purpose of appointing election inspectors, discussing employee benefits, and any other matters that may come before the Board. Trustee Kilduff will be attending via Skype from 900 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 and Trustee Guazzoni via Skype from 15th floor, 635 Madison Avenue, New York, NY. 10021.

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Board of Trustees Meeting April 26, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm.  Trustee McHugh was absent.  Trustee Guazzoni participated via Skype from London.  Trustee Kilduff arrived late.

Mayor’s Comments:

  1. Resolution – Dedication of Police Car: Mayor Guinchard made a motion dedicating police unit 957 in honor of former Village Police Officer, Jason Conklin, who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the line of duty in the Village in August of 1997.  The motion was unanimously approved and the Mayor then presented the Conklin family, many of whom were present, with a certificate commemorating the dedication.
  2. Resolution – NYS Retirement System Standard Work Day for Appointed Officials: The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution, which set the following standard work day hours:

-DPW Superintendent – 8
- Village Clerk, Deputy Village Clerk & Treasurer – 7
- Court Clerk - 6

  1. Announce – Bulk Trash Pick Up Day on Saturday May 21, 2016: Mayor Guinchard announced that bulk trash pick-up day in the Village would take place on May 21, 2016.

Community Spotlight – Tuxedo Union Free School District:
Mayor Guinchard introduced Tuxedo School DiInterim Superintendent Nancy Teed, who in turn thanked the Mayor and the Board for inviting the school to present.  She then introduced herself, Board President Joanne Vernon, Business Administrator Dawn Cupano, Board Member Meg Vaught, Principal Jason Schrammel, Assistant Principal  Eric Sorenson and STEM advisor and Technology teacher.  Marco Margotta.

The High School is in its third year with STEM curriculum.  Mr. Margotta has played a critical role in creating partnerships with business both within and outside of the community as they are beginning job shadowing opportunities and internships for the Juniors and Seniors.  There has been quite a bit of information about the schools in the papers as they are looking to attract non-resident students into both schools. Scholarships are available for grades 7-12 thanks to the generous donation from the Mulford Foundation.  New to the schools this year has been the 1:1 device initiative whereby each elementary school student has their own IPad that they work with in the classrooms and every high school student has been issued a chrome book, which they bring to and from school every day.  The program has been very successful.  It is a new way of learning and both students and teachers alike love it.

The school will be holding an open house for the Tuxedo community on May 10 from 5-7pm and Mrs. Teed extended the invitation to the Board and all residents as an opportunity to come and learn more about the schools.  The budget hearing will immediately follow this event. 

Commenting that she would be leaving school profiles in the Village Office for anyone who might be interested, Mrs. Teed again thanked the Board for their time and offered to answer any questions they might have.

Mayor Guinchard commented that she had attended an assembly on forgiveness at the school two weeks prior and found it to be a “really wonderful” experience.  She had not been back at the school since her own children graduated and it was nice to be there.  The assembly was extremely well done.  The students were fantastic, the questions were incredible and the speakers were tremendous.  She thanked the Superintendent for having invited her.

Commenting that she was very proud to be the President of the School Board, Joanne Vernon stated that she felt it was very important that the community at large understand the value of having the schools and also the importance of supporting them, which she acknowledged everyone does in their own special way.  She further stated that both the School Board and the administration were eager to respond to any questions that the community might have.  Again, she thanked the Board for allowing them to share information and invite the community to their open house.  There is a lot of information about the schools on the district website and she encouraged the Board to look at this, reiterating that they were also very open to the idea of meeting and discussing anything as they strive for consistent open communication with everyone.  They really want to make sure that they address any and all concerns from the community so that they have accurate information and they want to be sure to be very transparent in that process.   The school community is extremely diverse and although the population is currently small, they are very excited about the growth potential and the ability to remain independent rather than being pulled into another school district.  They are focused on the long-term advantages of being an independent school so that they can maintain the ability to control expenditures and so that can make sure they are providing the education that the community believes is important.  The community spoke loudly in the election last May, approving the budget and electing three pro-school Board Members.  There is another election as well as a budget vote coming up on May 17.  4 candidates are vying for 3 open spots, and Mrs. Vernon encouraged everyone to do their due diligence and make sure to vote.

Michele Lindsay commented that she had attended one of the school’s open houses and was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the students, particularly those sitting on the student panel.  One question she had been mulling over had to do with the dynamics in the high school once the 7th graders had been folded in.  This question was asked and the students responded that they welcomed and embraced the younger kids and that the student body was like a large family.  Mrs. Lindsay was happy to hear this and was very pleased to have attended the open house in general.  She further commented that the School Board had been very helpful in providing answers to questions from the Town Board, which she also appreciated. 

Before moving on to the first Public Comment period, The Mayor welcomed County Legislator Barry J. Cheney, who was in attendance at the meeting.  Mr. Cheney represents District 8.  Mayor Guinchard further commented that if anyone had any questions for Mr. Cheney she was sure that he would be more than happy to speak with them at any time.

Public Comments:
Sally Sonne stated that she did have a comment, but would rather wait until after the CHA Dam presentation to make it.

Michele Lindsay provided the Board with a brief Town Board update. 

There has been some recent confusion due to the DEC denial of the Constitution Pipeline (a natural gas line running from PA to Albany) in that people have mistaken this for the Pilgrim Pipeline, which is unfortunately still very much an issue of concern. 

The Town Board has begun considering other options for the DPW site located on Long Meadow Road.  Perfect Cut has vacated the premises, but unfortunately did not clean up the way they were supposed to.   The Board is therefore out looking for BIDS from landscapers and contractors to clean up the site.  One of the options they are considering is relocating the Demarino operation, currently located at the South end of the Hamlet along the Ramapo River, to this location with clear measurables to keep things contained.

CHA Engineers – Wee Wah Dam Presentation:
On behalf of CHA Engineers, Mike Quinn presented the Board with an engineering assessment status update on the Wee Wah Dam.  He began by reporting that the “lower pond” or big Wee Wah dam has been brought into compliance with New York State dam safety regulation standards.  The engineering assessment has been completed and the report submitted to the DEC.  This does not mean that it has been fixed.  What the assessment has done is to identify those deficiencies as well as what CHA plans to do to improve the dam so that it is repaired to a level that is safe.

Several detailed diagrams of the dam were then presented via a slide presentation, with Mr. Quinn identifying the individual sections and explaining their functions.  The following recommendations were then put forth and briefly detailed, based on the completed engineering assessment:

  1. Clear brush and large trees and flatten D/S slope, provide drainage and monitoring.
  2. Construct parapet wall along crest of dam
  3. Maintain Spillway Weirs at current elevations (492.5’, 493.0’ and 496.8’)
  4. Repair and improve stability of auxiliary spillway, mitigate seepage discharge through floor of spillway structure.
  5. Construct low-level outlet w/in service spillway, monitor/repair bulging stonework.

Conceptual designs for the parapet wall and the auxiliary spillway modifications were also presented.

Sally Sonne inquired as to the time frame for the project.

Mr. Quinn responded that most of it would be done next year.  Once they get started with the actual construction, optimistically speaking, they could possibly start some of the work late this year, but again, more realistically, the majority of the work will be completed during the construction season of 2017.

Mrs. Sonne then wanted to know whether the lake could safely have water in it this year, noting that at present the level was extremely low.

Mr. Quinn responded that the levels would remain very much what they currently are for another year or so.

Alan Yassky added that they had “put some boards in” the other day and as a result the levels should go up about a foot and half.  Rainfall is needed.

Financials were then reviewed and briefly discussed.  Ultimately, Mr. Quinn gave the project a $3.2 million dollar price tag, noting that this estimate was based on budgeting numbers and that the dam still needs to go through a more detailed design process before they can be refined.

Moving on, Pond #3 and the current situation with the “upper Dam” were reviewed.  CHA is recommending the following supplemental investigations:

  1. Survey Pond 3 to determine volume.  Expand exisiting survey of Wee Wah Lake lower.
  2. Excavate testpit to evaluate auxiliary spillway tie-in with embankment corewall
  3. Subcontract divers to investigate submerged portion of service spillway, and locate the LLO for Pond 3 Dam.
  4. Perform subsurface drilling instigation within auxiliary spillway and through service spillway walls.  Install VW and standpipe

With regard to the Wee Wah Lake Dam, Peter Regna inquired as to whether or not there was a reason for the unusual length of the spillway.

It was explained that the reason the spillway is as long as it is, is to allow them to better drain that lake from a deeper point (roughly 30 feet)

Noting that the Village would be borrowing the $3.2 million dollars to fund the project, Trustee Guazzoni wanted to know what the life of the new Wee Wah dam would be, so that they could efficiently spread the cost out over time.

Mr. Quinn responded that the core of the project would be very stable and would probably have at least a 50-year life span before any repairs are required.  The stone masonry however, will require more frequent maintenance, such as repointing and other small repairs.   He suggested that these types of things might need to be done on a 5-year cycle. 

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how much the repointing would cost and Mr. Quinn replied that he could not provide an answer to this question, as it would depend on the overall area that needed to be addressed.  He guestimated however, that it could run up to $30,000.  He further noted that the frequency of these types of repairs was hard to determine and would very much depend on weather events.

Report of Police:
Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of March:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 65
Property Damage Complaints - 2
Intrusion Alarms – 9
Fire Alarms – 6
Medical Calls - 2
Traffic Tickets – 4
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists Given to the Town of Ramapo – 2
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo 1

Additionally, 11 new vehicle tags were issued and 11, 272 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

Trustee Kilduff inquired as to whether the assist provided to Ramapo was the result of the Town having eliminated their overnight police service.
Ultimately, the answer was yes.

Detective Tayback also advised the Board that commencing next week the Department will be setting up several speed traps in key areas throughout the Village between 8-9am and then again in the afternoon when school lets out.

Report of DPW:
Superintendent Voss reported that the department was just about finished with sweeping the roads.  They have also done a lot of cleaning brush and logs on Village property at the direction of the Tree Advisory Board.  They have done a great deal of vine removal and cutting back of the fence line of all the brush at the wastewater treatment plant.    They will be installing a drainpipe along the causeway just above the Tuxedo Club Boat House within the next day or so.  Screens on Tuxedo Lake Dam have been installed and all the boards have been put back into the ponds to try and raise the water levels.  The Supervisor also met with Kristian Matthews and they took a look at giant boulder located across from the Racetrack to see what might be done to make things safer. If it were to fall, the boulder would certainly do a lot of damage.   Mr. Matthews felt that he would need to bring in a large excavator with a hammer on it to chip it off and try to relocate it.  He estimates this would cost $3-4,000.  Water main flushing has been concluded.  Finally, there are a number of water leaks that need to be addressed.  Two in particular, one by the Racetrack and one on East Lake Stable Road involve hydrants.  Unfortunately, the Supervisor has no way to control the main that feeds these two hydrants and the only way to shut it off so that they can do the necessary repairs/replacement is to install an insertion valve.  Additionally, there is a somewhat substantial leak on Route 17.  They are currently exploring repair options, but the Superintendent warned it would not be cheap.  The leak detection people were not able to pinpoint it exactly and it appears as though both northbound lanes of Route 17 might need to be excavated in order to make the repair.   Again, they are still exploring the various options for dealing with this.

At the request of the Mayor, Building Inspector John Ledwith then presented the Board with two estimates for the aforementioned insertion valve.

Trustee Guazzoni pointed out that all of these projects involving leaks were funded via the Water Department which was one reason why the rates had recently been increased as the system was all but ignored for years.

Resolution – Water Valve- The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the purchase and installation of an insertion valve to repair the water leak at the Racetrack at a cost of $6,780.

Trustee Guazzoni noted that the current level of Tuxedo Lake was 3 feet below its historic level.  He wondered whether there was anything the DPW could do to “get Tuxedo Dam to work any better.”

This was briefly discussed and ultimately the Superintendent said he would have to look into it.  He suggested that the reason the lake is not at it’s normal level is due to the lack of rainfall. 
Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to whether or not water was spilling over the Tuxedo Lake Dam.

The answer was no.

Public Comments:
Sally Sonne commented that in looking at the budget, she noted that the amount of money the Village is expecting to collect for boat permits was more than double that of last year.  Permit fees have doubled!  She questioned the rationale and justification for this, further commenting that she had been in communication with the Village regarding this issue and while she understood all of the costs the Village had to bear with relation to protecting the health of the lake and maintaining the water quality, but she does not feel that the weight of these expenses should be born by boat owners.  People who live on the lake or have lake front property pay extremely high taxes and this provides them with riparian rights to use the lake.

She wondered what exactly they were paying for, when they were not receiving any sort of service.  She compared the boat tags to the Village vehicle tags and the Board’s recent decision to begin charging for these.  She recalled a year ago when these discussions began and at that time, the Village Attorney advised the Board that they could not pass the expenses associated with road wear and tear on to non-residents directly as it would then be considered a tax.  She feels the same sort of thing is happening with the boats.  In her view, the expenses associated with the overall health of the lake should not be directly passed on to boat owners.  If the fee is really a tax, she implored the Board to admit this upfront.  As far as she can tell, lake front property owners already pay high taxes for these rights.

With regard to the fees, Board attorney Brian Nugent responded that as he understood it, the Board had reached a determination as to what they should be based on costs associated with boats being on the reservoir.  The fact that it is a reservoir results in these costs being higher because of the cleaning of the boats and milfoil removal among other things.  It cannot be said that because the fees are higher, they are a tax.  The fees are reasonably related to some purpose that the Village is carrying out and needs to carry out and there are expenses associated with the maintenance of the lake itself as it relates to the boats.

Mrs. Sonne pointed out that while she understands that there are many boats that are brought into the Village annually and must be steam cleaned, those boat owners pay for that service.  She wondered why those residents who keep their boats in the Village year round, and are not required to steam clean them, should have to pay the permitting fee.  What are they paying for?  Milfoil is something that occurs in lakes everywhere and certainly would be occurring regardless.  The subsequent treatment is not necessary because of the boats.
Trustee Guazzoni disagreed, pointing out that the propellers on many boats chop up the milfoil and spread it around the lake, exacerbating the issue. He further suggested that the costs directly associated with boats and lake front property taxes are two very different things.

Mrs. Sonne suggested that if the Milfoil problem was a result of the boats, perhaps there should be no boats allowed on the lake at all.  Once again comparing the boat tags to vehicles tags she wondered why, by this logic, the vehicle tags for non-residents did not cost $500 a piece.  Surely much of the wear and tear on Village roads is caused by non-resident traffic.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that Mrs. Sonne was ultimately comparing apples and oranges.  The Village roadways are public while the lake is private.

Mayor Guinchard inserted that Tuxedo Lake is one of the only reservoirs around that allows boating.  She suggested that because of this there are a lot of things (testing etc.) constantly going on behind the scenes and these things cost money.

Mrs. Sonne replied that she felt there was something wrong with this system and that she was not the only resident who felt this way.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that perhaps what was wrong was that the non-boat owners had been subsidizing the boat owners in this regard for years.

Deputy Mayor Gluck pointed out that as he understood it the properties bordering Tuxedo Lake did not have riparian rights.  He further stated that boat permit fees had not been increased since 2008 and the Board had done the best job they could in allocating expenses via the fees. 

hauncey Rodzianko inquired of Trustee Kilduff whether or not he was a resident of the Village.

Trustee Kilduff responded that he was indeed a resident, residing at 12 Pine Hill Road.

Mrs. Rodzianko responded that she had heard differently and that many people within the community were suggesting that Trustee Kilduff did not in fact live at the Pine Hill address.  She then wanted to know what legally constituted a resident.

Board Attorney Brian Nugent interjected, stating that the question had been answered and that if Mrs. Rodzianko wanted to challenge the answer in a court of law, she was free to do so.  He offered that there exists no specific criteria for residency (legally speaking) and that it is usually determined based on the evaluation of various factors.   (Boy that could be a sample for vagueness!)

Trustee Guazzoni commented that the State of New York recognizes homeless people as residents of the State.

Report of Buildings & Grounds:
Click here to view a copy of the Building Department report for the month of April.

Committee Updates:
Tree Advisory Board – Board Chair Chui Yin Hemple stated that she was present for purpose of asking the Board to vote in favor of a resolution to open bidding during the month of July in response to an RFP they are sending out for the Racetrack.  The Racetrack is extremely important, not only because its embankments uphold both Tuxedo and Club House Roads, but also because it is the headquarters for Augusta Brook, which feeds the Ramapo (which in turn feeds millions in NJ and NY) and is the center for biodiversity, which is incredibly important for the environment in the Village and in Orange County.  Back in January, the Board approved the Committee’s request to begin fixing the racetrack and subsequently the committee hired Trillium Invasive Management to assist with the cleanup.  Trillium is working on a management plan, detailing how the invasives can be safely removed, which the committee expects to receive in May.  The actual removal will take place during the winter months and after they are gone, the Village will want to put something back in that space and therefore, the aforementioned RFP will be going out to landscape designers to get their input on how to restore the Racetrack with native species keeping in mind its diverse landscape.  At the end of the day, their vision is that the Racetrack will be “a gift of nature” but enhanced to make it aesthetically pleasing for the entire community.  It is an ambitious plan, but they are taking it one step at a time.  In order to put out the RFP, legal procedure dictates that the BOT must approve a resolution to open the BID.  They have selected a date of July 1. 

Mrs. Hempel further commented that she hoped everyone had taken the time to visit their new website.  The first Arbor Day Celebration will take place this coming Saturday, April 30, and Mrs. Hempel hopes to see everyone there.  Children are invited and encouraged to attend!  This excitement will further be extended on May 2, when they will be planting behind the Garden Club Wall along Augusta Brook, up to 150 trees and shrubs, which were gifted to the community by the DEC.

In other news, a volunteer group of residents calling themselves “the de-viners” have been busily working to remove the vines along Tuxedo Road.

A tree cutting service has been performing some work along Tuxedo Road.  6 trees were removed in total.  Mrs. Hempel believes that all this work being done is very important for the future of the community.  It is an issue of stewardship.  Tuxedo Park is an unusual, unique and incredible place and it is crucial that we protect it.

Mayor Guinchard inquired as to whether the RFP would allow them to receive grants.
The answer was yes.  Once they have issued it they can go to both Government and private sources for funding.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered if there was a dollar amount associated with the RFP.  The answer was not yet.  The document asks for staged planning as the Racetrack encompasses 21 acres and they will not be able to attack the whole thing in one shot.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the RFP, with a BID opening of July 1.

Trail Committee – Sally Sonne reported that the group had cleared several massive trees and brush on the Cliff Road, Ant Hill Rd., Ringwood Ave (and one other nameless road) trails and they are now open for hiking!  Additionally, they have put in markers along the Eagle Mountain Trail, which allows hikers to reach the top of Eagle Mountain with ease and without getting lost.

Deputy Mayor Gluck added the committee had been presented the opportunity to clear the Fox Hill trail using the same contractor they have used to clear the other trails however, although this trail begins and ends in the Village, it also runs through lands that are owned by Related.  These lands will eventually be donated to the Village as part of the Fox Hill Tract, but in the meantime, Mrs. Sonne has secured permission from Andrew Dance of Related to clear them.  Although Mr. Dance is agreeable, the fact that the land is outside of the Village inhibits the Deputy Mayor from releasing funds for this project as he is only authorized to release funding for Village owned trails. 

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the trail committee to proceed with the clearing as proposed.

Trustee Kilduff then expressed his gratitude to the Related Companies for “being a good neighbor.”

Grant Writer Update – Mr. Rella could not be present, however Mayor Guinchard reported that the New York State Environmental Facilities (EFC) has expanded the New York State Water Grants Program for drinking water and wastewater projects and sewer.  Mr. Rella has been in communication with the EFC to determine Tuxedo Park’s eligibility.  He will be participating in a webinar on May 11 for this grant application with the application due on June 20.  Secondly, the paperwork has been completed for the Department of Defense (DOD) 1033 program, which would allow the Village to acquire some DOD equipment at no cost.  Mr. Rella is waiting on one supporting document and once received, the package will be submitted.

Finally, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has received funding from the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the Sheriff shares this money on an as-needed basis with various Orange County communities.  Mr. Rella has determined that through this opportunity the Village could potentially be eligible for a utility terrain vehicle and/or a trailer that would assist them in terrorist prevention in protecting the dam.  The application will be submitted this week.

Finance Committee – The committee continued to have “bond meetings” and things are moving along well.  They will provide an update as soon as they have something to present. 

Main Entrance and Village Hall Property Discussion:
Included in the most recent Mayor’s Newsletter was a survey regarding the Front Entrance and an e-mail address where answers should be submitted. These e-mails are received by the Village Clerk, who officially logs them in prior to distributing them to the Trustees.  They have received roughly 35 responses to date.  Additionally, 30-50 people have come forward during public meetings to express their view. 

Trustee Guazzoni commented that many residents had been asking him whether there would be a Gate Guard in the booth with a sliding window and whether there will be direct eye contact with drivers through an open window.  He understands that there are a lot of issues with the Department of labor and the Police Union, but he wondered whether the Mayor could provide some insight.

Mayor Guinchard replied that this would a security measure dictated by the Police Department.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that a number of residents had told him that the booth would be their first choice if, and only if, there was an operable window. If there is no window and what exists is just a “dummy booth with a screen” then their first choice would be something else.
The Mayor responded that she and Mr. Ledwith had held a meeting with the architect at which they discussed the concept of designing something that would be in keeping with what is there currently architecturally speaking.  They have determined that they will not be breaking through the wall and that they will be putting something back in the center of the entranceway, which is what most people seem to want.  Whatever goes there will not be the same size as what existed historically.  They are discussing the possibility of moving it back 1 & ½ feet, which may not seem like much, but will provide more area for booth reinforcement.  It will be built so that it can be manned and will be protected as such.  There will be gate arms both entering and exiting the Village.  The exit gate will be triggered by an underground mechanism.  There will be a material change for the walkway between the two buildings, which should slow cars down.  The Tree Advisory Board will be overseeing the landscaping and they have some historic drawings to work from.  They have been working with Orange & Rockland to develop plans for moving the utility lines, so that they run up Nursery Road and enter the Park further up Tuxedo Road, where they will need to cross over to Fox Hill.  There will no longer be any lines running over the entranceway to the Village.  They are also working with the architect to try and incorporate the gate arms and mechanisms into the structure of the booth so that they do not stick out and look like appendages on the back of the building.  For security reasons, most of the features will hopefully be incorporated into some type of reinforced components that would protect the booth in the future.  Outside of that,  the general theme is to keep it consistent with the other buildings.  At some point they will also remove the asphalt shingles from the larger building and replace with cedar shake.  The chimney on the larger building will also be modified to comply with code and the brick addition removed.  The remaining portion of the roof has been completed on the Keep.  They are discussing coloring the cement in order to “deepen it in a little bit.”  They are also working with the Police Department to determine what will happen inside security wise.  It will be a secured building for police.  Those wishing to enter will need to be buzzed in and escorted by an Officer.  The Mayor is hoping that the Keep will be complete by the end of June.  The first rough drawings of the booth are due to come in within the next couple of weeks, after which Mr. Ledwith will update the Board. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that it struck him from the comments he had seen and heard that people want to do everything possible to maintain the feeling of contact with the Gate House and the Gate Guards.  It is his understanding that they will try to do this via technology, but he thinks it would be helpful for the Board to go and take a look at some examples of what this might be like so that they get a sense of whether the feeling of personal contact can truly be maintained this way.

Mayor Guinchard agreed, commenting that she was hopeful to arrange some site visits via the Village alarm company,  who have all the new technologies that the Village will need.  Barring site visits, she is hopeful that they will be able to bring some examples in for them to review. 

Trustee Kilduff commented that the Village was somewhat jammed in a way due to labor standards and that technically, the Village could not have the booth window any more because they would be in violation, if not technically, certainly in spirit of the safety of the Guards.  This is the issue.  Residents might want to put it back, but the Village has been put on notice that it could be an issue.  (by whom?  I asked John that question last night, but didn’t get much of an answer)

Mayor Guinchard added that a great number of cars come through the gate every day and to have one person in constant motion, swinging the window open and closed is another concern that they have been “put on alert” about.

There are a lot of factors at play.  Pandora’s Box has been opened.

Meg Vaught inquired as to what the Mayor meant when she said “put on alert.”

The answer was that the repetitive motion was a problem, specifically the threat of Carpal Tunnel syndrome or ligament issues.

The Deputy Mayor added that the Guards opened and closed the window somewhere between 500 and 600 times a day minimally in the summer.  He further pointed out that there would be another opportunity for the public to hear from the design professionals and provide input.

Greg Booth(hahahahaha)  you mean Beard? inquired as to whether or not the Board of Architectural Review had commented on the proposed design of the new booth.

The Mayor replied that what was being proposed was “pretty much the same as what was there.”

Mr. Beard then wondered if it wouldn’t be the right precedent to have the BAR approve the design.

Mayor Guinchard responded that that the Village was not required to obtain this approval however they would definitely share the design with that Board as a courtesy.  The Village is exempt when it comes to appearing before Boards.

Mr. Beard retorted that every resident was required to adhere to this process and often times it involved multiple appearances with public comment periods.  In his view, if the residents have to do it, the Village ought to do it as well.

The Mayor thanked Mr. Beard for his remarks.

With regard to the Village Hall property, Mayor Guinchard announced that the Board was considering the idea of relocated Village Hall to the entrance of the Park, thus occupying all those buildings, and use Village tax dollars appropriately.  This will allow non-residents coming to Village Hall to do so without having to enter the Village, which is a security concern because sometimes these people get lost or end up meandering around.  Are they KIDDING? The property has been surveyed and appraised.  There are still a few details to work out.  Specifically they would like to make sure that residents will still have access to the Pond #3 via the edge of the property.  When the property does go out to be sold, there will be plenty of notice and sealed BIDS.  John Ledwith has been putting together some more thoughts in terms of possible parameters around the sale of the building such as whether they would mandate a certain time frame within which the current Village Hall would need to be demolished and a new building constructed in order to maintain the ratable base in the Village.  They also need to consider whether they would be demolishing the building and selling the lot as vacant property to be built upon. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that he would like to see more detail in terms of what currently exists in the Village office and how this would be transferred over to a new building.
The Mayor commented that she could not take credit for the idea as it had been discussed by “Mayors upon Mayors upon Mayors” for quite some time, several of whom had called her to express their ideas.  The current Village Office sits on a valuable piece of lake front property that should be on the tax rolls.  It is 2.2 acres of useable land.  They still have more homework to do on it, but it is definitely doable.  The current situation is not a comfortable situation for the Village Judge.  The room does not meet certain standards in terms of distance between the Judge and the public.  The Village already pays taxes on the Town Court and would be able to use that space.  The Town Train Station could be used for all other public meetings.  There is great lighting there and a big parking lot.  “People are always running off their trains to come to Village meetings, so this is an idea that we can talk about!” They have already begun walking through the building with the architects and thinking about space and how they can create the necessary handicap accessibility as well as parking.  There are a lot of things that need to be considered as they begin down the path of determining whether or not this is in fact something that they want to do. 

Trustee Guazzoni stated that the amount of yearly taxes that the current Village Office lot could potentially bring in would be between $13,000 and $17,000 per year once fully built.

Both the Mayor and Mr. Ledwith affirmed that this was approximately correct.

Related Gift Parcel/Conservation Easement:
Board Attorney Brian Nugent commented that they were currently awaiting a closing date.  An issue arose that had not been shared with the Orange County Land Trust or the Village centering around a parcel that was owned by TPA.  Related has labeled it a Title Issue.  It does not affect any of the parcels that are coming to the Village but it does effect the overall transaction because it involves one of the Town parcels.  Mr. Nugent did see a note from Andrew Dance indicating that the sale should be closed within 30 days, but he has checked with the Town attorneys and they do not know what the issue is either.  Clearly, it is between Related and TPA.  In light of Mr. Dance’s note, Mr. Nugent is hopeful that it will be coming to a close soon and he intends to reach out in order to better determine what is going on.  The Village does have the ability to send a “time is of the essence” letter to the other parties to push the closing within 30 days.  The Board can authorize the Mayor to do this if things do not progress between now and their next meeting or they can wait to see what the response is once Mr. Nugent reaches out.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to send a letter requesting a force closing after their council had addressed any issues and drafted the necessary paperwork. 

2016-2017 Tentative Budget:
A last minute item was received today from John Ledwith.  Under the line item 1081A        , under the General Fund Revenue Payment in Liu of Taxes/TPS sewer a number reflecting pilot payments was adjusted to $6,223 up from $3,500 last year. 

This was unanimously approved by the Board.

The change reduces the overall levy to $3,573,810.  The Board unanimously approved this reduction in levy.

Trustee Guazzoni pointed out that this past year, the Village had spent less money than had been budgeted for and therefore, had saved money and created a surplus.  He wondered if they had determined what that surplus amount was.

The Mayor responded that they would not know this information until the books were closed in May.  That being said, it looks as though it will be roughly $130,000.  The Mayor pointed out that while this was good, the Village surplus was still quite low and would remain under the suggested percentage of what the surplus should be, which is about 12% of the budget.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving both the General Fund and the Water Fund budgets for the fiscal year 2016/2017.

The Mayor then thanked everyone for all the time and effort they had put into the budgeting process.

Greg Beard commented that felt that if the Village wanted to encourage residents to have gardens, it probably should not cost north of $10,000 per year to water their property.  The current water rates are extremely high and he does not believe that the Board is serving the community by increasing them.

This was discussed at some length, with Trustee Guazzoni and Mayor Guinchard updating Mr. Beard as to the current situation with the Water Company, which is losing 50% of the water produced through leaks.

Mr. Beard stated that he understood this and that he was all for fixing leaks but he felt that the Board should consider that everyone’s property values would probably be higher if they were able to maintain nice gardens.  If they lose a little money on the Water Department this was probably okay as they would all benefit by having nicer gardens.

The Mayor wondered how they would then pay the bills. 

Mr. Beard suggested that this could be done by fixing the leaks.

The Mayor argued that fixing the leaks cost money up front.  She further stated that they were the first administration to address these issues and attack the leaks.

"Why don’t you just quadruple the rates then…and make it $100,000 to maintain a garden?” quipped Mr. Beard.  “The answer is, because that would be absurd.  It shouldn’t cost this much.”

Again the Mayor suggested that the Village needed to pay for what needed to be repaired and that they could not dip into the General Fund to make said repairs.

Mr. Beard then wanted to know if the rates would come down once the leaks had been fixed.
“We certainly hope so,” responded the Mayor.  “I am paying a hefty water bill myself.”

There followed some further discussion regarding the current situation with the Water Company and the collection of outstanding bills etc.

Public Comments:
There were no further public comments

Public Hearing – Continuation – Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015 – Lighting:
Greg Beard commented that he had both questions and comments, but would begin with the questions.  He first wanted to know what about the law would make the roadways safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, if this in fact part of the intent?  If making it pitch black here is the idea, how does this actually provide safe roadways?  He hit a deer on the way to the meeting.  Thankfully nothing happened, but the street lighting has been dimmed so much, that he was unable to see the deer before it ran out.  Thank goodness it was not a kid chasing a baseball!  He finds the idea that the Village can create safer roadways by making it pitch black to be off base.  What if somebody comes home and found a bear in their garbage can?

The Deputy Mayor responded that the provisions contained within the draft of the law the Mr. Beard was commenting on would ultimately be reshaped and re-proposed to the public.

Mr. Beard responded that in terms of safety, he believed what was being proposed was the opposite of safety.  He is sure that there are statistics showing what the accident rates are with both deer and pedestrians being hit in places that are pitch dark vs. those with light.  He suggested they look at these studies and consider them before they subject the community to something that could create a less-safe environment.

With respect to the streetlights, Mayor Guinchard commented that the Mentor Police Chief (who is servicing the Village while they conduct their search for a permanent part-time Chief) found the lack of street lighting to be unacceptable and as a result they had recently installed a ton of bulbs.  The reflectors on East Lake road have also proven to be very beneficial. 
Trustee Kilduff pointed out that the proposed legislation did not necessarily relate to streetlights, but rather more to exterior lighting on homes that goes into the road and could potentially provide glare that blinds the motorist, cyclist or pedestrian passing by. 

Mr. Beard wondered if there were any New York State law in place to prevent nuisance lighting.

Trustee Kilduff responded “No, not sufficient for our needs here in the Village there isn’t.”
“What is the State Law?” asked Mr. Beard.

The Deputy Mayor responded that he felt the State law might be sufficient for the needs of the Village and he believed that the jury was still out on this.

Mr. Nugent interjected that there was a law in place for vehicles with glaring lights but not for residential lighting.

Mr. Beard then wanted to know whether it would be permissible by law to live on the highway and put a floodlight on the roadway.

Mr. Nugent responded that there was not a statute to prevent this.  

Mr. Beard wanted to know how then, the State would prevent something like this.

The answer was that they would either take the individual to court or, more likely, they would go there and attempt to mitigate the issue through conversation with the offender. 

So, why wouldn’t we do that here?” asked Mr. Beard.

“Because we have decided to be more comprehensive about it,” responded Trustee Kilduff.

Mr. Beard responded that he felt that if there were nuisance lights in Tuxedo Park, the Village should probably take the route of contacting the people who are causing the nuisance, inform them they are causing a nuisance and ask them to stop.  If they won’t, then the Village can pursue various avenues without subjecting the entire Village to this lighting law.  Before they subject residents to a restrictive lighting law, they should at least attempt to contact the neighbors.  This seems to be the logical approach.  Mr. Beard has lived in the Village for 12 years.  When he drives around at night, he feels it is basically pitch black.  There are occasionally some lights that are bright but if that is lighting on somebody’s garbage can to prevent a bear from getting in or if they have a light so they can safely get out of their car at night, he feels this is perfectly fine.  If the light is pointing at somebody else’s house, in his view that person should attempt to ask their neighbor to please turn down the light.  He wondered whether the Village had received hundreds of lighting complaints that would justify this law.

Trustee Kilduff responded that there had been a number of stories related to them along those lines during the course of the Public Hearing and the process of the law.  As a matter of fact, one resident who was been contacted about their nuisance lighting responded by putting up a second light in defiance.  The neighborly attitude is not universal here in the Village.

Mr. Beard suggested that there existed Codes and method of enforcement for these types of situations.

Trustee Kilduff replied that the Village was not alone nor were they the trailblazers in this sort of thing.  In fact, this law was adopted from Ridgewood, Sag Harbor and Greenwhich, CT. There are other communities that have had to deal with similar situations that have undertaken similar statues to this.  In fact the proposed statute is based off of several of those.

Mr. Beard then commented that one of the purposes of the proposed law was to reclaim the ability to view the wonder of the night sky.  He spent three years and thousands of dollars studying the impact of light on his property.  He wondered if the Village had any studies to show what the impact of this would be to the night sky here in the Village.  Have they studied what the impact might be on property values?

Trustee Kilduff responded that he felt these questions were speculative and that the Board feels the legislation would only improve property values.  “Everybody talks about this being a special place, yet there seems to be a lack of cooperation and a lot of people put up frontiers of attitude about living here as though they live on 80 acres in Idaho.”

Again, Mr. Beard inquired as to whether the studies had been done.

The Deputy Mayor responded that he was not aware of any study that had been done.

“Nor are we required to do one either,” commented Trustee Kilduff.

Mr. Beard suggested they do the study and consider the idea that perhaps increased regulation that is prohibitive and might reduce safety, while having no additional benefit (such as seeing the night sky) might just be restrictive without benefit and therefore reduce value.  He feels that the idea of having to identify to the Village and ones’ neighbors that they are going to have a party five days before they have it is probably a violation of property rights!  He wondered if this was precedent that had been borrowed from Ridgewood.  Where else do residents have to obtain permission to have lighting at their homes?
“The Hamptons,” responded Trustee Kilduff.  “Ask JayZ”

“Okay,” responded Mr. Beard, “so when our properties are worth $20 million, then I will be fine to have restrictions on my lighting, but I do not want to undue burden of having to notify neighbors and police if I intend to have a party.” He finds this to be restrictive and it will, in his view, reduce property values.  He does not want to deal with it, and he doesn’t feel that the majority of his neighbors do either.  If lighting is such a nuisance, and there are specific complaints, the Village should try other avenues to stop the violators.   Take them to court.
Trustee Kilduff replied that their hands were bound and that the reason they were passing this law was to give them ability to do just that.

Mr. Beard stated that he did not think that the Board had done the work to figure that out.

“No, no we have,” replied Trustee Kilduff.  “People just do whatever the heck they want so we have to come up with these laws.  When we take them to court to force things, the Judge tells us that we are not specific enough in our laws and we can’t stop, say noise complaints, because we don’t have a sound meter or we don’t have this or that.  So, as a result of our tortured experience with our judge, we get forced into doing stuff like this.”  He then reiterated that the neighborly attitude that Mr. Beard had referenced did not exist universally throughout the Village.

Mr. Beard wanted to know if there was a specific lawsuit he could look to.

“If you wanted to try and comb through the records, I guess you could probably find it,” replied Trustee Kilduff.

The Mayor interjected that there was a specific case like this that dealt with sound. 

The Deputy Mayor stated that he was not aware of any unresolved lighting complaints that engendered this.  He further stated that there is a difference of view among the members of the Board as to a variety of provisions in the draft.

Trustee Kilduff asserted that there had been several neighbors who had come before them and “complained mightily” about nuisance lighting shining into their bedrooms at night and preventing them from being able to sleep.

Meg Vaught commented that she had attended all of the meetings and that there had been only one such complaint, made by Valerie Lettan.  Additionally, Richard Witte attended a meeting and complained about his next-door neighbors’ basketball lights.  These were the only two complaints.  She further commented that she agreed with Mr. Beard.   She pointed out that Trustee Guazzoni had driven around the Village and identified 20 homes out of over 300, which in his subjective view constituted a nuisance.  The Board subsequently authorized the purchase of a $2,000 light meter which can read both lumens and candelas, but they are not in agreement as to whether or not the law should even be passed in it’s current form.  Trustee Kilduff stated earlier that the Village was not the trailblazers of this type of thing, however at the previous meeting, they had discussed in some detail how they were, in fact, the first community to consider measuring candelas.   This is, in her view, putting the cart before the horse.  The legislation as proposed promotes litigation rather than neighborly conduct.

Trustee Kilduff responded that he had voted in favor of purchasing the meter because of their experience with Judge Levinson and his telling them that he needed scientific measurements.

Mrs. Vaught pointed out that this pertained to noise not light.

Trustee Kilduff that the same analogy would be held for the light.

Mrs. Vaught argued that the light was not currently a problem here.

Mr. Beard commented that in reviewing some of the comments from past meetings, he had discovered that one of the trustees had suggested that they enact this restrictive law and then selectively enforce it.  This is a quote from one of the Trustees from the previous meeting.  He wondered how they could do something like that?  How can it even be justified?  In his view, whichever Trustee made this remark should resign as a remark like this is only inviting litigation in the Village.  If the idea is to have an over excessive code and enforce it selectively, this will only invite further litigation.  As a taxpayer, he does not want to fund this.  This is the way the situation was represented in print.  If somehow the intent of that trustee was misunderstood orally, he would love to hear an explanation.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that he felt that the current members of the audience were very lucky in that they had neighbors who were “neighborly.”  A resident who lives in a high density area of the Village recently approached him and the Deputy Mayor and complained that they could no longer sleep at night.  This individual had approached their neighbor and the response was that the neighbor increased the wattage of the bulb in question.  The Board has heard 10 or 12 stories like this, admittedly not a lot, and there is nothing they can do about it.  The issue has nothing to do with anybody in the current audience because clearly they are all neighborly people.    The law is only triggered when a neighbor complains.  It is not excessive.  Rather, what is occurring is a violation of another persons’ rights.  It is light trespass.  Right now there is nothing on the rulebooks to take care of that.
Mr. Beard then wanted to know whether there were any regulations regarding excessively bright interior lights that leaked out of people’s houses. 

The answer was no.  As this is interior lighting, the BAR would be responsible for regulating this.

Mr. Beard then suggested that provided the BAR has reviewed the lighting, whether it is interior or exterior, it would make sense to allow it.  In his view interior lights can be just as disruptive, but these will not be covered by the law.  Anyone who has gone through the BAR process should not be subject to these regulations.

Sally Sonne commented that it seemed to her that it would be incredibly difficult to enforce this law equally.  She feels it would be used against people who are not in favor.  She disapproves of having more and more restrictive codes.  She fully supports the idea of approaching a neighbor who is bothering you.  With regard to the neighbor that Trustee Guazzoni referenced, who purposely increased the wattage of their bulbs after a complaint, she suggested that there must have been something else going on with these two people.  She finds the whole situation very hard to believe and does not feel that this type of thing will occur with regularity.

The Mayor then stated that when she had been living in the blue stable house, she had been forced to remove a grandfathered floodlight under the threat of a lawsuit.
Mrs. Sonne wanted to know who had threatened to sue.

The BAR!  The Planning Board!” responded the Mayor. 

Ultimately the agreed to take the light down in the spirit of being neighborly and that was that.
Mrs. Sonne responded that she felt it was already very dark in Tuxedo Park.  She does not believe this is such a problem, especially with high electric rates.

The Mayor then asked John Ledwith to speak on the subject, as he was the one who received the complaints.

Mr. Ledwith stated that he had dealt with a handful of these complaints over the last year or so (maybe 3 or 4) and that in the majority of these cases, after being approached once, the situation was rectified.  In one case however, it was not.  This had to do with outdoor lighting in a home that was not occupied and the caretaker neglected to turn out the lights after being asked to do so.

The Deputy Mayor stated that he felt there was great value in adopting a comprehensive lighting law that addressed things like up lighting and side lighting and the way construction gets done and how lighting is put in and its impact on the night sky.  However, what is being proposed here does very little, if anything, to address that and does not, in his view, follow the pattern that a lot of other jurisdictions have adopted.  Rather it addresses various aspects of nuisance lighting and couple of other instances of other types of lighting.  He thinks it is a worthy go to try and address dark sky issues, but he does not think they are really doing it here.

Trustee Kilduff suggested that Deputy Mayor Gluck should have stated these thoughts previously and the Deputy Mayor responded that he had done so on several occasions.
Next, Mr. Beard inquired as to how many recreational sports facilities exist in Tuxedo Park that have outdoor lighting.

The Board chatted amongst themselves in attempt to come up with an answer.

“So, I have the only lit tennis court in Tuxedo Park now, is that right?” prodded Mr. Beard.
Ultimately, the answer was no.  Michael Bruno has one, but he does not turn on the lights.
Mr. Beard pointed out that the other court had been in existence for at least 40 years.  He wondered how many complaints there had been to date with regard to lighting bothering people from either of these courts.

A straight forward answer was not provided and therefore, Mr. Beard deduced that there have been no complaints.

“You are saying they are a nuisance, but there have been no complaints!” he commented.  “I just want to put it on the record that you are now trying to regulate something for which there have been no complaints.”  He further pointed out that the proposed legislation suggests that the lights should be turned off while it is still light outside!  The shut off time is 9pm, however the sun does not fully set until after 8:30 in the summer time.  He further suggested that what the Board was saying here was that the tennis court lights, for which he went through the entire BAR process and received approval, spending thousands of dollars on lighting studies and countless hours in meetings, could not be used.

Trustee Kilduff responded that the Board had informed Mr. Beard that they were considering a law such as this while he was still in the application stage.

Mr. Beard responded that he did not recall this.  He further stated that he had a copy of his BAR approval, signed by the Trustees…including Trustee Kilduff.  He expressed exasperation at the fact that the Board signed off on his building permit and now they were attempting to regulate his lights out of existence by requiring him to shut them off before it gets dark in the evening.  He suggested that Trustee Kilduff should resign.

“They are just being regulated like anything else can be regulated,” responded Trustee Kilduff.

“But you are regulating them out of existence!” cried Mr. Beard. “You are violating my rights!”

“We were advised by counsel that we were within our rights to regulate them,” stated Trustee Kilduff.

Mr. Nugent interjected that with all the issues that were being raised, the Board could be there for days with discussions. The Board is not required to do studies for every municipal law that they pass. If this were the case, there probably would not be any local laws.  Secondly, if the Board were to wait until there were complaints before regulating things, there probably would not be any laws either.  These same questions could be asked about any of the laws in the Village and ultimately used to suggest that none of them are justified.   The law clearly states that the Board can regulate something that has been approved.  Whether these regulations render something obsolete or create a loss in economic value, these are determinations that would have to be made by a court if there were to be a case brought.  Many of the provisions in the law have not been finalized.  This is one of the reasons for the public hearing…to receive and consider feedback.  Laws do not always arise out of complaints. 

Mr. Beard then commented that he had heard that the Mayor had recused herself from all the previous discussions and wondered why this was so.

The Mayor responded that she had done this because she was Mr. Beard’s neighbor and she did not want him to feel uncomfortable.  She felt she was being a good neighbor.
Mr. Beard pointed out that The Mayor had not recused herself from any other discussion over the course of the last several years.  He further commented that if this lighting law was a reaction to his tennis court lights they need not enact it.  He would be agreeable to using the lights infrequently.  They have already been in place for months and he has had them on with no complaints.  Unless somebody is passing directly in front of his house, he believes they are hardly visible.  If the lights are bothering the Guinchards, which to the best of his knowledge they haven’t yet, without creating a law, he would be happy to agree that he would never use the lights at any time past the cut off time for noise cut-off.  In his view, this would be a congruous solution.  If it turns out that he is not abiding by his own promise down then line, then the Village should at that point move ahead with creating laws, but to enact this burdensome legislation that has nothing to do with safety and is detrimental to 95% of the people (who are not actually creating any nuisance) is in his view, unnecessary.  If this is about him, there is no need for the Mayor to recuse herself.  There will be no issue at hand because the lights will be seldom used.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that as far as he was concerned, it had nothing to do with Mr. Beard.

“Then you should remove the recreational sports stuff,” commented Mr. Beard “because that is about me.”

Trustee Guazzoni asserted that the issue at hand was more the high density housing on Club House Road and the people who had complained that they were unable to sleep at night.

Mr. Beard suggested that the legislation should then be altered to reflect this, specifically siting the high-density situations.  The law should be for Club House Road!  There was no need to subject everyone to these restrictions in order to accomplish what they are trying to do.  It is wrong.

Trustee Guazzoni argued that there were other residents who put up spotlights on their homes and their cars, and who blast these lights into the roadway and onto their neighbors’ house.  These spotlights would never be BAR approved!

Mr. Beard pointed out that it had already been established that under the current law it would be permissible for him to light his tennis court from his third floor window, which he further stated he intends to do if the law is passed.

Again, Trustee Guazzoni asserted that the law had nothing to do with Mr. Beard’s tennis court and Mr. Beard retorted that if that was the case, he expected the recreational sports lighting section to be removed.

There followed several more minutes of discussion between Mr. Beard and the Board.  Finally, Mayor Guinchard suggested that she and Mr. Beard sit together and review the legislation in an effort to come up with some sort of compromise that everyone might be happy with.  This idea was battered around for a few minutes and ultimately agreed to.  The public hearing remains open and will be continued at the May meeting.

Discussion of Possible Local Law on Short Term Rentals:
The Board discussed the idea of limiting short-term rentals within the Village, noting that they did not want to single out AIR BnB but that this was the type of thing they were ultimately trying to eliminate.  Due to some resent cases in New York State, if communities want the ability to restrict short-term, transient rentals, they need to amend their codes in order to implement that restriction.  A draft local law has been prepared and was reviewed and briefly discussed.  Essentially what it would do is to restrict short-term rentals to a period of 14 days or longer.  There are also some provisions built in, a safety valve so to speak, for persons who might need to rent for medical assistance or things of that nature. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that she did not think that anybody wanted to prevent people from renting their homes, but there is security concern.  The way the rentals are publicized can be an issue.  When renting through a relator, there is often some vetting that occurs, however with online rentals, this is usually not the case.  What she has been hearing from residents is that they are concerned with random people who are gaining access to the Park and wandering around.  How the balance comes about will be a fine line.

Trustee Kilduff wondered whether or not there might be a revenue opportunity for the Village if they were to allow this in the form of a rental tax.

Mr. Nugent responded that he was not sure, but it would probably be similar to a hotel tax for which they would need State approval.  Generally, the State legislature has said no in municipal situations such as this.

Mayor Guinchard wondered whether the current code allowed for room-by-room renting.
The answer was no.

The Deputy Mayor pointed out that sometimes it made sense to have areas like this within communities in order to help support the community, however the issue here is that there are no commercial establishments to support so the residents do not gain much of anything from the activity.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that they might want to reduce the minimum time-allotment as some homeowners like to rent their homes for 1 week.

After some further discussion it was agreed that the Board would continue to discuss the idea over the next month or so before introducing it to the public as a proposed law. 

Consideration of Resolution to Change Qualification of Traffic Guard Positions:
The Board entered into an executive session to discuss this agenda item, as well as to go over a spreadsheet for personnel payroll.

When they re-emerged, they voted unanimously in favor of entering into an employment agreement with the new Chief of Police.  Should the agreement be executed, the Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing this gentleman to come into the Police Department and familiarize himself with the workings of the Village one week after it has been signed.

A resolution changing the qualifications of traffic guards so that these positions will now be filled by full law enforcement officers was made and unanimously approved. 

The position of Traffic Guard as the Village has always known it will be abolished on May 31, 2016.

A motion authorizing the Mayor and Debbie Matthews to contact Civil Service and take any action necessary to create the position of Deputy Village Clerk (assistant to the Village Clerk) was also unanimously approved.

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Agenda For Board of Trustees Meeting April 26, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
a. Resolution - Dedication of Police Car
b. Resolution- NYS Retirement System Standard Work Day for Appointed Officials
c. Announce- Bulk Trash Pick Up Day on Saturday May 21,2016
4. Community Spotlight- Tuxedo Union Free School District
5. Public Comments
6. CHA Engineers- Wee Wah Dam Presentation (approximately 30 minutes)
7. Report of Police
8. Report ofDPW
a. Resolution- Water Valve
9. Report of Building Department
10. Committee Updates
a. Tree Advisory Board (TAB)
11. Main Entrance and Village Hall Property Discussion
12. Related Gift Parcel/Conservation Easement Update
13. 2016-2017 Tentative Budget
14. Public Comments
15. Public Hearing-Continuation-Local Law Introductory #4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
16. Consideration of Resolution to Change Qualification of Traffic Guard Positions
17. Discussion of Possible Local Law on Short Term Rentals
18. Audit of Claims
19. Adjournment

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Trustee Guazzoni To Attend Tonight’s Trustee Meeting Via Skype

Please take notice that the regular monthly Board of Trustees Meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 7:00p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, and that Trustee Claudio Guazzoni will be attending by Skype from: 17 Dunsany Road, London Wl4, England, UK and Trustee Alan McHugh will be attending by Skype from: 610 Coconut Palm Road, Vero Beach, Florida.

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 7, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard reported that, after checking with Civil Service, she had determined that part of the Deputy Clerk’s job responsibility included scheduling and overseeing scheduling for any of the departments as needed.  To this end, she has asked John Ledwith to work with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss to schedule repair of 5 recently discovered water leaks, which appear to be quite substantial.  The specifics of the leaks were briefly discussed as was the technology used in identifying them.  The plan is to continue to utilize this free service, which has been provided by the State, and have the leak detection company return to the Village on a somewhat regular basis, identifying a handful of leaks (5-7) each time, which the Village will subsequently repair in advance of the next visit.  At this rate, Mr. Ledwith anticipates that it will not take long (6 months) for the Village to see improvements with the water loss.  Trustee McHugh wondered whether the work would require overtime and if the Village could expect to see a jump in costs.  Mr. Ledwith responded that ultimately, the DPW has the man-hours to do the work, and he does not believe overtime will be required.  The system of overtime for the DPW in general, and more specifically, how to allocate those costs to which department/budget (Water Works/DPW) was discussed at some length.  It was agreed that Mr. Ledwith would develop a timesheet for handling this moving forward.

With regard to the Wee Wah Dam, the Mayor reported that everything was moving along according to schedule.  They are developing a plan for bonding, which will be presented to the Board within the next month or so.  She then asked Trustee McHugh for an update on the Tuxedo Lake screens, which were to be installed by the Tuxedo Lake Dam, commenting that with spring right around the corner, it was important to be on top of these.

Trustee McHugh responded that he had nothing to report as Superintendent Voss was supposed to have installed the screens last fall.

It was agreed that he would put together an update on this for the next meeting.

Budget Public Hearing:
There were no comments from the Public.

The Deputy Mayor applauded the entire Board, but particularly the Mayor for driving some initiatives, particularly with the police, that really drove the numbers down and saved the Village “a heck of a lot of money.”

The Mayor seconded this, thanking the Trustees for “putting up” with her and commenting that she was extremely proud of all the hard work that each of done in putting together the budget.

Trustee Guazzoni echoed these sentiments, congratulating everyone on finding a way to keep things below the tax cap.  He is thrilled that they were able to completely dismiss Local Law #1 of 2016. (This would have allowed them to go above cap if necessary.)

Trustee McHugh expressed his gratitude to Debbie and John in the office for all their tolerance and assistance during the process.

The Mayor then reported that negotiations with both the police and DSW were ongoing and that she felt that there was a lot of good communication going on in both cases.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered why the Water Works needed to be included as part of the budget if it was a corporation that was solely owned by the Village.

Village Clerk, Debbie Matthews, explained that because the Municipality runs the Water Works it must be a part of the budget.

Closure of the public hearing was then briefly discussed.  Trustee McHugh felt that the hearing should remain open to allow for public comment up until the last minute on any future changes that might occur.

The public hearing was then closed by a vote of 5-4, with Trustee McHugh voting against. 

Lakes:
The Mayor commented that because the winter was so mild and there was little-to-no runoff from snow, the lake is “holding very well.”  The temperature and PH of the water are great.  The trout have been put in.

Deputy Mayor Gluck wondered whether the Wee Wah was expected to stay at its current level.

Trustee McHugh responded that it was not.  The Village drew the level down in the anticipation of a hard winter, which they had hoped might kill off some of the milfoil.  The levels will be elevated in the coming weeks.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether the levels in Tuxedo Lake were also low.

The answer was yes.

He then wondered whether they could elevate those levels as well, but Trustee McHugh responded that that would be up to Mother Nature.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that if they blocked off some of Tuxedo Dam, the levels would elevate fairly quickly.

Trustee McHugh replied that the issue had been brought to their attention and that Superintendent Voss was well aware and doing what he could to elevate it.  He cautioned that blocking off a portion of the Tuxedo Dam could have negative effects on Pond #3 and the Wee Wah.

The Mayor interjected that she had brought this issue to the attention of Superintendent Voss the week prior, and he had reacted very quickly, installing one stop board at the Tuxedo Dam.  This is all they can do. 

Purchase of Light Meter:
The Village has an opportunity to purchase a light meter that can measure both candelas and lumens.  Mayor Guinchard stated that if they were going to pass legislation that referred to specific measurements of anything, that it was imperative that they have the tools with which to collect those measurements. 

Trustee Guazzoni then provided a brief description of the meter and the different measurements of light that it provides.  The cost of the meter is $1,950 and the diffuser cap and converter costs an additional $100.

The Mayor commented that based on the advice of Judge Levinson, having the correct tools necessary to back themselves up and prove a case would ultimately save the Village money.  Additionally, it allows for proper enforcement of the law.  She believes it is necessary and that the Police and the Building Inspector should be trained on it.  She suggested that the BAR might also be able to make use of it by instantly testing light samples. 

Trustee McHugh commented that the Village had put into law a noise variance where they decided that they did not need to have empirical data and they knew that the judge had an issue with that.  He feels they might be creating a double standard in this regard.  He feels that it would be better to pass the law first, then purchase the meter. 

Fundamentally speaking, Deputy Mayor Gluck agreed with this point, commenting that he felt there was no need for any such purchase with respect to any ordinance that is currently on the books.  There will be some discussion forthcoming about adopting an ordinance after which there may be a need for this meter, but there may also be a need for a less expensive instrument as well.  He feels the proposing the purchase of an instrument that currently has no use to the Village is “putting the cart before the horse.”  He feels they should see what they plan to adopt first and then take it from there.

Trustee Kilduff commented that since they had been struggling with what the limits might be as to what would be considered “offensive” lighting, he felt that it would be helpful for them to have the instrument now in order to help them set reasonable limits on the amount of light that they are looking to regulate.  He believes it will be very helpful.  He also feels it might potentially be helpful to the BAR.  He supports the purchase.

Trustee McHugh wondered how they were able to use the instrument currently.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that it was on loan to them for 1 month in order to help them craft the legislation.

Trustee McHugh commented that this should address Trustee Kilduff’s concerns about setting limits.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that the month was almost up.

Trustee McHugh quipped if that was the case it was his view that they had squandered the time away.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that he was in favor of purchase for all the same reasons that Trustee Kilduff had listed.  He feels they need to set sensible levels. If it is no longer needed in 3 or 4 months, they can resell it.

Deputy Mayor Gluck suggested that there might be a cheaper instrument based on how they chose to proceed with the legislation.  He further pointed out that there had been no request from the BAR or the Planning Board for such an instrument and that the Board ofTrustees would have very little use for it.

Trustee Kilduff responded that the BOT were acting as visionaries in predicting that these other Boards might have use for the meter.

The Mayor asked Building Inspector Ledwith for his view.

Mr. Ledwith responded that there seemed to be a new issue every week.  Just last week he received a complaint from one resident who could see some bright lights in the distance from his house on Circuit Road.  Mr. Ledwith determined which home the light was coming from and subsequently contacted the relator who was taking care of the home.  When they arrived at the scene they discovered 4 floodlights on.  It was obvious to him that the owners were not aware that the lights were on.  He requested that the relator ask the owners to turn them off.

Generally speaking, Mr. Ledwith is not sure with how this legislation will be approachable to people.  The Village is a small community where everyone knows each other and this can sometimes make things difficult. 

Mayor Guinchard commented that regardless of whether the legislation goes through, purchase of the instrument would provide the Building Inspector with a tool with which to provide prospective and also to handle potentially indignant situations. 

Mr. Ledwith agreed, stating that a meter reading would allow for documentation in disputed cases, which would in turn give the law some “teeth” when appearing before the judge.

Without the reading, there is no validity to the complaints.  That being said, Mr. Ledwith further noted that all three residents he contacted over the course of the last month with regard to light complaints had taken care of the problem quickly and without incident. 

Trustee Kilduff noted that people seem sensitive to light in the community.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had believed people were also sensitive to noise however, since passing the noise ordinance there has not been a single complaint on the police report. 

Trustee Kilduff countered that the Village is a summer-based community and that things are quieter in the wintertime.

Mayor Guinchard suggested that the Village should also acquire a decibel reader in order to give their sound law some teeth as well.  Is this absolutely necessary?  No, but she feels that if it is used only 1 time, it will pay for itself.

The Deputy Mayor pointed out that there was nothing in the code that measured any wrong doing that was tied to a decibel reader.

Both the Mayor and Trustee Guazzoni replied that they felt this should be changed.
This was discussed at some length.

Ultimately, the Mayor made a motion that the Board approve the purchase of the light meter as proposed.

The Deputy Mayor asserted that he believed they were doing things out of order, pointing out that a discussion of the Dark Sky initiative was on the agenda for later that evening and suggesting that they should discuss that first prior to authorizing to this purchase.   He does not see the need for the meter in the absence of legislation.   He further suggested that the Mayor might consider recusing herself from this decision as she has recused herself from the Dark Sky discussions and this purchased seems to be directly tied to that legislation.

Trustee Kilduff commented that this purchase was for instrumentation purposes.  Regardless of what the readings are he feels that it is proper and fitting that the Village have a meter for it.  He was not in courtroom when Judge Levinson suggested that the Village should have taken decibel readings, but this is what was said.  He does not care what the case law says, if the Village is to have prosecution successfully adjudicated, they need the meter.

Furthermore, being that it is just a tool or implement, he does not feel that the Mayor needs to recuse herself. 

Trustee McHugh commented that there had only been two noise variance tickets issued; both to the Tuxedo Club for employees using leaf blowers on a public holiday.  These tickets were not challenged.

Trustee Kilduff countered that in his capacity as a Board member, residents had complained on several occasions about noisy events at the Tuxedo Club and there had been nothing that the police could do about it.  That being said, he reminded the Board that they were not discussing the purchase of a decibel reader, but rather that of a light meter.  In his experience with the Village Judge, Trustee Kilduff has learned that scientific and fact based prosecution is preferred to nebulous standards.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that Village Counsel had suggested that they needed to properly meter speed, noise and light if they were going to be issuing tickets for these types in infractions.  To this end, he feels that the purchase of both a decibel reader and a light meter are important.

The Mayor commented that the light meter would also be a good tool for the Building Inspector when negotiating with homeowners.  In her view, he needs certain tools when discussing these things with people in order to provide a basis for what is being discussed.

The Board then voted 3-2 in favor of purchasing the light meter, with the Deputy Mayor and Trustee McHugh Voting against.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether Trustee Guazzoni would sell the meter should the light law not be passed.

The Mayor responded she felt that the Village should keep it as a tool for the Building Inspector.

“To enforce a law that we don’t have?” questioned Trustee McHugh.

Trustee Kiulduff responded that it would be used for planning purposes.  He further stated that just because something had never been used before that it did not mean that it would have no use.

Trustee Guazzoni commented that if it were not used, it would be easy to sell.

The Keep:
Alan Yassky reported that he and Mr. Ledwith had toured the building the day prior with an architect, who had informed then that both the second and third floors of the structure could in fact be used and remain in compliance with fire safety codes.   This would mean that the second floor could theoretically be turned into an office and the third floor used for storage.

Mr. Yassky would like to obtain this in writing.  Fire alarm and C02 systems will need to be installed.  Additionally, he has met with the projected chief to go over what he might need within the building, which is not much.  They are looking to install a security door, similar to the one in the front of the building, in the back.  The back room would become a holding room with tie downs and benches.  The ceiling would be dropped somewhat.  The bathroom size will be increased.  The architect has stated that they will not have to install ramps or anything of nature in the building as it is an existing, historical structure and it would be impractical to do so. The front office that used to be the Chief’s office would be converted to an officer’s room and a sink and refrigerator will be installed there under the stairs.  If the Chief wants an office, this will go on the second floor.

There are some minor decisions to be made such as whether or not to leave the interior walls as stone or cover them over.  Mr. Yassky suggests leaving them.  The difference in heat loss is minimal and it will keep the stones dry. 

The addition of a parking lot in the rear was suggested and more specifically working with St. Mary’s to determine what the best plan would be.

The idea of reconstructing an unmanned booth was also briefly discussed with Mr. Yassky assuring the Board that whatever they needed could be constructed with relative ease.

There have been some complaints about the coloring of the cement around the arched windows of the Keep.

Mr. Yassky commented that this is an issue of weathering.

Ultimately, it was agreed that the Board would continue to work with Mr. Yassky and that he, in turn, would provide them with the necessary estimates/numbers as the project progresses.  The Board is currently gathering quotes on various security systems and once they have these, they will work with Mr. Yassky to make sure that the necessary conduits are in place.  Trustee McHugh cautioned that they should wait until they had determined which direction they were going to go in before installing any conduit.  If they ultimately decide to rebuild a manned booth, the conduit will be unnecessary.

The Mayor responded that there would still be police business going on in that building that required the use of computers.

Trustee McHugh wondered if the intent was to install two sets of screens, one in the booth and one in the Keep. 

Mr. Yassky advised that conduit already exists between where the guards sit now and where the booth used to be. 

Mayor Guinchard stated that the building would still need to function for the police whether the guards sat there or not.

A bill for some of the work that has been completed on the Keep to date in the amount of $10,636.48 was reviewed, discussed and signed off on for payment.

Finally, Mayor Guinchard reported having met with Town Supervisor Mike Rost, who has assured the Village that the Town will work with them in terms of space needed for reconstructing the booth, should that be what they decide to do.

Guinchard Request:
Mayor Guinchard recused herself and the Board discussed the previous request made by her husband, Claude Guinchard, to reinstall a kitchen in the cottage located on their property.  The Guinchards are not looking to subdivide or rent, but rather would like to make the accessory building livable for extended family.   At the request of the Board, Mr. Guinchard reviewed his original development agreement with the Village and revised it to reflect this request.   Board attorney Brian Nugent advised the Board that what was being requested in the revised agreement was in violation of Village Code and that the Board of Trustees could not approve the request without opening a giant can of worms.  He further advised that the proper way to move forward would be for the Guinchards to issue an application to the BZA requesting permit to use the accessory building as a residence for guests and/or employees under section 100-6B.  Since the structure was in existence prior to 1990 when the code was amended, they should be allowed to proceed in this way.  Once a permit has been granted, the agreement will be amended.

Building Inspector John Ledwith suggested that over the years there had been some pressure with regard to other structures that fall into this category and that it might not be the worst thing that could happen to the Village if they were to allow a little bit more use of these structures to increase values and provide a place for people to live. 

Village Main Entrance Discussion:
The Board is still investigating their options for what will “go in the middle.”  Trustee Guazzoni will put together some sort of proposal featuring all of different scenarios as they pertain to security and these will be reviewed and addressed in an executive session. 

Trustee Guazzoni commented that one of the security measures they are looking at is replacing the unarmed traffic guards with armed policemen.   He feels they need to look into this further. 

The potential cost of this was briefly discussed and the Mayor agreed to put together an analysis for the next meeting.

Light Law Discussion:
Mayor Guinchard recused herself from the discussion.

A review of the provisions laid out in the draft document ensued. 

Determining the standard of “nuisance” lighting, and more specifically the measuring of light (imperial vs. metric) and the devices with which to do so were discussed.

Trustee McHugh commented that when making this public, he felt they needed to provide the residents with a sense as to how many offending fixtures currently exist.  In his view residents need to know what the effects of this law will be on them especially as there will be an associated cost for those who are in violation. 

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that there were roughly 20-23 parcels out of 400 that would be in violation.

Trustee McHugh wondered what metric Trustee Guazzoni had used to determine this.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that he had used nuisance as the determining factor, using a lumen reader.  Foot candles were not measured, but candelas were.  He further suggested that Trustee McHugh should drive around the Village and make his own determination.

Deputy Mayor Gluck stated that they needed to sort out what Foot Candles were measuring vs. what candelas was measuring.

Trustee Kilduff interjected that they did not, as this particular distinction had already been discussed at some length. 

Regardless, Trustee Guazzoni clarified by stating that candelas were used to measure light that was farther away while foot candles were used to measure light in closer proximity.
The Deputy Mayor disagreed with this.

Speaking as a resident, Mayor Guinchard commented that she believed her own pillar lights to be “offensive” because they create a glare although they were approved.  She reduced the wattage and changed the bulbs out for LED, but it is still a problem. 

Trustee McHugh then wanted to know if the Mayor’s lights were one of the 23 that Trustee Guazzoni had considered to be in violation.

The answer was yes, however Trustee Guazzoni stated that these lights should really be measured by a foot-candle reader as they are “up close.”

Trustee McHugh stated that once they have obtained a foot-candle reader, he would like to go around the Village and ultimately quantify the magnitude of the problem in general. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that he still had several hang-ups with this particular issue of measurement.  First, in looking at practices in several other communities, he has only found 1 that utilizes foot candles, and they do so by putting into play a very complex and confusing equation that he did not understand.  Secondly, he has continually requested the names of other communities where this type of light measurement is being done, but there are none.  He does not feel the Village should be the forerunner.   Finally, this type of measurement is used, from what he can see, in regulating new or renovated construction.  While he is okay with the idea of using it that way, he is not in favor of telling some current residents that their lights are too bright for the Board’s liking so they have to rip them out and install something new.

Trustee Guazzoni interjected that it would not be the Board’s opinion that put this legislation into play, but rather the complaint of a neighbor.  Without being able to measure in foot candles, there will be no teeth with which to back up/enforce the law.

The Deputy Mayor responded that he felt that Trustee Guazzoni’s measurements on teeth were not on point and he feels that the reason this is so is that it is a difficult measurement to use.  His experience in using this device to measure light around the Village was that there was a fair amount of variability in the readings.  It’s like a radar gun that is used to catch speeders.  How is it calibrated?  How do they prove the calibration?  It’s a “bag of worms.”

The section-by-section review ensued.

Flag lighting was discussed (The Club in particular.)   It was agreed that they would set a level of 300 lumens for flag lighting and that this might result in the Club deciding to lower their flag at night.

An extensive discussion of pillar lighting was punted to the next meeting as it was agreed that this conversation would likely be lengthy and it was already after 11pm.

Time restrictions for lighting were reviewed and flashing Holiday lights were also discussed.  It was agreed that the proposed restrictions on party lighting would be removed.

The process of moving forward was then discussed.  The Deputy Mayor suggested that he would re-draft the legislation based on the Trustee comments and subsequently circulate it to the Board and their attorney so that it could be made public in time for a Public Hearing on April 26.

There followed a disagreement between the Deputy Mayor with Trustee McHugh and Trustees Guazzoni and Kilduff regarding whether or not the measurement of of candelas should be included.  Both the Deputy Mayor and Trustee McHugh are against it, while Trustees Guazzoni and Kilduff argued that without it they would not be capturing a major measurement of the light.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that without it, he felt they should scrap the bill in its entirety.

He then told the Mayor that he was leaving the meeting as he had worked way to hard on this and quipped “good luck on your B & V.”

Again speaking as a resident, the Mayor commented that regardless of what they were trying to accomplish, they would need to be able to measure it in some form.  Some lights can only be measured by lumens while others can only be measured by candelas.  In her view, both should be included.  It is a matter of science.  She suggested they go to council for their opinion as to which type of measurements should be used for which things.

Deputy Mayor Gluck countered that what they should really do is seek the advice of a planning professional.  Ultimately, he feels that certain pre-existing lighting should be grandfathered and allowed to continue while Trustee Guazzoni feels that this same lighting needs to be eliminated

Following some further bickering the discussion was adjourned.  A public hearing will take place on April 26.

In closing, the Mayor suggested that in the Village of Tuxedo Park “more is better” and that it is critical to let the community see all the different opinions and options when it comes to decision making.  Everything should be laid out on the table.

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Updated Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 7, 2016

1. Call Meeting to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Budget Public Hearing
4. Light Law Discussion
5. Village Main Entrance Discussion
6. Adjournment

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting and Budget Public Hearing April 7, 2016

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Tentative Budget for the Village of Tuxedo Park for the fiscal year commencing June 1, 2016 and ending May 31, 2017 has been filed in the office of the Village Clerk and that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a public hearing to consider such budget at a special Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7:00p.m., in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, and to consider any other matters that may come before the Board on said date. No salary is paid to the Mayor or Trustees.

All persons interested shall be given the opportunity to be heard.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 22, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday March 22 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Community Outreach – Tuxedo Volunteer Ambulance Corps:
The presentation began outdoors with a viewing of the Corp’s new ambulance led by Ambulance Corps President, Trustee Kilduff.  Things were then shifted back indoors where Paramedic Greg Berger talked a little bit more about what the paramedics do, the types of services they offer and how they operate in certain specific situations.  The Corps covers all the Town of Tuxedo, the Village, 17 miles of the NYS Thruway and 2/3 of Harriman State Park.  They provide advanced life support services for anybody that needs them.  They are capable of conducting EKGs, they carry a wide range of medicine and they have advanced breathing apparatuses.  Essentially, they are a mobile extension of the E.R. and can assist patients who are suffering from heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, broken bones or whatever the case may be.  The EKG machine has a cellular network, which connects to the E.R.s in many of the local hospitals and allows the paramedic to transmit information directly ahead of their arrival.  In emergency situations this often allows patients to bypass the E.R. altogether and go straight into the O.R..

Trustee Guazzoni wondered how difficult it was for the paramedics to navigate within the Park and find houses, especially at nighttime.  He wondered if this was an issue that they struggled with.

Mr. Berger responded that this has been an issue in the past.  There are some areas in the Park where upwards of 4 roads intersect, for example the top of Tower Hill Road, and at nighttime, this can be confusing for the drivers.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to whether the drivers were using GPS or street signs to find their way.

Mr.  Berger responded that typically they use GPS, however this can sometimes be wacky in the Village, especially at higher speeds.

Trustee Guazzoni then wondered what the Village could do to improve the situation.
Mr. Berger suggested clearer signage would help.

From the audience, Anne Gwathmey stated that the County has the wrong addresses on file all the way up Club House Road.   It is on the tax records.   She has been complaining for 15 years, but it has not been changed.

Mayor Guinchard asked Trustee Kilduff if he would look into this so that the Village could communicate the proper information to 911.

Mary Graetzer recounted that several years ago, during a wedding at her home, she had called 911 and when she provided them with her address, they told her it was incorrect.  Following a brief exchange in which they repeatedly tried to tell her she was calling from another address, Mrs. Graetzer finally asked them to simply drive up Ridge Road, where they would see the wedding tent, which they did.  The experience frustrated her however and she subsequently requested the list of addresses for the Village from 911 and went through it, where she discovered and reported multiple discrepancies.

Mr. Berger responded that this can and does happen.  Luckily, they now have Google Maps, which allows them to find the locations, even though the numbering may be incorrect.  

Mayor Guinchard asked Trustee Kilduff if he would look into this further, utilizing the most recent, new 911 list.  He agreed that he would.

Trustee Guazzoni asked if the corps would put together a list of problem intersections where there are possible directional challenges so that the Village could follow up with better D.O.T. signage.  Mr. Berger responded that they would.

Trustee Kilduff noted that anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911 directly and NOT the police as the ambulance is no longer being dispatched by that department; they are now dispatched exclusively by Orange County 911.

Mayor Guinchard then asked for a moment of silence honoring the victims of the Belgium terror attacks.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor Ginchard began by commenting that anyone who was present to discuss the local law regarding the tax cap, should be advised that this would not be discussed this evening.  Although the Board is struggling, they believe they can ultimately remain within the tax cap and will not need to override it.  The cap this year is .73 rather than 2%, which presents quite a challenge and there has been a lot of necessary “tweeking.”  A final budget workshop will take place on Monday, March 28 at 10am where further “tweeking” is expected to take place after which a public hearing will take place on April 7 at 7pm.

Regarding the public hearing on the discontinuance of a portion of a certain road in the Village, the Mayor noted that this hearing would not be opened that evening either as they were still waiting for the annexation to be complete.

Finally, The Villages of Tuxedo Park and Sloatsburg will be forming a Lions Club, information about which will be posted on the Village website and will also be available in the Village Office.  For those who might be interesting in joining, there will be an informational meeting at the municipal Town Hall in Sloatsburg on April 5 at 7pm. 

Public Comments:
Anne Gwathmey noted that she could see that the water main located between her property and the Silvay’s had been repaired, however there was an issue as sandbags had been placed at the initial point of digging but not at the upper part and now all the gravel has gone down the property.  She wondered if there were a reason why sandbags had not been placed by the curb they had financed, or whether they might have to pay for that as well.

She will do so if necessary, but would be grateful for 4 sandbags if possible.

Building Inspector John Ledwith responded that he would touch base with the DPW.

Report of the Police:
On behalf of the Police Department, Detective Tayback reported the following for the month of February:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 66
Criminal Complaints – 1 (closed by arrest)
Traffic Tickets – 9
Fire Calls – 7
Intrusion Alarms – 7
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to State Police – 1
Assists Given to Town of Ramapo Police – 1
Assists Given to Town of Tuxedo Police – 1

Additionally, 10,228 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

There are multiple street lamps out in the Village and Officer Tayback reported that he and Mr. Ledwith had met with O& R and this would be addressed in the coming week. 

Report of the DPW:
Superintendent Voss was not present due to an issue with a water line.  Building Inspector Ledwith reported that he would join the meeting later, if timing allowed. 

Bid Award – Sludge Removal Services – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the sludge removal contract to Woodbury Sanitary Sewage Removal at a price of .12 per gallon for the period of 4/1/16-3/31/17.

Report of the Building Department:
Click here to review a copy of the Building Department Report.

In response to a request from the Mayor, Mr. Ledwith stated that he did not have anything new to report on the East Village water main.  He expects the project to begin moving forward within the next 30 days. 

Bid Award – SSES Project - Regarding the SSES phase 3 as reviewed at the previous meeting, the Village has been asked to approve a bid in the amount of $168,367.5. Mr. Ledwith reached out to Westin and Sampson, who assured him that they had in turn reached out to at least three firms who did this type of work. The fact that this is a relatively small project is what led to the low number of bids.  The work will take place on Tower Hill, Club House and Continental Roads as well as portions of Serpentine, Turtle Point and Circuit. 4 manholes will be replaced and 10 relined.  1,900 feet of linear pipe will also be relined.
Following some brief discussion, a motion to accept the bid was made and unanimously adopted.

Drawing attention to letter M on the Mr. Ledwith’s report, Trustee Guazzoni pointed out that the Related Companies will be giving the Village 4 parcels of land.  He further stated that it was very important to the Village that these parcels were not taxable and therefore they were able to secure a written document from the Town Assessor stating that there are not.  Additionally it was discovered that there is a parcel of land owned by the Village just outside the Gates, that was being incorrectly taxed and this parcel was also removed from the tax rolls. 

Finally, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the next phase (tasks 3 & 4) of the SSES project at total estimated costs of $23,900 and $5,700.

Finally, Mayor Guinchard reported that Mr. Ledwith had in been in touch with dam engineersCHA, and is hopeful that at some point in April or May they will provide a more detailed presentation, details to follow.

Grant Writer:
Village Grant Writer, Fred Rella began by reporting that he had been investigating some grant opportunities to help eradicate invasive species, both terrestrial and aquatic.  To this end he has been working with both the NY DEC Invasive Species Unit, PRISM, the USDA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  He will have more information on this at next month’s meeting.

Regarding the Wee Wah Dam, Mr. Rella reported that the $50,000 awarded to the Village by Senator Bonacic would be coming soon.  The process for receiving the funds is a somewhat lengthy one, however he has been working with the Senator’s office to make sure the process moves along smoothly, which it is.  A contract is expected in the near future and once that has been executed, the Village will have access to the funds.  The monies can be used for the dam itself as well as engineering expenses related to the project.  Mr. Rella has also been working with the Environmental Facilities Corps of NYS and federally with FEMA (hazard mitigation grants) in hopes of getting some larger numbers for the dam (hopefully in the area of $500,000)

Mr. Rella has also been working with Detective Tayback and trying to get some emergency equipment for the Police Department from Orange County Office of Emergency Services.  The Village has been added to their list to participate in some Homeland Security programs, which could bring in some tactical equipment and other emergency type equipment.  He is also working with the New York State Troopers and is hopeful to secure laptops of each of the three police vehicles.  The Village is currently the only police force in Orange County without laptops in their vehicles. The laptops will become available in October and Mr. Rella believes the Village will receive two at that time, with the third to follow next spring. 
Trustee Guazonni stated that the Village owns a small parcel of land outside the Front Gate which borders on Route 17.  Because the land borders the State Roadway, the Village qualifies for many more police grants than they would otherwise.  These grants potentially include license plate recognition systems, which could be installed on this land, one aiming north and the other south, along 17.  Trustee Guazzoni asked Mr. Rella if he would work with Detective Tayback to further investigate this.

Mr. Rella responded that he had already begun working on this and he expected to receive readers in the future.  Timing is a factor with these grants.

Finally, Mr. Rella reported that he and Detective Tayback had also been working with the State of NY Division of Criminal Justice and specifically the 1033 program, which is where the Department of Defense awards their used equipment to Police Departments for free.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the Mayor to sign the various applications required to procure these grants after the Village Attorney reviews them.

Committee Updates:
Tree Advisory Board – On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Chair Chiu Yin Hempel presented the Board with an initial link to the Committee’s website and asked them to provide any feedback prior to March 25, as they are hoping to launch the site on Monday March 28, in time to accompany the Evite to the Arbor Day celebration on April 30.  The website will be linked to the Village website. 

Speaking to the Arbor Day Celebration, Chair Hempel reported that the entire event would be funded by private donations and none of the funding allocated by the Village would be used for the event.  The allocated $1,200 will be used for actual tree work as well as a tree inventory at the Racetrack (70% of which was funded by a private resident.)   The Advisory Board expects to remain completely within their approved budget of $5,000, but there could be certain movement between items.  For example, the aforementioned $1,200 initially approved for Arbor Day will now be used for something else.  Chair Hempel wondered if the Advisory Board would need to return to the Board for permission each time they shifted the allocation of resources within the budget.

The answer was no.  The Board will not micro-manage that spending.

With regard to the Racetrack, the Advisory Board has collected three bids for invasive management to control the invasives that are killing the trees, which are holding up the embankment that support Tuxedo and Club House Roads.  Following review of these, the Advisory Board decided to go with Invasive Species experts Trillion and they have been commissioned.  They hope to receive a report in late April or May, after which the committee will be working with the Board to form a detailed work plan and budget.  They will also be looking for grant opportunities for this and hopefully receiving some donations.  The DPW will also be involved.

The Advisory Board applied to the DEC program Trees for Tribs (tributaries) and the Village has been accepted.   This is a division of the DEC that helps communities to replant native, vegetative buffers at shorelines and stream-sides.  Vegetative buffers along streams and around lakes and reservoirs are absolutely critical to maintaining the health of these bodies of water as they help with erosion control and also prevent runoff from getting into the water.  This is particularly relative to the Village because of the reservoir.  On March 14, the members of the Advisory Board along with Mayor Guinchard, Mr. Ledwith and Mr. Rella, visited 6 pieces of Village owned public land.  A map depicting these parcels was then presented.   The importance of vegetative buffers in these particular areas is crucial to the health of the bodies of water they abut.  Without them, sand and/or chemicals can enter the water.  Chair Hempel then referenced a pamphlet published by the Adirondack Parks Agency, which contains a wonderful list of do’s and don’ts and serves as a wonderful reference resource for the Village.  This information will be posted to the committee’s website. 

Trees for Tribs will also provide the Village with free native trees and shrubs and the Village has requested 50-60 trees and between 80-100 native shrubs.  This number is not guaranteed.  The DEC will both deliver and help plant these trees and shrubs.  Pre-prep work has already begun with the help of the DPW and some invasive species have been marked for removal.  These will replaced with the new trees and shrubs.  This process will be staged.

There are five residents who have named themselves “the De-viners” who have volunteered to go around to Village owned land and remove egregious vines that are pulling down trees.  Their work, which will take place on weekends, will begin on Saturday March 26.  The De-viners are: David du Pont, Jake Matthews, Chistopher Gow, Mike Benito and Gardner Hempel.  Anybody who wishes to join this group in their efforts is welcome and encouraged to do so!

Trustee Guazzoni noted that he had lost many mature trees during Hurricane Sandy and since that time he had been trying to plant new trees from acorns, however deer have been eating anything that grows.  He wondered if the Advisory Board might be able to provide some guidance to residents who are attempting to plant new trees.

Chair Hempel suggested that Trustee Guazzoni visit the tree management section of the Committee’s website, where he would find a ton of information.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to what the Village could to do “put some teeth” into the work that the committee has been doing.  Noting that the first step is clearly education and attempting to change the mindset of residents, he suggested that the second could well entail enacting some sort of tree legislation that perhaps required residents to replace trees they cut down on a 1:1 basis.  He wondered whether drafting such legislation was something that the Advisory Board might eventually be tasked with in order to take things to the next level.

Chair Hempel responded that at their most recent meeting the Advisory Board had taken a look at laws just like this from other communities throughout New York and New Jersey as well as out in Oregon.  She feels that the Village needs to be more progressive and anticipatory in the way they look at their environment.  People need to be encouraged, empowered and required not to remove the native trees and shrubs and if they are not, there will be a huge issue here.  If this is not put into practice, the water source will ultimately be destroyed.  Chair Hempel feels that the Board needs to seriously consider this critical issue and think about how they want to pursue it for the good of the Community.

The Mayor suggested that perhaps following Arbor Day the Advisory Board might review the current code and provide the Board with feedback and suggestions to this end.

Chair Hempel responded that she would confer with the rest of her Board but she believed their answer would be yes.

From the audience, Richard Witte commented that while he applauded the efforts of the committee and supported their ideas, he did not welcome the idea of somebody telling him which trees he could or should plant on his property.

Mrs. Hempel responded that the main focus of the Tree Advisory Board is to educate the community about the importance of trees and shrubs on their properties and to share information regarding best practices for managing trees and so on.  The actual work of planting trees and removing invasives is all done on public land.  They hope that what they do on public land combined with the information on the website will inspire residents to do what is environmentally correct in terms of stewardship on their own properties. 

Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2016 – Tax Levy Limit:
As mentioned earlier, this hearing was cancelled.

Schedule Budget Workshop for March 28, 2016 at 10am:
The Board scheduled their last budget workshop for Monday, March 28 at 10am.

Schedule Public Hearing for April 7, 2016 at 7pm on the 2016-2017 Tentative Budget:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of setting the public hearing for the 2016-2017 tentative budget for April 7 at 7pm.

Public Hearing – Discontinuance of a Portion of a Certain Road in the Village:
As mentioned by the Mayor earlier in her opening remarks, this hearing was not opened.

Public Hearing – Continuation – Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2015 – Exterior Lighting:

Mayor Guinchard recused herself from the discussion and asked Deputy Mayor Gluck to take over.

The Public hearing was opened.

Chiu Yin Hempel inquired about sports lighting at night and specifically whether the Board was considering permitting this.

Trustee Guazzoni confirmed that one of the sections in the proposed legislation addressed this.

Trustee McHugh pointed out that currently this type of lighting is permitted.
This seemed to surprise Mrs. Hempel.

Deputy Mayor Gluck added that there are no specific code provisions that deal with sports lighting/spectator lighting/tennis court lighting other than a very vague and general provision, which says that one should not have a very bright light that was considered disturbing by others. 

Mrs. Hempel replied that the Village was a residential community and felt that sports lighting was more appropriate for areas that were more commercial or condominiums/town house type communities.  She further commented that there is scientific evidence, which proves that bright lights at night are damaging to trees, wildlife, birds and humans alike.  She wondered why, if the Village was going to propose a progressive piece of legislation to promote “dark sky,” they would re-introduce something from the current law that is not conducive to environmental and human health. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck responded that were many different things they could regulate with the proposed legislation and part of their job was to figure out the proper balance in doing that.
Trustee Guazzoni commented that the trigger for the law would be whether or not a resident considered a particular light source to be a nuisance or a hindrance of any kind.  This legislation would provide residents who, for one reason or another, do not want to confront their neighbors directly about these kinds of issues an avenue for complaint.  He then briefly outlined some of the possible methods of measuring light trespass and determining the levels of nuisance. 

Deputy Mayor Gluck added that there are other various things that can be legislated such as the lighting of flags.  In some communities, only US flags can be lighted above a certain wattage. 

Mrs. Hempel commented that sports lighting by definition usually contains multiple fixtures and has got to be bright in order to be effective. Therefore the potential for creating a nuisance to neighbors is extremely high.  If she were to write a petition to the Board of Trustees, she would suggest to everyone involved not to permit this type of lighting in Tuxedo Park.  The Village is a residential, rural community.  What are they doing with nighttime basketball lighting??

Trustee Guazzoni added that some residents have taken these types of sports lights and used them to light up their houses.  The Tuxedo Club has five sports lights (sodium lights) on their garbage can, their main parking lot and the Tennis House parking lot.  All of these are trespassing onto the Village roadways.  How can they write a law to control that…if that is in fact what they want to do?

Mrs. Hempel recalled that when she had been working on the Ridgeline and Precipice legislation, they had a lighting expert come and talk to them about the consequences of bright light.  It is a matter of public safety as much as it is an environmental or human health issue. 

The Deputy Mayor agreed with this and reiterated that their task was to allow for all of that but at the same time make clear that every visible light blub is susceptible to being in violation of Village Code.  Categorization is key.  The more he looks at some of these provisions, the more he feels the need for some sort of technical guidance.

Trustee Kilduff agreed.  Commenting that there had not been a lot of comment from the public on this, he reminded the Board that they were being charged with making these very decisions.  He suggested that there had been some general consensus in terms in curtailing and regulation light trespass, but the legislation had been on the table for months and in his view, they need to move forward and make some of the decisions that they were talking about.  If they make a mistake, it can be amended.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that there were four key items that he felt needed to be considered:

  1. Is the Board going to consider the nuisance of the source of light as a scientific measurement of candelas, or do they define it in the nature of a general nuisance, which somebody then needs to interpret?
  2.  In many places throughout the Village, pillars are illuminated by lights.  These lights generally appear much brighter because the pillars are closer to the roadway.  He feels they need to decided if they want to have have a separate category for pillars marking the end of a driveway or not.
  3. Nocturnal recreational sports lighting is currently permitted.  Should this be abandoned altogether (keeping mind that existing lights will be grandfathered in) or regulated?
  4. There needs to be a “carve out” for residents who want to have a party.  Residents must be permitted to host whatever festivities they want predicated on informing the neighbors in a timely manner.   This needs to be regulated, and trustee Guazzoni suggested that perhaps “once a quarter” or once every six months, residents should be permitted to have these types of lighting.

The Deputy Mayor responded that before they can “carve out” something of this nature, they would need to decide what would be prohibited.  He stated that he was not so sure they should start off with the principal of deciding where one could go with candelas or a nuisance type ordinance.  He has not yet found any examples of any jurisdiction that uses candelas as a regulating instrument.    He feels this is a difficult place to start from.

Trustee Kilduff suggested that they start with the nuisance being the measure with the subsection being that a de facto violation would be light in and above certain candela measurements.  There will be incidences where the candela measurement is a lock, otherwise it will have to be up to the court to decide a reasonable man standard for the nuisance. 

Trustee Guazonni replied that the reason he had brought it up was because the Village needed to decide whether or not they were going to purchase a candela meter, which was an expensive instrument that measures the intensity of light beams.  They are $2,000.
Trustee Kilduff wondered if they could get one donated.

Deputy Mayor Gluck commented that if there were specific things they felt they could recognize that are considered by the community at large to be nuisance-type issues, they should take a look at trying to regulate these.  He does not feel that the Village should be the first community to adopt candelas as a regulating indicia of legality, when no other communities have done it before.  Do they know what a candela is?  Do they know how to measure it or what the variability of those measurements might be?  He has had some experience riding around the Village using the meter and he has found that there is tremendous amount of variability.  He does not feel it does a good job of measuring things that open (?) would find irritating.

Trustee Guazzoni added that he and the Deputy Mayor had driven around using the meter the day prior and found 16 instances where there could be a justifiable nuisance.  He also drove around on his own the previous Saturday, covering all 23 miles of the Village roadways and found 20.  He agreed with Trustee Kilduff’s suggestion that there be two parts to the measurement, both nuisance and candela. 

Trustee Kilduff wondered why the Village shouldn’t be the first community to measure light this way.

“What are you measuring and why are you measuring it?” responded the Deputy Mayor.
Trustee Kilduff answered that they would be measuring light pursuant to the dark sky initiative in the Code in terms of light pollution and light trespass.

Trustee Guazzoni added that it would be giving the Village a legal process for handling cases where residents might not agree that their lighting constitutes nuisance.  This is why the candela reading is a crucial part of the legislation.

Trustee Gluck responded that he did not believe that the candela reading provided a reliable enough indication of nuisance.  There were many lights that had low readings, that one might consider annoying or distracting.  Likewise, there were many that had a high reading that he did not consider to be distracting or annoying.

Trustee Kilduff asserted that the Board would be making that determination when drafting the law.  They will be determining what the acceptable levels of light are.

Trustee Gluck wondered what level they would be selecting.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that it would be a level that the five Trustees would determine based on taking a second look at the 20 properties that had high readings.

Trustee Kilduff reiterated the importance of the candela reading as teeth that would allow them to enforce the law in certain situations.

Deputy Mayor Gluck replied that it was his experience that the readings were not reliable.  He suggested that Trustee Kilduff take the meter and ride around in an attempt to determine if he could find a level as which he would feel comfortable referring residents to a judge.

Truste Kilduff suggested that they move forward with the nuisance portion of the law now and then also move forward with the kind of thing Deputy Mayor Gluck was suggesting so that they could possibly incorporate the candela readings at a later date.

The Deputy Mayor commented that he felt the candela readings had the potential for capturing more people than he felt comfortable having a municipal government capture.

Trustee Guazzoni reminded the Deputy Mayor that the law would be triggered by resident complaints and not an enforcement officer.

Dena Steele wondered if existing lighting would be grandfathered, specifically residential properties, which might have had lighting there for 20-30 years that would now be labeled a nuisance. 

Trustee Guazzoni responded “if it bothers a neighbor, it bothers a neighbor.”

Ms. Steele then wondered about issues of timing.  If a light is blaring into neighbors’ window at 4am, this might be considered a problem, but if a resident is intending to arrive home late and has left outdoor lighting on for this purpose, will this also be regulated?

Trustee Guazzoni responded that this type of lighting should be on a motion detector and if said residents want to go out to dinner between 9pm-12am, they should not leave the light on.

Trustee Gluck asserted that he did not think there was any question that residents deserved protection from any light that was intense enough to be distracting, annoying, harmful and interfering but this is the standard that one has to go by.  If there is any measurement that measures this accurately, he would suggest going for it however, he has not been able to find any instance of any community using such a measurement. 

Trustee Guazzoni responded that other communities might not be as technical, but he had been approached by more than five residents who complained that spotlights from neighboring properties are preventing them from sleeping at night.

Claude Guichard commented that in Greenwich, CT there is a rule that says no more than .1 foot candles of light can cross the property line.  In Ridgewood this number is 1.  Greenwich, Ridgewood and Southampton all have strict regulations that do permit any sports lighting.  Grandfathered lighting in these areas have time restrictions. 

The Deputy Mayor suggested that they “step through” some of the provisions in the local law and see whether there were some areas there that they can agree to incorporate and draft together into a workable document on which there should be a new public hearing.
Board Attorney Brian Nugent advised that they would not need a new hearing, they could simply keep the current one open but, if the Board made substantial changes to the draft, as they have done, then they must have a copy of the revised law in their hands for 7 days prior to adoption.

Mary Graetzer suggested that there were two issues at hand.  In her opinion, sports lighting is an issue in and of itself.  As far as the other stuff is concerned, she really hates to see people’s lighting being legislated in the Park.  It seems overbearing to her.  She suggested that when a new home is being built, it is somewhat incumbent on the neighbors to attend the associated BAR meetings and take a look at what has been proposed.  Likewise, if a resident has an issue with a neighbor’s light, why can they not simply call the police and complain and then the police requests that the neighbor in question lower or turn of said light.  Why must this be legislated?

Trustee Guazzoni responded that there was nothing in the code currently to back up that police officer and force residents to extinguish their lights.  Under new construction, these things can be prevented at the BAR level, but as soon as a C of O is issued, home owners can install spotlights on their driveway or their garbage and there is very little that can be done about it.

Mrs. Graetzer wondered if people were actually doing this and Trustee Guazzoni informed her that he had driven around last Saturday evening and there was one light on Continental Road that blinded him for upwards of 3 seconds.

Mrs. Graetzer wondered whether Trustee Guazzoni had called this particular resident and asked them to turn their light down.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that there was no law in place right now that would back such a complaint up.

Trustee Kilduff reiterated his belief that the legislation was necessary.

Deputy Mayor Gluck reiterated that he did not feel comfortable moving ahead with something that had not been tried in other communities.

Trustee Kilduff replied that he saw no reason why the Village should not be a “trailblazer” on something like this.  He does not feel that they should exclude the Candela measurement just because they were the first one to do so.

Again, Deputy Mayor Gluck challenged Trustee Kilduff to drive around using the candela meter and decide whether or not he felt comfortable having the government use it to decide whether or not lights were in violation.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired of the Deputy Mayor whether he would be more comfortable moving ahead if they were using a Lumens reader, which is what the community of Ridgewood does.  

The Deputy Mayor said he did not have any issues with legislation that restricted lumens as many other communities had such ordinances in place however, he would want to get a better understanding of it before moving ahead.

Board Attorney Nugent commented that the issue of light was subjective.  One person’s view might be entirely different than another and therefore, labeling the various instances of light trespass as nuisances could prove to be very difficult.  He feels that some sort of meter is necessary in order to regulate light in certain situations.  That being said, he recognized that the Board faced a challenge in determining what the acceptable level would be.  He suggested that they select a light that they considered to be a nuisance and take a reading on it in order to gauge what the number should be.  At the end of the day, he feels they would be better off going with some sort of property line number rather than a basic nuisance standard, which is ultimately subjective.

The idea of having standards for both candelas and lumens was discussed.

Claude Guinchard suggested that the law that is currently in place is a nuisance as it does nothing at all.

Following some further discussion, Trustee Kilduff stated that he felt they were getting hung up on particular aspect of the legislation and that they should jump forward in an effort to be more productive.  He had 4 key points that he felt they should address, beginning with Sports lighting, which should be banned moving forward.

Trustee Guazzoni interjected that they needed to determine what connoted a sports light as these same types of lights are being used for other things, such as trashcan lighting. (The Club)

This was discussed at some length.

Next, the issue of parties was discussed and specifically what the restrictions and protocols should be.

The issue of the Club illuminating their secondary flag was then discussed.

Mrs. Hempel inquired about visual sensitive areas, such as Gate Way and Ridge Line &Precipice properties and wondered whether they would be subject to the new legislation.

She suggested that the current legislation is somewhat ambiguous about this and they should consider whether they wanted to be specific about it.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that he felt they should “wait until they got there.”

Mrs. Hempel then wondered what the enforcement would be.

The response was that one would call the police, who would come and take a measurement after which offenders would be required to comply.

Mrs. Hempel asked if the law would be retrospective.

The answer was yes.

Finally it was agreed that a new draft would be discussed and fleshed out at the Special meetings March 28 and April 7, following which the final draft will be put out to the public.  The public hearing was continued to April 26, with the hope of adopting the legislation that night.

Public Comments:
Claude Guinchard commented that when he had built his home in 2008 they received a C of O from John Ledwith and as part of that, they were required to take the kitchen out of the smaller house that they were living in at that time (also on the property) as there is a Village law stating that one cannot construct a guest house at the same time as they were constructing a larger home on one property.  The Guinchards were understanding of the idea that they would not be permitted to rent the smaller house, but they felt that they should have been allowed to keep it as a guest house for family to use.  Since the kitchen was removed, the house is no longer taxable and is therefore, not a source of revenue for the Village.  The Guinchards would like to add the kitchen back in, thus creating a taxable structure, where their children and/or his father could use the house.  Clearly, Mayor Guinchard cannot have any say in this matter, but Mr. Guinchard requested that the rest of the Board take a look at it and determine whether or not there was something they might be able to do.  They would be happy to pay the additional taxes, which Trustee Guazzoni estimated would be roughly $4-5,000.  They have no intention of subdividing.

Speaking as a resident, Mayor Guinchard noted that Mr. Ledwith would have the records showing what the tax rates where when then building was removed from the tax rolls.  This was briefly discussed.

Trustee Gluck wondered whether the code would allow him to install running water and a kitchen in his freestanding garage if he so desired.

Mayor Guinchard responded that they had two kitchens in their main house.

Mr. Ledwith stated that he would have to look at the code, but he did not think there was anything in the code that would prevent it, provided there were not two Certificates of Occupancy.

This was discussed.

Ultimately, the Board thanked Mr. Guinchard and noted that they would take it under consideration.

 Main Entrance Discussion:
To hear a recording of this discussion, please click here.

Discussion Regarding An Additional Engineer for the Village:
The Mayor announced that the Board would be adjourning into executive session to discuss this matter as it dealt with a contractual matter. 

When they returned to public session, the Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring McGoey, Hauser & Edsall Consulting Engineers, DPC as an additional engineer for the Village and for the Planning Board and Board of Architectural Review in accordance with the fee schedule submitted in their proposal.

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Agenda For Special Board of Trustees Meeting/Budget Workshop - March 28, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Amend January 12, 2016 BOT Minutes to reflect Trustee Guazzoni attended via Skype
4. CHA Proposal
5. Main Entrance to the Village - Discussion with public participation
6. Budget Workshop
7. Discussion-Local Law Intro #4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
8. Adjournment

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meetings March and April

PLEASE take notice that the annual election for the Village of Tuxedo Park will be held
in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, on Tuesday, the 21st day of June
2016 with polls open between the hours of seven o'clock in the morning and nine o'clock in
the evening and at such election the following officers are to be elected for terms opposite
their positions respectfully.

Officers_______Terms
TRUSTEE____TWO YEARS
TRUSTEE____TWO YEARS

Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meetings March and April

Special meetings of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will be held on Monday, March 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. and on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7:00p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, for the purpose of tentative budget workshop/discussions and any other matters that may come before the Board.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 22. 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
4. Public Comments
5. Report of Police
6. Report of DPW
a. Bid Award-Sludge Removal Services
7. Report of Building Department
a. Bid Award-SSES Project
8. Grant Writer
9. Committee Updates
a. Tree Advisory Board (TAB)
10. Public Hearing- Local Law Introductory No.1 of2016-Tax Levy Limit
11. Public Hearing - Discontinuance of a Portion of a Certain Road
12. Public Hearing- Continuation- Local Law Introductory No.4 of2015-Exterior Lighting
13. Main Entrance Discussion
14. Public Comments
15. Discussion Regarding an Additional Engineer for the Village
16. Audit of Claims
17. Adjournment

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Village to Hold Public Hearing on Local Law Authorizing A Property Tax Levy In Excess of The Limit March 22

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on Tuesday, the 22nd day of March 2016, at 7:00p.m., or as
soon thereafter as the matter can be heard, a Public Hearing will be held before the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park, New York, at Village Hall, located at 80 Lorillard, Tuxedo Park, New York, to consider Local Law Introductory No. 1 of2016. The purpose of this local law is to allow the Village of Tuxedo Park to override the limit on the amount of real property taxes that may be levied by the Village of Tuxedo Park and to adopt a budget for the fiscal year commencing June 1, 2016 that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the "tax levy limit" as defined by General Municipal law §3-c.

Click Here to read more

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Village To Hold Public Hearing on Discontinuance of Certain Roads March 22

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Public Hearing will be held by the Village Board of the Village of Tuxedo Park, Orange County, New York, on March 22, 2016 at 7:01 P.M., or as soon thereafter as can be heard, at 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, New York 10987.

The Village Board of the Village of Tuxedo Park is considering discontinuing a certain portion of a road that was dedicated to the Village in 1953 as a parkway by the Tuxedo Park Association and identified at the time as dirt and/or abandoned roadways as follows:

1. Brook Farm Road parcel (approximately 1.283 acres) running between tax parcels Section 8, Block 1, Lot 25 on the westerly side of such parcel and Section 101, Block 1, Lot 11.2 and Section 103, Block 1, Lot 42.2 on the easterly side of such parcel. Said parcel being approximately 33 feet in width along its course.

The metes and bounds description of such parcel and related documents are available at the Village Clerk's Office, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987, Monday- Friday, 9:30am-3:30pm.

Click Here to read more

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 14, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Monday, March 14, 2016.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Update:
No update was given

Resolution – Declare Police Vehicle as Surplus:
One of the police vehicles has been repeatedly breaking down and ultimately, it is costing the Village more money to continue repairing it than it would to purchase a new vehicle, which they plan to do moving forward.  Following minimal discussion, they voted unanimously in favor of declaring the vehicle as surplus.

Resolution – Increase Boat Permit Fees:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of increasing boat permit fees as follows:
Pontoon Boats - $250
Single Hull Motorized - $200
Sailboat with Keel - $150
Skull/Kayak/Row/Canoe/all other human powered boats - $100

Resolution – Increase Seasonal Boat Dock Application Fee:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of increasing seasonal boat dock application fees to $200.

Resolution – Increase Water Capital Improvement Fees:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of increasing water capital improvement fees as follows:
Residential – up from $8.30 per quarter to $12.04 per quarter
Commercial – up from $8.03 per quarter to $25 per quarter

Madden Electric Line:
Mr. Madden thanked the Board for allowing him the opportunity to provide them with a bit of background/context as well as address any lingering questions or concerns pertaining to the electric line on his boathouse property on East Lake Road. 

The Maddens purchased the boathouse from the late owners non-resident children.  At the time of purchase, the boathouse was in general disrepair as no general maintenance had been done in quite some time.  At present, the Maddens are looking to utilize boathouse only.  They would like to purchase a pontoon boat and this will require electricity.  While they hope to further enhance and beautify the property moving forward, they do not have any specific plans for this at present.  Once they have developed the plans, they will bring them before the Board of Architectural Review and adhere to the process.   In the meantime however, they would like to move forward with the boat.  There exists an old, dirt road leading to the boathouse, which has been used as a driveway for years.  The Village actually owns this property.  Suggesting moving forward it might make sense for the Village to sell the property to the Maddens, who would in turn grant them an easement to whatever they might need to do there, he reiterated that all they want to do right now is to hook up to the electric grid.

Building Inspector John Ledwith presented the Board with maps showing the location of the road that the Village owns, the approximate location of the water and sewer lines and the proposed electric line location.  The Village’s primary concern is access to the water and sewer lines, in case they ever need to be repaired. 

Secondly, to the best of Mr. Ledwith’s knowledge, the Village has not ever permitted utilities to enter the same easement that they have for the water and sewer lines.

Mr. Madden responded that he felt they might be making things more complicated than they needed to be.  He pointed out that virtually every house connects to the electric grid over or under Village property.  At his home on Tower Hill Loop there is a wire that crosses over his property line, across the street and onto a pole that is located on Village property.  The only difference between that and what is being proposed is that one is under ground.  From his prospective the situation is extremely straightforward and, absent a legitimate health, safety or environmental reason to deny it, he wondered why on earth the Village would have any interest in denying a property owner access to the electric grid?

Mayor Guinchard inquired of Mr. Ledwith as to what the process would be if the Village needed to abandon a water line and start a new one.

Mr. Ledwith responded that typically they would install the new line along side of the existing one for convenience purposes.  He feels that things could get a little tight if they ever had to change the lines there.

Mr. Madden noted that if need be, they would be willing to go above ground with poles for the hookup, although he did not feel that this would be anyone’s preference. 

Mayor Guinchard responded that the concern was less with the actual hookup and more about the possibility of losing the land they might need to repair the existing lines. 

The idea of using poles and what the subsequent process would be was very briefly discussed as was the possibility of filling in the currently open trench. 

Mr. Madden suggested that should the Village ever need to install a new line after his lines had been buried, they could cut the power to the boathouse to do so.  They are also willing to relocate the line in future if it becomes necessary.  They will indemnify the Village.  From his prospective, it does not make sense to put the lines above ground, where they are susceptible to falling trees etc., in order to avoid a speculative event that may or may not ever occur. 
Mr. Ledwith explained that should an issue occur there and the lines need to be replaced, there will be problems as standards now require water and sewer lines to be separated. 

There followed some circular discussion regarding why Bill Fairclough had moved forward digging the trench on Village land in the first place.  Ultimately, Mr. Madden pointed out that this was getting them nowhere and that they should move forward.

The issue of an easement was then discussed. Mr. Madden openly stated that he did not feel he needed one, did not want one and would resist it.  The land in question is public. He believes that it unnecessarily muddies the waters with respect to rights that he has had for the last 50 years with respect to this property.  If they want to enforce that they put the lines in overhead, he will do it, although he feels it is a vastly inferior outcome for everyone involved. 

After some further discussion it was agreed that Mr. Madden would draft a letter indemnifying the Village should they need to dig up the lines in the future. 

Main Entrance to the Village – Discussion with the Public:
Following a somewhat limited discussion; this item was deferred to the March 22 meeting due to time constraints.

The conversation that took place can be heard in its entirety by following the links below:

Main Entrance Discussion Part 1
Main Entrance Discussion Part 2

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Tentative Village Budget 2016-2017

Click Here to view tentative village budget

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 7, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 5pm.  All members were present.

Mayor‘s Comments:
Mayor Guinchard began the meeting by announcing that the Village is considering participation in a New State program for energy savings for Electricity.  She and John Ledwith viewed a presentation the week prior and the Mayor is asking that Trustee Kilduff follow-up.  The program has already been adopted and implemented in MA and IL where they have been able to offer their residents up to a 20% and 30% savings respectively as a result.  New Jersey has also adopted the plan, but it has not yet been implemented there.  The Mayor gave a brief synopsis detailing the process of adoption and how the program would work for residents if adopted, with some help from Mr. Ledwith.  Trustee Kilduff will gather more complete information to be discussed at their next budget workshop. A non-binding letter of intent will be necessary. 

Next, Mayor Guinchard addressed the recent flyer sent Village-wide by S.O.S. in which they offered to donate a heating and cooling system for the new Police Booth.  The flyer was the first The Mayor had heard of the offer, so she called the company and they in turn extended it.   In response, Mayor Guinchard let them know that the Village would be “pleased to accept any donation” depending on where they were in the process and she asked them to touch base with John Ledwith in the coming weeks to discuss further. 

The Mayor then brought up the issue of the Tax Cap, which has been set this year at .773%.  In order for the Village to have the flexibility to raise taxes to where they usually are (2%) they must have in place legislation allowing them to do so.  Putting said legislation in place requires the normal process of Public Hearing prior to approval.   The idea of raising the cap was discussed last year and ultimately the Village did not move forward with it however, since the cap is so low this year, The Mayor feels that the Board should entertain the idea of passing the legislation in case they need to go above cap.

This was discussed.  The general consenses of the Board was that it would be prudent to move forward with the legislation.  Having it in place does not mean that they will have to raise taxes, but rather it is an insurance policy in case they do.  Trustee Guazzoni, however, was against it.  He does not believe the Village will exceed the cap and feels that they can better ensure that this is the case by not passing the legislation.  The lack of flexibility will “keep them on the straight and narrow.”  Following some further discussion a motion was made introducing the proposed legislation as Local Law #1 of 2016 , with a Public Hearing to take place at the March 22 Board of Trustees meeting.  The motion was adopted 4-1, with Trustee Guazzoni voting against.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Main Entrance Discussion:
Mayor Guinchard provided a brief over-view of the last public discussion.  This was followed by another discussion, which can be heard in its entirely by clicking on the links below.

Main Entrance Discussion Part 1
Main Entrance Discussion Part 2
Main Entrance Discussion Part 3
Main Entrance Discussion Part 4

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 27, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on Saturday, February 27 at 12pm for the purpose of receiving public feedback on the various designs and ideas for the Main Entrance to the Village.  Trustee McHugh was absent.

Community Spotlight – Tuxedo Park Fire Department:
The meeting began with a Community Spotlight featuring the Tuxedo Park Fire Department.  Mayor Guinchard explained that she had moved this presentation from the regular monthly meeting the previous Tuesday to the Special Meeting as she felt there would be a larger audience present to appreciate it.  She then called upon Gardiner Hempel, who serves as both President of the Department as well as Commissioner to companies 1-7, and he gave a brief yet detailed presentation outlining the history, structure, mission and budgeting for Company #1.

In Summary, Company #1 is the oldest of three departments in the Tuxedo Joint Fire District, having been founded in 1901.  The other two are Eagle Valley and Sterling Forest, which were founded in the 1970s.  The department is an all volunteer organization whose mission is primarily to protect the residents of Tuxedo from fire, however they also cover the New York State Thruway from Sloatsburg to Harriman (longest stretch covered by 1 department in County) and roughly 1/3 of their calls are automobile related.  Company 1 averages 300 calls per year and their motto is “We do it all!”  They have a total of 14 vehicles: 4 chief cars, 1 brush truck, 1 ATV, 6 pumper trucks, 1 Ladder truck and 1 Rescue Vehicle (jaws of life).  They maintain a mutual aid agreement with the Town of Greenwood Lake.  Their 2016 budget is $843,500 and this sum is raised primarily from the taxpayers.

They have been able to keep their increase below 2% for the past several years.  Their five biggest expenditures are Rent, debt service on their most recent truck, retirement costs, insurance and hydrants.  They maintain 1 paid employee, who is a secretary/treasurer and other than that they rely entirely on volunteers to staff the Department.  Currently there are only 3 volunteers from the Village and it has been this way for nearly 15 years.  Noting the various possible reasons for the decline in volunteers over the years, Mr. Hempel stated that his biggest concern was attracting future generations.  Historically, the department maintained a good number of Jr. members from the High School, but this pipeline no longer exists.

Paola Tocci suggested that perhaps some incentive could be developed at the high school level in the form of a social services credit.

Mr. Hempel agreed.

On behalf of the Village, Mayor Guinchard thanked Mr. Hempel for both his time and his service.

Main Entrance to the Village – Discussion:
Listen to the complete discussion by clicking on the links below.  We have broken it into 20-minute segments.

Main Entrance Discussion Part 1
Main Entrance Discussion Part 2
Main Entrance Discussion Part 3
Main Entrance Discussion Part 4
Main Entrance Discussion Part 5
Main Entrance Discussion Part 6

Copies of the designs referenced can be found here and also on the Village Website:
 
Architect No. 1 – Gatehouse Presentation Reduced
Architect No. 2 – Tuxedo Park Text
Architect No. 2 – Photo 1
Architect No. 2 – Photo 2
Architect No. 2 – Photo 3

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Village Board fo Trustees Meeting Febraury 23, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 23 at 7pm.    Trustee Gluck was not physically present, however he participated in the meeting via Skype.  All other Board members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor Guinchard began the meeting with a moment of silence in honor of former Village Police officer Alan Seiss, who passed away recently.

Budget Workshop Dates – Things are progressing on schedule with the Village budget and to date the Board has met with each of the department heads.  The following budget workshops were scheduled for the month of March:
Monday March 7 – 3pm
Wednesday March 9 – 5pm
Monday March 14 – 5pm

Reminder – February 27 @12:00 Noon – Discussion on Main Gate Renderings –
The Mayor reminded everyone of the special meeting on Saturday February 27 at noon for the purpose of discussing the Main Gate renderings and receiving feedback from the public.  The renderings have been on display in both the Village office and at the Police station for roughly 3 weeks and they will remain on display through the month of March.  Additional public meetings will be scheduled as needed.

Proclamation for former Chief Sanford – The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring February 26 Chief Sanford Day in the Village.

Report of the Police:
Declare 2002 Ford Explorer as Surplus – The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring the departments 2002 Ford Explorer as surplus.

The Department is in receipt of a new, fully equipped police vehicle.  The vehicle has been given the number 957, which was the badge number of fallen officer Jason Conklin, who was killed in the line of duty while working in the Village almost 20 years ago.  The car will be dedicated in his honor by way of a small ceremony to take place on a Saturday in the near future.  The Mayor will keep everyone abreast of the exact date once it has been scheduled.

Detective Teback reported the following for the month of January:
Criminal Complaints – 1
Non-criminal Complaints – 37
Property Damage - 1
Traffic Tickets - 1
Fire Alarms – 3
Medical Calls – 1
Intrusion Alarms - 4
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1

Additionally, 9,206 un-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

Report of the DPW:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present.  Mayor Guinchard expressed her gratitude to the Department for all of their hard work clearing the roadways during recent storms.  She reminded residents that it was incredibly important that they make every effort to stay off the roads when the DPW is first out clearing them and that children should not be allowed to play in the unplowed roadway nor should people be skiing there when the plows are out.

Sludge Removal Bid – the Board voted unanimously in favor of putting sludge removal out to bid with a closing date of March 16 at 2pm.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele reported that the Eagle has been spotted back on its nest.

Michele Lindsay commented that at the Town Board meeting the previous evening there had some discussion with regard to the proposed solar field that she has been working on along with Trustee Kilduff.  The location remains up in the air, however she and Trustee Kilduff have been amassing questions for the three different companies they are working with.  To this end, she stated that if any of the Trustees had any questions or concerns, they should feel free to let either herself or Trustee Kildiff know.

Audrey Perry expressed some concern with the state of the South Gate, which she claims is constantly “broken” and the situation does not seem to be improving despite her numerous, consistent reports/complaints to the Front Gate. 

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to specifically what was broken and Mrs. Perry responded that the arm frequently became stuck in an open position so that anybody could enter the Village.  She further commented that she is beginning to feel like a nuisance when reporting the situation.  On one occasion, she encountered an electrician working there and appreciated that what he was doing was installing a light bulb, which in turn heats the mechanism and allows it to work.  In today’s world, Mrs. Perry finds it somewhat incredible, not to mention archaic, that the Village is relying on a light bulb to keep the gate in operation.  Furthermore, the past few days have not been terribly cold, and it is still malfunctioning.  She and her husband have witnessed untagged vehicles entering the Village there and continue to report it to the Front Gate. 

John Ledwith remarked that he had become aware just the day prior that there was an issue with the camera at the South Gate and subsequently he had spoken to the gentleman who repairs the departments’ computers and works with some of their visual technology, although this gentleman is admittedly not associated with the company that maintains the Gate mechanisms.  Mr. Ledwith is not sure what the problem is, but he will look into it right away.

Mayor Guinchard noted that Superintendent Voss had told her that there were issues with the mechanisms in the South Gate because of “wind and all sorts of things” and that they intended to address this as part of the Front Gate project.  She is aware that it is an on-going issue that must be addressed.

Mrs. Perry agreed that it was an ongoing problem.  She stated that she understood that there was an effort underway to keep taxes down and she supported that, but at the same time she understood how wonderful the Front Gate was in that it never broke down.  She wondered why the Village could not simply replace the mechanism rather than depending on a light bulb to keep it warm enough to operate.  

Trustee Guazzoni commented that he felt that the entire mechanism needed to be replaced and that plans to do exactly that are under way.  The Back Gate is incredibly out dated.  A new mechanism and new cameras are needed.  This will all be addressed at the same time as the Front Gate remodeling in roughly 4 to 5 months.

Mrs. Perry wondered why it was necessary to wait that long and suggested they should fix the problem now!

Trustee Guazzoni agreed it needed to be fixed as soon as possible, but assured Mrs. Perry that the entire thing would be replaced in 4 to 5 months. 

Mrs. Perry commented that just that morning, when her husband had called to report the issue, the gentleman who answered the phone responded that the Back Gate had been broken for as long as he had been working in the Village. 

Truste Guazzoni noted that either way, it was an issue of security and it must be fixed right away.  He advised Mrs. Perry that she should continue to report the issue whenever she encountered it.

Detective Taback requested that Mrs. Perry please report the issue directly to him moving forward, commenting that this was the first he was hearing about it.  He noted that he was not aware of it being broken so much as it gets stuck.  There is a difference.

Mrs. Perry replied that if the gate was stuck, it was not functioning properly, which meant it was broken.  She further commented that she did not want to become a nuisance with constant calls to the police.

Detective Taback assured Mrs. Perry that she was not a nuisance and that he needed to know about it when it happened so that he could address it properly.  He further noted that the dispatcher should not have told Mrs. Perry that the Gate had been broken as long as he had been working there.

Report of the Building Department:
Click here to review a copy of the most recent Building Department report.

A timeline for the WeeWah Dam project was briefly discussed.  It appears as though construction will begin in the fall of 2016 (after the swimming season) and hopefully conclude in the spring of 2017.  The WeeWah will need to be drained while the project is underway, but once complete, the water levels will be returned to full capacity as they were historically.   This is a positive change from what was originally proposed by former Village Engineers Westin and Sampson, who never intended to return the lake to full capacity. 

Mayor Guinchard also reported that Village Engineers, CHA, would be presenting a plan for what she called “something interesting” with relation to the maintenance of Pond #3 in the near future. 

The Village will no doubt need to borrow money to fully fund these projects in the form of a bond.  The finance committee has already begun working this.

Madden Stop Work Order – Once again, contractor Bill Fairclough was on hand to discuss the recent stop work order placed on the Madden’s boathouse project off of East Lake Road.  In brief, it was discovered last month that the applicant had unknowingly dug a trench for conduit on Village property without permission.  Again, Mr. Fairclough explained that it had been an innocent mistake and that O & R had issued all the necessary approvals before the project commenced.  He further assured that Board that having worked in the Village for 30 years, he had a good knowledge of where all the sewer and water lines were and that neither had been compromised in the process of digging the trench.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent advised the Board that they had three basic choices as follows:
1.     Deny permission (removal of lines)
2.     Grant a permanent easement
3.     Some sort of license agreement
This was discussed at some length as were various other details regarding the property and the proposed renovations.  Ultimately it was agreed that the easement would probably be the best bet.

The process for moving forward was also outlined.  Ultimately, once the Board has decided how they want to proceed, the applicant must appear before the BAR for approval.  In order for the Board to grant the easement, the Maddens must be present.  Also, the Board will need some documentation as outlined by Mr. Nugent, (a survey, meats and bounds) which Mr. Fairclough agreed to supply.

Welcoming of Detective Taback:
Mayor Guinchard officially recognized Detective Taback promotion to the position of Detective and presented him with a certificate.  This was met with applause.

BID Award – SSES Project:
Westin and Sampson is requesting permission to continue with the construction documents for the SSES project, located mostly in the Club House Road area.  The area was analyzed over a year ago and the project was subsequently put out to bid.  One BID was received from one contractor in the amount of $168,050.000.  Westin and Sampson has approved moving forward with this contractor. 

As the documents were only just received by the Board, it was agreed that they would table their vote until the next meeting by which time they will have been able to review them and put together any questions or concerns they might have.

Request – Tuxedo Club Fireworks Display:
The Club has requested permission to hold their annual fireworks display on Sunday, July 3 with a rain date of Tuesday, July 5.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how much it cost the Village annually in overtime expenses for the additional Police officers that are needed at this event, noting that he felt this expense should be passed back to the Club rather than to the taxpayer.

This was discussed.  The exact amount spent on overtime was unknown, although it was estimated to be less than $1,000.  The general consensus among the Board members seemed to be that this was a community event and the costs associated with it should be viewed as a “give back” to the community.

From the audience, Patrick Donaghy commented that he felt it was a bad move for the Board to even seriously discuss this as the fireworks are a community event and to even go down this kind of road would be, in his view, a big mistake.

This prompted a bit of a tense exchange between Mr. Donaghy and Trustee Guazzoni with Mr. Donaghy commenting that entertaining the idea of redistributing these costs seemed to be a self-serving effort and Trustee Guazzoni retorting that he was resentful of these remarks.

Ultimately, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Club’s request.

Public Comments:
Patrick Donaghy inquired about the increasing number of street lights that are out around the Village, particularly on Tuxedo Road.  He wondered whether this was a Village issue or one that needed to be addressed by Orange & Rockland. 

John Ledwith explained that the system in place requires the Village to provide the bulbs while Orange and Rockland are the ones who install them.  When Orange and Rockland most recently arrived to do this, they did so unannounced and the Village did not have the bulbs.  They have since ordered and received the bulbs and have informed Orange and Rockland that they have them.  It is now a matter of waiting for them to come back.

Committee Updates:
Lakes Committee - On Behalf of the Lakes Committee, Trustee McHugh reported that Peter Van Zandt would be stocking Tuxedo Lake with Sunfish in the month of April.  The committee is working to put together budget plans that will address further stocking, copper sulfate treatments as well as milfoil maintenance/abatement.

Trail Maintenance Committee – On behalf of the Trail Maintenance Committee, Trustee Gluck reported that committee had been busy doing some work in the late fall, right up until the first snow, clearing various trails.  They have also been working to put together a charter, which is basically a set of guidelines that would govern the ability to use some of the funds that were donated by the Mulford Foundation without having to wait for the monthly Board meetings to receive approval.  The document also outlines some of their rules and regulations and puts into a place a system of notifying the Village office before any work is done so that both the police and DPW can be notified.

A request for trail markers was submitted to the Board earlier that day.  Trustee Gluck explained that the motivation behind the request was some hikers who had headed up Eagle Mountain and gotten lost on the return trip.  The request was briefly discussed.

Trustee McHugh commented that he had not yet read the document, but he wondered whether Brook Farm Road (recently purchased by Michael Bruno) would be marked, noting that Mr. Bruno might not want these signs on his property.  There are, however, some trails that run off of Brook Farm Road that could benefit from the signage.

Trustee Gluck noted that the trails coming off of Brook Farm Road were destined to become part of “The Northern Tract” and therefore, would not be the responsibility of the Village. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the signs as requested. 

WeeWah Beach Club – Trustee Kilduff reported having met with Beach Club president Bonnie Takeuchi for several hours the result of which was a firmed up agreement ready for the Board’s approval.  The terms are basically the same as they have always been.

Eligibility for membership is clearly defined within and the issue of refuge and waste removal has been addressed.  Although members will be required to “pack out” their trash similar to last year, the Club has requested permission for their staff to deposit any trash that is left behind in the dumpster located at the DPW garage. 

Trustee McHugh noted that the previous summer the issue of membership had been contentious and he wondered how this was being dealt with in the new agreement. 

Trustee Kilduff responded that membership would be restricted to the Village and the Hamlet however memberships were also offered to Police, Firemen and the Ambulance Corps along with Little League and Boy Scout leaders who reside within the Town of Tuxedo. 

Trustee Gluck wondered about the agreement between the Beach Club and the Recreation program and how this was being handled.

Trustee Kilduff informed him that the Beach Club and the Recreation Department would negotiate their own agreement as they always had in the past and that it would then be subject to the Village’s approval.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of approving the agreement with Trustee McHugh voting against only because he had not read the document.

DOT Committee – Trustee Guazzoni reminded everyone that when encountering another vehicle on a hill, those vehicles traveling up-hill have the right of way and those traveling down-hill must therefore yield to them.

Tree Committee – Representing the Tree Committee, Mayor Guinchard reported that the group had been meeting with frequency and are planning the Arbor Day Celebration, which will take place on Saturday, April 30 from 4:30-6:30pm.  They have also been actively working on their website and have put the Village in touch with their website designers and the Mayor along with Trustee Guazzoni and Village Clerk Debbie Matthews have been working with them to develop a new website for the Village, the design of which is underway. 

The Arbor Day Celebration is geared towards the entire community and is focused mainly on education.  There will be key speakers and activities for the children.  Another thing they are looking to do is bring in some goats as goats are an environmentally friendly way of maintaining invasive species because they eat them.  The Mayor is hopeful that Orange and Rockland will also be present to help educate residents with regard to tree maintenance around power lines. 

A tagline and logo for the committee have been developed.  The tagline is “Environmental Stewardship Matters.”

The committee will also be working with the DPW to ensure that the cleanup work that they already do is more focused and organized so that residents will truly notice a difference.
Seeing as the main purpose behind the event is education, Meg Vaught inquired as to whether or not the schools would be involved.

The answer was yes, the committee has already begun talking to TPS.
Mrs. Vaught wondered if the George Grant Mason School might also be included and this idea was generally supported by the Trustees.  Mrs. Vaught commented that she would be happy to facilitate contact between the two entities and Mayor Guinchard suggested she get in touch with committee Chair ChiuYin Hempel to arrange.

Emergency Services Committee – The CODE RED website has been revamped and the new format is much more user friendly, especially for the Police Department as it pertains to what they need to do.  Residents are encouraged to visit the site and sign up for alerts as this system is really the only way the Village has of communicating with the residents on a mass scale.  If one wishes to be removed from Code Red for some reason, they cannot do this of their own accord but must rather do so via the Mayor and the Police Department.  The site can be accessed via the Village website however, currently the link is not working and users must type the URL into their browsers independently.

Continuation – Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2015- Exterior Lighting: Trustees Guazzoni and Gluck are making some progress on the revisions to proposed legislation however they still need to refine some of the language. It was agreed that the discussion would be deferred until the next regular monthly meeting, which will be on March 22 and the Board voted unanimously in favor of continuing the Public Hearing until that date.

Public Comments:
With regard to Code Red, Meg Vaught inquired as to weather or not the system would allow the residents to opt in for emergency related messages only.  She noted that when the program was initiated and people first singed up, then Mayor Tom Wilson had identified the purpose of the system as being used for dire emergencies only.  Mrs. Vaught feels that such emergencies include inability to get in and out of the Village, Village-wide loss of power and other such disabling events.  She would rather not received phone calls with regard to snowplowing schedules or rainstorm preparations.  She suggested that the Village code the messages by level of importance and that in turn, residents might be able to opt in for certain messages only.

Mayor Guinchard responded that the Village is a unique community and that she would describe it as a place where “less is not more” and “more is better.”  The feedback that she and the Board have been receiving is that people want to be informed about what is going on because it is also a weekend community.  Often times, residents are not driving through the Front Gate with regularity and do not see the signs posted there.  All the same, she always states at the beginning of each message whether the information pertains to an emergency or not.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that it the call identifies itself as a non-emergency and somebody does not want to hear the information, they can simply hang up.

The Mayor added that she was a member of the Code Red system in Houston, TX and that she received calls from that system on almost a weekly basis relating to a wide range of issues.  For the most part, she feels the system has only been used for emergencies in the Village with exception of announcing the architectural designs for the Gate, which she believes was an important “hot button” issue for most residents. 

Water Bill Collection:
The Water Department has been diligently notifying past due customers of their status and if necessary will begin shut-offs in the month of March.  The process of notification and subsequent shut-off was then briefly reviewed and discussed. 

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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 27, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. Main Entrance to the Village - Discussion
5. Public Comments
6. Adjournment

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting Saturday February 27 - 12pm

Please be advised that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a budget workshop on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. prior to the Board of Assessment Review meeting being held from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., a budget workshop on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., and a Special Board of Trustees meeting on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 12:00 noon, all being held in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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$50K grant will help in Wee Wah Dam repairs - 2/23/16

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting, February 23, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
a. Budget Workshop Dates
b. Reminder - February 27th @12:00 noon - Discussion on Main Gate Renderings
4. Community Spotlight - Tuxedo Park Fire Department
5. Report of Police
6. Report of DPW
7. Report of Building Department
8. Bid Award - SSES Project
9. Request - Tuxedo Club Fireworks Display
10. Public Comments
11. Committee Updates
12. Continuation - Public Hearing - Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
13. Public Comments
14. Approve BOT Minutes
15. Audit of Claims
16. Adjournment

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 26, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, January 26 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor Guinchard began by thanking DPW Superintendent Voss and his entire department for their hard work during the recent snow storm.  She congratulated them on a job well done, commenting that she had also received many complimentary calls from residents.

She went on to congratulate Police Chief Ken Sanford, who recently announced his retirement.  There will be a celebration in honor of the former chief on February 23 at 6pm, just prior to the regular monthly meeting of Board.  The Mayor has sent a letter to the Chief’s Association informing them of the event and all residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Next, the Mayor congratulated Officer Taback, who has been promoted to the position of Detective and will be serving as the temporary head of the Department while the Village begins their search for a new part-time chief. 

Finally, she announced that Grievance Day will take place on February 16 from 5-9pm in the Village Hall.

Report of the DPW:
Superintendent Voss reported that in addition to their efforts with the recent storm, the department had been extremely busy dealing with various water main breaks over the course of the past month.  Lines near the Club, the Village Office and Silvay/Deveraux residences were repaired and in some cases replaced. Ultimately, over 300 feet of line needed replacing.   Additionally, there was a major sewer line issue on East Lake Stable Road that occurred right around Christmastime.  40-50 feet of this line also needed to be replaced. 

Report of Police:
Reporting for his last time, Chief Sanford provided the final information for the month of December:
Criminal Complaints (closed by arrest) – 1
Non-criminal Complaints – 51
Traffic Tickets Issued - 14
Intrusion Alarms – 6
Fire Alarms – 4
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Additionally, 10,602 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.
The Chief further reported that the department had received some noise complaints with regard to dogs barking excessively.  In some cases, the barking dogs had been left outdoors and unattended for long periods of time in the cold weather.  The Chief advised residents that they should not leave their pets outside for long periods of time when it gets cold.

Grant Writer Update:
Stating that she was extremely excited and could not “keep the secret any longer” Mayor Guinchard shifted the agenda around a bit, calling upon Grant Writer, Fred Rella, for an update.

Mr. Rella then announced that a week prior the Village had been awarded $50,000 for the Wee Wah Dam project in the form of a grant via the State Municipal Facilities Program.

Needless to say, this is very exciting news for the Village and Mr. Rella noted many people had assisted in the process, making the success a true team effort. 

In other news, Mr. Rella reported that over the course of the previous week they had been working to complete an O & R energy audit of all facilities throughout the Village that are owned by the Village.  In particular, they offer programs for motors, lighting, HVAC and the like.  If the Village is able to reduce their energy costs, this should prove to be a significant savings for the community.

Public Comments:
Sally Sonne requested clarification regarding a statement that was made by the attorney representing Mr. Bruno at a previous meeting whereby he suggested that the Trustees should not pay attention to written communications (including email).  According to Mrs. Sonne, this point was corroborated by the Village Attorney, who suggested that if people wanted to be heard they should come to meetings and speak up at the appropriate designated time.   Noting that many residents are unable to attend the Village meetings and there are others who shy away from public speaking, Mrs. Sonne inquired as to what the policy was with regard to written comments and specifically how much weight the Board gave these comments.  She further inquired as to what happened to written comments after they had been submitted.  Do they become part of the record?  Are they filed away?  Can they be viewed by the Public?  Are all comments a part of the official public record, or only those that are made verbally? 

Mayor Guinchard responded that she felt it best to defer to the Village Attorney, Brian Nugent.

Mrs. Sonne suggested that she did not want to hear the attorney’s point of view but rather that of the Trustees themselves.

Mr. Nugent commented that he would like the opportunity to clarify the remarks that Mrs. Sonne was referring to.  He went on to explain that he had advised the Board that after a public hearing had been closed, it was improper for them to consider any comments that were submitted, written or otherwise.  He believes this is what Mr. Brunos attorney was getting at as well.   In response to Mrs. Sonne’s other questions he noted that there was no legal requirement that the Board either read written communications into the record or attach them to their meeting minutes, however they can reference or identify such communications in the minutes.  The letters should then be put into a file in the Village office and can be viewed by the public if so desired.  With regard to how much weight written remarks are given, Mr. Nugent deferred back to the Board.

Mrs. Sonne thanked Mr. Nugent and looked to the Board for their response stating the people had the right to know if they were wasting their time by submitting letters.

Mayor Guinchard remarked that many residents chose to pick up the phone and call her with concerns, often times as a follow-up to written communication and that through these conversations, it became obvious to them that she had read their letters.

Trustee McHugh commented that he suspected that Mrs. Sonne was referring to the multitude of letters that were submitted with regard to the sale of Brook Road.  He assured her that he had read every communication received and that he had taken them all into consideration.

Trustee Gluck echoed these sentiments.  He wondered if Mrs. Sonne was not indirectly getting at another issue with her questions, as there had been some speculation and debate about the number of pro-sale emails vs. those against and Mr. Bruno’s attorney had remarked that individuals who wished to comment should ultimately attend a public meeting and do so.  He assured Mrs. Sonne that he had read all of the communications.

Mrs. Sonne reiterated that not all residents can attend meetings but they have the right to be taken seriously.

Trustee Kilduff stated that the Board often gets jammed up with things like this, particularly on issues where people are passionate.  He feels it is important to remember that even though the Village is a small community, the Trustees are a proper Village Government and not a Home Owners Association.  With regard to the Brook Road situation, the Board had been advised by their counsel that they could not consider public comments that came in after the hearing had been officially closed and that doing so could expose them to legal liability.  When the casino was an issue, the Town officially extended the time period for written comments and Trustee Kildiuff suggested that moving forward, the Village might consider allowing for something like this.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that on average he had 5 to 10 conversations with residents daily concerning various Village issues and that these conversations took place using pretty much all available mediums (phone, e-mail, text etc) Sometimes residents wish to voice their opinions but do not want their name publicly disclosed.  In the case of Brook Road, he had solicited opinions from several residents who he felt would not have otherwise come forward.  He did this because he believed it was important to have an understanding of all the varied points of view.  Stating that he believes that communication is vital, he pointed out that his contact information is public and encouraged residents to contact him if there was anything they wanted to discuss.

Ray Jagos introduced himself to the Board commenting that he was present on behalf of State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec and that they just wanted to extend their services in case there were any issues on the State level that the Village was concerned with.  They are happy to help.

Mayor Guinchard thanked Mr. Jagos for this.

Peter Regna inquired about the recently formed Tree Committee and wondered whether the Board might be able to elaborate a bit on the its’ function.

Mayor Guinchard responded that committee updates would be given a little later on in the meeting.

Report of the Building Department:
To view a copy of the Building Department report, click here.

Building Inspector John Ledwith stated that the Madden Family is looking to install electric service to their boathouse, located off of East Lake Road.  In order to do so, they must run lines across Village Property for which they need permission.  Contractor Bill Fairclough presented the Board with some old maps, outlining the general scope and location of the project.  The Maddens access the property via a shared driveway/path on which there is a right of way and it is believed that an easement also exists although Mr. Ledwith remarked that he had not seen paperwork for either.  Through the course of the discussion it was determined that the conduit and trenches for the lines had already been dug on Village property, without permission.  This was discussed at some length.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that as this was the first request of its kind to come before the Board, they might want to consider the fact that they would be setting a precedent and discuss whether or not they wanted to allow property owners to electrify their boathouses.

He wondered whether most of the other boathouses on Tuxedo Lake were wired for electricity.

The answer was yes.

Trustee Giuazzoni stated that if this was the case, he saw no reason why they should deny the request.

Mr. Nugent reminded Trustee Guazzoni that the issue at hand was not whether or not the Maddens could electrify their boathouse, but more over that they needed permission to cross Village property in order to do so.  In terms of attaining permission for the project in general, he suggested that the Maddens would probably need to go before the BAR.

Trustee Gluck wondered why something like this would need BAR approval.

Mr. Ledwith responded that it constituted a change in the outward appearance of the property and therefore BAR approval was required.

Mr. Fairclough responded that there would actually not be any physical changes made to the boathouse itself, save maybe some outdoor lighting.

Following some further discussion, Mr. Nugent advised the Board that it would be prudent for them to view all the related and pertinent documentation including updated maps, right of way, any existing easements, property surveys etc. before granting their permission. It was agreed that the necessary documentation would be procured/submitted and that the issue would be revisited at the next Trustee meeting.

Trustee Guazzoni then asked Mr. Ledwith to talk a bit about the Village’s on-going search for engineering firms.

Mr. Ledwith explained that The Village is in a position where they may need both a smaller engineering firm and a larger engineering firm to handle the various matters that are before them and to this end they have been interviewing a number of agencies both small and large.  These include engineers that have worked with the Village in the past as well as some who have appeared before either the BAR or the Planning Board (or both!).  He is hopeful to compile a short list and have these candidates present directly to the Board with the hope of possibly choosing a smaller firm to handle day-to-day matters and a larger one to handle more specific, engineering intensive matters like the dam and/or the sewer plant.

Trustee Guazzoni added that he would like to open up the interviewing process, commenting that if anybody knew of any single practitioners or small engineering firms that might be interested in interviewing that they should forward this information to Mr. Ledwith, who would be happy to have it.

Mayor Guinchard then asked Mr. Ledwith to touch on the designs for the Police Booth/Village Entranceway.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the Village is expecting to receive plans from the two architects who have offered their services very shortly.  He indicated that he needed some direction from the Board as to how these designs should be presented to the public.

This was then discussed.

The Mayor suggested that during the week the plans should be on display at the Village Office and that on weekends, the best place might be the central room at the Police Department.  She further suggested that the Board then schedule a special meeting at which the residents will be encouraged to come and provide their feedback, perhaps three weeks after the designs have gone on display.

Trustee McHugh commented that he would prefer to wait until they knew what their budget was, which would give them a better understanding of what the Village could and could not afford.

The Mayor countered that she did not think this would be the only meeting held on the subject.

Commenting that he did not wish to impose any further on the architects, Trustee Gluck suggested that it might be helpful to hold at least one session where they were present and could provide the public with an overview of their design.

This will not work however, as the architects will be submitting their designs for consideration anonymously.

Trustee Guazzoni stated that there were a number of options on the table, with two architects submitting designs in the near future, but if there are any residents who have ideas or want to submit their own drawings, he encouraged them to send these to the Village Office so that they could be included in the display.  In his view, the more ideas and discussion on this issue, the better!

Mayor Guinchard responded that residents were welcome to submit ideas however, the drawings should be left to the professional architects who have volunteered their time for free.

Trustee Guazzoni was understanding of this point, however reiterated that he felt it was important that residents be very involved in the process as the gateway to the Village is something that everybody will be living with for the next 50-100 years.

Mayor Guinchard replied that this is why she felt it was important to have a special meeting where residents could talk about the options and ask questions. 

Possible meeting dates were then discussed and ultimately it was decided that the meeting would take place on Saturday, February 27 at 12pm.  Coffee will be served.

This will be the first in a series of meetings that focus on this issue.

Finally, Mr. Ledwith reported that he had met with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and Grant Writer Fred Rella with regard to an energy savings program that Orange & Rockland offers.  As Mr. Rella mentioned earlier, the energy company performed an audit of sorts and Mr. Ledwith received the report earlier in the day.  The report shows the potential for a significant savings to the Village.  Necessary changes include changing out some light bulbs in the DPW shop (both interior and exterior) electricity savings from which could amount to $948 a year for that department.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to whether the Village would need to purchase the new blubs.
The answer was yes.  The utility company has a contractor they use who will come in to the Village and do the work and retro fit.  The $948 reflects savings after the installation of the bulbs.  Additional savings include $583 per year at the Sewer Plant on Wee Wah Road, $618 per year at the Water Plant, $286 per year at the Police Department and $512 per year at the Village Office.

Trustee Gluck asked clarification as to whether these figured represented year 1 savings after paying for and installing the new bulbs.

Mr. Rella explained that as part of the audit, phase 1 is lighting followed by HVAC and motors, etc.  For the lighting program, O&R pays for up to 70% of the upgrade for the new lights (including materials and labor.)  The Village is then responsible for the other 30% however, they will use a O&R approved contractor and end up saving roughly ½ of the 30% on each bill and will just be paying the contractor for 6-24months until it is paid down.  As time goes on, the Village recoups 100% of the savings.

There followed a discussion regarding the title insurance for the conservation easements on the buffer properties between the Village and Tuxedo Farms. Mr. Ledwith stated that he would need to speak to the attorney about the Title Company that they might use and how much insurance they might want on the properties.  He is in the process of collecting estimates.  Various policy amounts were mentioned.  Ultimately, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing an amount up to $1,500 for title work with a maximum of $3,500 contingent upon a review of the documents by the Village Attorney.  Should there be any concerns, a special meeting will be scheduled to discuss.

Committee Updates:
Tree Committee –  On behalf of the Tree Committee, Chair Chui Yin Hempel reported that the Village’s application to become a member of Tree City USA has been approved!  The Village will be receiving a banner, plaque for the Village hall and a sign for the front entranceway very soon.  The committee has held their first meeting at which they discussed in detail their scope of work, vision and mission statement all in line with the provisions that were passed by the Trustees as part of the ordinance which set up their committee.  They also discussed their first steps, to include an event for the entire community on April 30 (Arbor Day) to celebrate trees at which they hope to launch their new website, which will be a place where they can share educational materials on trees, shrubbery, plantings and proper maintenance.  Also part of their initial action will be an effort aimed at saving the Racetrack from invasive species.  Additionally, they would like to take on another smaller piece of public land (either right near the entranceway below the Racetrack or on East Lake Road below the El Reyes property) where they would work towards getting rid of the invasives and clearing away dead trees for the purpose of erosion control.  This work will be completed under the guidance of the DEC, particularly their program entitled Trees For Trips.  The committee is talking about working with the DEC by having them send representatives to the Village who can assist them in determining the best places to plant shrubbery for erosion control into both the Lake and the Ramapo.  The committee has submitted a modest but necessary budget ($5,000) to the Trustees and are hopeful that this will be approved so that they can move forward with setting up their website and preparing for the April 30 event.  Before opening herself up for questions, Mrs. Hempel stated that she wanted to make three additional points.  First, she commended the Board for taking environmental stewardship so seriously and recognizing the importance of trees to the economic wellbeing of the Village as well as its’ environmental health.  Secondly, she commented that she wanted to explain a little bit about the history of trees in the Village and perhaps “debunk” a myth that she has heard in the community that when Pierre Lorilard had founded the Park, there were no trees there.  The truth is that Lorilard logged the entire area for timber before he built the Park.  He did not clear the trees for the purpose of construction.  When the homeowners started building, the planted plenty of trees throughout the Village and over time, nature also replanted itself.  The first known postcard depicting the Tuxedo in 1886 might look somewhat “bald” but by 1900 this had changed, and by 1980, the year in which the Village was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the surveyor noted that the Village was a place where historic houses were ensconced in a forested landscape.  In other words, the listing is predicated not just on the historic homes, but also the forest.  Finally, with regard to the Racetrack, Mrs. Hempel cautioned that this piece of land is actually an integral part of the Village infrastructure.  The trees along both Tuxedo and Clubhouse Roads hold up the road itself.  The bowl itself is also a wonderful natural drainage system for the surrounding hills and also for the Village as well.  It also serves as the epicenter for biodiversity.  Preserving this for the Village, the County and the entire Hudson Valley is, in her view, a very important thing.  During their first meeting, the committee identified some of the more pervasive invasives, in subsequent meetings they will be working with the DEC to come up with a more cohesive plan to deal with the area in a more comprehensive fashion.  They will also be talking to other community organizations such as the Garden Club to see what they can do to conserve the area but also to make it more accessible to human enjoyment without ruining the ecosystem. 

Peter Regna wondered whether it might be possible if a public committee like the Tree Committee could help individuals with planting their own properties or replacing/caring for trees.

The answer was absolutely!  One of the committee’s main goals is education.  They are hopeful that with the use of their website they can serve as a conduit for sharing important information like this. 

Mayor Guinchard asked the committee to expand a bit on O & R’s role in tree city USA and how they play into tree maintenance. 

Mrs. Hempel responded that O & R belongs to a sister organization called Tree Line USA.  She met with their representative prior to the first committee meeting.  Their interests lie in proper tree maintenance and the planting of appropriate trees along the utility lines.  When people think about O & R and their interaction with trees, the tend to envision choppy topping, tree disfiguration and drastic removal near power lines, but this type of thing does not need to happen.  Moving forward the Village can work closely with the utility company and collaborate on certain things.   For example, if there are particularly dangerous trees or massive vines that are killing a tree and need to be removed, the Village can leverage on their work while they are doing the line maintenance to deal with these dangerous trees.  Secondly, O & R will be an important source of information for the Village in terms of letting them know what types of trees are appropriate near the lines.

Trustee Guazzoni noted that back when the Village began, residents were not overly interested in their gardens but as time moved on, this changed and there was a lot of growth.  In walking around the Village he has observed specimens of extremely rare trees that are probably 100 years old or older.  For example, on his property there exists a Japanese Maple that is certainly not native, but has thrived and is beautiful.  At TPS he has observed what is either a sequoia or a redwood, which is covered in vines.  He feels it is important to catalogue these older, rare trees so that they are not cut down or inadvertently removed. 
It was suggested that there might be a grant that Village could apply for with the Department of Environmental Conservation that will fund an inventory.

Mrs. Hempel commented that she felt this was a great suggestion and that they should figure out a way to collaborate and work with homeowners to create such a catalogue.   

Trustee Kilduff thanked the committee for their efforts, commenting that  they had clearly taken the effort very seriously and this shows.  He believes that it will be a wonderful program. 
Trustee Gluck inquired about the budget, noting that the submission from the committee suggested that the funding would come from savings.  He wondered what they meant by this.

Mrs. Hempel responded that in the current fiscal year there was no line item in the budget to cover these costs.  The thinking was that there might be some savings elsewhere within the budget (such as those with O & R discussed earlier in the meeting) that could be redirected at this initiative, particularly the website, which they feel is critical.  They will need the money prior to May 31 in order to effectively get themselves going.

Referencing the outline that had been presented to the Board, Trustee Gluck stated that the requested monies would be used for the website, educational materials and a consultant who would help them develop an invasive action plan for dealing with the Racetrack.

Mrs. Hempel confirmed this noting that the consultant was the most expensive item on that list as Trillium (the suggested outfit) is a recognized expert in invasive management.  There have been many residents who have spent time trying to help preserve the Racetrack over the years and so they do possess some basic knowledge, but Mrs. Hempel does not feel they know enough about the sequence for removing certain things as opposed to planting new things back.

The credentials of consultant were then briefly discussed and it was determined that he was a well known invasive management person and a biologist. 

The Mayor noted that once a study of this nature had been done on the Racetrack, it would prove helpful in other areas of the Village where the same invasive species might exist.
Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether the committee would be taking a look at insects that are detrimental to trees and management there of.

Mrs. Hempel responded that this was not part of their initial plan, however it was certainly something they would look at down the line.

Trustee McHugh commented that he was a big fan of what the committee was doing but he had some reservations.  First and foremost the Village Website is, in his view,“ abysmal” and he is not happy about the idea of funding another website when they did not even have the core Village website in good shape.  Noting that this was more a reflection of the Village and the Board, he further commented that he felt the functionality of the Tree Committee should be a part of the Village Website, rather than its own independent site.    He accepts the fact that an inventory must be done, but feels that they need to generate an inventory with action items.  Case in Point, the levels of the Wee Wah have been lowered in an effort to address the Eurasian Milfoil, but as a result there are now more fragmites growing along the side of the lake.  This is an indirect effect of an action they took.  It would be great to have the consultant come and identify what was there and what needed to be removed but a more direct question in his mind would be how do we remove it and what should we replace it with.  Trustee McHugh does not believe that the proposal provided by the consultant properly addresses the scope of this.  He would prefer to punt on that study and procure not only an inventory but proposed solutions, after which the committee could ask for a bigger budget whereby the scope of the project at hand with the racetrack would be better defined.

Mrs. Hempel agreed with some of these sentiments, responding that she felt it was important that the committee make sure that the money spent with the consultants (a proposed $2,500) included that action plan as well as the inventory.  She feels it will be the job of the committee to ensure that they receive this.

In terms of the website, she noted that the Village Website was something that was extremely important and that the redesign on it would ultimately be a time consuming exercise, as it should be.  The committee however, feels it is crucial to get their site going fairly quickly, in time for a launch just before the April 30 event.  They do not want to get held up because of the redesign process for the Village site, which could take 6-9 months. Due to the fact that the subject matter is so specific, the cost of the site will only be $600-700.

Trustee McHugh responded that he accepted all of these points.  He further noted that there had been two examples over the course of the last several months of egregious behavior with regard to trees on private properties.  There seems to be either a lack of knowledge or an attitude whereby residents decide that they will go ahead and do whatever they want until they are reprimanded.  He feels that the Village has fallen somewhat short on educating residents as to what the rules and the laws are and also enforcement.  He would be happy to support the website if the committee would build in this component and functionality, which would then make it a fundamental educational point.

Trustee Kilduff agreed that an independent site for the Tree Committee would be a good idea, suggesting that were it a part of the Village site, the majority of information would be contained on a tab and not the home page itself.

Mrs. Hempel agreed and reiterated that they would certainly be drawing attention that the Village does have a code provision that addresses tree cutting.  Many residents are unaware of this.  She also feels that the issue of replanting needs to be more directly addressed as it is not a part of the Village conversation at the moment.  There are not many saplings here.  If the Village continues to allow homeowners to remove 4 trees per year, in 100 years the community will be bald.

There followed a discussion regarding whether or not the Village would need to go out to bid for the requested consulting services due to the cost of said services. 

Mr. Nugent advised the Board that they would need to collect quotes (this has already been done) but were not required to take the lowest bidder.

A motion was made to approve the expenditure and this was followed by further discussion. 

Trustee Gluck commented that he was struggling with it because the budget was already quite tight and in looking at what the priorities were, although this was a tremendously worthy cause, he was not sure he could get over the hump.  He wondered if this were an appropriate expenditure for the Village given the current fiscal situation.

Trustee Guazzoni wondered whether they split the funding between two fiscal years. 

The issue with this is that the committee needs the funds as soon as possible in order to move ahead with their website and make plans for the proposed Arbor Day event on April 30.

Peter Regna wondered whether the Village might be able to “raise the flag” and implore various residents to donate the $5,000 to fund the cause.

It was explained to him that legally the Village cannot fundraise, but private residents were more than welcome to do so as were organizations such as the Garden Club.

Trustee Kilduff suggested that there were some areas in the DPW budget, such as snow removal, where the Village would come in under budget and perhaps the money could be pulled from there.

Following some further discussion regarding how to fund the initiative within the confines of the current budget, the Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the committees request for $5,000.

Mrs. Hempel thanked the Board, noting that the committee would be working towards putting together another budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year and that this would be submitted shortly.

Finance Committee- On behalf of the Finance Committee, Trustee McHugh reported that the Village was currently ahead of budget by roughly $100,000 – 125,0000 due to the recent land sale, but this assumes that the booth will not be replaced.  The committee is continuing to discuss this as well as possible incremental savings and slew of other issues, to which they will be able to add more color as labor negotiations commence. 

The Board then scheduled two budget workshops for February 22 at 10am and March 7, also at 10am.  If needed, they will hold a third workshop on March 14.

Emergency Services – Trustee Kilduff reported that the Volunteer Ambulance Youth Corps would be holding a pancake breakfast the following Sunday, January 31, from 9 till noon at the Eagle Valley Fire House.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.

On a more serious note, he noted that as most people are already aware the overnight police shift in the Town has been eliminated and they will also be eliminating the dispatchers from the department.  There have been several meetings between himself as the Ambulance Corps President and the Mayor and the Police Chief as they work through the process with the Orange County 911 facility that will replace the town operation.  It turns out there is quite a bit to it and the Town will need to upgrade the radios and the transmitters.

Bids are being secured for this.  There is also work being done with the part that the Village will have to do to take some of the dispatcher work in as part of a broader plan for the Town and in particular for the emergency services responding to incidents in town where there will no longer be a police officer present.  This is a bridge until 2017, when the county will be rolling out a whole new 911 system, in which the Village will be included.  When this occurs, radios etc. will be provided by the County and will not be an expense for the Village.

In the mean time, if there is an emergency medical call in town, Village Police will respond.

Department of Transportation Committee – Trustee Guazzoni commented that often times navigating the hilly roads around the Village can be especially difficult in the wintertime.  He reminded residents that those vehicles traveling uphill had the right of way by NYS law and that those traveling downhill must therefore always be the one to yield.

DPW – As liaison to the DPW Trustee Guazzoni stressed the importance of staying off the Village roadways during snowstorms.  Children especially should not be permitted to play there.  The plows need to travel at higher speeds in order to push through the snow and often times they are dealing with reduced to no visibility slick conditions.  Because of this, they may not always be able to come to an abrupt stop or, in some situations, a stop at all.

NEAMI/PERMA Contract Renewal:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor Guinchard to sign the NEAMI/PERMA contract.

Amend Resolution to Replace PIPC with Orange County Land Trust:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of changing the holder of the conservation easements on the Related buffer properties from PIPC to Orange County Land Trust.

Public Comments:
Michele Lindsay provided that Board with a brief Town Board update.  The 2011 comprehensive plan has been updated.  The Board is reviewing the plan along with some zoning amendments.  Workshop meetings will be scheduled in February with a Public Hearing to take place sometime in March.  With regard to the Pilgrim Pipeline, the Town Board has directed their attorney to write a second letter, based on a letter that was sent by the Town of New Paltz rejected the idea of a dual lead agency.  It has been proposed that both the DEC and the Thruway Authority act as lead agency for the project.  This is highly unusual and, in Mrs. Lindsay’s view, problematic as it leaves no mechanism for dealing with disputes regarding the DEC policy.  The Town believes there should be one lead agency and that it should be the DEC.

Mrs. Lindsay has also been working with Trustee Kilduff on a proposed solar field in the Town that would provide energy to both the Town and the Village.  Possible locations include Quarry Field and the old Mulch Pile site (once Perfect Cut has vacated it.)

Trustee McHugh wondered whether locating the array on Quarry Field might effect the classification of the Wee Wah dam.  Mrs. Lindsay did not know, but it was agreed that this could be a legitimate concern. 

Mayor Guinchard noted that the Village was currently awaiting receipt of the letter announcing the dual lead agencies and that the Village was planning to respond in a similar manner as the Town had once that letter was received.  Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to move forward with this letter.

Continuation of Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2015 – Petroleum Pipelines:
As there were no comments from the public, the hearing was closed.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the amendments, which will prohibit the construction of any structures related to the pipeline. 

To review a copy of the legislation, click here.

Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory No 4 of 2015 – Exterior Lighting:
To review a copy of the draft legislation, click here

The Board is in receipt of a letter from Village Planning Board Chair Joanne Hanson, in which she offers several comments.

Trustee Guazzoni noted that this law was still in draft form and that the public process was only just getting under way.  He feels that the community really needs to think about where they want to go with exterior lighting.

Mrs. Hempel inquired as to whether the proposed regulations would apply to both the school and The Club.

The answer was yes.

She then wondered whether the law would be applied retrospectively with an allotted time period for residents to come into compliance.

Trustee Gluck responded that this had not been included in the draft but that there had been some discussion and disagreement about it at the Board level.

Referencing what he feels is a tremendous amount of existing light trespass in various locations around the Village, Trustee Guazzoni stated that in his opinion all lighting should be brought into compliance with BAR specs.

Mrs. Hempel commented that she felt it was commendable that the Village was considering legislation of this kind.  She noted that in addition to being a visual issue for some, bright lights can also be harmful to both environmental and human health.  She then wondered whether or not residents would be required to appear before the BAR in order to make the necessary changes.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that they wanted to make it as easy as possible for residents to comply.

Trustee McHugh wondered how they would handle areas with higher density housing and specifically whether requirements in these areas would be different than those for properties that were larger and more spread out.  He feels that the way the legislation is currently written, many homes will not comply.

Trustee Guazzoni reiterated his concerns about light trespass.  He feels there are several homes throughout the Village that are lit up with spotlights that are pointed at the road which he considers to be blinding.  He referenced two residents who had spoken at the previous meeting, one who is experiencing light trespass through her window at night which prevents her from sleeping and the other who has issues with bright driveway lighting next door.  He feels that the Boathouse is a great example of how a building should be lit at nighttime.

Trustee Gluck suggested that there were many varying components to the legislation as proposed including light trespass, dark sky initiative and compliance for new construction vs. existing homes.  He suggested that perhaps they should look at it in more of a piece-meal fashion, dealing with those issues that they could easily address first.

Officer Mike Coleman of the Police Department inquired as to whether or not officers would be provided with light meters in order to determine the level of nuisance for enforcement purposes should the legislation move forward.

The answer was yes.

Again, Trustee McHugh suggested that as the law was currently drafted, he figured that roughly 50% of residents would be in violation and that most of these people would surely have strong views about what they would or would not be willing to do in order to come into compliance.

It was suggested that they might bring in a meter now to better evaluate the situation and then subsequently use that data in determining how to move forward.

Trustee Kilduff suggested that they also look into how lighting laws were enforced in other communities.

Trustee McHugh commented that many residents who currently use spot lights in their driveway turn them on for reasons such as warding off bears when they take out the trash or navigating to and from their vehicles in the darkness.  He does not feel that the majority of these people will want to stand in judgment of their peers or the BAR for this fairly normal kind of practice. 

Mrs. Hempel suggested that the Board research how other communities had rolled out similar legislation initially.

Trustee Guazzonni asked Trustee Gluck for further clarification as to what he meant when suggested they tackle the law piece-meal, dealing with some issues now and others later.

Trustee Gluck responded that there were certain aspects of the law that could be dealt with right away, such as stadium lighting, while other areas, pillar lighting for example, might take longer to investigate and deal with properly.  He suggested that they pick the most obvious issues to deal with first.

Trustee McHugh inquired of Trustee Guazozni roughly how many houses he felt fit the profile of having blinding spolights aimed at the road.  He wondered whether it might be more of an enforcement issue.

Trustee Guazzoni responded that roughly 10% of homes fit the profile.

Trustee McHugh translated this to mean 30 homes.

Again, Mrs. Hempel applauded the Board for taking the initiative with this type of legislation.  She further noted that the Village was really quite behind other communities in taking a look at things like this.

Ultimately it was agreed that the Public Hearing would remain open and that Trustees Guazzoni and Gluck would work together to build on what they already have and determine the best way to move forward.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 26, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
a. Congratulations - Chief Sanford Retirement
b. Congratulations/Promotion of Officer Taback to Detective Taback
c. Announce Grievance Day-February 16, 2016 from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
4. Report of Police
5. Report of DPW
6. Report of Building Department
7. Public Comments
8. Committee Updates
a. Tree Committee
b. Wee Wah Beach Club Contract Discussion
c. Grant Writer
9. NEAMI/PERMA Contract Renewal
10. Amend Resolution to Replace PIPC with Orange County Land Trust
11. Public Comments
12. Continuation of Public Hearing - Local Law Introductory No. 2 of 2015-Petroleum
Transmission Pipelines
13. Public Hearing - Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2015-Exterior Lighting
14. Audit of Claims
15. Adjournment

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Public Hearing for Local Law Introductory #4 - Exterior Lighting - January 26

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Public Hearing will be held by the Village Board of the Village of Tuxedo Park, Orange County, New York, on January 26, 2016 at 7:00 p.m., in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, New York 10987.

The Village Board of the Village of Tuxedo Park, pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law Section 10 et. seq., is considering Local Law Introductory No. 4 of 2015 which will amend Chapter 100-2 and add Chapter 100-21.1 entitled "Exterior Lighting" to the Village Code.

The full text of the proposed Law is on file in the Village Clerk’s Office, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, New York and may be obtained by any interested parties from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Special Meeting of The Village Board of Trustees, January 19, 2016 12pm

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, for the purpose of adjourning to Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining negotiations, current litigation, and any other matters that may come before the Board.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

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Agenda For Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 12, 2016

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
4. SSES-Advertise for Bid and Set Bid Opening Date
5. Adopt Local Law Introductory #2 of 2015 (Pipelines)
6. Overton Water Request
7. Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss a specific personnel matter and current litigation
8. Adjourn Meeting

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