Recent Village News
Board of Trustees
Planning Board
Board of Architectural Review
Board of Zoning Appeals



Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 14, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 7pm.  Mayor McFadden was delayed due to traffic.  Therefore, Trustee McHugh began the meeting with Departmental Reports.

Departmental Reports:
DPW Report – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present due to illness, so no report was given.
Police Report – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of October:
Criminal Complaints – 3 (2 closed by investigation and 1 by arrest)
Non-Criminal Complaints - 361
Property Damage Accidents – 2
Accidents with Injury – 1
Traffic Tickets Issued - 6
Traffic Warnings Issued - 6
Medical Calls - 4
Fire Calls - 6
Intrusion Alarms - 2
Assists Given to the Village Police - 1
Assists Given by the Village Police -1
Vehicle Tags Issued – Resident:  Non-Resident:
Miles Patrolled – 2,481
Additionally, approximately 1,100 vehicles entered the Village each day through the Front Gate.
The Chief went on to report that there had been a vehicle accident on October 30 and some of the residents came to assist and he feels that they should be formally recognized.  They are: Kathy Norris, Jake Matthews and Valerie Evans-Frieke.
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether any fire arms had been discharged.
The answer was not in October, but one time thus far in November for a rabid cat.
Accept resignation of Part Time Police Officer: Trustee McHugh inquired of Brian Nugent why the Board was required to formally accept this resignation.  Mr. Nugent responded that it was not a legal requirement although he strongly recommended that they do it because if they did not, the resignation could be withdrawn.  Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation.
Building/Capital Report – Building inspector John Ledwith reported that there were currently two property maintenance issues before the Village Justice. 
The Village has been making progress on capital projects.  Water filter one will be back online within the week.  Storage tank #1 has been rehabilitated.  There are some minor cracking issues at the base of one of the tanks and the Village is seeking the advice of their engineer as to how they should proceed before filling the tank.  Currently the Village is operating on one tank and things are going well. 
Trustee McHugh wondered whether a quote had been provided and the answer was not yet.  All of the equipment necessary for the sewer plant recycling program has been received.  The Village will be recycling processed sewer water in order to clean screens that were historically being rinsed with potable water.  The Village will be saving approximately 100,000 gallons of water per week and roughly 5.2 million gallons a year.  The tank should be installed within the next week and Mr. Ledwith is collecting some final estimates on the relatively minor electrical work that will be needed.  Finally, two meters that are located in the pressure locator building off of Nursery Road and are supposed to be calculating the amount of water that is distributed to the Town are in disrepair.  One of them is working only partially, while the other is completely out of service.  The Village is collecting some estimates to replace both meters, install some new hardware and make some minor improvements to the building.  
Late last winter it was determined that there was at least one crack in the furnace at the water treatment plant, which left it usable but not terribly safe.   The Village has since contracted with Northern Plumbing, who replaced the boiler last week.  There are some additional improvements that need to be made.  It appears that the system is as old as the building, which dates back to the 1950s.   They have obtained some estimates for repairing radiators amongst other things.  The anticipated total for repairs is roughly $14,000.  The Village is hoping to stage these.
The Planning Board has approved demolition of the home located at the end of Lorillard Road.  The BAR will be reviewing plans for the construction of a new house in the same spot at their next meeting.  The Trustees must also approve the demolition.  Addressing Board Attorney Brian Nugent, Trustee Gluck noted that a few years back the BOT had gone through the code and attempted to strip themselves of all responsibilities pertaining to building permits.  When the issue came up at the Planning Board meeting earlier that evening, it appeared that they were still required to issue permits for demolition as well as for dock extensions.  He asked Mr. Nugent if he would look into this.  Mr. Ledwith interjected that he believed that the Board needed to approve the dock extensions as the docks were protruding out over the Village owned lakes, and so they had an invested interest.   Mr. Nugent informed them that demolition required an EAF as well as a BAR review.  It is a Special Permit, not a building permit.  In terms of docks, the code allows for the grandfathering of certain structures that were in existence prior to a specific date.  If any of these are to be rebuilt, an approval from the Village Board is required.  This is also a special permit and not a building permit. 

Village Attorney Litigation:
Brian Nugent reported the following with regard to litigation:
There is no new litigation.

  • Guazzoni/Zgonena vs. The Village – Mr. Zgonena is the only remaining plantiff in this case.  The case is currently in discovery with depositions to be scheduled prior to January 31, 2019.  To date, the case has cost the Village $10,000.
  • Guinchard vs. The Village – This is a challenge to the dismissal of a SCAR proceeding.  A settlement has been reached. It was agreed that for the 2018 SCAR proceeding, the 2017 determination of the hearing officer would be applied.   A SCAR proceeding was then conducted and there was no change in the assessment.  This case has cost the Village $6,900 in total.
  • Cosmetica vs. Jennifer Billiu –Sgt. Taback will give a deposition on November 19.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $1,800.
  • Zgonena vs. The Village – This was a Justice Court matter in which a resident had appealed a Justice Court conviction but ultimately a decision upholding the conviction was made on October 15.  This case has cost the Village $8,700 in total.
  • Madden vs The Village – A motion to reargue was denied on September 12.  Mr. Madden has filed a notice to appeal and has perfected it. Now the Village must respond to his brief.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $13,000.

Committee Reports:
Report by Town Board Member – Michele Lindsay noted that on Monday, November 19 the Town would be holding a public hearing to consider elimination of the Architectural Review Board.  There has also been talk of officially reducing the town Planning Board to five members, which is what they currently have as they have not appointed two additional members as required by the law.  At the last meeting, Jim Hays inquired as to whether the town was considering both the elimination of the ARB and the Planning Board reduction, but he did not get a straight answer.  She advocated that residents attend the meeting and comment on both of these important matters. 
Lili Neuhauser added that prior to these intiatives, the Town had advertised for ARB and Planning Board membership and had received many applications from qualified people. 
Mrs. Lindsay concurred, further commenting that there were a total of 9 candidates who were interested in serving on these Boards.
Trustee Gluck wondered whether or not the sitting ARB and Planning Board had issued any comments or recommendations back to the Town Board and Mrs. Lindsay responded that they were still waiting for these but the decision had been made to move ahead with the public hearing in the meantime.
Meg Vaught reported that at the Town Planning Board meeting the night prior, that Board had voted unanimously in favor of advising the Town Board to move forward with the consolidation of Boards, thus eliminating the ARB.
Next, Mrs. Lindsay reported that Town/Village consolidation petitions were still out in the community being signed.
Trustee McHugh inquired as to who was taking the lead on this initiative and Mrs. Lindsay replied that it had to be a resident led action.   There was one informational meeting several months back that addressed some general F.A.Q.s, but the details cannot really be explored until the petitions have been presented to the Town Board.  Trustee McHugh wondered who in the Park was spearheading this.  Trustee Coen responded that she would be willing to do so with the help of some additional people if they are able to determine that the whole thing makes sense from the Park’s perspective.  She has asked both the Village and the Town attorneys for a meeting so that they can make sure they are all on the same page.  520 signatures in total are needed.
School – Trustee McHugh inquired of BOE member Meg Vaught when the determination would be made about George F. Baker High School.  Mrs. Vaught responded that the Board was set to vote on this at the BOE meeting the following evening and that if there was snow, the meeting would be rescheduled for Friday, November 16 at 7pm. 
Lakes Committee – Jim Hays reported that at the previous meeting the Board had asked him to obtain a quote from a professional company for a fish survey so that they would have something to compare with the amount it will cost to use an intern from Oneonta.  While Princeton Hyrdo was visiting the Village the day prior, Mr. Hays informally inquired about the cost of a fish survey and was told that it would likely be $10,000 or more.  Further reporting on Princeton Hydro’s visit, Mr. Hays noted that the representative had met with Trustees McHugh and Gluck as well as the Lakes Committee.  He came with a set of proposals, having looked over the CSLAP data and various surveys conducted by Solitude Lakes Management.  As he was one of the authors of the 2009 Princeton Hydro report, he is familiar with the Village and its lake related issues.  After being brought up to date on everything that has been done, he has proposed to further review in detail all of the data that has been gathered, looking for gaps and trends etc.  He has also proposed to do a series of measurements in the three lakes and their inlets in order to try and determine precisely and quantitatively where the phosphorous that is fueling the algal blooms and milfoil growth is coming from.  Finally, he proposed to make a survey of the watershed, specifically noting where streams and runoff were entering so that he could in turn make recommendations for some changes.  The Lakes Committee also spent some time discussing with him how they might go about creating a long-term (10 year) strategic plan for lakes management. 
Water – Trustee Barnett went through two worksheets, the first a water loss analysis for the years 2000-2016 and the second the annual water plant report for 2017 and 2018.  The Village is still losing roughly 50– 55% of its’ potable water.  Click here to view the worksheets. Leak Detection was discussed.
RFQ for Water Loss Detection- John Ledwith explained that historically an acoustic method had been used, but unfortunately this was a “one-off” kind of system whereby an individual walks the length of a particular main looking for leaks. The Village has researched several different methods for getting a better look at the “big picture.”  Use of helium is one such method, but this is also a “one-off” method and to do it over the whole system (26 miles) would be both time consuming and costly for the Village.  What they are currently leaning towards is a method called Data Loggers, where possibly up to 160 devices would be installed near the water shut-off boxes and hydrants and subsequently used to create an acoustic picture of the entire system, which should enable them to better pinpoint where leaks are located.  The system would provide a monthly report, detailing where there are anomalies, which in turn will give the Village a good idea of where to look.  The system would be in place for 4 years. 
There followed a lengthy discussion as to whether or not they should be putting out an RFQ or and RFP and what exactly it was that they were looking for.  Mr. Nugent explained that an RFQ was a Request for Qualifications and would not necessarily include prices.  He suggested that an RFP might be more in line with what they are looking for.  Ultimately, it was agreed that Mr. Ledwith, with the help of Mr. Nugent,  would put together some specifications for an RFP, which could be reviewed by the Board and voted on at the next meeting.

Mayor’s Comments:
Having arrived during the Committee Reports, Mayor McFadden made the following comments.
Traffic Booth Update – Design development and 85% of the working drawings are complete.  (click here to view) The next phase is to complete the drawings, bid documents and bid package.  The plan is to go to bid late November.  Upon receipt of bids, the residents will be polled in order to find out if the majority want to replace the booth.  If the answer is yes, then they will sign the contract but he would like to make sure they have pricing information before they go to the public with a poll.  
Vehicle Accident Statement – Unfortunately there was a fatal one car accident on the East Lake Road Causeway several weeks ago.  Two Village residents and an officer of the Police Department acted in a heroic way in aiding the emergency response team, unselfishly diving into the water to recue the driver.  The Tuxedo Park community is a strong, caring place and always works together in times like these.  The Mayor commended the emergency services workers who responded as well including the Village Police Department, DPW, Tuxedo Fire Department, the Ambulance Corps and the DEC.
Orange & Rockland Equipment Upgrade Progress Report – 15,000 feet of distribution wire is to be replaced with Hendricks wire in the 2nd quarter of 2019.  This should improve strength and reduce power outages during storms.   11 poles will be replaced and 1 removed.  11 streetlights will have to be removed. The installation of LED fixtures will be discussed in the coming months.  Smart Meters will be installed in 2019 to help assess magnitude of power outages and dispatch repair crews.  These are wireless meters that automatically report power loss to O & R.
Ongoing Trustee Projects – Mayor McFadden read into the record the following list of on-going Trustee projects: Booth drawings & pricing, Wildlife Management Protocol, Shared Services Agreement follow-up, Comptrollers Report response, preparation for annual Financial Reports, Village Court, appointed Boards, water, Police, Building, DPW, Village Admin Department oversight, Capital Budget Report. Emergency Service Hazard Mitigation Plan approval, searching for grants, Dam Construction Administration, potable water loss monitoring, Village wide-performance reviews for non-union employees, Village employee manual, bi-monthly capital and DPW project meetings, Town/Village feasibility discussions, legal case management, ongoing upkeep of Village property, oversight of water tank and water filtration renovation projects, CSLAP water management project, lakes management consultant oversight, procurement policy, working with the police on a rapid response protocol and training at TPS and interviewing the tax assessor.

With regard to the Booth, Trustee Coen stated that she thought it was a great idea to poll residents to find out if it was something they still wanted.  She wondered how the poll would be conducted.
Mayor McFadden responded that he was planning to use Survey Monkey.
Public Comments:
Lili Neuhauser inquired as to whether or not there would be deer culling.
The Mayor responded that he believed they would be.
Chief Melchiore added that Sgt. Taback has done a count of the deer and submitted it to the DEC, who will come back with recommendations.  He believes they may be in a position where they could cull if they wanted to do but they do not have to.

Michele Lindsay commented that there had been quite a bit of ATV traffic in the woods just outside of the Park by Brook Rd and TPS.
Trustee McHugh wondered if it had anything to do with the newly opened trail in Sterling Forest State Park, just outside of the South Gate.  He inquired of the Chief as to if and how this was patrolled. 
Chief Melchiore responded that his department patrols this kind of activity the best they can from the roadways but as they do not have ATVs, they are not on the trails.
There followed a discussing regarding signs to be posted in various locations along the Village Border.  Trustees Gluck and Coen have been working on these although language and design have not been finalized.  Trustee Gluck will continue to work on this and follow up with the Board.

Old Business:
Resolution – Extend Sterling Carting Contract for One Year – The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the contract with sterling carting for one year.
Hours for Deliveries and Moving Trucks – At their October meeting, the Board began discussing a possible protocol which would allow for deliveries of household goods and moving trucks in the Village on Saturdays and Sundays.   Since that time, Trustee Gluck has drafted a protocol for review.  There was a great deal of discussion.  Trustee McHugh asserted that he did not feel trucks should be allowed in the Village on weekends and that residents should be able to enjoy weekends free of this type of noise and traffic.  Trustee Coen, on the other hand, stated that she was in favor of allowing it.  She believes that the traffic will be generally infrequent and not overly disruptive and that the Village should make every effort to make it easy for residents to live there.   Should it become a big problem, they can always revert back to what they have now with relative ease.  Various scenarios involving people who work and cannot be at home to receive deliveries during the allotted hours or folks who are trying to move in and/or out of their homes on the weekends were discussed.  Trustee Barnett suggested that they allow it on Saturdays but not Sundays and this was generally well received.  Ultimately, it was agreed that they would try it on a trial basis, posting a copy of the protocol to the Village website.
Wildlife Management Protocol – Trustee Coen has been working with Chief Melchiore in an effort to establish a wildlife management protocol.  The effort was born out of community concern following the shooting of several foxes last spring.  Therefore, what to do with rabid animals is one of the first things they have explored.  Through conversations with the Orange County Department of Health, they have learned that animal bodies are only tested for rabies if there has been a human encounter, otherwise the bodies are not sent for testing.  The DOH will be answering an FAQ that Trustee Coen and the Chief put together and have also agreed to come to the Village and educate people first hand.
Revised Resolution – Adoption of Sexual Harassment Policy – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the sexual harassment policy.

New Business:
Resolution – To go out to bid on booth project – Mayor McFadden suggested a bid opening date on January 7 at 2pm.  Trustee Gluck wondered whether or not it was necessary for the Board to approve the bid documents.  Trustee McHugh interjected that a bigger question for him was whether or not anyone else on the Board had seen either the drawings or the document that they would be putting out for bid.  He has not.  He does not feel comfortable authorizing the expenditure of going out to bid when he doesn’t know anything about it.  The Mayor responded that at the previous meeting he had circulated documents that contained price estimates for each trade and had explained how he wanted to proceed.  Since that time, the drawings have progressed and now he is looking to put the project out to bid so that he can get prices to present to the public when polling them.
Trustee McHugh wondered whether he would be allowed to get prices for taking down a portion of the wall between the Keep and St. Mary’s and laying a new road there which would allow for two entrances.  He further suggested that if they were going to go out to bid on one idea, they should go out to bid on all ideas so that they could lay out different iterations to the general public.
The Mayor responded that the price they had received for the first reiteration of the booth was over $400,000.  The most recent reiteration was quoted at over $200,000.  The Board collectively decided that they could not afford this and they did not put it into the budget.  As discussed in October, there is $46,000 left in the budget for the Booth.  Additionally, $65,000 has been raised privately.  The estimates he presented came in under the combined total of these numbers. The Mayor added that he had been able to save money by utilizing a company that will construct the customized, steel framed booth off site. If Trustee McHugh believes that his suggested alternative can come in at a lower budget, he should draft it up and put it out for bid.
“Ok” responded Trustee McHugh.
Trustee Coen wondered how much it would cost to go out to bid.
The answer was $35.
Trustee Gluck wondered about the cost of the drawings.
The mayor responded that the drawings had been funded with the $46,000 left in the Booth fund.
Again, Trustee Gluck wondered whether the Board needed to approve the bid documents.
Mr. Nugent advised that they should.
Following some further discussion, it was agreed that bid documents would be assembled and circulated to the Board prior to their next meeting at which they would vote.
Resolution – to release $2,800 in funds for the booth drawings from existing booth restricted funds – following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of releasing the funds.
Fyke Nature Association Request for Annual Bird Count in Village on 12/15/18 – The board voted unanimously in favor of approving the request for the annual bird count.
O.C. Water Facility Tax Exemption for 2020- After reviewing the request, the Board agreed to table it while they did some further investigation into exactly which property was effected and whether or not there were any other qualifying properties.
Fontana Performance Bond Release – There is an issue with the request for return on the performance bond associated with this project as the check for the Bond was written by Mr. Fontana’s wife, who is now deceased. Following some discussion, the Board agreed to table this.

Public Comments:
Ellen Gluck commented that the booth drawings looked great! She inquired as to whether there was a window that opened.  The answer was yes.  There are also two transaction drawers and two intercoms, one each for cars and trucks.   It is also handicap accessible.  Everything is ADA approved.

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 14, 2018

Click here to view the agenda

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 17, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, October 17 at 7pm.  Trustee Barnett was absent.

Mayor’s Comments – Traffic Booth:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting with an update regarding the traffic booth.  Commenting that all of the Trustees were not necessarily behind these ideas, he suggested that prior to moving ahead with a project he would recommend re-polling the residents and then bringing a proposal before the Board for a vote.  The Village was unable to include the reconstruction of a traffic booth in the 2017/2018 budget because they wanted to remain under the tax cap.   Estimates for the project as previously designed came in at $200,000+, which is an unrealistic sum in his view.  There remains $46,000 left over from The Keep project and a committee of residents has been able to raise roughly $65,000 towards the effort.  With this in mind, the Mayor reached out to some custom fabricators and found 2-3 vendors per trade.    The first company would make the steel shell of a booth and customize it for the Village based on the drawings.  The two estimates for this service were $30,000 and $12,000.  The second company would provide bullet-proof windows, including a drawer as well as a tilt & open bullet-proof window to face traffic.  The two estimates for these products were $18,000 & $13,000.  Carpentry is estimated at $35,000 and electric work at  $8,000.  Engineering and permits would cost about $8,500.  John Ledwith would be assigned the roll of project manager and the Mayor would stand as the liaison for the project.  With a total budget of $110,000, if one takes the lower end numbers, the cost would come to $97,000, which would leave a contingency of $14,000.  These are guestimates and not formal bids, but the Mayor believes that the project may be in reach.  He would like to continue to research the options and present some estimates to the Board after which, if they are in agreement, the project could go out to competitive bid.  He reiterated that prior to all of this, he would like to survey the residents again because he realizes that some folks have gotten used to the current configuration, while others may have had cost-related reservations about the project.  He supports the project and is hopeful that they can build some community support for it as well.
Next, he thanked both the DPW and Trustee McHugh for installing a new flag poll at the Front Gate, which he feels looks fantastic. He also applauded them for their efforts along the Causeway, which has been significantly cleaned up  and is looking terrific. 
Moving on to the garbage contract, Mayor McFadden reminded everyone that the current contract with Sterling has expired.  While the Village has been very pleased with the quality of service they have been receiving from Sterling, they feel it a prudent part of their due diligence to take a look at the current market in order to ensure that they are getting the best possible deal for the Village.    The Mayor suggested that they reach out to a couple of competitors for estimates (not formal bids)  He has found two companies that he would like to reach out to, both of whom provide “back-door” service.  If these estimates fall in line with what Sterling is offering, he sees no need to make a change.  Town Supervisor Mike Rost was in the audience, and the Mayor inquired as to which service the Town utilizes.  The answer was Interstate Waste Management.  The school utilizes Marangi without complaint.
Trustee Gluck suggested that it might be difficult to obtain estimates in lieu of formal bids.  He further noted that Trustee McHugh had attempted to do this with Interstate, but they declined to provide estimates without a formal bid.
From the audience Tom Salierno commented that Sterling has been providing great service and that people are very happy with them.
Mary Graetzer added that she recalled that the last time the contract was negotiated, Sterling had agreed to purchase a smaller truck for use on the narrow Village roadways.  She wondered if another company would be willing to do the same.  
The Mayor responded that this was a good question, reiterating that so long as the estimates and services offered by other companies were in line with what Sterling is offering, he saw no need to make a change.

Departmental Reports:
DPW – Superintendent Voss reported that the Trustees had decided that it would be a good idea to hold weekly staff meetings with the DPW and the first of these occurred on October 12.  Some of the items discussed were: different leak detection systems that are being looked at in an effort to resolve water loss issues, Ridge Road water tanks and the ongoing work there (work on tower two slated to begin on October 22), inoperable water meters in the Town of Tuxedo that need to be replaced, replacement of the furnace at the water plant (estimated at $21,000), possible installation of new roof drainage at the water plant, installation of recycling system at the waste water treatment plant, tree removal throughout the Village, purchase of a new ride mower, refurbishment of a dump truck, catch basins (identifying issues and prioritizing repairs) and roadways (identifying issues and prioritizing repairs).
The Department has been quite busy working on Village roadways.  Paving on Wee Wah road near the Pond 3 dam was completed last week.  Additionally, a lot of  drainage work has been done in preparation for the grinding of Continental Road, which is scheduled for next week and will be followed by paving there the week after.  Drainage at the Wee Wah dam has been creating a bit of an erosion problem and the department has installed catch basins there to alleviate the issue.  The roadway across that dam will paved at the same time as Continental Road.
Although it was reported at the previous meeting that filter at the water plant was about to be up and running, not long afterward, it was discovered that two pieces were missing.  These have since been ordered and installed.  The filter should be online by early next week.
Trustee McHugh added that with the addition of the new filter, the TOC removal rate has gone from 20% to 50%. When asked for an explanation, Superintendent Voss explained that TOC stood for Total Organic Carbon and that although it had never been problematic; these levels were elevated last spring.  They have since normalized.  Trustee McHugh then pointed out that by doing the lion’s share of this work “in house” the Village had been able to save a significant amount of money.

Police Report – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of September:
Criminal Complaints – 4
Non-Criminal Complaints – 350
Property Damage/Motor Vehicle Accidents – 5
Arrests – 1
Traffic Tickets Issued – 22
Traffic Warnings Issued – 2
Medical Calls – 6
Fire Alarms – 4
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Assists Given to Outside Police Agencies – 3
Assists Received from Outside Police Agencies – 5
Vehicle Tags Issued – 89 (Resident) 220 (non-Resident)
Miles Patrolled – 2,527
Additionally, roughly 1,000 vehicles per day entered the Village via the Front Gate.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring part-time officer Kevin Ambrose, subject to a background check.

 Jim Hays inquired as to whether there was any update on the human remains that were found in the Wee Wah last year.  The answer was no.

Inter-Municipal Agreement with County of Orange Emergency Services – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving an inter-municipal agreement which will allow Orange County Emergency Services to provide 2 CAD laptops, equipped with GPS to the Department for installation in vehicles, subject to some minor “tweeking” by council.  The computers will allow for 911 and computer-aided dispatch and will interface with other municipalities as well as the new license plate reader at the Front Gate (so that officers on patrol will be able to identify vehicles that are coming in and out from their cars).  They will also allow for computerized traffic tickets.  The Village will be receiving the machines at no cost as part of a grant and they will be permanently mounted in the vehicles.
From the audience, Town Supervisor Mike Rost commented that this never would have been possible without the help of the Town because prior to their actions several years ago, the Village would not have been able to communicate with Orange County 911.

Building Report-
Click here to view a copy of the building report.

Village Attorney Litigation and FOIL Report:
Brian Nugent reported that there is currently no new litigation.  There are four pending litigations in which the Village is a party and one in which they are not.   There are: 

  • Guazzoni & Zgonena vs. The Village – Discovery is in progress.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $10,000.
  • Guinchard vs. The Village – Petitioners council has proposed a settlement that will be discussed in executive session.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $6,700.
  •  People vs. Zgonena – fully submitted and awaiting a decision.  No additional costs.
  • Madden vs The Village – A motion to reargue was denied on September 12.  Notice of appeal is still pending.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $12,000.
  • Cesmetica vs. Jennifer Billiu – Currently they are in the process of scheduling a deposition for Sgt. Taback.  Current billing to the Village is approximately $1,200.

Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Christopher Gow reported that the group is winning the battle against invasives at the Racetrack Nature Preserve and has received the “green light” from landscape architects Larry Weaner & Assoc. to begin live planting.  To this end, they have put in 706 live, native plants mainly near the southern entrance.  The results of this mass planting will be visible in the spring. In other news, for the third year in a row the DEC will be donating native trees and saplings to the Village as part of a program in which they are encouraging municipalities to be good stewards of their land, especially focusing on vegetation around water bodies.  Additionally, using some of the monies left to the Village by Alex Salm, Trustee McHugh will be obtaining some additional trees for planting by the DPW facility.
Lakes Committee – Jim Hays informed the Board that the graduate student from Oneonta (as discussed at the previous meeting) would be in the Village to perform a bathometric survey of Tuxedo Lake on the 26th , 27th  or 28th of this month.  She will need to spend 6 hours in total on the lake to complete the survey and the committee has arranged for this.  As a follow-up to the Board’s questions about the proposed fish study, Mr. Hays presented the Board with a copy of a letter, written by an Oneonta professor including estimates for the study.  Following some discussion as to whether or not the Villages procurement policy required them to obtain a second estimate, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the study at a cost not to exceed $3,600 subject to the requirements of the procurement policy as discussed.
Mr. Hays further reported that milfoil in all three Village lakes was currently in the fragmentation phase.  Fragmentation is the primary way in which milfoil spreads.  During the process the plant’s stems weaken and the fragments float to the surface.  A recent look at Tuxedo Lake showed there were not an overwhelming number of floating fragments although those that were spotted already seemed to have roots sprouting on them.  Folks are encouraged to use a net or skimmer and remove the fragments from the lake when possible.  The Wee Wah is unfortunately another story.  In this lake there are huge stems and the wind blows the fragments around regularly.  There is a huge concentration of it by the DPW facility.  Mr. Hays suggested that in future years, if the problem persists (which is likely) a united effort amongst committee members and residents alike to remove the fragments might be organized.    Milfoil does not grow much in water deeper than 10 feet.  Mr. Hays opined that perhaps lowering the water levels in the Wee Wah so that the water would freeze at a depth of less than 10 feet and possibly kill off some of the growth could be an effective method of controlling it.  Mr. Hays further noted that he was aware that the Board was in receipt of a letter from a resident requesting that they not lower water levels in the Wee Wah.
Trustee Gluck responded that they would ask their consultant for thoughts on this.
Trustee McHugh added that DEC approval would be required in order to lower lake levels. He went on to report that in addition to the activity reported by Mr. Hays, the Village was in the process of a fragmites survey and the Lakes Committee would be considering what the best methods for removal without the use of chemicals might be.  A plant survey of Wee Wah Lake and Pond #3 was conducted at the end of September and they are awaiting the results.  Finally, the CSLAPS program has been concluded for the season, with the Village completing 7 out of 8 studies.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Town Supervisor Mike Rost reported that he had been spending quite a bit of time on the budget.  They Town has been given a 1.02% cap to work with and he is confident that they will be beneath that.  He anticipates that the Town will officially be “out of the hole” by next year and is pleased that it has only taken 4 years instead of 5 to achieve that goal.  He anticipates a tax decrease next year.
Cleanup at the mulch pile is almost complete and the facility is now operating in proper manner.  They are still working on some of the stumps, but the dirt is clean and they are moving it out.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether there was any news on Tuxedo Farms.
Supervisor Rost responded that there had been new developers on the property and that Draggonsgate was also still in the picture as well.   The hang up, according to The Related Companies, is the school. “They are leveraging the school against the properties because next year there will be 61 students in the high school.  This is what they claim is holding the project up.  I don’t know if it is true or not.”
Mayor McFadden responded that he felt that home developers would not invest money into “something like that.”  “The first thing people do when they are investing in property is to ask about the school system,” he stated.
“There will be a school.  They will go somewhere,” commented Jim Hays.  “I don’t buy that argument at all.  I think Related is probably asking too much for the land.  If they cheapened it, they’d sell it!  I just don’t believe that at all.”
Mayor McFadden suggested that this was a conversation better suited for a Town Meeting.
Trustee Coen added that it could also be brought up at a Town School meeting, with the next meeting is scheduled for October 18 (the following night) and then another one on November 15 at which the School Board was expected to make a determination about the future of the High School.
Trustee McHugh asked Supervisor Rost for an update on the police, specifically the midnight shift.
Supervisor Rost responded that there was sporadic overnight coverage.  The Town gave the Police Department $125,000 to be used for part-time officers.  They are limited by the contract to 6 part-time officers.  If there is planned over-time, the part-time officers fill in to reduce those costs.  When there is no planned over-time, they are scheduled on the overnight shift as the Chief sees fit.
On another note, Mayor McFadden noted that he had attended both Family Fun Day and the Concert at Powerhouse Park on October 6 and that, despite the unfortunate weather, they had both been wonderful events and he encouraged everyone to attend next year.   The concert was the first in what the Town is hoping will be an on-going concert series. 

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Old Business:
There was no old business to discuss.

New Business:
Resolution – Appointment to BAR – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Christopher Gow to the BAR, to fill the vacated seat of Julia Simet, with a term ending in June of 2020.
Resolution – Appointment to TAB – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Father Rick Robyn to the Tree Advisory Board
Resolution – Purchase of Zero turning Radius Lawn Mower/Salm Donation – Trustee McHugh reported that the DEC had donated 300 small plants to be planted by the DPW site.  Because the plants are so small, the Village was looking to use $1,400 of the Salm donation to purchase some slightly larger plants, which will help to create some screening against the backdrop of the DPW building as well as tree coverage to help the smaller saplings take route.   Funds will also be used to purchase a zero turning radius lawn mower for the department.  As they are currently somewhat understaffed, this mower will help the DPW to cut grass in a more time efficient manner.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the usage of funds for these items. 
Trustee Coen inquired as to how much money was left in the fund.
Trustee McHugh responded that they had spent $65,000 to date, which left $35,000 to be spent in the next five months.  They are currently assessing and prioritizing appropriate uses for the money.
Resolution – Approve Refurbishing of DPW truck Truck – the Board voted unanimously in favor of refurbishing a DPW dump truck at an amount not to exceed $4,800.
Employee Hand Manual – The Village’s employee hand manual is very outdated.  Trustee Gluck has been looking into the costs associated with bringing it up to date.  He found one company who will do it, but they charge by the employee.  He suggested that the Town had recently updated their manual and that it might be possible to take the format they had used and apply it to the Village.   Board Attorney Brian Nugent informed the Board that his firm could update the manual as part of their retainer fee. 
Village Sexual Harassment Policy – Changes to New York State Labor Law now requires every employer in the State to have a sexual harassment policy in place, with training completed by October 9, 2019.  He provided the Board with a proposed new policy reflecting the State requirements, which will replace the Villages existing policy and included in the new Employee Handbook.  Trustees Gluck and Coen agreed to be members of the Sexual Harassment Policy Committee and they will be responsible for following up and making sure that everything is taken care of in terms of having everyone sign off on the policy and then follow through with the training.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the policy as presented. 
Dam – Trustee McHugh reported that the dam project was 98% complete.  It is now at its new normal pool level.  There is water running through the spillway and once levels rise roughly 6 more inches, water will cascade over the auxiliary spillway.  This being said, the Village continues to have issues with the contractor in terms of closing out the contract.   The village “took back” 4 tasks in order to facilitate completion of the contract.  These tasks will now be reassigned as follows: CHA will be awarded extra work authorization #13 ($33K) Campos (the contractor who is responsible for the parapet wall) will be responsible for the expansion joints and the work on the downside of the dam ($45K), Grout Tech will seal the auxiliary spillway in spots where spouts of water are making it through (cost was not provided) and Bill Mirch Stone Services will provide and refurbish the blue stone for the downstream side of the dam ($11,688).  The Board voted unanimously in favor of re-awarding all of these tasks as detailed.


Water Meters for Regulator Building in Town (Nursery Road):
There are currently two water meters located in the regulator building in Town that are not working.  Without them online, the Village cannot keep track of how much water is going to the Town vs. how much is going to the Village. Following some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing an amount not to exceed $11,000 for their replacement.

Amend Local Law to Allow Extended Hours for Residential Deliveries:
Trustee Gluck explained that there had been a number of inquiries and complaints from both current and potential residents who were looking to either move into the Village or receive residential deliveries after the hours that are permitted by the Village Code.  Currently, the code allows such activity from 8am - 4:30pm Monday through Thursday with shorter hours on Fridays.  He suggested that they amend the local law to allow move-ins & move-outs along with deliveries of household items (not construction activities) on a more permissive basis.  He suggested that any day from 8am-6pm was standard for “most of the world around us today.”
The mayor responded that he had also received a small number of missives from residents who were annoyed by weekend deliveries and seasonally extended hours for landscaping.  He is unsure as to whether they will be met with complaints/objections.  This would be a public hearing matter.  Currently, allowing exceptions is up to the discretion of the Building Inspector and/or the Trustees.  In an effort to avoid the Public Hearing process, he suggested that they adopt a resolution with some additional exceptions to the existing code without having to change the existing law. 
There followed a somewhat lengthy review of what is currently allowed under the code and whether or not a change should be legislated.  Ultimately, it was agreed that the discussion would be tabled.  Trustee Gluck will come up with list of proposed exceptions to the existing law and these will be discussed in the future. 

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 17, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 17, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, September 17 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking everyone for their efforts in re-arranging their schedules so that the meeting could be rescheduled to avoid the Jewish Holiday.

Department Reports:
Police Report – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of August:
Non-Criminal Complaints- 367
Criminal Complaints – 4
Arrests – 1
Motor Vehicle Accidents/Property Damage – 1
Traffic Tickets issued – 7
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 6
Assists received from the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists given to other Police Agencies – 3
Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 892
Non-Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 227
Miles Patrolled – 2,435
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles per day entered the Village via the Front Gate.
Mayor McFadden added that he had recently spoken with the Chief regarding the increase in traffic associated with the opening of TPS and advised him that the department should keep an eye our for speeders, including busses.  The Villages’ number one priority is safety and there have already been a number of complaints about speeders traveling to and from the school.  The school is also aware of the situation.
DPW Report – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss began his report by expressing gratitude to both the late Alex Salm and the Trustees for the newly acquired wood chipper, which he labeled a “Godsend” noting that it was saving the department a ton of time while making many of their tasks much easier.  It has been a great addition.
Paving was completed on East Lake, Club House and Cliff Roads last week.  At the end of October Continental Road will be ground up and repaved as well.  A lot of prep work was necessary prior to paving.  A catch basin on East Lake Road needed to be raised while an all-new basin was built along the Causeway.  The Department has also been busy cutting/removing various trees throughout the Village.  They also repainted the second filter at the Water Plant, reassembled the under drains and are hopeful to have it up and running by the end of the week.
The Mayor noted that it appeared as though some work been done along the causeway, thinning out the growth there and he wondered if there were any plans to continue either that work or the landscaping work by the Front Gate in the coming months. 
Superintendent Voss responded that there was definitely more work to be done along the Causeway and they were planning to do it later in the week. 
From the audience Meg Vaught agreed that the Causeway looked great and inquired as to whether the Village had any plans to “lead by example” by installing some sort of vegetative buffer between the roadway and the lake in an effort to inhibit road salt and other excrement from finding its way into the reservoir.  She further noted that one could see the milfoil beginning to poke through the surface of the water there. 
Trustee McHugh responded that they did not.  Currently they are removing dead trees and invasive vines as well as cutting back the overgrowth, but they are not disturbing the roots or the soil.   The goal is to create greater visibility while “taming the jungle” a bit.  The low levels of dirt in that area combined with the higher amounts of road salt and debris seriously limits what can be done there.  Catch basins are being adjusted/enhanced and boulders added in an effort to improve the drainage.  Currently, the only areas they are intending to plant are on/in various islands/triangles throughout the Village and the DPW has been doing a great job with this effort.
Building Department-
Click here to read the Building Department Report.

Village Attorney Report:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent reported that there had been little change since last report to the Board.  Guazzoni & Zgonena vs. the Village is still pending.  There has been a motion to renew on which they are awaiting a decision.  It has been determined that Mr. Guazzoni does not have any standing and therefore, Mr. Zgonena is the only remaining plaintiff in the action.  In the case of Guinchard vs. The Village, the Village will have to file an answer once notice of entry has been served, which has not yet been done.  The Village has been served a subpoena in the case of Cosmetica vs. Jennifer Billiu, which involved the turning over of some records and a deposition from Sgt. Taback.  Finally there are two matters still on appeal: Zgonena vs. The Village and Madden vs. The Village.
Trustee Gluck asked for an update on legal costs associated with these cases.
Mr. Nugent responded that Guazzoni & Zgonena vs. the Village had cost the Village roughly $9,000 to date while Guinchard vs. The Village had been about $5,000.  There has been no billing for the either of the appeals.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee – On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Chair Jim Hays reported that over the summer the committee had gone around Tuxedo Lake several times and created sketch maps detailing where the greatest concentrations of milfoil can be found. Time will tell, but they believe that the thick patches are related to bottom conditions where there are softer sediments where as the strands appear to be in more rocky terrain.  They believe it looks as though it could be controlled without a tremendous amount of effort in those rockier areas.  Mr. Hays has been in touch with SUNY Oneonta with regards to the possible use of a graduate student to help with the lakes effort and it looks as though it will come through.  He has information with regard to two different programs and this needs to be reviewed by the committee in conjunction with the Board so that a determination can be made.  There are a number of different things that the student will be able to accomplish and they will need to talk about this in order to determine what will be more practical.  A fish study/inventory is one things that was recommended to the Village by Princeton Hydro but Mr. Hays does not yet know whether or no this will be feasible.  In order to retain the student, the Village must make a contribution of $2,500.
The Mayor inquired as to where the worst areas of milfoil were located.
The answer was that there are thick patches just at the south end of the Lake, by the Glynn house, by Duck Hollow, in front of the Regna and Dean homes and along the dam by the Tuxedo Club.
Mayor McFadden then inquired as to the depth at which the weed stops growing.
The answer was roughly 10-11 feet.
There followed a lengthy discussion with regard to the graduate student.   Ultimately it was determined that although they all support the idea in theory, the Trustees would require more information/greater granularity before they could make a decision.  This may require a special meeting, as time is a factor for the University.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that on September 5 the Town Attorney held an informational session for the community to discuss the Town/Village consolidation proposal.  This is an effort that needs to be citizen driven however the Town Board has authorized their attorney to provide a Q & A sheet to assist those who are getting involved.
Mayor McFadden inquired about the general level of support behind the idea and Mrs. Lindsay responded that she felt there was a good level of support, but there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.  They are waiting for the attorney to come back with some answers, as there has been a good deal of confusion about the process.  There are actually two proposals; the first is the creation of a new Village and second is the consolidation of the Town.  One of these needs the support of 10% of the citizens while the other requires 20%. There have been questions as to what constitutes a citizen. (Is it a registered voter or just a resident of the area to be incorporated?)
Board attorney Brian Nugent explained that it was the creation of the new Village that required 20% as the municipality can perform the consolidation but the incorporation of a new Village must be done by petition of the people (aka citizen driven.)  These two sources that directly concern these propositions are New York State Village Law, which spells out the incorporation process step-by-step, and General Municipal Law, which allows for the consolidation of two government units.  What the Town is proposing is a little unique as it is the first time he has seen the incorporation of a Village followed by an immediate consolidation at the same time. 
There are a lot of questions with regard to voting and budgeting and how these things would work.  Mr. Nugent advised that things would basically remain as they are now, the main difference being that another new Village could not be formed within Tuxedo.
Trustee Coen added that the initiative is intended to be a protective measure not only to prevent to formation of future Villages but also to afford the Town more rights/power.  She pointed out that with the Pilgrim Pipeline project, the Town had not had the ability to prevent the project from coming through, while the Village had been able to resolve against it.
Next, Mrs. Lindsay reported that at the most recent Town Board meeting the proposed elimination of the Architectural Review Board had been referred to both the Planning Board and the Architectural Review Board for feedback.  Once feedback has been received, there will be public hearings and Mrs. Lindsay is hopeful that folks will come out and get involved.  Also discussed at the meeting were new fees for As Built Permits.  Currently these are only $100.  What is happening is that some people are not obtaining Certificates of Occupancy when they put additions on their homes but rather they are coming in for them much later, when they are trying to sell the property….and only having to pay $100!  Needless to say, this is not fair to people who are following the correct process and so the Board is looking to revise the fee schedule.
Finally, there will be a concert at Powerhouse Park on October 6 featuring Commander Cody and some members of the Original Jefferson Starship in addition to other folk-rock bands.  There will be food trucks and beer and wine!  Tickets can be purchased online at the event website as well as on Ticketmaster.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Old Business:
There was none.

New Business:
Garbage Contract- The Village’s contract with Sterling Carting is up for renewal in December.  Trustee Barnett explained that there are essentially two vendors who service this area: Sterling Carting and Interstate Waste Services.   Both vendors bring recyclables to the same center, which is owned my I.W.S. and from there the material goes to another center in the Bronx.  In an effort to better understand the process, he and Trustee Gluck will be visiting the I.W. center in the near future and will report back to the Board in October.  In the meantime, it was agreed that Sterling Carting, and more specifically Billy, provides a level of personalized service that would not be guaranteed were the Village to change vendors.
Financial Report/Infrastructure Discussion – Trustee Barnett presented the Board with a consolidated report outlining Village financials for the period June-August of 2018.  Noting that the Board does not regularly discuss Village Finances in their monthly meetings, he further explained that the report before them was comprised of reformatted data from the Villages’ QuickBooks presented in a clear way for the purpose of educating the public with regard to the Village finances.  He firmly believes that if the public were better educated in the financials of the Village it would be a good thing.  He is hoping to collect both feedback and advice based on the report so that he can in turn modify it in a meaningful way and then present it on a quarterly basis.  To view the report, click here.
Various parts of the report were then reviewed and discussed and this lead to a general discussion regarding Village infrastructure.  Trustee Barnett maintains that the most important thing that the Village has to worry about financially is infrastructure maintenance.  In his view, the Village does not devote enough money and/or attention to capital repairs.  According to the report, the Village is currently budgeting $198,000 for these types of repairs.  He suggested that they would be putting together a serious capital repair budget that people could understand and monitor as time goes on.  Just this year the Village discovered that there had been no maintenance done on the Ridge Road water tanks in over 20 years.  Subsequently, they invested roughly $80,000 in each tank and in so doing, prolonged their life span. 
Mayor McFadden suggested that if they were hoping to “truly get a handle” on the infrastructure they would need to have the engineers come and evaluate things and give them an accurate idea of the conditions they were facing and the life span of various bridges, dams, walls, pipes etc. 
Trustee Barnett responded that they were in the process of doing this.
The Mayor commented that he felt it was a great idea, further suggesting that a long-term schedule would help insure continuity when the Board turns over.
Trustee Coen suggested that two things were being proposed.  The first is a schedule for annual maintenance, which needs to be developed.  The second is the establishment of a Capital Improvement “to do” list, which the Board will then prioritize.  She wondered what the timeline was on getting these two things moving.
Trustee Barnett responded that he would like to see them organized by the end of the year.  He reiterated that his idea/plan was to produce a capital budget that everyone could view and understand and that taxpayers could use to hold future Boards responsible.  “Had we done this on the Lake ten years ago, we wouldn’t be facing the huge costs that we are facing now,” he stated.
The Mayor suggested that establishing a program for repairs would also clarify tax increases moving forward as well and would provide rational for exceeding the tax cap if that should become necessary.  “Other than safety, I think our biggest challenge is infrastructure that is aging,” he added.
Trustee McHugh commented that for the first time in this years’ budget, they had actually held the different departments feet to the fire in terms of what an accurate maintenance number was and they intend to follow though on this, which is providing for greater granularity there.   He further commented that he did not feel they would be able to produce a finalized product in the form of a list that could be acted on immediately.  There would be learning curve in terms of collecting information.  What they are trying to do is move things forward with a constructive dialogue. 
Mayor McFadden agreed, noting that there would need to be a lot of flexibility within the plan as they would not be able to anticipate all the bumps in the road that they would encounter. 
Trustee Barnett suggested that ultimately the solution lies with the citizens of Tuxedo Park.  For the last 15-20 years the various Boards have known that the Village is losing at least ½ of the water that is pumped through the station.  “What are the implications of this?  The residents have never held us accountable!  I have never heard a discussion at election time where this is an issue.”  He believes that creating the list will be providing the people with a way in which to hold the Board accountable.
From the audience, Jim Hays commented that the water issue had definitely been addressed by previous Boards and that many different avenues had been explored…some successful in finding some of the leaks and others not.  “It’s not so easy…it’s hard,” he stated.
The conversation then returned to Trustee Barnett’s report.
Mayor McFadden commented that there had never before been a presentation to the community on a quarterly basis.  He suggested that doing this would allow for the public to have more input.
Trustee Barnett agreed, adding that as a Board, they rarely talked about the financials outside of the vouchers.
Trustee McHugh disagreed, commenting that during the budgeting process they did so a deep dive into the financials.
Trustee Barnett responded that in his experience working as CFO of an insurance company in the city as well as the Diesis of New York, his responsibilities included making quarterly reports in addition to preparing a budget and that this Board had never, to his knowledge, put forth quarterly reports. 
Trustee Gluck suggested that he went through the detailed financials on his own each month and when he had questions, he asked them of Debbie.  He agreed that they did not, as a Board, have either an annual or quarterly discussion about expenses or trends, which could be extremely helpful.
Trustee Coen agreed, commenting that she felt it would be useful if they could get trend highlights on a quarterly basis. 
There followed a debate over the effectiveness of QuickBooks.
The Mayor commented for the record that he wanted folks to know and understand that the Board was very aware of the numbers and that they did check them monthly and that Trustee Barnett’s’ efforts to make the figures more palpable and understandable was a bonus, or in addition, to all the work they have already been doing.
Trustee Barnett replied that he heard what the Mayor was saying, but he did not agree with him.
Village Fine Schedule – Trustee McHugh noted that there is a pressing issue with certain properties that are not being properly taken care of in the Park.  John Ledwith has been making a concerted effort to reach out to the homeowners and remediate the situation.  There are now two homeowners who have been issued summonses to appear in Village court.  The penalty is $250 per day, but the judge has suggested that might be beneficial to have a sliding scale depending on how bad the violations are so that there is some flexibility to show some latitude.  The two properties that are currently scheduled to appear are incredibly egregious and Trustee McHugh does not recommend leniency in those cases, but wondered whether or not the Board felt they should rethink the issue based on the judges’ suggestion.
Trustee Coen wondered whether there existed an established process for this sort of thing that was enforced uniformly.
The answer was yes.
Mr. Ledwith noted that there really were not a large number of non-compliant cases; rather there is a backlog of them because the Village has not been escalating matters to next level.  They have been reluctant to take people to court.  There are currently 3 issues that are over 4 years old and if they are able to resolve these, there are probably only 3 other minor property maintenance issues to be dealt with. 
Trustee Coen suggested that they needed to develop and put in place an established process which needed to be followed at all times, save extenuating circumstances.
Mayor McFadden agreed noting that this was another area that seemed to suffer from inconsistency whenever there was Board turnover.  Continuity is needed.
Ultimately it was agreed that they would review the current process over the next few weeks and revisit at the next meeting.
Generator Bid – The Dow family generously donated a generator to the Village.  As it was too powerful for any of the Village facilities so it was subsequently declared surplus.  Village residents Claudio Guazzoni and Rob Zgonena expressed interest in it, but when it was put out to bid, no bids were received.  They are now investigating the possibility of swapping it through a vendor in hopes of obtaining one that will be more appropriate in size for the Village buildings.  It is their hope to have a conclusion to report on at the October meeting.

Public Comments:
Tom Salierno wondered whether or not the Village had given any thought to retaining walls as part of their infrastructure planning.  He noted that there was one wall in particular on the way up to TPS that was concerning.
The Mayor responded that they had not looked at walls, further noting that the issue of ownership and subsequent responsibility could be an issue with many of them just as it had been along the causeway several years prior.  There have also been instances where walls have been amicably repaired.  It was agreed it would be looked at moving forward.
Referencing the new bench/pew style seating in the meeting room, Joan Alleman congratulated the Board on what she called a “handsome rejuvenation of the Board room.”  She wondered where the benches had come from.
It was explained that they had been obtained via $30,000 Judicial Grant.

Other Business/Old Business Revisited:
Lakes – Trustee McHugh reported the Village was continuing to participate in the CSLAP program.  They are six samples in and hope to have all eight samples completed by October 4.  There will be a phragmites survey the week of October 1 and both Tuxedo Lake and Wee Wah will be surveyed the week of September 24 by Solitude Lakes Management.
Wee Wah Dam – The operation of the knife gate valve on the spillway continues to be an issue.  It does not function.  Workers must go down into the chamber to open and close it manually.  When this was done two weeks ago, the worker who opened the valve straddled it when doing so and the water exploded out fiercely, preventing him from climbing out and leading his co-worker above to assume the worst, which was that he had been killed in the explosion of water.  Police, fire officials and EMT were all on the scene, where thankfully the worker was able to climb to safety.  Village DPW is not allowed into the spillway.  The Village is engaged in an argument with the manufacturer who designed the valve as well as the contractor who installed it.  Things are unfortunately at somewhat of a standstill.  The rest of the project is 98% done.  The Village has decided to do several things in-house in an effort to keep it moving along.  They have not physically done this work yet though as they are waiting to negotiate credit with the contractor.  Until they have a monetary agreement in place, they don’t want to do anything.  In the meantime, the Village Engineer attempted to reach out to the manufacturer and the contractor took offense to this as he believes he is the one who should rightfully manage this relationship since they are subs to him and the Village was then cut out of the process.  Eventually this will be resolved but, unfortunately, the Village does not have any control over the timeline.  In the meantime, the knife gate valve is currently closed, which will allow the lake to start refilling.
SRO Officer in the Tuxedo Union Free School District – Trustee Coen reported that although the Village had been pursuing providing the school with an SRO (School Resource officer,) unfortunately because of issue with a potential improper action charge being filed by the Police Union, the Town Board decided not to move forward with the inter-municipal agreement that would have allowed the school to hire the Village police.   Instead, the school signed a 1-year contract with the Orange County Sheriffs Department.
Rabid Animal Protocol – Following up on a discussion that took place during the August meeting with regard to the shooting of foxes, Trustee Coen reported that she spoken with both the Chief and Sgt. Taback about their protocol.  Following those discussions Trustee Coen collected some additional information regarding protocol from DEC enforcement officers, Cornell Cooperative, the Orange County Health Department and the Rockland County Department.  She will now be meeting with the Chief again to discuss these findings.


back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 17, 2018

Click here to view the agenda

back to top


Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 11, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm.  Mayor McFadden was not present, but dialed in so that he could listen to the meeting from a remote location.  
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss potential shared service agreements between the Village of Tuxedo Park and the Town of Tuxedo.  Back in 2017 the State of New York established a reduction initiative, commonly known as the Shared Services Plan Initiative.   Through the plan, the State is encouraging municipalities to partner together by sharing various services for the purpose of reducing the overall costs to taxpayers.  Whatever monies are saved by the municipalities who join forces is returned to the Towns by the State, thus becoming a “windfall” for these municipalities in addition to the money they are saving by sharing the services.  Each year the State allocates a set amount of money for the initiative and each County chooses which shared services arrangements they want to move ahead with, which they in turn present to the State requesting matching funds.  The Village of Tuxedo Park and the Town of Tuxedo were given 4 suggested shared services plans, which have been included in the Orange County plan.  They are:

  1. The Village would share the Town’s salt storage facility on Long Meadow Road.
  2. The Village would share the Town’s courtroom, as the Village courtroom does not meet the recommended standards for best practices for security and safety.
  3. The Village and the Town would share a tax assessor.
  4. The Town and the Village would share record storage space either at a facility the Town is planning to create/construct OR by sharing the cost associated with using the company Iron Mountain for record storing services.

These are suggested, potential shared services plans.  While some due diligence has been done, they have not been fully vetted.  The way the process works is that both the Village Mayor (or Deputy Mayor) and the Town Supervisor (or Deputy Supervisor) must both send emails confirming that they are supportive of the plan in theory.  They will then be submitted to the State for approval.  By submitting them to the State, neither the Village nor the Town is under any obligation to move forward with any of the proposed plans.  If and when the State accepts them, the next step will be to examine the plans fully in order to determine whether or not the Village and Town want to move forward with any of them.  Submittal is in no way a form of commitment for either municipality.
Deputy Mayor McHugh wondered why I.T./New Windsor for the Police was not included as a 5th plan.
Trustee Coen responded that she had been working to get clarity on this, but had not received an answer yet.
It was suggested that it be added.
There followed a lengthy discussion concerning the proposed plans and various concerns and questions associated with each. 
When the public was called upon for comment, Mayor McFadden chimed in, suggesting that what was before them currently was neither the approval of nor a commitment to any of the proposed plans.  Rather, they were simply being asked to support the initiative by officially proposing potential shared service plans to the State.  The State is trying to determine whether or not the initiative is worth their while by analyzing the number and type of proposals they receive.  He reiterated that approving the submission was in no way a commitment of any kind for the Village.  There is no guarantee that any of it will come to pass.  He likened the Village making this submission to them “doing their civic duty” and pointed out that there would be no downside to moving ahead with it.
Trustee Barnett agreed with this, further suggesting that if the State approved the plans, then they could analyze and discuss the details associated with each.  He then made a motion in support of moving ahead.
Trustee McHugh replied that he felt people would want to know what the incremental costs and resulting savings would be.  He suggested that he had some issues with the idea of sharing courts.
Likewise, Trustee Gluck has some issues with the shared assessor.
It was reiterated that moving ahead now would not constitute a commitment on the part of the Village to move ahead with any of the proposed plans.  If the County and State support them, then the Village can take the time to analyze their return on investment for each and either accept or deny as they see fit.
Trustee Coen pointed out that in order for any of it to move forward, the Town would also have to be supportive.  In her conversations with Supervisor Rost, she had come to learn that some of the Town Board members were questioning the plans as the Village would be the sole beneficiary of the shared services and the Town would not be getting anything in return.  In an effort to address this issue and hopefully incentivize the Town to support the plans, Trustee Coen suggested that the Village offer to split the money received from the State with the Town as compensation for their services.
This idea was then discussed at some length.
As an official motion/vote was not required in order to move forward, once their discussion had concluded the Board took a straw-poll in which it was determined that they were in unanimous support of moving ahead and supporting the process.

Next, the Board very briefly discussed the Continental Road Project.  At a previous meeting, the scope of this project was officially changed and as pipe replacement and road reconstruction will no longer be taking place, it was necessary for them to officially reject the bids they received for that project.
They voted unanimously in favor doing so.

Finally, the Inter Municipal Agreement with the Town as it pertains to the Police and specifically the Village’s proposal/bid for a contract with the School for an SRO officer was discussed.  There have been issues between the Town of Tuxedo and their police department with regard to that departments’ ability to take on the work as it pertains to the PBA union contract.  The Village has submitted a proposal. In order for the Village Department to assume the position, the Town must sign an inter-municipal agreement giving the Village Police jurisdiction in the school.  This was initially negotiated between the department chiefs.  However the Town Departments’ PBA rep, Officer Shiloh, has recently indicated that if the Town signs the agreement and allows the school to move forward with the Village, the police will file an “improper action” charge against the Town. Although “one last ditch effort” is being made to have the Village and Town Departments discuss the issue, Trustee Coen indicated that based on a conversation she had with BOE president Allyson Arber, it is unlikely that the school will proceed with signing a contract with either department.  Rather, they are looking to hire a County Officer.  
The Board was in agreement that the situation was disappointing as the Village had been working diligently to help provide the school with the service and they believe that the District and, more importantly, the children would be better served by a local department.  It was agreed that a representative from the Board would attend the Town Board meeting on September 12 in order to publicly express this sentiment and put it on record. 

back to top


Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 11, 2018

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY, for the purpose of a discussion on shared services and any other matters that may come before the Board.

back to top


Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 7, 2018

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park will hold a special meeting on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. in the Village Hall for the purpose of approving the final draft grant application for I&I work and authorizing the submittal of the application to NYS EFC, executive session for discussion of employment of a particular person, and any other matters that may come before the Board.

back to top


Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 5, 2018

A special meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. in the Village Hall, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987 for the purpose of approving the submittal of a grant application to EFC for I&I work, completion of other grant related documents, executive session for a discussion of employment of a particular person, and any other matters that may come before the Board.

Click here to view the agenda

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 15, 2018

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

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden began the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending.  He apologized for misrepresenting the date of the meeting in an email he had circulated the week prior, noting that he hoped this was not the reason for lower attendance.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of July:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 400
Criminal Complaints -1
Property Damage Accidents – 2
Traffic Tickets – 45
Traffic Warnings – 3
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Medical Calls – 2
Fire Alarms – 9
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists Received by the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists Received by Other Police Agencies – 1
Vehicle Tags Issued To Date – Resident – 892 / Non-Resident – 227
Miles Patroled – 2,662

Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

Dena Steele commented that she had been made aware earlier in the summer that the Police had reported shooting 2 foxes that they suspected of having rabies.  Now she understands there has been a third incident.  She has been in touch with both the Humane Society and the DEC Wildlife Health Unit.  Their opinion is that it is very common that foxes are out during the day time as they feel very comfortable around people.  Their behavior can seem almost brazen.  It is extremely rare that red foxes have rabies and very difficult for an observer to determine whether they do.  Now that there have been three suspicious cases, she wants to make sure the Village is calling the Department of Health in Orange County and asking them what the correct protocol is.  They will ask whether or not an autopsy has been performed and if so, what the results were. 
Mayor McFadden responded that he was aware of this incident.  At a previous meeting, Officer Taback had reported shooting a fox that was afflicted with rabies and when questioned as to how he knew the animal was infected, he responded that it had been frothing at the mouth. 
Trustee Coen commented that she wholeheartedly supported what Ms. Steele was saying.  She believes that the Village should be conducting rabies tests.  If there is an animal that is suspected of the disease, they should contact the DEC and confirm it and if the animal is killed, it should be tested.  She suggested that one could not make the assumption that certain animals were rabid simply because they were out during the daytime.
Ms. Steele inquired of the Chief whether or not the body had been sent to the DEC for testing and he responded that he did not know offhand and would have to look into it. 
There followed a discussion regarding whether or not something needed to be done to change Village protocol.  It was agreed that Trustee Coen would take the lead on this.
Trustee Barnett commented that he felt that if the police discharged a weapon in the Park, for any reason, it ought to be reported.   He wondered if this could be included in the monthly report.  
The Mayor asked the Chief whether there was a current protocol for reporting on this, and the Chief responded that they did keep of track of it.  In looking at the abbreviated report he had in front of him however, all it said was “animal complaint.”  He further indicated that moving forward he could make the change with animal complaints to reflect the number of shots fired.
Trustee Coen pointed out that what Trustee Barnett was looking for was the total number of times weapons were discharged altogether and not just as it pertains to animal complaints.
Trustee Gluck suggested that think about this for a month before moving ahead.  He indicated that he felt they should have some “off-line” discussion about it as there was already a protocol for record keeping, which could be tightened up moving forward, but they needed to determine whether or not they wanted this information published widely.
Trustee Coen responded that it was public information.
Ultimately, it was agreed that the topic would be tabled and discussed at next month’s meeting. 
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had been very busy with work at the Racetrack as well cleaning up various triangles throughout the Village.  Additionally, they replaced a drain pipe on Tuxedo Road and completed prep work for chip sealing of many roadways, which is scheduled to take place on August 16 & 17.  Roads to be chip-sealed include: Fox Hill, Pine Hill, Acoma, Eagle Mountain, Cannon Hill.  Signs have been posted at both entrances and “Loose Stone” signs will also be posted at each location.  After the chipping is complete, the roads will not be swept for a couple of weeks.  The Department will also be paving some roadways.  This work will be taking place mid-September.  Roads to be paved include: East Lake Road from Crows Nest to the South Gate, the top of Cliff Road and Club House Road from Continental Road to the Tuxedo Club Triangle.
Referencing the Village’s “curb appeal strategy,” which is the Village’s plan to generally clean things up and make the community look good, Mayor McFadden noted that work had already been done around the Gate House and work along the Causeway was beginning.  He further suggested that there might be a good argument to be made about moving certain trees along the Causeway because if they were to fall over, the root structures are sometimes brought up and this could result in asphalt getting into the lake.  He suggested they talk to the DEC about this. 
Meg Vaught inquired whether removing these trees would adversely disturb the vegetative buffer between the Causeway and the lake, thus allowing for more run-off of road salt etc., into the reservoir.  
Mayor McFadden responded that this was something they would certainly consider and that they were only in the beginning stages of discussing it.
Trustee Coen reported that there is a stop sign at the intersection of Pine Hill and Ridge Road that is impaired by overgrowth. 
The Superintendent agreed to look into this. 
Building Report/Capital Report - Click here to view a copy of this report.

Village Attorney Report:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent reported that with the exception of a few motions having been filed in both the Guinchard and Guazzoni cases, there had been no changes in litigation matters since the report he provided at the July meeting.

Report by Town Board Member of Trustee Liaison:
Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that she and Trustee Coen had met and were working on a plan for shared services between the Town and the Village.  Mayor McFadden and Supervisor Rost are scheduled to meet on August 28 to discuss some of these things further.
People have been very curious about the potential sale of the Tuxedo Farms property to Draggonsgate.  To date Draggonsgate has not put in a bid on the property but if they do, Mrs. Lindsay commented that she hoped residents would begin coming to meetings and getting more involved. 
There will be a community concert at Powerhouse Park on October 6.  The rain date is October 7.
Primary elections will take place in the State of New York on September 13 and Mrs. Lindsay encouraged folks to educate themselves and make sure to vote if applicable.  There will be primaries for Governor, Attorney General, State Senate and State Assembly.
Trustee Barnett commented that he understood there was to be some sort of special meeting on Tuesday the 21st and wondered what it was all about.
Mrs. Lindsay informed him that it was a meeting of the Local Development Corporation.  The LDC will be reviewing applications from Michael Bruno, Tuxedo Dairy and Steve’s all of whom will be applying for grant funds.
Trustee McHugh asked what had transpired with the Architectural Review Board, noting that at the previous meeting Mrs. Lindsay had indicated that the Town was considering eliminating this Board altogether.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that the issue seemed to have been moved to the back burner over the summer but that she anticipated they would be discussing it again come September and she was hopeful that they would be setting a public hearing at their next meeting.
Mayor McFadden wondered whether or not the Town had considered having a liaison to the Village who could report on Village happenings at public meetings much the way Mrs. Lindsay does.  Trustees Coen and Gluck do attend the Town Board meetings, but they do not provide any sort of report while there.  It was agreed that this idea would be explored.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele inquired as to the status of the Princeton Hydro request for a Eurasian Water Milfoil proposal, a cost update for their original lakes management plan.  Specifically she wanted to know whether there had been any updates on this or any response from Princeton Hydro. 
Trustee Gluck responded that Jim Hays had been in contact with Princeton Hydro trying to set up a site visit for mid-September. 
Next Ms. Steele noted that there had been a plant study done on pond #3 prior to the chemical treatment and she wondered if this was available to the public, noting that she had attempted to FOIL it but had been unsuccessful.
Trustee McHugh responded that the report should be available and that they would get it to Ms. Steele.
Ms. Steele then wanted to know the status of the fragmites study.
Trustee McHugh informed her that the study would be done in the fall by Solitude Lakes Management.  It will cost $1,900.
Ms. Steele wondered how many more C-SLAPS samples had been collected.
The answer was 3.
Ms. Steele next noted that there had been a line in the budget for the stocking of fish and she wondered if this was still set to occur.
Trustee McHugh replied that stocking had not been done yet for this year but it remained a possibility. 
Finally, Ms. Steele commented that there had been money available for hand harvesting and vacuuming of milfoil and she wondered if this was still under review and consideration for this season.
Trstee McHugh responded that in his opinion it was not under consideration for this season but it was still under consideration for the fiscal year.  They have commissioned Solitude to do a plant survey so that they will have 2 data points that will allow them to determine what the effect of doing nothing has been. 
Before moving on, Mayor McFadden noted that moving forward commencing in the fall the CSLAPS program would be under the jurisdiction of the Lakes Committee and not the Board of Trustees.
Ann Ho commented that she was looking for clarification with regard to the policy concerning pedestrian traffic in the Park, specifically folks being ticketed and/or asked to leave the Village.  She finds it very disconcerting that friends of hers who have been biking and walking in the Village for 15-20 years are now being asked to leave.  She would like to know what the rationale for this is.   She went on to say that she wanted to talk about the LaBar family in particular as they had lived in the South Gate house for 15 years.  Mr. Labar is a 30-year veteran of the DPW and for his wife and children to be told they cannot ride their bikes in the park is in her view unacceptable.  Children have been stopped.  Her own daughter was stopped attempting to enter the Village through the back gate and was told she had to remain there until a policeman could come and verify her identity.  This seems extreme to her.  She believes guests should be able to identify who they are and where they are going and then allowed to go on their way. 
The Mayor assured Mrs. Ho that this was the policy.  Guests must simply identify who their hosts are upon entering.
“So people aren’t being stopped on the road and asked to leave?” she replied.
The Mayor deferred to the Chief, who noted that since April there had been three instances of trespassing in the Village.
Trustee Coen pointed out that what the Chief was referring to was citations but what Mrs. Ho was talking about included verbal warnings as well.
Mayor McFadden assured Mrs. Ho that the Board was aware of the situation and had been discussing it with the police in an effort to work through it.  
Trustee Coen agreed with this.  She further commented that the currently in order to enter the Village one had to be a guest of a resident or property owner.  If an individual is not an invited guest, this raises questions as to whether or not that person should be allowed into the Park.  If Mrs. LaBar is the guest of a resident, then she is entitled to be in the Park.
Mrs. Ho wondered if this was the case even if she was not with her while she was biking.
“We have to work that out, for a variety of different reasons,” responded Trustee Coen.  She further noted that sometimes people said they were invited guests at the gate when really they were not.
“We are trying to generate something that is consistent and fair and provides people the opportunity to recreate as well as security for the residents,” stated Mayor McFadden.  He further commented that there are currently 25 part-time officers working in the Village who are not visually familiar with who the residents are.
Mrs. Ho replied that this was another, important issue.
Meg Vaught wondered what the protocol was when individuals were stopped and specifically whether or not they were being dealt with in a friendly manor or if they were being treated as criminal trespassers.  She feels people should be dealt with in a friendly way, particularly children.
The Mayor reiterated that they want to present an open and transparent face to the Village and they are balancing this the need for security.  He further noted that Trustee Coen had taken the lead on this issue and was spearheading conversations with the police about it.
Mrs. Vaught added that in terms of promoting good relations between the Town and the Village it was very important that this be handled correctly.
“There is no us or them”.  It’s we,” replied Trustee Coen. 
Mrs. Ho and Mrs. Vaught agreed and  thanked Trustee Coen for this statement.
Ellen Gluck wondered if they might develop a guest list to be kept at the Front Gate.
Lili Neuhauser pointed out that historically the Wee Wah Beach Club had such a guest list and it had been a nightmare.
Trustee Coen asked that  everyone email her their ideas, reiterating that they are doing everything they can to work through this..
Michele Linday requested that residents who border Sterling Forest are concerned about hikers and hunters who enter the Village through the woods.  She wondered if they had ever considered posting signage.
Mayor McFadden assured her that this very thing was currently in the works and that they would be discussing verbiage for the signage in the near future. 

Committee Reports:
Wee Wah Dam – Trustee McHugh reported that the DEC had visited the Village shortly after the last BOT meeting but they didn’t like the armor stone and minor   alterations had to be made.  Once these were completed, the DEC returned and granted the Village approval to fill the Wee Wah on August 13.   The recent rains have resulted in a 4-foot increase in the lake, which, while helpful for refilling efforts, is now preventing the contractor from finishing up various aspects of the project that still need work (knife-gate valve, etc.)  This has created some dispute as the Village will now need to lower the levels in order to allow the contractor to remediate the issues. “It continues to be an unpleasant situation,” he added.  In addition to the issues with the contractor, the Village continued to have to pay the engineer to remain onsite and monitor the project.
Resolution – CHA EWA #12 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving CHA EWA #12 in the sum of $25,100 for the engineers’ continued oversight on the dam project from July 14 through its anticipated completion.
Meg Vaught wondered if the Board could provide a total cost for the dam project to date, including all of the overage and contingency fees that have been paid. 
Trustee McHugh responded that they had paid 3.1 million to the contractor and were holding back just under $200,000.  All of the EWAs on the engineering have “chewed up” an additional $280,000 as substantial completion was meant to be in December of 2017 and all of the issues they have experienced with regard to water management have been the result of the contractor not conforming to the original contract. 
Mrs. Vaught wondered whether the Village intended to engage the contractor in an effort to recoup some of these costs following the completion of the project. 
Trustee Mchugh indicated that there were ongoing discussions with regard to resolving the issues and keeping the project on budget.

Old Business:
Continental Road Project – Trustee McHugh reported that the Village had gone out to bid for the Continental Road project, which included reconstruction of a water main and repaving of the road.  Prior to the 4.1 million dollar bond issuance for capital projects that the Village did in April of 2017, they had received an estimate for the project from the engineer of $391,000.  In consulting with some of the contractors a year later the estimated numbers had jumped up to $577,000.   When they put the project out to bid, the lowest bid received was $715,474 while the highest was $1,358,532.
(To view the Bid Results analysis click here)
When they did the bond issuance they were assuming that the road repair would be roughly $200,000 but it has come in north of $400,000.  The water main component is around $350,000.  The assumption had been that this funding would come out of the Water Department surplus, but the expense is too high.  Given the magnitude of these numbers, they have explored the costs of simply stripping and repaving the roadway.  This will cost an estimated $85-100,000.  The Village is now faced with deciding whether or not they want to fix road only or move ahead with the entire project as originally planned at a much higher cost, even though they are unsure that the water main in question is directly tied to the water loss.  They have been proactively researching various ways of determining where the leaks are, including the use of helium detection and also noise monitoring.
Trustee Coen added that New York State offers clean drinking water grants and the Village could possibly receive up to 60% of total project cost if they are chosen.  This project qualifies and if the Village were awarded the grant, they could receive $450,000 towards the overall cost of the project.  The grant applications are due September 7.   The Village has done their due diligence and is ready to bring a grant writer in to assist them with getting the application done on time.  There is no guarantee that the Village would receive the grant however, the fact that the cost of the project is relatively low compared to other eligible projects and that it is shared between two municipalities (Town and Village) could work strongly in their favor.
There followed a lengthy discussion about whether the Village should pursue the project and apply for the grants.  Click here to listen to this discussion. 
Following the discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of setting a special meeting for Friday, August 17 at 10am for the purpose of holding a discussion regarding the hiring of a grant writer/engineer with regard to applications for EFC grants. And for any other matters that may come before the Board.
Lakes Report – Trustee McHugh reported that while on Pond #3 the previous week, he and Trustee Gluck had noticed what they believe to be a blue/green algae bloom and so they took samples for testing.  Based on recent readings, they are also concerned about the clarity of Tuxedo Lake.  They sent samples from both lakes to Solitude Lakes Management, who has recommended a copper sulfate treatment be done on Tuxedo Lake.  This has been scheduled for Friday, August 17.  This will be the first such treatment on Tuxedo Lake this year.  With regard to the Pond #3 sample, the blue/green algae was confirmed.  The Village has since notified the DEC that they intend to do a Cutrine Plus treatment on that lake.  This required a 7-day notification period and will therefore take place on Wednesday August 22.  A notification will be sent to residents via Code Red advising them not to swim or allow their pets to swim in that water.  Lastly, CHA (Dam Engineer) has recommended a couple of devices, which he and Trustee Gluck are looking into, for the purpose of collecting fragments of algae and milfoil prior to them flowing down into Pond #3. 
Trustee Gluck further reported that they had also done their best to repair openings in the barrier at the south end of Tuxedo Lake in order to prevent the milfoil there from splitting and propagating.

New Business:
Resolution – Appoint Cooper Arias as Village Accountant for the Fiscal Year 2018-2019- The Board voted unanimously in favor of this appointment.
General Code Estimate for Village Code Book Update – Village Clerk Debbie Matthews explained that the Village Code has not been officially updated since 2011 and since that time there have been a number of local laws.  The proposed service would update the code to include the new local laws and also go through in order to ensure that the new laws are in sync with the rest of the code.  The associated with these services is roughly $3,800.
There followed a discussion as to whether or not the Village should pursue the service.  Ultimately it was determined that all of the more recent local laws are clearly listed on the Village website and they are also listed along with the code, albeit they are not incorporated within it.  As the expense was not budgeted for, the Trustees decided not to move forward with the service at this time.
Inter-Municipal Agreement for School Safety Services – Trustee Coen commented that the Village had bid on the job and was in the process of negotiating an IMA with the Town.  She wondered whether or not it was necessary for them to vote on the IMA that evening.
Board attorney Brian Nugent pointed out that is was not actually a bidding process as the School District could ultimately choose whom ever they wanted for the job.  That being said, there currently exists the issue of price and also whether or not the Town is going to be a party to the agreement.  He has reached out to the Town Attorney to find out where they stand, but has not received a response.  Trustee Coen suggested that if the agreement were to move forward, it would have to be entered into prior to their next meeting.  It was suggested that this could be discussed further on Friday.
Mayor McFadden stated that he did not feel comfortable moving forward as they did not have enough information at this point in time to do so.  He would like to see an “apples to apples” comparison between what the Village has offered and what the County is offering for the services.  There is also the pending issue of the Town’s involvement. 
Mr. Nugent pointed out that the Town would not actually be doing anything.  Because they provide a police service of their own, they need to be a party because the Village officers will be coming into the Town and they need the authority to act.  In other words, in order to extend the powers of Village officers outside of the Village, the Town must be agreeable.  They will not have to pay anything or do anything at all for that matter, aside from agreeing to allow it to happen. 
Mayor McFadden asked Meg Vaught, who is a member of the Board of Education, whether or not she was aware of the situation.
She responded that she was, although she had not seen either the proposal from the Village Police or the County.  She further stated that they had been waiting to see what would happen with the IMA.
“It’s more bureaucracy than anything else,” replied the Mayor. 
He then inquired whether or not this was something the School Board desired to move forward with.
Mrs. Vaught responded that it absolutely was, noting that the safety of the students was paramount.  She further noted that they had hoped to have something in place for the start of this school year, but due to the complications with the IMA, it seemed uncertain as to whether or not this would actually occur. 
Trustee McHugh wanted to know whether or not the Board was planning to vote on it at their August 23 meeting.
Mrs. Vaught replied that she had not seen an agenda, but she did not believe they would be voting on it as they had not seen any of the associated proposals and without the IMA, it was not certain that it could move forward.  That being said, she noted that she believed it would certainly be discussed.
Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the discussion would take place in public.
Mrs. Vaught replied that as it pertained to a possible contract negotiation, she was not sure.
Mayor McFadden asked Town Board member Michele Lindsay whether or not she had any insight and Mrs. Lindsay responded that they had not discussed it.  Their most recent meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum and the next meeting would not take place until August 27. 
Trustee Barnett suggested that there were still a number of pertinent questions with regard to the agreement.  He wondered how they had reached a point where they were preparing to approve it.
Mayor McFadden responded that this was not the case.   Since their last meeting a draft agreement for the school had been prepared but nothing had advanced with it. 

Public Comments:
Lili Neuhauser commented that the Village had done an amazing job clearing dead trees and cleaning up Village property.  That being said, she has noticed that there are still a lot of dead trees on private property hanging/leaning over the roadways.  Additionally, 3 months ago a streetlight on Stable Road came down with a giant tree and it has yet to be replaced.  She wondered whether it would be replaced.
Mr. Ledwith responded that it had been reported to Orange and Rockland.
Mayor McFadden added that they had been systematically going through properties to make sure that things are in compliance with regulations.  A number of residents have been notified of situations and most have been responsive although some are admittedly taking a bit more time than others.
Trustee McHugh added that that in some cases tickets to appear in Village Court have been issued and that the Village is taking it seriously as they realize that this is an issue that affects all residents.  

Following the approval of minutes and the signing of vouchers, the Board adjourned into an executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation, employee issues and a public

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 15, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Village Board Of Trustees Meeting July 18, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, July 18 at 7:05pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments – O & R:
Before discussing O & R, Mayor McFadden formally welcomed new Trustee Maureen Coen to the Board, commenting that he had looked up to her for many years and was excited to be working with her in this capacity.
The Mayor and Trustee Gluck recently met with the head of the region along with other O & R execs to discuss power issues in the Village.  What they learned was that the Village system is extremely antiquated and many of the issues the community regularly faces cannot be solved until it has been updated.  The utility company has presented the Village with a two-year plan for making the upgrades. It will be done in 4 quadrants.  The first thing they will be doing is mounting their Wifi control system throughout the Village, which will enable meters to automatically talk to the O & R system.  Once in place, if the power goes out, the meters will report the issue to O & R directly, alleviating the need for a phone call altogether.  They have also begun removing hazardous trees throughout the Village.  Tree removal is also something that individual property owners must be diligent about.  The O & R follow up letter can be found on the Village website.

Department Reports:
DPW – Superintendent Voss reported that the department has been busy at the Wee Wah Beach property removing trees, weeding and performing general cleanup work.  They have also installed a dog waste station there and are hopeful that residents will utilize it to clean up after their pets.  Additional work this month includes repainting of the double yellow lines in front of the Main Gate, sanding and painting the rails at both the Keep and the Lodge, weed whacking by the Wee Wah dam, maintenance work at the Racetrack and replacing parts on the filter at the water plant.
Looking to the future, Superintendent Voss noted that following Village Roads are slated to be chip sealed: Pine Hill, Fox Hill, Cannon Hill, Eagle Mountain, South Lake Place, West Lake Drive and Acoma Road.  East Lake Road from Crows Nest to the South Gate, the top of Cliff Road and Chastelleux Lane will be paved.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not there were any plans to pave “the southern causeway” (West Lake Rd on the south end of the Tuxedo Lake) and the answer was that patching would be done there and many other places throughout the Village. 
Trustee Gluck requested that caution signs be installed after the chip seal has been done to alert drivers of the lose stones.  It was agreed that this would be done.
Police – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of June:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 428
Criminal Complaints – 7 (4 closed by investigation)
Arrests – 2
Property Damage Accidents– 1
Traffic Tickets – 22
Traffic Warnings – 5
Fire Alarms - 3
Intrusion Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Given to Town of Tuxedo Police – 5
Assists received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
New Tags Issued – 0
Miles Patrolled – 2,874

Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not the license plate readers or the camera equipment for the Keep had arrived.
The Chief responded that the camera equipment had been installed in The Keep and the feeds were being monitored.  Everything is in the works for the license plate readers.  It is just a matter of ordering the units and coordinating with an electrician.
The Mayor noted that he felt that one of the advantages to the cameras was that should there be a resident complaint about the Gate being left open or not being opened, they would be able to refer back to the cameras to find out who was on duty so they could “work it from the bottom up.”
Dena Steele inquired whether there was any update on the status of the human remains that were found in the Wee Wah.
The answer was no.  At this point it is up to the lab to complete testing. 
Capital Projects/Building – Click here to view a copy of this report. 
At the Mayor’s urging, Building Inspector Ledwith provided a brief over-view of the Continental Road Project, which is ready to go out for bid.  The project initially began as a repaving of Continental Road but prior to repaving it, the Village feels it prudent to take care of the infrastructure beneath the surface.  The water line that runs from the bottom of club House Road to the intersection of Wee Wah and Laurel Roads is one of the original Village mains.  It is a dead-end line, which has accumulated a lot of sediment due to low usage rates.  Engineers have been asked to look at a way to replace it.  The Village will also be bringing the line into compliance in terms of the number of hydrants along it as well as meeting the Health Department’s requirement that it be at least 10 feet away from the sewer line. (Most of the lines in the Village are very old and practically on top of each other)  The end of the line will be looped with an existing line on Lorillard Road, which will hopefully reduce the amount of sediment.  Once all of this has been completed, the lower half of continental Road will be paved. 

Village Attorney Report:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent provided an update on litigation as follows:

  • Madden – there was an article 78 concerning a FOIL that was dismissed and there is now a motion to reargue.  This is currently pending. 
  • Guinchard – there was a challenge to an article 78 concerning a SCAR petition that was filed.  There was a motion to dismiss by the Village, which was denied, however there was a legal argument that wasn’t addressed so the Village has submitted a motion to reargue on that a particular matter and is waiting for opposition.
  • Guazzoni/Zgonena – This was a declaratory action concerning the consulting agreement with Mr. Ledwith.  There was a motion to dismiss and the motion was denied except plaintiff Guazzoni was determined not to have standing, Zgonena is the only remaining plaintiff.  The court determined that the Village resolution was valid but there wasn’t a document submitted that showed the difference between what the Board looked at vs. what was signed by the Mayor.  At the last BOT meeting a resolution was passed to ratify the agreement and based on this, a motion to renew was submitted to the court and they are awaiting opposition.
  • Chang – this is a tax certiorari matter and it is currently pending.
  • Zgonena – An insurance carrier is handling this long standing litigation, which is still pending.

With regard to the Guazzoni suit, the Mayor noted that he had been named and wondered whether or not he would be required to pay all of Mr. Ledwith’s back pay if he lost. 
Mr. Nugent responded that this was not the case and that Mayor McFadden had been named only in his official capacity and therefore he would not be individually liable.

Trustee Comments and Liaison Reports:
Wee Wah Dam – Trustee McHugh reported that the DEC would be coming to inspect the dam on July 25 and if the project passes the inspection it will allow for Substantial Completion, which means that they can begin to naturally refill the dam.   This was triggered by the completion of the parapet wall and the installation of the grout on the floor of the auxiliary spillway.
There continues to be some issues with regard to the knife gate valve, which was installed but there have been some issues operating the mechanism.  This is pending. 
Post-substantial completion the roads will be paved and a draft inspection maintenance plan has already been submitted.  Trustee McHugh is not expecting any surprises or deviations prior to the July 25 visit from the DEC.  Facing stone does not need to be installed in order for the project to receive substantial completion status as it is viewed to be cosmetic rather than structural.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether there were any updates or resolutions with regard to on-going disputes.
Trustee McHugh explained that there were a lot disputes outstanding.  The core argument stems from weather related events and how this has slowed down the construction.  They have not met with the contractor as their focus has been achieving substantial completion, but they recognize that they are going to have to argue with regard to terms.  There is a 10% holdback on the project and he and Trustee Gluck will be meeting with them post-substantial completion.  They have no intention of releasing the funds until there is some sort of resolution.  He further noted that they had been making an effort to do more of the work “in-house” rather than to subcontract it out and had been starting to document the material savings.
Lakes – Chemical treatment of Pond #3 with Navigate was done on Thursday July 12.  The week of July 22, Solitude Lake Management will come back to test the water and make a chemical analysis.  A “base case” was done before the treatment.  The results will be published.  Water testing by the Wee Wah dam will also be done in order to establish a “base case” before the lake is refilled.  Solitude feels that the Village should do a Cutrine Plus treatment on Pond #3 to combat potential harmful algae blooms.  There will be further discussions about this when they return as there is a window of time post-Navigate treatment when additional treatments cannot be done. 
Mayor McFadden wondered whether there was an existing bloom or if one was predicted.
Trustee McHugh responded that a localized bloom had been identified. 
There followed a lengthy Q & A with audience members Elizabeth Cotnoir, Jean Connolly, Dena Steele and Chauncey Rodzienko, which was primarily focused on the current state of vegetation growing in and around the Wee Wah as well as the abundance of goose poop along the shores and how this will be handled when they refill the lake.  Additionally, a recent visit from Pristine Water and some of their findings was discussed as well as the engagement of Princeton Hydro.
Click here to listen to the Q & A.
Infrastructure Review – Trustee Barnett reported that there was a “major study” underway focused on infrastructure.  Creating a repair and maintenance plan is crucial and once the plan has been created, the intent is to publish it in hopes that it can easily flow from administration to administration.  There will be more to come on this in the future.

Committee or Town Representative Reports:
Town Representative Report – Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that on Monday, July 23 there would be a Town Board meeting at which it was anticipated that a date would be set for a public hearing on the elimination of the Architectural Review Board.  If this Board is eliminated, its’ duties will be assigned to the Planning Board. 
Mayor McFadden asked for the pros and cons.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that those favoring the change believe it would streamline the process while the opposition believes it would be better to have 12 sets of eyes on projects coming before the Town and not 5.  Further, the Town recently advertised for open positions on the various Town Boards and there are 9 qualified candidates, including engineers and certified architects who have come forward.  She believes the Town would be better served if some of these folks were included. 
Trustee Gluck wondered what the ARBs role was in connection with the Tuxedo Farms project.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that the ARB’s role as outlined by the special permit was to approve materials and to ensure that each street contained a variety of housing types as per the agreed upon design guidelines.
The Comprehensive Plan has been adopted and a draft of the zoning changes that go along with it will be reviewed at the July 23 meeting.  Following Town Board review, the Planning Board will also examine the document and subsequent workshops and public hearings will be scheduled. 
Trustee McHugh asked for some clarification as to what the new plan entailed. 
Mrs. Lindsay explained that the comprehensive plan had originally been drafted in 2011 but had never truly been adopted and the zoning had not been updated to go along with it.  Commencing in 2016 the Town Board began re-examining and updating the document.    This process is now complete and the zoning needs to be changed to go along with it.
Mrs. Lindsay and Trustee Coen will be meeting in the near future to discuss moving forward with increasing shared services between the Village and the Town.
With regard to the recent article in the Times Herald Record concerning the possible sale of the Tuxedo Farms property to virtual reality amusement park designers DraggonsGate, Mrs. Lindsay noted that there is very little information available at this point in time however one thing to note was that Draggonsgate was NOT affiliated with Disney as some people were originally lead to believe.   The existing special permit is for housing, so if the land is sold and the plan moves forward, the process will need to start from the beginning in terms of SEQRA and traffic studies, etc.
Alan McHugh inquired as to who had met regarding the potential project and Mrs. Lindsay responded that Drggonsgate CEO Michael Hamilton, some people from Orange County Partnership, Steve Neuhaus, Mike Rost and some attorneys.
Mayor McFadden asked if there were any current moratoriums in place. 
The answer was that there was a building moratorium because the zoning has not been finalized within the comprehensive plan, but they have granted waivers to projects that are consistent with the plan. 
Next the Mayor asked for an update with regard to Michael Bruno the old IGA building.
Mrs. Lindsay replied that Mr. Bruno had been awarded $350,000 from the Hamlet Beautification Fund/LDC and that all he has to do now is to resubmit a business plan.  The original business plan was for him to develop a café/market upstairs with an antiques mall and commercial kitchen downstairs.  Now she believes he is planning to divide the space into 4 stores and lease them out.  This could change though.
Mayor MacFadden commented that he had heard the building was for sale, but Mrs. Lindsay refuted this, commenting that she believed he had been approached but as far as she knew the building was not for sale. 
Claudio Guazzoni asked Mrs. Lindsay if she had any idea how much tax the amusement park people might be paying to the Town and Mrs. Lindsay responded that they would likely be looking for tax breaks from the County.  The same group has recently made a proposal in area just outside of Scranton, PA and she suspects that they will be weighing out the tax benefits moving forward.
Trail Committee- Chauncey Rodzienko read into the record a report from the Trail Committee.  To read a copy of the report, click here.
There is a new trails map available for Village residents that can be obtained at the Village Office.  For security reasons and to protect the privacy of those residents who live near to the trailheads, this map will not be made available online.
Tree Advisory Board – On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Christopher Gow reported that on Saturday, July 28 there will be a free luncheon inaugurating the new northern entrance to the Racetrack Nature Preserve and honoring the Meadow Stewards who have funded it.  For those who do not want to tour the racetrack due to ticks or other issues, there is an overlook area where they can safely get a clear view of everything.  All residents are invited and encouraged to attend.  Please RSVP.

Public Comments:
Joan Alleman commented that when she had purchased her property on the Wee Wah in 1975 the water in the lake was crystal clear.  There were no weeds in it.  The village lakes were pure.  She wondered what had happened.
Mayor MacFadden responded that he was not an expert but he felt the change could likely be attributed to fertilizers, manicured lawns and various elements that had begun flowing in over the past 20-30 years. 
Mrs. Alleman responded that back in 1886, people did things to the ground and while they were admittedly not the same things that were being done today, nothing like this had ever appeared before.  “It makes swimming impossible!” she exclaimed, adding that she felt she had been overtaxed on her property for many years. 
The Mayor assured Mrs. Alleman that the Board was “on her team.”  He went on to explain that during the recent debate over whether or not to use chemical treatment in Pond #3, one of the deciding factors for him had been a letter from the residents who reside on that lake and favored the treatment as the weeds have seriously impacted their ability to fully take advantage of their properties and had even posed a serious risk when one swimmer became entangled in them.  “I think everybody who lives on these lakes and pays taxes deserves the right for them to be in pristine shape and to be beautiful and used for recreation,” he concluded.
Chauncey Rodzianko commented that it was her understanding that the Town was about to lose its assessor.  Noting that the Village does not currently have an assessor, she wondered what the plan was moving forward.
The Mayor responded that the Village was currently interviewing for the position.
(It was subsequently determined that the Town is not about to lose its assessor and that Mrs. Rodzianko was mistaken)

Old Business:
Resolution to Accept Dow Dedication of Ridge Road Strips of Land to Village (originally presented at 1/17/18 BOT Meeting) – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the Dow dedication of Ridge Road Strips of land to the Village.

New Business:
Resolution to Authorize Bidding of Continental Road Project- The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing a bid opening date of August 9 at 2pm for the Continental Road Project.
Resolution to Approve Sale of Paper Road (off of East Lake Road) to Madden –
The Board discussed the idea of selling a paper road, located off of East Lake Road, to the Maddens, who own the adjoining property, which they currently access via the land in question.  Attorney Brian Nugent outlined the legal process for such a sale, which would include holding a public hearing prior to the formal discontinuance of the property as a Village Road.  Appraisal was also discussed.  Mr. Nugent advised that the Village would not be legally required to put the property up for bid and that if they chose to do so, it could be conveyed via a private sale.  Ultimately it was agreed that the Village would pursue a thorough “meets and bounds” review of the property along with possible appraisal prior to the next meeting, at which they will consider setting a public hearing.

Public Comments:
With regard to the potential paper road sale, Claudio Guazzoni commented that it was very well known that Mr. Madden was a good friend of Mayor McFadden.  “It seems to me that there is a back room conveyance of public land to Mayor McFadden’s friend.  I personally will bid $100,000 on this piece of property.”
“$100,000…are you serious?” responded the Mayor.  “We’ll take it!  That’s a sweet price!  I am going to keep you to your word.”
At this point, the remaining Board members joined the conversation, pointing out that they had yet to appraise the land and that no deals were being made as it had not yet been discontinued. 

The Board then adjourned to an executive session for a discussion related to the employment of particular persons, attorney-client advice regarding contract and pending litigation.

back to top


Village Reorganization Meeting July, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met at 6:45pm on Wednesday, July 18 for the annual reorganization meeting.  All members were present.

Mayor McFadden read the reorganization document into the record.
To view the document click here.

Following the reading, Board member Alan Barnet commented that he would like to recuse himself from voting on the Planning Board appointments as his wife is the Chair and this represents a conflict of interest.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the planning Board appointments, with Trustee Barnett abstaining.  Immediately afterwards they voted unanimously in favor of approving the rest of the document.

back to top


Agenda for Village Reorganization Meeting July, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 18, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Agenda for Village Reorganization Meeting July, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Mayor's Update July 16, 2018

Dear Neighbors,
The Annual Reorganization Meeting is this Wednesday at 6:45 PM, followed at 7:00 PM by the Regular July BOT Meeting at the Village Office. We hope you can attend.

I want to compliment Jeff Voss and his crew for completing the demanding and challenging work we recently requested. Including the grouping of new native trees off Tuxedo Road, repainting the street divider lines from Rt.17 to the front gate, as well as landscaping improvements at Wee Wah park and other Village properties (on-going). This is part of our "curb-appeal" efforts.
Wee Wah Park
While there is no Wee Wah Beach Club activity this season, the park is open year-round to all Village residents free-of-charge from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, M-F and 11:00 PM, S&S. All noise and light laws must be observed. As you know, there will be no swimming until the dam construction is complete and the lake has returned to its normal levels. 
Booth at the Front Gate
I am pleased to share with you that resident Tinka Shaw has taken the lead to raise money for us to rebuild the traffic booth at the front gate. Tinka graciously took on this role in her private capacity since, as you may be aware, the Village cannot participate in fundraising. To date, $55,800.00 has been raised. The goal is an additional $100,000.00+.
I have decided to dedicate the new booth in the name of the late Alan Yassky. He was a Village hero, dedicating his time and money helping administration after administration on projects including the early phases of the booth replacement, the Keep renovation, the stone wall repair along the causeway, and the Wee Wah Lake dam rebuild. Names of donors will be included on the dedication plaque. To make your pledge please contact Tinka Shaw at, or on mobile at 917-597-0538.

Thank you,

David McFadden

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 20, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, June 20 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by congratulating Trustees Elect Allen Barnett and Maureen Coen.  He then thanked Trustee Moon for his years of service, commenting that he would be missed on the Board.  Trustee Moon in turn thanked the community and the Board, commenting that it had been wonderful to getting to know more people in the Village and working for the community.  He further stated that although the Board members had not always agreed on every issue, they had been a great group to work with.  Trustee Barnett also thanked the community for their support.
The mayor then noted that he had received complaints from both the Village Police Department and the DPW regarding people (residents and vendors alike) accessing the Village via the North Gate.  He cautioned that this would no longer be permitted and that enforcement would be both swift and severe to include ticketing and, if necessary, arrests.  “There is no turning back,” he stated.
Re-Open Public Hearing-Local Law Introductory D1 of 2018 (short term rentals):
The Public hearing for Local Law Introductory D1 of 2018 was reopened. 
There were no comments from the public.
The hearing was promptly closed.

Vote on Local-Law Introductory DI of 2018 (short term rentals):
The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting Local Law Introductory #1.

Re-open Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory D2 of 2018 (non-utility devices on utility poles):
The public hearing for Local Law Introductory D2 of 2018 was reopened.
There were no comments from the public.
The hearing was promptly closed.

Vote on Local Law Introductory D2 of 2018 (non-utility devices on utility poles):
The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting Local Law Introductory #2.

Department Reports:

Police Report-
Click here to view the Police Report for the month of May.

DPW Report -
Click here to view the DPW report for the month of May.

Building/Capital Report-
Click here to view the Building report for the month of May.

Building Inspector John Ledwith provided the Board with a brief synopsis of the capital projects report. 
Work on the Ridge Road water tanks is almost complete.  The project will go on hiatus for the summer months, when the demand for water is at its peak, and will be completed in October.
Work on water filter #2 at the water plant is complete and the filter is back on line.  The total cost of repairs was $83,000.  Work on renovating filter #1 has begun.  They are estimating a dollar spend of $107,000 for these repairs. 
The chemical process at the water plant will be changed.  The new process, which has been approved by both the Department of Health and the Village Engineer, will utilize less hazardous (if not completely non-hazardous), cheaper chemicals and does not require a DEC permit.   The Village anticipates incremental savings moving forward.  The changeover will be done almost entirely “in house.”  
Last week, one of the low lift pumps at the water plant failed.  Trustee McHugh reported that refurbishment is estimated at $16,000.   Before moving ahead, they want to investigate the cost of a new pump as this one is 2/3 through its lifespan and it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace it.
Upgrades at the sewer plant will be getting underway shortly.  Moving forward, the plant will be recycling its own water for use as opposed to using water that has been processed at the water plant.  This will amount to approximately 5 million gallons per year of water that the Village will no longer have to treat, which is basically the equivalent of filling the Ridge Road water tanks 10 times and if sold, would amount to $68,000.  The upgrade will ultimately be a huge savings for the Village and there will be a good deal less wear and tear on the water pumps as well as a reduction in chemical treatment costs.

Committee Reports:
There were none.

Wee Wah Dam Update:
Trustee McHugh reported that the project is 90% complete.  Recent challenges included issues with both the cap stones and fascia stones on the auxiliary spillway.  As reported last month, the facing stones arrived and were the wrong color.  Working in conjunction with Kristian Matthews, a different stone was obtained and cut.  The new facing stones will be installed next week.  The cap stones were initially cut incorrectly and this became somewhat contentious.  The issue has been corrected and new stones were obtained and dry-laid.  Installation will be complete by June 22, and the facing stones will be installed the following week.  After that, the cofferdam and access road will have to be removed so that section A of the parapet wall can be installed.  Once that has been completed and faced, the Village can obtain DEC approval.  Once approval has been granted, they can look to begin refilling the lake.  To bring the level up to its historic spot, 11 feet of water must be added.  Barring a major tropical storm event, the likelihood of this happening over the summer months is somewhat slim.  They anticipate the lake will be filled sometime in the month of October.  While the Village can begin refilling Pond #3 at any time, they are planning to wait until they receive DEC approval on the dam, which is expected by the third week in July, before doing so.
Mayor McFadden thanked Trustees McHugh and Gluck for all their hard work and perseverance on the dam project.
Meg Vaught inquired as to whether or not the Village was intending to weed whack the exposed areas along the shoreline of the Wee Wah where vegetation has filled in over the past few years, noting that filling the lake as is would lead to many areas of rotten growth beneath the surface.  She cited the cove near the entrance to the Wee Wah Beach Club as an example. 
Trustee McHugh responded that they were not weed whacking but rather hand pulling weeds around the Beach Club area.

Resolution – Approve CHA EWA #11:
Delays with the dam project have led to the need to extend the CHA contract.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving additional funds in the amount of $30,700 for oversite through July 13.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
There was no report given.

Public Comments:
Referencing the joint Police security/registration check, which took place on Saturday June 16 at the North end of Town, Lili Neuhasuer wondered if any future checks could be relocated to the southern end of Town, where they have historically taken place.  She expressed concern with the effect that the check and subsequent traffic had on both the Farmer’s Market and the yard sale at St. Mary’s, noting that the last thing Tuxedo needs is any sort of deterrent when it comes to commerce.
Chief Melchiore responded that future coordinated efforts will likely not take place on Saturdays.  They prefer to use that location because it is close to the entrance of the Village and the speed on Route 17 is reduced from 55mph to 30mph just before the check point.

Old Business:
Wee Wah Beach Club – July 4 Request – The Wee Wah Beach Club has requested permission to host a one-day picnic event on the 4th of July for its past membership.  They understand the traffic/safety concerns as they pertain to the Wee Wah dam project and have pledged to make sure that guests “turn left only” when leaving the premises.
Safety concerns were discussed.  Trustee McHugh believes that the Beach Club should remain closed and inactive until the dam project is complete.
Ultimately, the Board voted 4-1in favor of allowing the event, with Trustee McHugh voting against.

New Business:
Resolution – Award Bid for Chipper – The Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a woodchipper at price of $47,791.72.  The cost is being covered by a generous donation from the estate of the late Alex Salm.
Resolution – Hire PT Police Officer – The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring part-time Police Officer Michael Rizzo at a rate of $24 per hour.
Resolution – Authorize Police Training – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Sgt. Tayback and Denise Spalthoth to attend Wreckage Management Impact Software training.
Electronic Resources Use Policy The Village has recently switched to a new email system and they are diligently working to bring everyone (employees, Board members, Committee members, etc.) onto the same platform.  As part of this effort, Trustee Gluck proposed a series of basic regulating policies pertaining to email, hardware and software etc.
There was a somewhat lengthy discussion as to the policies as proposed.  Trustee Moon suggested that they could and should be more comprehensive, pointing out that laws of intellectual property needed to be taken under consideration.
Ultimately, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the Use Policy subject to a 30-day transition period for restrictions on the use of personal email accounts for Village business.
Resolution – Ratification of Consulting Agreement – The Board briefly discussed ratification of John Ledwith’s consulting agreement.  Board Attorney Brian Nugent explained that what was being proposed was ratification of an agreement, which the Board had authorized the Mayor to sign on September 21, 2017 as well as ratification of that authorization.  Doing this would address pending litigation head on rather than to engage in discovery and other proceedings and would subsequently resolve the matter.
The Trustees had some questions of clarity and ultimately it was determined that the matter would be discussed later that evening in an executive session before any action was taken.
Replacement of South Gatehouse Roof – the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the replacement of the South Gatehouse Roof with cedar shake (with copper flashing) at a cost of roughly $22,000.
Water Dept. Capital Expense; Refurbishment of Water Filter #1 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the refurbishment of water filter #1 at a cost not to exceed $97,000.
Authorization of Lake Survey – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Solitude Lakes Management to conduct surveys on both Tuxedo Lake and Pond #3 in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for the purpose of providing a continuing baseline in advance of any milfoil treatments
Application of P3 Herbicide - A lengthy public discussion with regard to the possible treatment of pond number 3 using an herbicide called 24D ensued.  Board members and community members alike weighed in. 
To listen to a recording of this discussion, click here.
The Board voted 3-2 in favor of using 24D with Trustees Moon and Barnett voting against.
Resolution – Real Estate Advertising – The Village has been receiving complaints from residents regarding Open Houses that have been occurring throughout the community over the last six months.  The Village Code prohibits open houses.  Noting that he would like to work with the real estate community, Mayor McFadden proposed that moving forward, rather than to have these events advertised by mass mailing, that they be set up by appointment only.  Potential buyers will need to make appointments and the realtors in turn will have to supply the gate with a list of attendees prior to the event.  Only individuals on the list will be allowed entry to the Village.  Signage was discussed at some length.  Residents have been unhappy with director signs posted throughout the Village.  It was determined that one lawn sign per event will be permitted and that it can only be used between the houses of 8am and 5pm.  Said sign cannot say Open House on it, as open houses are not legally permitted, but can say For Sale.
Following some further discussion, these things were resolved and the Board voted unanimously in favor of them.
Budget Transfers – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving budget transfers as outlined in the documentation that was before them.

Other Business:
The Mayor paid his respects to the late Alan Yassky, who passed away earlier this month.  Commenting that he had been a great, friend, Mayor McFadden haled Alan as a “hero to the Village,” who had donated a great deal of his time and money towards bettering the Village.  “We will be planning something for him,” he stated.
Trustee Barnett also payed tribute to Ron Hess, long time bartender at the Tuxedo Club and friend to many, who also died quite suddenly earlier in the month.

Public Comments:
Bonny Tackeuchi thanked the Board for their earlier approval of the Beach Club’s July 4 event.  She went on to say that historically the Beach Club has opened to accommodate overflow from the fireworks on July 3, keeping staff on later and bathrooms open.  This year, they do not have insurance liability for July 3 and will be unable to do this.  She noted that allowing people to view the fireworks from the Beach Club may be desirable because it helps to control parking closer to the Club, however if they Village wishes to allow for this, they will have to open the property themselves.
Claudio Guazzoni inquired as whether there was a tenant living in the Gatehouse.
The answer was yes.
He then wondered how much rent was being charged.
The Answer was $1,175 per month or $13,000 per year.
Mr. Guazzoni wondered if the Village was aware that the property needed to be listed on the town tax rolls.  Again, the answer was yes.  There followed a short debate as to how much the Village would need to pay in taxes, with Mr. Guazzoni alleging that historically the property had been listed at $20,000 and Trustee McHugh disagreeing.  Ultimately, Trustee McHugh suggested that the Village had informed the Town that the property was being rented and were prepared to pay taxes on it.  It will be up to the assessor to determine what those taxes will be. 
Addressing Trustee Gluck, Mr. Guazzoni then stated “You realize there are 7 million people drinking water when it goes into the river downstream.  Would you feel happy if I told the newspapers down there that you are putting chemicals into their drinking water where they have children, where they have older people drinking this day in and day out or are you going to tell them that should not be approaching their sink?   What is your answer to that Mr. Gluck?”
Mayor McFadden suggested that this question, made in a snide manor, did not need to be answered.
“Weasel words, weasel boy?” responded Mr. Guazzoni.  “So, you’re not unhappy with me approaching newspapers downstream and telling them that you are poisoning their water?  You are opening us up to liability from people drinking water downstream!”
Trustee Barnett suggested that this issue had already been debated in good faith earlier that evening and that a decision had been made.
Mr. Guazzoni responded that it had not been discussed in good faith, further suggesting that the decision had been reached before the meeting in a “back room.”  “Mr. Barnett, you are poisoning people downstream…shame on you!” he emphatically stated.
“You have no data to support that comment whatsoever.  None!” responded Dr. Dennis Miller from the audience. “One molecule will do it…is that what you are saying?”
Mr. Guazzoni responded by suggesting that the village was inviting lawsuits from people who would be under the impression that they got sick from drinking the water.
Trustee Gluck thanked Mr. Guazzoni for his comment, noting that this was not the time for further debate.

The Board then entered into an executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.  When they returned, they voted in favor of ratifying the previously authorized Consulting Agreement between the Village of Tuxedo Park and John Ledwith that was adopted by BOT resolution on September 13, 2017.  Trustee Moon abstained from the vote.

back to top


Village Election Results

Allen Barnett - 81

Maureen Coen - 76

Write-Ins - 8:

Phillip Tavani - 3

Sally Sonne - 1

Gary Pompan - 1

Larry Darby - 1

Susan Goodfellow - 1

Panda Bear - 1

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 20, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Meet the Village Trustee Candidates

Village elections will take place next Tuesday, June 19, from 7am-9pm in the Village Hall.  This year there are two candidates running for two open Trustee seats.  They are Allen Barnett, (Prudent Planning Party) and Maureen Coen (Namaste Party).  In an effort to help the community get to know the candidates a bit better and understand where they sit on key issues, TPFYI asked both to submit brief statements. Here are there unedited responses in the order they were received:

Dear Neighbors,

It has been an honor to serve as a Village Trustee for the last year and I am pleased now to be running for a two-year term. I would like to first acknowledge the leadership of Mayor David McFadden and the dedication of my fellow Trustees McHugh, Gluck and Moon. Together we have formed an effective and cohesive Board with whom it has been a pleasure to work.  Personally, I have tried to apply my experience as a former Chief Financial Officer to the governance of the Village. There are serious long term issues facing the Village. My primary focus has been and will continue to be on three areas, which I believe if addressed could improve significantly the long-term health and wellbeing of Tuxedo Park

  1. Creating understandable and transparent Village financial statements;
  2. Developing a long-term plan for the maintenance of Village infrastructure;
  3. Instituting professional human resource policies.

First, the Village’s financials need to be transparent and easily understood by the public.  This year the Trustees’ focus was ensuring that the operating budget was under control. I am pleased to report that when all of the final bills are accrued, the FY 2018 general fund will be approximately $150,000 (or 3.6%) under budget.
However, to improve the financial management of the Village as well as public oversight, our financials need to be formatted to make them easier to understand.  The required New York State financial reporting for Towns and Villages produces reports that are difficult for the general public to understand, interpret, or compare on a year to year basis.  This year I intend to develop summary reports that will clearly show the financial condition of the Village and propose, beginning in September, to do consistent quarterly reporting at the Board Meetings.

Second, a key issue facing the Village is the maintenance of its aging infrastructure. This year our efforts have been on addressing deferred maintenance issues in the Water Department. Deputy Mayor McHugh and I identified two areas where proper maintenance had not been performed for a number of years: the Ridge Road water tanks and the two processing filters in the Water Plant. Among other problems, we discovered that one of the plant filters had been off line for well over a year, leaving nothing in reserve. In an emergency that could have left the Village without its water supply. By the end of June, the necessary repairs will have been completed so that we have back-up systems.

I believe that the problem is that there is lack of consistent reporting on how the Village is maintaining its infrastructure. Prior efforts have been made to do long- term planning but, with two-year administrations, these efforts have too often been inconsistent.

This year I propose that we “inventory our infrastructure” and develop a comprehensive long- term plan with priorities and estimated costs for maintenance. This plan would then be reviewed at least semi-annually at public meetings. Appropriate and consistent preventative maintenance is critical to avoid expensive future fixes. I believe having an informed public is also critical; the residents of the Village need to clearly understand the problems and hold future Boards accountable in addressing them.

Third, we need to develop proper human resources practices for the management of Village employees.  We have excellent and dedicated employees. However, we are lacking the basics of good human resource management. At the present time, other than the sterile Civil Service descriptions, there are no private sector style job descriptions, performance reviews, or statements of responsibility and authority.  Without these, Village employees have faced inconsistent and changing expectations with the continual turn over in the Village Trustees. In the worst case, this can lead to a situation such as the recent action taken against one employee on the basis of allegations, which upon examination by the Board of Trustees, the Village’s auditors, and the New York State Controller’s Office were found to be unsupported.    

I propose to enlist some of the Village residents who have experience in human resources to  put in place for the non-union employees of the Village appropriate procedures and structure. I believe this will improve the efficiency and productivity of our employees and ensure that we can attract the best employees going forward.

While Maureen Coen and I are running unopposed, it is still important that you vote on June 19th to establish a base of support for our efforts. I sincerely request your support in person or by absentee ballot.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.

Allen Barnett



Name:Maureen Coen
Education/Degrees: Juris Doctorate, MBA in Management and BA in Political Science.
Vocation/Employer:  I am currently working as a Managing Director for Credit Suisse, a Swiss banking institution, with responsibility for capital and liquidity management in Credit Suisse’s Asia Division.  Over my 18 years at the bank, I have held numerous roles, including Treasurer of the Fixed Income Department.
Prior to my current employment, I worked as a Managing Director at Moody’s Investors Service rating various types of structured transactions, and, prior to that position, I was a lawyer in a NYC law firm practicing corporate law. 
I am very happy to report that I am retiring from my career on Wall Street in just a few weeks.
Years of residency in Tuxedo:  I have lived in Tuxedo since 1998.
Volunteer Work in the Village of Tuxedo Park:  For the past 5+ years I have served as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and I am currently a Governor for The Tuxedo Club. I have also served as a member of the vestry at St. Mary’s for six years and as a trustee for the Tuxedo Park School for eight years. I am currently a Director on a local development corporation for the Town of Tuxedo.
Briefly, why are you running for Village Trustee?
Having lived in Tuxedo Park for twenty years and having served on the boards of many of the institutions in this community, I know and love our special and unique Village—and there are many things to love. What I have learned over the years is that for our community to thrive we have to support and celebrate each other and build upon the great work that has been done to date in making Tuxedo Park an easy, friendly and desired place to live.

Working closely with the Town of Tuxedo to preserve, enhance and enrich our Village today and in the future is a key goal of mine.

I would be honored to serve you as your trustee with these goals at the forefront. 
In addition to bringing my legal background and business experience to the Board, I am willing to listen, analyze, work hard and get things done. I strive to be a rational and open-minded advocate for the community. 
What are the most important issues currently facing the Village and if elected how would you propose to address them?
Like many municipalities in our area, there are a number of serious issues that continuously have to be addressed.  In our case, amongst the most pressing issues are our aging infrastructure, which is well past its useful life, and invasive plants that are rapidly spreading in our lakes and reservoir.  We have to address these issues, which could be expensive, while trying to avoid increases in real estate taxes.  This means we need to look for opportunities to be more efficient in our current expense base—which is where I would like to focus my attention if I were elected your trustee. Over the last several years, most people that work in banks have become very skilled at expense reduction and optimization.

Among other things, I would focus on looking for opportunities to partner on shared services and explore receiving additional State grants.
The current administration is thoughtful, works well together and is working hard to address these issues.  I would be honored to serve with them.
Many thanks to the hard working people behind TPFYI that are dedicated to keeping all of us informed by providing us with unbiased information.

I hope to have your support at the election on June 19th.

Please feel free to email me at with any questions you may have.

back to top


Notice of Village Board of Trustees Specail Meeting June 7, 2018

Click here to view the notice.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 16, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 16 at 7pm.  Trustee Moon was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:
The Village was badly beaten up by the storm on May 15.  Mayor McFadden drove around the Village the following morning and witnessed tremendous damage as a result of downed trees.  Furthermore, he noted that a majority of the wires that were not brought down during the storm are also covered with trees.  “I really don’t know how we are ever going to get out of this,” he stated, adding that he would be
meeting with executives from O & R next week to discuss how to avoid brown outs and black outs moving forward and what can be done to speed up the time between an incident and a recovery.  He will report out the results of that meeting as soon as possible.

Next the Mayor announced that moving forward, in lieu of having the DPW, Police and Building Department read their reports during the meeting, these reports would be posted to the Village website.  If for any reason this becomes problematic or the residents are unhappy with it, they can always revert to back to the old process of in-person reporting.

DPW Report:
To view a copy of the DPW Report, click here.

Building Report:
To view a copy of the Building Report, click here.

Police Report:
To view a copy of the Police Repot for the month of April, click here.

Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether any of the audience members had questions for the police.
Meg Vaught commented that on the morning prior, while waiting for the bus with her children, she had witnessed an SUV with tinted windows and without a Village tag slowly driving through her neighborhood and taking photographs of two houses in particular.  When the vehicle did a U-Turn and continued taking photos, she took a photo of the car from behind, capturing its license plate, after which she called the gate to report the incident.   The officer on duty explained that he was aware of vehicle and further informed her that the driver was from “some insurance agency” and was there to taking pictures as a method of checking proof of occupancy.    Mrs. Vaught thought that this seemed strange and after talking with the police, she contacted both homeowners and let them know about the incident.  One of the homeowners subsequently called their insurance company, who had no idea about the incident, and had not sent the driver.  Mrs. Vaught wanted to know why such a person would have been allowed into the Village and whether anybody could pull up to the gate, say they were with an insurance company and be allowed access.
Officer Taback agreed that the incident sounded strange but suggested that since the officer on duty had knowledge of the vehicle, that there would be a log detailing the situation.  He told Mrs. Vaught that he would look into the situation and follow up with her the next day.


Committee Reports:
TAB - On behalf of The Tree Advisory Committee, Chair Chiu Yin Hempel provided the Board with a brief report/update on the committee’s efforts over the last several months as well as their plans for the future.
To review a copy of this report, click here.

Trustee Reports:
Financial Report - Commenting that in the past the presentation of Village financials had been very opaque and rarely, if ever, reviewed in monthly meetings, Trustee Barnett drew everyone’s attention to the new financial report. Copies were circulated to audience members. (Click here to view a copy)  What the new report is intended to do is to provide residents with a clear idea as to exactly where the Village is spending money.  Outlined in the report was the 2018/19 budget, which will go into effect on June 1.  The report is organized in an easy to navigate form, consisting of two columns (item and expense) that are grouped into various categories.  The idea behind it is to give residents a clear picture of how much is being spent on various items in a clear way that is easy to understand, without having to navigate through the entire line-by-line budget.  Moving forward the report will be revised and presented on a quarterly basis along with budget-to-actual comparisons.  The hope is that it will make things much easier for residents to understand.
In looking at the Police Personnel expenses, an audience member wanted to know how many part-time and how many full-time police officers were employed by the Village.
The answer was 4-full time officers and 25 part-time.
Trustee McHugh added that in looking at the period of June 1, 2017 through May 16, 2018, the Village was running out of surplus for the year.  They estimate that they will come in $170-200,000 below budget.  These monies will go into the reserves. 
Water Department – Trustee McHugh reported that the work on water filter #2 has been completed and the filter is now up and running.  Initial tests showed that TOC levels are lower/better than they have been in the last year.  Efforts will now be focused on refurbishing filter #1, the cost of which is anticipated to be roughly $70,000.  With regard to the Ridge Road Water Towers, one tank has been entirely refurbished and all holes repaired.  They are currently running tests that will allow the Department of Health to sign off on the project and then it will be up and running.  It has been refilled to capacity.  They will not begin work on the second tank until the fall when water consumption tapers off. 
The Wee Wah Dam/Pond #3 – Pond #3 has been drained over the last 10 days and water levels have stabilized at a lower level, where they will be kept for the next 2-3 weeks while they repoint and refurbish the northern side of the dam.  There are also two  30 foot pipes, 24 inches in diameter that need to be plugged with cement before the engineer can sign off and the project presented to the DEC for approval.  The Wee Wah dam is 86% complete.  There is a problematic knife gate valve that may need to be taken out and sent back to the manufacturer.  Additionally, some of the stones for the auxiliary spillway, which were cut up in Massachusetts, are the wrong color and the Village has refused to accept them because they are non-conforming with the approved design.   They are currently in dispute with the construction company with regard to this.  The Village has provided them with a “work-around solution” and  they are waiting to hear whether or not it will be accepted and what will ultimately happen.  This situation has created an additional delay.   In framing out the expenditures, Trustee McHugh explained that the bond issuance for the project was 3.65 million.  Thanks to the grant writer, the Village received $100,000 in funding and then there were prior residual bond issuances to the tune of $183,000.  The total dollar spend was roughly $3,918,000.  To date, the Village has spent just under $3.1 million with the construction company.   The project was supposed to be at a point of substantial completion in December of 2017, but as a result of this not occurring, significant engineering costs have been incurred in terms of oversight, totaling $393,000.  The total engineering bill with CHA for the project is currently just under 1 million.  Things have gotten a little contentious with the construction company in terms of the timing on refilling the lakes.  Substantial completion has now been delayed several times.  Trustee McHugh added that the Village wants to ensure that they end up with a finished product that they can be proud of and if this is at the expense of not filling the lake right away, “so be it” because having the project completed in the right way will ultimately be their collective legacy. 
Trustee Gluck added that the engineers had been very helpful and instrumental in keeping the project on track to the maximum extent possible given the issues with the construction company. 
Mayor McFadden added that although the Village had clearly spent a lot of money on these projects, the amount that they had saved because of the hard work and dedication of the Trustees could and should also be counted.  He thanked them all for their strong efforts.

Public Comments:
Sue Heywood commented that when she awoke that morning she had no power, no cable and no internet, so she used her cell phone to call the police at the front gate, but there was no answer.  She then got into her car and went down to there and was told by the officer on duty that the department was also without power and telephone.  Mrs. Heywood wondered why they did not have a backup system.  She further noted that she lived alone and expressed concern that should she have a health issue in a situation like this, there would be no way of contacting anyone. 
Mayor McFadden agreed with Mrs. Heywood, further commenting that one of the issues they faced was that there was only one provider of internet serving the entire Town and when there was a failure, everyone was impacted. 
Mrs. Heywood questioned the lack of telephone service. 
The Mayor responded that the department phones had been working.
Mrs. Heywood asserted that nobody had answered when she called.
Mayor McFadden suggested that perhaps the officer had been on another line, and asked Sgt. Taback to comment.
The Sgt. responded that the department did have three phone lines and that they also had also had a generator to provide back-up power.
Again, Mrs. Heywood noted that when she had traveled down to the station she had been told that the department was without telephone.
“I apologize that he said that,” responded Sgt. Taback.  “They absolutely did.”  He assured Mrs. Heywood that he would look into the situation and follow up with her the next day.
Mrs. Heywood added that she felt very vulnerable living alone in situations like these and Sgt, Taback responded that he understood and that this was why he checked up on her every time there was a major storm. 
Trustee McHugh reiterated that the police telephone system was not internet based.   The fact that the phone was not answered when Mrs. Heywood called is a separate issue and the Sgt. will look into it. 
“So if I fall down the stairs in a situation like this,” countered Mrs. Heywood, “I have no hope of getting any assistance?”
“That is not necessarily the case, Ma’am,” replied Sgt. Taback.  “Unfortunately, every time the power goes out, 400 people call the police station.  We have 3 lines and 1 officer on duty.  Typically, calls go through.  I apologize that yours did not go through.  I am going to look into it and will follow up with you.”  He further suggested that in case of emergency, Mrs. Heywood should call 911, which would alert not only their department but the State Police and the County Sheriff as well.
Mayor McFadden concurred.
Bryna Pomp wondered whether the mayor could provide an update on the resolution of the power situation.
Mayor McFadden responded that no time frame had been provided.  Again, he mentioned that he would be meeting with O & R executives the following week to discuss storm response time among other things, but in the meantime, trucks were currently in the Village although no estimate has been provided as to when they might have the issues resolved.
Mrs. Heywood wondered what the specific problem was.
The Mayor responded that there were roughly 10 large trees that had come down on wires in various locations around the Village.  Tuxedo Park was not the only area that was badly hit by the storm and O & R is shorthanded and unprepared to handle to scope of work ahead of them.  “You would think that they would have back-up departments and companies that would loan them men and trucks,” he continued.  “Our DPW has been working very hard to clear the roads, but when live wires are down it is a different story.  These were significant trees that fell.  O & R is in the Park now so it is just a matter of when they can get it done.  I hope it is soon.”
Mrs. Heywood wondered whether the entire Park was out.
Building Inspector John Ledwith responded that the south end appeared to have power as well as part of Mountain Farm Road.   He further stated that he had taken part in a phone conference with the Officer of Emergency Management earlier that day.  Unfortunately, O & R had not been able to provide any time estimates for restoration, although they assured everyone that crews were actively working.
Mrs. Pomp noted that she had noticed that the gate arm at the South Gate had been left open.
The Mayor replied that he had spoken to the officer in charge the night before who had informed him that initially there was no power to operate it.  The decision was made to keep the gate open and they had placed a second officer on duty and increased patrols to compensate. 
Moving on, Mrs. Pomp noted that earlier that week she had sent Mr. Ledwith a note regarding a very unsightly and overgrown property near to where she is living that is invested with invasive species that are known to harbor white-footed mice, which are loaded with ticks.  She wondered what could be done about properties such as this.
Mayor McFadden responded that the Village had all of the appropriate codes in place to cover property maintenance issues such as this.  Tickets can be issued.  That being said, he recognized that there were probably issues in varying degrees on a large number of Village properties.  When complaints are made, the inspector takes a look and if warranted, enforces the law. 

On another note, the Mayor noted that the foxes Mr. Pomp had inquired about were not rabid.
Mr. Pomp wanted to know if it was just one fox they had been seeing or many.
“There are a whole bunch,” responded the Mayor.
Sgt. Taback interjected that the police had shot two earlier in the week that were rabid.
This was met by a gasp from the crowd and Trustee Barnett wanted to know how they had determined that the animals were rabid.
“Typically when they are out during the day and rolling around with foam coming out of their mouth, it is an indication that they are rabid,” replied Sgt. Taback.
Mrs. Vaught commented that at the Trustee meeting the month prior, Dena Steele had read aloud a blurb describing the foxes and clearly noting that their presence during the day did not mean they were rabid.
Sgt. Taback reiterated that the animals had been rolling around on the ground with foam coming out of their mouths.
Getting back to the original comment regarding derelict properties, Trustee McHugh informed Mrs. Pomp that the Building Inspector had been working with the Village attorney to craft language for property owners whose properties were severely delinquent that the Village intended to “go after,” and one of them is the property located near the Pomps.
Mrs. Hempel noted that there was a particular invasive on the property that needs to treated with herbicide because when cut, it multiplies. She feels that it is important that whoever does the final cleanup is aware of this.
“Oh I am so glad.  It looks awful,” responded Mrs. Pomp.
With regard to the stonework on the Wee Wah dam, Tom Salierno wondered whether the discolored stone had been intended for the lake side of dam.
The Mayor responded that it was the circular piece at the top on the lake side and that it would be in one of the most visible spots.  He further encouraged Mr. Salierno to go and take a look at it, suggesting that he would easily be able to understand why it had been rejected.  “We tried so many different way to make it work,” he continued “but we finally had to reject it.”  
Before moving on to new business, Mayor McFadden noted that the Village had recently made an arrangement with the Town of Tuxedo to relocate all of the road salt from the DPW facility to another facility on the other side of Warwick Brook Road. 

New Business:
Telephone Extension for Court Clerk – Trustee Barnett explained that currently, the telephone calls for the court clerk were coming in on the main Village lines and this ultimately detracts from the amount of the time that the Village staff can spend doing their own work.  Therefore, they have proposed that a separate extension be added for the court clerk, who will then be responsible for calling to retrieve the messages.  Following minimal discussion, this was approved unanimously by the Board.
Repaint South Gate House – John Ledwith reported that there is a fair amount of work that needs to be done at the south gatehouse.  The roof needs to be replaced.  They have collected some estimates but would like to fine-tune these a bit as they are “a little bit steep.”  They have also collected three estimates for repainting the exterior of building.  Following some discussion it was agreed, at the recommendation of Trustee McHugh that they would go with the middle estimate as this particular contractor has experience working in the Village and is known for their excellent work.  Trustee McHugh added that there was a new tenant living there and the Village would be netting $8-9,000 a year from this, which would free up some funding to invest in maintenance of the structure.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of moving ahead with the painting at an amount not to exceed $6,000.
License Plate Reader – The Village is working towards upgrading both gates and part of this involves installing license plate readers.  They met with two different vendors and have chosen the more cost effective option with half of the cost to be funded out of this years budget and the other half next year.  This will result in a dollar spend of $28,080 this year.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving ahead with the purchase.
Authorize Bidding for Chipper – The DPW is in need of a wood chipper to assist in clearing the roads and limiting the amount of material they need to move around.  They have put together a set of generic specs and would like to set a bid opening date so that they can move ahead with the purchase. Funding will come from the generous donation that was made to the Village by the late Alex Salm.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving ahead and a bid opening date of June 12 at 2pm was set.
Levy Unpaid Water Bills to June Village Tax Bills – The Board voted unanimously in favor of levying unpaid Village water bills to June 2018 tax bills. 
Tuxedo Club Fireworks Request – Following a brief discussion regarding payment of overtime police and insurance, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Tuxedo Club’s fireworks request for July 3 at 9:30pm.
Approve Renewal of Village General Liability Insurance -  Trustee McHugh noted that there were “a couple of people” who were in the insurance business living in the Village and the feedback last year when the Village removed Terrorist Insurance had been that given the nominal fee, it had been a foolhardy decision.  The Terrorist insurance coverage adds $1,400 to the overall cost of the policy.  Trustee McHugh recommended they reinstate it.  Following minimal discussion, the Board agreed that this would be a good idea.  Trustee Gluck further suggested that the Village had not shopped this policy around in a number of years and that they might consider doing so next year.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the renewal of the Liability Insurance at a premium cost of $74,879, of which $19,000 will come the water fund.  Additional they approved the additional purchase of Terrorism Insurance at a cost of $1,390 for the year.
Appoint Part Time Police Officer –The Chief is recommending that the Board appoint Brian Benjamin as a part time officer in the Village.  As per protocol, and interview has been scheduled with Trustee Moon.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of the appointment. 
Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether the Village was at capacity for part-time officers.
Sgt. Taback responded that they had been approved for 25 and with that evening’s appointment they were at 24.  They will be returning next month with one more, which will bring them to capacity.
Approve AE Diving Contract – Trustee McHugh explained that this contract would cover vacuum harvesting of the Eurasian Water Milfoil.  They will be coming for 30 days at a rate of $1,500 per day.  The contract has been reviewed by the Village Attorney and is awaiting a signature from AE.  The Village is still waiting for feedback from both Solitude Lakes Management and the Village Lakes Committee in terms of the best way to make use of the services this year. 
Mrs. Heywood inquired as to when they would be starting their work.
The answer was Monday.
Mrs. Heywood responded that she and Jim Hays had recently ridden around the lake on a boat to see whether or not the milfoil had begun developing and it has not.  Although it will definitely be coming, they believe the water is still too cold at this time.
Trustee McHugh responded that they could easily delay the harvesting and push it back a couple of weeks if necessary.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to execute the contract.
Approve Solitude Contracts – Trustee Gluck explained that the Village has in place contracts with Solitude both for general consulting services and for the application of Copper Sulfate if needed and herbicides if requested to all three lakes.  These contracts allow for ongoing analysis over time as well as services when requested.  The contracts were originally executed in February, but never formally approved.  Therefore, the Board will merely be ratifying contracts, which have already been signed.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of this action.
Mrs. Heywood wondered whether anything had been determined with regard to using herbicides.
The answer was no.
Mrs. Heywood then reported that she had called Greenwood Lake, where Solitude has been employed since 2014, and had discovered that they were using herbicides there “big time.”
Mayor McFadden added that there was also information available online with regard to a herbicide project on the Croton Watershed.  He then reiterated that there has been no decision made with regard to the use of chemicals or herbicides in any of the lakes.
As a caveat to that, Trustee McHugh disclosed that they had permitted on both Pond #3 and the Wee Wah for Cutrine Plus to treat harmful algae blooms should the evolve.  Permitting has also been secured in case they decide they want to chemically treat the milfoil in either of those lakes.  This being said, he further noted that the window that would allow for this was decreasing dramatically as a result of the delay in the completion of the dam, so the likelihood of it happening is greatly diminished and “exceedingly remote” as the water levels will not be high enough. 
Approve CHA EWA #9 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving an extension of oversight/engineering services from CHA from May 21 to June 15 (which is when they hope to see substantial completion on the dam project) for a sum not to exceed $29,500.
Mrs. Vaught inquired as to whether or not the Village would be able to bill the construction company for any of the additional oversight expenses they have incurred as a result of all the delays.
The answer was Yes.   The contract specifies a substantial completion date and clearly states that if work is not completed by that time the penalty is $2000 per day.  Once the project has been completed, the Village will pursue this recourse.
Approve Truck Financing – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the DPW purchase of a 2019 Ford F50 dump truck with plow on New York State bid in the amount of $55,200.63.  The truck will be financed for 5 years at 4.47%.
Wee Wah Beach Club Request – Trustee Gluck noted that another victim in the delay of the dam’s progress is the swim season at the Beach Club.  There is substantial uncertainty as to when the project will be sufficiently completed so that the lake level can rise again, and in light of this the Beach Club is asking the Village Board to consider allowing them to have a series of single day events (Father’s Day, 4th of July, Annual Family Camp-out) for which they would be able to purchase and provide insurance for the day (without swimming.)
This was briefly discussed.  Beach Club Board Chair Bonny Takeuchi      explained that the Club was planning to offer free membership to the 2016/2017 members for these events with any guests to be paid for upon arrival. There will be no new members accepted this year.  The club views this as a way to retain a presence so that next year, when the water level is back up and the diving board has been reinstalled, folks will want to join. Ultimately it was determined that the requested would be granted conditional upon the substantial completion of the dam, which would allow for traffic to flow in both directions to and from the beach.

Public Comments:
Ellen Gluck wondered whether Alex Salm had been formally recognized for his generous donation to the Village.
The answer was not yet, but they intend to do so once the first piece of equipment has been received. 
Trustee Barnett congratulated Meg Vaught on her election to the Board of Education the day prior.  This was met by a round of applause from the audience.
use from the audience.

back to top


Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 16, 2018

Click here to view the agenda for this meeting

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 18, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on April 18, 2018 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor McFadden began by stating that he wanted to reiterate that he was in full support of rebuilding the traffic booth.  They had hoped to complete the project last November, with the majority of the Board behind the project, however they received an estimate of $200,000 from the engineer, which put things on hold.  The Mayor is aware that some of the Board members are not supportive of the project and so he felt it would be prudent to poll the Board publicly, putting their comments on the record, so they would know where everyone stood and would then be able to make an appropriate plan for moving forward.  His goal is to apply for some sort of loan from the bank that would cover the cost of the project.  He is also aware of a citizens’ movement to raise money for the Booth and to date there has been one $50,000 anonymous pledge.  

Trustee Barnett commented that he felt that the booth was both a symbolic and unifying aspect of Tuxedo Park and he would like to see it replaced.  He has three concerns.  The first has to do with safety.  Due to safety concerns, the current plan calls for all stationary, bulletproof windows, which he feels would spoil the intimacy and the personal connection that previously existed.  Secondly, he wonders whether or not the Police Department is agreeable to having a booth.  Finally, there is a question of financing.  There has been a lot of discussion regarding whether or not the project should be financed all at once or over time.  His preference would be to pay for the project over time with borrowing, which would hopefully be reduced by donations and contributions from residents.

Trustee Gluck stated that he felt it was “a little too amorphous” at the moment.  There exists the concept for a booth.  He likes coming home and being greeted personally, by name.  He does not have any confidence that this kind of experience would be repeated with the current configuration of the booth as proposed.  There exists a number, $200,000, but he does not know what this number does.  He does not know how the project would be funded or what the financing terms would be.  He feels it would be better if they had something a little bit more concrete in terms of a feasibility study or statement that would indicate what they would be pursuing.  Financing is difficult.  Municipalities cannot just go out and get loans, they have to do a bond and these can be difficult and very expensive.  All of these things need to be sketched out and looked at in comparison to other alternatives.  Once that has been done, they will be able to have a meaningful discussion.

Mayor McFadden inquired as to what Trustee Gluck felt some of the alternatives might be.

Trustee Gluck responded that one alternative would be doing nothing.  He feels things have improved dramatically both entering and leaving the Village.  Another alternative would be an island with use of technology.  A third alternative is a different configuration, which involves routing traffic around the Keep in another direction. 

Trustee Moon stated that he had been in favor of what he called “the drive through ATM” or an island with technology.  Intuitively he feels this would be less expensive and also safer for the police.  However, the results of the resident survey showed that the people favored having a manned booth at a ratio of 3:1.  “I’m just a Trustee.  I’m here to protect assets and help people.  If the people wanted a manned booth, that’s fine.  I’m glad to support that.”  He went on to say that he was greatly concerned about the cost of the project.   “We don’t have any extra money people.”  This is a bad budget year.  Next year’s budget might be lighter as there are several single-year expense items in the 2018/19 budget that probably will not exist in later budgets, however if there were to be private funds put towards the project this would be the best solution in his view.  A manned booth seems to be what the people want and this would satisfy the Village’s budgetary constraints.  

Trustee McHugh commented that he had always felt that the booth survey had been fundamentally flawed because there had been no costs associated with it.  “Asking people what they would like without a dollar cost associated with it seems a bit irresponsible.”  He feels that a fundamental change took place when the gate guards were dismissed and replaced by police officers.  He believes there needs to be a dialogue about bringing back the gate guards and not using the officers if they are going to move ahead with a manned booth, which he personally is not in favor of.  He thinks that technology can solve a lot of the existing issues and they are presently doing several things in this regard.  For example, they are installing more cameras near The Keep and improving the intercom system.  These things do not preclude a booth, but what they are trying to do is to enhance the service element without bankrupting the Village, which he feels is the most prudent thing to do.  When he looks at the litany of things that the Village has to deal with, the booth is low on the list.  They are looking at a tax re-assessment, I & I obligations that have been deferred from previous budgets, significant water losses and a pumping station that is working at 85% capacity, issues in the Lakes and recent correspondence from residents suggest that nobody is interested in a tax increase.  Something has to give and in looking at the list of issues the Village faces, he feels that the booth should not be at the top.

Mayor McFadden thanked the Trustees for their comments and indicated that the Board would be discussing the issue further in the future.

Next, the Mayor commented that earlier in the week the Village had been contacted by the folks who were working on an arrangement with TPS to bring students down to the Racetrack for an educational session and tree planting in celebration of Arbor Day on April 18.  There was a discussion regarding insurance and indemnification.  Mayor McFadden felt strongly that parents of the participating students should be given a form to sign because of the tick problem in the racetrack.  He did not feel that the indemnifications that were in place were not sufficient.  “We do not want to mess with ticks!” Referencing a 42 million dollar lawsuit made by a woman who went to Hotchkiss and received a debilitating tick bite while on a fieldtrip, the Mayor stated that he had offered TPS an alternative to the original plan, which involved closing one of the roadways to traffic in order to allow students to stand outside the racetrack for their lesson.   In the meantime, he reached out to the Headmaster, who was in agreement and had already devised some alternatives for the students.   

Finally, the Mayor reported that the Board was in receipt of a fair number of letters from residents asking them not to go above the tax cap and not to pass the legislation, which would allow them to do so.  He felt that all the letters were very good and he agrees with many of them.  Several authors cited the fact that many other municipalities stay within the cap however, according to Mayor McFadden; many of these same municipalities do pass the legislation in case they do end up needing to exceed the cap.  He assured Residents that passing the legislation does not mean that the Board intends to exceed the cap.  They took a very conservative approach to the budget with a line-by-line analysis.  They analyzed both the DPW and police budgets, requesting revisions and reductions from both departments.  Responsible cuts were made to the general budget, but they did not mess with the comptroller’s essential rules and regulations as they relate to reserves and things of that nature so that the Village retains the proper amount of reserves in order to maintain the proper accreditations.  In fact, the Village just received an upgrade in its’ financial status from the comptrollers office.  “We tried to put everything in there without kicking anything down the road and I believe that we have a very thoughtful budget and we don’t need any incentive to come in below the cap.  We are very confident in the work that we have done.  We had a very productive public hearing on Monday with excellent questions.”  He does not feel that passing the legislation will put them on the road towards “slipping down a slippery slope,” and therefore they are still intending to present it.  

Public Hearing For Local Law Intro D3 of 2018:

Click here to listen to an audio recording of this hearing.

The public hearing for Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018 was continued to Friday, April 27 at 8am.

Public Hearing For 2018-19 Tentative Budget:

Click here to listen to an audio recording of this hearing.

The public hearing for the 2018-19 budget was closed.  Written comments will be accepted through Friday, April 20.  

Police Report:

Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of March:

Non-Criminal Offenses – 380

Criminal Offenses – 2

Motor Vehicle Accidents (property damage only) – 2

Traffic Tickets Issued – 7

Warning Tickets Issued – 6

Fire Alarms – 5

Intrusion Alarms – 3

Assisted from other Police Agencies – 3

Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 892 (YTD)

Non- Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 297 (YTD)

Miles Patrolled – 2,596

Additionally, approximately 1,300 per day enter the Village via the Front Gate.

The Department met with Trustee McHugh along with a representative from a license plate reader organization.  The Department’s proposal is to install readers at both the Front and Back gates.  The readers would provide an accurate count of vehicles coming into the Village, while collecting plate numbers.  The department will then be able to tell if the plates are suspended or revoked, etc.  Additionally, resident plates can be programed into the readers, as can those of any individuals who might not be allowed entry.   The numbers go into both State-wide and Nation-wide databases, where they can be checked for criminal activity, and the Department of Motor Vehicles also has access to them.   This would be a major security enhancement for the Village.  A proposal from the company is expected soon and once it has been received, the Department will present it to the Trustees.

Trustee McHugh added that the functionality of the readers would allow them to program the gate arm to automatically lift for resident plates.  This might not be beneficial at the Front Gate, where there is a single line of traffic, but would make a difference at the Back Gate. “The technology is there if we want to do the dollar spend,” he added.

DPW Report:

As DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present, no report was given.

Building Department Report:

As John Ledwith was not present, Trustee McHugh provided an over-view of the Building Department report, which can be reviewed by clicking here.

Committee Reports:

Wee Wah Dam – The project is at 85% completion.  Work is beginning on the curved wall of the auxiliary spillway.  This portion of the work has proven to be a bit contentious with the contractor, who originally estimated that the repairs would cost $120,000.  After roughly 3 months of “acrimonious meetings” the Village has opted to “go with time and materials on that” and the work is proceeding.  In terms of expectations, the DEC visited and assessed the site and with the exception of cracks in the floor of the auxiliary spillway, they are pleased with the work.  The Village will either need to do a chemical grout injection or repoint sections of the floor in order to address the cracks.   Significant completion on the project is expected anytime from May 10 – May 18.  This means that the DEC will come back and assess before signing off on the structural rigidity of the dam, which will allow the Village to begin putting water back into the Wee Wah.  Assuming average precipitation rates it should take 20-40 days to refill the lake.  On top of this, the Village will need to drain Pond #3 4-5 feet in order to repoint the dam wall between that lake and the Wee Wah.  This work will be delayed until significant completion of the Wee Wah dam at which point the water from Pond #3 will be moved into the Wee Wah, helping it fill up faster.

In an effort to put a little clarification on the discrepancy of $120K+ that is being argued by the contractor, Mayor McFadden wondered if the issue could bring work on the project to a halt.

The answer was no.  The Village attempted a global settlement, which has not progressed terribly well.  They then decided to move forward with time and materials given where the project stood in terms of the scope of work.

Given the risk assessment, the Mayor wondered whether Trustee McHugh felt the Village could be moving towards litigation.  

Trustee McHugh responded that while the Village would not welcome such a lawsuit, they felt very confident in their position on all the issues and he believes that the contracting document supports their stance.  

Trustee Gluck added that in terms of filling up the Wee Wah, they are anticipating a level of 492 feet, which is much higher then the Village has seen in many years.  To put this into context, two summers ago (which is the last time there was swimming permitted in the lake) the level was at 486 feet, and it is currently at 481.  All of the time estimates that have been provided for when the lake will fill are subject to normal rainfall patterns and deviations there of.  “It’s cutting it pretty close in terms of a high level swim season,” he commented, adding that there was a degree of comfort that given normal rainfall there would be at 486 feet by the end of May, which again was where it was two summers ago. 

Trustee McHugh stated that the contracting work with the engineer firm would be ending on April 30 and an additional work authorization would need to be approved in order to allow them to work through May 18.  This will cost $24,500.  

Mayor McFadden wondered where this would fit into the contingency and Trustee McHugh responded that it was still within.  To date, just over half of the $250,000 contingency has gone to engineering expenses.  The problem at hand is that while the engineer can recommend to the contractor how the work should be done, they cannot dictate this, and the contractor has not kept on schedule.  

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the additional work (engineering expenses and project management) at a cost of $24,500.

Risk Assessment/Summary Review of Village Litigation – Village Attorney Brian Nugent provided the Trustees with a review of litigation that is not covered by the Village insurance carrier.   Sean Madden brought an article 78 against the Village concerning denial of FOIL requests in June of 2017.  This included a declaration that the Village had violated FOIL and direction that they comply with the request.  Additionally, Mr. Madden requested that former Trustee Guazzoni cease using his personal e-mail server and a few other items.  The Village moved to dismiss the petition in December of 2017.  In January of 2018, Mr. Madden filed a cross-motion to disqualify Feerick Lynch MacCartney from representing the Village.  On April 2 the judge issued a decision dismissing the Madden petition in all respects and denying the cross-motion.  Typically, the next step would be an appeal, or things may just rest where they are.  

Earlier this year the former Mayor, Mary Jo Guinchard, and her husband brought an Article 78 against the Village arising from a small claims assessment review.  This was a SCAR proceeding.  Challenging this, on April 6 the Village submitted a motion to dismiss.  There was opposition received from the Guinchards, to which the Village replied on April 11.  Everything has been fully submitted and the Village awaits a decision.  

Finally, there was an action brought by Rob Zgonena and former Trustee, Claudio Guazzoni against the Village.  This was a summons and complaint filed by their attorney, which claimed that Mayor McFadden had signed a consultant agreement with John Ledwith without Board authorization.  When the complaint was first received, in an effort to avoid further litigation, Mr. Nugent sent a letter to the opposing attorney because there was a public meeting and certified resolution at which the signing of the agreement was authorized.  A copy of the certified resolution was also sent.  There has been little to no communication from the opposing attorney since.  An adjournment allowing them to confer with the Board was requested but they did not receive a response. Therefore, they filed a motion on behalf of the Village to get the adjournment and this was granted.  The judge also imposed a $100 penalty for not granting the adjournment in the first place.  Following this, a motion was filed on April for dismissal.  A copy of the resolution was provided, including an affidavit from Trustee Gluck, who made the resolution at the meeting and was present when it was passed.  The return date is April 27.  Opposition papers are expected by April 20, after which the Village will have an opportunity to reply before the matter is fully submitted.  Mr. Nugent fully expects the entire issue to be dismissed as there is “no issue to even litigate.”  

In closing, Mr. Nugent added that while there are certain strategy issues and things that are for Attorney/Client privilege, everything he had just been disclosed concerned public documents which had been filed with the courts and were available to everyone.  

Code Red – Mayor McFadden reported that while the Code Red system had been run by the Board in years prior, he had decided to turn it over to the police because he felt they were the proper authority to be running it.  However there were two Code Reds recently that he feels were more subjective.  He has spoken with the Sergeant and these types of calls will not be happening again.  

Pubic Comments:

Mary Graetzer commented that she had been unable to attend the Solitude Lake’s Management presentation the week before, but she has read Dena Steele’s “excellent” report on TPFYI and had listened to a recording of the meeting and felt the need to come down and make a very short and simplistic statement.  In reviewing the meeting notes one word kept rising to the top for her and that was “reservoir.”  It really concerns her that anyone is considering putting chemicals into the reservoir and messing with the drinking water when there has not been any long term study to show what the effect on humans might be.  “I just came down here to plead with you,” she commented, “please don’t screw with our drinking water.”

Trustee Moon responded that he had spoken to Susan Goodfellow about this issue and he feels that there has not been enough discourse about putting chemicals into Tuxedo Lake.  There needs to be more study and more discussion.

The Mayor, and Trustee Gluck agreed with these sentiments.

With regard to the milfoil in Tuxedo Lake, Rikus Vanderlee inquired as to whether there existed any evidence that the hand pulling by divers was actually working.  

Mayor McFadden responded that there were metrics.  The Board has an analysis done by Solitude Lakes Management that provides an overall scope of the issue and details where the weeds are located and whether they are intermingled with other types of growth.  Last season they focused their efforts on clearing the areas closest to the two major boat launches on Tuxedo Lake as disturbance in these areas churns up a lot of seeds which in turn causes the weed to spread.  There were good results from this.  Moving forward, they will be asking the divers to provide estimates as to how many pounds a day per diver are removed.  He went on to say that Solitude has also completed follow-up testing of the areas where pulling has taken place so that they can determine how successful the effort has truly been. “It’s not an exact science.  Anyone will tell you that it can grow back.  You’ve got to get the crown and so on and so forth.  As you know, we have such a devastating problem.”

Trustee McHugh commented that they had received a presentation from Solitude, which suggested that the vacuum harvesting is not working and is a waste of money.  “They (Solitude) have a very strong opinion and I think the general sense is that nobody in this audience, and nobody on this Board is leaning towards doing anything that they are recommending with regard to our drinking water.  We are looking for alternative opinions and a second opinion to see what we get and see what alternative options there are.”  He likened it to receiving bad news from a physician, noting that when this happens, frequently second opinions are sought.   “We would be happy to spend $10,000, and I think it would be $10,000 well spent, getting a second opinion which either gives us comfort or it gives us prospective, and then we can figure out a course of action.”

Mr. Vanderlee responded that he knew very little about it, but he felt there had to be others who had solved this problem.

Mayor McFadden responded that indeed there were and that there were many options from dredging, to harvesting, to attempts to freeze to chemicals. The studies have been done to determine where the weeds are and what their density is in various locations.  Now it is a matter of getting a second opinion and determining how to proceed. “Solitude Lakes Management feel that the horse has left the barn because it has grown so significantly from a small saturation to a major saturation.”  They are suggesting that chemical treatments on an every-other-year basis over the course of 2-3 years will get the job done.  They feel this would not be harmful to the drinking water.  “We will not be making any move other than harvesting on the lake this year.  We have time to get these second opinions and try to line up a long-term lake plan for next year.”  He went on to add that the Trustees had been receiving terrific input from the Lakes Committee, headed up by Jim Hays, and that he was confident that they would be able to come up with a solid plan.  There is an issue of expense.  Harvesting is quite costly.  They will be monitoring the Wee Wah closely, as there was a freeze while the water level was drawn down and they want to know if this had any effect on recurring growth in that lake.  They are also considering doing a test of 6 acres using the chemicals in Pond #3 to see whether or not it is effective.  For now, they plan to retain a harvesting strategy in Tuxedo Lake again focusing on the two main launch area “because the more you churn the more you spread.”  They are also consider implementing further boating restrictions to keep folks out of areas where the milfoil exists in high concentration, such as near the Dam, the Regna House and at the south end of the lake.  They are also considering requiring boaters to carry nets for the purpose of removing floating fragments, which can actually be very effective.  Additionally they are looking to give the Building Department and DPW the authority to remove other invasive plants growing along the shoreline.  One other thing that has been strongly recommended to them is to begin creating berms and vegetative barriers along lake front properties to catch run-off and prevent erosion.  There are some residents who are agreeably moving in this direction, while there are others who have completely stripped their properties.  

Dena Steele commented that there had been many reports of residents encountering red foxes during the daytime as of late.  Red foxes frequently come out during the day.  This does not in anyway suggest that they are rabid or that there is anything the matter with them.  She read aloud from “The Humane Approach to Living with Wildlife,” which explained the often brazen behavior of these animals in relation to humans.  Simply put, they are out in the day because they feel comfortable in their environment and they do not pose a threat.

As a follow up to her report about placing ads in the Photo News for open Board positions in Town the month prior, Michele Lindsay reported that there had been a great response, resulting in 10 great applicants.  She encouraged residents to remain informed and follow the process as it moves forward.  She suggested that what could happen was that all areas of the Town could have representation on the Boards.  Currently, there is only one person from the Park and one person from Northern Tuxedo serving on the municipal Boards.  Noting that there had been some obvious concern expressed that evening with regard to the future of the Village, she further encouraged residents from the Park to come to the Town Board meetings and inform themselves with regard to what is happening there as this could be helpful.   

Mayor McFadden suggested it would be great if residents from the Town attended the Village meetings as well.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that she wasn’t sure that residents from the Town knew they were welcome at Village meetings.  

Meg Vaught pointed out that legally The Village was a part of the Town, but the Town was not a part of the Village.  This was met by murmurs of agreement from the audience.  

Mrs. Lindsay next commented that as liaison to the school, she had attended the school Board budget workshops and felt that they had been extremely easy to follow and open.  She feels the school Board is to be commended for really trying to do the best they can under the circumstances.  They are also interviewing educational consultants in an effort to make the best decisions in terms of how to move forward. 

Mayor McFadden then asked Mrs. Vaught if she was still on the school board.  Her answer was yes.  He asked her if she was running again and she responded that she was.  “You have my support,” he stated. 

“Thank you,” replied Mrs. Vaught.

Old Business:

EAF & Lead Agency Status – Local Law Introductory D1 and D2 of 2018:

Mr. Nugent indicated that some of the SEQRA documents had not gone out while the public hearings were open.  He advised that the Board re-open the hearings and pass a resolution declaring lead agency status for the Village on both laws.  The hearing would remain open until the next meeting, which would provide the public with time to review the documents if they want.  The Board can then close the hearing and vote on the laws.  The Board was in agreement and this was subsequently done.

Snow Plows – As reported last month, there was some damage to private property as a result of plowing.  The Village has since collected all the information and is in the process of establishing a repair strategy. 

Mrs. Vaught noted that her next-door neighbor, who was frequently not in residence, had experienced significant damage to a stonewall along Ridge Road.  She wondered if this had been included in the plan, as she was not sure anyone had been home to report it.  It was determined that it had not been noted to date, but the Mayor assured Mrs. Vaught that they would take a look and add it to the plan.

Mr. Vanderlee wondered why the plow drivers who made these errors in first place were not responsible for reporting them.  He does not feel it should be the responsibility of the homeowner to report the damage inflicted upon them to the Village in order to have them repaired.  

The Mayor agreed, adding that they had requested that moving forward the DPW keep a log showing which drivers were in which parts of the Village during each time period.    The Village will be making the necessary repairs.  They plan to notify their insurance company to see if any of the work can be covered that way.  

Trustee McHugh added that plowing was a tough job and that everyone had expectations with regard to wanting the narrow roads cleared. 

New Business:

Discuss Police computer/printer – There are two computers, one dead and one failing, in the Police department that need to replaced.  In the process, they are hoping to obtain a wireless printer as well, which will allow the department to communicate with other agencies.  Total cost is expected to be under $2,500.  Currently there is no money left in the police budget to cover this so they would need to find money elsewhere and transfer it over.

Debbie Matthews suggested that the Police had not used up all of their uniform allowance and that the funding could come from there.

Chief Melchiore suggested that the uniform and cleaning allowances were contractual and could not be used.  He further commented that there was some money available in the current budget but he would not know exactly how much until next month.

The purchase of the computers and printer was then unanimously approved and it was agreed that this would be temporarily allocated to line item 2131-5, until they could get a more accurate picture as to where the funds would come from.  

Town of Tuxedo Recreation Request – As in previous years, the Town of Tuxedo is requesting use of the Wee Wah Beach Club in connection with their summer recreation program.  They have sent a request letter and as per the Village’s existing agreement with the Beach Club, the request must be approved by both the Club and the Village.  The process has been reorganized and streamlined a bit this year in that technically speaking, the Recreation Department will be contracting directly with the Beach Club and agreeing to follow their rules and regulations.  The Beach Club will be responsible for overseeing this process.  They will provide the required insurance certificate.  

Trustee McHugh commented that he was not “too enthralled” about allowing kayaking on the Wee Wah given the extent of the milfoil issue.  Closing off the swimming area was one thing but unfettered access to the entire lake was another.  Secondly, he wondered how they would know what the Beach Club would do with the $4,800 paid to them by the Recreation Department.  What is the accountability process there?  

Trustee Gluck responded that the Beach Club annually provides a closing budget and a statement of how they expend their funds.  He would expect that the $4,800 would go into their operating budget and they spend it as reported later in the year.  He does not believe that there is a requirement that they have an advanced statement of their proposed budget before the season.     

Trustee McHugh wondered when they could expect to see the Beach Club budget.  

Trustee Gluck replied that they annually provided a statement of expenditures at the end of each season.  With respect to Trustee McHugh’s first concern, Trustee Gluck commented that he felt both the Beach Club and the Town should be made aware of the situation with the water levels and uncertainties regarding milfoil.  At the present time the lake has been lowered and there is no milfoil issue.  If a situation develops it is within the Village’s jurisdiction to place whatever restrictions they feel might be appropriate on boating.

There followed a lengthy discussion with regard to the process of steam cleaning boats before they enter the Village Lakes, past, present and future.   The Mayor is proposes that moving forward, the Village initiate a logging system in order to keep track of those boats that have been cleaned.  

The Board then voted in favor of approving the Town’s request with Trustee Barnett abstaining.  

Announce –Bulk Trash Pick Up Day – Saturday, May 19 beginning at 8:00am:

Bulk trash pick up day in the Village will occur on May 19.  All items must be curbside by 8am.

Award Bid on DPW Surplus Dump Truck – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the sole bid received for the DPW surplus 2018 dump truck to A Better Deal Inc. (Dover, NJ) in the amount of $10,001, with payment to be made to the Village via a certified check.

Resolution – Westin & Sampson Proposal for I & I – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the proposal from Westin & Sampson for engineering services relevant to the Village sewer and wastewater infrastructure, improving planning on an as-needed on-call basis for time and expenses at the rates, terms and conditions as specified in the provided schedule.

Trustee McHugh added that this was a function of the Village having been deficient during the current fiscal year.  The previous engineer was meant to take it on, but did not and in light of this, the Village felt it prudent to go back and bring themselves up to speed with Westin & Sampson who did the initial proposals and RFIs.

This is purely a fact finding mission to determine where the Village is, what still needs to be done and what the best course of action will be.  Then they will go out to bid.  These are consulted fees associated with that.

Resolution – Purchase of Wood Chipper as Approved by the Executer of the Salm Estate – The Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a wood chipper as approved by the executer of the Salm Estate.  The wood chipper will be stored at the DPW facility and the Village is hoping to use the wood trips to enhance trails throughout the Village.

Resolution – Appoint Election Inspectors for June 19 Village Election – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Jay Bonnell and Kurt Haug as voting machine operators, Desiree Hickey and Diane Sanford as table inspectors and Jean Hung as alternative table inspector at the rate of $225 for the day, which is 6am-9:30pm.

Resolution – Invasive Species- Trustee Gluck explained that the resolution at hand would direct the Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer to work with Village property owners with respect to developing a plan to mitigate fragmites.  Fragmites is an invasive species that looks a lot like cattails.  It appears in two spots on the reservoir and there is also a patch of it by the Wee Wah.  It can grow 20-30% per year and is much easier caught and dealt with earlier than later. 

The Mayor inquired as to whether the mitigation costs would be at the expense of the Village or the property owners, given that the fragmites in question is growing on the shorelines and the Village owns the lakes.  

Trustee Gluck responded that he believed that the expense would be to the property owner up to the shoreline of the lake.

Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. 

Discuss Purchase & Financing of New Dump Truck – Trustee McHugh noted that the purchase would be subject to the close and receipt of funds on the sale of the surplus truck.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a 2019 Ford F550XL with regular cab 4X4DRW 145WB60CA in green gem and a price of $55,263.  Financing to be determined.  

Discuss 2019-2019 Cooper Arias Contract Renewal (Village Accountant)- The Board voted unanimously in favor of renewing the contract with Cooper Arias.  Everyone has been thrilled with their work and it is the collective belief of the Board that they are a good value in terms of cost.

 Commissioner and Board of Commissioners – The Mayor appointed himself as Village Police Commissioner.  

Public Comments:

Following up on comments made earlier by Michele Lindsay, Meg Vaught reported that that this year’s school budget has been reduced by nearly 5%.  Additionally, the Board has agreed to give almost $400,000 back to the taxpayers over the course of the next 7 years.  The reason the money will be returned over a 7 year period is because the annual tax cap is determined based on the prior year’s budget.  Therefore, if they returned the money in one lump sum, they could wind up with not enough funding in the following year.  

The Mayor responded that this was terrific news and thanked Mrs. Vaught for her hard work.

Also thanking Mrs. Vaught for her work, Trustee Moon inquired about the educational consultants.

Mrs. Vaught explained that the Board had interviewed a total of 3 consultants the week prior and were expecting to make a determination the following night at their regular meeting.

Trustee Moon wondered whether the consultant had been charged with creating a strategic plan.

Mrs. Vaught replied that the BOE had been approached by community members, who were concerned about the future of the high school and its viability moving forward.  The community group had suggested that the BOE split the cost of a study with the Town of Tuxedo, however the BOE ultimately decided to assume the responsibility themselves.  An RFP was subsequently put together, tasking companies with analyzing the current program and costs there-of in comparison with those in the surrounding districts and to present various options for the district moving forward in terms what would the best way to educate children in the community.  It asks for current comparisons but also takes into account the proposed development and asks for projections based on that development both in terms of enrollment as well as tax dollars and home values for the next 10-15 years if possible. The results of the study along with the options and recommendations presented will hopefully provide the BOE with a strong foundation for a strategic plan.   The RFP is available online for review on both the school’s website and TPFYI.  

Mayor McFadden inquired whether the BOE felt the size of the school was inhibiting home sales in the community.

Mrs. Vaught responded that speaking for herself only, she felt it depended on the way in which the school was being presented to prospective buyers. It is an extremely small school, but the program is very strong.  This year’s graduating class has already been accepted into over 65 colleges and universities, many of which are ranked in the top 100 nationally.  State test scores are rising each year and the Elementary school has the highest scores in Orange County.  There are people who are looking for small schools and are coming into the community for this program.

Trustee Moon added that just this year his son had received a $125,000 scholarship to Rensselaer Poly Tech.  Although there was some turmoil in the school immediately following the departure of Greenwood Lake, he feels it has rebounded and that the academics have always been strong.

The Mayor agreed, commenting that both of his sons had attended.

Mrs. Vaught encouraged everyone to come and educate themselves first hand by attending meetings rather than believing the multitude of rumors and false information that tends to fly around the community via email each year at budget/election time.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to where the BOE had found the $400,000 to give back over 5 years and also where the 5% savings in this year’s budget had come from.

Mrs. Vaught responded that the $400,000 was the result of expenditures having been overstated in previous budgets.  Of the total overstated amount, $400,000 will be returned to the taxpayers.  Another portion will be put into the District reserves, bringing them up to 4%, as advised by comptroller in order to ensure strong economic health.  The Board is looking to put an additional $350,000 into two different reserve funds (Repair & Capital Projects) to help them address a plethora of Capital projects that need to be done, such as roof and boiler replacement and repairs to the front steps at the high school.  These reserves must be established by proposition and the intent is to put the propositions on the ballot in May.  Once the propositions have been approved, the BOE must seek further voter approval before they can actually use the funds in the reserves to for a capital project.  The 5% reduction comes mainly from the elimination of debt service in this year’s budget as well as efforts to restructure some things and cut back on some employee hours.  

Trustee McHugh wondered whether the debt service would return in subsequent budgets and the answer was yes, the debt will be worked back into the budget gradually over time. 

Trustee McHugh wondered if there was any assumption with regard to revenue coming from Related in the budget.

The answer was no.   Mrs. Vaught further indicated that Mr. Dance seemed “pretty staunch” in his position with regard to the high school and she personally did not feel that he had any intention of budging on the issue, much less remitting payment to the District once the building began.  

Trustee Gluck wondered if there were anything formal or informal that sets out the different view on the cost per student and what the numerator and denominator should be.  

Mrs. Vaught responded that there were State generated numbers online and that she would be happy to share these with the Trustees via email as a follow up.  While she personally believes the numbers are still somewhat high (roughly $18,000 per student) as a result of the lower enrollment, they are nowhere near the $56-$58,000 range that has been quoted recently both in community emails and the Times Herald Record.

Trustee Moon added that New York Law requires a medical safety net for students with disabilities and that this is very expensive.  “It’s not just education,” he stated, adding that less than 25% of the school budget was discretionary.

Other Business:

Moving on, Mayor McFadden noted that before closing the meeting he wanted to briefly address the sewer, which he thinks they might want to consider for the upcoming tax year.  He had previously suggested establishing a sewer district, but upon further research discovered that a Village could not do a sewer district.  However, a Village can establish an assessment of who pays what portion of the costs and then allocate the costs accordingly.

Mr. Nugent added that moving to a unit-based user type of system would provide several benefits.  One of these relates to the tax cap calculation because those funds would not count towards the calculation and this might give them some more room.  

Mayor McFadden asked Village Clerk Debbie Matthews what the overall cost of the system was, which was ultimately split equally between the property owners.

Mrs. Matthews answered that if debt payments were included, the figure would come to somewhere between $350-400,000. This represents operating expenses and salaries and it accounts for roughly 8% of the total budget. The debt comes from a direct loan the Village took to construct the sewer plant. 

Commenting that the Village would not be able to make any sort of profit off the move, the Mayor asked the Trustees to think about this as they moved forward into the next year.

back to top


Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 18, 2018

Click here to view the agenda for this meeting

back to top


Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting/Public Hearing on Tentative 2018/19 Village Budget, April 16, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Monday, April 16, for the purpose of conducting public hearings for Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018 and the Tentative 2018/19 Budget.  Trustee Moon was absent.

Public Hearing - Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018 (Tax Cap Override):
While the Tentative budget remains just under cap, the Board recognizes tha,t as a result of public input they may wish to add some additional items.  For this reason, they are proposing Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018, which will allow them to raise taxes above cap if necessary. 
Click here to listen to an audio recording of the hearing.

Public Hearing -2018-2019 Tentative Budget:
Click here to view a copy of the tentative budget.
Click here to listen to an audio recording of the hearing.

back to top


Solitude Lake Management (SLM) presentation, By Glenn Sullivan, Certified Lake Manager “Tuxedo Lakes; Village of Tuxedo Park, April 11, 2018

Mayor David McFadden introduced Mr. Sullivan who began that he was there “to talk about lakes… about what he saw as problems”. Using a powerpoint presentation, Mr. Sullivan started with a brief description of the three Village lakes’ watershed covering 8.24 square miles. 2/3rds of the 8.24 square miles is feeding the Wee Wah so greater impacts from watershed are felt in that lake.

Mr. Sullivan described the SLM process:

·   - Identify problem, he noted as a lake manager, he focuses “in lake” and not on the watershed. He sees the lakes’ major problems are algae and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). Tuxedo Park needs to address EWM and algae

·      - Review data/info-CSLAP, SLM, Phydro

·      - Discuss options focusing on plant and algae situation

·      - Review recommendation.

In answer to Dena Steele’s question of how he defined “a real blue-green algae problem” Mr. Sullivan   responded that  blue-green  algae blooming in summer at the height of warmest weather was problematic; an every year algae bloom in the fall was normal in a deep lake like Tuxedo Lake. 

A Wee Wah Lake Bathymetry map was presented.  Bathymetry maps for Tuxedo Lake and Pond No. 3 are needed .

Wishing to avoid a political discussion, Mr. Sullivan noted that a warming trend  encourages  algae growth, and that more algae can be expected in the future. Also contributing to favorable conditions for algae growth in Tuxedo Lake is the nutrient load, “whatever that is,” permanently at bottom of Tuxedo Lake . 

Claudio Guazzoni asked why nearby Sterling Lake does not have blue-green algae blooms or EWM. Mr. Sullivan was not familiar with situation in Sterling Lake, noting simply that EWM has to be introduced. Many factors contribute to algae blooms.

Mr. Guazzoni questioned the impact of salt from roads on the Village lakes. Mr. Sullivan acknowledged that road salt does change lakes’ chemistry and can have an impact.

He felt there might be some lawn fertilizer runoff contributing to Tuxedo Lake nutrient load, however, he suspects that most of the nutrient is “internally loaded”.

Jeff Marchand asked about the impact of fish population. Mr. Sullivan described the fish as part of the food chain and explained how the fish imbalance contributes to non effective grazing of photoplankton. Photoplankton is eaten by zooplankton which in turn is eaten by small fish which in turn are eaten by larger fish. Inadequate or inappropriate fish populations contribute to algae bloom. 

Susan Goodfellow asked about the impact of accumulating levels of CuSu (Copper Sulfate) on fish populations. CuSu is a heavy metal and does not biodegrade, leeching into soil. Mr. Sullivan’s impression is that the little amount of CuSu used in Tuxedo Lake would not increase soil levels. CuSu could be impacting oxygen levels through the decay of biomass though he does not suspect that is happening in Tuxedo Lake. 

Mr. Sullivan outlined the “problems that the Village wants to address:

·      - Tuxedo Lake

   - Algae blooms (the mid summer ones)

   - EWM

   - Phragmites

   - Fishing

·   - Little Wee Wah Lake (Pond No.3)

   - Algae blooms (plankton and mat algae)

   - EWM

·  -  Wee Wah Lake

   - Algae blooms?

  -  EWM

   - Swimming conditions

Mr. Sullivan repeatedly stressed “unmanaged EWM negatively affects water quality.” When EWM grows to surface and is allowed to develop into mats, water movement stops, resulting in warming water, creating attractive substrata for algae growth and worsening water conditions. 

Turning to a review of Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) data, Mr. Sullivan was not aware that all three lakes were part of Tuxedo Park’s CSLAP program and not just Tuxedo Lake.  Presenting 2016 and some 2017 CSLAP sampling results (full 2017 results are not yet available) for Tuxedo Lake SLM’s concerns are:

   - Clarity—below average, particularly in July

   - Total phosphorus—above average, up in July, increasing productivity

   - Total nitrogen—above average, up in July

   - Chlorophyll A—above average up in summer, spiking in July.

Ms. Steele pointed out that the CSLAP Results for 2016 started in July after one of the worst algae blooms that she had seen in almost thirty years of observing Tuxedo Lake had occurred the month prior. The bloom looked like blue latex paint. Both nitrogen and Chlorophyll A were above average in July, probably reflecting the earlier significant algae bloom.

None of the results addressed salinity, observed Ms. Steele, an increasing concern for promoting blue-green algae blooms. She wondered if the Village was monitoring salinity levels as research is showing alarming increases in freshwater lakes. Mr. Sullivan responded that they were not directly ,monitoring other things not included in his summary of results. Questioned about trends in salinity levels, SLM will look at 2017 CSLAP results for salinity level trends and comment later.

Mr. Guazzoni questioned the dramatic increase in phosphorus. Mr. Sullivan noted that algae growth will increase phosphorus levels. When algae dies, phosphorus levels should go down.

Presenting charts on Tuxedo Lake: secchi depth, plants perception, and temperature, years 2008-2016., Mr. Sullivan explained that trends are all going in the wrong direction: decreasing clarity, rising water temperature, and greater impairment from below and at surface plants. Bottom lake temperatures experienced a sharp increase and this could be a real concern. 

Carlyn Cappella asked about when the monitoring the lakes had first begun, which Mr. Sullivan suspected started with the CSLAP effort.

Next, Mr. Sullivan presented maps of plants in Tuxedo Lake and the maps from 2011 and 2017 showing the spread of EWM. He described the methodology using a weed rake at 140 sites to understanding lake plant communities. Tuxedo Lake has native water celery, excellent for wildlife, southern naiad, and bass weed, best fish habitat.  Tuxedo Lake does not have a lot of native plant coverage in littoral zone (where sunlight still reaches lake bottom).  The continued spread of EWM could crowd out what modest native plant distribution is existing in Tuxedo Lake.

Mr. Guazzoni asked about planting native plants and Mr. Sullivan responded that only eelweed has been successful.

Highest density of EWM is at the dam and south end of lake, David McFadden asked why.  The flow of lake water towards  dam and high organic material at south end of lake might explain high densities. Mr. McFadden asked if other lakes were infested with Tuxedo Lake EWM fragments, flowing into Pond No. 3 and Wee Wah. Mr. Sullivan answered, “Sure.”

He warned of the continued spread of EWM around the whole lake through annual natural  ragmentation, but not knowing exactly the littoral zone of Tuxedo Lake he could not be sure of how bad it could be.

Length of EWM plants depends on clarity so in Tuxedo Lake could grow to 15-20’, creating its own advantage by clarifying the water

Mr. Sullivan did not elucidate about the impact of road salt. Chiu Yin Hempel asked the impact of erosion along shoreline and why some areas were more receptive to EWM. Mr. Sullivan felt organic material accumulating at the south end of the lake and littoral zone would contribute to a favorable EWM habitat. He has not looked at the shoreline.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed three methods of plant control: 

·   - Physical

   - Mechanical Harvesting 

  - Hydro-raking

   - Suction/hand harvesting

   - Benthic barriers, low tech approach, cost prohibitive $20,000 to cover an acre, will “sediment” over if not maintain properly, nothing grows underneath, best for personal dock area.

Mr. Sullivan explained that “harvesting” spreads Milfoil through creation of fragments, so most physical methods were not recommended especially if the infested area is greater then five acres. Mr. Sullivan dismissed the DASH methodology of harvesting which focuses on capturing fragments through not hand feeding the plant into the vacuum and triple filtering the water. 

Ms. Steele questioned the SLM’s opinion of harvesting reading from a Paul Smith College study, “Cost and Effectiveness of Hand Harvesting to Control the EWM Population in Upper Saranac Lake, NY:

“Results indicate that hand harvesting is a viable management technique for achieving whole-lake control of Eurasion watermilfoil; …” “…Hand harvesting has been used successfully in Lake George…” 

Ms. Steele pointed out that the people working on Upper Saranac Lake had found hand harvesting to be so effective in getting on top of the EWM that they are using it now in Fish Creek. She did not understand Mr. Sullivan’s opinion. He suggested she ask how much of  Lake George was being managed and who was paying for it. He further  suggested that the government was paying for it and not homeowners in most cases. He estimated a cost of $5,000 to $10,000 an acre and looking at Tuxedo Lake’s map, he did not think hand/suction harvesting was an acceptable management tool. Tuxedo Park has already spent $184,000 on EWM removal which “did not get us anywhere”. Ms. Steele suggested that perhaps the Village had not been aggressive and dedicated in its harvesting approach. Upper Saranac Lake had an aggressive three year plan, raising money through a foundation to achieve an acceptable level of EWM that could be maintained by continued hand harvesting at a reasonable cost (now at $90 an acre). Upper Saranac Lake recognized that the best that could be hoped for was achieving an acceptable maintenance level since EWM could never be fully eliminated once introduced, maintaining for perpetuity unless chemicals are applied every year. Mr. Sullivan said Ms. Steele should look into the details to see what he was talking about to which she responded she had already looked into the details. 

Mrs. Goodfellow questioned  how the Village  had applied the funds used in the harvesting effort, whether there had been a consistent program in place and how effectively was it implemented. Mr. Sullivan did not respond.

·      - Biological 

   - Grass carp, eat milfoil after eating natives and not easily approved by NYS DEC except for small ponds

   - Herbivores, insects which feed on EWM, sometimes suppress EWM, not a reliable management tool

     - Chemical

   - Herbicides 

   - Algaecides

When asked about intentionally drawing down the lake to dry and freeze plants, Mr. Sullivan responded that to have any success of delaying growth and suppressing EWM six weeks of contentious freezing temperatures are needed. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of the necessary prolonged cold to freeze the lake bottom and kill the plants.  EWM roots are in the top two- three inches of lake bottom.

 Jim Hays asked how one could tell if EWM had been killed and Mr. Sullivan thought that one could dig up and check, but he was not sure. He has seen delays in EWM sprouting in spring after an intentional drawdown but never an elimination. Shoreline ecology is negatively impacted by drawdown.

Asked about torching exposed weeds, Mr. Sullivan did not know results and guessed  the NYS DEC would not approve burning . Ellen Gluck asked about weeding EWM out of lake after a drawdown. Mr. Sullivan thought this could be done with a huge effort because of the thousands of individual plants. Mr. Libby asked whether the Village was going to monitor the Wee Wah after the recent drawdown. Mr. Sullivan agreed that the current level of the Wee Wah provides a test case and should be surveyed.

Mr. Sullivan queried cost of hand harvesting but gave no comparison of alternative methods costs for five-ten years of management.

Greg Libby asked about growth cycle and wondered whether EWM was growing now.   Mr. Sullivan responded that it was and that one could see the EWM plant dormant but not dead even under ice. 

Mr. Sullivan reviewed timing and negatives of using herbicides for plant control:

·      Timing

  -  best in Spring, early summer

    - Uptake highest during growth

   - Less biomass decay

   - More available dissolved oxygen, colder water temperatures hold more oxygen 

·     - Negatives—ecological and lake use

   - Plant decay uses oxygen—SLM test first

  - Less plants = more algae-sometimes in eutrophic lakes (Tuxedo Lake is trending to a eutrophic state though not enough of a nutrient load to shift)

   - Plant removal changes where the fish can be found

   - Herbicides have irrigation restrictions

   - NYSDEC Region 3 restricts swimming for a day 

   - NYSDEC has obstructive permit requirements

   - NYSDEC requires notices based on dilution (downstream impacts)

Mr. Hays asked whether these herbicides biodegrade and what is their lifetime. They do biodegrade and their half lives vary from a week to three months. Mrs. Goodfellow asked if the herbicides can sink to bottom or get flushed out.The answer was that some flows out, but a majority stays in lake and is absorbed by plants. Some will fall to bottom and decompose. Herbicides have different breakdowns.

Mr. Sullivan was confident of the efforts of the NYS DEC to review all herbicides after EPA approval, and while not prepared to guarantee the water quality after treatment felt the Village should rely on the expertise and diligence of the NYS DEC.

Mr. Sullivan presented herbicides for plant control:

·      - Sonar, can use in drinking water reservoir, says so on label, a common product for EWM, last for two to three years, breaks down plants ability to protect itself from sunlight, slow process

·      - Aquathol K, needs to be 1200’ from drinking water intake

·      - Navigate

·      - Rodeo

·      - Renovate, and Navigate make plant “outgrow its food”, selective to broadleaf plants

·      - Komeen/Nautique, Cu based, good for six weeks

·      - ProcellaCOR EC, newest, registered in most states, not NY, lowest toxicity , very selective in killing plants, will stay where you put it.

“All of the above are used in NY lakes with permits. All of the above can be used in potable water reservoirs.”

Asked about spraying plants after a drawdown of lake, Mr. Sullivan said this would not be effective as plants would not be active and absorbing the herbicides when they were not under water.

Christopher Gow asked what Croton Reservoir was using for hydrilla infestation. SONAR was expected to be used.

Dolores Marchand asked about Rodeo and Renovate and the troubling discoveries after years of related Roundup use. How long have these products been studied? SONAR has been used since 1983 and application rates have been decreased. All these herbicides have to have an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) which the public can read. Mr. Sullivan indicated that Rodeo does not have the hard surfactants that make Roundup dangerous in water.

Mr. Guazzoni asked about water filters removing chemicals and application of herbicide. Activated carbon filters are usually needed to remove for most chemicals. Liquid herbicides are sprayed on surfaces or injected into water through drop hoses. Granular herbicides are distributed by a spreader.  He does not recommend night application or application on a windy day.

Mr. Libby asked about tenting which Mr. Sullivan felt was effective in small areas.

Mrs. Hempel asked about effectiveness of herbicides: will the EWM come back?

Mr. Sullivan rhetorically asked if herbicides were a silver bullet. “No,” he said, “ too many variables for a silver bullet to exist.” Most lakes who manage EWM do so over time:

·      - Year one-apply SONAR, EWM gone

·      - Year two-still gone

·      - Year three-starts to come back

·      - Year fourth-retreat with SONAR

Mr. Hays asked if maintenance can be done by pulling. Areas with circulation will experience faster regrowth. Some clients do try to reach a level where hand harvest is adequate. Herbicide treatment does require follow-up. 

Mr. Sullivan does believe that herbicide use had better control days results then other methods, i.e., one day of application “have control of invasive”.

Mr. Sullivan reviewed algae control methods:

·     - Algaecides

   - Copper sulfate (no permit)

   - Earthtec (no permit) more expensive then Cu based algaecides

   - Other copper algaecide

   - SeClear algaecide, binds with phosphorus and sinks to bottom, probable ALUM sulfate and does not release

   - Greenclean algaecide, peroxide based, preventative proactive algaecide, weekly application suggested, need permit, 10x more expensive then CuSu

   - Sonic solutions

·      - Aeration, both below surface for deeper bodies of water and above for small shallow ponds (3 to 6’), lack of oxygen at bottom of lake encourages release of nutrients promoting algae growth

·      - Nutrient Inactivation, use of Alumium sulfate

·     -  Biomanipulation


Mrs. Goodfellow asked about the NYS DEC rationale for requiring CuSu sediment sampling.  Mr. Sullivan said NYS DEC responded to one employee expressing concerns about the build up of Cu in sediment. Plus research ,though not in NY , is showing higher Cu in sediment which can effect microvertebrates and zooplankton.

Mrs. Goodfellow asked about SeClear, which has not been forthcoming about their formulations and also about other herbicides. Mr. Sullivan responded that one would always know the active ingredient but EIS is based only on formulation.

Mrs. Hempel asked about the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) process after Mr. Sullivan suggested reading for comfort on impact of different herbicides. He said an EIS was a large body of evidence, a lot of EIS are done by Washington University.

Mr. Sullivan, without a bathmthymetry map showing the exact contours of Tuxedo Lake, was unsure of EWM infestation (15 acres or not) or size of littoral zone (could be 50 acres). 

Mr. Libby asked about cost per acre of herbicide application. SONAR (and all herbicides) pricings can range from $250 to $1500 an acre depending on the individual project.

SONAR does not have drinking water restrictions. Navigate has a weeklong restriction.

Mr. Hays asked about the relationship of development around lakes and algae blooms. Vacationing in the Adirondacks for a lifetime he has not seen an algae blooms in the Adirondacks. He acknowledged that trees are everywhere, no lawns, and forested shorefronts are required by the Adirondack Park Agency. Doesn’t algae have to be related to development? Mr. Sullivan acknowledged development is a factor. At the recent Governor Cuomo launch of the Harmful Algae Bloom initiative, episodic events (an example is rain water funneled into a storm water system that picks up chemicals from roads, yards, roofs  and empties into waterbodies instead of being absorbed into a forest floor or slowed down and absorbed by long grasses)  were recognized as  becoming more common and having a greater impact. Development increases those episodic events. Speaking only to the low density of housing in Tuxedo Park but not how the handling of stormwater was changed, Mr. Sullivan suggested that the Park’s low housing density is a big plus.

Ms. Steele said if the Park were to be created today, Tuxedo Lake would not have houses around it with increasingly more lawns running down to the lake but rather a chain link fence with a large vegetative buffer surrounding it. Tuxedo Park’s accessible reservoir is unusual and is one reason why the Village is so protective of its lakes. “We, the residents of Tuxedo Park, are protecting the lakes, not the NYS DEC.”

Ms. Steele also asked about the cost of the Wee Wah aeration, initial and maintenance. (See below for answer.) 

Nutrient inactivatio  is  the addition of aluminum sulfate to bind with phosphorus,stopping release into water body.

Ms. Steele asked about the chemistry of the Village lakes, existing and with the addition of more chemicals through herbicides. How do they know what is going on chemically in the lakes now (road salt, goose poop, etc), how do they know how these new chemicals (herbicides) will impact the chemistry and how do they monitor? Mr. Sullivan stated that the Village water department is watching now, testing,  He has seen reports that show a process to take the harmful things out of the water before they reach the residents. CSLAP is looking as well. Ms. Steele expressed her concerns that a lot was going on chemically  in the lakes and  that perhaps they are not fully aware of: studies showing increasing salinity in freshwater bodies, Princeton Hydro at a recent PRISM workshop noting that CuSu treatments could actually be encouraging blue-green algae. She continued that the Village’s drinking water reservoir does not have the normal protections (vegetative buffers, chain link fences, etc) so the community has to be more protective. Mr. Sullivan responded that he could only make recommendations but he could not make the Village manage the lake. If the Village decides to let the lake go… Ms. Steele said she was not proposing that at all. She does not want to see decisions made without a full understanding of the nature of the lake. Mr. Sullivan feels that the Village has a pretty good picture. He thinks that the (2009) Princeton-Hydro report was pretty thorough and provided a good overview of the situation. One of his recommendations is to continue CSLAP, which he feels is a very valuable tool.

Mr. Libby reviewed the usually budget driven fish stocking, which has been occurring since the Park’s creation, and wondered whether the Village had been doing it wrong.  He asked if the Village should be directly harvesting the herring. Mr. Sullivan acknowledged that he is not a fishery biologist and believes stocking trout makes sense in keeping herring population down. He did not know if harvesting would be beneficial, not having a fishery survey to go on. In years past, fishery studies had been recommended. The Village could hire SLM to do a fish study or the Village could just monitor and consciously document what the fishing community is catching. The information would be valuable. He could not say whether harvesting herring or stocking trout was better. Nevertheless, he is suggesting that the Village stock trout for another year. 

Ms. Steele pointed out that when asked about biomanipulation (specifically stocking of Tuxedo Lake and the effects ) in April of 2014,  Chris Doyle of Allied Biological (a predecessor company of SLM) recommended that before undertaking any sort of biomanipulation, the Village should  conduct more studies, especially  a fish study. Also, at the same time, the NYS DEC wrote in reference to blue-green algae blooms in Tuxedo Lake “ Theoretically, it is possible that an ecological link between the fish populations in the lake and the algae blooms MAY exist”.  Ms. Steele queried about the benefit of a fish study before more money was spent on stocking the lake. Mrs. Goodfellow also felt a better understanding of the fish population would make subsequent actions of the Village more effective. 

2018 Plans/ Mr. Sullivan’s recommendation:

Tuxedo Lake

·      - Make suction harvesting very targeted, to save money for a better method next year.

·      - Continued use of Algaecide CuSu of control algae- based on low cost, no permit needed in drinking water reservoir,. Would rather the Village use SeClear but more expensive 

·      Regularly monitor phytoplankton June to September at least every other week, not waiting until DPW becomes concerned and sends sample to SLM, samples would cost  $150 and would evaluate the likelihood of an algae bloom.  

·      - Survey/map plants at end of season and be prepared for action in 2019

Mrs. Gluck asked about managing phragmites, sooner as opposed to later. Mr. Sullivan stated that phragmites would only increase 10-20% in a year and he did not want to overwhelm the community with another herbicide application. Mrs. Gluck suggested plastic tarp covering phragmites. Mr. Sullivan said cutting down, removing biomass and covering would treat for a season but he would not promise eradication.

Mr. Guazzoni asked what experience SLM had with artificial lakes. 95% of SLM clients are manmade.

Pond No, 3

·      - Herbicide with Navigate (granular 2, 4-D) to control EWM in half of the surface area (5-6 acres) as a “test case” so the community could become comfortable with use of herbicides. Navigate will not harm native plant. From what he saw last year a couple of times , the pond needs EWM control. 

·      - Apply Algaecid eCutrine Plus (liquid chelated copper to control filamentous algae)

·      - Permits from DEC before an application (permit has been applied for. NYS DEC contacting residents on or near Pond No. 3) to allow flexibility in proceeding. 

·      - Survey lake before and after EWM treatment. Expect results in 6 to 8 weeks.

Mr. Sullivan feels that the Village should have a “no surprise” herbicide experience. No better way to manage EWM. 

There will be no need to notify folks downstream as the area to be treated is less then 7 acres. 7 acres or more of treatment would require downstream notification. Mr. Sullivan deliberately structured his recommendation to avoid additional notifications. Tuxedo Park lakes are part of the Ramapo River watershed.

           When asked by Ms. Steele about EWM fragments continuing to enter and re-infesting Pond No. 3, Mr. Sullivan suggested incoming water from Tuxedo Lake should be filtered to catch fragments.

Audrey Perry asked about the absence of pine trees along Tuxedo Lake which in former years dropped a carpet of  pine needles in lake not leaves, wondering whether the Village should take down deciduous trees. Mr. Sullivan said it would be worse as the trees provide cooling shade in the shallowest part of the lake. He is not sure if the Village  needs more trees. 

Wee Wah Lake

·      - Survey lake to assess plant growth and impact of drawdown

·      - Village should monitor algae growth by observations and pass on to SLM

·      - Install aeration a beach area, one compressor and 3 diffusers, $7,000 to install $500 to 1,000 annual maintenance and plus electricity

·      - Plan to control  for 2019


Long-term Strategy for EWM & HABs (harmful algae blooms)

EWM control

·      - Use systemic herbicides purposefully for 2 years. Mr. Sullivan emphasized the need to be more aggressive upfront and suggested three years of herbicide treatmentfor best results.

·      - Encourage native plants—bass weed, eelgrass

·     - DO NOT harvest plants or lower lake annually (creates a different lake eco system and weather unreliable)

HAB control

·       - Nutrient reduction actions

·      - Increase community education/awareness

·      - Increase plankton monitoring

·      - Treat pro-actively (Earthtec, SeClear)

·      - Maintain water treatment facility

·      - Manage fisheries

Referencing the use of suction and hand harvesting in the Adirondacks, Mr. Sullivan suggested that the lake associations were not spending their own money and physical harvesting created jobs in the Adirondacks. He mentioned the use of herbicides as opposed to hand harvesting in Minerva Lake.

Mrs. Goodfellow asked why Adirondacks continues to use harvesting methods and relevant current research. Mr. Sullivan responded that he is not a research person but has years of experience on which to base his decision. Mr. Sullivan is confident that the herbicides are well tested by EPA providing a level of confidence. Nancy Hays asked, “if this was the old EPA or the new EPA?”

He feels there is not enough financial incentive for herbicide companies to cheat with aquatic plant herbicides. 

.Mrs. Hempel recommended SLM walk around lake to see shoreline vegetation and stressed the need for a plan, specifically a three year plan addressing preventative measures not just treating symptoms. Mr. Sullivan responded that prevention is too late for EWM, but there are prevention methods for algae.

Ms. Steele who recently spoke to a town council person, David Labar, in Minerva, read from her notes of the conversation,

“ starting in 2016, Minerva hired Aqualogic to DASH harvest (EWM) and it was a ‘game changer’…tackling the most dense areas, feeder beds…By 2020 they hope to be in a maintenance mode..” Mr. Sullivan asked about cost which was a $1,000 a day.

SLM highlights steps in Princeton Hydro 2009 Lakes Management Plan

Tuxedo Lake

·      - Phytoplankton/Zooplankton monitoring

·      - Fishery survey

·      - Educational information for residents

Pond No. 3

·      - Bathymetric survey

·      - Stormwater retrofits, Mr. Sullivan observed that the Village should annually clean retrofits for maximum protection of lakes, otherwise a waste of original investment

Wee Wah Lake

·      - Treat with Greenclean Pro, as needed

·      -InsItall beach aeration

·      - Conduct bathymetric survey-done

·      - Address stormwater mgmt. at DPW yard

·      - Install salt storage facility


·      - Streambank buffers Mr. Sullivan’s opinion of the good condition of the buffers was corrected; according to audience, the buffers are actually in poor condition

·      - Phosphorus free fertilizer ordinance -already done by Village

·      - Education on Canada geese

Mr. Hays asked about vegetative buffers along lake which Mr. Sullivan thought was a good idea. Lawns to the water are generally bad. Some type of buffer is an absolute benefit.

Diane Larsen asked about application of lime on lawns to deter geese. Mr. Sullivan did not know about lime. He is familiar with a grape based substance which if consistently applied discourages geese who do not like taste.


Mr. Sullivan presented summaries of three comparables, two residential communities and one corporate headquarter. None of the lakes were drinking water reservoirs, but all were manmade. At the corporate headquarters, a 6-10 foot shoreline aquascaping has proved effective in deterring geese. He will provide photographs.

Comparable:  Borough of Scenic Lakes and Distinctive homes” (Borough Mountain Lakes) has weekly monitoring April through September of multiple lakes, ranging in size from half an acre to 80 acres and three dates in summer to test water quality and phytoplankton. The other residential comp, “Community of Forested Lakes” had monthly lake surveys and summer biweekly phytoplankton testing in all five lakes and have been controlling EWM, other weeds and algae for 25 years.   Both residential comps had storm-water management activities including redirecting storm-water away from main lake.

There were no reservoir comparables  as any SLM reservoir clients are only treating algae not EWM.

 Mr. Libby asked if SONAR were to be used on Tuxedo Lake should the Village recommend bypassing the lake for water during application process. Mr. Sullivan responded that If SONAR were to be used, he would be completely comfortable using the water supply. If the Village were using Aquathol K there would have to be drinking water restrictions. Mrs. Goodfellow asked if he was so comfortable with SONAR, would SLM guarantee our reservoir water quality and resident health?

Mr. Gow asked about preventing new invasives from coming in lakes. Mr. Sullivan felt that not having a public boat launch and the Park steam cleaning were effective preventative methods. No other private lake requires steam cleaning. Perhaps signage at the boat launch would be helpful.  The Village could also inspect once a year for invasives.  SLM would charge $4,000 for this service, or the Village could do it themselves.  Educating residents on identity of invasives is also very important.

Post treatment of chemical requires vigilance of root crowns and further treatments.

Mr. Sullivan is more concerned about unpredictable biologicals then well studied herbicides.

Boaters pulling out fragments found in lakes will be helpful in reducing infestation.

Village has been reactionary in treating algae and EWM is not part of a managed plan. 

Ms. Steele asked what is the benefit of only doing half of Pond No. 3? Mr. Sullivan wants to see impact before treating the whole lake.

Mrs. Hempel asked for a three year strategic plan with variables, likely commitments, the preventative and so on, so far. Mr.Sullivan suggested that the Village start following Princeton Hydro plan. Mrs. Hempel highly recommends that Mr. Sullivan walk around the lakes to understand impact of topography. SLM is working on a longer-term plan but still has variable the Village does not understand.  She stressed the need for a better vision. Mrs. Goodfellow feels the long-term plan should acknowledge current research especially as there is no guarantee being given by any one about the long term health of the lakes. 

When asked about filtering water flowing into the lakes, Mr. Sullivan suggested an ordinance maintaining a six-foot buffer. Members of the audience suggested much wider.

Mr. Hays noted that the method Mr. Sullivan was recommending of multiple years of herbicide applications has not been done very often. Mr. Sullivan agreed but feels that his proposed method is likely to have better results.


back to top


From The Mayor's Desk April 11, 2018

PRESENTATION BY SOLITUDE LAKES MANAGEMENT – This Evening, Wednesday, 4/11/2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Village Hall. Q&A regarding the conditions of our lake, and drinking water, and Milfoil saturation.

PUBLIC HEARING ON TENTATIVE BUDGET - April 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
The Board of Trustees has approved a Tentative Budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

As proposed, the Budget is narrowly within the "tax cap".  The Budget is a work in progress and may be revised following the public hearing.  To provide flexibility, the Board has also proposed a local law which would allow the budgeted tax levy to exceed the tax cap.  A hearing on the proposed local law will be held on April 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., immediately prior to the hearing on the Tentative Budget.




back to top


Village Proposes Local Law Allowing Tax Levy To Exceed Cap

Although as currently proposed, this year’s Village Budget is narrowly within the “tax cap,” in order to provide flexibility, the Board of Trustees has proposed a local law which would allow the budgeted tax levy to exceed the tax cap.  A public hearing for both the proposed local law and the Tentative Budget will take place on Monday, April 16 at 7pm.  

back to top


Public Hearing on Tentative 2018/19 Village Budget - April 16 - 7pm

The Board of Trustees has approved a Tentative Budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

As proposed, the Budget is narrowly within the “tax cap”.  The Budget is a work in progress and may be revised following the public hearing.  In order to provide flexibility, the Board has also proposed a local law which would allow the budgeted tax levy to exceed the tax cap.  A hearing on the proposed local law will be held on April 16, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., immediately prior to the hearing on the Tentative Budget.

Click to view:  2018-2019 Tentative Budget

Click to view Introductory Local Law:  Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018-Overriding Tax Cap

Click to view public hearing notices:  PH Notice Local Law Introductory D3 of 2018 and Special Meeting & Budget PH on 4-16-18

back to top


Board of Trustee Meeting March 28, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking everyone for attending.  The Village is in a triad period of responsibilities with the budget process underway and the final assessment rolls for 2018-19 about to be concluded.  

DPW Report:

On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Voss reported that the March 7 snowstorm of 30" was a brutal one.  In their efforts to keep the narrow Village Roads clear, there was some damage done by the plows.  Minor damages also occurred following the storm as the department used the loader to move large piles of snow.  Thankfully, none of the damage was major and the Supervisor stressed that sometimes in situations such as these, things like this are inevitable.

Mayor McFadden responded that he had he had put out a note to the public earlier that day suggesting that the Board would try and find a way to help monitor the situation and find out under what conditions the property damage issues had taken place as a way to help with safety.  To this end, he would like to propose a resolution, however he noted that before doing so he would like to gather feedback and suggestions from the Superintendent.  He further suggested that a driver’s log might be appropriate, but recognized that there were Union rules that needed to be accommodated and other things to be taken into consideration as well.  He asked Superintendent Voss whether he might be able to compile some thoughts in time for the next Board meeting at which point they could discuss it further and move things forward with the involvement of the public.  Superintendent Voss agreed to do this and all of the Trustees agreed that this was a sensible approach.

Work on filter #2 at the water plant continues and is going well.  Currently they are waiting for parts and media to come in.  The exterior work on the Ridge Road tanks is done.  Next they will isolate the tanks and drain them one at a time so that work on the inside can commence.  

There followed a discussion about road salt.  Trustee Gluck inquired as to how much more had been used this year as opposed to last year.

The Superintendent responded that he did not believe it was much, maybe 100 tons. Ordinarily at the beginning of the winter, the department has a full barn of salt, but this year they started the season with nothing.  He thanked Mayor McFadden for authorizing the purchase of 100 more tons of salt prior to the recent snowstorm.  

The Mayor added that the timing of the purchase was important as it allowed the Village to save some money.

Superintendent Voss concurred, adding that the Village had saved roughly $500.

Trustee McHugh wondered where they would be at the beginning of next season and Superintendent Voss replied that the barn would be roughly 25% full (provided there are no further storms this season)

Police Reports:

On behalf of the Police Department, sergeant Taback reported the following for the month of February:

Non-Criminal Complaints – 291

Criminal Complaints – 9 (8 closed by investigation, 1 closed by arrest)

Property Damage Accidents – 2

Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 19

Warning Tickets Issued – 4

Fire Alarms – 2

Intrusion Alarms – 2

Medical Calls – 3

Assists Given to The Town of Tuxedo Police – 1

Assists Given to The Orange County Sheriff – 2

Assists Received – 0

Resident Vehicle Tags Issued (YTD) – 892

Non-Resident Vehicle Tags Issued (YTD) – 292

Patrol Miles Traveled - 18,077 

Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.

Mayor McFadden inquired about the number of overtime hours worked and Sgt. Taback responded 18.

The Mayor noted that this was a significant improvement over previous months and the Sgt. agreed.  The Mayor further noted that they would be approving a new part-time officer later in the evening and he asked the Sgt. whether he had met him.  

Sgt. Taback responded that he had met him and completed his background check.  Officer William Vanson is a 25 year vet of the NYPD, currently assigned to the Civil Unit.  He is a resident of Rockland County but lives within 10 miles of the Village.   Officer Vanson was present at Ground Zero and is a family man, married with two sons.  “An all around great guy,” added the Sgt.. 

Mayor McFadden agreed that it sounded like he would make a strong addition to the Village force.

Dena Steele inquired after the jaw bone that was discovered in the Wee Wah several months back and wondered whether there had been any progress in determining what had happened there, noting that they last she had heard, the bone was post 1830, but that there had been no further details.  

The Sgt. responded that the case was open and ongoing.  There are five agencies involved with the Village Police leading the investigation.    He further stated that at the current time he could not provide any further information other than that they had recovered human remains that were consistent with a jawbone and tooth.

Ms. Steele wondered if they had any sense as to when the case would be resolved.

Sgt. Taback responded that a lot of it would depend on DNA results.  There are several types of DNA and while they have received some preliminary information, they have learned very little and are awaiting further results.  

Trustee Moon added that the reason they had been able to date the remains as being post 1830 was because the tooth had a filling in it, and prior to 1830 teeth in the United States were not filled.

 Building Report:

Click here to view a copy of the Building Report.

It was recently discovered that the Village did not allocate any money in the 2017/18 budget for sewer improvements.  Prior budgets allotted approximately $200,000 for this project to cover both evaluations and repairs of the system and to comply with DEC agreements that were made several years ago.

The Mayor inquired as to what the agreements were.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the Village had tentatively agreed to conduct an ongoing evaluation and make repairs to the system in order to help reduce in the amount of inflow and infiltration.  

Mayor McFadden asked who had signed the agreement.

Mr. Ledwith replied that nothing had been signed.  Rather there was a meeting and some correspondence between the Village and the DEC several years back, in which the Village agreed that they would continue to make repairs to the system in the amount of $200,000 annually, however nothing had been allocated to the project in 2017.  Because of this, nothing has been done and the Village is a little bit at risk as a result.

Trustee McHugh commented that the Village had spent $200,000 in 2016 to make repairs to the system on Club House Road.  Nothing was spent last year, but the Village is committed to another $400,000 spend over the next few years as per an agreement that was reached between Engineers Westin & Sampson, the DEC and the Village.  $200,000 had tentatively been placed into this year’s budget in order to honor this commitment.  

The Village is anxiously awaiting draft plans for the Pond #3 Bridge from their engineer.  They are hopeful to be able to utilize the DPW to complete a majority of these repairs over the summer.  Additionally,  they are awaiting some technical background from the engineers so that they can move forward with replacing some of the wooden components on the Tuxedo Lake Spillway, which have rotted out over time.

The Ridge Road water tank project is about 40% complete.  Both tanks have been cleaned outside.  All seams have been resealed.  The missing bolts covers and safety placards have been installed.  Upcoming plans include emptying one tank at a time over the next 2-4 months to allow for leak detection inside the tanks.  They are hopeful they will find some leaks there that will help to justify why the Water Department is losing so much potable water.  They will also clean the inside of the tanks and install a protection system at that time, which will prevent long-term corrosion.

The Water Department is losing 60-70% of the potable water it produces and this has been the case for some time.  It was discovered somewhat recently that the Village had been using potable water to clean the sewage filter, which is not necessary and so this practice was abandoned, but it did not alleviate the issue.  

The Mayor wondered whether they were using different companies to go through system by system, in order to determine where the leaks were.

The answer was yes.

He then wondered what percentage of the system had been covered.

The answer was 0.

Next he wanted to know if they had looked at the piping that ran under Tuxedo Lake.

Trustee McHugh replied that A&E diving had taken a look along the pipe pathway in order to see whether there was anything obvious with regard to damage.  He went on to explain that they had been attempting to prioritize and deal with “low hanging fruit” first.  To this end they had begun with the work on Filter #2, followed by the maintenance and on water towers.  Next they will begin to quarter off different sections of the Park and look closely at the meters so they can see what they have billed vs. what they are pumping.  They are still in the early stages of the project.

Trustee Barnet commented that in his view, the issues at the Water Department were some of the most serious issues facing the Village.    “We have two water filters.  We are supposed to have one in reserve and one active with frequent rotation between the two.  We had one that was down for at least two years, which meant that if something had happened to the other one, there would have been no water in the Village.  This is a very serious issue.  The major tanks where the water is pumped and stored were purchased 20+ years ago and there has been no maintenance on them.  There are hydrants that don’t work!  Over 60% of the water we produce is not accounted for….lost!  The sewers are also antiquated.”

The Mayor agreed that these were obviously very important projects.

There followed a discussion about various leak detection studies that had taken place over the past several years.  Trustee McHugh noted that unfortunately in a couple of cases the Village had dropped the ball on moving forward after reports had been issued.

Trustee Barnett suggested that they could use a system of regulators to help them determine what the specific issues are. “For example water goes under the lake, so you set up a regulator where it goes in, and when it comes out you can see how much water was lost in transit under the lake.  There are ways of addressing this and we are going to do it.”

The Mayor added that over the past couple of months as things had been unfolding a the water plant, they had begun digging through all sorts of files and had come across many agreements and engineering reports that had been compiled but not acted upon and they were working to bring all of these things to the surface and have them put into the system in a fool proof way on a real time basis so that future Boards would be able to access the information.  Violations are being addressed first and any remaining projects that were never addressed will be become budget issues.

Mr. Ledwith next reported that most of the work on filter #2 has been completed.  They are waiting for two more critical pieces, which are expected to arrive the week of April 9.  By the end of the month the project should be complete with the filter back up and running.  Water will be thoroughly and carefully tested before being pumped back into the system.

Trustee Barnett asked for a total estimated cost of this project.

Mr. Ledwith responded that the painting had been roughly $50,000, the parts $20,000 and the technician $5,000.  In total roughly $75-80,000.

The Mayor pointed out that if the Village had kept up with regular maintenance, it was likely that none of the work would have been necessary.

Finally, Mr. Ledwith reported that work had been picking up at the Wee Wah dam since the winter weather has begun to subside.  

With regard to the proposed Verizon cell tower, Mr. Ledwith is still waiting for a response from the company concerning a balloon test.

Planning Board, Board of Architectural Review and Board of Zoning Appeals updates were then given.

Mayor McFadden noted that Deputy Chair to the BAR, Julia Simet, had recently resigned her post after many years and that as a result that Board is looking for a new member.  Interested parties should submit their resume to Debbie in Village Office.

Committee Reports:

Grant Writer – Grant Writer Fred Rella began by reporting that the New York State Environmental Facility Corps runs a 25% grant program for sewer type projects once or twice per year.  He feels that the $200,000 project could be a good contender, although he noted that generally projects under a consent order get the highest priority and the Village is not in this position.  

Arbor Day is coming up on April 27.  This year, the Village will be commemorating the event on Wednesday, April 18 in conjunction with Tuxedo Park School.  Students will visit the racetrack for a lecture after which they will plant saplings.  Additionally, there will be a tree planting ceremony at 11:30 am to which all the Board members are invited.  Each year, the Village must pass a proclamation acknowledging Arbor Day with a celebration of some kind.  Mayor McFadden read this proclamation aloud and signed it.

Both the Mayor and Lakes Committee member Dena Steele had asked Mr. Rella to investigate the possibility of grant monies that could be used to aid with Milfoil abatement.  After checking with several agencies, the unfortunate bottom line is that there are not any specific grants available at this time however, Mr. Rella believes that once the State of New York has passed their budget, Senator Bonacic will be offering a 70% grant opportunity for equipment, which might be applicable.  

Mayor McFadden asked that Mr. Rella work with Lakes Committee Chair Jim Hays on this and it was agreed that he would do so.

Officer Taback then reported that he and Mr. Rella has worked together on some grants several years back which had finally come to fruition.  The Police Department will be getting car computers for two of their vehicles, which will help to streamline ticket writing and report taking.  They were also able to obtain $10,000 worth of recording equipment for use with felony cases. (taking statements, etc.)

Trustee McHugh inquired after the license plate readers, which they had been actively pursuing.

Mr. Rella responded that the grant had been awarded for the equipment to mount the readers in the vehicles as well as free installation and the last he had heard the Chief was planning to pick it up and make arrangements for installation.

The Mayor noted that they had been discussing the idea of sharing some services with the Town and as a part of this discussion, Mr. Rella had been planning to investigate the idea of a shared DPW.  He wondered where things stood with this.

Town Board member Michele Lindsay responded that a preliminary discussion had taken place and Mr. Rella added that they needed to iron out more details before they could determine exactly what could be done.  Cleanup of the Town property is still underway.

Mayor McFadden commented that if they could come up with something that would work for everyone, the State would love it and it would be much easier to obtain grants.  

Town to a Village Update – Mayor McFadden asked Mrs. Lindsay if she could speak to the Town’s possible conversion to a Village, noting that he was basically in the dark and that it had not been clarified to him what the benefits might or might not be for both municipalities.  

Mrs. Lindsay replied that the Town Board had only had one meeting and one preliminary presentation on the subject.  The genesis of the project is that they have been trying to get the transportation law changed in Albany so that they can prohibit officially and legally prohibit pipelines from passing through, which is a right currently held by Cities and Villages alone.   The Bill made it through the Assembly but was stopped in the Senate.  If they cannot change the law, they figured they would explore what things might be like if they could become a coterminous Village and Town.  It has to be a resident driven initiative and cannot be lead by the Town Board, which means everyone needs more education as to the overall impacts and Mrs. Lindsay believes that this needs to be the next step. 

The Mayor wondered whether there were any petitions currently circulating.

The answer was no.  Mrs. Lindsay feels that most people don’t really understand what is being proposed and that before petitions can be circulated, education is necessary.  They just need to figure out how to educate the public without driving the initiative at the Board level.  

The Mayor suggested that Trustee Moon might be able to work with representatives from the Town to learn more and then in turn educate the Village Board.

Trustee Gluck added that there were a lot of legalities involved and that they had asked the Village Attorney to reach out to the Town Attorney in order to get a better idea of how things like voting and taxes would work.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent commented that he had spoke with the Town attorney.  What the Town is proposing that citizens do is to use two different State Statutes, the incorporation of a Village and then the simultaneous consolidation of the new Village and the Town of Tuxedo into one entity.  One of the problems Mr. Nugent sees is the issue of having a coterminous boundary.   He feels that the Town attorney is looking at this boundary as the outer boundary of the Town of Tuxedo. The problem is that with the Village of Tuxedo Park in the middle, there is another boundary there that is not coterminous. Incorporating a village around another village is not a process that has ever been done anywhere else in New York State. Always before it has either been a Village annexing all of their land into a town or a Village was created in one swoop, but there was no Village in the middle.  If it happened it would be the first time that the two statutes would be occurring simultaneously.  

Trustee Gluck wondered whether people in the Village of Tuxedo Park would be voting for two mayors…one in the Park and one in the other Village.

Mr. Nugent responded that be believed the plan would allow the residents of Tuxedo Park to vote for the Mayor/Supervisor of the new entity. 

The Mayor noted that the whole thing sounded very complex and he felt they should all be proceeding with caution.  

Eagle Update -  Dena Steele reported that the eagles were back on their nest for the 6th season.  They had been there up until the March 7 Nor’easter, at which point they abandoned the nest, however they returned last week.

Lakes Committee – Committee Chair Jim Hays reported that at the end of February he, Dena Steele and Susan Goodfellow had attended a meeting in New Paltz about harmful algae blooms.   The Governor, who is quite concerned about this issue all over the State, has organized a group to study in some detail 4 or 5 lakes and to come back with some proposals for the most effective ways to combat the blooms.  There will probably be some money available for grants.  A report is due in May and the Lakes Committee will continue to monitor the situation to see if there are any opportunities that the Village might be able to take advantage of.  At the February meeting of the BOT, Audrey Perry expressed concern over water levels marginal to her property near to the south end of Tuxedo Lake and it was suggested that the Lake Committee take a look at the issue.  They did so and it was determined that the water in the culvert stretching to South Gate Road is flowing in the direction of the Lake while south of the gate it is running in the direction of the golf course.  There is an accumulation of leaves in front of the culvert and it was agreed that there was a good possibility that if the leaves were cleared out, the water between the gate and the lake would flow south, away from the Lake, which is the ultimate purpose of the culvert.  While this will not make a big difference, it will likely lower the water levels in the land across the street from Kent Krober’s house.  Mr. Krober was contacted and is agreeable to the clearing.  There is some confusion over whether the water effecting Mrs. Perry’s property is in the Village or the Town and once this has been determined, the Town/DPW will take a closer look at that situation.  

Finally, the committee has decided to reach out to other communities in the surrounding areas that are facing similar lakes issues for suggestions and feedback that might be helpful to the Village.  They have also begun discussing the issue of road salt and how it may be affecting the reservoir.  Dena Steele commented that she had recently taken a look at some of the milfoil studies that had been given to the committee, but she found the studies to be dated and not terribly relevant to the Village in terms of the size and depth of the bodies of water on which they were focused.  She has since been doing a lot of research both on the Internet and speaking to a variety of experts in the field and has learned two important facts.  The first is that there is no silver bullet in the eradication of milfoil.  Both short and long-term plans will be necessary in order to keep the invasive at bay.   Secondly, if the Village decides to move forward with aquatic plants pesticides treatment, they will need to determine what they plan to do afterwards to monitor the situation, both in terms of the chemical levels in the water and regrowth of the milfoil.   What will their response be to apparent regrowth?  In 2-3 years, it is expected that the invasive will be back with a vengeance as all the organic material will go down to the bottom of the lake and form a nutrient bed there.  While she looks forward to hearing from Solitude Lakes Management and what they are suggesting, she cautioned that there are some big concerns with aquatic pesticides and a lack of good comparisons in terms of other reservoirs where similar treatments have been done.  

Mayor McFadden agreed that there were many variables that needed to be considered and that the Village was facing a fairly grave issue with the milfoil.  In addition to the multitude of issues that have already been laid out, assuming that chemical treatment was the best treatment method, it has been discovered that it would cost $1.5 million to treat all three lakes 1 time.  Pricing is done by acre. There are many big decisions that have to be made.  The Board is hard at work on their budget and will be presenting it to the community for feedback in the near future. It is a discussion that everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in.  There are a lot of things that have gone unaddressed that will need to be looked at.   This year the presentation of the budget will be done in a way that will allow residents to separate the necessary annual operating costs from some of the bigger “wish-list” type items/projects while also considering some items that could possibly be shaved off if need be.  The process will be transparent as possible and the goal is to ultimately give taxpayers choices, instead of having the Board make all of the definitive decisions.  

Board member Alan McHugh commented that Solitude Lakes Management would be presenting to the Village on Wednesday, April 11 at 7pm. 

Ms. Steele wondered whether Solitude had presented to the Board any alternatives to dealing with the Milfoil, detailing risks and costs and suggesting a follow-up plan.

The answer was no.

Ms. Steele then wondered what then would be put into the budget.

The Mayor responded that the Village had a contract from Solitude, which had been received in January.  At that time, they specifically asked the lakes management company what the alternatives would be if the Village had ultimately missed their window to eradicate the milfoil and the response was chemical treatment.  

"They said that in the plant survey based on our objectives,” responded Ms. Steele. 

“What are the Village’s objectives?”

Mayor McFadden admitted that other than “taking care of the problem” the Village did not have an objective or a plan at this point.  This has unfortunately been the case for several years.  It is their goal to develop the objectives and create a long-term plan.  

Ms. Steele wondered if this plan would be for the milfoil or the entire lakes system.

The answer was the entire ecosystem.

"But in 2009 Princeton Hydro did a long-term plan and in 2014 Solitude’s predecessor suggested that the Village should pick up the Princeton Hydro plan and follow it.”

“This is another perfect example of something that was presented and never implemented,” responded the Mayor.  

Ms. Steele suggested that there were still aspects of that plan which might have some value.  

Trustee McHugh agreed that there was a tremendous amount there.  The action items however, were never acted upon.  “We’ve had studies, and there have been recommendations and very few of the things that have been recommended have been acted upon.”

“What a shame,” stated the Mayor.  “We are all in this together.  There have been a number of proposals and different Board members etc. etc. and we are where we are.  It’s all I can say.  No pointing fingers….it is what it is.  I have confidence that we are moving in the right direction because we have a good Lakes Committee and we have a Board that’s willing to listen…and a Board that is trying to uncover all of these matters and juggle them all at one time.  I would say the lake is the most critical of them.”

Mr. Rella suggested that there had been $100,000 in the budget this past year for milfoil and that he believed that, since there was no silver bullet solution, it would more than likely have to be a blend of activities moving forward.   A good harvesting machine can be purchased for $50-70,000.  These machines can clear an acre every 3-4 hours.

Mayor McFadden pointed out that when Trustee McHugh had been elected there was only $50,000 in the budget for the milfoil issue and that based on pleading and begging, that number had been increased to $100,000 over time.  

Trustee McHugh commented that people using the lake were a big part of the problem.  To this end, they are looking to increase the boat fees and have created a line item in the budget for Lake Fees.  Whatever is collected on the boat fees will be specifically earmarked for the lakes.  

The Mayor suggested that there were other things they might be able to do as well, such as enacting a moratorium on boating within a certain distance of the shore based on mapping.

Mr. Hays commented that one suggestion that might help would be to require boaters to keep a pool skimmer in their boats for the purpose of removing floating green fragments from the water.  Milfoil spreads by fragmentation and if it is pulled and allowed to float around and sink, new plants come up.  

Ms. Steele commented that they also needed to be diligent about inspecting the boats and making sure they were steam cleaned.  It’s not just the Milfoil.  The Lake is susceptible to other invasives.  She worries that folks have been fairly casual about putting kayaks in the water and that these could be a problem.

Mayor McFadden stated that he was going to work on some language as part of part of some “very strict guidelines” to be put out prior to boating season and that this would include instructions pertaining to privately owned kayaks.  

Ms. Steele wondered whose responsibility it was to make sure that the boats were properly inspected.

The answer was the Lake Warden.

RFP for Village-wide Reassessment – Trustee Moon reported that the RFP would be completed over the coming weekend and subsequently shared with the Board.  It is his goal to put the document out the following week.

Short-term Rental Discussion/Clarification – Trustee Moon noted that during the public hearing for Draft LL #1 of 2018 (short term rentals) the previous week there had been some discussion regarding Judge Sibel’s  decision in the Hanson case and he wanted to clarify.  During the hearing Ms. Steele pointed out that the Village had spent $400,000 to defend it’s self and the gates from the lawsuit brought by Mr. Hanson.  Part of the judge’s decision in that case noted that the exclusivity of the Village Roads was not unconstitutional.  Trustee Moon read this portion of the decision aloud, explaining that if there was going to be an “anti-transient rental law” and/or other resolutions that would affect ingress into the Village that they would be doing their best, in a practical way, to keep the Village a “private place,” because under the law, this is what protects the gates.

The Mayor agreed with this, commenting that this was a major component in what was being considered.  

Nancy Hays wondered whether or not they had considered increasing the allowed rental period more than 30 days.

The Mayor responded that currently it stood at 30.   Increasing the time period would require another public hearing.  Currently a vote has not been scheduled.  The deadline for submitting written comments is April 5.

Wee Wah Dam Update – The project is at 80% completion.  There will be three concrete pours over the next two weeks, which will “really move the needle” but the biggest issue remains water management.  The rain event in January adversely affected the cofferdam.  There has been a learning curve of sorts with the contractor, who is used to roadwork and not dam work and there has unfortunately been a fair amount of dispute between the contractor and the engineer with regard to means and methods.  The contractor gets to ultimately dictate what happens and can ignore the engineer.  The net result of this is that the contractor is suggesting that substantial completion will done by the end of April, meaning that the Village can begin to raise the water level in that lake.  The engineer, however, does not agree with this timeline and is suggesting that substantial completion will be in mid-May.  Substantial completion means that the concrete work is done and the DEC has signed off on the dam work.  Completion of the parapet wall, installation of the capstones and facing of the walls would be done at a later date.  The bad news is that there was a budgeted $200,000 for cost overruns when the project began.  $108,000 was spent on additional engineering and management.  When the project was initiated last June, substantial completion was supposed to be December of 2017 and now it is 4 months past that date.  The Village has agreed to an additional $46,000 in add-ons that have resulted from the work.  There are two very contentious issues; the auxiliary spillway has been deemed unsafe by both the contractor and the engineer because the mortar had disappeared allowing for plant growth.  The contractor and the engineer cannot agree on a remediation cost with one suggesting $21,000 and the other $118,000.  The second issue has to due with the January rain event, when 4inches of snow fell on top of a foot of snow that was already on the ground.  This resulted in a 5 and ½ foot increase in the level of the Wee Wah , which flooded the cofferdam.  The Village authorized $15,500 to help clean up the mess, but the contractor is no longer identifying it as a “one-off” event and is now identifying two other events, one in February and one in March, with material differences in cost.  Given all of the discrepancies, the worst case scenario is that the Village will wind up being over their budgeted overrun amount by $100,000.  

Mayor McFadden added that the contractor had come in to the project in a very competitive manor as the lowest bidder and that as a result, the Village had an obligation to award them the contract.  However, every step along the way they have been pushing for increases which is bringing the overall costs up to where it probably should have been in the first place.  Trustees McHugh and Gluck are working very hard to keep the project on budget and fight the costs where possible but at the end of the day “it will be what it will be.”  

This type of aggressive bidding to win a contact is not uncommon.  The Village is doing the best they can to keep things on track.

Trustee McHugh added that the good news was that the project would be completed shortly and that the quality of the work was being continuously monitored by the DEC.  The disputes are financial.  

Public Comments:

Michele Lindsay commented that there would be a press release in this week’s Photo News asking residents to submit resumes for Zoning, Planning and Architectural Review Boards in Town.  They are hoping to see more participation from the Village as currently only 1 person out of 15 members on these three Boards is a Village resident.  The Tuxedo LDC met on March 27 and began the process of distributing some of the money.   Historically funds were given to the Train Station, the Bus Station and the Historical Society, which leaves the LDC with just a little over $690,000 to distribute.  Just a little over half of this was awarded to Tuxedo Hudson ($350,000) for beautification of the IGA building.  The present plan calls for the bulk of the building to become an antique store and then there will be a market and café as well.  Mr. Bruno has applied for a liquor license for that location. 

Somebody inquired over what the fate of the Junction property would be.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that the Junction would remain as-is for the time being and that the property might end up being converted into a parking lot if needed.  “It’s going to be great,” she continued, “because the main entrance will be on store road and there will be places for tables and chairs outside.”  The other application before the LDC is for the Take-a-Break property.  The new owner plans to completely rebuild the facility.  His main business is pizza but he also plans to continue the ice cream.

Mary Graetzer added that there is also a couple who are planning to put an ice cream parlor in the other half of the building where Dan Castricone currently has his insurance office.

Mrs. Lindsay concurred, further stating that this business would be called Tuxedo Dairies and that the owners have not applied for any LDC money to date.

Old Business:

Garage Rental Agreements – At the February meeting the Board authorized and approved a revised garage license agreement.  Subsequent to this there have been some recommendations to include a provision to add policy for future adoption of policies, rules and regulations as well as some other changes.  Comparable rentals in the area were looked at and Trustee Gluck is recommending a rate of $150 per month. (rate is currently $110 per month)  

Trustee McHugh added that given the issues they have had with some renters being in arrears, they are initiating a rental security deposit as well as a process for eviction should non-payment become an issue with a particular renter.  

The Mayor commented that part of the driving force had been that there was one resident who had been in arrears for over two years and that, with the guidance of the attorneys, the Village had been forced to padlock the unit until payment was received.  This prompted them to examine and revise the agreement.  

Following some further discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the new agreement subject to some minor changes to be executed by the Village Attorney and Trustee Gluck.

New Business:

Award Sludge Removal Services Bid – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the bid for sludge removal services to Residual Management Services DBA Earth Care, who was the lowest bidder and current vendor at the rate of .1069 per gallon for a contract period of 1 year.  

Resolution – Village election on June 19, 2018 and polls open in Village Hall 7am-9pm – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a resolution, which set the Village Election for June 19, 2018 in the Village Hall with polls to be open from 7am-9pm.  The election will fill two open Trustee positions.  

Authorize advertising for bids on surplus DPW equipment – bid opening 4/10 at 2pm – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a resolution, which authorized the Village Clerk to bid the DPW surplus 1998 Chevrolet pick-up truck and the 2008 Chevrolet dump truck with a bid opening date of Tuesday, April 10 at 2pm.

Appoint Part Time Police Officer – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the appointment of William Vanson as a Part Time police officer in the Village at a rate of $24 per hour.

Schedule public Hearing on 2018-2019 tentative budget-April 16 at 7pm –  The Board voted unanimously in favor of scheduling a public hearing on the 2018-2019 tentative budget for April 16 at 7pm.

Trustee Gluck suggested that an additional budget meeting should be scheduled for the following week for the purpose of pulling the budget into a form that is ready for public presentation.  

Following some discussion, a meeting was set for Friday, March 29 at 9am.

back to top


Public Hearings On Village Draft Local Laws 1 & 2 and Budget Workshop, March 21, 2018

From The Mayor's Desk March 28, 2018

Good afternoon.

The job the DPW and staff did clearing our roads was a net positive this year but unfortunately, we have been informed by several homeowners that plowing may have caused minor property damage – primarily stonework and mail boxes. If we can confirm said damage occurred, the Village will cover the costs. Because the Board of Trustees is concerned with the safety of our DPW employees, residents, and property, we will track the work requirements of the employees tasked with snow removal. I will introduce a Resolution this evening for Board review, requiring for the first time, a detailed Daily Drivers’ Log to be kept by Mr. Voss, DPW Supervisor.

The continued public hearings on Introductory Local Law D1-2018 (short term rentals) and Introductory Local Law D2-2018 (non-utility pole devices) held on 3/21/12018 were closed.  There will be a 15-day period after the close of these public hearings to allow for written submissions from residents.  Deadline date for submission is 4/5/2018. No vote is currently scheduled on either Local Law.

Our Budget analysis for 2018-2019 is underway. There is a line item this year that could substantially increase our property taxes (Milfoil management). That said, the proposed budget will be available to you in the near future, followed by a Public Hearing. In advance, we are happy to discuss our general approach. At your request I can touch on it this evening.

I hope you will attend.



back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustee Meeting March 28, 2018

Click here to view the agenda for these meetings

back to top


Public Hearings On Village Draft Local Laws 1 & 2 and Budget Workshop, March 21, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 21 at 7pm for the purpose of continuing public hearings for Draft Local Laws 1 & 2 of 2018 and also a Budget Workshop.  Mayor McFadden and Deputy Mayor Gluck were both absent.
Following lively hearings, both public hearings were closed.  The Board will continue to receive written comment on both Draft Local Laws for the next 15 days.

To listen to an audio recording of the hearings, click here.

After the conclusion of the public hearings, a budget workshop ensued, featuring a projected presentation of the budget in a preliminary form.

back to top


From The Mayor's Desk - March 20, 2018

Good afternoon.

The fial 2018-2019 Tax Assessment Roll will be released to the public prior to the Orange County deadline of 04/01/2018.

32 residents grieved.
14 of the 32 received lower assessments.
18 of the 32 were not changed
3 total residents applied for Exceptions (2 Veterans, 1 Fireman)
  2 residents were granted Veterans Exceptions.
  1 resident was granted provisional Fireman Exemption.

Possible Board Meeting Cancellation

Tomorrow's Public Hearings may be postponed due to weather conditions. Please check the Village website beginning at noon tomorrow for information.



back to top


From The Mayor's Desk - March 5, 2018

Good afternoon.

When I saw how substantial the snow was falling on Friday; particularly combined with high winds, I knew it was just a matter of time before we would have extensive power outages in the Park. I reached out to O&R and turned up my heat because I knew we would need it if we lost power. Pepperidge Road was fortunate enough not to lose power, but many of you were not.
Equally frustrating is calling O&R to report outages only to be passed from one extension to the next, and then to be told that there is no record of your earlier calls. Fortunately, most of you have your power back on now but some of you still don’t. Please know that we are working hand in hand with O&R to get 100% of the homes back on line today.
The Mayor and Police have a direct line to O&R executive management and the Police are the best source for updates. Last evening, we were still dealing with considerable damage to lines from trees down. 4 crews, 2 supervisors, and 3 range assessment teams were in the Park through the weekend. As of this morning, our police were diverting repair units to individual areas and homes that are still affected.
We plan to meet with members of the O&R to assess what happened during the storm and why some areas were out, and others not.  Acting upon our findings, we will be able to reduce the number of annual outages. 
Be sure you are a member of Code Red to receive alerts from the Police Department about our progress.  Please sign up on the Village Website



back to top


Village Board of Trustee Meetings February 21, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, February 21 at 7pm.  Trustee Allen Barnett was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:
There were none.

DPW Report:
The DPW is getting low on road salt and they have already exceeded the amount budgeted for by over $2,000. ($50,000 was budgeted.)  Superintendent Voss is concerned and would like to order two more loads while they are still available. 

Trustee McHugh wondered whether it might be possible to borrow salt from the Town.   

Superintendent Voss responded that he could look into this, but cautioned that the Village would have to budget more in the following year to repay the debt.

Trustee Gluck suggested that if they were to purchase now and build the supply up, it would provide a cushion/base for next year, which could be beneficial. 

Superintendent Voss commented that he had enough salt to get through one more significant storm.  Following some further discussion it was agreed that they would investigate the possibility of borrowing and the associated costs involved in order to determine what the most cost-effective way of obtaining the salt would be.  Trustee McHugh was authorized to approve the expenditure at an amount not to exceed $10,000. 

The DPW is in need of a new dump truck.  The department lost a truck roughly 3 years ago due to a cracked frame and it was never replaced.  Superintendent Voss has obtained a preliminary bid price from the County, (there is no State bid for this anymore) which is roughly $53-54K.  The earliest the Village can order would be mid-March.

Mayor McFadden wondered if this would be a new or used vehicle.

The answer was new.

There followed a discussion as to whether it would be more cost effective to buy a used vehicle. 

Trustee McHugh stated that while it might be possible to obtain a used truck, he did not feel it advisable.  He believes the Village would be better off purchasing something new and turning over their fleet in a more responsible way.  He noted that they had recently experienced issues with the police cars, which had been run into the ground to the point of having no residual value and were costing the Village a ton in maintenance.  He feels they would be better off trading in older vehicles for newer models. 
Funding for the vehicle in question was then discussed.  Trustee McHugh suggested that they further investigate the value of their surplus vehicles before determining how to move forward with funding and it was agreed that this would be done.  It was further agreed that they would fully evaluate the DPW fleet for the purpose of creating a schedule of repair/replacement moving forward.
Finally, the Superintendent reported that the department has been busy working at the water plant with one of the filters; emptying it, pressure washing it, changing some valves and getting it ready to be painted.  Additionally they repaired a water main break on Patterson Brook Road.

Building Department Report:
Click here to review the Building Department Report for February.

Meg Vaught inquired about the Pond #3 Bridge, noting that it was currently closed to traffic.

Building Inspector John Ledwith responded that the bridge was currently closed due to work that was being done on the dam, and not because of issues with the bridge itself.  That being said, there does appear to be a need for some work there, so they have asked the engineer to draw up some preliminary designs for decking on the bridge.

Mrs. Vaught wondered when the bridge would re-open to traffic.
The answer was that the bridge would be open as soon as the piping work was completed, which should be soon.

Trustee McHugh added that it would be open once the pipe had been buried and gravel installed, but paving would likely not take place until May.  There is a hump in the road there, which will remain for the time being but this is not considered to be critically dependent in order to get dam certification. 


Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of January:
Non-Criminal Reports – 310
Property Damage Complaints –  2
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 8   Warnings – 7
Fire Alarms – 4
Intrusion Alarms – 1
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo: 1
Assists Received From the Town of Tuxedo: 1
Resident Vehicle Tags Issued: 892
Non-Resident Vehicle Tags Issued: 227
Miles Patrolled: 2, 483

Nancy Hays commented that she had been under the impression that the Police Department would be looking into streetlights that were not working at intersections, however the one at the end of her street has been out for sometime.

Chief Melchiore responded that there were approximately 18 lights that were out and that these had been repeatedly reported to the O & R.  While the department holds the bulbs at the police facility, O & R need to be ones to replace them. 

Mrs. Hays wondered whether or not there was not something more that could be done.

Chief Melchiore assured her that it would be readdressed.

Mrs. Vaught commented that she had noticed that the Chief had replaced the number of vehicles through the front gate with the number of miles patrolled in his report and she wondered if they were still counting the number of cars that entered the Village on a daily basis.

The answer was yes.  Approximately 1,300 cars per day enter the Village via the Front Gate.

Committee and Liaison Reports:
Wee Wah Dam Update – Trustee McHugh reported that they had been experiencing major issues as a result of the January 12 storm event, during which there was a tremendous amount of rain followed by snowmelt.  The event caused severe flooding in the cofferdam area and as a result, work ceased.  There has only been a 3% move in project completion since Christmas.  The project is currently 74% complete.  The good news is that the logs have been removed in the dam, the two valves have been opened up fully, the cofferdam has been re-secured, the elevation has been increased and the pit area has been sump-pumped out.  The outfit responsible for the rebar, the parapet wall and pouring of the concrete is due back in the Village on February 22.   The bad news is that the completion date has been pushed back.  The project was originally slated to be finished on March 2 and the revised schedule now suggests that significant completion (which equates to DEC certification that will allow the Village to elevate the lake back to its historic level) will be achieved by April 16.  The downside to all of this is that as a result of the delays and water issues, CHA will require additional oversight costs totaling $54K.  This amount will keep CHA in place to monitor the progress of the project with onsite supervision through the month of April.   It will be pro-rata should the project finish sooner.

Mayor McFadden wondered whether the 54K was included within the contingency.

The answer was yes.  The contingency was $220K and to date, including the 54K, they have used 2/3 of it.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the additional $54K for continued construction inspection services related to the Dam project.

Mrs. Vaught commented that one of the most frequent questions she had been receiving as of late at TPFYI was whether or not the Wee Wah Beach Club would be open for swimming in the summer of 2018.  She wondered whether the Village might consider a general update on their website with regard to new projected completion date for the project and how this might impact the beach.

Trustee McHugh responded that he and Trustee Gluck had met with the Beach Club roughly a month prior to discuss their needs and potential methods of dealing with the milfoil in order to make the swimming area viable.  With regard to the scope of work and project completion, the destruction of the cofferdam has pushed things back about a month.  Unfortunately there has been a significant division of views between the contractor and the engineer as to the best approach to solving the problem, and this has added to the delay.  As soon as they have a more affirmative schedule in place, they will share it. 

Water Department Update – The Village water system is supposed to be a redundant one, with two operating filters, however this has not been the case for quite some time. There are a plethora of problems with water filter #2 and it has not been working. The Village obtained a quote for draining the tanks and removing the media that came in at $60K.  Mr. Ledwith did not feel this was a good price and suggested that the job could be done “in house,” which it subsequently was.  Next, a technician was brought in to run the facility in order to trouble shoot what is needed for the repair.  It was determined that the filter needs to be repainted at a cost of $53K. (work must be completed using both a certified vendor and product) The media will cost $9,000, but the freight is a substantial part of that cost so they are recommending the Village invest $20K, which will save them money in the long run on shipping.  (They can store the excess product until needed.)  Replacement parts are expected to cost an additional $10,000 and once they have been received the technician will need to come back to make sure that everything is installed correctly and the backwashes are done prior to issuing a clean bill of health for filter #2.  Once this has been done, the Village cane switch over from filter/tank #1 to filter/tank #2 and begin work on refurbishing filter #1.

Mayor McFadden inquired as to the anticipated costs of repairing filter/tank #1.

Trustee McHugh replied that they would likely be fairly identical to the costs associated with filter #2, minus the cost of the media they are pre-purchasing.    The total estimated cost of filter/tank #2 is $91K while filter/tank #1 is expected to be closer to $80K.  He added that this was delayed and deferred maintenance that the Village had not been keeping up with and it was not something they could avoid. 
The funding will come from the “Cap X” which is $575K, of un-appropriated reserves from prior bond issues.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the expenditure to approve water filter #2 at a cost not to exceed $91,160. 

The Ridge Road water tanks pose another pressing issue.  The tanks are in excess of 20 years old and no maintenance has been done.  There are multiple leaks and although plugs have been installed, new holes have emerged.   Overall maintenance and integrity enhancement is estimated to cost $79,040.  This includes interior tank reconditioning. 

Trustee McHugh pointed out that the Water Department continues to experience massive water losses and that addressing these issues within the system and completing the necessary maintenance would hopefully start to result in less water losses.

The Mayor inquired as to what percentage of the water pumped was not billed for due to loss.

John Ledwith responded that it varied, from month to month but remained firmly between 45-65%. 

Trustee McHugh added that they had recently discovered that clean water was being used to clean the sewage treatment plant and that this had been re-engineered so that moving forward water from the Wee Wah will be used for this purpose.  He further commented that they felt it important to move forward with all of the proposed maintenance now, ahead of the summer, which is the peak time for water usage. 

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the $79,040 for refurbishment of the Ridge Road water tanks. 

Police Contract – The police contract has been finalized.  Trustee Moon reported that after much negotiation, they have established “a very fair” contract with the Union.  A significant part of this is that the officers will now begin contributing to their healthcare costs.  Pay increases are either in line with or far below what neighboring communities are paying to their unions.  Part and parcel to the negotiations were a number of labor union complaints and these will all be resolved and split straight down the middle.  There were certain things pertaining to personnel practices and the Chief believes he can handle these and that the Village will remain protected as a community under these circumstances. 

Lakes Committee – On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that
following a recent meeting, the committee had determined that they believed they could be most useful to the Board by focusing their attention on a limited number of  prioritized issues.  To this end, they decided on two, the first being the rapid spread of Eurasian Water Milfoil throughout all three lakes and the second the blue/green algae blooms which also effect all three lakes.  The committee also recognizes that Solitude Lakes Management has just issued a report on the Milfoil in Tuxedo Lake and have made some recommendations.  The committee is recommending that the Board ask Solitude to come and give a physical presentation outlining their recommendations for dealing with both the milfoil and the blue/green algae on two time scales, which include both the immediate time scale for the upcoming season as well as a more long-term scale for the next five years. 

This idea was briefly discussed. 

Trustee McHugh commented that Solitude had  been tasked with such a presentation months prior.  The delay had to do with them obtaining empirical data from CSLAP. 

He further suggested that once Solitude is ready to present, he felt it would be more beneficial to have a meeting dedicated solely to this purpose, rather than to have the presentation within the confines of a regular monthly meeting of the Trustees. 
Mayor McFadden added that they would also need to review and discuss the costs associated with Solitude as they headed into budget season, further wondering whether or not the presentation would have a price tag associated with it.
Trustee McHugh responded that the Village already had a consulting contract with Solitude and that the cost of the presentation would be nominal in the scheme of things.  He further commented that the Village had taken some steps with regard to milfoil.  They announced last year that they were planning to do a chemical treatment in Pond #3 at the recommendation of Solitude and based on the results of this would determine whether or not they should proceed in a similar fashion with the other lakes.  The permitting has been completed so that they can move forward with the treatment this year.  It is extremely costly though.  To treat Wee Wah, would cost roughly $150K and this years budget allowed only $100K for the lakes.    

The Mayor wondered whether they should continue to wait for CSLAP to provide data prior to scheduling a meeting with Solitude.

Trustee McHugh responded that he felt it would make sense to move forward without the data at this point.  It was agreed that he would work with Mr. Hays to determine a date.

Trustee Moon suggested they consider scheduling the meeting for a Saturday morning when more residents might be able to attend.

Audrey Perry inquired as to whether the Lakes Committee had spent any time discussing or looking at Summit Brook, which historically fed into the south end of Tuxedo Lake.  The brook is no longer running and it appears that the water has seeped onto Village property where it now sits. 

Mr. Hays responded that while ultimately this could fall within the scope of the Lakes Committee, he felt there were currently more pressing issues for them to contend with.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele commented that she had recently attended a forum on ecosystems at Kerry Institute focusing on road salt and fresh bodies of water.  She found it to be very alarming and has since shared some of the information with Superintendent Voss.  What she found particularly disturbing was the effect that road salt can have on the chemical composition of fresh bodies of water over time.  In a 500 meter buffer to a fresh body of water, if 1% is impervious service there are raising levels of salinity and what they are finding is very close association with cyanobacteria, which leads to blue/green algae blooms.  The Village really needs to stop the flow of stuff into the Lake!.  There is already phosphorous and nitrate going in there and very little has been done to manage this on a long-term basis.  Additionally, the lake is treated annually with copper sulfate. She is very concerned by the idea that they might now be adding a herbicide to the mix.  She feels they need to remain on top of understanding the chemical composition of the Lakes and that they need to hold Solitude to this standard as well. 

Mayor McFadden suggested that Ms. Steele should confront Solitude with this directly at the upcoming meeting.

Ms. Steele responded that she felt everyone needed to be on top of it.  There are a number of things that can be done with regard to the salt issue which affects 70% of fresh water bodies in the country.  There are various blades that can be purchased for plowing and calibration is extremely important.  Additionally, there is a website called Clear Roads that is utilized by many States, including New York.

Trustee Gluck asked Ms. Steele if she would share any written information/reports that she might have with the Board directly and she agreed.

Secondly, Ms. Steele noted that with the warmer weather bears are out and about.  There was an unfortunate incident involving a dog in New Milford, and she cautioned that residents should be careful with birdfeeders, dogs and especially children, as bears are often crabby and hungry when the first wake up.

Finally, she reported that the eagles are back on their nest on Eagle Mountain.  As some may recall, last year the nest failed and main difference she saw between last year and the year before (when the nest was successful) was that the Village now has trails open on both sides of the mountain.  She requested that people not use the trails on the east side of the mountain, as tempting as it may be, until the chicks fledge in July. 

Mayor McFadden responded that he would be happy to post information about both the bears and the eagles to the Village website and inquired of Ms. Steele as to whether she would be willing to help put these postings together.

She agreed.

With regard to the eagles, Trustee Gluck commented that the DEC had looked at the trail and its proximity to the nest and had determined that the buffer was sufficient.  That being said, it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful and he volunteered to inform the Trail Committee with regard to this issue.

Susan Goodfellow commented that she shared Ms. Steele’s concerns with regard to developing a clear understanding of the ecology of the lake, which is a very sophisticated subject.  She feels that the Village really needs to have somebody with the appropriate certification, such as a lakes biologist, taking charge and “directing traffic.”  The issues that were identified earlier by Mr. Hays are two very concrete problems that have broad implications for the way the lake functions.  Certainly the cyanobacteria has been an ongoing issue with surface blooms occurring right up until the time that the lake froze over.  She believes that part of the mandate ought to be that the oversight of all the pieces should be in the hands of individuals who are appropriately accredited.  There is a very important role for volunteers, but the Village needs broader professional, scientific assistance to make sure that the decisions are based in science and not on personal interest or whim.  Some of the things that have occurred in the past few years have not been based in science and have cost the taxpayers money and she feels these trends need to be reversed.

Mayor McFadden responded that he felt one of the things they should do was to put a long-term plan in place that would extend beyond elections. 

Mrs. Goodfellow agreed and further commented that she thought there were opportunities to set up conservation committees that would be ongoing to take a look at some of these issues and good help to end the problem of politicization of lakes matters. 

Old Business:
Trustee Moon asked for an update on the RFP for an independent assessor. 
Board Attorney Brian Nugent responded that it had not yet gone out and that there were a few items that the Board would need to review and make decisions on.
At the Mayor’s prompting, Trustee Moon explained that the Village had decided at the beginning of the year to put out an RFP for the appointment of an independent assessor to do a complete review of the Village’s assessment rolls, which has not been done since the 1970s.  This was the result of the discovery of some “anomalies” in the assessments and they want to make sure that everyone pays a fair amount of taxes.

Mayor McFadden added that typically municipalities do a total reassessment every 4-7 years and Tuxedo Park has not done one since the 1970s.  The roll was published on the website this year, where everyone could see that some individuals appear to be paying a lot compared to others.  The Board feels it’s time for a total, new reassessment where everyone starts at zero and then an independent, outside professional will come in and evaluate the situation in order to provide a solid foundation.   Then, in 3-4 years, based on market values, building permits and sales, the Village can entertain the idea of another assessment.  “I think that would give everybody a sense of comfort, because it’s one of those things that everyone talks about and I think this is a terrific way to make that adjustment,” commented the Mayor.

“For example,” commented Trustee Moon, noting that the information he was about to provide was public as per the grievance hearing the night before “one person is being taxed more than double the assessed value by the Village than he is by the Town.   One person with landlocked raw land is being assessed at several times more than all of her neighbors who also own raw land.  We need to rationalize the system.”

New Business:
Resolution – Rental Agreement for Garage Units – The Village maintains garage units, which are essentially rented to residents for storage or sometimes for vehicles.  They do not, however, have anything in place in writing with respect to the use of the units, restrictions on what can and cannot be stored there, etc.  Therefore, a draft license agreement has been drawn up outlining some parameters and conditions on the use of the units and ramifications for non-payment and things of this nature for which there currently is no policy.  Following some discussion with regard to the cost of the units and the billing cycle, the board voted unanimously in favor of approving the agreement subject to the determination of a reasonable rental rate. 

Resolution – Declare two DPW Vehicles Surplus – The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring two trucks as surplus.  Trustee McHugh noted that one of the vehicles was the dump truck that had been discussed earlier in the evening.  They are hopeful that it can be sold for a decent price, which will offset the cost of a new truck, but if they are not satisfied with the bids they receive, they will bring it back into the fold.  The other vehicle is an old pick-up truck.

Resolution – Authorize Bidding for Sludge Removal and Set Bid Opening Date – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the bidding for sludge removal services at the sewer plant and the water plant with an opening date of March 18.

Resolution – Amendment of Orange County Urban County Agreement – The Board discussed this amendment at some length, with Mr. Nugent explaining that it was a County Agreement that pertained to “HUD Funding.” The amendment adds an emergency solutions grant as one of the things that the County will be taking control over.  Ultimately, the Village is not eligible for any of the funding and it was not clear that there was any benefit to their signing the agreement, although historically it has been done.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement, subject to council contacting the county to determine what the consequences of not signing it might be.

Public Comments:
Peter Regna inquired as to whether or not the Board intended to discuss the Airbnb

The Mayor informed Mr. Regna that the issue had been discussed earlier in the evening at a public hearing and that this hearing had been continued to March 21 at 7pm in order to allow for further comments.  He invited Mr. Regna to comment, but cautioned that since the hearing was not currently in session, his comments would not be a part of that record.

Mr. Regna noted that he would hold his comments for the hearing and thanked the Board for all of their hard work in service to the Village.

back to top


Village Residents Turn Out For Pubic Hearings

On Tuesday, February 21 the Village Board of Trustees held two public hearings for Draft Local Law Introductory #1 (Short Term Rental Draft Law LL) and Local Law Introducttory #2 ( Utility Pole Local Law (Devices in Right-of-Way) Draft Law LL) of 2018.

To listen to an audio recording of these hearings, click here.

Both hearings remain open and have been continued until the next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on March 21, 2018 at 7pm.

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustee Meetings February 21, 2018

Click here to view the agenda for these meetings

back to top


Tuxedo Lake 2017 Aquatic Macrophyte Survey Report

Click here to view the most recent report on Tuxedo Lake from from Village consultant Solitude Lake Management

back to top


From The Mayor's Desk

Good afternoon.

The 2018 Tentative Village Assessment Roll and forms for the 2018 Grievance Day are linked below and are posted on the Village Website ( Grievance Day is scheduled for Tuesday, February 20th from 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM in the Village Office.


Click to view roll:  2018 Tentative Village Assessment Roll
Click to view legal notice:  Legal Notice - 2018 Tentative Village Assessment Roll
Click to download forms & info:  2018 Grievance Forms & Info

Click to view: 2017 Final Village Assessment Roll

Prior to our entering our Regular February Board Meeting, we are holding two Public Hearings on Wednesday, February 21st at 6:00 PM at the Village Office to hear comments on two Draft Local Laws. linked below and posted on the Village Website ( -  Short Term Rental Draft Law LL and Utility Pole Local Law (Devices in Right-of-Way) Draft Law LL.  The Board will have a 15-day period after the close of the final Public Hearing(s) to allow for written submissions from residents unable to attend. However, we encourage you to attend the Public Hearings and Regular February Meeting. 

Finally From the Mayor's Desk today; The Village Budget Calendar for Fiscal Year beginning June 1st, 2018 is posted on the Village Website (



For Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes and Resolutions Click to view.

Official Village Website -

back to top


February 8 -A Good Day for The Village of Tuxedo Park

February 8 was a good day for the Village! According to their website, they are in receipt of a $18,744 grant for Village courtroom upgrades as well as a $100,000 private donation from the estate of the late Alex Salm for the DPW! Additionally, the final POlicE contract has been signed.

Visit the Village website here for additional information.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Considers Two New Local Laws

At 6pm on Febraury 21, The VIllge Board of Trustees will hold two public hearings for the purpose of collecting feedback from the community on two newly proposed local laws.

The first of these is a law restricting/prohibiting short-term rentals (AirBNb etc) in the village. A draft of the legislation can be viewed here.

The second law pertains to posting signage and/or other devices on utility poles. A draft of this LegiSlation Can be viewed here.

Please take a moment to review these drafts and if you have any questions or concerns plan to attend the hearings on February 21. If you are unable to attend the hearings, the BOT has announced thatthey will be accepting written comments for 15 days after the hearings have been closed.

back to top


Village Budget Calendar

Click here to view the Village Budget Calendar

back to top


Village Board of Trustees to Hold Two Public Hearings February 21

The Board has scheduled two Public Hearings on Wednesday, February 21st at 6:00 PM at the Village Office to hear comments on two Draft Local Laws – Regulating Short Term Rentals and Non-Utility Devices in Public Rights-of-Way and Easements.  The Board will have a 15-day period after the close of the Public Hearings to allow for written submissions from residents

back to top


Village Adds BOT Minutes and Resolutions Page to Website

The Village has added a new sub-page to their website for approved BOT minutes and resolutions. Check it out here.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 17, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, Januar,y 17 at 7pm.  All me,,mbers were present.

Mayors Comments:
Over the holiday, the Board held an emergency meeting to discuss the SALT component of the new tax law for New York State residents.. They thoroughly and meticulously studied all options for residents to prepay their 2018 property taxes prior to December 31, 2017. Because the Village’s tax warrant is not issued until June, they could not accept prepayments. However, they did receive prepayments from residents hoping the Governor would issue a second Executive Order that would allow the village to benefit from prepayment. The checks have not been deposited and are being returned soon because they are obligated to do so by municipal law and guidance from the State Comptroller’s office.  The latest update is that Governor Cuomo just announced three alternatives to the SALT tax:  1) the tax department would create one or more state operated charitable funds to receive taxpayers’ contributions for healthcare and public schools whereby taxpayers would receive a tax credit to lower their state income tax liability and also be able to deduct the amount from their federal taxes; 2) local governments could be authorized to trade tax credits for charitable donations as a substitute for some local property tax payments; and 3) the tax department proposed the creation of a new a payroll tax where there would be a shift of some or all of the state income tax liability of employees for whom federal deductibility of state and local taxes is capped to a payroll tax.


Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of December:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 334
Criminal Complaints – 5
Arrests – 3
Motor Vehicle Accidents with Property Damage – 5
Uniform Traffic tickets issued – 5
Warning Tickets Issued – 5
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 7
Medical Calls – 6
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Given to the NYS Police – 1
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 3
Vehicle Tags Issued (YTD) – Resident – 892 / Non-resident – 227

Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles passed through the Front Gate on a daily basis. 

In response to a comment that was made at the December meeting with regard to the general visibility of patrolling officers throughout the Village, the Chief reported that during the month of November 2,970 miles of patrolling was done and for the month of December 2,516.

DPW Report:
 As Superintendent Voss was not present, the report was not given.
Trustee Gluck expressed his gratitude to the DPW for their strong effort and great work in keeping the roads clear during the recent snow events.

Building Report:
Click here to read the Building Report:

Committee Reports:
Water Department – The Mayor reported that as a part of their “deep dive” into some of the systems, they had discovered that the seasonal meters on 10 accounts were not billed.  They are in the process of seeking payment.  With this in mind, the Mayor suggested that the additional funds might afford them the opportunity to reconsider the current water rates, however he cautioned that this was only an idea that was being discussed and that nothing was promised.  Additionally, following the issues with the water in December, Trustees McHugh and Barnett paid a visit to the water plant where they made some observations that will require action. 
Trustee Barnett stated that they had been looking at the Water Department from two different standpoints; accounting and maintenance.  From an accounting standpoint it is his belief that the Village needs greater transparency for the accounting reports.  He believes that the residents represent shareholders in a corporate sense and with this in mind, one of the goals moving forward is to present quarterly financials in which the balance sheet and income statement are tied.  Right now, the Village cannot do this because the income statement does not tie neatly into the financials for a variety of reasons.  He and Trustee McHugh have been working with the accounting firm to change this and put things into a much more simple and transparent system.  There is a lot of financial expertise in the Village and he believes that if they can present financial statements that are both clear and concise, people will ask the right questions.  He looks forward to this practice in 2018.  Speaking to the current situation, he praised Denise Spalthoff for her hard work in clearing up the “H receivables.”  Denise has collected roughly $30,000 in outstanding bills.  The system in the Village begins with meter readings, which are done by hand and then transcribed into a system.  Unfortunately, this leaves room for error.  While there are ways to automate the process, they are cost prohibitive so what the Village has done is to set up the system in a way so that it will flag unusual consumption reports so that they can investigate ASAP.  It is a way of catching some mistakes at their onset.  The billing system has become a lot smoother and more efficient.

From a maintenance standpoint, the water plant has 2 filters, which purify the water as it comes out of the Lake, however, one of them has been out of service for over a year and a half.   The reason both are needed is not only for backup (should the one in use go down) but also to allow for regular maintenance as normal maintenance cannot be done on a filter that is in operation.  Therefore, the one operating filter is in need of routine maintenance, which they have not been able to perform as there is no backup.  Getting the second filter up and running is a priority and they have reached out to the engineers for more information about what will be involved and how long it will take.  The other issue is the two water tanks located on Ridge Road.  Together these tanks house just short of 1,000,000 gallons of water.  These are 50-year tanks that were purchased 25 years ago.  To the best of the Trustees’ knowledge, they have not been maintained in the last 25 years.  A priority for the spring therefore is to empty the tanks and complete the necessary maintenance, after which they will get them onto a regular maintenance plan.  They have asked Superintendent Voss and Water Dept. Head John Bello to put together a list of all the mechanical things in Department and then to prioritize them according to their maintenance needs so that they can develop a multi-year maintenance plan.  This will allow the community to hold the Village accountable for the upkeep of this infrastructure.  Beginning in about a month, the Village will open the Water Department to residents on Saturday mornings for a window of time, during which they can visit the plant and educate themselves as to what goes on there. 
Noting that there was some surplus in the water department funds, Mayor McFadden inquired about funding for the equipment repairs.

Trustee McHugh responded that they anticipated roughly $300,000 in surplus this year in addition to borrowings of over $100,000.  Refurbishing the water towers is expected to cost $100,000, assuming they don’t find anything that needs to be fixed on the bottom of the tank.  Refurbishing the second filter at the water plant will also cost close to $100,000 as will maintenance on the one in use.  Speaking to the Mayor’s earlier suggestion, Trustee McHugh commented that the likelihood of a reduction in water prices was very remote; however, the likelihood of an increase is equally as remote since they are working very hard to capture leaks and get the entire system on a more proactive system of maintenance. 
Trustee Barnett added that there was $500,000 available still in bonds that the Village could draw from. 

Grant Writer Report – Grant writer Fred Rella suggested that there was a New York group called the Environmental Facility Corp. (EFC) that would be handing out grants over the course of the next two months for water and sewer projects.  It is not a lengthy process.  He will investigate further in order to determine whether or not any of these projects at the Water Department might qualify. 

The Village has received verbal approval on their Tree City USA application.  Written notification will follow shortly. 

With regard to the WeeWah dam, a check for the $100,000 in grant monies awarded last year will be issued on January 31.
The Village applied for the Justice Court Assistance Program for a few items, primarily benches for the Village Court to replace the folding chairs currently in use.  Mr. Rella reported that notices have gone out and if the Village had not received theirs already, it would surely arrive in the next day or two. 

Finally, Mayor McFadden has asked Mr. Rella to work with the Town of Tuxedo in exploring grant opportunities for a new DPW facility.  He will be reaching out to the Town to discuss possible locations among other details. 

Town Update – Speaking to the topic of grants, Michele Lindsay commented that she had received a plethora of questions regarding the grants that Michael Bruno had been awarded from the State.  For the sake of clarification, Mrs. Lindsay explained that the first grant Mr. Bruno had been awarded, which was for both Tuxedo and Sloatsburg as a joint project, was still in the administrative phase and that no actual monies had been awarded to date.  She feels that there may be some misunderstanding within the community about this and wants to make sure that everyone knows what is happening. 

Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not Mr. Bruno was giving a presentation to the community that evening.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that he had rescheduled it so as not to conflict with the Village meeting.  She further commented that she believed there were a number of things that Mr. Bruno was hoping to clarify with this presentation.

Changing the subject, the Mayor inquired after the joint Town/Planning Board design committee that had been put together to review the changes in materials proposed by Tuxedo Farms this past fall.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that it had not been a committee but rather joint workshop session with members of the various Town Boards.  The proposed changes were approved by the Board December and therefore they were no longer working on this. 

The Mayor wondered whether or not they had been able update the language in the document at all.

Mrs. Lindsay replied that they had gotten some changes in, however they did not have enough time to examine the design guidelines before the vote was taken.

Verizon Tower – Mayor McFadden reported that the Village had received some site planning from Verizon as to where they are proposing to put the equipment, which is near the water towers on Ridge Road.  In speaking to some of the neighboring property owners, the Mayor has discovered that there is a high level concern with what is being proposed.  Therefore, he suggested that they ask Verizon to provide them with a couple of alternative sites after which they could set up a public meeting with either the BAR or the Planning Board where neighbors would have the opportunity to come and make comments and engage themselves in the process.

Trustee McHugh commented that Verizon had already looked at a number of sites over the course of the past couple of years and had narrowed it down to the Ridge Road water towers.  He suggested they do a balloon test in order to analyze the potential visual impact of what is being proposed. 

Mayor McFadden wondered whether there might be a spot on Eagle Mountain for the Tower.

Building Inspector John Ledwith suggested that the issue there was access and electricity. 

Orange & Rockland – The Village is in receipt of a letter from the utility company informing them that tree removal would be taking place around the lines beginning January 29.  Copies of the letter will be circulated among the department heads and it will also be posted to the Village website so that residents can know where they will be working and when.

Trustee Gluck commented that earlier in the year it had been suggested that perhaps Mr. Ledwith could do a “drive through” with O & R in order to determine whether there were any significant trees that could be dealt with otherwise. 
Trustee McHugh responded that O & R had already done this work and that what remained was for Nelson Tree Service to come in and do the actual removal.  Superintendent Voss will meet with them weekly in order to make sure that nothing contentious is being removed. 

WeeWah Dam – Very little work has been completed on the project over the course of the last month due to the weather.   Both the freezing temperatures and the thaw that occurred with the rain and warmer temperatures have halted work.  The project remains at 73% completion.  March 2 was meant to be the completion date however this is no longer achievable.  They are waiting to determine exactly how much more time will be needed, but their guess is that the project will be done in early April. 

The Booth – At the December meeting the Board discussed the ideas of possibly using technology installed in a kiosk as an alternative or continuing on with the construction of a new booth as originally planned after having received an estimate of $200,000 for the reconstruction.  Both ideas are still being entertained.  In the meantime, the Mayor had suggested that he would look into fundraising for the project, which he did.  He discovered that neither he nor any of the Trustees can participate in coordinating a fundraising effort.  That being said, efforts are under way, being led by a group called Friends of The Traffic Booth and $50,000 has been collected to date.

Public Comments:
Meg Vaught noted that at the December meeting there had been a discussion about the Town’s investigation into becoming a Village at the end of which it had been agreed that the Village Attorney would reach out to the Town Attorney in an effort to learn more about what was being proposed and what the potential impacts to the Village of Tuxedo Park would be.  She wondered whether there was anything new to report.

Village Attorney Brian Nugent responded that he had not yet met with the Town Attorney.  He is in receipt of the initial materials, but they have not had a chance to discuss it yet.  Michele Lindsay added that the Town Board had only discussed it one time during their December meeting and that they did not have any new information to date.

With regard to the Verizon Tower, Claudio Guazzoni commented that there had been a second site proposed, which was down at the water plant, pointing up.
The Valley runs from north to south and is currently being fed by a mega watt tower on the west side of Route 17 near the old Red Apple Rest.  This covers the north side of the Village fairly well, especially at elevated sites.  The issues are more at the South end.

Michele Lindsay added that Orange County 911 is looking to upgrade a tower out in Maple Brook and there is a possibility that cell towers will be installed there when that work is done, which would also help with reception at the South end of the Village.  She wondered whether or not cell towers needed to go through the SEQRA process.

The answer was yes.

Next, Claudio inquired about “the bacteria in the water,” noting that tonight was the first he had head about it.  He wondered when the tests had come out.
Trustee Gluck explained that there had never been any bacteria in the drinking water.  What they found was a byproduct of the purification process, (TOC) which if not dealt with can lead to the formation of other compounds (not bacteria), which could potentially be harmful.  These compounds were tested for and not found.

Mayor McFadden added that this had been disclosed and discussed at length by Superintendent Voss at the December meeting of the Trustees.

Trustee McHugh further commented that the Village had received a notification from the Department of Health in December, at which point they were told that all water users must be notified by January 4 and they were.   The test in question was completed in September but they were not notified until December.  Two more tests have subsequently been conducted and show that everything is back in conformity.
“Wouldn’t it be better to notify the residents immediately that there was something wrong with the drinking water?” inquired Mr. Guazzoni.
“We did notify the residents immediately,” responded Trustee McHugh.

“As soon as you knew, you notified the residents?”  Mr. Guazzoni inquired again.
“That is correct,” affirmed Trustee McHugh.

Trustee Barnett pointed out that page two of the minutes from December meeting of the Trustee clearly talks about the issue. 


Old Business:
Assessor Position – Trustee Moon recalled that the Board had passed two resolutions regarding assessments.  The first was to hire a certified real estate assessor for the upcoming assessment cycle.  The second one was to have a more comprehensive project that would review the Village assessment rolls in general.  This leaves the Village with one practical problem.  Grievance Day will take place on February 20.  The Village published an RFP and got some excellent candidates but there is not enough time to conduct interviews, hire somebody and get them entirely on board in time for residents to have their assessment as well as the opportunity to prepare to grieve.  The Board attorney has advised the Trustees that upon resolution the Trustees can form an Assessment Board. 

The make-up of this Board was discussed at some length in terms of how many members it would have and whether or not the meetings had to be public under the open meetings law.  Following this, the Board voted unanimously in favor of forming the Assessment Board, with all five of them as members.   The Board of Assessors will meet on Saturday, January 20 at 9am.  The meeting will be open to the public, but there will be no comment period.

Announce Grievance Day – Grievance Day will take place on Tuesday, February 20 from 5-9pm in the Village Hall.

New Business:
Discusssion/Resolution – Dedication of a Portion of Ridge Road – Mr. Nugent explained that the parcel of land in question has a property line that runs partially through Ridge Road.   The property owner would like to deed this portion of the Road to the Village (without any cost to the Village) The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing council to move forward by informing the resident’s counsel that the Village will accept title to the portion of the road and that they can proceed with the necessary paperwork.

Resolution – Authorize Village Court use of Town Court Room – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Village Court to make use of the Town Court Room for an upcoming jury trial.

Resolution – Appoint BZA Chairman – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Houston Stebbins as BZA Chairman for a term ending June 30, 2018.

Resolution – NEAMI Third Party Agreement Renewal – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor McFadden to sign the NEAMI (workman’s comp third Party Agreement Renewal.

Resolution – Adopt NYSHIP Excelsior Plan Option – Mayor McFadden explained that adopting this plan as an option was part of the body of the Police Contract.  Following some minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting it.

Draft Local Law – Air BNB – The Board has been working on a draft law to address Air BNBs.  Changes to the Village Code will be needed and therefore a public hearing will be necessary. 

Mr. Nugent suggested as a matter of housekeeping that they remove the name Air BNB from meeting agendas and discussion titles moving forward as it is really a trademark and the law will focus on short-term rentals in general.
It was agreed that this would be done.

The Mayor reported that he had done a recent survey of the public with regard to Air BNB  as part of another mailing and had requested comments.  To date he has received 15-18 responses which have been circulated to the Board.  He estimates that 1/3 of the responses were pro and 2/3 against.  The comments are available for FOIL if anyone is interested. 

Trustee Moon provided a bit of history, explaining that the Board had looked at a use of the “transient rental prohibition law” sometime ago when Mayor Guinchard was in office.  At that time, New York had passed a statute however, since it involved expression in the form of advertising for rentals, it implicates the first amendment.  Because of this, they decided to wait until the constitutional challenges had passed the law because they didn’t want to violate the constitution.  The challenges have since passed.  They then took the New York State law and modified it for Village conditions, mostly with a view towards nomenclature, using language form the Village Code rather than the NYS statute.  They then sent it to the attorney to draft into technical form.  Essentially, the legislation prohibits advertising for a rental in the village for a period less than 30 days (with a few caveats that allow for caregivers, relatives and friends to stay provided there is no commercial transaction.)

Trustee Gluck added that the legislation was drafted with the notion being that anything less than 30 days would be a prohibited, short-term, transient rental that could not be advertised for via a commercial website, or engaged in at all.  He suggested that perhaps they could discuss altering the amount of time to either 15 days or two weeks, which he would be a proponent of.  The legislation also carves out a place for medical caregivers, who can stay for compensation.  Aside from that however, as it is currently being proposed, any other compensatory rental arrangement for some period of time, whether it be 30 or 15 days, will not be permitted under the code.  He added that the legislation was really in the hands of the community and if they decide that they want to allow short-term rentals for whatever reason, they should come forward and speak their minds. His current sense is that this is not something that the community wants to see as a whole and that people like preserving the residential nature of the community as it is now.  That being said, he encouraged residents to come forward and let them know how they felt about it.

Trustee McHugh wondered when the proposed legislation would be distributed to the community for review.

The Mayor responded that it would have to be distributed at least 7 days prior to the Public Hearing.  He then commented that 10 years prior he had rented his house to the Silvays, who then entered the leasee program at The Club.  There was a transaction involved.  He wondered whether something like this would no longer be permitted under the new law.

Trustee McHugh inquired about the length of time that was involved, suggesting that if it was less than 30 days, it would not comply.

Mayor McFaddon responded that he did not remember.  He went on to say that he had rented his boat house out for two weeks to a Village resident.  He wondered whether this type of activity would be prohibited.

Trustee Moon responded that electronic advertisement was prohibited.  He was not entirely sure as to whether or not the actual transaction was allowed.  “The New York law speaks to only advertisement.” He added.

Trustee Gluck wondered whether the New York law prohibited both the advertisement and the underlying transaction.

From the audience, Claudio Guazzoni commented that there were actually two New York State laws.  “The first covers the actual deal, and the second law the advertisement,” he stated.

Trustee Moon commented that he felt it was good to have some rental activity in the community as often times people begin by renting a house and then they end up buying one.  There is a program at the Club and there are also situations where people have work done on their homes and need to stay elsewhere in the Park while it is going on.  Some rental activity is good!  The difficulty he sees is twofold.  First, there is an issue of quality of life and neighborly conduct and secondly the Gates.  The Village is a permanent, residential community. 

The Mayor added that having commercial businesses of any kind within the Village was not allowed and therefore running an Air BNB or any other similar type of transient rental, is already prohibited by the Code. 

Trustee Barnett wondered why they would consider prohibiting advertising only rather than to flatly prohibit leasing for less than 30 days.

Trustee Moon responded that he felt the answer was enforcement.  “It’s easy to check Air BNB and type in Tuxedo Park, but you don’t want to be stepping around in people’s back yards to see if they have a transient tenant.”

Trustee Gluck commented that he believed the underlying act was also prohibited in New York State and that recently they had added advertising as an enforcement mechanism. 

“We could also charge $1,000 for a special tag for your car,” quipped the Mayor.

Mr. Nugent advised that if they wanted to target advertising only, they could certainly do that but in this case, the draft law targeted both the advertising and the underlying action.

Richard Witte commented that he believed there had been a short-term rental across the street from his house and a resulting issue had been the lack of parking.   The tenants and their visitors were parking on the street, which was problematic. 
He suggested that the legislation should include language, which requires adequate parking for rentals. 

Mayor McFadden responded that this was a good idea and encouraged Mr. Witte to submit this comment in writing if he was unable to make next month’s public hearing. 

Claudio Guazzoni commented that in 2015 New York State had passed a law forbidding short-term transient rentals of less than 30 days and to enforce this (there were a lot of loopholes) in 2016 they passed a second law prohibiting advertising by internet, print, word of mouth, real estate agent or tour group.   The second law was passed in order to enforce the first.  He suggested that the Village do the same thing and that they include both residential and non-residential buildings.
“I don’t want somebody renting a boat house for 10 days and then running over my dog.”

Mayor McFadden encouraged Mr. Guazzoni to submit these comments in writing if he was unable to make the public hearing.

With regard to the timetable, Trustee Gluck suggested that he would like to provide the public with more than just the minimum amount of time required by law to review the draft and form opinions. 

Mayor McFadden agreed, suggesting that they could put it out as soon as it was ready.

Trustee McHugh commented that he felt the law needed to have “teeth” and wondered what the penalty would be for those who were noncompliant.  He further suggested that he felt the penalty should be significantly more than whatever the individual was potentially renting for.  He feels this element needs to be modified in order to make it sufficiently punitive so that if people are caught, it has “a bite.”
Following some further discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of officially introducing the legislation (named Local Law Introductory D1) and setting a public hearing for February 21 at 6pm.

The law will be available for public review by February 7, 2018.

Draft Local Law – Regulate Non-Utility Devices in Public Rights-of-Way and Easements- Mayor McFadden kicked off the discussion by stating that similar to the way in which the Village maintains some control over what goes on homes in the Village via the design guidelines, they feel that they should also maintain some control over what goes on utility devices. (telephone poles) Under the proposed legislation, residents will have to go through a permitting process in order to put something up.

Michele Lindsay asked for an example, aside from something posted to a telephone pole, of what the law would regulate.

Brian Nugent responded that telephone poles were the main thing, although the law would regulate anything that is not already regulated as electrical transmission equipment. The Village can regulate anything that goes on the pole that is not part of the electrical system.  The way the law currently stands, O & R could enter into an agreement with anybody they choose to place things on the poles and the Village would not have any control over it.

“For example” the Mayor further commented, “if we wanted to put up a period light on a pole, in addition to getting approval from O & R it would also need to pass through the BAR.  Another might be if there is a resident who is having a party with a lot of out-of-town guests, rather than putting up arrows, which sometimes stay up for a period of time, they would have to call the code enforcement officer for approval.”

Mr. Nugent advised that it was really about visibility and that the legislation would put into place a permitting process for hanging things on utility poles.  They are not intending to prevent people from hanging things on the polls altogether, merely they are attempting to regulate what goes up in an attempt to preserve the visual integrity of the Village.

“So if I lose my cat, I can hang a flyer on a telephone pole? “ inquired Meg Vaught.

“You can, you just need to get approval,” responded Mayor McFadden.

“Do I need a permit?” inquired Mrs. Vaught.

The answer was no, only an approval would be needed.

Mrs. Vaught then wondered if this was akin to the situation that occurred recently in Mahwah with telephone poles.

Mr. Nugent responded that the issues were different but there was some overlap in the sense that what was in question there were visible, white attachments to the poles.  If somebody wanted to put something like that on poles in the Village, under this legislation, the attachments would be required to blend in with the pole.

Mrs. Vaught wondered if they would be drafting and adopting specific regulations or guidelines.

Mayor McFadden responded that applicants would have to go through the existing BAR process.

Trustee McHugh inquired about TPS and whether or not this legislation would preclude them from putting event signage on telephone poles.

Mr. Nugent advised that the legislation was drafted for attachments that were permanent and not temporary.  Anything posted for less than 30 days would not be prohibited under the law.

Following some further discussion a public hearing for Local Law Introductory D2 was set for February 21 at 6:01pm.

Public Comments:
Jane Garofano noted that the date set for Tax Grievance, February 20, fell during President’s Week, during which time many people were away.  She wondered whether or not this date was set in stone and whether or not residents had to physically be present in order to grieve. 

The answer was no, physical presence is not required.  The date is set by the State of New York.  There is a form that must be submitted and it will be reviewed on that day. 

Secondly, Mrs. Garofano inquired as to why the current administration was not circulating any sort of newsletter to the residents. 

The Mayor responded that this had been his decision.  “I really feel like you can read the minutes as well as the great work of the reporters at TPFYI and that my role is to communicate with you when there is an important issue.”

“It’s nice to get communication from The Mayor,” responded Mrs. Garofano.

“It’s a lot of work,” interjected Claudio Guazzoni.

“Well, that’s’ why I don’t run for Mayor,” replied Mrs. Garofano. 

The Mayor wondered how everyone else felt on the subject.

Mr. Guazzoni suggested that a monthly newsletter would be nice, but noted it took a lot of work.

“It’s always been done, so I think people are used to it,” commented Mrs. Vaught.

“It’s always been done,” echoed Mrs. Garofano.


“It hasn’t always been done,” replied Mayor McFadden.  “Tom Wilson didn’t do it.”
“You are comparing yourself to Tom Wilson?” inquired Mr. Guazzoni.

The Mayor suggested that monthly letters could ultimately prove divisive.

Mrs. Garofano wondered if he couldn’t draft some sort of overview so that residents did not have to physically attend meetings or search for information online in order to know what is going on.

Mayor McFadden suggested that they collect email addresses and send information electronically as it was a laborious undertaking for the clerk to send out a large mailing.

Trustee McHugh interjected that they had been trying to populate the Village website with more information and they would like to encourage residents to utilize this as the Village’s main medium of communication.

Trustee Moon suggested that an easy approach would be to approve the meeting minutes in a timely fashion and circulate them by email to those residents who opt-in.

Following some further discussion, The Mayor stated that he would take a stab at it and he invited Mrs. Garofano to come back to them with any and all feedback in the months ahead.
Claudio Guazzoni commented that he wanted to talks about the state of taxes and SALT and the fact that taxes were no longer deductible.  He stated that he had come to the October meeting and raised the point only to be rebuffed by the Mayor, who claimed that the proposed changes would never pass through the Senate.

“I never said that!” responded the Mayor.

“I’ll let you hear it on tape at the next meeting,” replied Mr. Guazzoni.  “Outside of a hastily arranged emergency meeting with half an hours’ notice,” continued Mr. Guazozni, “what else are you doing to lower our taxes and take this burden off the taxpayer’s back, because it seems like the budget is going to be a lot larger this year than it was last year.”

“Is than an anecdotal comment?” inquired the Mayir.

“No, I’m asking what else are you doing outside of….”

“First of all,” interrupted Mayor McFadden, “it wasn’t a last minute, half hour, emergency meeting.  It was December 27, where we all sacrificed our time during the Holiday.  I don’t know if you appreciate that or not, but I know a lot of people did.  We had hundreds of emails thanking us for what we were doing.”

“Ok, what else are you doing besides that?” asked Mr. Guazzoni.

“Regarding?” responded the Mayor.

“Regarding lowering our taxes, because they are non-deductible, Mayor.   I told you that in October.”

“If I had only listened to you,” quipped the Mayor, “things would be running so much better.”

“I know.  Sucks when you don’t finish college doesn’t it,” retorted Mr. Guazzoni

“What we are doing,” interjected Trustee Barnett, “is systematically looking at issues that have not been addressed for a long time, including the previous administration.  We are starting with accounting procedures.  You can’t understand a budget unless you understand the accounting.  We will have clear accounting so that everybody understands what is being spent and why.  I think that you cannot save money unless you have a maintenance schedule.  We don’t have a maintenance schedule.  We need to define priorities in maintenance and than have people hold us accountable.  We have had reports going back for lord knows how long showing that we ‘re losing around 50% of our water on average.  We can’t account for it.  Alan and I are focused on that.  One of the several things we found is that there is a filter, that plugs into the sewer that has been using clean, purified water to clean out the sewage filter.  Once the dam is finished, we are going to start using Wee Wah Lake water for this purpose.  We think that this is going to significantly reduce the loss of water.  If you can account for more of your water, you save money by not manufacturing as much.”

“It just seems to me that the budget this year is going to be a lot more than it was last year.  I mean, you have all these consultants on the books,” replied Mr. Guazzoni.
“How can you say that?  How can you say it?  You have no numbers! You’re guessing.  You have no idea,” stated Trustee Barnett.

“I’m just saying, you cannot deduct….” began Mr. Guazonni

“Claudio, have you got any clue what you are talking about?” inquired Trustee Barnett.

 “All of you should put some time in and sharpen the pencil and try to lower the budget by 10%.,” stated Mr. Guazzoni.

“What in the hell do you think we have been doing?” responded Trustee Barnett.

Trustee Gluck then interjected that he felt this would be a good point in time to thank Mr. Guazzoni for his remarks and move on.

“So you are doing nothing about it,” stated Mr. Guazzoni.

“That is not true,” replied the Mayor.

“All right….we’ll see when the budget comes out,” responded Mr. Guazzoni.

“I am really amazed at how much work all of you guys do,” Richard Witte commented to the Board.  He went on to raise the issue of school taxes, stating that he felt that the Village was being overwhelmed by them.  He suggested that some States have begun using a portion of their sales tax to help to alleviate the burden of school taxes.  He wondered whether or not this was a possibility in New York, noting that ultimately it was a political solution that would involve both the County and the State, but he felt it was good one.

Fred Rella then commented that he was a property tax expert.  Municipalities hire him and he assists with grievances.  He has represented several thousand homeowners over the course of the last several years.  He offered his help to the Board for he upcoming assessment season if they were interested.
The Mayor thanked Mr. Rella for his offer, commenting he had had no idea that he was in this line of work.

back to top


Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 17, 2018

Click here to view a copy of this agenda.

back to top


Update Prepayment Of 2018 Taxes - December 28, 2017

From The Mayor's Desk:

VILLAGE RESIDENTS – After further discussion and consideration with our Village attorney and accounting firm, and the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM),  the Village  will accept checks  presented for 2018 Village real property taxes in an amount up to last year’s tax bill.  To qualify you must drop off a check at the Village Office tomorrow, Friday December 29, 2017 between 9 AM and 4 PM, or mail a check postmarked before 11:59 pm on December 31, 2017.  No wire transfers will be accepted. The Village will hold the check for 10-days in case things change. If not we will return the check to you. 

The Village makes no representation that this will result in the ability to deduct such payments in 2017 or as to any tax matter; current authority would appear to require a tax warrant or assessment prior to year end which has not and for various reasons cannot occur.   The relief the Village would require would have to come from the Governor’s office, the IRS, or certain movement in the courts.  Please consult your own tax adviser.   This situation is constantly evolving and will likely continue to do so until the matter is finally settled. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


back to top


Update Prepayment Of 2018 Taxes - December 27, 2017

From the Mayor's Desk

PREPAYMENT OF 2018 TAXES – December 27, 2017

VILLAGE RESIDENTS – As we have reported to Village residents, since Governor Cuomo issued his Executive Order on December 22nd , the Board of Trustees has been working to see if we could develop a procedure whereby residents could repay their 2018 property taxes and obtain an income tax deduction in 2017.

This afternoon the Internal Revenue Service issued a statement that conclusively settles this issue. It is clear from the statement that the prepayment of 2018 Village property taxes will not be deductible in 2017.
Attached for your information is a link to the IRS statement. As you can see Example 2 in the statement is directly on point.  The Village Board does not provide tax advice.


back to top


Prepayment Of 2018 Taxes - December 23, 2017

VILLAGE RESIDENTS – Based on present knowledge, we are limited to pre-paying the town taxes. The Town had dated their tax warrant December 27, which would allow taxpayers to pay 2018 taxes between December 27 and December 31.  The problem with Village and School taxes is that they cannot date a warrant earlier because their budget process does not occur until 2018.  The tax collector cannot collect taxes without a warrant, and a warrant cannot be issued until the Village and the School go through their budget process.


However, based on Cuomo’s announcement yesterday The Board of Trustees is taking another look immediately and will communicate its findings to the community.


TOWN TAXES – The 2018 Tax bills are expected to be available by December 27, 2017. Tax payments should be mailed to Tuxedo Town Hall, One Temple Drive, Tuxedo, NY  10987 attention Tuxedo Tax Collector. In person payments can be made during the month of January. Monday and Tuesdays 9:00am -3:00pm, Wednesday Night’s 4:30 – 6:30. Early payment schedule will be released once the tax warrant has been issued.



back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 20, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, December 20 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and wishing them all Happy Holidays.  He then expressed his gratitude to Christopher Gow, who recently took some beautiful drawings of various buildings in the Village, donated by the late Sam Bornstein, and hung them around the Village hall.  He also expressed his gratitude to Chauncey Rodzienko and Lili Neuhauser for their motivation and efforts in helping to get Holiday lights put up around the Front gate, and to Michael Bruno, who in turn offered to fund this effort and assist in getting the lights installed.
Next he reported that the Village was aware of the Town’s desire to become a Village and they had asked their attorney to touch base with the Town Attorney and report back with pertinent information so they can render some opinions. 

Police Report:
On behalf of the Police Department, Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of November:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 345
Criminal Complaints – 8
Property Damage Complaints – 5
Arrests – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Fire Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 2
Traffic Tickets Issued – 5
Assists Given to The Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 892 (YTD)
Non-Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 220 (YTD)

Additionally, roughly 1,300 vehicles passed through the Front Gate daily.

Mayor McFadden expressed his gratitude and offered congratulations to the Chief and his team for their assistance and overall roll in helping to apprehend the culprit behind a rash of automobile break-ins this past fall.

DPW Report:
Superintendent Voss began his report by addressing a recent Violation issued to the Village from the Health Department for high levels of TOC (total organic carbon) found in recent water samples.   The samples are supposed to have a removal level of 1, but in September of 2017 that level was .97.  As required by the Health Department, the Village must put out a letter before January 4, 2018 informing residents of the Violation.  The Superintendent assured the Board and the Public that TOCs have no health effect.  They are a precursor for disinfection bi-products, which the Village also tests for.  TOCs are tested for monthly, while the bi-products are done quarterly. 
The Mayor wanted to know whether the DPW had been in further contact with the Department of Health.

The answer was yes.  There is nothing, aside from the letter, that the Village needs to do.  No further testing is required.  The results of testing for the bi-products show levels that are way below contamination levels.  The drinking water is perfectly fine.  Superintendent Voss reached out to an environmental consultant who has worked with the Village in the past to discuss the issue and inquire as to whether it could be a result of old filters.  The answer was that it absolutely could be as the filters are 20 years old and could use to be rehabbed.  Additionally, the Superintendent has spoken to the Village Engineers about setting up a time for them to come down to the Water Department and take a close look at the equipment in order to help them put together a plan for tank rehab.

Other than this, the department has been busy picking up leaves as weather permits.  They have also been working with Nelson Tree Service, contract operators for Orange and Rockland, every Tuesday on removing hazardous trees.  There have been a few water leaks over the past 10 days that they have been busy repairing and there is a pressure regulator in the Town of Tuxedo, which needs to be replaced.  This work has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 27.

Mayor McFadden wondered if there was the potential for grant funding with any of these projects.

The answer was no.

Finally, new lines were painted on the roadways just after Thanksgiving.   

The Mayor pointed out that the section of road leading from Route 17 up to the Front Gate was a mess with both old and new lines visible.  He is concerned as this is the first impression visitors get when they visit the Village.
The Superintendent responded that he was working on fixing this and would take care of the issue.

Building Department:
Click here to view a copy of the Building Department report.

Additionally, Mr. Ledwith reported having met with Verizon about the possibility of a cell tower on Ridge Road near the water towers.  The trees in the area are quite tall (approximately 90 feet) but the pole would have to be slightly higher.  He has asked the Verizon representatives to put something official together for him to relay back to the Trustees. 

The Mayor commented that he believed that the last time this had been discussed, the intention had been to attach a pole to the water tanks rather than to bring in an extremely tall pole.

Mr. Ledwith responded that this was not the case.  The proposal has always been for a pole.  Verizon has offered to paint the pole if the Village so desires and Mr. Ledwith would be happy to speak to them about this.

Public Comments for Village Services:
Addressing Chief Melchiore, Meg Vaught commented that about 10 days prior she had been pulled over for speeding near the Tuxedo Club.  Acknowledging that she had in fact been speeding and that the stop was warranted, she went on to report that after determining that she as a resident, the officer had inquired not only as to the address from where she was coming, but also what she had been doing there.  Mrs. Vaught found this line of questioning both unnecessary and intrusive and wondered whether the officers frequently engaged in this sort of questioning with residents during routine traffic stops.

Chief Melchiore responded that due to recent incidents involving suspicious activity in the Village, the officers were more on alert and will often question drivers accordingly.  He apologized for the inconvenience and stressed that if anyone felt violated in any way they should step forward, but he also asked for patience with the officers when and if they ask these types of questions.  If they are able to prevent non-residents from unnecessarily “floating around” the Village, they will do so.

Other Reports:
Dam Construction – Trustee McHugh reported that the Wee Wah Dam project is 75% complete and on budget.  Bi-monthly meetings continue.  There are no safety issues with the project.  There are a couple of overages.  The original project budget allowed for $220,000 for overages.  The overages to date include: $3,000 for drilling, construction of a concrete wall which became necessary after they removed the capstones on the auxiliary spillway and discovered massive deterioration of varying degrees there and had to bring it down by 10 feet.  The cost of this additional work is $30,000.  Additional issues were also uncovered on the floor of the auxiliary spillway the result of which was an increase in the square footage area that needs work.  The cost of this is $15,000.  Finally, there is an exposed face on the primary rear that needs to be refaced with concrete at a cost of $10,000.  On top of this, the Board needs to vote on some additional scope of work for CHA (engineers) whose original contact expired on December 18.  All of this totals $144,000, which will come from the allocated $220,000.  From an engineering prospective, everything is very much in line and they do not expect any surprising as they approach the finish line.  With regard to the bridge between Pond #3 and the Wee Wah, the contractor discovered some fallen rocks under the bridge when they commenced work there and as a result a bridge engineer will be brought in over the course of the next month in order to help determine whether any remediation needs to be done. 
Mayor McFadden wondered whether or not they would be able to utilize the remaining contingency funds to complete any work that might be necessary on the bridge.
Trustee McHugh responded that they were hopeful that this would be the case.  Given that the bridge is a part of the dam structure, they are also consulting with the DEC.

The Village has begun posting monthly overviews/progress reports of the project in pictorial form to the Village website.  At this point, the real topical issue moving forward is weather.  The contractor is confident that he will be able to work throughout the winter in order to finish the project in March.
The Mayor thanked Trustee McHugh for taking on the project and doing such a thorough job with it.  He encouraged him to keep up the good work.

Resolution – CHA’s Extra Work Authorization (EWA) No. 7 Request – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this request in the amount of $54,000.

Traffic Booth - Mayor McFadden noted that back in September the Board had announced plans to move forward with the project as soon as they had an actual cost estimate.  After much prodding, they finally received an estimate in mid December and it was for $200,000.  This is over the budget for the project.  Subsequently, there are a few things they can do.  They can change the design in hopes of lowering the overall cost.  They have roughly $45,000 left over from the originally funding they had set aside, which would mean that they would have to try and find additional funding somewhere within the budget or try to raise the money via donations.  As a result of this, they have come to a “re-start point” for the booth. 
Mayor McFadden apologized for this, reiterating that their original intent had been to begin digging in November, but the delay with the estimate had rendered that impossible.  Now they feel that they have an obligation to the taxpayers to make sure that the Village can afford the project before they commence.  The Mayor assured everyone that he would be pushing to make sure that they could afford the project and get the booth built. 

Trustee McHugh commented that when the booth had originally been destroyed and the initial survey conducted in February of 2015, some fundamental assumptions had been made, which he feels are incorrect.  In 2015 the Village had traffic guards, which they no longer do.  Also, residents were assuming that they would have the same interface with a new booth, however this is not so. In order to make the booth secure for the officer inside, the design has been altered to include bulletproof glass and inoperable windows.   Finally, there had been so consideration of cost when the original survey was taken.

Mayor McFadden interjected that there were design solutions to the inoperable windows, however this would increase the price of the project.

Trustee McHugh agreed.

The Mayor suggested that they were moving in the right direction as the estimate had come down significantly from the first estimate they had received.

Trustee McHugh suggested that, given the costs they had been given, perhaps an alternative to the booth could be a kiosk with a video screen where individuals would be able to interact with officers in the Keep via the screen. While this would admittedly be only a fraction of what would be achieved by a booth, it would allow for face-to-face interaction with the police officers.  The Village has begun some preliminary pricing of this option with vendors.  He feels this would be a better solution than no solution, if this is what the residents want.

Update on Accountant’s and Comptroller’s Audits – Trustee McHugh reported that he and Trustee Barnett would be meeting with the Auditor the following day.  They did receive a preliminary draft of the report, which they will review in that meeting.  The Comptroller is no longer onsite and is working remotely.  They will be providing the Mayor with an informal presentation prior to submitting a formal presentation to the Board, which they will in turn respond to.
Mayor McFadden commented that, through direct conversations that had already taken place, he felt the Village had been able to get a head start on remediating some of the policy issues.  Their goal is to meet the critique head on, make the necessary changes and work closely with them in a proactive manor.

Trustee McHugh agreed with this noting that there had been 4 main issues; the Water Department, Segregation of Duties, the Village Procurement Policy and the IT Department.  He further noted that the IT issues would hopefully be largely resolved later in the evening. 

Mayor McFadden then thanked Trustees McHugh and Barnett and Denise Spalthoff for all of their hard work on getting these things in order.

Tree Advisory Board – TAB Chair Chui Yin Hempel presented the Board with an update.  Click here to view the presentation.

Financial Report – Trustee Barnett reported that in looking at the 69-page draft financial statement from the auditors, he had come to the conclusion that the Villages financials were somewhat non-comprehensible.  He believes that one of the basis for being able to control or supervise a Village or any entity and have it’s shareholders or voters be able to supervise it, is to comprehend the financials.  Not only are the Village financials non-comprehensible in his view, they are sometime contradictory.  The different areas/departments don’t talk to one another and there is no valid balance sheet to compare.  If they cannot understand what the financials are and what they have, they cannot properly run the Village.  He feels that it has been many years since the Board and the voters have been able to understand the financials.  It is his goal to make the financials much more comprehensible so that the voters can hold the current Board and future Boards more accountable to a standard and so that the Trustees can properly supervise their employees.

Public Comments:
With regard to the Town’s intention to become a Village, Dena Steele wondered if this were to happen, what Tuxedo Park would become the Village of.

The Mayor responded that he had asked the Village Attorney to speak with the
Town Attorney so that they could get a better understanding of the situation. 
Board Attorney Brian Nugent concurred, further commenting that he was in possession of a Powerpoint presentation, but had not had the opportunity to speak with the Town Attorney directly.

Trustee Moon added that he felt it was a very good idea and that in his view it was important that the Town have the ability to object to the Pilgrim Pipeline and becoming a village would permit it to do so.  As he understands it, without having viewed any of the legal paperwork, there would be no change in borders or functions. 

Mr. Nugent suggested that typically when this type of thing happened, there was not already a pre-existing Village within the Town and this might be where procedural hurdles could arise.

Michele Lindsay added that the Town Board had begun exploring the option about a year ago as they had twice attempted to push a transportation law through the State Assembly and Senate, which would have afforded Towns the right to prohibit the Pipeline.  The presentation that took place at the December 11 Town Board meeting was the first time they had really seen anything.  It is a work in progress.

Marc Cintron commented that he had had the opportunity to do a little research on the issue of consolidation and while the pipeline has been openly discussed, he feels it is important to note that one of the reasons why other communities in Westchester had become Village/Towns was to avoid a reorganization of the town, similar to what has happened in Ramapo.  For example, with the construction of Tuxedo Farms a lot of new residents will be joining the existing Town.  State law provides that any territory with a population of at least 500 can begin the process of creating a village within an unincorporated portion of the Town.  As such, the Town of Tuxedo could face the possibility of losing their jurisdiction over Tuxedo Farms should the residents there decide that they want their own zoning and planning boards.  This particular proposal may impact the ability to create a separate Village within the Town of Tuxedo other than the pre-existing Village of Tuxedo Park.

Trustee Moon responded that he had been in conversations with Supervisor Rost for about a year on this topic and the assured everyone that the intent behind the proposal was entirely environmental so that they could object to the Pilgrim Pipeline.

Moving on, Dena Steele commented that she felt the police needed to take a more active role out in the community, interacting with residents and patrolling, rather than sitting securely behind glass.  She spends a lot of time outdoors birding and walking dogs and she rarely sees the police go by.  She belongs to a residential club in Florida where there is traffic guard interacting directly with people at the entrance as well as a constant patrolling presence.  She would like to see more of this here in the Village.

Tom Salierno inquired as to the proposed completion date for the dam project, specifically wondering if this would include all of the work at the waterfall and the pipe that needs to be run from Pond #3 under the roadway.

Trustee McHugh responded that there had been a delay in getting the pipe installed.  They are planning to have divers lay the pipe sometime within the next month.  The road will be cut, but not repaved until the spring. 

Mr. Salierno then wondered if work on the bridge would affect the wall that holds up the road there.
Trustee McHugh responded “hopefully not,” but until they have taken a closer look at what might need to be done, they cannot say for sure.

Gartner Hempel inquired as to whether there was a targeted date for reopening the road over the Wee Wah dam for passage. 

The answer was sometime between April and June of 2018.
With regard to the Booth, Mr. Hempel wondered whether the Village had a breakdown of labor as a part of the $200,000 estimate.

Mayor McFadden explained that the entire project was done by prevailing wage, which ultimately added another 20% to the cost.  The Village has no choice on that, but they are willing to explore creative options such as partial construction off-site.  He added that the only way to really know what the costs would be would be to collect bids, however he does not believe that the estimate is $50,000 off.

Mr. Hempel replied the he was trying to get an idea of what the controllable costs might be.  He wondered about material costs.

The Mayor responded that he believed there was a way they could buy the materials through the Village and thus avoid paying tax.

Jim Hays inquired about the status of Airbnbs in the Village and whether the Board had made any determinations.  Secondly, he noted that many residents had received an email earlier that day from the Town suggesting that 2018 property taxes could be paid before the end of 2017.  He suggested that this could provide an opportunity for residents to deduct these taxes from their 2017 income.  He wondered if the Village might be able to do the same.

Mayor McFadden responded that they had looked into this and it appeared that they could only work with the County taxes.  He asked Mr. Nugent to explain further.

Mr. Nugent responded that it was his understanding that the Town had dated their tax warrant December 27, which would allow taxpayers to pay 2018 taxes between December 27 and December 31.   The problem with  Village and School taxes is that they cannot date a warrant earlier because their budget process does not occur until 2018.  The tax collector cannot collect taxes without a warrant, and a warrant cannot be issued until the Village and the school go through their budget process.

Lili Neuhauser commented that she ran her dogs on Village property and up at TPS all year long and felt it was imperative that people who do the same clean up after their dogs.  She has recently come across a fair number of people who feel they do not have to clean up during the winter months.  She suggested that the Village put something on their website reminding residents to clean up after their dogs.

Mrs. Hempel added that the same situation was occurring at the Racetrack.

The Mayor agreed that they would put something on the website.

Michele Lindsay commented that the Hamlet Revitalization LDC had held their last consolidation meeting and would be accepting applications at the beginning of January.  For those who are unaware, the LDC (local development corporation) is being funded by Tuxedo Farms in an effort to encourage new businesses in the Hamlet.  2 million in grants are available as well as 4 million in revolving 12-year loans.

New South Gate Policy:
There was an incident recently at the South Gate, which resulted inaccessibility to the Village via that entrance for a few hours.  Chief Melchiore stated that they would be looking into new equipment as what is currently installed there is extremely antiquated.  In the meantime, if this should ever occur again, an officer will be stationed there in order to provide access to the residents.

Update on Village Reassessments:
Trustee Moon reported that he had collected the email addresses for every assessor who does work for a municipality in Orange County.  He has put together an RFP, currently under review by the Village attorney and he is hopeful that it will be ready to send out in a day or so.  Kathy Norris publicly requested a copy of this document at the previous meeting and Trustee Moon will see that she receives one.  It is a Civil Service position.

With regard to the Village Reassessment, the State has a 100-page model RFP, which Trustee Moon feels is fairly incomprehensible.    Therefore, he found a comparable community (Rhinebeck) and is putting together a more streamlined and comprehensible document.  He will report back on this at the next meeting.
Mayor McFadden added that most communities did general reassessments every 4-5 years however the Village has not done one since the 1970s and there are a number of discrepancies as a result.

Airbnb In The Village:
Mayor McFadden reported that this issue had come up at a previous meeting and it appeared as though most of the Board was against it.  Trustee Gluck subsequently offered to look up an old piece of drafted legislation, which pertained to this type of thing but had not been formally adopted by the Board.  Trustee Moon had added to these and made some changes based on current law.  This will be given to Mr. Nugent with the intent of reviewing publicly at the January meeting.   The new draft will not affect operational businesses that may or may not take place within the Village.

New IT Consultant:
The Village is need of new equipment and the Village has been researching new vendors.  Trustee Gluck reported that he has been reaching out to various vendors in search of solutions.  The current machines and operating systems are antiquated and no longer supported.  The email systems are all but unusable and Village business has been conducted on alternative Gmail accounts, which is an untenable situation.  Through his research, Trustee Gluck has found a government solution through the Town of New Windsor.  New Windsor serves as IT for a dozen or so other communities and police departments in the mid and southern Orange County area.   Through an intermunicipal agreement, the Village will receive the benefit of New Windsor’s internal labor rates with only a slight mark-up as well as the benefit of being able to use State pricing on goods and contracts, which will result in a tremendous savings for the Village. 

Additionally, the Village has put together a rough estimate of what they will need to spend to get things to where they need to be over the course of the next year.  This covers new computers for the office staff as well as an email upgrade and servers for both the Police Department and the Village Office.  The total is $15,000.  Trustee Gluck has discovered a surplus within a retirement account, which can be transferred and used to cover these costs.
Before a specific package can be put together and the final costs determined, the contract must be signed.

Mayor McFadden added that the $15,000 would only be in year one.  Subsequent years would likely only cost $1,000 until equipment needs to be replaced again, which will carry a higher price tag.

Trustee McHugh pointed out that moving ahead with this would also bring the Village into compliance with the Comptroller.

The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the agreement between the Village and New Windsor.

New Business:
Resolution – Exemption from County Taxation on Village Owned Water Parcel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of requesting County tax exemption on a Village owned water parcel. 

Resolution – Board of Zoning Appeals Appointments – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Mayor’s appointment of Houston Stebbins and Gary Pompan to fulfill the unexpired terms of Gary Gylnn and Jon Whitney on the Village Board of Zoning Appeals. 

Resolution – CodeRed Renewal - Mayor McFadden reported that he had handed off the responsibility of issuing CodeRed alerts to the Police Department.  The Board then voted unanimously of renewing the CodeRed system for a year at the current annual rate of $3,020.  The Mayor further reported that any residents wishing to remove themselves from the alert list would shortly be able to opt-out on the Village website.

Resolution – Mayor to Sign Agreement Concerning Bequest of Alex Salm – The late Alex Salm bequeathed to the Village a gift of $100,000, which must be used for landscaping and tree removal throughout the Village.  The money must be used in addition to budgeted funds and cannot be used as relief from the budget.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement.

Public Comments:
Chui Yin Hempel commented that the Tree Advisory Board would be happy to assist the Village in determining how to best make use of the Alex Salm funds.

back to top


Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 20, 2017

1. Call to Order

2. Pledge

3. Roll Call

4. Mayor's Comments
a. Holiday Lights at Front Gate
b. Town Becoming a Village

5. Police, DPW & Building Reports

6. Other Reports
a. Dam Construction
b. Traffic Booth
c. Potential Verizon Tower
d. Update on Accountant's and Comptroller's Audits
e. Tree Advisory Board Update

7. Public Comments

8. New South Gate Policy

9. Update on Village Reassessment

10. New IT Consultant

11. New Business
a. Draft & Discuss Rules Regarding Approval of Telephone Pole Postings
b. Real Property Assessor New Position & Posting
c. Resolution-Exemption from County Taxation on Village Owned Water Parcel
d. Board of Zoning Appeals Appointments
e. CodeRed Renewal

12. Public Comments

13. Village Vouchers

14. Approve BOT Minutes

15. Adjourn to Executive Session for the discussion of seasonal water department revenues, pending litigation, and collective bargaining negotiations. 16. Adjournment

And any other matters that may come before the Board.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 15, 2017

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

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department has completed paving on Circuit and West Lake Roads.  Additionally, they have been busy patching more potholes on roads that needed to be resurfaced and picking up leaves in gutters and hilly areas throughout the Village in advance of rain. A couple of trees came down in the wind this past weekend and they were successfully cleared off roadways.  They have also begun installing sanders on the trucks before the freezing weather. Superintendent Voss met with Chief Melchiore with regard to striping the roads.  Double yellow lines in the middle of the roads will be done on Friday (11/17) if weather permits.  They will not be putting lines on the sides of the roads.

Finally, reflectors on the poles along West Lake Road have been installed.
Mayor McFadden requested that Superintendent Voss and Trustee Barnett put together a long term paving plan for the 10 worst roads in the Village to be discussed at the December meeting.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of October:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 336
Criminal Complaints – 8
Property Damage/Motor Vehicle Accidents– 4
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued - 6
Traffic Warnings Issued -4
Fire Alarms – 7
Intrusion Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 1
Assists Given To Outside Agencies – 1
Assists Received From Outside Agencies – 3
Vehicle Tags Issued – 24
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles passed through the Front Gate per day.

The Mayor asked Chief Melchiore to speak to the rumors, still circulating, that there have been an excessive number of car break-ins in the Village.

The Chief responded there had been 2 occasions on or around Halloween, one of which they were able to get to the bottom of and the other is still unfounded.  The Department continues to work closely with outside enforcement agencies.  There have been a couple of similar incidents in the Town of Tuxedo as well.  They are not sure yet if there is any relation.

“But, in general, you don’t feel that there is any reason to sound an alarm to residents to lock their doors and lock their cars for some unusual circumstances?” inquired the Mayor.
Chief Melchiore responded that they would request that residents lock their vehicles and homes as a form of ordinary precaution, but that he did not feel there was any reason for residents to be unusually concerned. 

Dena Steele inquired as to what the rules were in terms of residents being on the WeeWah Beach Club property during off-hours and off-season.  She further noted that she had recently been thrown off the property by a Village Police Officer for trespassing.  “I was told I deliberately went around the gate,” she added. 

Mayor McFadden asked Ms. Steele whether she had made a formal complaint to the Police Department.

She responded that she had not, however she did speak to Trustee McHugh shortly afterwards as the Officer had told her that she should bring the issue to the Village Government.

Trustee McHugh inquired of Chief Melchiore whether or not there was a policy in place with regard to trespassing on the Beach Club property during off-season.  He added that it was his understanding that when the Beach Club was not leasing the property, it was public land.

The Mayor then suggested that the Board make a formal request that Village Residents be permitted access to the property during the off-season without being approached by the Police. 

Trustee Gluck responded that he felt they should leave the status quo in place with the understanding that there has been a long tradition of Village residents using the facility when it is not operating as the Beach Club.  He suggested that they should look into it and determine whether they could continue this without changing anything that currently exists.    He further suggested that he believed there was a long-standing practice of not enforcing the “No Trespassing” sign that was attached to the gate there.
Trustee McHugh commented that this sign had been posted by the WeeWah Beach Club and not the Village and it pertained to the time period when the Club was leasing the property. 

Mayor McFadden stated that the Board would further examine the situation in order to make sure that they had a consensus that Village residents should be able to use the property without any hassle during the off-season.

Ms. Steele suggested that they check with the Beach Club, as over the course of the last several seasons, they have been okay with non-members using the property during off-hours with their dogs as this helps to keep the geese away.
In the meantime, the Mayor asked the Chief to please “lay back” on confronting individuals who are on the property unless they are not residents.

"We are going to check regardless,” responded Chief Melchiore, further suggesting that he would also review the rules and regulations.

Jim Hays wondered if there was any new news with regard to the bones that were found on the Beach Club property.  He pointed out that at the October meeting, the Chief had described them as “fragments” and he wondered if the Chief might be a little clearer about this.  “If you put the fragments together, would they be whole bones or would they be a whole human skeleton?”

“We’re not going to go into too much further detail on the description of what was found at the location,” responded the Chief.  “Right now there are outside agencies that are diving.  We’re now checking the waterways with divers and forensic people involved.  They are checking reports for missing persons, etc., so it is going to take a little while.  Nothing new at this time.”

“Who is doing the analysis on the bones?” inquired Mr. Hays.

The answer was the New York State Police Laboratory.
Inger Grueterich wondered whether the bones had been dated and specifically if they were recent.

Chief Melchiore responded that they were more recent.

“They are more recent than the Corduroy Road,” interjected Trustee Moon.  “Recent it a loaded term.  I really don’t want to talk about an open investigation.  Not in the 70s, 80s or 90s…how’s that?”

Ms. Steele then inquired whether the dam in its’ current state of repair was under the Police jurisdiction.

The answer was yes.

Building Department Report:
Click here to view a copy of the Building Department report.

Mayor McFadden asked Mr. Ledwith to update them on the status of the Traffic Booth.

Mr. Ledwith responded that Village had been getting some estimates pertaining to different construction ideas and they would be putting together more information for the Board as it all came together.

The Mayor added that he and Mr. Ledwith had met with engineer Pat Hines the week previous with regard to the Booth’s progress.  One of the goals of this meeting was to convert the engineering contract from an hourly-based contract to a lump sum or fixed fee contract.  They agreed to do this and a lump sum was provided earlier that day, but what it did not include was an actual estimate for the Booth itself.  This is something that was committed to in Phase One and the Mayor feels that it is very difficult to approve a lump sum based on a product for which they do not know the final cost.  He has asked them for a professional estimate. 

Mr. Ledwith and Trustee Barnett have prepared an updated Water Department Rate Schedule, which reflects all the rates as of November 15, 2017.  A copy is available in the Village Office.

Mr. Hays inquired of Mr. Ledwith whether or not residents who felt they had trees on their property that might threaten O & R power lines could contact the office in hopes of having them put on the list for removal (as per Building Report)
Mr. Ledwith responded that if there are residents who believe they have a situation that jeopardizes the lines, they should bring this to the Village’s attention and they will subsequently bring the issues to O&R.

Committee Reports:
Dam Construction – Trustee McHugh reported that as the month of November comes to a close, the Village is 1.7 million into the project and roughly 65% complete.  Things are moving forward at a rapid pace, which workers trying to get as much of the cement work done as possible before the weather turns freezing cold.  The contractor’s goal is to have this work completed by year-end.  The largest impediment to date has been a section of the spillway where they removed the capstones and found massive deterioration in the wall.  Ultimately, they had to halt work and knock down the wall.  They anticipate there will be a cost-overage of roughly $30k.  Trustee McHugh reminded the Board that when they went out to bid on the project, there had been a built-in cost over-run of $220k put into the bid price of 3.6 million and they are well within this limit.  The parapet wall has gone up with two sections completed.  Stone facing has begun.  The Village has instructed the contractors to put this on hold should the weather become a challenge as ultimately, that work can be completed in the springtime along with the installation of the bluestone caps.  The focus is on getting the concrete poured and having structural rigidity of the dam.  In addition to the issue with the spillway, there appears to be an issue with a knife-gate valve, which could ultimately affect the timing of completion. 

Mayor McFadden inquired as to the status of the work on Pond #3.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had excavated on the Salierno’s land and a hole has been dug for the drainage however, they have been very loose in terms of when they will actually complete the work.  Divers are needed in order to position the pipe in Pond #3 and this could ultimately prove to be a constraint.  Needless to say, the Village is encouraging them to move forward sooner rather than later.

The Mayor inquired as to whether these divers would be a variable in the potential completion date of the project.

Trustee McHugh replied that the Pond #3 work would only take a week and therefore, it is really a non-issue in terms of the totality of everything.

Mayor McFadden then thanked Trustee McHugh for all the time and effort he has put in attending weekly construction meetings and reporting back to the Board. 

Tree City USA Application – Grant Writer Fred Rella stated that the Tree City USA Application would be due on 12/31/17.  A resolution is not required, rather all the Board needs to do is to vote in favor of giving the Mayor the authority to sign the application once complete. The Board then voted unanimously in favor of granting Mayor McFadden this authority.

The Mayor then briefly mentioned that he and Mr. Rella had been discussion potential grants for computer equipment via email and that Mr. Rella had indicated that it would be difficult to obtain equipment for the office but the could potentially get something for the Police Department.  It was agreed that the Mayor and Mr. Rella would meet and discuss this further.

Town Update- Trustee Gluck reported that the Town Board had met on Monday evening and continued their Public Hearing on the application for Tuxedo Farms to waive certain requirements under the Special Permit.  The hearing has been closed and a vote on the waivers has been scheduled for Thursday, November 16 at 6pm.  Trustee Gluck carried a message from Town Board member Michele Lindsay urging anyone who was interested to attend the meeting.  As the Public Hearing has been closed, residents may not be afforded the opportunity to speak but the Town Board will still be accepting written comments through the 16. 

Mayor McFadden wondered whether Mrs. Lindsay had provided a list of pros and cons, which might help some of the audience members to judge the request.

Trustee Gluck responded that he believed that Mrs. Lindsay’s view…and the view of many others…was that what has been proposed will lessen the appearance and quality of the project overall.  Of course everyone can look at what has been proposed and reach their own conclusion, but this was the gist of most of the comments that were made during the public hearings.

Trustee Barnett commented that Related has been arguing that the changes are necessary in order for them to be able to entice builders to take on the project and that the materials that were previously approved make the project prohibitively expensive so that they have not been able to attract anyone.  One of the suggestions form the floor at the hearing, which seemed to get some traction from Board members, was the idea that if they granted approval to changes the regulations as requested, that they grant it only for a portion of the development, pertaining only to the parcels of land in question and not the entire tract.  This way, the Town could retain the stricter guidelines for the entire tract.  While this may or may not prevail, it did appear to have some traction.

Public Comments:
Rob Zgonena commented that he had two issues that he wished to bring before the Board as he had been unable to obtain answers from any agency. One of these issues goes back roughly a year to when he subdivided his property on Ridge Road.  He has an expectation to get assessed values for each subdivided parcel in a fair and timely manor.  He was able to obtain assessments from the Town of Tuxedo in April, but to date he has not received an assessment from the Village.  He inquired as to who the current assessor was in the Village, further suggesting that he had an email train to back up his repeated requests.

The Mayor responded that the Village does not currently have a formal assessor.
Mr. Zgonena wanted to know for how long this had been the case.

“We can certainly help you out,” responded Mayor McFadden. “You have circumstances that are apparently in need and obviously you want to get this project done.  Let us talk and find an immediate solution for you.”

“I have lost sales because banks need assessments to get mortgages.  Buyers want assessments to know what their taxes are going to be.  I have waited and waited and waited.  This is another example where the agencies of Tuxedo Park have come and hurt me financially again.”

Mayor McFadden apologized, commenting that this was the first time he had heard of the matter.  He asked the other Trustees whether they were aware of the situation.

Trustee McHugh noted that he was aware of the situation and that he had been under the impression that Mr. Zgonena had received notification from the Village informing him that they were going to use the same assessment as the Town had.

“Why would you do that?” inquired Mr. Zgonena.  “Are you saying that assessments are uniform throughout the Village and the Town?  Cause they are not.  I have an email here from Fran Liza where John Ledwith gave her what he expected the assessment to be, but that was in October.  If we have no assessor now, why does John Ledwith have anything to do with this?”

The Mayor noted that Mr. Zgonena only had two minutes left for public comment and Mr. Zgonena argued that he had more than one issue to discuss.  The Mayor responded by asking Mr. Zgonena to please keep it brief as there were other members of the public who wished to speak.

Mr. Zgonena then commented “I am going to be filing an appeal to a Board of Architectural approval that you, Mr. Mayor, got, so I am going to have to ask you to probably recuse yourself.  I am appealing a BAR approval from September, not on the basis of any benefit that I seek for a property of my own, but because I feel that the approval was granted improperly and as a matter of Village expectations that the code be uniformly and properly applied to all residents.  The $1,600 BZA I believe in this case should be waived.  It is excessively high.  I am appealing on the basis of something that effects the entire community.”

“What was the reason you are appealing the decision?” inquired the Mayor.

“Since I’m appealing your BAR decision, I don’t feel that it is appropriate to bring it up in this venue,” responded Mr. Zgonena.

"I am not judging anything,” the Mayor assured Mr. Zgonena, “I am just asking.”

“There are precedents where people have brought appeals to the BZA and the fees have been waived because it was done on the merits of a procedural inconsistency.  This is the basis that I am bringing my appeal…not because I want something.  I don’t want changes to my zoning.  I don’t want exceptions. I am appealing a BAR decision on the merits of the code.”

Mayor McFadden then inquired of Board attorney Brian Nugent as to what the proper procedure for either waiving or not waiving the BZA fee would be.

Mr. Nugent responded that he was not aware of previous waivers.  The fees are what they are.  There is no distinction in the code between a procedural appeal and one that is substantive.  He believes the only grounds where a municipality could consider a waiver would be in a case where there was hardship of some kind.

The Mayor wondered whether this would be a decision for the Board of Trustees or the BZA, or if it would be made in conjunction with both attorneys.

Mr. Nugent responded that the fee was usually paid to the Village.  He further advised that he did not feel the Board had suitable information before them currently to waive the fee.  He further suggested that Mr. Zgonena might be able to provide them with examples of procedural waivers.

Trustee Moon commented that if there was a shown need, there should be a procedure for moving forward with something like this.  “A citizen approaching his or her government is a very important right, so we should take this very seriously.”

Mr. Zgonena commented that Mr. McKenna, who resides on Ridge Road, had appealed a BAR decision roughly a year ago and the fees had been waived for him.  He further commented that he had a house in foreclosure, which was the result of an action that the Village had against him and which he had a counter claim.  He feels that the $1,600 fee is an excessive burden for a person to bear in order to bring a claim to the BZA indicating that the BAR has failed to properly execute provisions in the code.  He believes that the BAR should know better than to have done what they did.  He added that the application was due the following Monday, so he needed an answer as soon as possible.

Mayor McFadden indicated that he was not in a position to provide an answer that evening. 

Mr. Nugent advised that if Mr. Zgonena was insisting on an immediate answer, it would have to be no as the Board did not have sufficient information.

Mr. Zgonena expressed his dismay that Mr. Nugent and the attorney for the BAR worked for the same law firm further commenting “I can’t win here.”

The Mayor then reiterated that the fees would not be waived and moved the comment session along.

Dena Steele inquired as to the status of the Solitude Lake Management reports and the public presentation of this information.  She further commented that she knew there had been talk of a Lakes Committee and she also wondered what the status of that was.  Secondly, she inquired about Open Houses and other such events in the Park, which she feels jeopardizes the integrity of gates. 

Addressing the second comment first, Mayor McFadden responded that the general view regarding Open Houses was that something needed to be done as events such as these, which have been extended to numerous realtors could lead to non-residents openly touring around the Village.  He further commented that they were planning to discuss this issue later in conjunction with a discussion on signage. 

With regard to Solitude, the Mayor commented that there was nothing to report that evening because they did not yet have all of the empirical data.  He then asked Trustee McHugh to elaborate. 

Trustee McHugh explained that Solitude had originally promised the data in November for the plant survey but now they are suggesting that it will come in January.  The Village is hoping to give a presentation at some point in December.  They have requested case studies regarding chemical treatments as these may be necessary to address the milfoil issues in Pond #3 and The WeeWah and they feel that it is important to look at some of the results (effectiveness, potential downsides, etc) from other communities before deciding on that course of action.  Permitting for such treatment will need to be done in January in order to be prepared for the second quarter. 

Ms. Steele wondered whether Solitude was still pursuing general management issues and assessing what the management plan should be moving forward.

The answer was yes.

Ms. Steele wondered when this plan would be forthcoming and Trustee McHugh responded that he did not know for sure.  He further commented that Solitude is not the best at responding in season except for taking tests and sampling.  It is the off-season, when things are frozen, when they expect to see more comprehensive planning and reporting.  He is hopeful that they will have something in either December or January.

There followed a brief discussion with regard to the formation of a Lakes Committee.  It was agreed that there was already a grouping of names for such a committee in place and that Trustee Gluck would be the liaison in charge of moving things forward.

Lili Neuhauser commented that she understood that the portion of the Corduroy Road that is exposed due to dam repairs is deteriorating as a result of exposure.  She wondered if there was any way the Village might be able to preserve it.

It was agreed that they would investigate this.  Once the cement pours for the dam have been completed, which is expected over the next two months, the lake will begin refill naturally, which should help.

Next Mrs. Neuhauser commented that she understood that the South Gatehouse was

The Mayor responded that it was currently being used to store emergency cots, but the issue has been raised as to whether or not the Village would like to rent it again, but the Board has not formally discussed it.

Mrs. Neuhauser responded that she felt it was a great idea to have somebody there and she had always really liked the idea of having a Police Officer occupy it from a safety standpoint.

Lastly, with regard to the Bruno Project in Town, Mrs. Neuhauser commented that she was growing more and more concerned about the fact that Mr. Bruno is not being treated by the Town of Tuxedo the same way he was treated by the Town of Sloatsburg.  She feels that it is incumbent of every resident in both the Village and the Town to get behind his project in any way and also to voice their concerns about the project moving forward.  She wondered if the Village might put together a unified statement to submit to the Town Board and all other concerned agencies.  She noted that she was not speaking only for herself and that she was in touch with Mr. Bruno, who she believed to be increasingly frustrated by how things are moving. In light of how successful things have been in Sloastburg, she thinks it is absolutely imperative that they do everything they can to see the project move ahead.

Speaking as a neighbor, Mayor McFadden stated that he agreed with Mrs. Neuhauser.  He went on to report that he had received an update from Michele Lindsay roughly 3 weeks back with regard to the LDC funds that Mr. Bruno applied for, which total over 1 million dollars.  Additionally, Mr. Bruno is apparently working with Tuxedo Farms in requesting another lump sum of money (1/4 million) and the Town has assisted him with the County in obtaining 10 years of tax abatement.  As he understands it, Mr. Bruno is before the Town Planning Board with a plan to tear down The Junction to make a parking lot while dividing the IGA building into three spaces, 1 of which would be his while he would rent the other two.  Based on this information, it seems to The Mayor that the Town is cooperating, possibly more than members of the public might believe, but obviously time will tell.  He feels that any nudging by either members of the Board or community residents would be worth while.

Trustee Gluck commented that this issue had been raised at the recent Town Board meeting and members of the Board had stated that they were aware of the rumors that were circulating and wanted to reiterate that they have not received any formal proposals or applications to date.

“Because they only just gave it to him…the form that they cobbled together,” interjected Mrs. Neuhauser.

Trustee Gluck continued on to say that the Town Board had publicly expressed their willingness to work with Mr. Bruno in terms of waivers and whatever else might be needed, but before they can do this, they need an application in hand.

Mayor McFadden asked Trustee Moon whether or not he had any information to add in his capacity as a Town Liaison and Trustee Moon reported that the application for 1.3 million dollars in loan and Grant monies that Mr. Bruno submitted to the LDC had been rejected in totality.   

The Mayor wondered whether or not Mr. Bruno would be applying for a lessor amount. 
Trustee Moon did not know, but he suggested that there had been a warming of relations between the LDC and Mr. Bruno.

Mrs. Neuhauser reiterated that she felt it was incumbent upon all residents in the community to make sure the project moves forwards as everyone’s real estate values stand to be affected by it.  The Times Herald Record has labeled this an ambitious project.  “So What?” Mrs. Neuhauser stated. “We need an ambitious project.”
The Mayor then announced that they would allow one more public comment before closing the first comment period.

Jim Hays inquired about Airbnbs, noting that at the last meeting the Board had indicated that they would be discussing this issue amongst themselves.

Mayor McFadden stated that it was his opinion that they should not be allowed.  He invited the other Board members to comment.

Trustee Gluck commented that they had drafted some legislation back in 2015 limiting short-term rentals in the Village but that it had never gotten to the point of Public Hearing.
It was agreed that they would revisit this draft legislation.

The Mayor asked Mr. Hays what his opinion on the subject and Mr. Hays responded that he was against it. The Mayor next asked the audience for a show of hands in the audience indicating who was for and who was against airbnbs in the Village.  The result was overwhelmingly against the idea.

Claudio Guazzoni stated that he had an additional comment to make.

Mayor McFadden suggested that he would need to wait until the next comment period to make it.

“I’m sorry. I know I’m Latino, but I have a right to speak,” asserted Mr. Guazzoni.  He went on to state that he filed a FOIL request with the Village Clerk back in September, but had not received the information he requested in 20 days time.  “I know that Debbie is very punctual in her work.  She is very diligent.  So I can only surmise that she was told not to produce the required documents.”

Mrs. Matthews denied that this was the case, asserting that nobody had instructed her not to produce the requested information.

“I would like for her to produce the documentation.  I don’t want to read aloud what it is about, but it is documentation that needs to be made public.”

Board Attorney Brian Nugent noted that a lot of what has been requested appears to be lists.  Lists are not records.  If Mr. Guazzoni would like to request documents he can do so, but the Village will not compile lists.

Trustee Moon pointed out that the lists were included within the general request.
“I’m sorry to do this this way,” Mr. Guazzoni stated. “My emails are being ignored.  My telephones are being ignored.  I don’t want to escalate this to the next step because it is going to cost the Village money.”

The Mayor asked Mr. Guazzoni to give them just a moment to look over the request to which Mr. Guazzoni responded “You can do two things at once.”

Mr. Nugent suggested that the Village did not typically put out RFPs for municipal employees and therefore, he does not feel that this would be a record on file.  He indicated that he could work with Mrs. Matthews to put together a response to the request.

From the audience, Mr. Zgonena pointed out that item 9F on that evening’s agenda was an RFP for an assessor, so clearly they do put out such documents. He further requested a follow-up to his earlier request for a waiver to the BZA fee.

Following some back and forth between the Mayor and Mr. Zgonena, Mayor McFadden stated that he was closing the public comment period and that if Mr. Zgonena could not abide by this, he would have to ask Chief Melchiore to escort him out of the meeting.

Before moving on, Trustee Gluck stated that they would ensure that Mr. Guazzoni received a response to his request and the Mayor agreed.

Old Business:
Budget Update – Trustee Barnet began by noting that Trustee McHugh had already touched on the Dam Project, so he would focus his report on the Water Department and General Fund. A lot of time has been put into the water department budget.  The system is a strong one and the reporting format is very opaque which is good considering that one of their over riding principals is to produce very comprehensible and easy to understand Village Financials.  To date, 48% of revenue for the Water Department has been collected in 42% of the time, which puts them ahead of schedule in this regard.  Denise is largely responsible for this success, as she has been diligently chasing long over-due receivables.  Operating expenses are on budget.  91% of revenues have been collected and expenses are at 41%, putting the Village right on budget.
The Mayor inquired about over-time in the Police Department.

Trustee McHugh responded that over-time was being monitored with Chief Melchiore managing and signing-off on these hours.  The Village is within 1 or 2% of where they would expect to be within the fiscal year. 

The Mayor expressed his pleasure at this and thanked the Chief for his efforts.

Public Comments:
Kathy Norris inquired as to what an RFP was.

The Mayor explained that it was a Request For a Proposal.

“Tonight? For an assessor for the Village?” inquired Mrs. Norris.

"No,” responded the Mayor.

Mrs. Norris wondered how an applicant would apply for the position.

Trustee Moon explained that the application process would be detailed in the terms of the RFP.  He further explained that the Village could have moved forward without issuing an RFP, but they felt that in the interest of transparency they should issue one, which might also lead to a better talent pool.  He has spent quite a bit of time working on the document, streamlining the State template into a usable format.

Mrs. Norris wanted to know where the information would be tendered.

Trustee Moon responded that this was to be determined, but he was suggesting that it be sent to the newspaper and well as listed on the Village website.  Additionally, he is recommend that they email a copy to the list of certified assessors on the Orange County Real Estate Assessment webpage in order to gauge interest.  He feels that the broader the dissemination for the RFP, the better it will be for the Village.

Claudio Guazzoni commented that tax proposals which would eliminate the deductibility of State and Local taxes were currently before the House and the Senate.  These means that Village taxes could become nondeductible moving forward.  He asked the Trustees to please keep this in mind because any upward movement in the budget would have an exponential effect on the Village Residents.

Mayor McFadden responded that he would bring this to the attention of the Villages new accounting firm, while also keeping an eye on what the State Comptroller had to say to municipalities.

New Business:
Fyke Nature Preserve Request – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the annual Fyke Nature Preserve to conduct their annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 16 from 10am-12pm.

Extend Sterling Carting Refuse/Recycling Contract for One Year – The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the current Refuse/Recycling contract for one year through November 30, 2018.

Appoint Fire Commissioner – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Edward Brennan as the Commissioner for another five-year team, upon the recommendation of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Tuxedo Joint Fire District.  It was agreed that the letter of support would be added to the record.

Extend #2 Fuel Oil Contract – The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the #2 Fuel Oil contract with the current provider.

RFP for Assessor Position – There was a brief conversation as to whether or not the tax assessor and the individual conducting the reassessment of the Village tax rolls should be two different individuals.  Ultimately, it was agreed that it should.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of having Mr. Nugent’s firm work together with Trustees McHugh and Moon to complete RFPs for both an assessor as well as a firm to conduct a real estate reassessment.

Discussion of Signage Policy – The Mayor noted that he was unclear as to where the Village code stood with regard to signage through out the Village on individual properties. 

Mr. Nugent informed him that although there are areas where signage is referenced in conjunction with other things, such as construction etc., there was no ordinance within the code that regulated signage in general, be they advertisements, political signs, real estate signs or any other type of sign for the matter, either permanent or temporary. 
The Mayor noted that this could be a touchy subject as it dealt with people’s private property.  He suggested that they look to give the BAR the authority to make approval for signage.

Mr. Nugent responded that the Board could draft a local law that would govern both public and private property.  While they can only outlaw signs outright on public land, when it comes to private property they can enforce regulations detailing the size, time, place and manner in which the signs are displayed.  They cannot, however, regulate content.  A permit process can also be put in place if they would like one. 
Trustee Gluck commented that he felt that Tuxedo Park had a long-standing tradition of not imposing communications on other people via signage.  He cautioned that translating this into a legislative framework might prove difficult however.

Trustee Moon suggested that the traditions Trustee Gluck had mentioned might not comport with the First Amendment.  He stated that he felt the Board should speak with council in a privileged environment before taking any further steps.

Ultimately it was agreed that this would be done.

Levy Unpaid Village Taxes to Orange County – The Board voted unanimously in favor of levying unpaid Village taxes to Orange County.

back to top

Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 15, 2017

1. Call to order
2. Pledge
3. Roll Call
4. Police, DPW & Building Reports
5. Committee Reports
a. Dam Construction
b. Tree City USA Application
6. Public Comments
7. Old Business
8. Public Comment
9. New Business
a. Fyke Nature Preserve Request - Annual Bird Count in December
b. Extend Sterling Carting Refuse/Recycling Contract for One Year
c. Appoint Fire Commissioner
d. Extend #2 Fuel Oil Contract
e. Update Water Department Rate Schedule
f. RFP for Assessor Position
g. Discussion of Signage Policy
10. Village Vouchers
11. Approve Minutes
12. Adjourn to Executive Session for the discussion of a settlement on pending litigation and a discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person in the Police Department.
13. Adjournment

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 18, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, October 18 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden welcomed John Ledwith back to the Village, commenting that they were very pleased to have him back in place.  This was met by a round of applause from the audience.   The Mayor further noted that a lot of hard work had gone into making sure that Mr. Ledwith had been treated fairly and that currently they were working with Civil Service on putting together a complete job description, which will be shared with the public once it has been completed.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of September:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 246
Criminal Complaints – 2
Property Damage Auto Accidents-3
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 25
Medical Calls – 1
Intrusion Alarms – 1
Fire Alarms – 5
Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 892
Non-Resident Vehicle Tags Issued – 227
Assists Given to Outside Police Agencies – 3

Additionally, Approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate per day.

Trustee McHugh commented that there seemed to be a lot rumor-mongering as of late that the Village had been experiencing a crime wave with regard to petty theft.  He asked the Chief if he could shed some light on this.

The Chief responded that there had been two criminal offenses in the last month.  One of these was a theft from a motor vehicle while the other was classified as criminal mischief resulting in a little damage.

The Mayor asked for clarification from Trustee McHugh as to whether there were rumors going around the Village suggesting that there were more thefts occurring than there actually were.

Trustee McHugh responded that there were rumors circulating that suggested that there had been a spate of thefts.  He was aware of only one on Club House Extension, which involved smashing a car window and stealing some cash.  What he had been hoping to learn from the Chief is whether or not there had been any others.

Chief Melchiore responded that if the Police Department should receive complaints of this nature, they would certainly inform the Board, but at this time, there has been no such rash of complaints.

Dena Steele inquired as whether or not the break-in referenced by Trustee McHugh had been resolved.

The answer was no.  The Department is still working on this case in conjunction with outside law agencies.

Jim Hays inquired as to whether the police could comment on “the mystery of the Wee Wah bones.”

Chief Melchiore responded that there were some human fragments that were found around the beach area.  The department is viewing everything as suspicious at this time and they are going through the process and having it checked.  Forensics is going to take some time.  It is not known if this something that would be classified as criminal today, but it could have been criminal thirty to forty years ago.  Based on the evidence found, they can conclude that the fragments are fairly recent and do not date back to corduroy road times.  “It’s fairly current because of it’s content.  I cannot really discuss any more than that, but it is going through a lab process and is being checked with homicides and missing persons outside of our jurisdiction.  We have to wait and see.” stated the Chief further stressing that there there is no reason for fear inside the community. 

Nancy Hays inquired as to how many Police Offers were on duty during the 12-8am shift.
The answer was 2 officers per shift, with one located in the Gate House and the other on patrol.

The Mayor added that the Board had been keeping a close eye on the shifts and overtime and things of this nature.  Trustee Moon has been working with the Chief to keep these things under control.  They put in some specific measures last month in terms of over time and they are looking forward to the results.

Audrey Perry commented that when the Garden Club had been working at the Back Gate she had noticed that there were a number of cars without tags accessing the Village through that gate on their way to the Tuxedo Club, either because GPS had sent them that way or because staff at the Golf House had lead them to believe they could pass through.  It had been her impression that untagged vehicles would not be allowed Village access through that gate, regardless of GPS etc..  She wondered whether all of the officers working the Gate were aware that they were supposed to be making these untagged vehicles turn around.

Chief Melchiore responded that there have been some arrangements made with the Tuxedo Club pertaining to when they have events. 

Mrs. Perry responded that she understood this but had still been under the impression that untagged vehicles needed to go around.

The Chief stated that he would look into this.

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the last month had been spent primarily on roadwork throughout the Village both chip sealing and paving.  Eight or nine roads were chip sealed at the beginning of the month and Wee Wah, Lorillard, West Lake and Circuit Roads have been paved.  If there are funds remaining, they will look to pave “another short road or two.”

Mayor McFadden noted that a number of residents had contacted him and inquired what roads would be paved and when and to this end, he wondered if they should sit down and attempt to establish a long-term, multi-year paving schedule for the Village Roadways.

Superintendent Voss responded that they could certainly do this, but cautioned that things do change from year to year and that often times inclement winter weather takes its toll on certain roads, which might necessitate a change in any plans they might make.  They can put something together, but it cannot be set in stone.

It was agreed that this would be done.

Trustee McHugh added that Superintendent Voss does post a litany of the roads that are being paved at the Front Gate.

Mayor McFadden commented that he appreciated this, but was looking to establish something a little bit more long term in nature.

The Mayor then announced that the late Village Resident Alex Salm had donated $100,000 to the Village DPW in his will.  There are conditions, which state that the donation is to be used for the removal of debris and related clearing work.  It cannot be used in place of monies that have already been allocated for this cause, but rather should be used in conjunction with, or on top of, such funds in order to provide additional work.  The Village is working with the Executor of the estate to finalize the arrangements. 

Inger Grueterich inquired as to where the Village stood in terms of getting the double yellow lines back on the Causeway, further commenting that it can be quite difficult in that area at night time.

hief Melchiore responded that some of the Village roadways were narrow and if they were to paint double yellow lines on them, vehicles would be constantly crossing over.  They have been monitoring speed in certain areas in order to determine where the issues are so that they can make a decision as to where they should make enhancements.  They are aware of a few intersections in particular where work is needed.  They are trying to do away with putting lines in the streets if they are not ultimately needed. 

“And you don’t think we have to have them on the causeway?” wondered Mrs. Grueterich “where it is so easy to be run off the road because there is no light.”

The Chief suggested that if they painted the yellow lines there, and then residents crossed over them, they would have to be ticketed for that.

“I’ll take that chance,” responded Mrs. Grueterich.

Trustee Gluck reiterated that part of Mrs. Grueterich’s complaint had to with night driving in particular, when it can be difficult to navigate the black asphalt without drifting, when there is no line down the center of the roadway.

The Chief suggested that they might be able to put hash marks there instead of lines and agreed that he would look into it.

Superintendent Voss noted that if they were going to do any paint striping they would need to get together and make plans ASAP as the cold weather is quickly approaching.  After some further discussion it was agreed that this would be done and that somebody would follow up with Mrs. Grueterich in the next couple of weeks to let her know what would be happening.

Nancy Hays commented that she had noticed that there seem to be a lot of lights out at intersections throughout the Village. 

Chief Melchiore stated that during the midnight shift officers checked the streetlights, recording which ones were out so that they could in turn make a report to Orange and Rockland.  The Village utilizes special bulbs in their lights, which need to be ordered. 
Mr. Ledwith responded that he had ordered the bulbs the week prior.

It was agreed that Mrs. Hays would make note of which intersections were dark and inform Mr. Ledwith so that they could make sure the bulbs were changed.

Building Department & Code Enforcement:
To view a copy of this report, click here.

With regard to the Police Booth, Mayor McFadden inquired as to what the general consensus was in terms of replacing the Town of Tuxedo sewer main that runs underneath the site. 

Mr. Ledwith informed him that the general consensus seemed to be that although the pipe has never been a problem, replacing it was the right thing to do.  The pipe is 20 feet in length. 

Public Comments:
Dena Steele reported that the Eagles nest on Eagle Mountain had failed early this year.  There were two chicks in April, but by May there were none.  The DEC is aware of this.  It is not unusual for a nest to fail.  She noted that the only difference between the last year and this year was that there are now active trails on both sides of the mountain.  Also, there have been both owls and osprey spotted in the area, which could have something to do with it.  

Claudio Guazzoni commented that since 2012 he had been working in an effort to get the Village tax roll posted to the Village website.  New York State law mandates this.  Every four to six months he has attempted to contact the former Village tax assessor, but to no avail.  This is a project he was working diligently on when he was a Board member and he wondered whether the Village was going to move ahead with it as they were still in violation of New York State Law.

Pointing out that Mr. Guazzoni had been in charge of the Village website during his term as Deputy Mayor, Mayor McFadden inquired as to why he had not posted the information during that time.

Mr. Guazzoni responded that he had met resistance from the former Assessor, who refused to provide numbers.

The Mayor commented that he wished Mr. Guazzoni had brought this issue up while Mr. Ledwith had been present.

‘The former Tax Assessor did not work for the Trustees.  He worked for the Mayor, and he brought resistance to the Mayor” responded Mr. Guazzoni.

“We will be commenting on that later, thank you,” replied Mayor McFadden.
Jim Hays reported that there is a researcher at Cornell University who has been doing extensive and rather promising research on growing predators that will eat the woolly adelgid.  Woolly adelgid have been attacking hemlocks in the Village, while many property owners have been able to treat this and save the trees on their properties, those located in the forest are being killed.  Mr. Hays has volunteered to work with the research group here in the Village and if  the research is successful, the Village might have the opportunity to be on the front lines of it and this will help to bring back the hemlocks.
Next, Mr. Hays inquired as to where the Board stood on Airbnbs in the Village.
The Mayor responded that they had not discussed it, but they would be happy to do so.  He suggested that they take comments from the audience and then table the issue until the next meeting for further discussion.

Claudio Guazzoni commented that his wife ran a 30+ days, long-term rental Airbnb property in New York City.  He feels that in cities such as New York or Paris or Seattle or San Francisco, Airbnbs are wonderful but they do not belong in Tuxedo Park.  Claiming to have been one of the founders of both HomeAway and Airbnb , he suggested that allowing such establishments in the Village would “ruin the fabric of Tuxedo Park.”

Moving on, Mr. Hays asked if the report on the survey of Eurasian Milfoil had come back from Solitude Lake Management yet.

The answer was no.

Michele Lindsay reported that the Town Board had held a public hearing on the waiver requests from Tuxedo Farms on September 25.  There will be another workshop in the near future.  Currently, the Town consultants are working on some issues in order to prepare the various Boards for that meeting following which, there will be more time for public comment.  She stated that at the previous meeting the Trustees had indicated that they were going to put together a letter regarding this for submission to the Town Board and she wondered if they required any assistance with that process.

Mayor McFadden responded that they had not been able to reach a consensus, but he would be happy to discuss it further with the Board members over the next several days and follow up with her. 

Trustee McHugh asked Mrs. Lindsay to speak to the general conclusions of the consultants to date, further adding that his sense had been that they seemed to have a different opinion than the Board.

Mrs. Lindsay replied that the individual Board members had not weighed in with their opinions as of yet.  The consultants met with the Architectural Review Board and based on this meeting the ARB issued a letter stating that they would vote against the vinyl siding waiver.  Currently the consultants are working on some issues having to do with the newly proposed parking before they schedule the next workshop meeting.

David duPont added that the waivers also pertain to the housing mix and more specifically what will be built first.  He feels it is fair to say that in general, Related seems to be trying to “dumb-down” the existing Special Permit so that the property will be more salable to a larger group of potential builders.  He further stated that he did not believe it was the Town Board’s job to dumb-it-down in order to help Related with any future sale.
Dena Steele wondered whether the vote on these waivers would occur before or after the Town elections.

The answer was after.  Mrs. Lindsay further informed the Board that there were three candidates vying for two open positions on the Board.  They are Ken English, David McMillan, and Rich Rigoli   Dave McMillan currently holds a seat and is running for re-election.  The other seat is being vacated by Cliff Loncar.  The election will be on Tuesday, November 7 and Mrs. Lindsay encouraged people to read all of the campaign materials and to obtain absentee ballot applications if there was any chance that they might be away.  These are available at the Orange County Board of Elections website.
Mayor McFadden asked Mrs. Lindsay if she could briefly address anything that might be happening with the IGA building.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that the Hamlet LDC, of which she is a Board member, is currently finalizing the application and Mr. Bruno is being kept up to date as to all the things that he needs to do in order to get ready to apply for funds.  They are hopeful that this will be completed in the next day or so.  The County has given Mr. Bruno property tax abatement for 10 years and he will also receive a sales tax exemption for anything that he purchases for that building.

Mrs. Lindsay then asked the Mayor where the Village stood with regard to the under ground wires which were possibly going to be re-routed through Augusta Place. 

Trustee McHugh responded that nothing had been pursued since the Village election.  It was agreed that they would look into it.

Bryna Pomp inquired as to what was going on in the Town with all the construction cones.

Mrs. Lindsay responded that there were new sidewalks being installed.  The Town applied for a grant to make sidewalk improvements and instead of awarding the grant, the State decided to include these improvements along with the repaving of Route 17.  To this end there will be new sidewalks installed in front of  the Ambulance Corps as well as enhanced street crossings, which will entail blinking lights by the school.  The Town has also reached out to the Department of Transportation with regard to remedying the situation at Duck Cedar Plaza, where there was recently a fatal accident.  The DOT has been in touch indicating that they are meeting to discuss options and will communicate these with the Town ASAP.  Currently, there is a double yellow line there, which means that vehicles are not supposed to turn left, although everybody makes the turn anyway. 
David duPont noted that part of the issue was the 55 mph speed limit there, and suggested that one of the things they could do was to maintain the 35 mph limit to the intersection with 17A.

Mrs. Lindsay agreed with this.

The Mayor then thanked Mrs. Lindsay for regularly providing the Board with Town updates.

Dena Steele inquired as to the status of the “diet lane” that had been under discussion and whether this was still a viable thing. 

Mrs. Lindsay informed her that this was something that would be happening in Sloatsburg and that Tuxedo was not currently considering it.

Old Business:
Lakes – Trustee McHugh reported that the milfoil study had been done with a formal report expected either at the end of October or early November.  CSLAPS completed 8 samples.  Harmful algae blooms were discovered on Pond #3 on two different occasions.  With regard to a chemical treatment there, the Village did not receive the proper permitting until late in September at which point Solitude determined that the effectiveness of a treatment would be 50/50 and therefore advised that the Village wait until the springtime.  They will therefore reapply for the necessary permits in April.  CLSAP data will be provided to Solitude, who will analyze it and then hopefully attend the next Trustees meeting where they will give a presentation on the data for this year and also look at the trend analysis of what has occurred and what is continuing to occur.  AE Diving is continuing their vacuuming harvest on heavily trafficked areas in Tuxedo Lake.  Lastly, the Village will be matching the Tuxedo Club in stocking Tuxedo Lake with lake trout in the fall through a DEC sanctioned hatchery.  The Mayor commented that this particular item would be discussed later in the meeting as well.

Dena Steele wondered whether a milfoil update would be given at the same time as the CSLAP analysis.

The answer was yes.

Wee Wah Dam – The dam project has been underway for 4 months and is 40% complete.  The Village has spent $1.5 million to date.  There is an ambitious plan in place for the next three months and if everything goes according to schedule, depending on the weather the project will be 90% complete by the end of the year.  There have been a couple of issues to date.  One had to do with a knife gate valve at the north end of the dam.  This is the largest ticket item in the entire project, running at around $110,000.  The issue has been resolved.  Currently they are putting in the service spillway.  8,800 lb pipes have been installed and will be buried in cement within the next week.  Excavation has begun on the west side of the dam and the rebar is being installed in preparation for the cement pours, of which there will be three.  The Board of Architectural Review has reviewed granite samples and voted 4-1 in favor of Hillburn Granite in terms of matching the existing stonework.  A mason has been chosen and they will begin installing the stone on the east side of the wall. With regard to the work on Pond #3 there was a 2-month delay with the piping as a result of the storms down in TX, so some changes were made and excavation has begun.  Residents should notice some pretty dramatic changes from Pond #3 into the Wee Wah.

The Mayor noted that many residents had inquired about the water level in Tuxedo Lake, wondering if the lower levels had anything to with the work on the Wee Wah dam.  The answer is no.  The lower levels are the result of the lack of rainfall.

Public Comments:
Grant Writer Fred Rella reported that the Village had received the fully executed agreement back from DASNY, which will enable then to claim $100,000 in Grant money towards the dam.  This is a process that was begun by the last administration.  The Village will have the money by the end of the year. 

They have also submitted the Justice Court Assistance Application for new wooden benches for the Village Hall as well as some other business equipment.  Mr. Rella advised that they should hear back on this just before Christmas time. 

The Village was awarded a grant for license plate readers to include set-ups for three vehicles.  Printers, scanners and mount are ready to picked up.  The Village will have to reapply for their Tree City USA status and Mr. Rella will be preparing the necessary paperwork for signatures.  Referencing the earlier discussion regarding street lighting, Mr. Rella stated that O&R has come out with some pretty innovative programs, which he will discuss with John Ledwith.  There followed a brief discussion regarding the streetlights and the necessary light bulbs.  David duPont suggested that the Board contact Peter Regna, who has an in depth knowledge of the history of the Village lighting situation. 

Meg Vaught inquired as to when residents could expect to see a functioning booth at the front entrance of the Village.

Trustee McHugh responded that he could not speak to when the booth would be seen, however the Village had already gone out with regard to concrete work and excavation and he felt that a pad would be done in November.  Although it will not be a finished product, Village residents can expect to see the foundation soon.

The Mayor added that the Village was a bit behind where they had hoped to be at this point, but now that Mr. Ledwith was back in his position they hoped to make up as much time as possible.

Trustee Gluck inquired as to the timing on the required resolution for Tree City USA.
It was determined that this could be handled next month.

Michele Lindsay wondered whether or not the replacement of the pipes underneath the site for the booth could be coordinated with the burying of the wires as discussed earlier.
It was agreed that Trustee McHugh would look into this and report back.

New Business:
Publication of Assessment Rolls- Trustee Moon reported that the Mayor had asked him to look into the publication of tax assessment rolls.  Eight years ago the Government passed a law requiring every town and village with a website to electronically publish their tax assessment rolls.  The Village is out of compliance with this statute.  The Town, however, is in compliance.  Therefore, tax assessments for the Town are on the County website, but not for the Village.  Trustee Moon has approached the keeper of the electronic version of the tax rolls and he has provided the rolls to the County.  The County can now publish them if authorized and then the Village can link to this from their website.  If they do not wish to do this, they can post the information themselves.  Following a brief discussion it was determined that they it would be easier to link to the assessments on the County website from the Village site and the Board voted unanimously in favor of doing so.

Fish Agreement With the Tuxedo Club – The Village has reached an agreement with the Club to match their stocking efforts with Sunnies in the spring and trout in the fall.  The Village is now in receipt of a letter from the Club seeking permission to move forward with their portion of the stocking.   The Board was in unanimous agreement that this should be allowed.

Other Comments-
Mr. Guazzoni commented that 2 ½ miles away there existed Sterling Lake, which was very similar to Tuxedo Lake although a little deeper.  There is no milfoil there and it is free of algae.  He suggested that the Village might want to consider using Sterling Lake as a control.

Mayor McFadden noted that this lake was located in a State park and not a residential area, which meant that fertilizer was not an issue.  Additionally, boating is not permitted on Sterling Lake.  These two factors contribute significantly to the milfoil issue in Tuxedo Lake.

Dena Steele inquired as to whether Tuxedo Lake was being stocked for sport purposes.

The answer was that the stocking is done for a combination of reasons of which sport is one.  It is also done as a form of bio-manipulation. 

Jim Hays wondered exactly what the fish would do for the lake.

It was agreed that they would ask Solitude Lakes Management to speak to this during their upcoming presentation.

back to top


From The Mayor’s Desk - Halloween In The Village

From the Mayor’s Desk

Halloween in Tuxedo Park is one of our best traditions. The residents on Clubhouse Road, Tower Hill Road, and the surrounding area have hosted our trick or treaters for years. Halloween would not be possible without their generosity and commitment to the community.

This year, Halloween falls on a weekday which means that many of the children who have weekend homes will not experience our great tradition. Therefore, this year the Village will oversee two Halloweens – Saturday and Tuesday. Of course, some of our usual hosts will not be able to provide tricks or treats on both evenings. However, we have been told that there will be enough hosts participating each evening to make it fun for all.

The Village Police block off traffic to Clubhouse Road and keep our trick or treaters safe. They will do so Saturday and Tuesday.  We have commitments from parents to kindly and gratefully cover 100% of the cost if there is overtime associated with adding this extra shift.  If this experiment is successful it may become a tradition. We will leave that decision up to you and future Village Boards. There are several other fun Halloween events taking place Saturday in the Park and Town.  Why not attend as many possible. I don’t think your kids will mind filling up their candy bags to the brim! Thank you and have a great Tuxedo Park Halloween experience this year.


Please help me spread this news!

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 18 2017

1. Call to order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Roll Call h
4. Mayor’s Comments
5. Reports
• a. Police - Chief Melchiorre
• b. DPW – Jeff Voss
• c. Building Dept. & Code Enforcement – John Ledwith
6. Public Comments
7. Old Business
• a. Dam
• b. Traffic Booth
8. Public Comments
9. New Business
• a. Publication of Assessment Rolls
10. Village Vouchers
11. Approve Minutes
12. Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss collective bargaining negotiations and to discuss pending and proposed litigation
13. Re-enter Regular Meeting
14. Adjournment

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 13, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, September 13 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Elizabeth Ewing- Halloween Request:
8-year-old Village resident Elizabeth Ewing read aloud a letter she had written to the Board in which she requested that they consider moving trick-or-treating from Tuesday, October 31 to the Saturday prior, October 28.  She reasoned that Halloween 2016 had fallen on a Monday night and because it was a school night, there were not as many children out and about.  She believes that moving the festivities to a Saturday night would allow for more children to participate, including weekend residents.  She further reported that she spoken to many of the families on the main trick-or-treat route, and they were in support of the idea. She suggested that perhaps the Village could try the date change for one year and see how it worked out.

Trustee McHugh wondered whether Ms. Ewing had spoken with residents living on Club House Road.

Ms. Ewing replied that she had spoken to 10 of these residents (adults) and they were all supportive.

Trustee Moon thanked Ms. Ewing for her presentation, further commenting that he felt it was a terrific idea.

Mayor McFadden concurred, commenting that he supported the idea and provided there were not objections from the Trustees, the Village would reach out to residents and ask them to go along with it. 

The Board unanimously voiced their support for this plan.

DPW Report:
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had been busy preparing many of the roadways for chip sealing, which actually began earlier that day with Ridge Road and a portion of East Lake Stable Road as well.  There are 5 or 6 other roads that will receive the treatment next week.  They also did some “reclaiming” of roadways (grinding up) including 800 feet of Mountain Farm Road at Ivy Road and a portion of Circuit Road from the phone building to its intersection with Tower Hill.  This is the only way to repair the base of these particular roads.  The process involves grinding the road 6 to 8 inches deep and spraying the base with calcium chloride to bind it back up, before paving over the repaired section of road.  Although the section of Mountain Farm Road in question only serves a few residents, the DPW found they were unable to service it in the wintertime due to the damage and therefore, the repairs were necessary.   They anticipate being done with the project in 2-3 weeks.

Trustee McHugh asked Superintendent Voss to address a concern expressed by Jane Garofano with regard to the appearance of frivolous roadwork in different areas and more specifically the basis for which the DPW determines which roads need to be repaired.

The Superintendent responded that this piece of road had been in such terrible shape that the only option they had was to repair it.  He further commented that he had spoken directly with Mrs. Garofano and he believed she had a better understanding of the situation now.

Trustee McHugh added that Mrs. Garofano had expressed concern that, given the condition of many of the other roads in the Village, the DPW might be wasting Village money by making costly repairs to a road that only services two homes.  He reiterated the Superintendent’s assessment, which was that at a certain point it had become impossible for snowplows to service the road and therefore the maintenance had to be done.

“Things are so bad everywhere” commented the Mayor, “you just have to hit the worst stuff first….until we have a long term plan.”

There will be an outside contractor coming in to do some paving throughout the Village as well. 

Mayor McFadden asked Superintendent Voss if the Department was on track with their paving budget.

The answer was yes.

Some cleanup work on the Wee Wah Beach Club and DPW properties has been completed.  There were several fallen trees as well as some other debris that needed to be removed. 

Police Report:
On behalf of the Police Department, Chief Melchiore presented the following for the month of August:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 317
Criminal Complaints – 1
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 3 (property damage only)
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 16
Fire Alarms – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 5
Medical Calls – 1
Vehicle Tags Issued – 1, 045

Additionally, the Chief reported that approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate per day.

The DPW cleaned the department’s rear parking lot, which is located behind the lodge building and accessed via Nursery Road.   The Chief thanked the Superintendent for this work, commenting the prior to the effort, the lot had been a muddy mess and now there were 7 striped parking spaces there.

Building Report:
There was no Building Report.

Committee Reports –
Dam Construction – Trustee McHugh reported that the Village had been conducting biweekly meetings with their engineer (CHA) and the contractor.  The project is 30% complete.  The next real noticeable effort will be the insulation of the parapet wall.  Footings have been dug on the east side of the dam, where they have begun to tie in the rebar.  There has been a request in that they wondered whether the Village would be willing to show some flexibility with regard to hours.  Currently they are working 7am-4pm Monday through Friday, but they would like to extend these hours to 5:30pm while also allowing for occasional Saturday work from 7am-3pm.  The Saturday work would be conditional upon the agreement that no heavy equipment would be used and that the work would be exclusive to the Wee Wah Dam, with no disturbance on the road that runs between the Wee Wah Lake and Pond #3.  Trustee McHugh believes they are hoping to utilize the Saturdays tying in the rebars, which is minimally disruptive in terms of noise.  CHA would sign off on all Saturday work, as they would not necessarily be present to provide oversight on the weekend.  The Village will also be notified when and if Saturday work is going to occur.

Trustee Gluck wondered if they could allow the extension of hours contingently, with some flexibility to curtail it should things not work out.
It was agreed that this could be done.

Following some further discussion, Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the extended hours.

Tree Advisory Board – On Behalf of TAB, Chiu Yin Hempel presented the Board with a report outlining bot the work they have completed on the Race Track thus far as well as their intentions for the coming months.  There are a lot of exciting things going on!
To view a copy of this report, click here.

The Village Lakes – Trustee McHugh reported that Solitude Lakes Management completed a survey of Tuxedo Lake for Eurasian Water Milfoil three weeks ago.  Survey results are expected in late October/early November.  The CSLAPs program is ¾ completed for this year.  Sue Heywood has been extremely helpful with this process, as has John Bello.  Trustee McHugh and the Deputy Mayor met with Solitude Lakes Management on Friday, September 8 to discuss the use of chemical treatments in the Wee Wah and Pond #3.  The Village went through the permitting process with the DEC, however, by the time the permits came through they were concerned about whether or not they would achieve optimal results, since many use the lakes at the end of August/early September.  After discussing this with Solitude, they have decided not to move forward with an application this year but rather to wait until the spring of 2018.  AE Diving is continuing with their vacuum harvesting of Milfoil in Tuxedo Lake.  In some of the heavy traffic areas such as around both the Tuxedo Club and the Village Boat Club, they have noticed a significant reduction in milfoil after last year’s vacuum harvesting.  There has unfortunately been a massive increase in growth on the west side of the lake, running from Duck Hollow all the way down to the Yassky property.  In looking at the Tuxedo Lake Dam, they encountered an abundance of other growth, which made it difficult for them to properly harvest the Milfoil, so they have decided to concentrate their efforts on the west side.

The Mayor commented that the Tuxedo Club rented a lot of boats but they do not seem to provide any sort of map or guidance with regard to where the heaviest patches of Milfoil are located.  He feels that all boat owners should have some sort of lake diagram, letting them know where the trouble spots are.

Trustee McHugh responded that they had buoyed off the high risk areas last summer however he was not sure that people had followed them.  The basic rule of thumb is that boaters should stay 50 feet away from the shoreline.

Deputy Mayor Gluck added that they could also speak with the Boathouse staff and ask them to help educate boaters.

Audit Committee – The Books have closed on the last fiscal year.  The auditors will be visiting with the Village Clerk over the next two weeks.  A final audit along with a report should be ready in advance of the next Trustees meeting.  Trustee McHugh further noted that this was a new auditor who had been brought in, so with new eyes looking at everything the report should be quite thorough.  With regard to the comptroller’s office, there were four errors on which they were doing a “deep dive.”  These include the Water Department, Purchase & Procurement, IT and Segregation of Duties.  They will be providing an oral presentation to the Mayor at the end of October with a written report to follow in early November.  The Village will then be given the opportunity to respond before the final draft is issued at the end of December.

Grant Writer – Grant Writer Fred Rella commented that the month prior Judge Hasin had spoken to a grant opportunity for New York Courts called the Justice Courts Assistance Program.  This is an opportunity for each court to receive secure up to $30,000 for the purchase of security equipment, office supplies and other day-to-day operational materials.  While most grant opportunities require the applicant to spend money and then get reimbursed, this particular grant does not require that and once it has been awarded, a check is sent.  Mr. Rella met with the Court Clerk and they are working together to establish a list of items (filing cabinets, date stamps, a shredder etc.) but of particular note is one major item and that is the seating.  According to judicial guidelines the folding chairs that are in the courtroom currently are not appropriate because somebody could easily pick one up and throw it, using it as a weapon.  They have been looking a various options for attached chairs, but the suggestion of installing benches has also been made.  They like the idea of the benches and feel that it would also be in keeping with  the style of Tuxedo Park.  The application is due on October 12 and must be accompanied by a Board resolution.

Following some minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving submission of the JCAP application and the signing of all necessary, associated paperwork.

Public Comments:
Young Village resident Ari Ehrlich read aloud a speech he had prepared for the Trustees with regard to the state of the Wee Wah Beach Club.  After having made a recent visit, he feels that the conditions there are “atrocious, unsafe and just not fun.”  He was extremely disappointed when he attempted to visit the Club over the summer and discovered that the water was extremely low and the lake was filled with milfoil.  The play sets on the property were broken and he encountered giant wasps as well.  He has a lot of positive memories of the Wee Wah Beach Club and is hopeful that by summer of 2018 things can be restored. 

Trustee McHugh explained that the dam project would be completed in time for the Beach Club to open in the summer of 2018.  The lake levels will be elevated as we come into the fall of this year, although they are hoping this doesn’t occur to quickly and that there is a harsh winter because cold temperatures could help to kill off some of the milfoil.  They are also petitioning the DEC to do chemical treatment on the Wee Wah, which should also help to take care of the milfoil.  They have also been looking at installing mats in the swimming area so control the problem.  With the water levels back up to their historic level, swimming should definitely be possible and the diving board will be back in action!

The Trustees then unanimously agreed that they supported the restoration of the Wee Wah Lake.

Jim Hays commented that milfoil was clearly an aggressive weed and the Village is aware of this fact.  He recommended that all boaters on Tuxedo Lake should equip themselves with pool skimmers and when they see floating fragments of milfoil, they skim them up, put them in a plastic bag, bring them home and throw them away.  Every single fragment can result in a new plant!  The more the fragments that are collected, the fewer plants will grow. 

Next, Mr. Hays announced that Michele Lindsay had asked him to report that on September 25 at 7pm there would be a public hearing on a change in building mix as well as a change in building materials “from wood to plastic” for the Tuxedo Farms development.   Pertinent information can be found on the Town’s website.  This will be an important meeting.

The Mayor inquired as to whether or not Mr. Hays had seen the material samples that had been erected and if so, what his thoughts were.

Mr. Hays responded that he had seen them and he felt they were awful.  “They’re really bad,” he stated.

Mayor McFadden agreed. “Yeah, they are really bad.”

“It’s flimsy,” Mr. Hays continued.

“Somebody told me that when they were opening it, they knocked it down,” commented the Mayor. 

“You can pull it out.  I don’t know how they insulate this stuff, but I think it’s really bad,” responded Mr. Hays, reiterating that this was his own personal opinion.

“This is your last chance to make your voice known,” stated Nancy Hays. 

Noting that the Deputy Mayor and Trustee Moon were the official Liaisons to the Town, Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether either of them had been able to attend any of the recent Town meetings focused on the proposed changes.

Deputy Mayor Gluck responded that he had been at both the 9/11 Town Board meeting and the 9/12 Town Planning Board.  He believes the Planning Board is poised to approve Northridge and that they are just waiting for the Town Board’s approval, which will be based on the outcome of the public hearing.  The opportunity to let the public officials in the Town know that the appearance and the quality of this project is important is between now and September 25.  He urged everyone to visit the Town website and review the materials and also to look at the material samples that have been erected on the developer’s property.  The material “mock up” is located right where the Applewood kennels used to be.

Town Councilwoman Michele Lindsay added that if anyone had any questions that should feel free to contact her in order to make sure they had all the materials necessary to form an opinion.  Speakers will be allowed three minutes to comment during the hearing and while the Board will not provide any answers at that time, the comments will be taken into consideration.

Mayor McFadden asked Councilwoman Lindsay what her general opinion was.
Councilwoman Lindsay responded by more clearly explaining what the proposed changes are.  With regard to the bedroom mix, she stated that where they had originally planned for 2 and 3 bedroom apartments they were now looking to build primarily 1-bedroom units, with a smattering of 2-bedroom and no 3-bedroom apartments. In order to maintain the same number of bedrooms within this section of the development, they are taking the bedrooms that they removed from the apartments in Northridge and adding them to their proposed townhouses in another area.  Where they were previously proposing 2-bed room townhouses, they are now proposing 3 and 4-bedroom townhouses instead, thus doubling their density.

“That’s a big concern,” noted Mayor McFadden.

Councilwomen Lindsay went on to note that while it was not technically a waiver to the special permit, the developer was now classifying the road loop around the Northridge apartments as a driveway and they have eliminated garages so that people living in the apartments will have to park on the street.  At the Planning Board meeting the night prior, they suggested that some residents would have to walk as far as 1,100 feet from where they park to the door of their residence. 

“The sale-ability, the so-called ‘luxury aspect’ is in question,” she noted.

Deputy Mayor Gluck asked for confirmation that phase 1 would include 180 1-bedroom apartments and that these would be built first.

Councilwoman Lindsay responded that included within that number there were also some 2-bedroom units.

"The downside is incredible if things should go wrong, “ cautioned Trustee Barnett.  He further suggested that it was going to start impacting the Town quite soon when the bond payments become due from the Hamlet for the sewage treatment plant. 

Councilwoman Lindsay responded that for the sewer bonds, which issued by an LDC, they had capitalized the interest through November 2018. 

“By mid 2018 the Hamlet will be paying, as I understand it, interest on sewer bonds for a sewer that is not functioning because it hasn’t got sufficient volume to function.  Am I right?” inquired Trustee Barnett.

Councilwoman Lindsay responded that they were hoping that there would be enough built to open the sewer prior to November2018.

Trustee Barnet observed that for the most part the response from people in the Village had been very individualized and had not been recognized or taken seriously by the Town Board.  He wondered if there was anything they could do to help.

The Mayor responded that he felt they could write a letter, provided they could obtain majority, representing a particular viewpoint, which they could then share with the Town Board.  The Village has been successful with this approach in the past.  He further noted that he would need to be educated by Councilwoman Lindsay and the Town Liaisons as to which direction they should be taking.  “The materials are obviously extremely important, but so is this mix of bedrooms,” he stated.  He suggested that the liaisons communicate with the Town and then come back to the Board with specific recommendations from which they could draft a letter to be circulated amongst the Trustees for review.

Trustee McHugh inquired of Councilwoman Lindsay as to what the Town Board’s view of the changes was.

Councilwoman Lindsay responded that it was hard to tell.  “Some people are keeping it close to the vest,” she noted, adding that others had expressed their concerns in public.
Trustee Moon wondered which configuration of bedrooms would be most conducive to adding school children to the district.

ouncilwoman Lindsay responded that she would have thought 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, but the developer had reduced the number of these kind of units dramatically. 

“Is it a question of timing?” asked Trustee Moon. “This would produce school children later in time?”

“Yes,” responded Councilwoman Lindsay.  She further noted that they had attempted to get some information as to when the Townhouses would be built, as these were the units with 3 and 4 bedrooms and therefore the most likely to attract families with children but had not been able to get any solid information.  The Developer is claiming that the new configuration will add 36 school children to their original estimate for Northridge, but all they are committing to do initially is to add 18, primarily 1-bedroom apartments, which will add very few children.  They have not committed to building the proposed town homes as part of the initial phase. 

Joanne Hansen commented that the analysis the developer had presented, in which they estimated an increase of 36 children, included the apartments and the town houses, however they made no commitment to build the town houses.  She feels the Town is between a rock and a hard place as Related is coming back to them and suggesting that they can only rent the 1-bedroom apartments as there is no demand for 2-bedrooms and developers are balking at the quality of the school district.

Meg Vaught noted that Andrew Dance had repeatedly stated that the reason for the proposed changes was that the market demanded them.  She asked Councilwoman Lindsay whether or not the Town Board had seen any market studies to support these claims.

The answer was no, although it has been requested.

“They say that the studies show that they will be adding children….but what studies?” inquired Chiu Yin Hempel.

Ms. Hanson noted that an analysis had been done with the developer and the Town Planner and that this had provided them with “the right answer” which was 36 more school children and a tax-positive situation. 

“Based on what?” responded both Mrs. Hempel and Mrs. Hays.

Ms. Hanson agreed that this was a good question

Mrs. Hempel stated that she had seen trailer homes better constructed than the sample they have created with the proposed materials.  “It’s absolutely incredible.  You should see it!” she exclaimed.  “The siding looks like reinforced venetian blinds! Google trailer or mobile home construction material,” she advised.

“and they are contending that the price hasn’t changed,” added Ms. Hanson. 

Following some further discussion it was agreed that the Board would put together a letter to be submitted to the Town Board and that they would send a representative to read this letter into the record during the public hearing.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor McFadden to sign such a letter.

Old Business:
Village Email Migration Vendor – the Village has been talking about doing a migration from their Google account to a proper Government e-mail account.  To this end, they went out and solicited some prices and this information has been shared with the Board along with a disclosure letter from the Mayor since one of the bidders is the company he uses for his own business.  The Mayor commented that he would be glad to recuse himself from the vote if the Board felt it was appropriate.

He further reported that as part of the due diligence he had contacted both the Tuxedo Park School the Village of Sloatsburg in addition to their own IT person in order to obtain a list of reputable names.   The point of the migration is to move from a system that does not meet government standards for storage or transitions among other things.  It would be the first step in an overall IT upgrade for the Village, however this portion pertains only to the email migration. 

He then inquired as to whether or not anybody felt he should recuse himself. 

The answer was no.

There followed some discussion after which the Board agreed to table the issue, which would allow the Trustees enough time to gather their questions and figure out a way to compare the bids, emphasizing that it was something that they were ready to move on but that they felt it was important to do it right. 

Public Comments:
Meg Vaught asked for an update on The Booth. 
Trustee McHugh responded that they had been working with the Village Engineer and their architectural firm and are specking out the new booth based on the 1990 drawings.  They are nearly finished with the scoping of this.  They had hoped to go out to bid, however the change in the Trustee meeting date precluded them from doing this.  Essentially, they are “doing a deeper dive” and getting a cost analysis, similar to what they did with The Keep, so that they can have greater comfort that they are not going to be faced with a $400,000 bid.  They are also going to try and triplicate it and go out to bid in different areas…HVAC/Electronics, concrete and framing.  They are working within these types of confines to get the cost as low as possible but at the same time achieve “the biggest bang for our buck.”   The preliminary drawings have been shown to the BAR but they have not been back for formal review.  He is hopeful that in a weeks’ time they will be able to schedule a special meeting for the purpose of moving forward with the bids. 

The Mayor wondered whether it would be possible to authorize the Mayor to approve the bid based on Trustee McHugh’s approval of the package in an effort to avoid the need for a special meeting, but ultimately it was agreed that the entire Board would like to review the bids before are issued.

Mrs. Vaught then wondered when residents could expect to see the booth constructed.
Trustee McHugh responded that he was hopeful that it would be in place by the end of 2017.

Christopher Gow wondered whether there had been any issues with the current entrance configuration and if the Board had reconsidered their plans to reconstruct the booth.

“No,” responded the Mayor.  “We are forging ahead. Committed…in bed…to the mattress.”

Mr. Gow wondered why the Village was spending the money on the booth if they current system was working as it is.

Mayor McFadden responded that they had decided to move forward with it because the majority of people in the Park wanted to see the booth rebuilt.  It was an election issue and they feel it is important to follow through on it.  Of course, if there was a big opposition to it they would reconsider, but there has not been any opposition thus far and they have been very up front with regard to their plans to rebuild. 

Robin and Steve, who identified themselves as new residents who were living in Sue Heywood’s old house, inquired as to what the project would look like and where the booth would be located.

Mayor McFadden explained that the existing pad would be lengthened a bit to make the interior more comfortable but the booth itself would be the same façade as what was previously there.  “It’s the old booth with a nicer haircut,” he commented further explaining that there would shingles and a stone finish, but nothing too fancy.  They estimate that the cost will be $150,000 or less.  This does not include the equipment that will be installed within.  They are considering looking very seriously at putting as much high tech equipment in there as they can in order to make the process better for everyone.  It will have sliding, bulletproof glass windows so that residents can speak to the traffic guards within.

Trustee McHugh added that it would be 7ft long and 11 feet wide with wheel chair accessibility at the back.  Unlike the old booth, which only had an access window on the entry side, the new structure will have a window on both sides, which will allow people to stop on their way out of the Village as well.  Security will be the biggest upgrade will bulletproof glass, reinforced walls and a new concrete pad.  He further that contrary to Mayor McFadden’s suggestion that there would be a sliding glass window to allow for direct communication with the guard, he felt there might be an intercom and teller-style drawer instead.  The goal is to have the concrete poured sometime in November, after which the project should move pretty quickly.

Mr. Gow inquired about the power lines.

Trustee McHugh responded that there had been a lot of discussion about a mysterious donor who was supposedly going to pay to redirect the lines.  “We’ll leave it there,” he finished. 

New Business:
Authorize Bidding for #2 Fuel- Following some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing bid documents, similar to those that were previously issued, with a bid opening date of October 4.   As the current contract expires on September 30, the Board also voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to contact the current vendor to extend the contract for one month.

 The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss matters that may lead to the appointment and/or employment of a particular person, to discuss collective bargaining negotiations, to discuss an employee matter, and to discuss pending litigation. 

Other Business:
Upon re-entering the public session, the Board voted in favor of  hiring of Max Sirrine, as a full time police officer, to replace Jim Ascione who retired earlier this year.
They also voted in favor of authorizing John Ledwith’s employment as building inspector/code enforcement officer and his engagement as a consultant relating to areas of his prior employment.

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 13, 2017

1. Call to order
2. Pledge
3. Roll Call
4. Police, DPW & Building Reports
5. Committee Reports
a. Dam Construction
b. Tree Advisory Board
c. Grant Writer
6. Public Comments
7. Old Business a. Village Email Migration Vendor
8. Public Comments
9. New Business
a. Authorize Bidding for #2 Fuel Oil
10. Adjourn to executive session to discuss matters that may lead to the appointment and/or employment of a particular person, to discuss collective bargaining negotiations, to discuss an employee matter, and to discuss pending litigation.
11. Re-enter Regular Meeting
12. Village Vouchers
13. Approve Minutes
14. Adjournment
And any other matters that may come before the Board.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 16, 2016

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, August 16 at 7pm.

All members were present.

Highlights of the meeting included an update on former Village Building Inspector/Tax Assessor John Ledwith, whom the Trustees are hoping to rehire in the near future, and confirmation that the Village will be moving to reinstitute the position of Gate Guard in a newly constructed traffic booth, the plans for which are moving ahead at full steam.

Updates on the Village Lakes as well as the ongoing construction at the Wee Wah Dam were also given.

To listen to this meeting in it’s entirety, click here.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees To Hold Special Executive Session Meeting Prior to Start of Regular Meeting August 16

1. Call to order
2. Pledge
3. Adjourn to Executive Session for the purpose of a discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person.
4. Reopen Regular Session
5. Adjournment

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 16, 2017

1. Call to order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Comments
4. Judge Hasin Introduction
5. Police, DPW & Tuxedo Lake, and Building & Dam Reports
6. Appoint Part Time Police Officers
7. Water Department Update
8. Fire Department Request
9. Public Comments
10. Old Business Police Contract Traffic Booth
11. New Business Village Email Migration
Resolution Regarding Return of Records
12. Public Comments
13. Approve Minutes
14. Village Vouchers
15. Adjourn to Executive Session for the purpose of a discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person.
16. Adjournment
And any other matters that may come before the Board after this agenda is posted.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees To Hold Special Meeting August 7, 2017 7:30pm

The Village Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting this evening at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of adjourning to Executive Session for the purpose of a discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 13, 2017

The Board of Trustees met on July 13, 2017 at 7pm.  Trustee Moon was absent.

New PT Police Officer:
Mayor McFadden commented that historically, the practice had been to have one Trustee finish the interview process for officers but this had not been done in recent years.  He has re-implemented this process, so at least one Trustee will have the ability to touch base with the recommendations coming up from the Police Force.  In this case, Trustee Moon was in charge of the interview, which he completed and the candidate has received a strong review.    Unfortunately, Trustee Moon was not present and the Board did not have the paperwork detailing the Officer’s name, so the vote was tabled until they could locate that information.

Police Report:
On behalf of the Police Department, Officer Dan Sutherland delivered the following report for the month of June:
Non-Criminal Incidents – 250
Criminal Incidents – 1 – closed by arrest – aggravated unlicensed operation (driving
with a suspended license)
Accident – 1
Uniform Traffic Tickets Issued – 18
Traffic Warnings Issued – 6
Fire Calls – 3 (including automatic alarms)
Intrusion Alarms – 4
Medical Calls – 5
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Given to the New York State Police – 2
Vehicle Tags Issues – 1081 (820 resident and 261 non-resident)
Vehicle Tags Returned – 0
Approximately 1000 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate.

Meg Vaught noted that since the department had stopped making a count of the exact number of vehicles that enter the Village via the Front Gate each month, the number of vehicle tags issued has increased at what seems like an alarming rate.  She suggested that the monthly totals were always right around 1000, and wondered why they were issuing so many tags.

Deputy Mayor McHugh explained that the number provided as a part of the monthly report was cumulative and not a monthly tally.

There was a collective response of relief with this answer, with many individuals confessing that they had also been confused.

Dena Steele noted that in a previous meeting the Grant Writer had made mention of weaponry that would be coming to the Department via a program with the Department of Defense, specifically long guns.  She wondered why the Village needed these weapons and what they would be used for.

Officer Southerland responded that this was a question for the Chief.

The Mayor added that they would follow up with Chief Melchior and report back.

With regard to vehicle tags, the Deputy Mayor noted that the non-resident tags would be changing next month and would be mirror opposite of the resident tags.  Resident tags are a white background with green lettering and the new non-resident tags will be a green background with white lettering.

DPW Report:
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had been busy patching roads and getting ready to do some oil & chip work.  The roads that they are planning to oil & chip are Ontio Rd, West Lake Stable Rd., part of Lorillard Rd., Ridge Rd., Pepperidge Road, East Lake Stable Rd., Circuit Rd. and Club House down past the Race Track.

Mayor McFadden wondered if it was the Village’s practice to post this information on the website, commenting that if it was not, he would like to.

Deputy Mayor McHugh inquired as to who had made the decisions with regard to which roads would be receiving this service.

Superintendent Voss responded that he had made the selections. 

“The thought process being that it is cheaper to maintain and better for drainage?” inquired the Deputy Mayor.

Superintendent Voss explained that the oil & chip would prolong the roads.  The roads that he has chosen are in somewhat better shape.  There are some roadways that will need to be paved, but he has not made the determination as to which ones yet.

Mayor McFadden suggested that Trustee Barnett, as DPW liaison, might want to work with the Superintendent to develop a long-term plan for road resurfacing.  This is something that the Village has never done before, but he feels it could be beneficial to have a 5 or 10-year plan in place.  It was agreed that this would be done.

Mayor McFadden then inquired as to whether there were any plans to resurface West Lake Rd as it runs along the lake near the South Gate.

The answer was yes, although the complete road way will not be resurfaced.

Another road that is in line to receive a cap on it is West Lake, coming down from Turtle Mountain to where it empties out by the lake.

Mayor McFadden then inquired as to whether or not the DPW report was posted monthly to the Village website.

The answer was no.

The Mayor requested that this be done moving forward.

Steve Barba, a long time employee of the Village, will be retiring at the end of July.  Mr. Barba is a water/sewer operator who has been working in the Village since 1979.  He will need to be replaced although the new employee will not necessarily need to be licensed.
Mayor McFadden requested that Trustee Barnett, the Superintendent and the Village Clerk touch base about the proper procedure for getting the opening out into the public arena to gather candidates and resumes, making sure that it matches with the Civil Service description.  It was agreed that this would be done.

Finally, Superintendent Voss requested permission to hire two part-time summer workers at a rate of $10 per hour. The first is his son, Matthew Voss, and the second, Dustin LeBar, the son of another DPW employee.  This was discussed in terms of possible nepotism issues however, ultimately, Mr. Nugent advised the Board that as the positions are not Civil Service, there was not an issue.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of hiring the two gentlemen as proposed.

Dam Construction Update & TAB/Dam landscaping:
The project Engineers were not present however Deputy Mayor McHugh provided a report.  Moving forward, an update/report will be provided bi-monthly from the Engineer and posted to the Village website so that residents can keep abreast of the project’s progress.  To date, 6.9% of the project has been completed at a cost of $252,000.  There have been no change orders submitted.  The only issue that has arisen thus far is that the contractor has asked the engineer to review the stone overlay of the parapet wall.

The Deputy Mayor then read aloud a detailed construction report.  The Mayor inquired as to whether things were moving along on schedule and Deputy Mayor McHugh responded that things were s both on schedule and on budget with nothing unforeseen.

Mayor McFadden then stated that there had been a request from the Tree Advisory

Board to recommend a change to the vegetation on the embankment behind the dam. 
Dena Steele added that at a recent meeting when the engineer had been present, they had talked about removal of the trees and what would be planted on the slope, which is going from a step to a 45-degree angle.  The Engineer informed them that as long as the area was mowed once or twice a year they could put grasses and native flowers there.

The TAB checked into this and found a fairly inexpensive seed that could be broadcasted there, which will bloom throughout the season and is very easy to maintain.  It is a Native Steep Slope Mix with Grain Rye.  Detailed information can be found here.  

Mayor McFadden wondered who would maintain the area, the TAB or the Village?

Ms. Steele responded that once it had been established, all that would be required was mowing, which is something that the Village would be doing anyway.

The Mayor then wondered if this would alter the budget in any way.

The Deputy Mayor responded that he did not think it would.  The plan called for hydro seeding of the area.  He wondered, however, whether the Engineers and/or the DEC had signed off on it.

Ms. Steele reiterated that the engineer had told her that as long as the area was mowed bi-annually, there should not be any issue.

Mayor McFadden commented that if they encountered any resistance from either the DEC or the Engineer, the Board would let Ms. Steele know.  His recommendation was to move forward with approval.

Ms. Steele wondered whether or not they might be able to do something similar on the Southeast slope next to the Pond #3 dam.

The Deputy Mayor wanted to know whether TAB was paying for this or if the Village was expected to pay.

Ms. Steele responded that it would depend on how much seed was needed, but that it was pretty inexpensive and she did not feel there was going to be a huge surface area.  They will be able to refine the cost once they know what the surface area will be.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving The TAB’s request and Mayor McFadden requested that the approved plans for the DAM be updated to reflect the change.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of having at least 2 members of the BAR get involved in the engineering review of the stone parapet wall.

Mayor’s Comments:
 Mayor McFadden thanked everyone in the community for their support and or turning out for the election.  He also thanked the new Trustees along with Trustee McHugh for all of their support during the election.  He congratulated them all, further commenting that since the transition had begun, he could already tell that it was going to be a very collaborative, independent, hard working Board.  The time thus far has been, in his view, very productive.  “People are willing to listen to each other and I am really looking forward to working with them.  I think it is going to be a terrific two years.”

Public Comments:
There were no immediate comments.  Mayor McFadden stated that the Board would be talking about both the Village Website and the Police contract negotiations.  He wondered if anyone had any start-up questions with regard to these items.

Sally Sonne commented that for “many many years” she had requested that the minutes be posted for all Board meetings be posted on the Village website.  She feels that people do like to look back and sometimes people cannot make to the Village Office during their operating hours. 

The Mayor responded that this used to be done, but then it had stopped and nothing had been done over the past few years.  He further commented that he was speaking for the entire Board when he said that he agreed with her and that they would try and do this effective immediately. All new minutes will be posted immediately moving forward and then they will go back and try to work on the archives.

Mary Graetzer inquired about Girvin Ferlazzo, the Police Contract negotiation lawyer who was listed on the Reorganization Document.

Mayor McFadden responded that he would address this when they reached the Police Contract on the agenda.

Audrey Perry inquired as to who the “website person” was. 

The Mayor responded that the Village has an existing website that has been in effect since former Mayor Tom Wilson was in office.  Although they had worked on a replacement website, Mayor McFadden stated “the election came and that has sort of fallen by the wayside.”  They are now planning to look at improving the existing website as well as entertaining companies that work specifically with municipalities.  Such companies can often offer a plethora of services such as online payments, video streaming, archiving of records etc.  It will be a matter of price.  He has already begun looking at several websites and would be happy to submit these links on the Village website where anybody can look at them and make comments.  The Village is in no rush to spend a lot of money. “Our website is perfectly adequate and if we start putting up minutes and other things from all the Boards, I think this is a great step in the right direction.”

Trustee Gluck commented that it was his understanding that the current website was not capable of handling substantial amount of minutes.  He asked Village Clerk, Debbie Matthews, to confirm this.

Ms. Matthews responded that it was not an issue of whether or not the website could handle the minutes, but more one of getting them up there as it is actually a word press blog and nobody had given her instructions as to how to do it and she couldn’t figure it out on her own.

The Mayor responded that he could be helpful with this.  If it turns out that it is not capable, that will be a different matter that they will have to deal with.  That being said, there are archived minutes dating back to 2004 that are currently up there.

Old Business:
Village Website – Mayor McFadden noted that this had just been discussed as a part of the Public Comment section.  He further commented that no votes needed to be taken and that he would continue to explore options and the post his findings to the Village website for anybody to look at and then make comments.

Police Contract – The Mayor admitted that he was just beginning to get involved with this.  About a year ago the Village hired negotiator Michael Richardson and when he reached out to him for an update, the Mayor learned that Mr. Richardson felt that things had slowed down significantly and that the Village was at an impasse.  He indicated that he was ready to move on, as he did not feel he had much more to offer.  Mayor McFadden asked Mr. Richardson to update him as to the specific issues before making the decision to move on and Mr. Richardson then indicated that if the Village could bring on Girvin Ferlazzo, with whom he has worked on numerous police contracts before, he felt he could get things done within 30 days or less. 

As a result of this, the Mayor has proposed that the Village move forward with this, pending the fee schedule, which has yet to be obtained.  The Plan is to take a look at the prices, and if affordable, placate Richardson in order to get things done.  The decision will be made next month. 

Lakes Update – The Deputy Mayor reported that AE diving had been doing a vacuum harvesting of milfoil exclusively in Tuxedo Lake, with a focus on the high traffic areas including the Village Boat Club and the Tuxedo Club.  They have also been going around the barrier curtain at the south end of the lake cleaning and making sure that the barrier is in tact.  Solitude Lakes Management will be coming on Monday July 17 to do a cursory overview of everything.  They will be looking at all 3 lakes.  The Wee Wah is “a bit of a lost cause” with the dam project ongoing but Pond #3 needs a lot of attention as the milfoil has become rampant there.

Tuxedo Lake is scheduled to be stocked in the next week with bluegills and sunnies; 4-6 inches in length. 

The Village is ¼ way into the CSLAPS program and things are running smoothly.

Two Tuxedo Lake front property owners have agreed to put in berms along their properties in order to reduce soil erosion as well as geese trespass.  This is good news, although those properties without berms will surely see an incremental increase in geese.

Ms. Steele wondered if by “berm” the Deputy Mayor really meant vegetative buffer.
The answer was yes.

The Mayor wondered what kind of challenge the Village faced in convincing lake front property owners across the board to put in the buffers.

“We’ll see what good neighbors do,” responded Deputy Mayor McHugh.

New Business:
Traffic Booth Kick Off – Noting that there had been limited time to transition things over, Mayor McFadden commented that he felt the best way to get things started would be to “kick around” a budget.  Once a budget has been established they can begin talking to other professionals that they will be including in an effort to “get this thing done immediately.”  He feels there are a lot of creative ideas waiting in the wings, but a budget is needed first.  He asked the Deputy Mayor to report on what funds the Village currently had for this project and what this might allow them to do.

Deputy Mayor McHugh responded that he could add very little insight save the $80,000 they had left over from the insurance.

Both Mayor McFadden and Ms. Matthews replied that it was actually $67,000. 

Mayor McFadden mentioned that the Deputy Mayor had made reference to short term loan. 

Deputy Mayor McHugh responded that he was not comfortable commenting on that at the moment.

Mayor McFadden wondered if they might want to be working towards a $150,000 project.
The Deputy Mayor responded that this was realistic.  His issue is that there had been multiple individuals suggesting multiple amounts and to be honest, he did not think they had a clue as to what it was going to cost.

The Mayor responded that he did not disagree but in terms of getting somebody on the design, he felt they needed to provide a budget range.  This would have to be a bit of a moving target as the design gets underway but without a budget it’s hard to move forward.

Trustee Barnett suggested that they get together, layout the issues and come up with a reasonable goal.

Deputy Mayor McHugh agreed, commenting that he also agreed with Alan Yassky in terms of the need to first scope things out and then come back with an estimated cost idea.

Trustee Gluck wondered if they didn’t need to start with the project first in terms of what the booth would look like and where it would be and how it would be configured etc.
The Mayor agreed, commenting that this would be part of the program and they have begun working that.  He reiterated the need for an overall budget, stating that architects and contractors may or may not want to work on the project based on its, budget.  He cautioned that they did not want to repeat the mistake they had already made, which was to build up a ton of momentum and expectation based on loose drawings only to have it come in way off budget, bringing them back to point zero.  He feels they should start out with a budget range that can be worked towards.  If they don’t like the design or what that money gives them, then that will be another discussion.  He believes it is important that they need to hold the designers and the architects to within a certain budget.  On another note, he reported that there was a resident who had reached out to him and expressed willingness to contribute money to the project and had also indicated that there were other residents who would be willing to contribute.  He suggested that while the Deputy Mayor and Trustee Barnett were looking at the numbers, he would follow up on this to see if it were a legitimate offer and then they could have a discussion.  He further intimated that the donation could be as much as $100,000 and that the resident in question had requested that, if donated, the funds be specifically allocated for the booth.  Period.  There would be no strings attached to the donation, but the resident in question did mention that they were also hopeful that the Village might be able to come up with some strong technology features to include.

Dena Steele commented that the Mayor had mentioned in a previous meeting that there was not a proper design for the project, so she wondered when he spoke of the numbers that the Deputy Mayor and Trustee Barnett would be looking at, if they included design fees.

The answer was yes.  A total budget including all design elements, contingencies and equipment is needed.  The previous design did not include any equipment or technology.  The Mayor suggested that once a budget has been established, the Village could create an RFP and hopefully get some confident people to come in and bid.  “A lot of architects and construction people don’t like to come in and work on projects that aren’t defined.

There are too many options for overage.  There are too many options that they won’t get paid for what they do, and when the drawings aren’t completed, they are just going to put in a high number because they want to cover their tush.”  He reiterated the need for a budget, suggesting that without one, they were sure to get “walked all over.”  With a budget in place, he feels that they can get on top of the project very quickly, with progress to be posted on the Village website. 

Trustee Gluck commented that he felt they needed to start someplace and perhaps starting with a number and working towards getting the project to coalesce around that, perhaps moving it up or down or even sideways….would be a good start.  Currently there is no concrete design nor is there a list of criteria.  

Mayor McFadden responded that he felt the normal procedure would be to write up a program of requirements that would include specifics in terms of size, accessibility, location and materials.  He also feels that the BAR should be included in the process from the beginning and that they should try to include a professional contractor or estimator early on as well in order to ensure that they can afford what is being designed.

Sheila Pompan wondered why they couldn’t just start with what had existed previously.

She noted that the majority of residents had voted in favor of rebuilding the booth over a year ago and nothing had been done.  The structure was knocked down and destroyed because of an accident.  She wondered why things had to be so complicated.

The Mayor replied that he would be open to the idea of rebuilding on the same footprint.

He further commented that things were really not getting complicated more they were having to start all over again as nothing had been accomplished.  Regardless, he still believes that a budget must be established. 

Mary Graetzer suggested that they would also need to decide what kind of equipment they wanted to put inside the booth, as this would dictate its’ size.

The Mayor agreed, and commented that this would all be factored into the program and the budget.

Chauncey Rodzienko suggested that there were a number of different residents who possessed the various skills needed to work on the project.

“Including architecture?” inquired Mayor McFadden.

The answer was yes.

The Mayor responded that there was still an issue of prevailing wage to consider. 

Mr. Nugent confirmed that this applied to construction phase but not the design, which is considered Professional Services.

“There are people who go in and out of that gate every day and they have the wherewithal and the means to make it happen,” stated Mrs. Rodzienko.

The Mayor wondered if Mrs. Rodzienko had somebody particular in mind that they should speak to.

Mrs. Rodzienko responded that she would rather wait and pass this information along outside of the meeting.

Mayor McFadden was receptive to this, stating that he would then pass the information along to the Board.

Audrey Perry stated that should they decide to go with the same design, she hoped they would make the structure stronger and safer, considering the previous one had been plowed over by a vehicle with the occupant nearly killed.

Mayor McFadden responded that he couldn’t agree more.  He further commented that the current plan, which had come in way over budget, had metal reinforcement poles for protection, but he felt this might be able to be done with boulders on both sides. 

The Deputy Mayor agreed and stated that he would get together with Trustee Barnett to review the finances and would report back to the Board.

“Do you think we might not have enough money for it?” inquired the Mayor.

“Well, we don’t have enough money for it,” responded Deputy Mayor McHugh.  “The question is what can we do given the finite resources we have.”

“Alright,” replied the Mayor, “I think you’ll give me that number and then we are going to come up with a way to get the money we need, because we have to build it.  It’s just the way it is.”

“Right,” agreed the Deputy Mayor.

Public Comment:
There was none.

Enter Executive Session:
The Board then entered into an executive session for the purpose of discussion regarding pending and current litigation, discussion regarding the status of the Police Contract negotiations and discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person.

New PT Police Officer (revisted):
Following their executive session, the Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring part time officer Max Serene.

Before returning into an executive session to further discuss matters leading to the employment of a particular person, Mayor McFadden thanked Ms. Matthews for all for all of the hard work she had done over the course of the last week.

The Deputy Mayor seconded this and the Board applauded.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Reorganization Meeting July 13, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees held their annual reorganization meeting on Thursday, July 13, 2017.  Trustee Moon was absent.

Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking the new Trustees as well as Trustee McHugh for all of their support during the election.  He congratulated them all, further commenting that since the transition had begun, he could already tell that it was going to be a very collaborative, independent, hard working Board.
He then presented the Board with the reorganization document, which they proceeded to review in full.  Notable changes include the appointment of Trustee McHugh as Deputy Mayor, the appointment of Patrick Donaghy as Chair of the Board of Architectural Review and Christian Bruner as a BAR member.  The BAR and the Planning Board have requested Burke, Miele, Golden & Naughton LLP as their Attorneys however, a fee schedule has not been made available yet and therefore, the Board agreed to wait and vote on this at next month’s meeting.   It was also agreed that they would put off voting on the attorney that has been selected for police contract negotiations for the same reason.

There have been some small changes to the rules of procedure, most notably that moving forward any one Trustee or the Mayor may call a Special Meeting (previously, two Trustees were needed) There was a discussion with regard to meeting minutes and the need for the Village to turn these around in a more expedient manor.  It was agreed that moving forward meeting minutes in draft form would be posted to the Village website no later than 14 days after each meeting. 
Dena Steele inquired as to who would be managing the Lakes/Environment as she did not see a Trustee Liaison listed on the document. 

It was agreed that Deputy Mayor McHugh and Trustee Gluck would take on this responsibility.

Trustee Barnett stated that he would be recusing himself from the vote as it pertained to the Planning Board as his wife, Joann Hanson, is the designated appointee.

Mayor McFadden responded that he could recuse himself if he wished, but it was not necessary.  Board Attorney Brian Nugent concurred.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the Reorganization Document.

To review a copy of this document, click here.

back to top


Tuxedo Village Fire Department Report

Report by the TVFD:
The topics will likely include the following:

- identifiable numbering signage on residences in the Park,
- access from the North Gate,
- water sources,
- turnarounds at the east and west sides of the dam during the repair period,
- volunteers, and
- clearance under trees on roadways.

Liaison is Allen Barnett

A meeting will be held next week TBD

Submitted to the Mayor for the Record By Gardiner Hempel

back to top


Agenda for Village Reorganization Meeting July 13, 2017

Click here to view the agenda

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 13, 2017

1. Call to order
2. Pledge
3. New PT Police Officer Police, DPW & Building Reports
4. Mayor’s Comments
5. Public Comments
6. Old Business Village Website Police Contract Dam construction update & TAB/Dam landscaping
7. New Business
Traffic Booth Kick Off
8. Public Comment
9. Enter Executive Session Reasons for Entering Executive Session - Discussion regarding pending and current litigation. Discussion regarding the status of the Police Contract negotiations. Discussion regarding matters leading to the employment of a particular person.
10. Reenter Public Meeting
11. Village Vouchers
12. Adjournment
And any other matters that may come before the board.

back to top


Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 21, 2017

The Village Board of Trustees met on June 21, 2017.   All members were present.  Trustee McFadden arrived 30 minutes late.

Mayor’s Update:
Mayor Guinchard began by congratulating Trustee McHugh and Trustee-elect Paul Gluck on their victories in the recent Village Election.  She went on to also congratulate Trustee McFadden, noting that the race for Mayor was currently a tie, and that they would have to “see how that goes” moving forward.  She then thanked Deputy Mayor Guazzoni for his years of service on the Board.

The retirement celebration for officer Jim Ascione has been delayed for a month.  As things have been very busy in the Village recently on all fronts, it was agreed that the extra time would allow for a better celebration.

The closing for the recently acquired Village bonds is scheduled for June 22.  The Village did very well at auction, coming in at 3%.  Mayor Guinchard believes this will save the Village roughly $20,000 a year in interest.  She announced that a phone call with their auditor would be taking place during the meeting so that he could go over how the transfer of funds would work once the wiring came in so that they could get everything into the Capital Fund.

David du Pont inquired as to the maturity of the bonds and was informed that there were 2, one at 30 years and the other at 15.

Ratify Insurance Renewal – Mayor Guinchard made a motion for the Board to deny the Terrorist Rider that accompanies their insurance policy.  Trustee McHugh noted that the policy was effective June 1 and had been signed on May 26.  He wondered what exactly the Board was approving, since the documents had already been signed.  “If the Mayor’s got the authority to do it, why do we need to rubber stamp something that happened over a month ago?” he asked.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that it might have something to do with the allocation of the expenditure.

Trustee Moon commented that it was an issue of timing, further suggesting that what the Mayor was asking for was their authority to make her signature good.

“It’s up to Debbie,” responded the Mayor.

Ms. Matthews indicated that in past, she had signed it.

“So we don’t need to sign it then,” responded Trustee McHugh.

Ms. Matthews replied that they did not need to sign it but that they should be aware of it.

“We are,” stated Trustee McHugh. 

Trustee Guazzoni inquired to the amount of the expenditure

The answer was $71,000, between both the Water and General funds.

Trustee Guazzoni suggested that this was a substantial amount of money and he felt there should be a resolution.

Trustee McHugh disagreed, stating that he would be happy to officially recognize it but he did not want to authorize something after the fact.  “That is my pet peeve,” he commented.

Ultimately, a motion was made that the Board honor the Mayor’s signature and they voted unanimously in favor of adopting it.

Tuxedo Fire Works Request – The Tuxedo Club has requested permission to host their annual fire works display on July 3 with a rain date of July 5.  Gardner Hempel of the Tuxedo Park Fire Department noted that the department would be present with a truck in case anything went awry.  Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to the police security, noting that the Village picked up the tab for this and wondering what the cost would be, noting that last year it was somewhere between $3-4,000.  Chief Melchiore informed the Board that there would be 6 maybe 7 officers on duty, depending on the traffic.  Historically there have been 10.

Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether there was anybody from the Club present.

The answer was no.  They sent their request in the form of a letter.

Trustee McHugh then commented that the previous year when the request had been made, the Board had expressed some concern with landscaping at the Club, specifically in terms of clear cutting trees, and the Club had agreed to provide the Village with a landscaping plan, which they subsequently did.  Since that time, however, they have continued to ignore the landscaping plan and have done nothing but increase and cut more trees down.  “The leverage, obviously, is this, but nobody is here to present it.  I don’t think we should preclude it, but I do think we need to impress upon them the importance of a landscaping plan and living up to the landscaping plan they presented to us a year ago.”

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

Bond Update – The Board then took a phone call from Andrew Arias of CooperArias, which is the Villages’ accosting firm.  Mr. Cooper walked them through the bond closing and the process for how the monies would be transferred into the Capital Fund and made available for use. 

Fish Stocking – Trustee McHugh reported that it was going to cost the Village $1,500 to stock the lake with bluebells.  He checked with Allied Biological and they had no issues with it, although they advised that there should be a more coherent policy moving forward with regard to fish stocking.  The fish have been purchased and the Village awaits delivery. 

Mayor Guinchard suggested that moving forward, fish stocking should be coordinated with the efforts of Solitude Lakes Management way ahead of time.

Trustee Guazzoni inquired as to how many fish would be put into the lake.

Nobody had an answer, although Trustee McHugh suggested that it might be in the neighborhood of 1,000.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of the stocking.

Other Business – Mayor Guinchard reported that both Denise Spalthoff and Desiree Hickey would be receiving training to become Notary Publics.  The cost of this training is roughly $65 per person in addition to the purchase of a textbook.  Denise will train in August and Desiree in September.

A resolution has been reached with regard to an improper practice charge that was filed against the Village by the PBA and a settlement proposed.  The charge alleged that officers were prevented from going into Rockland County during work hours and that the Village engaged in mutual “tour swaps.”  The Village has answered these charges and denied any impropriety and agreed to make changes.  Chief Melchiore noted that he had not seen the proposed settlement and requested to view a copy prior to any vote on behalf of the Board.  He further suggested that as the document pertained to a contractual issue, he would like the opportunity to sit and discuss it with the attorney if necessary.  A copy was provided to him and the Board agreed to revisit the topic later in the meeting.

CHA – Dam Update:
Mike Quinn of CHA provided the Board with an update on the Wee Wah dam project.

The project officially kicked off on June 5.  Prior to the kick-off the Village DPW was instrumental in tree removal as well as relocating a sewer line beneath the roadway and also cutting and capping a waterline that is no longer in use.  Both Pond #3 and the Wee Wah Lake have been drawn down to “construction pools.”  Silt fencing and rattlesnake barriers have been installed and KT WILDLIFE has supplied an education and encounter protection plan.  Although it is expected that the barriers will keep rattlesnakes away from the worksite, workers have been trained as what to do if they should encounter a rattlesnake.  This past week, work has began clearing and grubbing the downstream side of the dam.  Wee Wah Road has been closed to all pedestrian traffic across the dam and will remain closed for the duration of the project (scheduled to be completed sometime in the first half of 2018) Once completely cleared, an “appreciable amount fill” will be brought in for the purpose of reducing the steep slope on the backside of the dam and downstream embankment.

Noting that fill has been a “hot button issue” in the Village, Trustee McHugh inquired as to the source of the fill and more specifically whether or not it had been vetted.

The response was that the fill would be entirely clean and comprised entirely of quarry material. 

Within the next month a cofferdam will be installed in front of the spillway structure after which the contractors will de-water the area behind it in order to expose the full height of the auxiliary spillway.  They will then analyze the condition of the in spillway’s base.  Mr. Quinn noted that there is an add-alternate in the contract in case they discover any issues during this analysis.

Trustee McFadden wanted to know the details and amount of the add-alternate.

Mr. Quinn explained that it was $42,000 for sheeting, but he reiterated that they would have to wait for the analysis to come in before they would know if it was necessary.
New York State requires a monthly update on the status of the permit and the project and Mr. Quinn noted that the Village would be provided with a copy of this letter as well as a personal update at meetings on a monthly basis as the project progressed.

Trustee McHugh wondered how construction vehicles were accessing the site and whether or not they were entering the Village via the Sewage Treatment Plant. 
The answer was yes.  A construction trailer has also been put in place in the parking lot of the DPW facility.

DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss inquired as to whether there was anything that CHA needed from his department.

Mr. Quinn responded that they could use more solid barriers on the dike side in order to prevent pedestrian traffic, further commented that despite the current signage, people were still coming down there.  Different types of barriers were discussed, as was an increase in signage. 

DPW Report:
Superintendent Voss reported that in addition to prep work for the dam project, the department had been busy patching holes in the roadways, cutting grass and dealing with various tree issues.  There was a water main break on Tuesday, June 20 in the wooded area between Tuxedo and East Lake Stable Roads, resulting from a crack in a 6-inch pipe.  Once they were able to locate the break, the necessary repairs were made.
Mayor Guinchard commented that there were a lot of potholes in the section of Club House Road that runs along the Race Track property.

Superintendent Voss acknowledged these, commenting that they working on potholes and that much of this work was weather dependent.

Water Billing – Since the departure of John Ledwith, Denise Spalthoff has been put in charge of water billing and she has busily been trying to make heads and tails of things despite a lack of training.  There was a lengthy discussion with regard to several accounts in the town that have been in arrears for a long time and what do about them.  In several cases, there have been so many penalties applied to these accounts that the penalty fees are larger than the water fees themselves.

Trustee McFadden commented that he could not recall the Board having given any direction to Mr. Ledwith over the course of the last year with regard to what to with these types of bills.  He acknowledged that there had been discussions, but suggested that the Board had never set forth a proper instruction as to what to do.  He noted that some of these accounts had been in arrears for years and further stated that he believed it had been the responsibility of the Board to provide direction as to how these should be dealt with.

Trustee McHugh begged to differ, commenting that they had given him directive by telling him that when bills ran higher than $100,000, that he was to be pro-active and send certified letters to these customers.  If the customers then made a concerted effort to make monthly payments, then the Village could entertain the idea of reducing the penalties.  There are three accounts that are exceptionally high and he suggested they maintain this practice in dealing with them.

The Mayor proposed that they offer a reduction in penalties up front, or possibly waive the penalties altogether noting that in two of the cases, the penalty fees accounting for almost 90% of what was owed. 

Trustee McHugh responded that he felt they should first a concerted effort on the part of the customers to make regular, scheduled payments before they agreed to waive any fees. He feels they need to see a pattern of behavior that they are encouraging rather than simply waving the fees and walking away from these large sums of money.

Ms. Spalthoff noted the currently, no penalties had been applied to the accounts because she had not yet received the necessary training. 

The Mayor commented the contract for training had already been signed and training will take place soon.

Trustee McHugh wondered when the next water bill would be sent out.

Superintendent Voss noted that John Bello was currently ready meters and that the report typically went out around the first of July.

Mayor Guinchard stated that the bills were going to be a few weeks late this time around.
Trustee McHugh commented that he was under the impression that the Board had authorized the purchase of an electronic device that would read the meters with the data to be transferred into a computer where it would interface with the water department software.   He wondered if this device had been purchased.

The answer was no.  Mr. Bello noted that there were compatibility issues between the device and the Village system.  This was discussed at some length and ultimately it was agreed that Mr. Bello would do some further research and report back to the Board prior to the purchase of the equipment, which was authorized in at May meeting.

There followed a lengthy discussion with regard to one particular account in the Town.

The issue being that over a 5-quarter period, it was notated a lot more gallon usage than was actually used.  For some reason, the accurate numbers were never transferred into the computer and the water company was billing the customer for $8,000 when the actual cost should have been $875.

Trustee Moon wondered how this mistake had occurred.

The Mayor responded that the situation had been going on for a year, with the customer having first complained on June 30 of 2016.  She added that it had subsequently been determined that there was no leak.

Noting that it was somewhat difficult to discuss without divulging the name of the customer, Trustee McHugh commented that there had, in fact, been a leak at the location in question and that the water department had repaired a leak there.

Both Mr. Bello and Superintendent Voss confirmed that this was true.

The Mayor suggested that the leak had occurred prior to the meter readings.

Mr. Bello suggested that the leak had occurred in an area that would not have registered on the meter reading.  Trustee McHugh then wondered how old the debt was and when the meter readings had been taken.

The Mayor responded that any previous debts had been paid in full when the property in question changed hands.  The readings are recent and reflect a period of time when the facility has been closed.

Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Bello for his opinion as to whether or not the information was correct.

Mr. Bello responded that he wasn’t sure and that he would have to review the information before he could respond.

A detailed review of the readings ensued.

The Mayor suggested that after the property changed hands, the customer claims that they never received a bill and has been able to provide an email train detailing their requests for a bill.  Ultimately penalties were forgiven because of the bill had not been received.  A few months later, in August of 2016, the customer received and enormous bill, and waged a complaint, which was never addressed.  Recently, the Mayor took it upon her self to meet with this customer, after which she reviewed the bill with Mr. Bello, identified the discrepancies, did the math and recognized the errors.

The process by which Mr. Bello reads the meters and enters the data was then reviewed and discussed.

Given that it appears to have been a mathematical error, Trustee Moon suggested that Mr. Bello put together a summary of the situation to include a recommended correction, which the Board could then approve.  This way, there would be an official document in the system.

The Board continued to discuss the status of unresolved accounts.

The Mayor suggested that there were some, where the customers had paid money but the money had not been entered into the computer system and they couldn’t find it.

Trustee McHugh suggested that these customers needed to provide valid proof of payment and the Village would take it from there.

Trustee McFadden suggested that they put together some sort of procedural manual outlining the various processes for this department, noting that there was somewhat frequent turn-over on the Board and that it would probably be helpful to have an official guide clearly notating the various directives that have been given to the department.  In his view, a clear set of guidelines would provide for a more efficient operation.  He then inquired of Ms. Spalthoff as to what instructions she had been given specifically for depositing checks when they come in.  Specifically he wanted to know if she had been given instructions by the Board to deposit the checks within a certain amount of time or a specified number of business days.

The answer was no.

Trustee McFadden noted that this had been an issue with Mr. Ledwith and he wondered why they had not implemented any sort of policy to deal with it.

Mayor Guinchard responded that Ms. Spalthoff was not the one who deposited the checks, rather this was the job of the Village Clerk, and that they had implemented policy.
Trustee McFadden wanted to know what it was.

The answer was that checks needed to be deposited within 72 hours.

“The law is, property taxes have to be deposited within 24 hours.  Anything other than that, the comptroller said 72 hours max,” stated the Mayor.

Trustee McFadden then thanked Ms. Spalthoff for all of her efforts noting that he was aware things had been complicated. 

“She’s done a great job,” stated Mayor Guinchard.

“When you inherited these books, how many errors did they contain?” inquired Trustee Guazzoni.

Ms. Spalthoff noted that there had been multiple errors, ranging from mis-entered information to customers who had not received bills and some accounts where bills were not generated at all.  Some of these, she noted, were due to incorrect billing addresses.
Trustee Guazzoni further suggested that there had been some mislabeling of the accounts, suggesting that some commercial accounts had been labeled as residential and visa versa.  He further suggested that Ms. Spalthoff would have to go through each account one-by-one in order to determine their accuracy.  He inquired as to what percentage of the errors had been corrected to date.

The answer was roughly 50%.

Trustee Moon expressed his gratitude to Ms. Spalthoff for all of her efforts, and asked for confirmation that the Village was not accepting any currency.

The answer was no, they are not.

Trustee Moon then suggested that moving forward they should put a procedure in place for dealing with situations where, in Ms. Spalthoff’s absence, customers might leave currency in the officer paper-clipped to their water bill.   If this should occur, these funds must be deposited immediately.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of giving Ms. Spalthoff the authority to execute water billing corrections up to $75.

Police Report:
Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of May:

Complaints – 208
Arrests – 1
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 4
Traffic Tickets – 39
Traffic Warnings – 1
Intrusion Alarms – 6
Medical Calls  - 4
Assists Given to Town Police – 1
Assists received from Town Police – 1
Vehicle Tags Issued – 1,059

With regard to the stipulation settlement presented earlier, he noted that the Department agreed with Part 1, paragraph 1 but did not agree with paragraph 2., regarding mutual exchanges with full time or part time officers.  Part time Police officers are not subject to the benefits and terms of a bargaining unit between the Police Officers and the Village of Tuxedo Park.  This is not what was discussed.

It was agreed that this would need to be reviewed with the PBA and the attorneys.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement once all of the parties had reviewed it and were in agreement.

Public Comments:
There were no public comments.

Building and Grounds Report:
Engineer Pat Hines reported the following for the month of May:
Building Permits Issued – 5
Buildings Actively Under Construction That Have Been Reviewed – 4
Tree Issues – 6
Municipal Searches (with follow-up)  – 3
Complaints under Review – 2

Trustee McHugh inquired as to the nature of the tree issues. 

Mr. Hines responded that these originated with a resident calling with complaints regarding specific trees that were either hanging over Village roadways or on a neighboring property posing a threat of some kind.

With regard to properties where there are dead trees within 50 feet of the roadway,Trustee McHugh then wondered if the Village was going after homeowners in an effort to have these either remediated or removed.

The answer was that this was being done only when a complaint was received from a neighboring property. 

The Board then went through the engineering proposals for the waterline replacement, drainage and paving on Clubhouse and Continental Roads as well as the water tank rehabilitation project on Ridge Road.

During the course of the discussion, it was decided that the area of the Club House Road repairs would be extended at the top of the Road by 300 feet.  Road closures were also discussed and it was revealed that residents living on Club House road might have their driveway access impeded during the daytime but that access would be restored every evening by 5pm. 

Following a somewhat lengthy review and discussion of the various plans, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the following 4 projects as proposed:

  1. Club House Road – drainage & pavement project - $15,000
  2. Water Line Replacement – Continental Road to Laurel Road - $12,500
  3. Pavement replacement – Continental Road to Laurel Road - $12,100
  4. Village Water Tank Rehabilitation Project - $13,550


Committee Reports:
Trustee McHugh reported that the CSLAPs program is commencing on Tuxedo Lake and in Pond #3.  It has been determined that the program will not take place on the Wee Wah Lake this year as the depth of the water there is only 4-6 feet.

Milfoil removal, which will be done in high concentration areas in conjunction with Solitude Lake Management’s consultation, will commence within two weeks.  Mapping of Milfoil in Tuxedo Lake will take place in the month of July.

Trustee McFadden inquired as to whether or not there was a high concentration of milfoil growing in the area of Tuxedo Lake just in front of the Regna property.

The answer was yes.  There is a high concentration here as well as in the area by the Tuxedo Club.

Trustee McFadden noted that the problem had gotten significantly worse in these areas and he suggested that some sort of barriers be installed to prevent boating activity there.  He suggested that there were many non-resident members of the Tuxedo Club who were renting party boats and driving them everywhere as they are unfamiliar with the Lake and its issues.

Moving on to technology, Trustee Guazzoni suggested that the Village’s computer systems were antiquated and need to be replaced.  This was discussed at some length, with Trustee Guazzoni proposing that they spend $7,000 to replace all 5 machines.

Ultimately it was agreed that they should take a look at all of the Village computers, including those at the Police Department and DPW facility and put together a proposal detailing the cost of upgrade and replacement.

Approval of minutes:
The Board went through several sets of minutes dating back to the month of February.  There ensued a lengthy discussion with regard to the executive sessions and whether or not they should change the minutes to reflect what had been discussed, given the recent lawsuit that has been filed against them.  Ultimately it was decided that the minutes should not be altered, because they couldn’t rightfully change what had happened, however dated asterisks will be added with a brief description of what was discussed in each executive session to the extent that the law requires.  Moving forward the Board will be more descriptive when entering executive session and Mr. Nugent suggested that he could provide them with a list of acceptable verbiage for a range of executive session topics that are in line with the types of things they might need to be discussing.

The Board then entered into an Executive Session for the purpose of discussing an Article 78; Madden vs. The Village of Tuxedo Park. 

Trustee McFadden stated that he would be recusing himself from the session.

back to top


Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 21, 2017

1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. Mayor's Update
a. Ratify Insurance Renewal
b. Tuxedo Fire Works Request
4. CHA - Dam Update
5. DPW Report
a. Water Billing
6. Police Report
7. Public Comments
8. Building & Grounds Report
9. Committee Reports
10. Approval of Minutes
11. Audit of Claims
12. Adjournment

back to top


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  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. 

back to top


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

back to top


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

Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

back to top


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.

back to top


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:

back to top


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  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

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.

back to top


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

back to top


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

back to top


Tentative Village Budget 2017/2018

Click here to view.

back to top


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.

Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

back to top


Mayor’s April Newsletter

Click here to read.

back to top


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.”

back to top


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

back to top


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.

Deborah A. Matthews
Village Clerk-Treasurer

back to top


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.

back to top


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

back to top


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.

back to top


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

back to top


Please Click Here to View 2016 BOT Meetings

Please Click Here to View 2015 BOT Meetings

Please Click Here to View 2013 and 2014 BOT Meetings

Please Click Here to View 2012 BOT Meetings

Please Click Here to View 2011 BOT Meetings