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Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 15, 2022 

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, June 15 at 6pm.  Trustee Brooke was absent.

Invited Guest Presentation – Ed Marcus from Amawalk Consulting Group LLC to Present Sewer & Water Rates Followed by a Q &A:
The meeting began with a presentation on sewer and water rates from Ed Marcus of Amawalk Consulting Group.  That presentation can be viewed here.
Following the presentation there was a question and answer session.  With regard to the water rates, Trustee Kasker asked Mr. Marcus if he could “dive a bit deeper” by providing an example of  the burden the Village has by owning the water system and why it might make more sense for a premium to be paid by Town users.  Mr. Marcus explained that as the owners of the system, the Village had to bear certain associated responsibilities and risks and that the industry associations endorse the idea that they should get some form of premium in exchange for that.  “There have been a lot of experiences of things happening in terms of unexpected water quality, contamination and other unexpected, unforeseen expenses that occur.  You kind of assume on a contractual basis that your outside customers would just pay up their share if you increase the rates to cover that and so forth. But, the issue of whether someone can conduct and argue that the Village should have done something differently…or the Village should have done this or done that,” he stated, further suggesting that combination of responsibility and risk justified the premium.   
Trustee Kasker then asked how the Village’s current water rate of $13.70 per $1,000 compared to other municipalities in New York.
Mr. Marcus could not answer this question.
Mayor McFadden stated that the Village had 2017 summary from Nycom listing every municipality in the State along with all the sewer and water rates.  He suggested that he could send Trustee Kasker a copy of this and that he could also post it to the website for the public to look at.
The Mayor then inquired as to whether people who have septic tanks would be treated differently than people who were using the Village sewer system.
“That would be a policy decision for the Village,” Mr. Marcus responded, further indicating that they assumed it would be the case, particularly in terms of operations, as these folks would not be providing waste water into the sewers and as a result impacting the cost of treatment at the plant.
“I think that John and Tinka and I wanted to make it clear that we didn’t think that it was appropriate that those people were paying into the sewer like everyone else…in the sense that one of my main goals is to make this fair and equitable across the board,” stated the Mayor.  “For example, when you’re putting it into property tax you might have someone with one bathroom and a kitchen, who is a Weekender, essentially paying the same thing as the School or the Club.  Putting it into property tax is not an efficient way.  There are only a handful of municipalities in the State that do that.”
The conversation then turned to equity.  Mr. Marcus explained that features of the proposed structure were based upon consumption and a fixed charge as well as a minimum charge.  “Everyone should really contribute fairly to the fact that you have to have that system there, ready to go and ready to serve when someone comes in and starts using water.”
“I would also like to point out for the Public,” added Mayor McFadden, “that taxes are going to be lower this year and there are two reasons: one is because of our efficiency in managing the budget and the other is because we have taken the expenses to run the sewer department out of the general budget and put them into a sewer budget.  When you take those dollars out of the general budget, it’s no longer taxable.  What is going to result is that people who don’t use the system (septic) are going to be very happy because they will only be paying the minimal amount and people who are the big users might pay quite a bit compared to what someone else pays.  So whether or not the lowering of the taxes means that every user is going to pay less or some may pay more…I think it’s clear that the situation will result in some people paying more and some people paying less.”
Mr. Marcus agreed, further noting that he felt this was an equitable approach as the value of a property really has nothing to do with the burden that it places on the waste water system.   
It was then clarified that those people who were either on septic systems or did not have any connection to the sewer system would not be charged sewer fees.  There are some conditions that relate to houses that rely on wells for their water but connect to the sewer system.  For these homes a water meter will need to be installed so that the Village can calculate the amount they are contributing to the sewer.  These folks will receive a sewage bill only. 
Trustee Kasker inquired about the difference in sewer rates for commercial vs. residential properties, noting that the presentation had touched on the water rates differential only. 
Mr. Marcus responded that typically across the country most municipalities maintained a uniform rate for water consumption related to sewer use.  
The Village will begin using the new system in fiscal 2022/23, which means that the first bill that will include sewer will be sent out on October 1.  
 “I’m really looking forward to getting this going,” stated Mayor McFadden.  “I’m very pleased that we have accomplished this and I want to thank my entire Board for their cooperation.”
As there were no more questions or comments, the discussion was then concluded. 

Public Hearing – Draft Local Law No. 5 of 2022 – Use of Videoconferencing for Municipal Meetings: This is a law that follows New York State legislation that made changes to the Open Meetings Law as far as video conferencing.  Prior to this State law being adopted, the rule was that a Board member could video-conference in so long as they posted the address where they were located in case somebody else wanted to attend the meeting.  The State legislation changes that law so that in order to even consider participating by video-conference, the Village must first enact the proposed legislation before them.  Passing the law does not require the Board to video-conference, but will give them the authority to do so.  The law is also a lot more restrictive, requiring that at least three Board members attend meetings from a location that is publicly accessible  (this could be together or in three separate locations) with the addressed posted beforehand.  Typically, Board members will not be allowed to participate from home or other such inaccessible locations unless there are extenuating circumstances such as illness or travel.  Any Board member can participate in a meeting by video conference but unless this law is enacted, they will not be counted as a part of the quorum nor will they be permitted to vote. 
There were no questions or comments from the public.
Trustee Scherer wondered how this law  related to the Executive Order recently passed by the Governor. 
Board Attorney Brian Nugent explained that the Executive Order is part of the Covid emergency and it allows municipalities to conduct meetings by video-conferencing as well as telephone conferencing without noticing the locations.  This remains in effect through July 14.  This new law will ultimately replace the executive order when it expires. 
The Public Hearing was then adjourned.

Swearing in of Part-Time Police Officer Jaymie Ruiz:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring  part-time Village Police Officer Jaymie Ruiz effective immediately.  Officer Ruiz was then officially sworn in.

Mayor’s Comments:
The Mayor reminded everyone that the Village election was coming up on Tuesday, June 21.  Trustees Kasker and Shaw will be running unopposed for re-election.  “It has been a pleasure working with both of them for the last two years,” stated the Mayor, further noting that Kasker and Shaw had played a critical role  in all that had been accomplished and that he looked forward to working with them for at least another year and hopefully longer.  He encouraged residents to either pick up absentee ballots or visit the Village Office on the 21st between 7am-9pm to cast their votes. 

Reports and Minutes:
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Police Report

Click here to view the Building Department Report
The Village is in receipt of a request from Jack Perna on Lookout Stable Road for a road-cut.  Mr. Perna purchased a vacant lot at the end of the road which does not have any official driveway or road-cut.  In accordance with the Village Code the BOT must approve any road-cut.  Additionally, Mr. Perna has provided evidence regarding a hardship that connecting to the Village Sewer system would be cost prohibitive. He is requesting permission not to connect to the Village sewer system but rather to construct a septic field on site.  This will need to be approved by both the Orange County Health Department and the Village Engineer.  Mr. Ledwith recommended that the BOT approve both items.
The Village is also in receipt of an e-mail from the manager at the Tuxedo Club indicating that they have decided to forgo the majority of the changes that they had proposed before the BAR last year.  They will only be proceeding with the work directly in front of the main entrance to The Club and with this they will be modifying the entryway in include a second road-cut.  This will need BOT approval, which Mr. Ledwith recommends.  The approval will come with the condition that the plan being presented matches the plan that was presented to the BAR approximately one year ago.

Volunteers Needed at the Racetrack – Village Clerk Elizabeth Doherty commented that earlier in the week she had had the pleasure of visiting the Race Track Nature preserve.  She encouraged residents to visit, further noting that it truly is a beautiful place to visit.  She went on to say that they were always looking for people to help out with the physical work like weeding and planting.  Although these tasks might seem like a chore, in such a beautiful setting they are really quite pleasant.  Anyone who is interested in helping should send an email to TPTREEBOARD@GMAIL.COM.

Public Comments:
There were none.

Consent Agenda:
The Consent agenda was unanimously approved.

Old Business:
Schedule Public Hearing for July 20, 2022 for Draft Local Law No. 5 – A Local Law Creating a Community Choice Aggregation Program- Draft Local Law No. 5 is essentially a low that will allow the Village to purchase power, with a focus on renewable energy, on an opt-out basis.  The Village will be able to aggregate their community purchasing power.  It will not obligate them to do anything, but rather gives them the option to go down this path if they so choose.  There have previously  been two presentations before the Board on this and the Town has just adopted similar legislation.  Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of scheduling a public hearing on July 20, 2022 at 7pm. 
Resolution to Approve Local Law No. 5 – Use of Videoconferencing for Municipal Meetings- The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving Local Law No. 5.
Resolution to Adopt the Rules and Procedures for Videoconferencing as Presented to the Village Board to be Effective on the Same Date as Local Law No. 5 Becomes Effective -  The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution. 
Resolution to Approve Insurance with Traveler’s Insurance – Several months back the Board discussed that the Village would be pursuing a quote against current insurance company Marshall & Sterling.  They did this because they felt it was their fiscal responsibility as fiduciaries to explore whether or not there might be a difference in coverage and/or cost.  Over the past several months, the Village has been carefully assessing the information and Traveler’s Insurance has come in about $30,000 less.  The Mayor is strongly recommending that they switch carriers.  Following some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with Traveler’s.

 

New Business:
Resolution to Approve Sewer Rates Recommended by Amawalk Consulting Group, LLC – The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the rates as presented by Amawalk as Option 3a.
Resolution to Engage Cooper Arias for 2022 Audit at a Cost of $19,000- This represents a $1,000 increase over last year.  Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
Installation of 25mph Sign on West Lake Road near Summit Road – The Board voted unanimously in favor of installing the sign at the recommendation of Chief Conklin. 
Resolution to Approve Renewal of the Village Subscription to ICLEI- The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the renewal provided the cost is under $1,000.  ICLEI provides access to software that is being utilized to both calculate past Greenhouse gas emissions for the Village and also develop a Climate Action Plan for the Village.
Jack Perna Request for Road-Cut and Sewer Hardship – Following some discussion, the Board voted in favor of approving both of Jack Perna’s requests conditional upon the approvals determined necessary by the Building Inspector (Health Dept., Village Engineer and Planning Board)
Tuxedo Club Request for Road-Cut- The Tuxedo Club has advised the Village that they will only be paving the existing delivery access point.  They will not be modifying either the access point or the employee parking lot.  They will proceed with the approved plan for the main entrance with one major difference in that they will be adding an additional entry/exit adjacent to the existing roadcut. The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the request. 

The Board then entered into an executive session to discuss litigation, a new employee hire and the PBS Contract Negotiations. 

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 15, 2022 

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 26, 2022 

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 26, 2022 

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Click here to view the Draft Local Law 

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 18, 2022

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 18 2022 at 6:30pm. Trustee Brooke was absent.

Invited Guest Presentation:
The meeting began with a presentation from Jeff Domanski of Hudson Valley Energy, Org focused on Community Choice Aggregation.  In brief, CCA is a policy mechanism supported by NYS that enables electricity supply choice by allowing communities to band together to determine default energy offerings on behalf of residents, small businesses and organizations. There are a number of potential advantages to getting involved in this free program and these were briefly outlined in the presentation as were the steps involved with moving the initiative forward.  There are roughly 150 communities currently enrolled.  If the Village wants to proceed with it, they must first pass a local law.
As they were running a bit behind schedule it was agreed that the Board would assemble a list of questions for Mr. Domanski which they would send to him via email.  The questions, along with their answers once received, will be posted to the Village website.

Public Hearing – Local Law No. 3 of 2022 – A Local Law to Allow Boats and Other Devices on the Wee Wah Lake in the Village of Tuxedo Park:
The Mayor opened the hearing by announcing that the final draft of the proposed law had not been made available until late that afternoon and therefore it was his intention to leave the hearing open in order to allow residents time to digest the draft and formulate questions. 
Jay Reichgott commented that he was generally in favor of the legislation but had a couple of technical points/questions.  He noted that a section of the law pertaining to the re-construction of existing docks or the installation of new temporary docks on Wee Wah lake had been removed from the current draft.  He wondered whether this had been done on purpose.  The answer was yes.  Mr. Reichgott then asked why residents who own property on Wee Wah Lake do not have the same rights to docks and floating docks as the residents who live on the other Village lakes.  The Mayor responded that their ultimate goal was to be able to construct another dock from which to launch boats.  He further suggested that they would look at language in order to ensure that the intent was clear.   Next, in a section that pertains to all Village lakes, Mr. Reichgott noted that the allowable boat size had been increased from 21 feet to 25 feet.  He wondered why.  Mayor McFadden responded that the language in the original law was outdated by roughly 15 years.  “There are so many new manufacturers out,” he stated.  “You might find a terrific new electric boat that’s not a pontoon or a single hull that might be 22 feet.  That is the rationale behind it.”  Mr. Reichgott then pointed to a section of the law that forbids pontoon boats on Wee Wah Lake and Pond #3, noting that language had been added making an exception for those boats that might be owned/used by and/or rented out by the Village.  He wondered if this meant that the Village intended to get into the business of party boat rental on Pond #3 and the Wee Wah.  “That depends on how you define party Jay,” responded the Mayor.  “There are degrees of partying and the plan is to someday have (if we can afford it) a pontoon boat on Wee Wah Lake for the members of the Beach Club to be able to go out and enjoy themselves on the lake.”
Claudio Guazzoni commented that he wanted to make the Board aware of a legal term called contra proferentem, which is a doctrine where a court will rule against the drafter of a law or contract if the wording is vague or difficult to interpret.  With that being said, he drew attention to a sentence in the law that reads “Non-waterfront residents or non-residential party owners with a property or long-term rental that does not abut the Wee Wah Lake shall only be  permitted to swim in the Wee Wah Lake if they are members of the Wee Wah Park and Beach Club during its’ official hours of operation.”  His concern pertains to the verbiage “during its official hours of operation,’ which he feels is vague and open to interpretation and ultimately, a court might rule against the Village.  He suggested that this verbiage be moved to the beginning of the sentence in order to make things clear.  The mayor responded that they would look at this and consider the change.  Next Mr. Guazzoni pointed to a section that reads “The Village further hereby reserves to itself the right and authority to license the operation of the Wee Wah, the immediate and surrounding property and next thereto.”  He wondered if this referred to public property  only or if the Village was annexing people’s land.  Mayor McFadden replied that it referred only to the Wee Wah itself.  Mr. Guazzoni suggested that they specify this within the confines of the law.  The Mayor suggested that they would ask their attorney to insert parcel numbers.

The hearing was continued to Thursday, May 26 at 11am.

REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING

Following the Pledge, there was a moment of silence for the people of Ukraine. 

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden reported that the kick-off event held at the Wee Wah Park on May 15 was a success.  More events are planned in the future.  Additionally, he noted that both Trustees Shaw and Kasker would be re-running for their seats in the June election.  They are unopposed.

Reports and Minutes:
Click here to view the Police Report
With regard to speeding, Chief Conklin noted that the department had been issuing more warnings than actual tickets but he felt that moving forward they needed to institute a no-tolerance policy.  The Mayor agreed with this suggestion further noting that it was particularly important to do so during the summer months. 
Beginning July 1, non-resident vehicle tags will no longer be honored at the Front Gate.  Those wishing to enter the Village who have not been enrolled in the automatic gate opening system will be stopped and fully vetted.
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department/Code Enforcement and Capital Projects Report
Click here to view the Treasurer Report
Click here to view the Court Report
Liaison – Sewer Rates: A Power Point presentation focused on the work of the recently contracted consultant has been posted to the Village website.  Board members were encouraged to view it and formulate questions.
 Milfoil Updates: The Mayor reported that all the approvals are in and the permits have been set.  As previously noted, the Village has arranged for a payment plan as opposed to a lump sum payment as was originally set forth in the contract.  The Mayor has asked for a timeline for  the maintenance /abatement but has not yet received it. 

Public Comments:
With regard to the May 17 Board of Education Elections, Claudio Guazzoni congratulated Village residents Kimberly Breiland and Heather Kidde, who have likely been elected (results have not yet been finalized). He praised those Village residents who came out to vote, commenting that a robust Village turnout was very important in these elections and that he was hopeful they might be able to get a third Village resident on the Board next year.
On behalf of Christopher Gow, Village Clerk Elizabeth Doherty announced that the Tuxedo Park Tree Advisory Board and Garden Club would be hosting a steeplechase ceremony and peony garden party on Saturday June 4.  All Village residents are invited to attend. 
For the record, Mayor McFadden noted that moving forward the Village would not read such comments into the record and that residents wishing to make announcements of any kind should attend the meeting and make them in person.  If they cannot be there, the Village will gladly post a  written announcement to the  website along with the meeting documentation. 

Consent Agenda:
Following some minimal discussion, the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

Old Business:
Discussion Regarding the Hiring of VRI Environmental Services, Inc. by Resolution After Last Months April Regular Meeting’s Executive Session-  Following an executive session last month, the Board voted in favor of hiring VRI Environmental Services to run both the water plant and sewer plant.  They will be responsible for all liaison duties (DEC, Health Dept. etc.) as well as the day-to-day running of the plants.  This is a cost effective change and nobody in the DPW will lose their job as a result. 
Election Day resolutions to correct date – Board voted unanimously in favor of amending two Election Day resolutions to reflect the correct date of Tuesday, June 21, 2022 from 7am-9pm.

New Business:
Schedule Public Hearing for Local Law No. 4 – A Local Law Authorizing the Use of Videoconferencing for Municipal Meetings on June 15, 2022 at 6:50pm – This is a local law that will allow the Village to continue to use video-conferencing for their Trustee meetings as needed.  There are some caveats in that all Board members cannot be remote at the same time.  At least 3 members must be present in a public place where the public can attend.   If not passed, the Village will not be able to use video-conferencing at all, except in the case of emergency.   The Board voted unanimously in favor of setting the hearing. 
Resolution Approving W & S for Engineering Services for Tuxedo Lake Water Main Replacement Design and Permitting Services – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolution Approving W & S for Engineering Services for Dam Safety Inspections- The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
W & S SEQR Resolution – This resolution pertains to a sewer line repair.  Westin and Sampson requires a SEQR resolution from the Village classifying the repair as a Type 2 Action.   Following a brief discussion with their attorney, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. 
Resolution Authorization to Levy Unpaid Water Bills Onto Property FY23 Tax Bills – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting this resolution.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 18, 2022

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 20, 2022

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, April 20 at 7pm.  Trustee Scherer attended virtually.
The meeting began with a moment of silence for the people of Ukraine.

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden began by wishing everyone a happy Passover and Easter.  The Village has just finished with their budgeting process ahead of schedule.  He recognized Deputy Mayor and Budget Director Tinka Shaw as well as John Ledwith and Elizabeth Doherty for all of their hard work.

Reports & Minutes:
Click here to view the Police Report
Mayor McFadden asked Chief Conklin for an update on the automatic gate opener.  The Chief reported that things were running well.  There was a recent incident whereby a vehicle backed into the device, damaging the camera and as a result, the system was inoperable for a short period of time until the vendor could repair it.  Because most (if not all) residents still have their vehicle tags, the situation was entirely manageable and traffic was not held up as a result.  It has been agreed that the vehicle tags will not be collected and that residents may keep them for times such as these, otherwise every car would need to be stopped on entry.
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building, Construction & Special Projects Report
Click here to view the Justice Court Report
Click here to view the Water Report
Click here to view the Treasury Report
Click here to view the Board of Assessors March Minutes
Click here to view the CSLAP Membership list and here to view the current Wee Wah Park/Beach Membership List.

Public Comments:
Jay Reichgott noted that under the OLD BUSINESS heading on the agenda there was an item pertaining to scheduling a public hearing on the use of boats on Wee Wah Lake.  He wondered whether or not the Board intended to introduce the subsequent law.
The Mayor responded that it would be introduced although not that evening. He added that it would be published as per the law with plenty of time before the hearing.  He further explained that if the law passes, it will allow the Village to launch canoes and kayaks from the Wee Wah Park as a service to the members.  “Right now the law reads that only people who own property are allowed to launch boats,” he added.  Mr. Reichgott suggested that there was a clause within the existing law that allowed the Board of Trustees to designate other locations.  “That would be great,” responded Mayor McFadden.  “We’ll see whether we do a formal re-write or a resolution, but I thank you very much for that.”
Mary Roth, a Trustee for two trusts that own property in the Town of Tuxedo (MSP Realty Trust & Library Realty Trust) said that they have submitted notifications to the Village of Tuxedo Park Water Department requesting that water bills continue to be sent to the tenants in those properties.  “I know the Water Department Changed the policy recently and as property owners, based on the Village Code 97-8E, we would like enact and request that those bills be sent to the tenants.  We would then also be liable for any unpaid amounts….should they not pay we would have no problem doing that, but we would like it to go back to the way it used to be.  This is the first quarter that we received the bills.”
Trustee Kasker noted that this item was on the agenda for discussion later in the meeting.  The Village is in receipt of the notifications referenced in addition to a letter from another property owner addressing the same issue.  “Everybody has agreed that if their tenants do not pay by the due date, then the owners would be liable to pay those bills.  It’s in our code and so we will pass a resolution that will allow the tenants to be billed and then the property owners if the tenants don’t pay.”
Ms. Roth thanked the Board for this information noting that she hoped the new practice could start in Quarter 2 as they had already billed their tenants for Quarter 1.

Consent Agenda:
The consent agenda as follows was approved unanimously.
1.Add all written reports to the Permanent Record
2.Approve March Minutes for both meetings
3.Approve Earth Day Community Shredding Event – Friday, April 22
4.Approve usage of the Wee Wah Park for the 2022 Fifth Grade Picnic for the students of
    George Grant Mason Elementary School
5.Approve Resignation & Payment Plan of Part-Time Police Officer Tyler Stark
6.Authorizing the Mayor to sign the State Pollutant Elimination System (SPDES) permit for the
     Sewage Treatment Plant
7.Authorizing the transfer of $50,000 from the Water Fund account to the Capital    
    Improvement Savings account
8.Authorize the Mayor to Renew the CDPHP dental plan; rates are the same as the previous
    year

Old Business:
Resolution to authorize the Mayor to sign the IMA with the Town for the Summer Camp to use the Wee Wah Park – Board attorney Brian Nugent explained that since the Village would be leasing the space to the Town, a licensing agreement would not be necessary and that an Intermunicipal Agreement would be an easier way to accomplish things.  The agreement has not yet been presented to the Town but once approved by the Board, he will share it with Town Attorney, Howard Protter, who can bring it to that Board for approval/agreement.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.  
Resolution to schedule a Public Hearing on the use of boats on the Wee Wah Lake for 6:50pm, May 18, 2022 at the Village Hall – Mayor McFadden noted that he would like to bring up a public hearing on a new local law regarding the launching of boats on Wee Wah Lake from Wee Wah Park.  “If it’s necessary, if it can be done by resolution, we’ll do that, but let’s go ahead and schedule a public hearing,” he stated further commenting that a copy of the proposed law would be available well in advance of the meeting.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution.   
Resolution to authorize the Mayor to sigh the Solitude Lakes Management Agreement with updated payment plan for Milfoil Eradication – In their most recent contract, Solitude combined pre-payments for all three treatments on the lakes for milfoil eradication, which came as a surprise to the Mayor and had not been factored into the 2022/23 budget.  The Mayor went back to Solitude and negotiated.  “They were able to talk to the manufacturer of ProcellaCOR and give us better payment terms,” he noted.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor McFadden to sign the agreement. 

New Business:
Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement with Munistat, a firm specializing in municipal finance and municipal government-related matters – John Ledwith explained that the Village has used Munistat in the past to consult with regarding potential bond issuance for large capital improvements.  Recently they met in order to review/analyze some of the bonds that the Village currently has and it was brought to their attention that there were some potential cost savings of roughly $5,000 per year on bonds that expire in 10 years ($50,000 in total). Additionally, they have offered their continued services moving forward. 
“I’m not sure if everyone is aware,” stated the Mayor, “but the grants we applied to…We did not receive awards on any of them.  They were just issued.  So, bond issuing, short-term loans and long-term loans are going to be an issue and we would like to have proper advice.”
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement. 
Resolution to accept private donations to the Friends of Wee Wah Park (Improvement Fund) – The Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the Village to accept private donations to the Friends of Wee Wah Park for an improvement fund.
Resolution Regarding the Wee Wah Fishing Club Employee Eligibility Request – The Club has requested permission to exceed their membership cap eligibility in order to allow part-time Village Police officers to seek membership.  Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
Resolution approving Wee Wah Park Summer Fundraiser on Sunday, May 15 at 2pm – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the event. 
Resolution to approve request from three property owners to bill tenants, in lieu of property owners, for water consumption – Trustee Kasker noted that through their diligent efforts to collect past due water bills, they had discovered  that the Village Code as written requires that property owners, not tenants, be billed for water services.  The Village had been billing the tenants and therefore a change was made in order to bring the process into compliance and the property owners were billed instead.  When property owners would prefer that their tenants be billed, the Code requires that they submit a letter explaining the specifics as to how payment would be recouped should the tenant default on the bill.  The Village is in receipt of 3 such letters.  Following minimal discussion, they Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the water department to bill the tenants at 7 Library Road, 2 School House Lane and 21 Augusta Place.  The property owners will be responsible for the charges should these tenants fail to pay their bills.
Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign updated Code Red agreement to inform water customers of boil water notices and other Water Department Alerts – There are some residents in the Town who do not have email or internet and therefore, they do not receive all the alerts when there is a water main break or a boil water notice.  One way to alleviate this issue is to incorporate those individuals into the Village’s Code Red Alert system.  The system can be segmented by population.  This would require the Mayor to sign an updated agreement, at no cost, authorizing the addition of these individuals to the Code Red database.  Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution. 
Resolution to approve the following personnel for the Village Board of Trustees Election on June 14, 2022 – Machine Operators: Kurt Haug and James Pearson, Wendy Dulin (Alternate), and Table Inspectors: Jean Haugh, Desiree Hickey, Lori Giggino, Jennifer Weiss (Alternate) at the rate of $250 for the day per person – This resolution was unanimously approved.

Following the audit of claims, the Board entered into an executive session to discuss Village employees, legal matters and PBA negotiations. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 20, 2022

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Village Board of Trustees 2022/23 Tentative Budget Public Hearing April 18, 2022

900 - BOT April 18, 2022, Public Hearing on the Tentative 2022-2023 Budget from Village of Tuxedo Park, NY on Vimeo.

 

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Notice of Village Board of Trustees 2022/23 Tentative Budget Public Hearing April 18, 2022

he Board of Trustees will host a Public Hearing on the 2022-2023 Tentative Budget at Village Hall - Noon, Monday, April 18, 2022.

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Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 8, 2022

 

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Notice of Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 8, 2022

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park shall hold a public budget workshop on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 12:00 Noon in the Village Hall. The public may attend in person or by Zoom but may not comment. A Public Hearing, date TBD, will follow the budget workshop.

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Notice of Special  Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 5, 2022

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 16, 2022

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:50pm. 

Trustee Scherer was absent.

Public Hearing:
The meeting began with a public hearing for Draft Local Law No. 2 of 2022, a local law to amend Village law related to sewer rents.  There were no comments from the public.  There was some confusion as to whether or not the hearing had been closed and the proposed local law voted on the previous month.  The Mayor asserted that the trustees had voted to set the public hearing, but Trustee Kasker pointed out that the meeting minutes reflected that the hearing had been both opened and closed and this was how he remembered it. (TPFYI reporting also reflects the hearing having been both opened and closed). Mayor McFadden countered that this is not what happened and that the minutes could be changed to reflect that later in the meeting.  The public hearing was then adjourned (for a second time)
Click hereto view a copy of Draft Local Law No. 2 of 2022

DPW Retirement:
The Board honored recently retired DPW employee John Heccheim for his 20 years of service.

There was a five minute pause before the regular meeting commenced.  Following the Pledge, the Mayor called for a moment of silence for the people of Ukraine. 

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden thanked and congratulated John Ledwith for his efforts in identifying surplus DPW items and organizing their auction, which has raised roughly $8,000 for the Village. 
As a result of the recent redistricting in New York State, Senator Skoufis and his Chiefs of Staff paid a visit to the Village last week in an effort to introduce themselves as State representatives.  Most of the discussion focused on grant applications, and how their team might be able to help the Village.  The Village has several pending grant applications which the Senator might be able to assist with.  Additionally, moving forward he will be in a position to alert the Village to grants while his team can assist with any political maneuvering that might be needed.  Also discussed was the idea of eliminating Day Light Saving Time, an effort which gained momentum just this past week when the Senate unanimously passed a bill in favor of elimination. 

Reports:
Click here to view the Construction Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Police Report

Mayor McFadden briefly reported on the collection of Escrow fees, with which the Village is in arears.  Click here to view the report with names redacted. 

Click here and here to view the treasury reports
Click here to view the water report

Committees and Liaisons:
On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays commented that a year prior he had submitted a Draft Watershed Management Plan for the Village.  Pointing to a specific page of that report (which can be viewed here) Mr. Hays noted that Tuxedo lake continues to experience anoxia on an annual basis (depletion of Oxygen in the water) and that the solution to this multiple source  problem is to prevent phosphorus from entering the lake.  To do this effectively, the land around the lakes must be vegetated and the storm water drainage system must be evaluated to determine where the pipes are and more specifically, which pipes are connected to which basins.  If the Village has this information, and is able to effectively test the water in the various basins, they will be able to more acutely put their finger on the source of the phosphorus. “This is a long-term project,” he stated.  “It took a long time for the lake to get this way .  It will take a long time to make it a lot better.  It has to be attacked from a lot of points of view.”  He went on to say that last year, at the Mayor’s Request, engineers Westin and Sampson had submitted a proposal for the mapping that came in at roughly $28,000.  The proposal was received in late April, which was too late for the budgeting process.  Mr. Hays is hopeful that this will be included in the 2022/23 budget.
Mayor McFadden responded that he and the Trustees would be working on the budget over the next several weeks prior to presenting to the public on April 20.   Although he indicated that he had a strong feeling that the mapping would be included, he recommended that Mr. Hays come to the meeting prepared to make his case.  Mr. Hays indicated that he would do this and further suggested that in the meantime the Village might want to collect additional estimates. 
Members of the Communication Committee spent some time over the past month taking readings throughout the Village from three different phones representing the carriers T-Mobil, Verizon and AT & T. The results can be viewed hereAdditionally, a report from the consultant Walter Cooper can be viewed hereOn behalf of the committee, John Ledwith reported that while there are a few dead zones (Mountain Farm Rd., Portions of West Lake Rd.) they had been able to make outgoing phone calls from a majority of the locations.  Roughly 22% of the locations were low signal/low productivity.  While driving around, they noted that the signals varied tremendously.  Mayor McFadden added that the purpose of compiling the information was so that they could in turn provide to Walter Cooper who will then be able to recommend what type of equipment the Village should invest in to help mitigate the issue.
Turning to the Tuxedo Park Fire Department,  Trustee Kasker began by thanking Mayor McFadden for the moment in silence for those who are dying in Ukraine.  He further noted that as the come up Route 17, people will notice red, white and blue and well as yellow and blue lights in the sockets in front of the Fire Department building.  This is the Departments’ testament to their solidarity with the Ukrainians. “If you watch the news, the bombs fall and then the fire department is out there putting out the fires. I think speaks a lot of the bravery of the people out there,” he stated.  “A couple of days ago there was a story on the news about a military base that was bombed and a couple of years ago I was on that base watching American and Ukrainian soldiers train together because they knew this day was going to come.  It’s a shame what is happening out there, but I am glad that the Fire Department was able to do something simple to show a symbol of the community’s appreciation.”
Town Liaison Michele Lindsay reported that there had been a workshop meeting with Tuxedo Farms the previous Monday during which models of buildings for the commercial district were presented.  On Thursday March 24 there will be another meeting from 5-8pm during which they will be discussing the tech memos, concept plan and some of the design guidelines for the project.   On another note, on Monday, March 21 there will be a public presentation on the Community Choice Aggregation law that the Town has introduced ahead of the public hearing, which will take place at their regular bimonthly meeting on March 28. 
The Mayor added that there would be a similar presentation in the Village during the month of April.  Lastly, Mrs. Lindsay noted that on March 18 the Town would be putting out for bid a 2.2 million dollar refunding bond.  This will fund the 2003 and 2014 bonds that were used to purchase the Police Department land and building, the Highway Department and Quarry Field. 
Wee Wah Park Committee – The Mayor provided the Board with a summary of everyone who has purchased a membership to the facility.  This can be viewed here. To date they have raised $15,560 in memberships.  Mayor McFadden thanked all of those who had signed up to date, noting that the process was quite easy and could be done online.  With regard to the insurance, he assured everyone that despite the rumors that had been flying around he had spoken extensively with the Village Insurance Company and had it in writing that no additional insurance coverage would be required, including if somebody were to pass away while swimming.  “It’s time for that rumor to die down,” he stated  There are some circumstances under which they may be required to obtain additional insurance and they will certainly comply with whatever is required.  At the moment the Village is in the process of interviewing insurance carriers. 
Annual Budget Process – Deputy Mayor Shaw reported that they had been making progress and were hopeful to have a draft ready to present by Friday.  Mayor McFadden thanked both the Chief and DPW Superintendent for submitting their budgets in a timely manner.  

Public Comments:
Chiu Yin Hempel commented that she had first heard of the concerns regarding the health of Village lakes and the quality of the drinking water back in 2009 when the Board of Trustees had commissioned Princeton Hydro for a study of the emerging problem.  13 years and five administrations have passed.  She understands that the Village is working to tackle the Milfoil issue, but doing so alone is really just dealing with the symptoms and not the cause of the problems.  Mr. Hays had mentioned earlier that both Milfoil and Blue/Green algae grow in the water because of excessive p phosphorus flowing into the lakes from the hills surrounding the lakes and from the properties abutting the lakes.  The nutrients come from the storm water drains and as surface storm water runoff because so many properties around the lake have cut their trees and put in lawns.  In a presentation she made to the Board last year, Mrs. Hempel noted that lawns, with their shallow roots, are really no better than slides facilitating surface storm water runoff. 
Mayor McFadden responded that one of the problems was the fertilizers used by landscapers.  The Village passed a local law years ago forbidding use of these products.  When these products are used anywhere in the Village that water goes into the system and drains down, he commented, further noting that it was not just lake front people who were to blame but everyone in the Village who uses these types of fertilizers.  “I can talk to the chief and ask him if we want to do something a little more stern this year,” he added.  He explained that every year for the last five years the Police Department had distributed a pamphlet to the landscapers letting them know that certain fertilizers were forbidden.  “We will continue to do that, but maybe it’s time to start writing court appearance tickets if these landscapers are bringing in that product.  I hate to do that, but it doesn’t seem to be working otherwise.”
Jake Matthews wondered whether  the Village would be willing to support a neighborhood cleanup initiative on Earth Day (April 22) whereby residents would volunteer their time to pick up litter in their various neighborhoods.  Perhaps the Village could supply garbage bags and pickup tools.  Noting that the Village does not have a serious litter problem, Mr. Matthews stated that before the snowfall he had collected roughly 20 gallons of trash while walking up and down his road one afternoon.  “It’s not to propose to go on people’s private property, but maybe just to walk the roads and collect things that have fallen off of various trucks over the year…off the garbage trucks or out the back of pick-up trucks or…unfortunately from time-to-time people feel it’s a good idea to throw things out their windows.”  He added that he would be happy to help coordinate the event, suggesting that they could pick up supplies at the Village Office beforehand, divide volunteers into various groups and distribute whatever is needed accordingly. 
The Mayor responded that he would be happy to post something on the website in order to help advertise and encourage volunteers. 
Speaking of Earth Day, Village Clerk Elizabeth Doherty wondered whether the Village would be interested in repeating the shredding event they conducted in 2021.  Most of the Board was supportive of the idea, although it was agreed they would make a decision at their next meeting.

Resolve that the Mayor may negotiate with Town Recreation Coordinator Claire Dougher regarding a lease agreement for the summer camp use of Wee Wah Park:
Mayor McFadden introduced Town Recreation Coordinator Claire Dougher, who has requested use of the Wee Wah Park for the Town Summer Camp program this season.  Ms. Dougher gave a brief presentation outlining the history of the relationship between the camp and the Wee Wah Beach Club as well as some general information about the camp program.  The last time the camp utilized the property was in 2016, when they paid the Beach Club approximately $5,000 for 20 days of both morning and afternoon usage.  The summer 2021 packet, detailing the program and including the camp’s indemnification clause, was circulated to the Board members.    She is proposing that the camp make use of the beach in the afternoons Monday through Thursday between the hours of 1-3:15pm for about 5 weeks during the months of July and August.  The camp will come with their own life guard. They are also hoping to be able to offer some sort of swim instruction, but these details have not yet been finalized.  Campers range in age from 4 to 13.  Following some discussion, the Board voted in favor of authorizing the  Mayor McFadden to negotiate with Ms. Dougher.  As advertising for camp will begin prior to the next meeting, the negotiated agreement will be shared with the Board members via email and, barring any major objections, be signed by the Mayor within the next few weeks. 

Consent Agenda:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the consent agenda.

Old Business:
Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign the Westin & Sampson proposal for SSES, Phase 3, Sub-Basins 2 &10, Year 2 Construction Amendment No. 1 – Pond 3 Sewer Rehabilitation  - This is a plan to repair and replace sections of sewer line where the Village feels that there is possibly water getting into the line and sewage leaking out of the line. It will be funded by money left over from another project and does not constitute new spending.  The Board voted unanimously in favor.
Resolve to authorize the Mayor to Renew the Vision and Dental Plan – The rates are the same as last year.  The Board voted unanimously in favor. 

New Business:
Resolution authorizing the Village to participate in the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LHWAP) helps low-income households pay the cost of water and sewer services and for the Mayor to sign vendor agreement – This program can assist households that meet certain criteria and who have past due bills for water and or sewer services.  The Board voted unanimously in favor.

There was no executive session. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:02pm

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 16, 2022

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 16, 2022

The Village Board of Trustees mt on Wednesday, February 16 at 6:50pm.  Trustees Brooke and Scherer were absent. 

Public Hearing – Local Law #2 of 2022, a local law to further define Village of Tuxedo Park NY Code – Chapter 78: Sewers and Sewage Disposal and 78-24: Sewer Rents or Charges:
The hearing was opened.  There were no comments.  Mayor McFadden noted that he had received written comment from Jay Reichgott which was supportive. 
Trustee Kasker noted that for those residents who are hooked into the sewer system but not the water, the proposed legislation was not clear as to how they would be charged.
The Mayor agreed and noted that this was something that would need to be discussed and approved by the Board moving forward, along with all the other methods of how they would be charging.
As there were no further comments, the Public Hearing was closed.

Mayor’s Comments:
Noting that most residents had likely received the emergency alert sent via email earlier that day, Mayor McFadden stated that the Main Gate is functioning identically to the South Gate, meaning that it closes in between each vehicle.  He cautioned that residents should drive accordingly.  Those who attempt to scoot through after the car in front of them will find that the gate arm will likely come down on the hood of their vehicle.  He added that they would be installing signage to ensure that people were aware that the gate would be closing after each vehicle.   The South Gate is already operating on the new license plate reader, opening automatically for those vehicles that have been registered with the Village.  The system is expected to be fully up and running at the Front Gate within the next day or two. 

Reports and Minutes:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Mayor McFadden commented that given that the Village now has a very active climate committee, he would like to look into alternatives to salt…or alternatives to supplement salt for the roadways for next season in an attempt to mitigate the impacts on the environment and the lakes.  He suggested that the Climate Committee would likely be willing to investigate this.
Click here to view the Building, Construction & Special Projects Report
Click here to view the Court Report
Click here to view the Treasury Report

Public Comments:
An unidentified resident complimented DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and his crew, commenting that it had been “a hell of a winter” and they have been doing a great job.

Consent Agenda:
There was a brief discussion regarding monies saved by the Police Department from purchasing hybrid vehicles.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the consent agenda.

Old Business:
Approve Local Law No. 2 of 2022 a local law to further define Village of Tuxedo Park NY Code – Chapter 78: Sewers and Sewage Disposal and 78-24: Sewer Rents or Charges- Trustee Kasker commented that there were not a lot of specifics in the draft law and that It was his understanding that there was still a lot of work for the Board to do in terms of determining the rates and how much profit they expected to make.  Board Attorney Brian Nugent agreed with this, further noting that the current rates would remain unchanged until the Board got around to adjusting them. Approving the law as written will allow them to continue with this work.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the law.
Discuss Offer to Town to Relocate Village DPW on their Property:
Although it is in the preliminary stages of discussion, the Village has proposed a relocation site for both the DPW and the Village Headquarters.  The property in question is owned by the Town and is located adjacent to the Village Sewer Plant. 
Trustee Kasker wondered whether it might make sense to develop a sketch/concept drawing so that people might be able to get a better idea of what was being proposed and comment on it.
The Mayor responded that he thought this was a good idea, further commenting “I would like to see a North Gate, but as we have mentioned this is in the very early stages and we have not sought buy-in from the community.”  He further noted that there had been a study to determine whether there would be enough room there, but this does not mean that they need to move forward with it.  He is also investigating other potential locations for the Village Office.  “But you can take them separately, and I think we should.  We should develop a plan to present detailing the pros and cons of a North Gate and how it would function…because I think the date for this would be at least a year or two away, which gives us time.  We should certainly prepare some sort of documentation on it and maybe do a traffic study,” he suggested.
Trustee Kasker agreed, commenting that people would likely want to be able to get a better understanding of what was being proposed, particularly those folks who live on the Wee Wah Lake.  The Mayor agreed adding “There is also the issue of convenience for others…particularly those who are traveling north.”  He suggested that different people from different neighborhoods should discuss it and he was certain there would be both pros and cons that emerged from those conversations.  Trustee Kasker added that the Town’s perspective also needed to be considered and added that there was a development of seven houses currently being built on Warwick Brook Road that might be also be Impacted. 
Following some further discussion with their attorney regarding the possible acquisition and subsequent annexationof the property and the associated process, the conversation was tabled.

New Business:
Discuss Renewal of MWG VSP Vision Plan (rates are the same as last year) - The Village is looking into two other entities so they can obtain some “apples to apples” quotes for this coverage. 
Discuss Town Climate Committee Request – The Village has received a request from the Town Climate Committee to install blue recycling bins at the Wee Wah and in Village Government buildings.  The Mayor commented that from looking at the request on paper, it seemed as though the answer should be “an obvious yes.”  However, he recalled that in the past when the Village had installed recycling receptacles in similar locations that they had not been utilized properly and there had been issues with weekend residents dumping their trash in those spots.  Noting that he was all for it, the Mayor suggested that he would like to have some further discussion with the committee with regard to the details (would the containers be bear proof? locked?). It was agreed that they would seek further information and also get a recommendation from the Village Climate Committee before proceeding. 
Discuss Signs at The South Gate – Commenting that he promised to address it with the full Board at the next Trustees meeting, Mayor McFadden noted that resident Barry Hawke was against the Private Area/No Trespassing signage at the South Gate and that further he found it offensive.  “As Mayor, I don’t have a problem with them,” he stated.  “There have been similar signs throughout the last 50-70 years…always at that location.”  He went on to explain that in recent years there had been a notable increase in trespassing via the South Gate and that although he had no hard evidence, he believed the signs had been helpful in deterring this. 
Chief Conklin commented that he felt the signs should absolutely remain.  He feels it is important that there be signage letting people know that non-residents are not wanted. “We had a big problem with non-residents coming in that way to walk and ride their bikes,” he added “and we get phone calls like crazy and we go out there and issue appearance tickets. They have to be told that they are not welcome here before they come in and the way to do that is through signs.”
The issue of liability was briefly addressed and Board Attorney Brian Nugent suggested that the conversation should be continued in an attorney/client session. 
Trustee Kasker commented that he understood where Mr. Hawke was coming from, further stating that the signage reminded him of approaching a Military Base and that he would prefer to see something that did not remind him of his army days.  He agreed that the wording needed to be appropriate and noted that he had some questions about that, which he would reserve for the session with their attorney.  
Mayor McFadden agreed, stating that he was not opposed to changing the wording on the signage.
Audrey Perry, who lives near the South Gate, commented that before the signage they had noticed that a ton of people came through walking and on bikes…and that when the Garden Club was in the area there would be cars parked everywhere.  Additionally, non-residents arrive at the South Gate, push the button for entry and then question why they are not permitted through the gate.  She feels the Private Property signs have made a big difference and that they are safer as a result.
Trustee Kasker noted that the Police had been giving consistent warnings to trespassers over the past two years and that this had likely had an impact on the decrease as well. 

Following the audit of claims, Village Clerk Elizabeth Doherty announced  that the Tuxedo Bag Project, created by two 6th Graders who live in the Village and attend TPS had been successful in their goal to collect 1000 reusable grocery bags for the Sloatsburg Food Pantry.  The largest donor was the Village of Tuxedo Park.  The Village is proud of these students and in an effort to keep the initiative going will maintain a donation box at the Village all where residents can bring any re-usable grocery bags moving forward.

The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss Collective Bargaining Agreement, a water bill of a particular resident, and a particular Village Employee.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 26, 2022

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, January 26 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Public Hearing – Draft Local Law No. 1 of 2022 – A Local Law to Amend Village Law Related to Site plan Approval:
Mayor McFadden began by stating that the proposed law had been vetted by the Village Attorney as well as members of BAR, BZA and Planning Board.
There were no public comments, so the hearing was closed.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of adopting the law.

There was a 5-minute pause between the conclusion of the Public Hearing and the beginning of the regular, monthly meeting.

Approve the Hiring of Part-Time Officer Emma Sullivan: The Board unanimously approved the hiring of part-time Police Officer Emma Sullivan, after which she was ceremoniously sworn in.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden reported that the Village was in receipt of two shipments from the county containing Covid rapid test kits and N95 masks.  The first shipment allowed the Village to distribute one test kit and 2 masks per Village household and this was announced via an email announcement as well as on the Village website over the past weekend.  The second shipment will allow them to distribute a second test kit as well as an additional 2 masks to each household.  These supplies are for Village residents only and can be picked up at the Front Gate.  There are also some available at the Village Office.

Reports:
Click here to view the Police Report
To date only 50% of residents have registered their vehicles for the automatic gate opening system.  The Chief urged people to register, noting that the vehicle tags will be phased out soon and all those cars who have not registered will be stopped at the gate.
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building, Construction and Special Projects Report
Click here to view the Legal Report
Engineering Sewer Trunk Investigation Report – This report was put together by Engineers Westin & Sampson.  Some leakage issues in the pipe system were discovered and these will be addressed.   Click here to view the Report
Board of Trustees Budget Scheduling Dates – Click here to view
Board of Trustees 2022-2023 Tentative Assessment Roll Notice – Click here to view the notice.  The Board of Trustees also serves as the Board of Assessors.  The tentative assessment roll must be published by Tuesday, February 1. The Board voted unanimously in favor of scheduling a Board of Assessors meeting for Monday, January 31 at 10am for the purpose of reviewing and approving the tentative roll and also of setting the grievance hearing for Tuesday, February 15 from 4-8pm. 
Police Reform Committee – In an effort to continually improve the Police Department, Mayor McFadden presented a 2007 Police Dep. BTS Forensic Report to the Chief as well as the reform committee, pointing out certain pages where action items were suggested.  The Chief subsequently responded with written recommendations.  Click here to view the 2007 Police Dep. BTS Forensic Report and here to view the Chief Conklin’s response and recommendations.
The Police Reform Committee will be meeting to review and discuss.
Click here to view the Tuxedo Park Police Department Annual Report
Projects – AutoGate Report – Click here to view
Projects – Relocation of DPW and Village Office – Mayor McFadden reached out to Town Supervisor Ken English with regard to the proposed relocation.  Supervisor English responded via email that had received the information and would discuss it with the Town Board.  The Supervisor’s email to the Mayor can be found posted on the Village website.
Additional reports posted to the Village website this month include: Court reports, Water Synopsis report, DEC Inspection reports and Treasury reports.  Click here to visit the Village website and view. 
Representing the Climate Smart Task Force Hays stated that the month prior he had painted a somewhat dark picture when presenting to the Board about Climate Change, however there are some silver linings.  The committee is actively exploring the idea of harnessing solar power, which will save the Village money and make things more efficient within the community.  The committee is working on putting together an inventory of the community.  They have collected information from the Village office, the Police Department and the Tuxedo Club and earlier that morning they met with representatives from TPS and discovered that the school is also eager to work with them.   They also have yet to collect some pertinent data from SOS.   Once they have amassed all of the necessary data, the committee can begin to work with the Board as well as the various other entities to put together a community action plan.  There is funding from the State available for some of these actions depending on which direction they choose to take. 

Public Comments:
Audrey Perry commented that several years ago the Orange County Planning Board had done quite a bit of investigative work pertaining to solar energy and solar farms.  She wondered whether or not anyone from the Task Force had consulted with them.
Mr. Hays responded that although they were in touch with individuals from the County, they had not spoken to anyone from the County Planning Board.  He thanked Mrs. Perry for the recommendation.  “I think that as a Village, if we are going to be looking at building solar farms, we should really know everything about what a solar farm would entail,” she stated.   Mr. Hays agreed, furthering commenting that he and Trustee Scherer had met with a representative of Hudson Valley Energy, an organization that helped communities with this kind of work.  “We are really at the beginning phase of this,” he stated. Trustee Scherer agreed commenting “We need to take a very methodical and holistic approach to this.  There are clear benefits but there are always costs associated with these projects.  We plan to have a holistic look at the entire Village to figure out whether solar makes sense.  We have two dams by the way.  Can we use them to generate energy?  There are a lot of things we can look at.  This is going to be a very thoughtful and methodical review of the best alternatives, taking into account competing interests including costs and environment.”  The Mayor pointed out that they were also working with the Town Task Force on some of these initiatives.
Changing topics, Mrs. Perry wanted to know whether anyone from the Board had been appointed to attend the Towns’ Tuxedo Farms workshops and report back.  She has concerns with the proposed ‘affordable housing’ and the impact these apartments might have on the building of stand-alone homes in the development.
The Mayor responded that at the last meeting, the developer had publicly introduced the builder they have chosen for the project.  He has also been in touch with Supervisor English.  Town Councilman Jay Reichgott was in the audience and the Mayor asked him whether he would like to comment.
Mr. Reichgott responded that the next presentation from the developer and their builder was scheduled for the following night and would be accessible to the public via WebEx.  They are hoping to get a look at what the most recent plans are for the mix of units at this meeting.  He further noted that the best way for people to keep tabs on the project was to visit the Town website, where there is a dedicated tab for the project and all of the meetings are posted there. 
Mrs. Perry reiterated that her question pertained to whether or not the BOT had assigned a representative to attend the meetings and report back.
“Well, I am relying on their minutes,” responded the Mayor further indicating that he had posted several updates to the Village Website pertaining to the project and would be happy to send Mrs. Perry links to those posts. 
JoAnn Hanson commented that she felt there would be virtue in having a member of the Village BOT assigned to follow and track what is going on with the Related development.  “That’s obviously key to the future of the whole Village and Town,” she added. 
Mayor McFadden responded that Trustee Brooke was the BOT Liaison assigned to Tuxedo Farms. 
Trustee Brooke reported that he had attended the online sessions and that there was nothing actionable happening at this point in time.  He has had several communications with Related and finds them to be quite incommunicative about some of the associated project details.  It appears as though they are trying to increase the density while creating adequate open space, but he has not seen plans.  He has been speaking to them on average every 2-3 weeks.  The critical issue from his perspective is understanding what Related needs from the Village, what the Village needs from Related and clearly defining what issues need to be addressed from a Village perspective. 
JoAnn Hanson added that Lennar is the largest homebuilder in the country and they are very well respected having done master plan communities of this type and scope and she feels bringing them on board was a positive step forward for the both the Village and the Town.
Trustee Scherer agreed.

Consent Agenda:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the consent agenda.

Old Business:
Discuss Establishing a Sewer Fund to Begin on June 1, 2002 – In order to proceed with this idea, the BOT will need to amend the Village Code.  It was agreed that a local law should be drafted and presented for Public Hearing and further discussion by the Board at their February meeting. 

New Business:
Discuss Light Path Proposal and Crown Castle Proposals for Certain Village Buildings – These relate to internet and cell service.  At the previous meeting of the Board, the Trustees authorized the Mayor to sign an agreement with a consultant based on certain conditions, which were met.  They have had one meeting since that time and these are the two companies they believe to be best thus far.  It appears as though it will cost several thousand dollars a month to bring internet to the South Gate and the Police building.  The Village will continue to work with the consultant and hopefully have some better news to report in the future.
Discuss Award of Landscape Architect for WWP Design Phase – The Wee Wah Park Committee is in receipt of two proposals from Landscape Architects and believe that the one they have from Tree Stone is the best.  Therefore, they are recommending that the Board authorize the Mayor to negotiate a fee arrangement acceptable to the Board to produce design renderings suitable for fundraising.  There were no objections to this plan and the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving ahead with it as described.  This will be discussed further at February meeting.
Discuss Workflow and procedures for BAR, PB & BZA Minutes and Professional Consultants Services on Applications and Escrow – This pertains to recent discussions concerning the use of hiring consultants to review applicants work for the various Boards.  There is currently a moratorium on the use of professional consultants.  In gathering information, they discovered that the Village has been paying invoices to the professional consultants for work rendered on applicant’ projects without billing or collecting from the applicants.  This needs to be offset with escrow monies and it puts the Village into a bit of a sticky situation.
Moving forward, the Village will need to provide some sort of formal guidance to the Boards as to the use of professional consultants.
Timely posting of meeting minutes was also discussed.  Legally, meeting minutes must be made available to the Public via the Village Website within two weeks of a meeting.  Minutes cannot be withheld based on the fact that they have not yet been approved.  Board attorney Brian Nugent advised that if a Board has not reconvened within two weeks, draft minutes can be posted. “I want to put it on record,” stated Mayor McFadden, “that it is in the Boards’ interest to improve the approval process for residents and make it welcoming and easy, while staying within the strict guidelines that we have…because we are a historic district.”
Resolve to Allow Conditional Ice Skating on the Wee Wah Lake – The idea of allowing all Village Taxpayers to access the Wee Wah lake via the Wee Wah Park property for ice skating was discussed.  Skating would need to be authorized by both the DPW Superintendent and the Chief of Police (for safety reasons). Discussion centered around safety and the proximity of skating to ice fishing, which is also permitted on Wee Wah Lake.  The idea of allowing skating on Tuxedo Lake, to launch from the Tuxedo Club Boathouse, was also briefly discussed, but DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss advised that it would take a long time for the ice to become thick enough there to safely support skating.  Ultimately it was agreed that skating on the Wee Wah would be allowed and that a safety pole equipped with a throw-rope and ladder would be kept close by in case of emergency. 
The Board then adjourned into an executive session for the purpose of discussing Village employees, a Collective Bargaining Agreement, a legal matter and Contractor Agreements. 

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 15, 2021

Trustees met on December 15, 2021 at 6:30pm.

Public Hearing – Draft Local Law #3 of 2021 – A Local Law to Amend Village Law Related to Site Plan Approval: 
Because the draft law has changed within the last seven days, it must be re-noticed before the hearing can take place.  Therefore, Mayor McFadden suggested they continue the hearing until the January 19 Board of Trustees meeting and the Board voted unanimously in favor of doing so.

Public Hearing – Draft Local Law #4 of 2021 – A Local Law to Amend Local Law to Revise Dock and Boat Sizes on All Village Lakes:
This law has yet to be drafted.  Mayor McFadden suggested that they close the public hearing and cancel any further hearings until the law existed in draft form.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of doing so.

Public Hearing – Draft Local Law #5 of 2021 – A Local Law to Amend Village Law Related to Accessing to The Village:
There were no comments from the public and Mayor McFadden stated that it was going to be his recommendation that the Board vote on the law during their regular meeting.  With that in mind, the Board voted unanimously in favor of closing the public hearing.

The regular meeting was called to order at 7pm.

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden began by wishing everyone happy holidays.  He expressed his gratitude to Justin DeCristofaro of Haugland Energy for his assistance with the installation of holidays lights as well as both John Ledwith and Jeff Voss/the DPW team for time and effort pulling it all together. 

Reports:
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department Report
Click here to view the Police Report


Click here and here to view reports detailing the proposed new traffic pattern for the intersection of Route 17 and East Village Road.  This will involve the removal of the blinking red light on Rt.17 near the entrance of the Village and the installation of a new traffic light just to the north which will align with East Village Road.  Reconfiguration and re- alignment of the entrance to Tuxedo Road may be required and having traffic flow in a one-way pattern has been proposed.  As Route 17 is a State owned road, the Village and the Town have little to do with the changes that may occur there however, they can object to them if they see fit.  Chief Conklin advised the Board that he believed the proposed pattern would be safer for motorists.  Trustee Brooke commented that he did not see the point in fixing things that were not broken and that he personally did not see the purpose in another stoplight along Route 17. 
Trustee Shaw suggested that the additional light would create traffic issues, noting that there were a lot of cars that traveled through there and it would have to be timed appropriately with the light by the Post Office.
Trustee Sherer commented that he did not believe he had enough information to voice an opinion.  Based on the Chiefs comments the proposed new pattern could improve safety however he felt that Trustee Shaw made a strong point about traffic. 
Trustee Kasker suggested that they ask the State DOT for further detail regarding the rationale behind their proposal. 
On another note, the Chief noted that the Department had been experiencing internet connectivity issues between the front and back Gates.  Although the connection in the Main Gate remains viable, they have been losing connectivity with the South Gate on a regular basis and whenever this happens, they have to station and officer there to oversee the traffic.  He suggested that Village should explore a secondary, back-up system.  The Mayor suggested that while Optimum is the only internet option in Town and the Village has had issues with getting them to come and examine the aging infrastructure, the communications committee has done a good job in identifying  a possible new vendor. He further noted that later in the evening an independent consultant would be providing them with a brief presentation that would likely be relevant to this situation. 
Click here to view the Engineering Project Report
Click here to view Engineer Westin and Sampsons’ conceptual plan for the relocation of the DPW, Village Office, Court and Village Hall. 
Click here to view the litigation report
Liaison Reports – Trustee Kasker reported that he had attended a Fire Commissioners’ meeting the week prior where they had spoken about fire hydrants.   Using a list of flow measurements (detailing both pressure and gallons per minute) for 2019 as compared to 2014 he and his daughter will be entering those  hydrants that flow over 500 gallons per minute into an App that is utilized by the department to help determine which hydrants they should use.  

Committee Reports – On Behalf of the Climate Smart Committee Jim Hays provided the Board with some general information about global warming and climate change, suggesting that there are many unknowns when it comes to the future but that the direction in which things are heading suggests that there will  be great hardships to people living on this planet if greenhouse gas emissions cannot be drastically lowered by mid-century.  In order for this to happen, everyone will have to get involved in the effort.  “It’s not anymore as it used to be, just buying a car that gets better milage or insulating your house.  It has to be a more transformative change.  We have to replace fossil fuels with electricity which is generated by solar energy either through solar panels, windmills or hydroelectric facilities,” he stated.  “The Mayor has recommended that maybe we should build a solar farm of panels somewhere in the Park and use that to electricity the Village.  That’s a possibility.  He’s asked Trustee Scherer to chair a committee to investigate this and he is working with the Climate Smart Committee on that.”  He further indicated that there were other potential ways to electrify the Village with solar energy aside from building a solar farm and that they would investigate these and follow up by providing the Board with recommendations.  The Committee, which is relatively small, has been working on a greenhouse gas inventory for the year 2018.  With the help of John Ledwith, Jeff Voss and Chief Conklin they have been able to collect enough data to measure and estimate the Greenhouse gas emissions by Government operations and now they will move on to the residences, the school and the Club. Hopefully the inventory will be completed in the early part of 2022 and the committee will be able to come back to the Board with a report detailing where the greenhouse gasses in the Village are coming from, what can be done about it and how they can be reduced.  “We do need more people,” he noted “so I hope anybody who is listening and wants to get involved will get in touch with me.”  There is a Facebook page and information has also been posted to the Village website and through these two things they are hopeful that more people will join the cause.  
Reporting on behalf of the Communications Committee , Maureen Coen indicated that the committee was recommending that the Village hire an independent expert to advise them as to the most effective and efficient way to improve communication networks, principally cellphone service and internet connectivity.  They believe this area requires particular expertise and knowledge and the Village cannot simply rely on vendors to make proposals.  They are recommending Walter Cooper, who has been involved in the business for over 35 years and has quite an impressive resume. (Walters’ resume can be found on the Village website for anyone who is interested.). His fee is $130 per hour plus expenses and based on similar situations he estimates the fees will total between $8,000 and 12,000 in total.  Mr. Cooper was present on Zoom and proceeded to provide the Board with a brief overview of the services he could provide if hired, including full investigation of a number of possible solutions and opportunities and how to effectively balance these for the best possible results.
The Mayor wondered if it might be a good idea to send Mr. Cooper a scope of work prior to hiring him.  He further suggested that acceptance of this scope should be a condition to the Boards’ approval of the hire.
Mr. Cooper agreed that this would be a good idea.
Trustee Brooke suggested that in addition to a scope of work, the Village needed to determine the definition of the problem they were trying to solve.  There are potential security and hardwiring issues as outlined by the Chief earlier as well as quality of communication problems.  Having a comprehensive framework will allow them to better evaluate the suggestions that are brought forth either from Mr. Cooper or any of the potential vendors. 
Trustee Scherer agreed reiterating that it was important to clearly identify the issues, whether they be public safety,  quality of cell service or whatever.  Following some further discussion with regard to fiber optics, the Board thanked Mr. Cooper for his time and he dropped off the call.  The Mayor  then indicated that the Board would entertain a resolution to hire him further on in the agenda.
On behalf of the Welcome Committee Bryna Pomp reported that she and committee co-chair Pam Breeman had composed a letter that would be going to the first resident to whom they had been introduced through a broker along with a beautiful plant arrangement.  They will continue to welcome everyone they are introduced to in this maner and are asking that brokers and/or the Village Office to please keep them in the loop when somebody closes on a house so that they can formally welcome them in this way. 
Click here to view the full Welcome Committee Report.

Public Comments:
Jay Reichgott commented that he had reviewed the preliminary plans for the relocation of the DPW/Village office and had a couple of thoughts to offer.  First, document discusses possibly having to move further north in order to get enough land for the proposed relocation, but  most of the land to the north of the current boundary is 100-year flood plain, so there are some complications there.  Secondly, this area is a well-known and well used public park.  “We all know that there is some perhaps friction between the Town and the Village that we will have to work through.  Let me say that I will be happy to help liaison that but also when we are looking at landscaping and all of that…it’s the back side of the DPW, but it’s the front side of the park.”
Mayor McFadden responded that it was his understanding that the current configuration did not infringe on the parking lot or the baseball field, but he had been unaware of the flood plain and he would bring this to the attention of the engineers.  He further stated that he would love to work with Mr. Reichgott on this as a liaison to the Town.  “It’s a very exciting opportunity,” he stated.  “Just to give everyone an idea of the timeframe…this would be a 2023/24 kind of thing I would think.  We would first have to declare that the DPW and Village Office land could be sold or modified.  Then it would be the costing of the building and whether it is even possible to do, we don’t know.  I am very excited about it, but it’s a long way away.”
Mr. Reichgott noted that one thing that was missing from the park was functioning restrooms and that perhaps there would be a way to work those into the plan.

Consent Agenda:
Trustee Kasker asked that the following items be removed from the consent agenda:

  • Approve the Contractor Vehicle Registration at $29.95 for multiple vehicles with commercial plates.  Contractor vehicles without commercial plates are $29.95 each additional vehicle
  • Approve the 2021 WWBC membership and guest pass fees for 2022 season and approve accepting donations for the park renovation. 

 

They were removed and added to the regular agenda under the heading old business.
The other items on the consent agenda were then unanimously approved.

New Business:
Approve two months of services from QuickBooks to a. transfer voucher system from Excel to QuickBooks, b. transfer village budget from Excel to QuickBooks, and c., Organize Chart of Accounts – Following some discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the service.
Discuss hiring communication consultant Walter Cooper- The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Walter Cooper to work directly with the Communications Committee pending the review of his references, approval of the Village scope of work and other items based on the strategy that the Village has in mind for their communications system at an amount not to exceed $12,000.   Additionally, Trustee Kasker was replaced by Trustee Shaw as liaison. 
Resolution imposing a proof of vaccination requirement in municipal facilities – Followingsome discussion, the Board voted in favor of adopting this resolution which follows the Governors’ recent Executive Order. In lieu of requiring proof of vaccination, they have chosen to require that all individuals over the age of two wear face masks when in municipal buildings.  Trustee Shaw abstained. 
Resolution approving the purchase of pressure relief valve – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the DPW purchase of a pressure relief valve at a cost of $3,498.00.

Old Business:
Approve the Contractor Vehicle Registration at $29.95 for multiple vehicles with commercial plates.  Contractor vehicles without commercial plates are $29.95 each additional vehicle -
Chris Kasker asked for clarification as to the definition of a contractor vehicle.
Mayor McFadden explained that these were vehicles belonging to landscapers and independent contractors hired by residents.  Vendors such as Amazon, UPS, SOS, School Busses etc. will not be charged.  Trustee Kasker stated that he understood that it was a nominal fee but the Village has never charged for entry before and he was not in favor of it.  The Board then voted 3-1 in favor of approving the fees.  Trustee Brooke suggested they re-evaluate the fees in a few months and revise things if necessary.  It was agreed that they would do this. 
Approve the 2021 WWBC membership and guest pass fees for 2022 season and approve accepting donations for the park renovation – Trustee Brooke noted that he had on several occasions requested a budget for the Beach Club but had not received one to date.  “It seems to me that having a sense of a budget would be important to look at fees, because we are also going to be making a significant contribution to improve the facility at some point…and I just don’t have a sense of the numbers.”
The Mayor responded that the WWB Committee had not presented a budget as part of the resolution that was accepted by majority vote at the November meeting. 
“We accepted a resolution to hire NY Pools,” interjected Trustee Kasker.  “We didn’t accept their memo.”
The Mayor agreed that it could be interpreted this way.  He went on to say that memberships in the year prior had brought in $30,000.  The Village knows that they need to match this number in order to cover the cost of the new pool manager.  The committee debated whether or not they should increase the rates at a cost of inflation.  These rates were proposed in the Committee memo. During the November meeting, the concern that members would be paying more money for fewer services was repeatedly raised and as a result the Mayor went back to the committee and proposed that they revert to the same fees that were charged in the summer of 2021.  They were trying to “diffuse the shock of the change” while maintaining the membership and level of service. “I don’t particularly feel the need for a budget but I certainly feel that we need to be addressing this along the way over the next couple of months because if we don’t receive membership fees or if the Hamlet people don’t want to come in, there could be an issue there.  It’s pretty straight forward,”  stated the Mayor. 
Trustee Brooke indicated that not having seen the WWBC budget, he did not know how much they had spent on lifeguards but he intuitively assumed that adding a new service would increase costs and that these will be existing costs.  “I also believe in principal that the Village has a resource here that they should make a contribution to that is significant to fix up the Wee Wah.  Given the fact that you are making a larger contribution and it’s from tax revenues, my belief is that the size of the Beach Club should be increased to potentially include every member of the Village.  We improve it.  We use it more.  It will be a more robust community resource.  I can accept that 2022 is a transition year.  The question is going to come up as to what kind of a contribution we as a Village want to make to the Wee Wah Club and I have no way of trying to dimensionalize that number.”
The Mayor responded that he agreed that in the upcoming budget year they should consider making a contribution of taxpayer money that would allow all Village residents to go for free. In terms of renovations, the committee has received proposals from several landscapers to do a low impact redesign of the park and that is a separate issue that will require donations and fundraising.  None of this in the budget for this first year and therefore, they must charge the people the membership fee.
Trustee Brooke indicated that he understood this and that this next year would be a transition.  “I think that in principal because it is a community resource and the community includes Village residents and Town residents who have been around that, it is of value of us to improve that facility. If the interim solution is to keep the dues the same and move forward, I am fine with it.  I am merely saying that I want to address what the issue is in the spring for the summer of 2023.”
The Mayor agreed.
Jay Reichgott commented that he felt it was important to keep in mind that there are two entities here that were getting conflated a lot.  There is the Village of Tuxedo Park Facility, which is open to all Village residents to use with certain restrictions and then there is the swim club, which is the organization that possesses the license to run a swimming beach during swimming seasons.  Those are separate things.  Improving the Park is a Village responsibility, just like improving the Racetrack or any other Village facility.  That needs to be separated from swim operations.”
“Right, and it is,” replied the Mayor.  “Because you have your membership fees for running the swim club and then we are also accepting donations for the improvement of the park.  That could be anywhere from a new bathroom to a community center or a community gathering spot. The third is the Village Board during the budgeting process allocating resources to the park for other smaller issues.  They are separate and they are organic.  We might calculate that we need to put in $15,000 in order for Village residents to go free and that is going to be separate from raising money to award to a landscape designer if we decide to do that.”
Mr. Reichgott countered that the Village could decide that they were going to invest Village funds into the beautification of the property. 
“Let’s say we raised $500,000 and the price that we agreed on for the renovations was $750,000,” suggested the Mayor.  “We could do a bond or a low interest loan for that, yes.”
Moving on, Trustee Kasker asked for clarification as to what services people would receive with their membership.  “Is it just swimming?” he asked “I can go use the park whenever I want if I am not a member…I just can’t go swimming?”
“All of that is posted,” replied Mayor McFadden “I would be happy to go over it with you”
“Did the Board approve that?” he asked.  “Maybe just some housekeeping…”
Trustee Brooke suggested that enforcement at the facility would be done by the Wee Wah Beach Club people who manage the it during Beach Club hours.
It was pointed out to him by Trustee Kasker and Mr. Reichgott that this type of enforcement was gone now.
“It is not gone,” retorted the Mayor.    
“As I understand the current arrangement, the Wee Wah Beach Club…that entity….they are not part of the management program for this year.”
“Correct,” affirmed Mayor McFadden.
“The Board of Trustees has not approved eligibility to be a member and has not discussed the services provided at the beach and that is all I am saying,” stated Trustee Kasker.
“Here is how it is currently broken down and being sold,” stated the Mayor.  “The types of memberships that were offered last year and the guest passes are the same.  The hours are the same.  Only between those hours, which is called the swimming membership, are there lifeguards and only then can members swim.  We made an arrangement with the DPW to do all of the maintenance…cleaning of the equipment, cleaning and restocking the bathroom, emptying garbage and things that were a concern to the Wee Wah Beach Club Executive Committee.  We are working with the NY Pool management company as to how to check people in.  That was a position that was available under the WWBC.  There was a checker.  We have been looking at a variety of things including but not limited to photo IDS that are checked by lifeguards or a card reading machine.  But we are basically dealing with the honor system.  Also the fact that you have people having to register their vehicles to come into the Village at $10 per car…we are not concerned about people getting in who are not registered.  That’s another layer of protection.  I guess you are talking about people sneaking in….”
“I don’t think we are worried about people from outside of the Park who are not members sneaking into the Park to go swimming,” replied Mr. Reichgott.  “I think, and this is only my personal concern, people who are Park residents who feel that they don’t need to be a member to go and swim.”
“Well, shame on us,” replied the Mayor.  “Right now there has been a change that we should discuss so that it is on the record.  For as long as I can remember here after the WWBC season closed, the gate was locked, the bathrooms were closed and the electricity was turned off.  For the first time since we removed the WWBC references from the Village Code, which we had to do, I decided to make an announcement that it is now open from sunrise to sunset.  The response has been fantastic.  People are there all of the time…loving it.  It’s been great!  Am I concerned that there will be some people who don’t care to swim and just want to go in the mornings between sunrise and 1pm and have a picnic?  Hey…good for them! Anyone can go free right now!  But if you want to swim, you have to pay up.  That is the current strategy and we are not having any difficulty raising memberships.  I have yet to have been able to contact the Hamlet people.  I asked Bonny and others for their email addresses so that I can invite them but she they claim they have a legal opinion and can’t share the emails.  I would love to send them an email tomorrow and say sign up!”
“There’s a whole lot of ideas and thoughts,” stated Trustee Kasker, “and I think it’s our responsibility as a Board to codify them in policy and a resolution at some point such as membership eligibility and what it entails.”
“Let’s do it tonight,” replied the Mayor.
“Ok, Wee Wah Park and Bathing Beach is the name being used and that was never approved by the Board so let’s discuss that,” stated Trustee Kasker.   
“Chris, it’s a lot of micro-management, but let’s do it anyway,” replied Mayor McFadden.
“I think it’s oversight,” Trustee Kasker responded.
The name of the entity was then briefly debated and discussed.  Trustees Kasker and Brooke were not in favor of using the word “bathing” in the name, however Mayor McFadden argued that it was critical to somehow distinguish the beach and swimming area  from the rest of the Park.  He called for a vote.  Trustees Shaw and Scherer were in favor of the name as proposed. 
Trustee Brooke abstained commenting he did not want to use the word bathing.
“Why can’t we just call it Wee Wah Beach?” inquired Trustee Kasker.
“The vote has been taken,” snapped Mayor McFadden. 
Moving on to membership eligibility, the Board voted unanimously in favor of keeping things the same as they had been the year before, restricting the Hamlet membership to those who had joined in the summer of 2019 and after.  There will be new membership eligibility for anyone living in the Hamlet who can establish that the TPA employed their direct ancestors.
Trustee Kasker asked for clarification as to whether first responders were still eligible for membership as they had been in the summer of 2021.  The answer was yes.
Mayor McFadden called for a vote.  Trustees Shaw and Scherer voted yes.  Trustees Kasker and Brooke did not vote.  Mayor McFadden moved on. 

Retro-actively authorize the Mayor to apply for a building permit to build a median in front of the Booth – Although construction appears to be complete, the Board did not authorize it to take place on Village property.  Trustee Kasker has requested that they do so retroactively. 
“It’s not on Village property.  It’s in the Town.” stated Mayor McFadden.
“It is Village owned property in the Town,” corrected Trustee Kasker.
“It is outside of the Village borders but it is owned by the Village of Tuxedo Park” concurred Mr. Reichgott.
“Which is why you got a Town of Tuxedo of Tuxedo Building permit…because you own it,” Trustee Kasker added.
“It’s why you didn’t need a memorandum of understanding or an easement from the Town to use a Town road,” explained Mr. Reichgott.
“Thank You Gentlemen,” stated Mayor McFadden.
“I’m just trying to keep us legal,” Trustee Kasker stated.
Following some rather contentious bickering between the Mayor and Trustee Kasker regarding the ownership of the property and the correct permitting process for the work that had been done there, the Board voted in favor of authorizing the Mayor to construct three garden medians in the areas surrounding the booth.

Audit of Claims :
Elizabeth Doherty read aloud the audit of claims.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving them.  “I am going to take this opportunity to make a comment on Chriss’ statement into the record at the last meeting where he claimed that we were $400,000 over budget and not even 6 months into it and gave us a list of 11 line items.  It was a false statement.  We have been working with the accountants and Elizabeth and my budget director and with John.  It is not true statement.  We are not overbudget by $400,000 and I want to make that clear for the record.”
“I never said we were $400,000 over budget,” Trustee Kasker responded.  “ I said there were 11 line items on the budget where the expenses exceeded the budget.  I stand by that statement.  I have had discussions with Elizabeth.  I have had discussions with attorneys at NICOM and I understand that some of those lines were not appropriated lines and others were.  So there are still line items that this Board approved appropriations for that have exceeded budget items.  My only point in bringing that up was because the Mayor kept saying we had to pay for the license plate reader because it was not budgeted for and there are plenty of things not budgeted for that we are spending money on and I asked what made those line items different.  Further, the fact that nobody on the Board even questioned it when I said it and we still had a continuation of a discussion on money just goes to show that we are not where we should be as far as awareness of the budget.”
“Actually,” responded the Mayor, “I was so shocked  by the fact that you would say that in a public meeting rather than contact us privately beforehand.  You made a big statement like that and you put it on record that we are incompetent.  The reason I didn’t say anything was that I was in shock.  You claim to be a team player.  You made that overtly at a meeting intentionally to embarrass me and others and you were doing it because you were mad about the WWBC vote.  If you are a team player you bring those items to our attention before a meeting, let us look at them and give us a chance to do what we did over the last few weeks so we wouldn’t have this kind of back and forth.”
“I will continue to participate the way I feel like I need to participate based on the environment that I find myself in,” Trustee Kasker stated.  “I stand by my statement then.  I stand by my statement now.  You can insinuate how I was feeling and why I said whatever I said but I am the only one who knows.”
“But Chris,” interjected Trustee Scherer, “we need to have public discussion for sure, but we are allowed to converse, keeping in mind the sunshine laws, beforehand…and it would make potentially these meetings more constructive and I think that would be helpful to progressing the Village’s business.  For example, we wasted a bunch of time tonight candidly talking about stuff that is not that important or could have been easily resolved before the meeting.  That’s the point.”
“I agree,” replied Trustee Kasker. “I sent everyone my thoughts this morning and I said if anyone wants to discuss, give me a call.  Nobody replied.”
“Chris, with all due respect,” countered Trustee Scherer, “at the last meeting you did not do that.  At this meeting you did it 6, maybe 8 hours in advance of the meeting?  I have a full time job as do many other people on this call.”
“Josh, I do things in priority too, just like you do,” responded Trustee Kasker.  “This has been a sprint all week long and I did it as early as I could.”
“I have sent you more than 15 emails since the last meeting asking for your thoughts on important information including rates for the WWBC,” stated Mayor McFadden.  “You didn’t respond to a single one.  And that’s what you do.  You don’t talk to me during the month.  You prefer to do it here in the meeting.  You don’t want to be a team player.  Just like Josh said, we have wasted hours.”
“We are wasting hours right now,” suggested Trustee Kasker.
“One last statement,” said Mayor McFadden. “You stand by your statement…I stand by the Village recording of last months’ meeting and what was written in TPFYI and I quoted you and that is what you said.”
“I never said we were over budget by $400,000.  I said there were 11 line items where expenses exceeded budget.  11 line items is not over budget,” Trustee Kasker responded.

Budget Transfers:
Elizabeth Doherty read aloud the budget transfers. They were unanimously approved.  Mayor McFadden announced that the changes were the result of their meeting with the Village accountant, the Budget Director and others to clarify and take a deeper dive into the comment that was made at the last meeting by Trustee Kasker. He then read aloud from the TPFYI coverage of that meeting, quoting Trustee Kasker, who in turn argued that what he actually said did not mean what the Mayor was suggesting it did. 
Rather than to respond, the Mayor closed the meeting and the Board entered into an executive session to discuss employment matters of two specific persons, the PBS collective bargaining agreement, a legal matter and a safety matter. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 15, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 17, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, November 17 at 6:30pm.  Trustee Brooke was absent.

Public Hearing – Local Law No. 3 of 2021 – A Local Law to review site plans in the Village of Tuxedo Park: Mayor McFadden met with the Planning Board on November 10 to discuss the Draft law.  As a result of that meeting, Planning Board attorney Rick Golden drafted the Planning Board comments and also provided the BOT with a new Daft version of the law.  The changes are substantive and the Board cannot continue the discussion until the new draft has been posted for the public to review.  Therefore, the public hearing was continued to December 15 at 6:30pm.

Public Hearing – Local Law No. 4 of 2021 – A Local Law to revise dock and boat sizes on Wee Wah Lake in the Village of Tuxedo Park:  Chris Hansen, who has been drafting the law BOT review, has not completed it to the point where it can be shared.  Therefore, the public hearing was continued to December 15 at 6:40pm.

Mayor’s Comments: 
Mayor McFadden began by thanking residents Jim, Chris, Rachel, Odetta and George (last names were omitted) for volunteering for the CSLAP program.  This is a very important program and with the help of these five volunteers, the Village will be able to keep it going.  He also thanked the DPW for special projects they have recently completed including: a mailbox stand, a variety of construction and final touches to the booth and refurbishing of the West Lake Rd/Turtle Brook Rd triangle.  He further expressed gratitude to the Police Department for all of their input regarding the new automatic gate opening system, Denise Spalthoff for her work brining the pay on-line system live and Elizabeth Doherty for the work she did with getting EPA penalties waived.

Reports & Minutes:
Click here to view the DPW report
Click here to view the Construction report
Click here to view the Cellular Communications & WiFi report
Click here to view the Court report
Click here to view the Water report
Click here to view the Police report
Click here to view the Legal report

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Bonnie Takeuchi expressed concern with the recent proposal from an aquatic management company to run the Wee Wah Beach Club, which was widely circulated by the Village at the beginning of the week.  Specifically, she focused on the services that are being offered and their costs noting that in 2020, for a season that began on July 5, the Club had employed 3 full-time workers for every hour they were open (a lifeguard, a membership checker and a Covid monitor) and their total payroll was $20,591. In 2021 they were able to open Memorial Day weekend and maintained 2 full-time employees for every hour they were open with the Covid monitor present most, but not all, of the time.  Payroll totaled $24,947.  She suggested that these numbers might help the Board during their discussion about the proposal later in the evening.  “Members of my Board and I will be here throughout the meeting,” she stated, “and when you get to the part at which the WWBC is up for discussion, if you have any questions, we would certainly like to be called on and if we have the information with us we can give it to you and if we don’t, we can certainly get it to you.”
Village resident and WWBC Vice President Jennifer Darling commented that she wanted to briefly run through the position statement that had been sent to the Board  by the WWBC the night before.  She further indicated that the WWBC was not going to take a position on the hiring of an aquatic management company, which she noted  was “probably not a bad idea for many reasons.” After careful review, they do however have significant issues with the proposal that has been brought forward.  The first issue is that it appears that Club will be receiving significantly fewer services for a lot more money.  She noted that Bonnie Takeuchi had just provided some of the payroll numbers, which  helped to illustrate this point.  Secondly, they believe that maintaining a limited staff of only one lifeguard with no support staff would be a safety issue. Historically the club has employed 2 or 3 fulltime people during operating hours.  The proposal, which the WWBC Board acquired via a FOIL, outlined a plan under which the one lifeguard on duty would be expected to do everything else in addition to watching the water including but not limited to, cleaning tables, enforcing property-wide rules, managing garbage, checking in members, managing guests and guest passes, weeding and raking and cleaning the bathrooms.  Because a lifeguard should not take their eyes off the water if there anyone in or near the swimming area, this means that the other work can only be done when and if there nobody utilizing the beach.  For this reason alone,  they have an issue with the amount of money the company is looking to charge for the service .  “Less services…more money…that is really hard for us to get past,” she commented.   They also had some issues with the proposed membership fees.  “We worked really hard to keep the base family membership fee below $300 to make it affordable.  It’s not a fancy club where there are lots of perks.  It’s really just servicing the beach.  We (WWBC) also have guest passes that are much more affordable than what has been proposed thus far.  $25 per person for guest passes is a sweet idea, but we feel that it will hinder a lot of people from coming.” 
In response to Mrs. Darling’s indication that the WWBC had FOILED the proposal, Mayor McFadden stated that he had sent it to them directly of his own accord,  further suggesting that he had not even know until afterwards that it had been FOILed.  “You can continue to say that it was because it was FOILed…but that’s just not the case,” he commented, reiterating that their FOIL request had nothing to do with his having provided them with the document. 
Mrs. Darling went on to point out that the insurance provision in the proposal had full liability on the Village.  “For me as a lawyer this is untenable because the way it is currently set up, we (WWBC) have our 3 million dollars and you  (The Village) have your policy and you have a full indemnification from the beach.  There was no indemnification from them.  There was a full indemnification from the Village to the pool company and there was no obligation for them to carry any insurance what-so-ever.  If there is an issue, that is not a situation that the Village would want to be in,”  she stated.  Finally, she mentioned that within the proposal there was no proposed cost for setting up either raft or the ropes and these things in conjunction with a few others could equate to hidden expenses that would drive the overall cost up.  “I don’t think it’s necessarily $31,000 to run the beach for the summer.  I think it’s incrementally more and to do it safely, even more than that.”
Ava Rattazzi commented that she had been the lifeguard at the WWBC this past summer.  “Not only as a lifeguard, but also as a Beach Club employee, I know how much responsibility is needed from each staff member,” she stated.  “All of the responsibility that you are planning to put on just the lifeguard is unrealistic.  The other lifeguard or lifeguards that will be hired will also be around my age and having just one person in charge of completing all the tasks by themselves, some of which require more than 1 person to complete is unheard of and unsafe.  A lifeguards’ priority is to stay on the waterfront and make sure that there are no problems.” She further suggested that if there were to be only one lifeguard on week days and two on weekends, as per the proposal, the insurance company may not wish to insure the property because one worker can be a liability issue.  “Since a lifeguard cannot take their eyes off the water, they will not know what is going on up in the beach and picnic areas,” she cautioned.  “If somebody were drowning, the lifeguard would need at least one other person to help them with a backboard and they would also need somebody to call 911…so there are some safety issues with that too.”
Mayor McFadden asked Ms. Rattazzi whether she would be interested in working at the Beach Club again in 2022.
She responded that she would.
The Mayor then stated that he felt they would be able to submit her name to the company for consideration.  “I’m sure they would be happy to have somebody with your experience,” he added. 
Marc Citrin stated that the one of the things about Tuxedo Park that makes it unique is the importance it places on its’ history.  “So I stand before you and I ask you why is it that this proposal is looking to extinguish The WWBC, a beloved organization that has existed since 1934 serving both the community of the Park and the Town?  Certainly, from my perspective, it isn’t because the WWBC hasn’t lived up to its’ obligations.  When the Village asked the Beach Club to provide a police officer at the North Gate in 2020, we were more than willing to do it.  When the Village asked the Beach Club to ensure that all Covid protocols were followed in 2020 and 2021, we certainly did.  In terms of the financials, you heard from Jennifer and Bonnie that this proposal from NYS Pools simply doesn’t add up.  You’re getting less and paying more.  So why is it that we are looking to extinguish the WWBC by this proposal?   Well, with 87 years of institutional history comes 87 years of memory and I point out to the Board that in 2007 Mayor McFadden made a proposal to the Board of Trustees to extinguish the Beach Club in favor of a Department of Parks and Recreation.  I have a copy of that proposal in front of me, submitted by you Mayor, and dated 12/12/07.  Obviously, in looking back, that proposal was not adopted.  In 2009 another set of proposals were made to extinguish the WWBC and the interesting thing about those proposals is that the bidders, for the sum of $36,000, not only offered a guard for the beach, but a gate guard, a beach manager and an assistant manager…all full time for $6,000 more than NYS Pools is offering 1 guard during the week and 2 guards on the weekends…and that was 12 years ago.  Prices have only gone up!  $6,000 more than what is being offered today.  So I submit to you that the Beach Club has provided service for 87 years…faithful service, good service, dependable service…and as I said to you on August 18 and October 25, we are more than willing to continue to provide that service with good faith negotiations for the summer of 2022…and we stand ready to do the same today.”
Aoife Geoghegan commented that she was surprised at the Boards’ decision in selecting an outside party to run the Beach Club when the current Wee Wah Board has done so successfully and there has been a relationship there for 87 years.  To the best of her knowledge, there have been no issues or anything that would warrant the break of this long-standing relationship and something like this could cause bad relations between the Hamlet and the Village.   Many of the Village residents are not happy with what has been proposed but rather are quite happy with the Beach Club as it stands.  She does not believe that the decision is representative of the majority. She is also surprised that the information was released on such short notice and further noted that the WWBC Board members had not been given adequate time to prepare for this meeting.  She is also surprised by the massive increase that has been proposed for guest passes and the limits that have been put upon them when it is well known that people go there to have a good time and socialize and have family get-togethers in groups larger than 10.  “I’m just surprised by the whole thing and very very disheartened that this is the way that it is going.  It almost seems like it’s a personal thing at this stage.  It’s very sad after 87 years of tradition with nothing that has warranted this.”
On a different note, Jake Matthews inquired as to whether or not he could comment or ask a question about Local Law No. 4 of 2021, which pertains to dock and boat sizes on Wee Wah Lake.  He wondered where he could get more information regarding what was being proposed, further noting that he was unclear as to whether what was being proposed would apply only to Wee Wah Lake, or if it would also apply to Pond #3 and Tuxedo Lake.
Mayor McFadden responded that the hearing had been tabled until December 15 at 6:30 as the law had not yet been drafted.  “It’s still under consideration by Chris Hansen.  It’s going to be a comprehensive law for all the bodies of water , but right now there is nothing to look at.” 
Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hanson commented that her Board had been working with the Mayor and Trustees to further revise the suggested distribution of the responsibilities of the Planning Board and the Board of Architectural Review.  Noting that there were two items relating to this on the agenda, she suggested that if a survey was going to be done of prior applicants that it might be productive to have both the Planning Board and the BAR take a quick look at the survey…not to tilt it one way or the other….but to ensure that it was reflective of the processes that have been in place.  With regard to a comment about stopping engineer payments for BAR reviews, she noted that there were some on-going applications that were mid-stream that require engineering.  The Planning Board will be  meeting on December 8 to look at revisions to the law and welcome any input from the Mayor or the Trustees prior to that time.
Stuart Mcgregor commented that he felt there was nobody at the meeting who knew more about the WWBC than he did.  The Beach Club was actually started in 1936 and both of his Grandfathers were instrumental in starting what was known as The Tuxedo Community Club with the help of Hans Christian Sonne, George Amory and George Grant Mason.  His mother was the first treasurer. His aunt was a treasurer for 30-some years and he  spent his summers at the WWBC as did so many others from both the Park and the Hamlet.  “Back in 2018 I provided you with a proposal and a letter, knowing that the Beach Club was coming to an end because for 30 years it has been a source of friction between the Park and the Hamlet.  I also feel that times change.”  He went on to say that he supported the concept of what had been proposed.  “The parameters you have with respect to who can be members I believe is reasonable at this point in time.” However, he added that he was deeply disturbed by the speed and manor in which the entire thing had come about so that the Board was prepared to vote on an agreement that evening.  “One lifeguard…who is going to rake up all the goose poop in the areas along the beach as well as the picnic and activities areas?  Back in April I made the suggestion that we form a committee with the Village so that we could have a report prepared by the of the year….so that we could vote on it and know what was going to happen in 2022 instead of stringing it out as has been done for the last 10 years.  As a result, I got an email from you asking if I would be interested in being on the committee and I was.  I have intricately involved with the WWBC although not on its Board because I am not a full-time resident of the Park, although I spend all of my summers there, and have owned a house there since the 1980s.  I never heard back from you on that!  A committee of 2? I believe this is being run by you and I am not sure there isn’t another agenda!  Certainly, there needs to be much more done with respect to changing what is now a club that operates with no cost to the Village what-so-ever.  A premium of $25 a guest?  That’s absolutely incredible!”
Carol Anne Nicholson stated that she was opposed to part of the new gate system plan, specifically the idea of allowing residents unlimited registration.  “I think you will find households with a very large number of family-owed vehicles.”  She went on to express her disappointment with how concerns with the WWBC had been handled.  “Since the Mayor and the Board of Trustees like to tally ‘Yays & Nays’, please put me down in the ‘Nay’ column for both the gate and the NYS Pool proposal.”
Elizabeth Cotnoir noted that she agreed with Mrs. Nicholson on both points.  She wanted to know what the benefit to residents would be from making the changes at the WWBC.  She echoed concerns over the decline in services, further commenting “the pool management proposal itself says ‘please note lifeguard will not be permitted to perform any duties that interfere with their ability to supervise patrons in the lake or beach area.’  It was brought up before that the lifeguard, who needs to keep their eyes on the beach and on the water, would also be responsible for people coming and going as well as the various other duties assumed by multiple staff members in the past.  With the Front Gate, I have the same feeling.  I’m not really sure how it benefits the resident.  It’s still one lane.  We would still need to wait behind, like we did this afternoon, a visitor while they receive their directions.  I know from experience with EZ Pass that people go fast.  I’m not really sure what the hurry is. So, I am actually against both the Front Gate EZ pass service and the WWBC for these reasons.” 
Sally Sonne commented that she agreed with both Mrs. Nicholson and Ms. Cotnoir.  She offered her gratitude to all the people who had worked at the WWBC over the past two summers, nothing that they had worked extremely hard and done a great job and her view deserved to be both thanked and congratulated.  “There are problems and I think we do some changes,” she stated, but expressed concern with the management group that had been proposed further wondering what advantage they would bring to the table.  “They don’t know the players.  They don’t know the people.  They don’t know us.  They don’t know the place and I think this could really result in many problems.  We’ll just be forking out a lot of extra money which maybe we could be using to enhance some of the facilities at the club.  I’m just against it.”
JP Rattazzi expressed concern over the cost and limit that had been proposed for guest passes at the WWBC.  “A lot of the people who go to the Wee Wah are people who can’t afford alternate options like putting a pool in their back yard,” he stated.  He suggested that in charging $25 per guest, many larger families would be outpriced and that it seemed as though the message that was coming from this price increase was that perhaps these groups should consider swimming elsewhere.  He worries that people will be more likely to pursue other dangerous options such as unsupervised lakes in the woods or the cliffs above the Ramapo known as Bubbles, where a girl almost died two years ago. “It just seems like it isn’t in the best interest of families,” he stated.  He also wondered about the “ancestor clause” for joining that had been proposed.  “It feels like eventually that would be phased out,” he said “so that new-comers who move into the Hamlet will not be able to join the Wee Wah and eventually the Hamlet will be phased out entirely.  Raising the prices, hiring only one employee, the speed with which this proposal was circulated…it feels like a squeeze.  Not only should there have been more time but we should also understand why this is happening and if Hamlet members are going to be squeezed out, what they will they do.”
Jill Swirbul commented that both she and her husband Jason supported all of these comments and were fully against what had been proposed.  “If it aint broke, don’t fix it,” she stated. 

Consent Agenda:
Trustee Kasker asked that the following items be removed for discussion as part of the regular agenda:

  • Approve 8 hours of professional services for Cooper Arias LLP to do a pre-budget audit in preparation for the 2022-2023 budget.
  • Approve 15 additional hours for Desiree Hickey to assist Elizabeth Doherty with the backlog of billing applicants fees for the village engineer and architect
  • Approve waiving applicants fees for the village engineer and architect for several residents
  • Approve written survey of past applicants before the BAR, BZA and PB to seek constructive comments for improving the application process.
  • Authorize the Mayor to send all water bills 60-90+ days overdue to a collection agency.
  • Resolve to place a temporary short-term moratorium on applicant billing for village engineer and architect through the BAR.

The remaining items on the consent agenda were then unanimously approved. 

Regular Agenda:
Approve 8 hours of professional services for Cooper Arias LLP to do a pre-budget audit in preparation for the 2022-2023 budget – Trustee Kasker inquired to the scope of work and specifically which budget line number it would come from.  Mayor McFadden responded that this was a consent agenda item and that these things would be resolved after the meeting.  “That level of detail isn’t required for this consent agenda,” he stated.  “Would you like to make some comment about what line item you would like to see it in?  I mean, we have accounting fees…so it will come out of the accounting fees.” 
“Then why can’t we put it in the resolution?” inquired Trustee Kasker.
“Because we are not doing that level of detail in the Consent Agenda,” replied the Mayor.
“Well, I think we should,” stated Trustee Kasker.  “I want to know what I am voting for.”
“You are voting for 8 hours of professional services from Cooper Arias,” responded Mayor McFadden.
“And what are they going to be doing?  What are they going to look at?” asked Trustee Kasker.
The Mayor responded that the idea was to have them take a look at the budget now so that they could determine whether there was anything that needed to be corrected before the next budget year. 
“Because this is a transition year,” added Trustee Shaw, indicating that this was the first budget that Elizabeth Doherty would be working on. 
Following this discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this.
Approve 15 additional hours for Desiree Hickey to assist Elizabeth Doherty with the backlog of billing applicants fees for the village engineer and architect -  Trustee Kasker noted that there was 15 hours of backlog, but also included in the consent agenda was a request to do a moratorium on billing.  “We have months of backlog that we are still working on,” responded Mayor McFadden, “and moving forward we are going to stop it, so she wouldn’t be doing any billing during the moratorium.”
“She’s doing backlog through which date?” inquired Trustee Kasker.
“I don’t have the exact date,” responded Mayor McFadden. 
“It’s our job to know what we are voting on,” stated Trustee Kasker.
“I am here every day,” stated the Mayor, “talking with people, looking at these accounts.  You’re coming in from the side and saying…”
“I’m a Trustee, I’d like to know.  I have some responsibility,” Trustee Kasker asserted.
“Alright look.  You are micro-managing the process,” scolded the Mayor.  “Denise needs to catch up on billing.  Elizabeth is too busy.  I don’t know the dates!”
“When does the moratorium start?” inquired Trustee Kasker.
“We just passed it, unless you took that out too,” quipped the Mayor.
“I did…because how long does It last?” inquired Trustee Kasker.  “Is it 30 days?  45 days?”
“I don’t know exactly how many days it’s going to be,” snapped Mayor McFadden.  “Just don’t vote for it if you have a problem with it.  If you have a problem that we can’t knock it down to 5 days or 2, then just don’t vote for it.  Come on…we have to move along here.”
“We have to do the Villages work,” asserted Trustee Kasker.  “This is not that hard of a discussion.  Should we just pick a 30-day moratorium? Then we can look at it again next month.”
“No,” responded the Mayor. “I’m not going to get it done sooner than that and I am not going to lock myself into a date because I have to meet with different people.  JoAnne and John will work it out.  I’ll let you know if it’s an issue.”
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this.
Approve waiving applicants fees for the village engineer and architect for several residents -
“How much are we talking about?” inquired Trustee Kasker.  “Which residents?  Why?  We don’t waive fees without being specific.  We never do it for water bills, why would be do it for anything else?” 
Trustee Shaw suggested they table it.
“No. No. No.” stated Mayor McFadden.  “We’re going to waive these fees.”  He then asked Building Inspector John Ledwith to address it. 
Mr. Ledwith responded that there had been 3 people who received bills for professional services that exceeded what they had put in escrow.  Some of these bills called for 5 or 7 hours of engineering review time that they felt might be excessive given the fact that the applicant had submitted plans that had already been signed and stamped by either an architect or an engineer.  The Mayor added than another example had been somebody who submitted an application for a pool and a neighbor had written a letter outlining their concerns about potential noise.  The applicant responded with a letter stating that they did not feel it would be noisy.  Subsequently the engineer charged a fee for reviewing both letters.  “It’s inappropriate,” stated the Mayor.  “It’s got to be changed.  It’s the reason that people are very upset with our process.  We’re going to correct it.  We’re going to meet with the engineers and the architects and we’re going to go over it and that’s all the detail I have for you right now.”
“I appreciate that,” responded Trustee Kasker.  “I think it’s appropriate for me to have that level of detail.”
“And I would have told you if you had called me last week, or yesterday or today,” replied the Mayor. 
Trustee Kasker requested that the language in the resolution be changed to indicate that it applied specifically to three residents.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving this.
Approve written survey of past applicants before the BAR, BZA and PB to seek constructive comments for improving the application process – Trustee Kasker inquired as to who would be working on this and whether or not the Board would be able to see it before it went out.
The answer was that the Mayor would work in conjunction with Joanne Hanson, the BAR and John Ledwith would be writing the survey and then it would be sent out.  “I see no reason to bring it to the Trustees for a vote.,” stated Mayor McFadden.
“Is it going to cost any money?” wondered Trustee Kasker.
The answer was no. 
After changing the language in the resolution to identify who would be drafting the survey, the Board voted unanimously in favor of it.
Resolve to place a temporary short-term moratorium on applicant billing for village engineer and architect through the BAR – Trustee Kasker asked for a deadline on this. 
“I’m not putting a deadline on it,” replied Mayor McFadden. 
This was approved by a 3-1 vote with Trustee Kasker voting against. 
Resolve to place a temporary short-term moratorium on applicant billing for village engineer and architect through the BAR – Trustee Kasker indicated that as per a conversation he had with the Village attorney prior to the meeting, this would need to be tabled until they could have an attorney/client session to discuss. 
“So you’re not ready to send people to collection?” inquired the Mayor.
“No,” responded Trustee Kasker, “we need to have a discussion with the attorney before we do that.” 
This item was tabled.
Resolve to accept the recommendations of the Wee Wah Park Committee to hire NYS Pool Management to manage the 2022 summer swimming season for the Village and Hamlet Members – “I have heard everyone’s comments and I have taken them seriously,” indicated Mayor McFadden.  “We are only dealing tonight with hiring the firm.  We are not talking about rates, complete personnel, cost of guest fees, all those kinds of things.  In the letter that I sent to the WWBC we asked for a transition.  We assume that you are going to help us make that transition.  You brought up a bunch of very good points tonight that have opened my eyes in terms of what we would want to go back to the company for.  Several contradictions that you brought up I think were valid…we should definitely speak with NYS Pools about these things.  There’s plenty of openings in the future to set rates.  One comment that I do want to address directly is the increase in the cost of membership.  As Bonny mentioned, minimum wage has gone up and we also know that eggs and milk and gas and everything else has gone up.  There hasn’t been an increase in your membership fees for years.  It does make sense to ask for an increase.” 
“I would like an opportunity to respond since you are talking about voting on this tonight,” stated Jennifer Darling, “and from my prospective I can tell you that we have had an increase.  For us it’s a substantial increase.  Because of Covid we had to hire a Covid monitor.  We went from 2 people full-time to 3 people full-time.”
“We’re actually not going to vote on any of this tonight,” responded the Mayor.  “We are only voting on the award of the contract.”
“You’re talking about awarding the contract,” responded Mrs. Darling, “but you didn’t have it available to share with us…so I am asking if all the Trustees have even read the contract.”
“Yes of course,” replied Mayor McFadden.
“Then why was it not made available to us until 5:45pm yesterday?” she inquired. 
“One of the reasons that the committee has recommended this vendor,” stated the Mayor, “is because of their willingness to be flexible…their responsiveness.  They are located in Suffern or Mahwah.  They have excellent references.  I don’t think this is the time to micromanage their agreement.  I think it’s a great time to work with the WWBC and say ‘what have you learned that you can share with us to help improve this agreement?’ “
“We would have welcomed that opportunity,” suggested Mrs. Darling.  “You put two people on that committee.  Neither of which are Beach Club members.  Those people never reached out to us despite our standing up at prior meetings and asking for that.  The time for us to make recommendations about the number of lifeguards”
“We hope to have those conversations with you and the company,” interrupted Mayor McFadden.
“But you are awarding a contract to somebody…”
“Yes…who has told us they are very flexible, that they will talk about other personnel.”
“I don’t think you should be awarding a contract right now,” she cautioned.
“Well, I appreciate your concern,” the Mayor interrupted again.  “I feel strongly that it is a very good company and they will work with us and all of these items will be straightened out.  One thing you seem to be doing is talking down the membership.  It’s almost as though you are telling people not to join this club because it is going to be expensive and will have less services.”
“I am not saying that at all,” protested Mrs. Darling.
“Well let’s all work together to get it to a point where everyone is happy with the service,” suggested Mayor McFadden.  “Who can argue with hiring a third party company to take on all the hassle and burden and renegotiating?  We can all just go and enjoy it.  It’s going to be a real success and there’s going to be a lot of new members joining and we will work it out with your help…if you would like to give it to us, we would appreciate it.  We’ll take all of your critique and comments and suggestions.  The problems you have with the agreement…we’ll rework the agreement.  This individual is $31,000 compared to $35,000…lowest and most reliable.  I am confident after talking to this and listening to the comments that the committee made…and what’s wrong with a two person committee by the way?  All of our committees are two people.”
“You didn’t have anybody who had experience with the WWBC on the committee,” interjected Trustee Kasker.  “It’s ridiculous!  And you had volunteers that wanted to help and you didn’t bring any of them on.”
“That’s only part of the story,” argued the Mayor, “because the committee is not done.  As I said in the letter, they completed the first phase, which is recommending.  The next phase is working together for a transition.  That’s the next phase.  That’s when I would bring on other people.  You are micromanaging the committees process.”
“This is taxpayer money at the end of the day,” suggested Mrs. Darling.
“No,” responded the Mayor, “It’s not because this is going to all be raised.”
“How are you going to raise it?” asked Mrs. Darling.
“By membership…hoe do you raise it?” retorted the Mayor.
“We don’t provide services until after we get the money,” suggested Mrs. Darling.
“Yeah well…we’re going to start selling tickets immediately,” stated the Mayor. “Did you read my letter?”
“Yes I did,” replied Mrs. Darling, “but you don’t want to talk about rates tonight and yet you are going to start selling tickets immediately.”
“Listen,” retorted Mayor McFadden, “You’ve made your point.  I counted 24 or 25 people that are against it and there are 600 people in the Village.  You have 1 Trustee and 20 people who are against it.  I have to take that into consideration.  There are a lot of people who are really looking forward to it.”
“Where were they tonight?” wondered Mrs. Darling. 
“They aren’t going to come and complain,” responded the Mayor. “There were articles on TPFYI telling people to come and complain.  Everyone who wanted to complain, did it.”
“I don’t agree with that,” asserted Mrs. Darling.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” responded the Mayor, “but we are ready to vote. We have looked at all the memos and we are comfortable with the recommendation of this company.  If you want to pull back and not work with us down the road, that’s your decision.  I think that that’s not appropriate, but it’s up to you.  We would like your expertise. We would like to transition over.  That’s it.  I am not going to take any more questions on this.”
Trustee Kasker commented that he had no idea what problem they were solving in hiring this company.  “We have the Wee Wah Beach Club that has been doing this for decades.  I have no idea why we are paying somebody to do something when we have volunteers who do it for free without any complaints.  I don’t know what the extra administrative burdens are going to be.  Are we expecting Elizabeth to now collect money for the membership fees?  I don’t know.  I do want to commend the WWBC Executive Committee for reacting on a Friday 5pm email, which is what politicians do in Washington DC when they have bad news.  They dump things at 5pm on Friday.  I could not believe that this happened and I want to commend you for jumping through hoops and getting together and writing a very thorough response in just 5 days.  I can’t believe that Trustees can vote on something like this that’s going to change decades of tradition with 5 days of notice.  I think it’s a farce that this committee had no members from the WWBC.  I think that the Board has not decided on a full, comprehensive plan as to what the Wee Wah Park is going to look like and it shouldn’t vote on a contract with an outside entity until the Board either agrees or votes to have a way forward.  Last season the WWBC paid the Village $4,000 and we are now expected to pay $30,000 plus additional hidden costs that have been pointed out tonight and I don’t understand why we can’t just keep it a simple transaction of the WWBC volunteers do their thing and we get a check.  I recommend that the Park Committee be given a charter, approved by the Board and include at least 7 members, at least 3 of which are members of the WWBC , and all residents of Tuxedo Park.  And I have HUGE concerns about the indemnification and lack thereof. I can’t believe anybody in any business would sign a contract with the indemnification clause that is in the NYS Pools contract.  I also want to thank Ava Rattazzi for speaker tonight.”
The Board then voted 3-1 I favor of accepting the recommendations of the committee and moving forward with the contract with Trustee Kasker voting against.
“Unbelievable!” stated Trustee Kasker.
“Trustee Brooke is not here,” noted Trustee Shaw.
“He supports it,” stated the Mayor.
Resolve to accept vehicle charge plan presented to pay for the new gate opening system dated November 12, 2021 – Commenting that he believed there were a lot of people in the Village who did not have a full understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the system, the Mayor called on Police Chief Dave Conklin to make a brief presentation about it. 
Chief Conklin explained that the goal of the system was to enhance security and despite some of the rumors that had been going around, it was not an Easy Pass system.  Rather, it is a camera that reads license plates.  The license plates are submitted into a database and when a car pulls up to the gate, it there is a plate match within the system, the gate will open.  There will be parameters surrounding the dates and times and who is allowed access through which gate.  It is a robust system that will allow the PD a lot of control.  “It’s definitely going to enhance security because people are going to be pre-vetted.  When somebody comes to the gate and it opens automatically, we know that we vetted that person.  Right now, if somebody pulls up to the gate and says they are going to the Tuxedo Club, we open the gate and they go through.  They are not vetted.  All non-residents will have to produce a Driver’s License in order to be put into this system. We will know who these people are.” 
The Mayor commented that he had heard some people express disappointment because they like being able to pull up to the booth and talk to the officer on duty.
The Chief noted that this would still be possible with the new system.  “Just because the gate opens doesn’t mean you have to drive right through,” he commented. 
Contractors can be added to the system with parameters for up to three weeks and this period can be extended if necessary.  Employees of the Club or the School who no longer work for those institutions can be deactivated in the system. Currently, many ex-employees refuse to return their stickers and there is not much that the Village can do about it. 
Questions were asked surrounding what would happen for individuals who are not in the system.
The Chief responded that these individuals would be vetted. The process for this was discussed and questions were raised over whether or not the officer on duty would have to leave the booth to fully vet unregistered vehicles.  The Chief asserted that there were two officers on duty at all times and between the two of them, they would be able to manage the process. 
Audrey Perry commented that currently when she was expecting a guest she would call the gate and inform them who was coming and then when that person arrived, they would be admitted.  She wondered if the process would be the same with the new system.
Chief Conklin responded that it would.    
“Or, if you wanted to,” suggested Mayor McFadden, “you could put in their license  plate and they could drive right though.”
Chief Conklin was asked whether the system would be connected to law enforcement databases that would flag vehicles for suspended registration or having been reported as stollen, etc. 
The Chief replied that currently there were plate readers at both gates that were connected to a law enforcement database and that the department already received these types of alerts.  The new system is just a camera and a database and is not connected to any other criminal justice systems.
The Chief has put together an FAQ which will be posted to the Village website.
Additionally, there is a list of about 30 contractors who access the Park every single day.  These people will be put into system. 
Residents who have weekly domestic service people coming in will also be able to register these guests with specific parameters.
The Mayor commented that there were residents who did not want to get rid of their tags for nostalgic purposes.  He suggested that they could still produce and either give or sell these tags to residents, however they would not trigger gate access. 
Chief Conklin encouraged any residents who had additional questions or concerns to reach out to him directly.
With regard to fees, the Mayor noted that as the cost of the system was not in the budget, he has proposed a one-time fee  for residents, which would cover the cost of installation and equipment.  This will be roughly $30 per household, which will allow an unlimited number of registered vehicles.  Patrons of the School, Club and Church currently pay $90 per car for their sticker and plate.  Because of this high cost, many of these people do not opt to purchase the sticker. Mayor McFadden is proposing a reduced fee of $29.95 per year for unlimited vehicles and is confident that there will be a higher buy-in at the new rate.  Employees of these entities will pay $14.95 per vehicle.  Another option is for the entities to pay a lump sum fee to the Village and then provide them with a spread sheet of the plate numbers.  Seasonal people (WWBC, Fishing Club) will pay a fee of $9.95 per family/membership for unlimited vehicles. 
To those residents who have indicated that they do not want to pay $30 to enter the Village when they can enter for free now, the Mayor stated “We are not coming in for free.  We have police salaries, road maintenance and wear & tear, repair on the existing gates.  A large part of what we pay in property tax…every time you drive through that gate, you’re paying.  So, this is a one-time fee per family/property owner/renter.”  Other methods of paying for the installation were briefly discussed. “I’ve got to be honest with you,” stated the Mayor, “only 3 people have complained to me about having to pay the $30, so I don’t see any reason to start pulling things out of the budget.” 
Trustee Kasker commented that there were currently 11 budget lines that exceed their appropriations, totaling roughly $400,000.  “That’s $400,000 that wasn’t budgeted for that was spent and we are only 6 months into the fiscal year,” he stated.  “My question is, what makes this $20,000 for the license plate reader so special that we have to charge residents a fee?  What’s more important…getting people registered or getting a fee from them?  I think the Chief would agree that the more people who are registered, the safer we are and the more effective the system is.  Right now ,there is a $30 obstacle that is going to piss people off…and I have talked to more than 3.  If I am one…I have talked to more than 2…and people have commented tonight as well.  In the end this is a benefit to the Police Officers more than it is to the residents.  It clears up their in-booth requirements.  Now there is one less thing for them to do because of this system.  I don’t think we should have to pay for that additionally.  We don’t need to fund it now to get it going.  We can get it going without charging anybody anything and we would be  safer for it.”
“We have to pay for it,” countered the Mayor.
“Let’s look at the budget and see if there is money in there,” responded Trustee Kasker.  “Why don’t we cut in half the number of fire hydrants we are planning to replace and not charge the residents and automatically enroll them?”
Trustee Shaw agreed that the money could come out of the fire hydrants.
Following some further discussion, it was agreed that they could pull the expense out of the budget thus eliminating the need for residents to pay for the system.   
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of accepting the revised plan.

Following approval of budget transfers, the Board entered into an executive session to discuss employment matters of a particular person, the PBA collective bargaining agreement and a legal matter.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 17, 2021

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 12, 2021

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 29, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 25, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, October 25, 2021.  All members were present.
The meeting began with three public hearings. 

Public Hearing on Local Law No. 2 of 2021 – A Local Law to opt-out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and on-site cannabis establishments within the Village of Tuxedo Park:
There were no comments from the public and the hearing was closed.

Public Hearing on Local Law No. 3 of 2021 – A Local Law to review site plans in the Village of Tuxedo Park:
Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hanson commented that while she felt that there were elements of the current Planning and BAR process that could use modification, the proposed law is too broad and lacks a mechanism for the Planning Board to refer matters to the BAR when and if they think it is appropriate. While it makes sense in her view  for commercial, educational institution and new home applications to go before the Planning Board as part of their process, the way the proposed law is  drafted all applications with a site plan would be required to go before the Planning Board and she this could be quite cumbersome for those who are just looking to do a renovation.  If the Village is concerned about larger renovations, they could consider adding a regulation pertaining to the expansion of  foundations, but even this might not be worth it in terms of the impact to applicants as the renovate.  Noting that her thoughts and opinions were entirely own and not representative of the Planning Board, Ms. Hanson further commented that it was were understanding that New York State law would require any proposed zooming changes to be reviewed by that board before going into effect.  She suggested that another iteration of what has been proposed would be valuable. 
Jake Matthews commented that recently plans involving the movement of driveways/parking pads had come before the BAR.  He suggested that perhaps this was something that should fall under site plan review. 
In an effort to provide some quick background as to the genesis of the proposed law, Mayor McFadden commented that the Club had recently filed an application involving cut & fill and storm drainage among other things.  In his view, this should have gone before the Planning Board but the way the code is currently written if there is an existing structure on the property that already has a Certificate of Occupancy, the application must go to the BAR.  The Village has been gathering information and feedback from each of the Boards as to what has been proposed and the Mayor feels it is likely that the hearing will remain open to allow more time for comments and possible redrafting. 
Trustee Brooke commented that what was being proposed should not be entirely relegated to the situation at the Club, which was only one example of a relevant issue.  It is his hope that during the review period, the Village is able to come up with the framework where all of the pieces can be netted together to provide a more resident-friendly process for everyone involved.  “We need to have a situation here where Residents can embark on improvements to property where the Boards are not overwhelmed and discretion is afforded to the Building Inspector in many of the issues that should not have to go before a Board.  I don’t understand with the amount of development in this community why the BAR has to meet twice a month.  There’s just not that much going on and there are things that they are considering that they probably should not be considering, such as minor issues.  I would trust that when we look at this law, we look at it in the context of the broader issues which have to do with reallocating powers and delegating more power to the Building Inspector.”
Mayor McFadden agreed with Trustee Brooke, suggesting that they also include a comprehensive review of the Design Guidelines, which are over 15 years old.   Materials in particular have come a long way and there are good synthetic materials that simply did not exist when the Guidelines were written.
Trustee Brooke suggested that they should consider empowering the BAR and the Building Inspector to have discretion over materials and other similar issues.  What he would like to see is a law that is written to provide more power to the people who are running the Village so that Public Hearings and redrafting are not required each time a small change is desired. 
The Mayor noted that the Planning Board had been split into two Boards in 2006, which is when the BAR was created.  The Design Guidelines were subsequently written in 2008 and since that time there have been no changes.  It is time for updates in his view.
BAR Chair Sheila Tralins commented that she agreed with JoAnn Hanson, further noting that she was glad the Trustees were planning to allot more time to consider and make the proposed changes.  The BAR is not philosophically opposed to sharing some of the authority for some of the actions that come before it and they do appreciate that at certain times site decisions intersect technical and aesthetic.  The last thing everyone wants is to complicate the process and require the applicants to attend more meetings while the applications bounce around between boards.  She feels that they need to be very specific with regard to those things that they assign the Building Inspector to take jurisdiction over but generally speaking, she agrees that the Guidelines could allow for changes in materials as well as certain other small projects to be done without requiring BAR approval.
Trustee Kasker thanked both Board Chairs for their comments, which he noted were insightful and helpful.  Regardless of whether or not the law requires it, he would like for the Planning Board to formally consider what is being proposed and provide collective feedback.
Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hanson suggested that in order for that Board to provide productive feedback, they would need to see the next iteration of what is being proposed, after which they would be happy to give a formal, collective comment.
Trustee Kasker noted that Board members do receive a lot of comments about the cumbersomeness of the process and that he hoped that in continuing the hearing more residents would come forward with their thoughts and opinions on creating a more streamlined process that would allow more homes to be built more quickly.
Following some further discussion, the public hearing was continued until November 17.

Public Hearing on Local Law No. 4 of 2021 – A Local Law to revise dock and boat sizes on Wee Wah Lake in the Village of Tuxedo Park:  Mayor McFadden announced that the draft law had not been completed and therefore, they were not prepared to move forward with the hearing.  The Hearing was subsequently opened and extended to November 17.

The regular monthly meeting was called to order at 7:15pm.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden noted that it was nice to be back from his vacation out West.
Reports:
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Construction Report
Click here to view the Police Report
Lakes Committee – Committee Chair Jim Hays reported that the summer season had ended and with it the CSLAP sampling program.  The CSLAP program was run by a number of volunteers from both the Village and the Town.  The majority of the Village volunteers are elderly (one in their early 80s and one in their late 80s) and therefore it is time to bring on some younger Village residents.  Mr. Hays is hopeful that these volunteers will come forward.  Anyone interested should contact Sue Heywood at 845-351-3473.  Over the winter months, Mr. Hays will be analyzing the data and putting together a short report about what it indicates about of the health of the Village Lakes and whether or not the program should be continued in the future.  Last winter Mr. Hays prepared the beginning of a Watershed Management Plan for the Village which made a number of corrective recommendations.  One important recommendation was an analysis of the storm water management system.  This is important because if it can be determined where the water is coming from it can perhaps be determined where the pollutants are coming from and this can perhaps be mitigated in some way. To his knowledge no funds were committed to this effort in the current budget, but if funds could be made available this fail, it is a good time to begin this work.  If not, hopefully funds for this work can be included in next years’ budget. 
Climate Smart Community Task Force – Reporting on behalf of this group, Mr. Hays thanked DPW Superintendent Voss and John Ledwith for their help in gathering data as well as other information to be used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions by Village Government operations for the year 2018, which has been chosen as the baseline year.  Down the line there will be subsequent inventories as well as recommendations to the Board as to how these emissions can be reduced.  Most of the time reductions in emissions equate reductions in spending.  While there may be some upfront costs for this work, ultimately there will be savings and the committee will be able to judge whether the savings justify the costs of the recommendations.  The Task force could use more volunteers. 
On another note entirely, Mr. Hays noted expressed concern over dead trees throughout the Village which are overhanging Village wires.  He noted that O & R had done quite a bit of branch trimming as part of their on-going project, but they had not removed any dead trees that overhang the wires.  He wondered if perhaps they could be convinced to do some of this work. 
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss noted that many of these trees had been identified and were scheduled to be removed.
Trustee Brooke added that O & R had policies in place that prevented them from removing certain tress depending on their size and the direction that they lean.
With regard to his committee reports, the Mayor assured Mr. Hays that he would put out a Village-wide bulletin seeking volunteers.   
Communications Committee – On behalf of Committee Chair Paola Tocci, Mayor McFadden read the following into the record:
On October 1, Sheila Kobrick, Member of the Communications Committee, met with Grant Preston of Crown Castle. Grant Preston showed images of potential fiber build coming from the North end of Tuxedo into the Village. This potential fiber build would extend to the Club and to the Tuxedo Park School. Crown castle will look into providing redundancy on this network which would prevent an interruption of services as a result of an "Act of God" which would bring down power lines. This redundancy would cost more and Crown Castle will provide more details regarding this option.
Crown Castle mentioned that they can also assist with a separate project by working on the DAS(Distributed Antenna System) which would improve cellular service in our area. They will contact their Carrier Group to see if providers are interested in providing cellular service to our area. This system would consist of placing small antennae throughout the area rather than a large cell tower. Some examples of where these antennae would be placed are on the club roof, water tower, etc...to provide improved cell phone coverage for cellular calls in emergencies. Crown Castle believes that having the fiber built into the Village "will be a huge benefit for having cellular carriers interested in providing services in our area".
Another meeting with Cron Castle is being planned for early November.
Police Reform Committee – The police reform committee met on September 15, 2021.  All of the goals laid out in the police reform plan have been met.  Community service initiatives such as the prescription drug disposal, Hope not Handcuffs, Project Child Safe, the addition of Officer complaint and compliment forms to the website and vacant house-checks were also added.  The group also discussed the idea of organizing community/police interaction during events such as Coffee with The Chief and Child Bike Safety.  Suggestions are welcome.  The new security booth provides an automatic gate opener and this was also discussed by the committee.  The next quarterly meeting will take place in December or January. 
Welcome Committee – The Welcome Committee has communicated with all of the active real estate agencies in Tuxedo Park for input on the Welcome Packet.  They continue to develop content for the packet and have been working in conjunction with the Village Clerk (who is also on the committee) to obtain the necessary materials. 
Wee Wah Park Committee – The committee is collecting three bids from professional aquatic management companies for co-management consideration.  All three offer lifeguard services, safety zones, rescue audits, scheduling, programing and event registration, cleaning checks, maintenance & repair status.  They had intended to seek a co-management proposal from the Wee Wah Beach Club, but were surprised to learn that they had submitted a lease proposal for the 2022 season indicating that they are not interested in a co-management proposal.  The committee is also in the process of looking at new designs for the park.  They have two, highly qualified, landscape design architect firms that are very excited to have the opportunity to be involved with such a beautiful project.  They expect to receive preliminary design concept drawings within a few months.  With Board approval it is their intent to choose a winner for the park design and request taxpayer funding for a detailed design and renderings.   In addition, they plan to begin fundraising efforts soon and will keep both the Board and the community appraised of their progress.
Automatic Gate System – Distribution and Payment Plan / Alternate Automatic Gate Opening System Distribution and Payment Plan -  Trustee Kasker reported having met with Chief Conklin to address some immediate concerns he had with the original plan for the new license plate reader/automatic gate system.  If all goes according to the updated plan, non-residents who are employees of Village organizations (TPS, The Club, the Beach Club) and or customers/members of those organizations would pay a $60 fee per year to enter the Village. The technology will allow the Village to limit access during certain parts of the year, and therefore, the billing can take place on a quarterly basis at a rate of $15 per quarter.  So, for example, a parent of a student at TPS, who would only be accessing the Village from September until June, would only have to pay $45 as opposed to $60, while members of the Beach Club would only have to pay $15 for access during the summer months.  Contractors and residents would not have to pay.  Trustee Kasker estimates that this could produce an annual revenue of close to $30,000.  A camera will be mounted on a pole to be installed on the median at the Front Gate.  The current access stickers will be phased out over time.
Trustee Kasker wondered what would happen if the camera were to go down.  Without the use of stickers, how would the Police effective regulate access?
Mayor McFadden responded that the system had manual over-ride and that if the camera were to be out of service for whatever reason, the Police would have to do the best they could to restrict access to the appropriate people. 
Trustee Kasker commented that there are a lot of things that he likes about the system.  In particular, the Village will be able to collect and amass solid data reflecting how many vehicles are  accessing the various locations and when and how many vehicles are entering the Village via the Main Gate vs. the South Gate.  This is valuable information for the Village to have.  That being said, he wondered what the benefit of the system would be to the residents.  “Right now when I pull up to the Gate, it opens and I go home… and with this system, when I pull up to the Gate it’s going to open and I am going to go home.  So what is the benefit for the taxpayers, and in the Mayor’s plan for residents to have to pay a fee to come home,” he wondered.
“We want to increase and improve security in the Village,” replied Mayor McFadden.  “Right now, the standard operating procedure is that one states a name and address that they are visiting and the Gate opens.  This new system requires a license plate, so we expect a large increase in security of non-residents coming through and a less stressful situation on the Police Officers.  In terms of the residents, it’s very obvious what the benefits are.  If your license plate is in the system, you go right through.  You don’t wait.  It would be great if we had a separate lane.  We don’t, but that’s the benefit.  You mentioned the taxpayers.  From the very beginning the system is intended not only to pay for itself, but to build a reserve for a special Safety & Security fund for the Police to administer at the Gates.  In addition to that, every single vehicle that comes through will have to have a license plate registration.”  He went on to explain that there would be an accompanying Ap and that registered users would be able to enter license plate numbers for temporary access or domestic help.  “There’s a lot of flexibility that has been all clearly laid out in the Chiefs memo to the Board,” he noted.
The TekWave system was unanimously approved by the Board at their last meeting.  “That was also going to be paid for by fees,” stated the Mayor.  But when signing the TekWave agreements he discovered that the kiosk that was to be installed at the South Gate was going to cost an additional $8,000 and this, in addition to the high vendor installation price, motivated him and the Chief to explore other options.  As a result, the Board has been presented with an alternative system, which is essentially just a license plate reader.  This new system is both more cost effective and more efficient and therefore the Mayor is suggesting they switch. 
Trustee Brooke wondered where and how the data that was collected would be used.  He stated that he had read an article about a community where a system like this was employed and the data was subsequently run against crime databases and this created discord within the community.  His original support for the system came from the fact that he is all in favor of using technology to dimmish manpower and strain on the Police Department.  He wondered whether the data collected would be solely for use within the Village or if there would be a connection to a larger database. 
Chief Conklin responded that in 2016 the Village had purchased two license plate readers with one installed at each gate.  These are connected to a larger law enforcement database.  When a car comes through the gate, if it suspended by DMV or if somebody connected with that plate is wanted for a crime that alerts the officers and they take police action.  This system has been in effect since 2016 and will remain in effect.  The only database associated with the new system will be an internal server that reads license plates and checks the system to ensure that the plate numbers are approved for access.  The information is not shared with any other databases. 
Trustee Brooke responded by suggesting that perhaps the associated expenses should be picked up by the tax rolls rather than the residents as the Mayor has proposed.  Residents already pay a substantial amount in taxes.  He likened it the Wee Wah Beach Club, referencing a plan (which has not yet been publicly discussed) to provide the Beach Club with $25,000 of taxpayer money to be used for property enhancement and in exchange, all Village residents would be granted access to use the property.      
Trustee Scherer commented that he felt the proposed system made sense from a security prospective.  “Right now, we really have no idea who is coming into the Park, other than people who have tags,” he noted, further suggesting that having all of the data on who was entering where and when would hopefully help the Village to make smarter decisions moving forward.  To the extent that it can create better efficiency, the system should ultimately pay for itself over time.  While he is open to having a discussion about it, he wondered if there was actually a need to charge the Taxpayers.
Mayor McFadden responded that the use of the system would increase security for residents because it would allow them to focus on non-residents.  Additionally, residents will be able to enter the plate numbers of their guests into the system via an Ap, allowing them access without having to stop at the Gate.  Further, the Ap can be set up to alert them when their guest has passed through the Gate.  “For these conveniences there is a cost to implement the system.  There is a man hour cost.  There is a labor cost.  There is an annual fee of $6000 to run the database and so forth. In talking to people, I have talked to they are more than happy to pay a $15-$20 fee for the 3rd and 4th and 5th car as a processing fee.  It’s a one time fee.  So for example, my family would pay for 2 cars….$29.99 per car…one time…for processing to offset the labor cost and the expense of the system.  After that, the third car would be $15.95 and it goes on.  Relatives can now get a tag…it’s a one-time fee.   Everyone except contractors and domestics.  None of those people pay.  I am more than happy to put this out to the public and ask them if they are willing to pay a one-time processing fee and we can use that as feedback.  If they are not willing, we will adjust.  I think the point is that all of us can sit here and speculate.  Anecdotally, people have told me it is no problem…then again it might be.  What I would like to do tonight is just approve Safe Passage and move forward and then in terms of admin, we can kick it around.  I had hoped to have proposals in place in time for this meeting but it did not happen.  That is why we are sitting around now at the last minute debating this.” 
Trustee Shaw commented that what she liked about the Safe Passage proposal is that they would charge by household and not by the number of cars.  She doesn’t feel that those residents who happen to have a lot of cars should be penalized and that if they proceed with charging the residents, it should be by household and that non-residents should be charged by number of vehicles.
The Mayor responded that this was an interesting idea.  He suggested they do a resident survey.  He believes that it is only fair and equitable that those residents who have more cars would pay more of the processing fee, but there is plenty of time for them to go out to the Public.
Trustee Brooke suggested that they should support the system and then tinker with the plan until they found something that would be agreeable for everyone.  Perhaps each family would be granted two cars for free and pay a fee for additional vehicles.
Noting that the plan called for all vehicles entering the Village to be added to the database, Trustee Kasker wondered how this would be enforced.  Would operators of vehicles not in the system be forced to fill out a form upon entry?
Chief Conklin responded that vehicles not in the system will be directed to park in the lot by the Keep and that the officer would come out of the booth with a tablet and vet the vehicle in order to provide a temporary pass.  “Meanwhile if residents come up, the gate is going to open and close for efficiency.” 
Trustee Kasker wondered whether the Chief was in support of the residents having the power to enter guests on an Ap. 
The Chief responded that if this were to become an issue, they could easily disable the service. 
Trustee Brooke commented that if he were to have a bunch of people coming over for dinner, he would not want to have to collect their license plate numbers beforehand in order to allow them access.  He would prefer to let the gate know that he had multiple people coming.
Trustee Kasker noted that he was aware of an HOA that had to disengage this same service because it was being abused by their residents.  “I’ve seen this happen before,” he stated.  “The line of people that are going to have be in process that aren’t registered is going to be an enormous burden on the Police unless this is thought all the way through.  I am not 100% convinced that this is right and I am adamant that unless we have an agreement that residents aren’t going to pay that I am not in favor of this system.  I don’t want to kick this can down the road and say we will talk about it later. I may be the only no vote, but I am a no vote now until I know that residents don’t have to pay a fee. The question is…I show up to come home and I don’t feel like paying a fee…what are you going to do?  Are you going to not let me come in the gate?”
“No, you just can’t come in automatically,” replied the Mayor.  “If you want to be that guy, be the guy!  Whatever…don’t pay.  If the Village decides to charge a fee and you don’t want to pay…you can protest it!  I don’t know.  What do you want me to say?”
“The other thing to think about,” countered Trustee Kasker, “is that all these systems are on HOAs and private businesses.  They don’t have schools and country clubs that can generate revenue.”
Mayor McFadden responded that this was not true, indicating that the one of the references they had called had a Club inside of it. 
Chief Conklin commented that one of the issues that the Village had struggled with for years was getting tags back after residents either moved out or employees of the Club and the School had moved on from those jobs. “There are so many TP stickers floating around out there.  They are like collectors’ items.”
Trustee Kasker pointed out that the stickers had expiration dates. 
Chief Conklin replied that resident stickers never expired and the last time they had been updated was 7 years ago.  “You have those tags floating around out there.  You see them all over the place and it gets confusing after a while.”
Trustee Brooke commented that the suggestion that those individuals who were not in the system would have to park to the side and then have an officer come over and collect information was exactly the sort of thing that would turn him against the system because it was a cumbersome process.  He believes that vehicles should pull up to the gate, provide a name and destination, be photographed and allowed to enter.  This is essentially the way the current system works and he does not want to institute a system that is going to be more cumbersome that what exists.  He believes that they can put in the system as-is and adjust to it, but he wants to be something that is not burdensome to the residents.  “If you are taking somebody like a plumber who has got to go sit and wait to put in all their information…. I’m never going to ask guests who are coming to a dinner party for their license plates…ever!!”
“You do not have to do that,” responded the Mayor.  “If somebody says that they are going to your house for a dinner party and you decide that you don’t want to be somebody that would register their car, they’ll wait and another person who puts their guests in will drive right through when the gate lifts up.” 
“If that’s the way you are seeing it,” stated Trustee Brooke, “I am changing my vote to a no, because that is cumbersome to the police and user-unfriendly to residents.  The current system works reasonably well.”
“No, it doesn’t,” stated the Mayor.
“What are our crime statistics here?” asked Trustee Brooke. 
“We have people coming through and we don’t know who they are,” the Mayor replied.
“What is our crime statistic?” Trustee Brooke asked again.  “What are the numbers?”
“It’s good, but we would like to make it better,” stated Mayor McFadden.
“What are the numbers?  Don’t give me ‘it’s good!’  Give me a God-damned number and I’ll know what investment I want to make to protect our safety.  My sense is that I want this to be a user friendly community.  I don’t want to create hostility towards coming and visiting.  I want to create land values that can go up.  The idea of having people wait while some policeman, who is letting all these cars I, has to break and go down…that is just not constructive for how a community should work.”
Mayor McFadden reiterated that should the officer need to leave the booth to register a visitor, everyone who was already registered would still be able to pass through.
Trustee Scherer reiterated that he was supportive of technology.  That being said, he feels that the issue raised by Trustee Brookes is an interesting one.  There are a lot of parties in the Village and sometimes they are large.  It is not unheard of for somebody to have 30 or 40 guests and he understands the reluctance to ask people for their license plate numbers.  What about individuals who don’t know their license plate numbers because they are traveling by Uber?  He wondered if there might be a work-around to the issue.  The system that they are putting in place should make people’s lives easier and not more cumbersome.  In his view, there has to be a better work around then pulling people off to the side and inputting information via tablet.  The risk is that they would have to pull 15 cars over at the same time as they are arriving at the Village for a party.  “Again, I’m supportive of the system.  I think we are raising valid issues tonight that need to be addressed.  I think that Trustee Brooke raised one that is legitimate and frankly somewhat unique to Tuxedo Park.  We like to have big parties.”
Trustee Shaw noted that she was receiving comments from residents and that she felt there could certainly be a hybrid where residents would register their vehicles and then if they were going to have a party on a given date, they would simply call the gate and tell them that they were expecting a large number of cars.  “As long as they know that there is an event and that people are all traveling to the same location, I don’t see why we couldn’t work it out.” 
Trustee Scherer suggested that perhaps they could develop codewords for specific events. 
Trustee Shaw added that she felt it was “sort of creepy” for residents to register cars that did not belong to them.  “For sure residents should register their cars if they want the automatic gate access and if they don’t want to register, then they will have to stop every time,” she added, reiterating that she felt they could develop some sort of hybrid solution.
Mayor McFadden suggested that there would be residents who were expecting deliveries who would want to be able to enter the appropriate information and then receive a text message when the delivery vehicle passed through the Gate.  He feels there is definitely room for some compromise when it comes to registering for a party. 
Chief Conklin commented that the whole point of the visitor management system was to allow every day guests automatic access via registration.  For a big event, visitors would come to the gate as normal. 
Trustee Brooke noted that if it didn’t work, he would be the first one to recommend that they disable the system and go back to what they had in place previously.  He is very concerned that the proposed system is going to be both cumbersome and user-unfriendly.  Provided that the police work with them to develop a work-around then they can go forward with it.
Chief Conklin noted that the administration of the system had not yet been put in place and that the only thing they were discussing was whether or not the Village wanted to move to this type of a system.  “As far as whether we are going to allow residents to enter guests…that is a decision that the Board needs to make,” he stated. 
Following some further discussion, it was suggested by Trustee Brooke that the Chief was aware of the concerns and that they should accept what was being proposed and moved on.

Public Comments:
Marc Citrin commented that he was speaking on behalf of the Wee Wag Beach Club, primarily with regard to the report that had been provided earlier and specifically pertaining to the reference therein that the Beach Club had submitted a 2022 lease and therefore the committee did not believe it had been necessary to contact them to discuss the possibility of co-management or some other arrangement for the summer of 2022.  “On August 18th I stood before you (Mayor and Trustees) and I asked specifically on the record for the committee to contact me or the President of the Wee Wah Beach Club to begin negotiations with respect to the summer of 2022.  August came and went.  September came and went and here we are in October.  Pursuant to the 2020 lease, the terms required us to submit a proposal for a lease for 2022 by October 31. So, by mid-month, having not heard from the Committee or anybody from the Village to begin the negotiating process, I felt it was necessary to put forward to the Board a proposal with respect to 2022. I am here today to tell the Board that we are still ready, willing and able to engage in substantial negotiations with the Committee or any designee of the Board with respect to a renewal of the license agreement for 2022.  I want to make it clear that the fact that they did not reach out to us was not our fault because we were waiting for a call because we had asked for a call…and that call never came.  So, I would respectfully request that the Mayor, the Board or a representative of the committee reach out to either myself or the Beach Club President Bonnie Takeuchi or Vice President Jennifer Darling to engage in negotiations.”  He further commented that he appreciated the suggestion made earlier by Trustee Brooke with regard to the allowing Village residents full access in exchange for a grant funded by taxpayer money.  Noting that he was not committing to this, he suggested that this was the type of discussion they were hoping to engage in.  “All we ask is that you sit down with us and we begin a conversation so that hopefully we can reach fair and just resolution and renew this agreement for next summer.”
Jake Matthews thanked the Board for their earlier discussion regarding the automatic gate access.  He believes that Trustee Brooke raised some strong points.  “Really, what are the crime statistics here?  I understand that the police force has a very difficult job in vetting everybody that is coming through the gate and there are thousands of trips a month, but if you look at private communities in the area, every one of these communities that has a gate is jammed up in the mornings because contractors are coming through.  If you look at Smoke Rise down in New Jersey or Mansion Ridge up in Monroe…this is a natural scenario when you have a gated community with a rush hour.”  He encouraged the Trustees to think the system through very carefully and if approved to take a close look at how they were going to set it up so that it doesn’t become a burden to both the Police Force and the residents alike.  “There is one channel through that main gate and it is difficult if you are pulling cars to the side.  It’s a small parking area.” Further noting that they had only just reinstated the Booth, Mr. Mathews suggested that to institute another new system right away could be putting a lot on both the residents and the police force.  He implored the Board to proceed carefully and with caution. 
Claudio Guazzoni commented that he wanted to be fully supportive of the Mayor.  He stated that he had been the one to set up the automatic license plate readers back in 2016 and he believes that if the Trustees are  not aware of the crime statistics in the Village, they should have a private conversation with the Police Chief and the Mayor.  “There are TROs out there.  My house has been burglarized.  The Mayor’s house has historically  been burglarized.  We want this to be a safe community.  That someone with tags from two or three years ago that don’t expire is allowed back into the Village does not make it safe for anyone.  So I just want to express my full support for the Mayor here with the automatic gate opener.” 

Consent Agenda:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving all the items on the consent agenda as noted on the published meeting agenda with the exception of the contract for the Gate Opener and with the addition of the expenditure of $2,850 for a new transfer switch for the generator at the Village Office.
Replace Tekwave with Safe Passage as Auto Gate Opener Vendor:
The Board voted 3-1 in favor of making this change with Trustee Kasker voting against. 

Regular Agenda:
Resolution to Pass LL-2 of 2021 – Marijuana Opt-Out – The Board voted unanimously in favor of passing LL-2 of 2021 pertaining to marijuana opt-out.
Resolution Authorizing W&S to Produce Concept Diagram for DPW & Office Relocation- Mayor McFadden noted that he had circulated a list of proposals that the Village has received from their engineers for relocating the DPW & Village Office to a piece of property owned by the Town.  In order for the Village to determine how much land to ask the Town for, they need to have a professionalize analyze the type of layout they will need and how many square feet they will require via a concept diagram.  The lowest price they received for this service was $3,900 and that Mayor would like to move forward. 
Commenting that he was unsure as to how the Town property was currently zoned, Trustee Kasker inquired about the legal process wondering whether they would purchase the property as-is and then re-zone it.  Mayor McFadden responded that the Town would re-zone it.  Trustee Kasker wondered whether the property would be annexed and then re-zoned.  He further noted that the Town was currently updating their zoning code and that he wanted to make sure that the property could in fact be rezoned before the Village invested money into it.   “They are doing a re-zoning,” stated the Mayor, “and they are very much interested in maintaining the baseball field integrity and other areas along that front because they want to zone it for commercial and they see that as a potential way to expand our Hamlet.  If it doesn’t encroach on that, we will be able to discuss it.  It’s a catch-22.  We can’t do that until we know how much land we need.  There is a risk.  If the engineers come back to us and say that we need to encroach into the baseball diamond, it’s a dead deal.”
Trustee Kasker noted that the bottom line was that if they moved forward with this, the Village Office and DPW would become part of the sewer complex.  “The question for the Town is…who is going to build next to a sewer plant anyway, so let’s let the Village do what they want with it,” he stated.    The Board then voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the expense. 
Discuss Retaining W & S to Explore a Grant for a Solar Farm on Village Property for Resale and Credit to the O & R Power Grid – Mayor McFadden commented that he had been thinking about this idea while on his recent vacation and felt that the Village should explore it.  Resident and Candidate for re-election to the Town Board Jay Reichgott also brought up the idea of Hydro and related grants.  Trustee Kasker recommended that they also bring Jim Hays into the conversation.  “We have a lot of Village property that is unbuildable and could be out of the public view,” stated the Mayor.  Trustee Brooke commented that they should explore it but one of the issues would be whether or not O & R was committed to changing policy with respect to buying power from people who have done this.  Trustees Shaw and Scherer were both supportive of the idea. 
Wee Wah Park Committee Contact Drawing – The Wee Wah Park Committee has gone out to several landscape architecture firms to receive some concept drawings for the park in terms of its’ potential.  The Mayor wrote the RFQ.  The companies have been asked to compete and therefore the drawings will be provided at no charge.  The firms have visited the site and the committee anticipates receiving the drawings within a month.  The next step would be to discuss with the Trustees moving forward with one of them and establishing a strategy for moving forward.  Would the Village be willing to pay for this?  Would they be looking for donations?
Trustee Kasker asked the Mayor what the proposed foot print for the project is.
Mayor McFadden replied that currently it was the existing property but if the DPW is relocated the potential is there to expand and add a phase 2 “which would make it spectacular,” he commented.  All of the Trustees were in favor of moving forward.
Discuss Proposed 2022 Revocable License Agreement Presented by Marc D. Citrin on Behalf of the WWBC Executive Committee- Mayor McFadden stated that the WWBC had sent a proposal for the 2022 season.  Noting that the Trustees had all heard both the Committees report as well as Mr. Citrins’ response, the Mayor stated that he felt the situation spoke for itself.  “Personally, I would have preferred that if the WWBC was interested in negotiating that they had made that identification in the cover letter, which they didn’t, but it’s not big deal,” he commented.  His recommendation is that they ask the Committee to interface with the Club to see what they had in mind in terms of negotiations.  He feels they should be open and willing to negotiate with them for next season.  The Village has a number of options and he feels that they pursue them all and that the WWBC should be part of that pursuit.  Trustee Brooke suggested that he could discuss his ideas with Committee Chair Denise Tavani.  He suggested that she should look at what the Club has proposed, mark it up and present it to the Board and they could opine from there.
Trustee Kasker stated that he felt it was in the best interest of the Board to not continue this policy discussion through the budget process.  “Let’s get our crap together, figure out what the solution for the Wee Wah Beach Club is before January when we are knee deep in budget discussion and tax assessments and we have little time and patience for dealing with the WWBC and so we don’t run into what we did last year…where we are trying to launch the summer season and we are still knit-picking over how the Beach Club is going to be run.  60 days…wrap it up…it shouldn’t be that hard.”
Trustee Brooke agreed, commenting that it was a document that they could build on and that they simply move forward and get it done.  “I don’t want to re-build the Wee Wah Beach Club.  There are a bunch of people who want it and they are Town people and Village people and that’s great,” he stated.  “I would like to improve it by making a grant to them and in exchange for that grant creating a simpler system where everybody in the Village is a member..and I guarantee you that there will be greater usage of the Wee Wah Beach Club by the Village if that occurs.”  He stated that he would call Denise Tavani by the end of the week and ask her to interact with Marc Citrtin and they would take it from there. 

Other Business:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting a proposal for a 5-year tax exempt lease purchase of one freight liner M2106 and hydraulic spreader for the DPW at a cost of $148,031 and one police interceptor at a cost of $47,895 with 5 annual payments of $43,260.98 will be made and charged to budget code 3120.22 and $10,815.24 charged to 5130.2, which equates a fee of $32,4445.74. 

The Board then entered into an executive session to discuss the employment matters of three persons as well as an ongoing legal case. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 25, 2021

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VIllage Board to Hold Public Hearings on 3 New Local Laws Monday October 25 @ 6:30pm

On Monday October 25  the Village Board of Trustees will hold 3 public hearings related to three proposed pieces of legislation.


The First (Draft Local Law #2 of 2021) is a local law opting the Village out of allowing retail cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumption establishments within the Village.
The second (Draft Local Law #3 of 2021) seeks to amend the Zoning Code so that the Board of Architectural Review will no longer have any authority over the review and approval of project site plans, placing this responsibility solely in the hands of the Village Planning Board. The third (Draft Local Law #4 of 2021) aims to modify the size of boars permissible on Tuxedo Lake while also enacting further provisions governing the erection of docks and size thereof.  

Copies of the draft local laws can be viewed here:



The meeting will begin at 6:30pm and will be accessible via the Village’s Zoom Room, with an access link to follow.  

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 21, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm.  All members were present.  Trustees Shaw and Scherer participated virtually.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by apologizing for the events that transpired when the regularly scheduled meeting had been hacked the week prior.  He further reported that Chief Conklin had contacted the DA following the incident, but had learned that ultimately the Village was at fault because they had not properly secured the meeting through their zoom settings.  Village meetings are public, and thus the access link must be made available and once the hackers were inside the meeting, they were within their First Amendment rights to say whatever they wanted to, no matter how vulgar.  After the meeting was cut off, the Board approved the consent agenda as well as two other time-sensitive items prior to adjourning.  All other items were tabled and added to the agenda for the Special Meeting. 

New Business:
Approve the Quote for the Automatic Gate Opening System for the Main and South Gates –
Following some discussion with regard to funding, the Board unanimously approved quotes for an automatic gate opening system at both the Main and South gates as well as new vehicle tags for residents.  The costs are as follows:  Main Gate System - $8,820, South Gate System - $11,450,  Vehicle Tags - $23,000.   The system will create the need for new vehicle tags as there will now be active tags and passive tags.  The passive tags are akin to what is currently used, while the active tags will be for residents/property owners and will stimulate automatic opening of the gates.  The active tags cost $10.50 each.  “We believe that re-selling them and marking them up will pay for the system, the tags and potentially a fund dedicated to security at the gates,” stated the Mayor.  This is to be determined by a plan that is forthcoming from Trustee Kasker and Chief Conklin, which will be reviewed and adopted by the Board.  For the purpose of clarification, Trustee Kasker added   “I think tax payers have some obligation to pay for the security.  We do that with the Police Force and  I want people to buy the tags, but I don’t want the Village to profit from the tags.”
Mayor McFadden countered that even if the Village chose not to charge for the tags, the residents would still be paying in the form of their taxes. 
It was agreed that this discussion would be continued once the plan had been presented. 
A member of the public inquired as to why the system at the South Gate cost more than the one at the Front Gate.  Mayor McFadden responded that the system at the South Gate was operated via a kiosk and that it would contain a number of additional features.  For example, when they are expecting guests, residents will be able to log into an APP and enter the appropriate information which will allow their guests South Gate access. 
Air Scrubber Presentation.-  Announcing that he had recently partnered with a company called Polera, VillageAflac representative Joseph Brennan presented the Board with information regarding an air scrubber, which he made operational during the meeting.  The machine is capable of sanitizing all hard and soft surfaces in a 2000 square foot space within one half hour.  It also reduces SARS Covid-19 within 3 minutes air-born after it has been switched on.  It was agreed that the Mayor and one other Trustee would meet further with Mr. Brennan and a representative of Polera to learn more about the equipment. 
Tree Advisory Board – Representing the Tree Advisory Board, Christopher Gow informed the Board on various types of invasive species, both harmful and benign, including Sumac, tree of heaven, devils walking stick and Japanese knotweed among others.  Samples of each were presented as part of the presentation. 
Public Comment:
There was none.

New Business Continued:
Approve the Quote for Upgrading of Security Cameras at Main and South Gates:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving quotes for the upgrading of security cameras at both the Main and South Gates as proposed by Chief Conklin.  The costs are as follows: Main Gate Camera - $4,300, South Gate Camera - $4,000.
Approve New Payroll Vendor Payserve- Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the new payroll vendor Payserve.  The cost of the service is essentially the same as what the Village currently pays, but it is much more efficient. 
Approve the Village Identity Signage for the Main Gate – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving new identity signage to be installed at the Front Gate.  The sign will look much like what was historically there and will cost $3,245.  Click here to view the design.
Discuss Swimming and Other Matters at Wee Wah Lake Park – Commenting that he would like to have a discussion on swimming at the Wee Wah, Mayor McFadden stated that any swimming there requires a permit from the  Department of Health.  The current permit held by the Wee Wah Beach Club has expired.  Additionally, life guards are required, however the Mayor would like to avoid this and instead institute a swim-at-your-own-risk policy.  This would only be possible under certain circumstances and the Village would have to receive a formal exemption from the Health Department.  The Mayor has asked the Village Attorney to contact the Health Department and investigate the exemptions.  “The pros of not having lifeguards are many, including expenses and opening longer hours,” he stated, further inquiring whether the Board would like him to pursue the exemption strategy.
Trustee Brooke suggested that in the absence of lifeguards, swimming should be prohibited.  The park can be used for gathering and BBQ, but swimming is  prohibited unless it occurs during Wee Wah Beach Club operational hours.
Mayor McFadden responded that they could do this, however there are residents who are interested in swimming now and so he was inquiring on their behalf. He asked Brian Nugent, Village Attorney, to further outline the issues.
Mr. Nugent explained that if the Board was looking to have swimming “at your own risk” outside of Beach Club hours ,it would likely require a variance from the Department of Health, assuming the Village holds a permit for a bathing beach. If swimming is prohibited aside from when the Beach Club is operational, then nothing needs to be done as there is already signage posted at the property indicating that swimming is prohibited unless there is a lifeguard on duty.  He added that he could not guarantee that the Village would be able to acquire a “swim-at-your-own-risk” variance, but all the same the Board first needs to decide what it is they want, and then they can pursue it.    If the Village wishes to maintain a beach on the property, they will also require a Department of Health permit and the DOH regulations require lifeguards for swimming. 
For clarification purposes Trustee Scherer asked Mr. Nugent to confirm that if the Village posted a sign that said no swimming without lifeguard and then somebody went swimming anyway and got injured, the Village would NOT be liable, however if they did not post such a sign and somebody went swimming and got injured, the liability would fall on the Village. 
Mr. Nugent confirmed that if there was no signage it was more than likely that the Village would face the risk of liability. 
The Mayor suggested that there was, in his view, precedent for getting a waiver.  “You can currently swim in Pond 3 if you are a resident of Pond 3 year-round, without a lifeguard and at your own risk.  Also if you own property on the Wee Wah, you can swim in the Wee Wah right now at your own risk.  So, what I would hope to ask the Department of Health is, based on that, is there a reason why we need lifeguards for people who would like to swim but do not own property on the Wee Wah.”
Mr. Nugent pointed out that the distinction was the beach.  If the Village maintains a bathing beach, which requires a DOH permit, that is where the regulations come in, but if you are just a lake, without a beach, none of these requirements are relevant.  The beach is what is regulated by the State.
“Swimming in the Wee Wah at this time is one of the most wonderful things in Tuxedo Park,” stated Sally Sonne.  “I have lived here a long time and this is a game-changer!  It is fantastic!”  She further noted that there was a select group of residents who were swimming now utilizing light-weight  buoys to swim into the middle of lake.  They like to access the water via the beach because it is convenient and they can park there.  If they are unable to continue the practice, she understands that they will have to find access from another spot but she is hopeful that it will become something they can do from the beach at their own risk.  “We’re very careful,” she stated.  “We are swimmers and I don’t think anyone would swim there who isn’t a swimmer.  I think it should be almost required to have one of these flotation buoys.  They are really cheap and can be purchased at Amazon.  It is a game changer.  It is wonderful.  The best thing I have done in Tuxedo Park  in all the time I have been here.”   She added that she hoped the Board would do everything they could to make it possible.  “It’s nice to have things in Tuxedo Park that people can enjoy.”
Jay Reichgott commented that swimming along in cold water was definitely a risk in his view.  “Wear something bright so we can find you in the spring,” he joked.  He continued on to say that it was very unclear at the moment what the rules are at the property. “There is a sign that says no swimming without lifeguard.  Very clear.  There are people who are swimming.  There is a use of the Park by village residents and their guests, which is always allowed except when the Beach Club is operating, but there aren’t any rules about what is and what is not permitted at the Park.  For example, are dogs allowed to run free at the Park and who is supposed to clean up after them?   Who is picking up all of the cigarette butts…and all of the other things that go along with a public space? We don’t want to wind up in a tragedy of the common situation where everything goes to hell because everyone is sure that “that guy”was supposed to take care of it. 
It would be useful, especially while this process is in flux, if we have some guidance form the Trustees and the Mayor as to what is and is not proper there.”
The Mayor responded that the park was currently open from sunrise to sunset.  People need to take away their own garbage.  The noise ordinances are in effect.  There is no leash law, but people are supposed to clean up after their dogs.  There is a dispenser at the entrance of the park that provides baggies for picking up dog excrement.  The Board can certainly discuss any further rules and regulations and consider a variety of things such as signage and so forth.  The DPW has been instructed to clean the bathrooms and the Village is stocking them with toilet paper, hand sanitizer and paper towels.  The Bathrooms will remain open until the wintertime, when the DPW will take responsibility for closing them up.  “Right now I don’t see any urgent matters that would cause destruction or harm to the park,” he commented adding that he took Mr. Reichgott’s comments to heart and would look into them.
Trustee Brooke suggested that perhaps the best thing to do would be to install a single sign near the entrance letting people know that swimming was only permitted when life guards were on duty and that they needed to pick up after themselves and their dogs.  One simple set of rules to be agreed upon by the Trustees, signed off on by the attorney and posted.
Mayor McFadden and Trustee Kasker agreed with this suggestion.  With regard to the issue of swimming, Trustee Kasker added that he appreciated both Mrs. Sonne’s and Mr. Reichgott’s comments.  Although there are some obvious dangers associated with it, there are other Village residents who own property there who already doing it and there is nothing the Village could or should do about it.  “We have to let adults be adults,” he stated, reiterating the importance of clear signage. 
Approve payment of $711.02 to Resident Ed Cromey as Reimbursement for a Vehicle Accident with a DPW Vehicle – There was a differential between what was paid and what was unpaid following an accident involving a DPW vehicle and the involved resident, Ed Cromey, is asking the Village to make it up.  The Mayor suggested that the money would come directly out of the DPW Budget and if the DPW Superintendent wished to then address that with the employee in question, it would be his prerogative to do so.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the reimbursement.
Accept Resignation of Police Officer Louis Roman – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting Officer Roman’s resignation. 
Approve a Resolution Authorizing Legal Counsel to Execute Extension of December 23,  2015 Agreement Between The Village of Tuxedo Park, Michael Bruno and Alexander Jakowec -
Mr. Nugent has requested that the BOT pass a resolution authorizing him to extend the MOA. 
The process has been somewhat dragged out and the Village still needs to schedule a joint hearing with the Town of Tuxedo on the annexation petition for the parcels that were to come into the Village regarding Michael Bruno.  Mr. Nugent will work with the Town to try and schedule the hearing at the Town Hall prior to one of their Town Board meetings.  He has been in touch with Mr. Bruno’s attorney, who is agreeable to the extension.  The annexation ties into the acceptance/issues with the roadway that runs along one of the parcels that Mr. Bruno now owns which is outside the Village but adjoining the Village boundary. Part of the deal was that he would Annex this property  (he inherited Tuxedo Farms’ obligation to do so back when they owned it.). Extending the MOA won’t do anything except to allow time for the Village and the Town to schedule the necessary joint hearing which will move the process forward. 
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether the Village had the ability to decide not to sell the paper road at this point, or if it had already been sold.  “Can the Trustees intervene without intervening in the Annexation of the property?” he asked. Mr. Nugent responded  that he would have to look at the specifics of the agreement but that he believed annexation had to occur before that portion of the road could be transferred.  “So, if we were to pass this resolution giving you the option to extend it, would that in any way prejudice a vote by the Trustees not to transfer the paper road?” Mayor McFadden asked.  The answer was yes.  Mr. Nugent recommended that if there was a question of not moving forward with the transfer, that they consider holding off on the extension until he could further investigate/review the agreement.  The Mayor then stated that there were people in the Village who felt that the Village should not be selling the paper road and he did not want to move forward in a way that might prejudice the Village against voting against selling the road.  Ultimately, the Board voted in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the extension subject to an attorney-client-privilege session and confirmation that the Brook Farm Road  parcel does not have to be transferred under the agreement if it is executed. 

The Board then entered into an executive session to discuss possible litigation and the employment of a particular person.

 

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 21, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 15, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, September 15 at 7pm.  Board member Josh Scherer was absent.

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden reported that functionality at the booth continues to improve.  A camera has been positioned on vehicle tags, allowing the officers in the booth to more clearly see them.  This will facilitate better efficiency.  The Board will also be discussing the possibility of an automatic gate opener, much like an EZ Pass System, to be installed at both the Front and Back gates.  The Mayor thanked the Chief and his officers for all of the extra time they have put in on this project, learning the new system and making do with construction while they have been on the job. He also thanked DPW Chief Jeff Voss and his team for the excellent work they have been doing on a series of special projects put in place by the Village and tied to improving the daily quality of life for residents.  Some of this work includes the installation of a Garden at the Front Gate utilizing left over granite from the dam project as well as planters in both the front and back of the booth. 

Reports:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Construction/Building Report
Click here to view the Town Liaison Report

Mayor McFadden commented that should any residents see a gas-powered motor on Tuxedo Lake, they should know that this is the Village Lakes Manager, who has requested permission to use a gas powered motor to conduct his annual survey.  This will cut down on the billable time and therefore the Mayor has authorized it.

On Behalf of The Tuxedo Park Garden Club, president  Bryna Pomp announced that the annual fall plant-a-thon will take place on Saturday, October 5 beginning at 9:30am.  Club members will be In various spots throughout both the Village and the Town including the Front Gate, the Centennial Wall, the Club Triangle, the South Gate, the Post Office, the Library and the Town Hall.  They will be planting both perennials and annuals.  The Saturday prior to Thanksgiving, the Club will be hanging holiday wreaths in both the Village and the Town as well. 
On behalf of the Village Welcoming Committee,  Mrs Pomp reported that the group would be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss implementation of the initiatives that the Village has undertaken in this capacity.  A section of the new Village website has been dedicated to the committee.  With so many new residents in the Village, Mrs. Pomp feels that this could not have been timed better. “Everyone is really appreciative of receiving much of the information that they need to facilitate their lives in the Village from one source,” she stated. 
Mayor McFadden added that the group had also discussed the idea of paying new homeowners a visit for the purpose of introducing themselves and answering any questions they might have.

At this point in the meeting, unidentified  hackers broke in and began spewing a wide array of profanity while broadcasting pornographic images across the screen.  This continued for some minutes before the Village finally disconnected from the meeting entirely. 
After disconnection, the Board voted to approve the items listed on the consent agenda.  They also addressed two time sensitive items including approval for the writing of a Sewer System Operating and Maintenance Manual by our Village Special Engineer Weston & Sampson as required by the EPA and the awarding a vendor contract to install a new valve in the water system on East Lake Road before deciding to end the meeting.  A special meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 21 beginning at 7pm at which time the remainder of the agenda items will be discussed. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting September 15, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 18, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.  Trustee Paul Brooke was absent and Trustee Tinka Shaw joined by Zoom.

Click here to listen to a recording of this meeting

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Public Hearing for Local Law Introductory #1 of 2021 (pertaining to Resident use of the Wee Was Lake) August 18, 2021

The Board of Trustees held a Public Hearing on Local Law introductory #1 of 2021, A Local law to repeal and replace village law § 65-4, rules and regulations applicable to Wee Wah Lake., on August 18, 2021 at 6:45pm.  Trustee Paul Brooke was absent and Trustee Tinka Shaw joined by Zoom.

To listen to a recording of the hearing, click here.  

The public hearing was closed, after which the Board voted in favor of adopting the law, a copy of which can be found here.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 18, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting July 21, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on July 21, 2021.  All members were present.  Trustee Josh Scherer attended remotely via Zoom from Santa Monica, CA.

Mayor’s Comments:
There were none

Reports and Minutes:
The reports and minutes were unanimously approved by the Board.
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Construction Report
Click here to view the Water Report
Click here to view the Justice Repot
Click here and here to view the Treasurer’s Reports

Building Inspector John Ledwith gave an update regarding on-going Engineering projects with Westin & Sampson.  Click here to view this update. 

Mayor McFadden asked DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss to comment on the on-going hydrant flushing project.  Superintendent Voss responded that things were progressing well. The department expects to be done in the Village by Monday, July 26 at the latest and then they will begin work in the Town. 
Trustee Brooke inquired about a recent water leak that had been discovered behind the Gulf Station.  He was informed that a large leak had been discovered at the Service Station line, approximately 450,000 gallons per week.  Fortunately, they were able to locate and repair the issue within two days. 

Public Comments:
There were none.

Old Business:
Discuss Eurasian Watermilfoil Eradication – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor McFadden to sign an agreement with Solitude Lakes Management allowing the use of the herbicide ProcellaCOR in Tuxedo Lake, Pond #3 and Wee Wah Lake to assist with the eradication of Eurasian Water Milfoil.  The schedule will be determined by lakes manager A.J. Reyes of N.E.A.R. in conjunction with Solitude lakes Management and shared in advance with the public.  As Mr. Reyes is working with Lakes Committee Chair Jim Hays to develop a 10-year management plan for the Village lakes, and in deference to this, the herbicide use will only be approved for one year in hopes that they can dove-tail into the long-term plan once it has been completed.
 Trustee Kasker commented that it was his understanding that there was still a permitting process to undergo.  Mayor McFadden concurred, further commenting that Solitude Lakes Management  was currently pursuing the Special Permit required from DEC.  “If this season when we get the permit is not the appropriate time to do the treatment then we will wait until next spring,” he stated.  “The decision will be made when we get the permit.” He further reported that earlier that month, in between meetings, he had approached Trustees Shaw and Kasker for their oral permission to write a down payment check to Solitude Lakes Management so that they could move forward with pursuing the Special Permit as “time was of the essence.”  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of retroactively approving that payment.
Discuss Village Land Use of SECTION 104, BLOCK 1, LOT 34, and totaling 8.6 Acres (otherwise known as the Wee Wah Beach Club & Village DPW Properties) – The Mayor opened the discussion by stating “The idea is to have the attorney draft a local law allowing the Village residents to use the facility during the summer when the WWBC is under lease to that property.  Right now they are mutually exclusive.”  He then read the following resolution into the record: Draft Local Law #1 of 2021 – Use of Village Property: Be it resolved that the Board of Trustees is scheduling a public hearing on Wednesday August 18 at 6:45pm for the purpose of hearing comments on Draft Local Law #1 of 2021. Trustee Kasker commented that it was his understanding the New York State Park Law did not allow exclusive use of parkland anyway so this would likely be a good way to get the Village books in line with State Law. 
Trustee Brooke inquired as to whether or not anybody living in either the Town or the Village had the ability to join the Wee Wah.
Mayor McFadden responded that Town Membership was limited to those who reside in the Hamlet, but anyone living in the Village could join.
Trustee Brooke next wanted to know whether or not the Village would be making a contribution to help improve the facility in exchange for the open access as proposed.
“This could lead to something like that,” responded the Mayor.  “It actually is saying that since the typical hours of the WWBC are 1-8pm, 7 days a week,  Memorial Day through Labor Day, between the hours of 8am-1pm no one in the Village is allowed to use the facility.  So this law is going to revoke that and allow us to have full access…and it sets the stage for discussions with the WWBC for operating next year.  It’s something that we need to do to take this off the books.”
Trustee Brooke wondered whether the allowable hours for the WWBC would change to be in synch with what had been proposed and if they would remain the same.
The answer was that they would remain the same.
The Trustees then voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
Discuss Gatehouse Construction – The booth project is well underway and the Village has received favorable feedback from residents.  In order to counteract the increased costs associated with labor, outdated bids, inflation of prices associated with construction materials, vendor costs and extras, the Mayor requested that the village raise the budget cap from $125,362 to $135,000.  This is necessary because it is evident that they will exceed the previously approved budget amount.  The good news is that taxpayer dollars will not be used as the Village has received donations that cover the overages. 
The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of approving the increased budget.
Trustee Brooke inquired as to whether or not the project had been approved by the Board of Architectural Review.  The answer was yes.

New Business:
Discuss Landscaping of Village-Owned Properties – The Mayor has been meeting with Trustee Shaw, Building Inspector John Ledwith, DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and others to discuss potentially doing some work at Village-owned property at the south end of Tuxedo Lake.  They were thinking maybe it would be nice to put a small, environmentally friendly park there where one could sit and rest while walking around the lake, or potentially have a small picnic, etc.  There is nothing to vote on at this time, but the idea is being considered and the Mayor is looking to get some public input.  They are also looking at and discussing the upkeep of Village-owned triangles.  Additionally, they are looking at replacing guiderails along West Lake Road just past its intersection with Eagle Mountain Road.  The current guiderails are made of metal, are quite old and in questionable condition.  The Village is considering replacing them with timber rails, similar to the ones along Tuxedo road.
Audrey Perry inquired as to whether or not taxpayer money would be utilized for the triangle upkeep, further noting that historically the Tuxedo Park Garden Club had taken care of this task and it had been funded via donations. 
Mayor McFadden responded that the work is currently done by the DPW so there would be no use of taxpayer funds,  but they would love to work with the Garden Club on any of the aforementioned projects.  He suggested that initial contact with the Club had already been made but was unsure as to what the outcome of that had been.    
Mrs. Perry suggested that they get in touch with Father Rick Datos-Robyn who is the current Garden Club Chair.
With regard to the proposed park at the south end of Tuxedo Lake, Mrs. Perry reported that Garden Club historically considered a similar initiative however there were members of the Club who were against the idea due to the number of people who might come through the back gate and use it.
Mayor McFadden responded that this was definitely a valid  concern, reiterating that the idea was only in the discussion phase and that security was certainly an important issue that would have to be considered.

The Board then adjourned into an executive session for the purpose of discussing the employment of a particular person, the DPW bargaining agreement and public safety.

 

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Village Board of Trustees Annual Reorganization Meeting July 21, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees held their annual reorganization meeting on Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30pm.  All members were present.  Trustee Joshua Scherer attended remotely via Zoom from Santa Monica, CA.

The meeting began with the ceremonial swearing in of newly elected Judge David Hasin and Trustee Paul Brooke.

The Mayor then briefly read through the proposed appointments and designation categories.  There were no objections from any of the Trustees.

The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the appointments and designations.

Click here to view a detailed  copy of what was approved.

 

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Agendas for Village Board of Trustees Reorganization and Regular Monthly Meetings July 21, 2021

Click here to view the Reorganization agenda

Click here to view the Regular Monthly Meeting agenda

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Village Lakes Discussion with AJ Reyes of N.E.A.R June 24, 2021

Click here to listen to a recording of this presentation/discussion

Click here to view a copy of the visual presentation along with the Q&A

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 16, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom. 
Trustee McHugh was absent

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking soon-to-retire Board members Paul Gluck and Alan McHugh for all of their hard work on behalf of the Village further noting  that each of them had brought unique skill sets to the table and that their shoes would be difficult to fill.  He then congratulated the Board members elect Josh Sherer and Paul Brooke as well as Judge Hasin, commenting that he was looking forward to working with everyone and accomplishing good things for the Village.

Reports and Minutes:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Construction Report

On behalf of Town Board Liaison Michele Lindsay, Trustee Gluck reported the following:
There will be a Tuxedo Arts and Music event this coming Friday (June 18)  from 6-8pm in the Train Station.  A number of talented, local artists have been painting a variety of historical structures and landscapes around Town this week and this culminates in Friday evening’s event where the artwork will be on display and guests can meet the artists and also purchase the paintings if they are so inclined.
There will be a meeting of the Tuxedo Farms LDC on June 24 at 10am.  This meeting will address the Hamlet sewer system.  Village residents who are hooked into that system are encouraged  to attend.
Lastly, Supervisor English is currently in discussions with Related and other parties regarding Tuxedo Farms and moving forward with some variation of the project.  These discussions remain on-going.
The Mayor asked Trustee Gluck if he could elaborate on this, particularly as it pertained to a new configuration of the project, wondering if the property would be zoned for the same use.
Trustee Gluck responded that while he was not privy to the discussions, as he understood it there have been conversations about some other configuration for the project moving forward.  Time has marched on and the way it was originally proposed may no longer be workable or appropriate.  Current discussions are focused on what another configuration might look like and how it would satisfy the growth needs of the Town while remaining attractive to a developer. 
Mayor McFadden replied that this was the first time he was learning of this and he considered it to be a real “eyebrow raiser.”  He openly wondered what direction they might be going in, how it would affect the Village, whether there would be additional Planning Board or SEQR requirements and if there would be a change to the density or the zoning.  He pledged to gather information and make a report to the community as soon as possible to the extent practical. 
Trustee Gluck commented that he felt this had been in the public purview for some time, with open discussions at the Town Board meetings about how things might move forward.  He does not feel there is anything new at this point in time.
Trustee Kasker asked Board attorney Nugent for confirmation that any subdivision layout changes would require a public hearing. 
Mr. Nugent responded that either an amended or new site plan approval would be needed and that the applicant would have to go before the Planning Board.
Trustee Kasker thanked Mr. Nugent adding that he didn’t think they should make any assumptions about what might be going until it has risen as a formal application or change. He cautioned that nothing is certain until it Is actually put on paper and put before a public body.

Consent Agenda:
Trustee Shaw asked to remove item “I” pertaining to the Wee Wah Beach Club’s request to replace their playset.
Trustee Gluck asked to remove the approval of the police Department rules and regulations as he had not had enough time to review it and therefore intended to abstain, but did not want to have to abstain on the entire consent agenda.  This item was tabled.
Approval of the interceptor financing for a truck purchase was removed and tabled.
An item authorizing the Mayor to sign the DASH harvesting contract was removed because the contract has already been signed.
The rest of the consent agenda was approved unanimously. 
There followed a conversation about the proposed playset at the Beach Club. Trustee Shaw commented that what had been proposed appeared to be a residential set and she wondered whether this was permitted for a park under the Village code. 
Trustee Kasker responded that there are regulations that cover parks and the Villages subsequent duties in terms of inspections.  He suggested that so long as the Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector felt that the proposed set was suitable, they should defer to his judgement.  The Board then voted unanimously to approve the playset. 

Public Comments:
There were none

New Business:
Request of Wee Wah Beach Club to Extend Membership – The Wee Wah Beach Club has requested permission to expand their membership beyond the 2019/2020 membership lists as previously negotiated. 
Trustee Kasker noted that he did not have any issues with what had been proposed by the Beach Club Board.
Trustee Shae disagreed, suggesting that she felt the Beach Club was “picking and choosing” their membership and if they were to let a select group of people in they would ultimately have to let everyone in.  She feels they should stay with what was negotiated. 
Trustee Gluck agreed with Trustee Shaw, noting that the Board had undergone extensive and lengthy discussions on this topic during the negotiation process.  “it’s a little disappointing to see this revisited so shortly after we competed the agreement,”  he stated, further noting that he meant no disrespect to anybody who was on the list of prospective memberships or to anybody else,
Mayor McFadden agreed with Paul and Tinka, stating that he felt they should have restricted the membership to the 2020 list and utilized the North Gate for traffic purposes.  He further suggested that if they were to allow this group of people to join, there was no guarantee that the Beach Club would not come back next month with another list. 
On behalf of the Beach Club Marc Citrin commented that they understood that the negotiations had been extensive and although there had been some dissatisfaction expressed by members of the Board, they were pleased to be able to operate.  The Club also appreciates the Board’s approval of their expenditures  to make improvements to the property.  With that said, they believe that allowing for an additional 8 memberships form the Town would not be an overreach for the Beach Club.  Noting that he understood based on the comments that had been made that proposal would likely not pass, he further stated that the Beach Club would like to continue the discussions when meeting with Trustee Shaw and her committee when discussing the future of the Beach Club through next year and beyond.
In the interest of clearing the record, the Mayor responded that a committee lead by Trustee Shaw had not yet been established. 
Mr. Citrin replied that they were prepared to meet whenever the committee was assembled and ready. 
Mayor McFadden asked Mr. Nugent to speak to the issue of possible discrimination as raised by Trustee Shaw. 
Mr. Nugent responded that the type of discrimination they were talking about was not really a category of discrimination.  Rather it is based on prior membership dates and is not a protected class.  The Village has it within their power to set a number for these categories and memberships.  He suggested that rather than being discriminatory, the question was whether or not it was arbitrary in deciding which individuals would be offered membership.  This is a matter for the Village to decide. 
The Board then voted 3-1 against allowing the new memberships.
Signage – There was a brief discussion about Village Signage, but ultimately the discussion was tabled.

The Board then entered an executive session for the purpose of discussing the employment of a particular person, DPW contract negotiations and several water & sewer customers.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 16, 2021

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 24, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 19, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking all of the Village employees for their hard work in assisting him with closing out the budget as well as the booth construction project and DPW bargaining agreement negotiations.  “You really bring so much to the table,” he stated.  “It wouldn’t be the same community without you.”

Monthly Reports:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department Report
Click here to view the Water Department Report
Click here to view the Treasurer’s Report

There were no questions or comments on the reports.

Public Comments:
Jim Hays inquired about the on-going Orange and Rockland project.  He wondered why raising the wires by 10 feet was an advantage and further whether or not customers could expect a rate increase as a direct result of the infrastructure upgrades.
Mayor McFadden responded that the utility company has indicated that they were spending quite a lot of money on damages related to falling trees and that this investment will make it such that they will not need to come in as frequently for repairs.  Raising and strengthening the wires in combination with tree trimming, should also drastically cut down on the number of blackouts and brownouts in the Village.  There has been no association with the rates.  There is information about the project posted to the Village website and in addition the Mayor offered to send Mr. Hays information as presented by O & R about the project at previous Village meetings.   Mr. Hays responded that this would not be necessary, but further noted that he was skeptical about the project. 
On behalf of the Tree Advisory Board Chiu Yin Hempel announced that on Saturday June 5 there would be Spring Celebration to which everyone in the Village will be invited.  The event will be hosted by both the TAB and the Tuxedo Park Garden Club and will feature guided walk-and-talks along the meadow paths in the Race Track from 10-11am followed by a tree planting ceremony in honor of all he Race Track Nature preserve Stewards, recently retired Village Clerk Debbie Matthews and Coco Labar of the DPW and soon-to-retire Advisory Board Liaison Alan McHugh to thank them for contributing to the success of the preserve and for encouraging the planting of trees.  This will be followed by a Peony picking garden party at the Maxwell Family garden on Summit road.  Email invitations will be going out shortly.  In addition, the TAB is seeking BOT approval to replace the current notice board with a more appropriate one and to install an additional notice board at the north entrance of the preserve.  There will be no cost to the Village.  Images of both the current board and the new ones were presented for review.
Trustee Kasker inquired as to whether the new notice board at the main entrance would be installed in the same location as the old one.
The answer was yes.
Commenting that he was sure it would be ok, he further noted that there were a lot of signs at that particular intersection including a historic marker, a do not enter sign, a stop sign and a one-way sign among others.  As the proposed notice board is larger in size he suggested that they should put some thought into its placement considering the area was already somewhat cluttered with signs that were less aesthetically pleasing and in his view do not reflect the historic nature of the Village.  He recognizes that many of the aforementioned signs were transportation type signs but he feels there are some better alternatives and this new sign, while beautiful, would be one more thing to look at amidst the sign clutter. 
There followed a discussion about the historic marker.  Trustee Kasker asserted that it had been installed on a curve too close to Tuxedo Road, which is in his view a dangerous location.  Additionally, he has some concerns with the aesthetics, particularly the sign pole. 
Mayor McFadden noted that he had received a call from a resident who wondered whether the historic marker would have any bearing on the public’s ability to access the site and the impact that might have on the Village gates.
The idea of relocating the sign was considered, with Trustee Gluck suggesting that perhaps they should tie the approval of the proposed message boards to a plan to relocate the marker. 
Mrs. Hempel stated that the TAB would be willing to move the notice boards further into the Race Track in order to ensure that they were not visible from the roadway.  They would like to install them prior to the June 5 event.
Following some further discussion, the Board unanimously approved the installation of the new message boards and it was agreed that Trustees Kasker and Gluck would meet with members of the TAB to discuss possible relocation of the historic marker. 

OLD BUSINESS:
Resolve to approve CCTV work to be performed on the Pond No: 3 sewer line as a recommended by W & S – There was a lengthy discussion with regard to the proposed project and whether or not it should be put out for competitive bid.  Trustee McHugh also expressed concern at not having received any updates pertaining to the Villages  SPDES permit and compliance issues.  He believes these items must take priority above all else.
  Stating that he had no issues with the concept of competitive bidding, Mayor McFadden expressed frustration that the Trustees had waited until “that last minute” to suggest it, further commenting that the information had been before them for months and that the bidding process would slow the project up substantially.  Trustee Shaw suggested that perhaps Westin and Sampson could re-bid it out to their subcontractors in hopes of procuring a better price, which would alleviate the need to develop an RFP and should speed the process up. 
“If we are going to buy a new police car, we don’t go to the dealership that we use the most, let them describe their price and then go with it,” Stated Trustee Kasker.  “If we are spending $50,000 + on a police car, we get additional bids.  I look at this as analogous to that.  Westin and Sampson is recommending that they sub out the work for $63,000 to CCTV some  pipes.  I don’t think we go to Westin and Sampson and ask them for another price.  We go to another engineering firm and ask them how much they would charge to do the scope of work that Westin and Sampson already wrote for us, which we already paid them for.”
Trustee McHugh agreed, commenting  that as Village fiduciaries it was their responsibility to go out to competitive bid in order to ensure that they were getting the best and the most reasonable service for the lowest price. 
When asked for his thoughts by the Mayor, Building Inspector John Ledwith noted that it had been extremely difficult for the Village to locate areas in the system where there was inflow and infiltration and being that they had found some, he felt they should try to resolve the issues expeditiously without too many additional studies.
Mayor McFadden then suggested that Mr. Ledwith reach out to the engineer to see if he was available to join the meeting and answer some questions, which he did.
Once Westin and Sampson was on the line, Trustee McHugh inquired about the status of the work to alleviate the SPDES permit violations and subsequent DEC compliance issues.  He was informed that this work was substantially complete.  The project was successful overall and they will be providing a report shortly to both the Village and the DEC.  Next steps were then briefly outlined and discussed.  Next, the discussion turned back to the estimated cost of the CCTV project and the concept of competitive bidding.  After a detailed review of the proposed costs, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of moving ahead with the project with Trustee McHugh voting against due to the lack of a competitive bidding process. 
Resolve to approve GIS & Mapping & Engineering Fees -  The first part this project entails the Village DPW locating catch basins throughout the Village and determining their interconnectivity.   This must be done before the engineers can do their GPS work.  Having the DPW complete this initial task, as opposed to using a subcontractor, will save the Village money.  Trustee Gluck suggested that prior to approving the project and engineering fees, the DPW should complete their portion of the work.  If the DPW is unable to determine interconnectivity, they may have to rethink the process. He further suggested that the project seemed a bit pricey in his view at $20,000 given the amount of work that the DPW had to complete first and that in his mind this might not be the best use of Village funds at this particular point in time.    The Engineer responded that if the DPW were to be unsuccessful in locating a substantial amount of the system then they would not mobilize but would rather reengage in discussions.  Following some further discussion, the topic was tabled and it was agreed that the Mayor, Trustee Shaw and Building Inspector Ledwith would meet to further discuss with the intent of bringing something more solid before the Board at their next meeting. 
Next Trustee McHugh asked the engineer to provide a brief overview of the water controls that were installed at the water plant and the reason behind them. 
The engineer explained that the primary control panel that operates the water treatment plant, which is the Village’s drinking water, was antiquated and outdated.  There were a number of computer cards that were failing and the DPW was no longer able to get parts.  Working in concert with the BOT, they determined what was needed and put together a bid package.  This past week a new control panel was installed and things have been transferred over successfully.
Resolve to Approve the WWFC Licensing Agreement for the 2021 Season – Mayor McFadden opened the discussion by reporting that he had successfully negotiated an increase in the licensing fee up to $1000 as well as a $500 donation for milfoil mitigation.  Additionally, there had been some discussion with regard to reverting to the 2020 membership and there was give and take on this issue.
Trustee McHugh commented that his issues with the WWFC highlight the issues with the Wee Wah Beach Club.  In looking at the membership of the fishing club, there are 70 members of which only 8 are village residents.  The Beach Club also has 60 non-Village residents.  “I really don’t understand hoe we have an uproar about the Wee Wah Beach Club and not the fishing club when you have a disproportionate amount of people from the Village not being members there.  The Fishing Club is year round and the Beach Club is only open for 4 months.  So ,I am baffled by this whole thing.  We have not advertised or asked for resident input with regard to this, but the issues with traffic and everything are even more germane with regard to the Fishing Club over the Beach Club.”
The Mayor responded that the difference was that the conversation surrounding the Beach Club pertained to who managed Village property and whether people want to invest in it or not while the Fishing Club conversation did not.  He further suggested that in his opinion the two clubs should share the cost of utilizing the North Gate for their non-resident membership.
Trustee Gluck asserted that he did not feel they should get into this discussion again, further commenting that he was happy to welcome the fishing club.  Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the agreement.

NEW BUSINESS:
Consent Agenda – The Board approved the following items in one motion as part of the consent agenda:

  • Resolved to accept resignation of Part-Time Police officers Joseph Saetta, (effective
  • immediately), Vincent D’Amato (effective May 20) and Brian Benjamin (effective
  • May 16)
  • Resolved to approve request to hire Part-Time Police Officer Johnny A. Gonzalez
  • Election Day, June 15, 2021: Resolved to approve Chris Moog as a Table Inspector
  • to take the place of Jennifer Weiss who had to cancel. Payment is $225 for the day.
  • Election Day, June 15, 2021: Resolved to approve Linda Hackett and Skip Briggs as alternate Table Inspectors if there are more cancellations. Rate of pay is $225 for the
  • day.
  • Election Day, June 15, 2021: Resolved to approve Jim Pearson as an alternate
  • Machine Operator if there is a cancellation.
  • Resolved to appoint Campbell Langdon to the Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) to replace the Hold Over seat of member Mary Darby. The appointment term is through 6/30/2025.

Trustee McHugh noted that they had seen a lot of part-time police officers leave and he inquired of Chief as to where their numbers were and the level of success in terms of filling the void.
Chief Conklin responded that although the number of part-time officers had decreased from 20 to 17 , all of the officers currently working were pulling a minimum of 2 shifts per week and that the department was doing well.  He anticipates hiring one more officer next month, after which they should be fully staffed. 
Following a brief discussion regarding the proposed budget transfers, the Board entered into an executive session to discuss the DPW Bargaining Agreement, legal matters, and the employment of a particular village employee.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 19, 2021

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting & Budget Workshop April 28, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday, April 28 at 3pm via ZOOM  for the purpose of discussing the lease agreements for the Wee Was Beach Club and the Fishing Club as well as to conduct a budget workshop. All members were present.


There was a lengthy discussion regarding the management of the Wee Wah Beach Club.  Mayor Mcfadden proposed a new system of management under which the Village would assume management of cash disbursements, Village funds, memberships, and improvements while the Beach Club would be responsible for day-to-day operations.  Ultimately this plan was rejected by the majority of the Board and an amended version of the lease agreement, negotiated with the Beach Club  by Trustee Gluck the week prior, was approved.

Click here to listen to a recording of the discussion in full.

The discussion regarding the Fishing Club lease was tabled.


The lease discussions were followed by a budget workshop which resulted in the Boards' approval/adoption of the 2021/22 budget.  It is expected that a copy of the approved budget will be posted to the Village website in the near future.

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Notice of Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting & Budget Workshop April 28, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Public Hearing and Regular Monthly Meeting April 21, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, April 21 at 7pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Click here to listen to a recording of the public hearing

Mayor’s Comments:
There were none

Monthly Reports and Minutes to the Board & Public:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the Water Department Report
Click here to view the Building Department Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Treasurer’s Reports

Public Comments on Reports, Old and New Business Items:
With regard to the Wee Wah Beach Club, Jay Reichgott commented that he felt the question of who should run the facility was a good topic for discussion however, he expressed concern with the timing.  With the swimming season just 6 weeks away, even if things were to operate as they always have in the past, management would have to scramble in order to pull things together for a timely, Memorial Day opening.  Were the Village to take over management of the Club, there would surely be a somewhat substantial learning curve involved and this would likely delay the opening.  This begs the question ‘when is the best time to enact change?’  He suggested that the Village should allow the Club to operate this year as it always had and then begin a more in-depth conversation about the future in the fall of 2021.
Mayor McFadden thanked Mr. Reichgott for his constructive comments.
Elizabeth Cotnoir stated that she agreed with Mr.Reichgott, further suggesting that it was much too close to the Club’s opening date to effectively institute major change.
Mary Graetzer commented that she whole-heartedly agreed with this sentiment.  Making the kind of changes that have been proposed would require many careful conversations and, in her view, 6 weeks before the Club is supposed to open is not the time to have them.  The Wee Wah Beach Club as it currently exists has been consistently managed in the same way for the last 87 years and for many, to have Village take things over entirely, would be perceived as a loss and in turn a blow.  If there is a way that the Village can invest and make things cheaper for the Club and its members, she wondered why they wouldn’t just do it and leave the management as it is.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to why the change might be perceived as “a blow” to some.
Mrs. Graetzer replied that the perception for many of the Town members was that the Village and its residents did not believe the current management to be competent enough or good enough at running the Club successfully.
Mayor McFadden made a comparison between the Beach Club and the Village Boat Club, an organization run by Village taxpayers.  He noted that the Boat Club had been successful in contributing to the improvement of the facility.  They have paid for their own docks, the maintenance there-of and the installation of a stone wall along the water’s edge all on their own accord.  On the contrary, he suggested that the Beach Club “hasn’t even offered a dime for improvement of the space.”
Mrs. Graetzer responded that this was not true and that over the years the Beach Club had offered and paid for many improvements to the property including refurbished bathrooms, playground equipment, picnic tables, grills, benches, landscaping and more.  Additionally, they annually undertake a clean-up of the property, where members gather and work to clear sticks and brush and refuse both prior to and post operating season.  For the past few seasons, a variety of reasons such as low levels in the lake and Covid-19 have negatively impacted the Club’s membership, which in turn makes it impossible for them to afford any major property enhancements.
The Mayor responded that he had been judging the lack of effort based on what he saw currently and what had seen since becoming an elected official.  He further indicated that he was disappointed in the Club’s offer of $1,000 to lease the property, which is in his view very low.  The Village spends quite a bit of money on Wee Wah with Milfoil maintenance and the employment of a Lakes Manager.  He further suggested that he felt that some of his negotiations with the Club had been misrepresented.  He believes that his initial offer (which he would be happy to put back on the negotiating table) was a win/win for everyone involved.  Under that proposal, the Village would take control of both the finances and the physical property, immediately investing $5-$10,000 into improvements while the Beach Club would continue to manage the things on a day-to-day basis.  “If we take it on,” he continued “the membership would probably have to adjust to the fact that it may not open on Memorial Day and so forth.  There would be a definite learning curve, but we have to consider what has been offered to us on the table.  There is potential of a resident donating money to a Village managed Club.”  When Mrs. Graetzer inquired about the issue of Hamlet membership, the Mayor replied “The fact of the matter is that any three members of any Village Board…past, present or future….could eliminate the Hamlet membership by a vote.  There is nothing in the local law that prevents that.  So, whether the Beach Club is running the facility or the Village runs it, the security is no different.”  He added that there was also a clause in the lease agreement which acknowledged that at any time during the season, the Trustees could shut down the Club with a vote.  He reiterated his belief that his initial proposal was a win/win and further noted that along with it he had offered a 5-10 year guarantee of the current Hamlet membership, but that this had been rejected by the Beach Club for reasons unknown to him. He then explained that there was a potential offer of $100,000 from a Village resident and that if they were able to secure that money it would allow the Village to hire a beach manager to assist with everything.  He doesn’t understand why people seem threatened by the idea of this.  In his view, the Beach Club is located on Village owned property that is underutilized in terms of its potential.  Not only should the leasing amount be greater than $1,000, but that the Club should also be asked to put forward a commitment to improve the property in the amount of $2-5,000 annually.
Mrs. Graetzer responded that while she understood what the Mayor was saying, she felt strongly that the kind of changes being considered should not be made quickly. She suggested that they should allow things to remain as they have always been for one more summer and then formally begin the conversation in September when everybody can understand and agree without the pressure of trying to get things up and running quickly.
Aoife Clarke agreed with Mrs. Graetzer.  She feels both sides are getting quite heated and fears that the restructuring debate could  inhibit the Club’s ability to open on time.  She acknowledged that some people in the Park were concerned because they paid taxes on the Village owned land while many in the Hamlet were in fear of having their membership revoked.  She implored the Board to wait until the Fall to continue discussions of restructuring.
Jenn Darling identified herself as the Vice President of the Beach Club’s executive Board.  She stated that it was entirely unfair for the Mayor to suggest that the Club had not made any improvements to the property.  They recently replaced the floating dock at an expense of $5,000.  Last year they had money set aside and had intended to replace the playground structure, but were required by the Village to spend several thousand dollars for a Police Officer to man the North Gate on weekends so that non-resident traffic, totaling roughly 10 cars per day, could be diverted.  She further asserted that the Beach Club had not rejected the Mayor’s proposed 5-10 year guarantee of the current Hamlet membership.  Rather, she explained, they had told him that  they believed that there was not enough time to properly analyze things and carefully work through all of the details prior to opening for the summer.  She noted that the reason the $1,000 lease amount had been proposed is because that is the amount that has historically been in the budget.  The Club very much wants to enhance the property and it is their intent to install a playground there, which would in turn be dedicated to the Village.
Speaking to last year’s requirement that non-resident members access the Beach Club via the North Gate on weekends, the Mayor defended the rule, suggesting that 10 cars per day made a combined 20 trips down the Causeway, and this constituted preventable wear and tear and on the roads in his view. 
Mr. Reichgott asserted that Wee Wah Beach Club only occupied the property for 3 months out of the year and for the other 9 months it was a Village Park.  He believes it is not unreasonable to expect that the Village would fund the maintenance of the property in much the same way they do the Racetrack Nature Preserve.  He feels that the Beach Club should be asked to  provide maintenance and enhancements only to those areas that are utilized exclusively by the Club.
Mayor McFadden countered that unless they joined the Beach Club, Village residents were unable to swim there during the summer months.  He suggested that he had even considered the idea of opening a separate Club for Village residents, to be operated during the AM hours before the current Club opened for the day.
Beach Club President Bonny Takeuchi provided the Board with some historical perspective, which outlined in some detail how the Club had come to be on hard times.  For decades the Beach Club an enjoyed a robust membership of 250 annually.  The Club paid the Village $5,000 to lease the property and the two entities coordinated, working hand-in-hand together to fund many improvements.  When the Village commenced work on the Wee Wah Dam repairs, the water level in the lake was drastically reduced, which had an unfortunate effect on the swimming area and the diving board had to be removed as a result.  Additionally, water quality questions surrounding the fish kill in 2012 and algae blooms in the lake as well as the increasing presence of Eurasian Water Milfoil had a direct impact on the ability for members to swim at varying times over the years.  There was one season when swimming was not permitted at all.  Under these circumstances, the Beach Club membership began to decline.  With fewer memberships, the Club has had less money to invest in the property.  Last season proved to be especially taxing as they had to hire a Covid-19 monitor, purchase a fair amount of Covid related equipment and cleaning supplies, and pay an officer to man the North Gate on the weekends.  The Club estimates they spent approximately $9,100 on these things, which is money they could have otherwise invested in the property. 
The Mayor responded by apologizing and noting that he wanted to formally “walk back” his comment about the Club not investing in the property, which he had based on his own personal, more recent experiences there. He further wondered whether it would be “that bad” if the Village were to take it over so long as the current Hamlet membership was retained.
Mrs. Takeuchi responded that the current Hamlet membership was limited as the Village had not allowed the Club to admit new members from the Hamlet for several years.  Of the 74 Hamlet members, more than 1/3 of them are over the age of 70.  She suggested that there are new families living in the Hamlet who might enjoy membership.
Changing the topic entirely, Claudio Guazzoni congratulated the Board on completing the budget process, thanking them for all the time they had invested into the long, arduous process.  He is “a little annoyed” that taxes will likely be going up and is hopeful that next year they can work a bit harder to either keep taxes steady or decrease them.
Mayor McFadden thanked Mr. Guazzoni for his comment, further noting that Board members and department heads had worked very hard to create a budget that came un under cap.  As time goes by, costs do increase but he believes they have done a responsible job of budgeting and is pleased to see monies being set aside for critical infrastructure and engineering projects.  That being said, he noted that there is always room for improvement.

Trustee Updates:
Trustee Gluck reported on two upcoming Webinar events which have been sponsored by the Tuxedo/Tuxedo Park Climate Smart Task Force.  The first is a Recycling Webinar entitled ‘Today’s Recycling Market and Best Practices’ which will take place on April 22 at 7pm and the second a Webinar focused on Climate Change entitled ‘Climate Science and Solutions’ presented by C-Change Conservations on April 28 at 7pm.  Both programs can be accessed via the Town’s WebEx portal.   

Consent Agenda:
Before approving the consent agenda, the following two items were extracted and briefly discussed:
Resolution to Waive the Building Permit Fee for Painting Applications – Building Inspector John Ledwith explained that as there was little-to-no engineering, architectural or legal work involved with a change in paint color, it was recommended that the permit fee be waived for applicants.  Although there will be no associated permit fees, these applications will still have to go through the appropriate BAR process. 
Resolution to Approve to Purchase of a New Police Vehicle – Chief Conklin explained that there had been an “unforeseen event” with one of the current vehicles when it was brought in for service and discovered that the engine was in need of costly repairs.  The vehicle is old and out of warrantee and it will likely cost more to keep repairing It over time than it would to move forward with a new one. 

Following these discussions, the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

New Business:
Discuss the License Agreement Between the Wee Wah Fishing Club and The Village – The Club has submitted a proposal, which has been circulated to the Board.  The Mayor has scheduled a tour of the facility and would like to discuss with them the idea of repairs as well as contributions to lake maintenance.  Trustee McHugh noted that the Club had paid to stock the lake and had worked in conjunction with the DEC to do so.  Additionally, they financed repairs to the dock. He recommended they table their decision until the next meeting which would allow time for the Mayor and any interested trustees to visit the facility and clarify and questions they might have.  Following some further discussion, it was agreed that this is what would be done. 
Discuss The License Agreement Between The Wee Wah Beach Club and The Village & The Offer of a $100,000 Donation Organized by a Resident for a Village Managed Beach Club That Would Include Last Year’s Hamlet Members and Village Residents for the 2021 Season- Mayor Mcfadden invited each of the Trustees to comment. 
Trustee Shaw indicated that she felt the proposed $1,000 lease payment was way too low.  She feels the idea of having the Village run the Club is an interesting one and believes that they could generate a fair amount of interest from Village Residents.  She compared it to the Village Boat Club, which she feels is very well organized.
 Trustee Gluck noted that he was a member of the Village Board Club and further  commented that is in his view that club was “the epitome of a volunteer organization,” whereby all of the members pitch in to get things done at a minimum expense without government assistance.  A lot of this same spirit is also reflected in the Beach Club.  He applauded the Beach Club for making things work, particularly for the way in which they got things together and running during Covid.  He also commended the Mayor and Trustees for their work in trying to make the facility better for the Village.  He feels there is room for improvement all across the board.  Many of the comments pertaining to capital improvement have a great deal of merit.  Having said this, even if he believed it was the right move for the Village to step in and reorganize things, he would be “scared to death” to take on that project now, 6 weeks out from the start of the swimming season, when it is so far out of their comfort zone.  Without seeing any sort of budget or proposal for the options that have been suggested, he believes managing the process would be a nightmare and therefore he echoed the sentiments of many of those who spoke before him, suggesting that they take more time to have these important conversations in the future, but keep things largely the same for the upcoming season.  6 weeks is not enough time to put in a whole new management structure.  There is enough  time however  to negotiate the current agreement and he recommended reconsidering the requirement that non-residents use the North Gate for access on the weekends as well as the overall leasing fee and the  amount of money the Club should be asked to put into capital improvements for the facility.
Trustee McHugh noted that the Wee Wah Beach provided access to swimming in the lake for residents and in that regard, he feels they should move forward with getting the necessary permitting in place in order to open the facility on time and ensure a viable season.  With regard to the structure, he feels that he needs more clarity, particularly as it pertains to the potential donation. The current Hamlet members have shown a commitment to the facility and he believes they should be given the opportunity to stay members.  If the Village can effectively enhance the facility and make it a destination for more Village residents, he supports that as well.  “Let’s move this forward and get it open this year sooner rather than later and work through the details over the next couple of weeks to see if there is a common ground that everyone can live with and is happy with.”
Trustee Shaw interjected that she felt they needed to look further into the insurance before they proceeded in any way to make sure that the Village had the proper coverage.
Trustee Kasker commented that most members of the Beach Club probably didn’t care about who ran things so long as they could pay their fee and utilize the beach. To him, whatever affords the Club’s members the ability to do this at a fair price is paramount.  If the Village was able to run the facility and significantly cut the cost of the membership, that would be one thing but he is not sure they are there yet.  There are more insurance requirements for swimming than there are for general liability.  In a recent letter to the Board, one resident made some valid points pertaining to risk.  The way things stand currently, if somebody has a significant accident the Village is not primarily responsible.  He would like to know what the insurance rates for the Village would be with the added coverage included.  Additionally, running the Beach Club would require the Village to hire and cover more employees.  Trustee Kasker favors shrinking the number of Village employees as opposed to increasing it.  He also noted that with no Parks and Recreation Department in place, the Village did not have anyone to run facility.  This is one reason why having both the Boat Club and the Beach Club as independent organizations makes sense as they assume their own administrative burdens.  Village employees are tasked with taking care of all Village residents, not specific groups and/or Clubs that are focused on putting a boat on the water or swimming in one of the lakes.  There are 98 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  This leaves a whole lot of time for any and all Village residents to use the property for free.  Most municipalities have a code provision which states that if they have a subdivision and they do not have land for parks, they have to pay a fee.  It is the Village’s obligation to have a park for their residents, but it is not their obligation to have a swimming hole for them.  A swimming facility is a special use the requires extra cost and the people who want to use it should have the burden of that cost.  “The bottom line is that there is a whole lot going on and I don’t think residents deserve the right to swim for free, which is what you seem to alluding to in some of your comments.” he stated. 
“I wasn’t alluding to that,” responded the Mayor. 
Trustee Kasker went on to say that he felt additional analysis on the business side was needed before the Village was ready to move forward with managing the Club and until this has been done, he is not ready to act on it.   He is happy to discuss the idea  further however.  He feels they should be striving to provide a better beach for less money.  In the meantime, as they are not faced with an emergency situation, he believes they should proceed as normal. 
Mayor McFadden suggested that currently the Club pays upwards of $7,000 in insurance costs and if the Village only had to get a small supplemental package, they could save a few thousand, which would be money that could immediately be invested in either lowering the cost of membership of making capital improvements.  “As a Village we can use income to make improvements,” he stated, “and that has its own momentum.  If we were to take over the management, I would see it as a transition.  I would think we would have to ask the membership to be patient with a potential start date with disruption because if we were going to be putting money into improving, there might be days when a part of the park was closed or cordoned off.  It could be a little hectic.  We could consider extending the hours potentially.  In the scenario I was looking at we could take the $30,000 membership from last year and put it into some of our own Village funds.”  He further stated that his position was that he would like to see a dual situation where the Village would work together with the Beach Club and share responsibility…use it as a learning session for moving forward and then analyze it at the end of the year to see where we did and didn’t succeed. He also feels the Village should  commit  to putting another $5-10,000 into the budget now to make improvements as a sweetener. He reiterated that under his proposal, the Beach Club would  manage the day-to-day operations and therefore there would be less liability for the Village. 
“I think the Board has  five kind of diverse positions,” stated the Mayor.  “I believe my position is clear.” He then suggested that Trustee Gluck liaison with the Beach Club to further negotiate these details while they waited for more clarity on the potential donation.
Trustee Gluck replied that he would be happy to interact with the Beach Club but he felt they needed to make a determination as to whether or not they would be negotiating something similar to what  had done in years past or if they looking to negotiate something entirely different.  If it is the former, he believes they could pull things together quite quickly but it’s the later,  he has some concerns with their ability to accomplish anything fruitful. 
Following some further discussion, it was agreed that Trustee Gluck would meet with the Beach Club and that a Special meeting would be scheduled for the following Wednesday, April 28 at 3pm for the purpose of discussing both the Beach Club and the Fishing Club licensing agreements.  This will be followed by a budget workshop. 
Discuss N.E.A.R Recommendations – This was tabled as the Board needs additional information.

The Board then entered into an executive session for the purpose of discussing employee salaries, litigation and employment of a particular person. 

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Public Hearing and Regular Monthly Meeting April 21, 2021

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Agenda for Village of Tuxedo Park Budget Workshop April 19, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Public Hearing for Tentative Budget April 14, 2021

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Public Hearing for Tentative Budget April 14, 2021

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Tentative Budget Workshop Meeting Follow-up April 10, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Our successful budget workshop yesterday culminated in a three-week marathon of preparation and effort by this year's budget team. The team included Tinka and Village employees John, Debbie (who used the occasion to train Elizabeth on her first budget), Chief Dave, Jeff, and Denise. The budget is under the 2% property tax cap and reflects the hard work and dedication of this team's support of the Village taxpayers.

At yesterday's meeting, Chris, Paul, and Alan brought their experience to the table, and as a team, we worked constructively to bring the budget to the next level. We thank Alan for leading the Trustees through various revenue, appropriation, and bond and benefits line items of the budget. As temporary guardians of your finances, I believe we have gone a long way in fulfilling our obligations to you, the taxpayers.

Of interest, this year is the introduction of a Village Sewer Department. As you know, our sewer (and water) infrastructure is our Achilles heel - aging and decaying at an alarming rate. To pay for repairing, maintaining, and approving the system, this and prior boards rely on increasing property taxes and loans/bonds, an unsustainable strategy over the long term considering the problem's magnitude. The NYS Comptroller encourages Villages like in our predicament to form sewer departments for the equitable billing of services and the means to raise funds for future infrastructure maintenance and repairs.

The best example of how our new sewer department will operate is our water department.

Sewer rents typically based on a water use percentage will come quarterly with the water charges. If you own a vacant property in the Village but do not use village sewer services, you will stop paying for the sewer. If you own a home and have a septic system, you will stop paying for sewer. If you use the most potable Village water, you will pay more than a resident with one bathroom. Currently, we all share the cost of running the sewer department equally, according to our tax rate, because sewer expenses flow to your property taxes.

Because the Board lacks experience setting rates, I put $5,000 in this year's budget to hire a professional consultant specializing in developing sewer rates for municipalities. The public will also be able to provide their input during the public hearing process next week. The establishment of a sewer department is subject to Board approval, and I believe we have broad support.

As stated earlier, as a temporary guardian of your finances, my role as a fiduciary is a primary responsibility. Before meeting with the WWBC leadership, Jennifer and Bonnie last week, I reviewed the financials they provided me. The WWBC does not make money. Possibly their membership fees are too low, their expenses are too high, and of course, the facilities need improvement or all the above.

Regarding improvements, for all their efforts, they have never produced profit to pay for enhancements or offer us a lease payment that covers Tuxedo Park's annual maintenance costs of the property and facility. Instead, the Village taxpayers shoulder the burden. A further burden on the Village taxpayers is that WWBC paid one dollar ($1) per year to lease the property over the last five years (last year they collected $30,000 in membership fees), and this year, their total offer to lease the property is $1000. The WWBC's demand that the Village taxpayer lives with below-market licensing fees needs to change. As your fiduciary, I recommend we optimize the property's value for the benefit of the Village taxpayers.

As an example, it would be enticing if: the WWBC committed to a licensing fee of $5,000 with a commitment of another $2,000 annually in infrastructure and improvements.

During the same meeting with Jennifer and Bonnie, I shared a new idea that I view as a win-win for both parties. The idea is for the Village to take out the health permit, incur all costs, collect all membership fees and other payments, and control the finances and facilities. There is a greater chance to make a profit under this scenario because we have a lower overhead from the start. We already have insurance, for example, a cost the WWBC incurs annually. We also have the means to invest $5,000 in improvements before the season starts if we add it to the current budget. With the right balance of setting membership fees, improving the grounds, and paring down expenses, the Village can make money.

The next challenge is how the Village will deal with the day-to-day management of the club. During and after I met with Jennifer and Bonnie, several possibilities have been discussed and suggested - from the Village running the club; the WWBC running the club; or a hybrid of the two sharing responsibilities.

I favor the Village running the finances and facilities management and the WWBC running the seasonal day-to-day operations.

In the meeting, Bonnie expressed her concerns that this might be an elaborate scheme to end Hamlet memberships. I offered her a 5 to a 10-year term of guaranteed hamlet membership in a show of good faith, which should dispel those concerns immediately. And there is no additional risk to Hamlet memberships under this new scenario. Under the current arrangement, any Board present and future could cancel Hamlet memberships with three votes. Second, the WWBC/Village lease has always contained a clause that allows three members of the Board to cancel the lease at will, at any time during the season. 

The 5 to 10-year term I offered included the WWBC management's request to keep the same season and hours of operation it has always enjoyed. Again, I believe my proposal is a win-win situation balancing the financial responsibilities I have to the taxpayers and to the tradition of Hamlet membership.
 
I invite all constructive comments and suggestions on this year's budget (posted on the Village website), the new sewer department, and the idea of the Village managing the finances and facilities of the club and the WWBC maintaining the day-to-day seasonal management of the club.

Unfortunately, I can point to several postings on social media that have mischaracterized my WWBC proposal. Specifically, one false story is I am disbanding the WWBC. Dissolving the WWBC is not prudent, nor is it an option: it is a private entity outside of Village control.

Stay safe.


Thank you,

Mayor Mac

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Budget Workshop Meeting April 9, 2021

Click here to view the agenda

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Board of Trustees Meeting March 24, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, March 24 at 7pm Via Zoom.  All members were present. 
Prior to opening the meeting, the Mayor noted that Chief Conklin would be absent due to a family emergency.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden, and Deputy Mayor Shaw have been hard at work on the budget with the help of Consultant Debbie Matthews.  Things are going well and the Mayor believes they are on a positive trajectory for maintaining the tax cap.   He further noted that last year’s trimming of expenses has paid off and he thanked everyone involved.
The Mayor raised the idea of payment for elected officials, noting that this was idea alone and that he was looking for feedback from the Trustees as well as the public.  Currently, positions on the Village Boards are voluntary and can be quite time consuming.  Mayor McFadden feels it might be a good idea for the Village to bring itself inline with other municipalities by offering some sort of fiscal compensation, not a large amount, just something symbolic and reasonable.  He suggested that whether or not he would decide to pursue the idea would be based on the feedback he receives in the coming weeks.
Together with Deputy Mayor Shaw, the Village attorney and accountant, Building Inspector John Ledwith, Elizabeth Doherty and DPW Superintendent Voss, the Mayor has been examining the idea of changing the sewer billing system.  Currently, sewer costs are evenly spread amongst residents and are built into property tax payments.  What is being considered is a unit-based system, whereby the billing would be independent.  Not only would this be more equitable but instituting charges for the sewer would also allow the Village to build up reserves, which could in turn be used to offset pending infrastructure costs, particularly within the antiquated sewer system.  Residents are encouraged to reach out to the Mayor and/or the Trustees with any feedback they might have on this idea.

Monthly Reports & Minutes to the Board & Public:
Click here for the Police Report
Click here to view the Police Reform Committee Draft
Click here for the Water Department Report
Click here for the Construction Report
Click here for the DPW Report
Click here for the Treasurer’s Report
Click here for the Town of Tuxedo Liaison Report

On Behalf of the Climate Smart Community, Jim Hays reported that this task force had been formed in an effort to lower green house emissions by taking a look a closer look at emissions coming from Village Buildings as well as Village owned Vehicles and examining ways that they can be reduced in order to achieve both an environmental and economic benefit.  The group is proposing that the Village join The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives at a cost of up to $600.  This expense can be shared with the Town of Tuxedo should they decide to join as well.  There are a number of benefits to joining the council and Mr. Hays briefly outlined many of them.  Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of joining the Council as proposed.  Further, they voted in favor of investing $150 in a See Change Webinar, to be made available to all residents, which focuses on climate change and steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects thereof. 
Representing the Lakes Committee, Mr. Hays next reported that he had submitted to the Board for their review a draft watershed management plan and requested that they take a look at it and provide feedback as soon as possible.
Finally, Mr. Hays reminded the Trustees that it was almost time to issue the annual notification to landscapers letting them know that the use of phosphates has been banned in the Village and that those who utilize them may ultimately loose their right to conduct business in the Village moving forward.   He suggested that hanging a sign at the front the gate might be a good way to do this. 

When asked by the Mayor for an update on the Board of Assessment Review, John Ledwith informed the Board that the applicable changes had been made and that the draft report would be available to the public on April 1.

Orange & Rockland Presentation – Phase 2: East Lake Road Reconducting:
Representatives from Orange and Rockland provided a detailed presentation summarizing the work completed in Phase 1 of the project, which was concentrated mainly along West Lake and Continental Roads, and outlining the scope of Phase 2, preparation for which has already begun along East Lake Road.  The project is expected to commence on April 14 and run through December 30.
Following the presentation there was some discussion with regard to traffic flow particularly as it pertains to road closures, notifications thereof and the inconvenience of rerouting traffic all the way around the lake.

The Mayor noted that the Police Reform Committee had completed their draft 6 weeks prior and that it had been available to the public for review and comment for over a month.  He reported that to date they had not received any negative comments or suggestions.  As the Trustees were slated to vote on the plan later in the meeting, he asked the public if they had any questions or comments to bring forward at that time.  There were none.  

Public Comments:
Claudio Guazzoni inquired about the tax assessment roll, specifically noting that he would like to see more color in terms of the number of people had grieved and the number of changes that had been made as a result. He was informed that a total of 35 grievances were made.  The Board was not comfortable divulging the number of changes that had been made and reiterated to Mr. Guazzoni that the information would be made public on April 1. 
Marc Citron spoke in favor of the Wee Wah Beach Club, commenting that the previous summer had been a success for the club, despite all of the additional safety guidelines and restrictions that were put in place as a result of the pandemic.  He recommended that the Board renew the lease with the Club for a minimum of 1 year and further advised that they should engage with the Club as soon as possible in terms of any new or further Covid related restrictions so that they could be in touch with their membership and also to ensure a timely opening of the facility.
Jay Reichgott also spoke in favor of the Beach Club.  He further commented that in reviewing the supporting documentation that had been circulated by the Mayor prior to the meeting, he noted that the possibility of allowing Village residents to utilize the property for swimming when the Beach Club was otherwise closed (early in the morning and after 8pm) had been suggested.  He advised that not only would this pose a number of serious dangers but that he believed it would also be a violation of Village law.

Consent Agenda:
Trustee Gluck requested that two items, The January 25 Board of Assessors meeting minutes and the adoption of a Community Paper Shredding Day on April 22 be removed for discussion, which they were.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the consent agenda.
They then proceeded to briefly discuss the two removed items, after which they were both unanimously approved.

New Business:
Resolve to Approve the Police Reform Committee Plan – The Board voted 4-1 in favor of approving the plan, which Trustee McHugh voted against.  “I’m a no as a result of the tasers,” he noted.   “And also, the link on our webpage did not go to the report, but my guess is that would not have made a difference.”   The Mayor responded that he found it regretful that Trustee McHugh would allow something like this to have a negative impact on the wonderful parts of the plan that the community group had worked so hard on.
Resolution Establish Minimum Hours Requirement for Part-Time Police Officers – One of the unintended consequences the Village faces from having transitioned to predominantly part-time officers is that some of the officers are only available to work 1 of fewer shifts a month.  “As a result, you might get a ticket from somebody who you have never had a chance to meet and that is just not in keeping with where we want to take the department in the future,” stated the Mayor.  “This is about community policing and knowing who you are dealing with, knowing how to call them by name, de-escalation, and treating the community like a family and visa-versa.”  The Chief has recommended a minimum requirement of two shifts per week for part-time officers.  There was some discussion as to the length of the proposed shifts after which the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the resolution.
Resolution to Approve Removal from Inventory of Police Surplus Equipment – The Board voted in favor of approving the resolution to remove a shredder and five monitors from their inventory.  Trustee McHugh abstained, commenting that he did not know what the items were or what the department planned to do with them once they had been removed from the inventory.  Mayor McFadden expressed his displeasure that Trustee McHugh had not taken then time to review the materials, which had been sent to him weeks prior, so that he could be prepared to vote at the meeting.
Discussion Regarding the Lease Renewal for the Wee Wah Beach Club:  Mayor McFadden called upon Club president Bonny Takeuchi and Beach Club Board member Jenn Darling to outline their proposal for the season.  Mrs. Takeuchi began by thanking the Trustees for working with them during the 2020 season and allowing them to open during the Pandemic.  She has been in touch with the Orange County Board of Health regarding Covid-19 regulations for the coming season.  Although they have not yet received any official guidance, they suggested that things would likely be the same or possibly less stringent.  As the Club has demonstrated their ability to comply with the regulations put forth by both the State and the Village successfully, Mrs. Takeuchi is hopeful that they will able to renew the lease for the upcoming season.  Mrs. Darling concurred, adding that they were hoping to negotiate the renewal as soon as possible as they would like to raise money for a new playground to be installed prior to the opening of the Club for the Season.  Additionally they would like to begin offering weekly Yoga classes for the community on Sundays in April or May.
Mayor McFadden clarified that the Club was looking for a 1-year renewal and wondered what type of fee they were proposing.
It was noted that for various reasons pertaining to water levels in the lake and dam reconstruction the Club had not paid a fee.  Historically prior to that, it was $1000.
The issue of road safety was addressed.  During the 2020 season, non-village residents were required to access the Beach Club via the North Gate on weekends.  The Mayor believed this to be very successful in mitigating traffic concerns that had been brought forward by Village residents.  Mrs. Darling responded that they were hoping to avoid this practice in the coming season.  The Beach Club averaged 7 non-resident vehicles per day during the week and 10 per day on weekends last year.  The cost of paying a Police Officer to man the North Gate was great and frankly, a challenge for the Beach Club as their membership was somewhat low due to Covid.  They do not feel the number of cars justify the expense and are respectfully requesting that their non-resident members once again be allowed to access the Beach Club via the Front Gate. 
The Mayor noted that he had gathered some suggestions from village residents and would like to share them.  He further that these suggestions did not represent his personal opinion or the opinion of any other Board member.  Some residents have suggested raising the fee to $5,000 or $10,000.  Some have suggested allowing residents to use the facility for swimming when the Beach Club is not open.  The Mayor noted that the Village had briefly explored this idea last year, asking their attorney to look at both insurance and liability issues, but had been nothing more than a preliminary discussion.
Mrs. Darling suggested that if they were not required to man the North Gate, the Club would likely be amenable to an increase in rent.  “We are not beyond paying our fair share to the Village,” she stated.  She expressed some uncertainty as to whether or not the Department of Health would allow a Swim At Your Own Risk situation after hours.  The Beach Club holds the permit and so they have some concerns with regard to that suggestion.  Further swimming after sunset is not permitted by the Department of Health. 
Trustee Gluck commended the Beach Club for the wonderful way in which they had stepped up and operated during Covid last year.  He is very much in favor of getting it up and running again for the upcoming season.  He noted that he had never been a big fan of the North Gate plan and that he believed that the traffic flow to the Beach was minimal.  He feels the issue of after hours swimming should to be addressed separately and that there could be some significant issues with it.  Finally, he stated that he believed they had budgeted to receive $1,000 in revenue from the Beach.
Trustee McHugh echoed Trustee Gluck’s comments.
Trustee Kasker asked a number of clarifying questions about the history in order to bring himself up to speed.
Trustee Shaw noted that she would like to discuss the idea of swimming off-hours further with their attorney as she had gotten the impression from him that as long as they had the proper signage, this would be ok. 
Stewart McGregor commented that he was a life-long Village resident who had been enjoying the benefits of the Beach Club for 76 years.  He believes it is imperative that the Club open.  He further suggested that they should consider taking a look at the long-term so that they did not have to revisit negotiations every year.  The Beach Club property is a critical and wonderful area in the Village.  Various issues with the Beach Club have been kicked down the road for almost 60 years now.  The Village does not have an active park and the idea of making the property an exclusive park for residents has been explored in the past, however when it comes to adding a line in the budget for Parks and Recreation, the idea becomes somewhat less favorable and some argue that it would not be a cost effective venture.  Mr. McGregor suggested that the Village should offer the Beach Club a low lease payment this year as there will still be Covid related challenges and that moving forward they should put together a comprehensive group to study where things should go from here and propose a long-term plan for property.
The Mayor thanked everyone for their comments, further noting that the Trustees would discuss it and be in communication with Mrs. Takeuchi and Mrs. Darling.
Resolve to Approve the Building Permit for Rifkin Boathouse Located at 97 West Lake Road – The Board reviewed the Rifkin application for the construction of a Boathouse at 97 West Lake Road - The application has received the necessary approvals from both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Board of Architectural Review.  The Village code requires that the Applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the BOT that the construction will not be detrimental to the water supply, and their approval is needed before the application can proceed.  There was a somewhat lengthy discussion, after which it was agreed that the attorney would draft a resolution for approval later in the meeting.  
Resolve to Send a Thank You Letter to OCDA David Hoovler for Donation to the COTPPD for the Purchase of Two Body Worn Cameras Valued at $1,000 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to send this letter.
Resolved to Renew MWG Vision Plan – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the agreement of renewal.

Executive Session:
The Board then entered into an 80 minute executive session to discuss two separate Village Employees and an Article 78 Litigation.

New Business Continued:
Rifkin Boat House Approval – The Board voted 4-1 in favor of approving the application conditioned upon the approval of the New York State DEC and compliance with any conditions set forth by the BZA and the BAR.  Trustee McHugh abstained because he was participating via the telephone.
Resolution Authorizing Purchase of Replacement DPW Vehicle and Cancellation of Previously Ordered DPW Truck and Snowplowing Equipment – The Village is in receipt of a proposal from Reed Systems, Ltd. for a replacement vehicle at a price $70,430.   The Board voted 4-1 in favor of the resolution with Trustee McHugh abstaining because he was participating via telephone. 
Approve the Appointment of Elizabeth Doherty as Village Clerk-Treasurer – As more information is needed before this appointment can be made, this was tabled.
Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Extension of the 2015 Memorandum of Agreement with Michael Bruno and Alexander J Jakowec
 Through June 30, 2021 – The Board voted in favor of adopting the resolution.
Special Meeting and Public Hearing for the 2021/22 Budget – The Board scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday, March 30 at 7pm for the purpose of discussing a request by a resident to make an exception to the Village Code in order to allow film production at their residence.  Further, they set the Public Hearing date for the 2021/22 Budget on Wednesday, April 14 at 7pm.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 24, 2021

* The public hearing originally scheduled for March 17 will now take place on April 21

Click here to view the agenda for this meeting

Zoom Meeting Instructions

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By SmartPhone
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Board of Trustees Meeting February 17, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, February 17 at 6pm via Zoom.

The first hour of the meeting was dedicated to a public hearing on a certain unnamed paper road known as Brook Road. 

To listen to a recording of the public hearing, click here.

*TPFYI gained access to the meeting at 6:03pm after it had been underway for about 2 minutes.  The recording begins roughly one minute into the first public comment. (Sally Sonne)

At 7pm the hearing was continued to March 17, 2021 at 6:45pm and the regular monthly meeting was opened.

Mayor’s Comments:
There were none

Reports:
Click here to view the Police Department Report
Click here to view the Water Department Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department Report
Click here to view the Communications Committee Report
Click here to read the Police Reform Committee Report
Click here to read the Town Board Liaison Report

Town Board liaison Michele Lindsay noted that there were certain items within her report that she would like to verbally highlight in order to make sure people were aware of them.

  • The sewer LDC held their annual meeting earlier that day. The group continues to work towards their goal of opening the new sewer plant so that they can lift the current sewer moratorium.  There are 20 residences in the Village that are in the Hamlet sewer district.
  • Cleanup continues at the contaminated mulch pile on Long Meadow Road.  The Town is spending $250,000 annually until the DEC lifts the consent order on the contamination.
  • Next week, members of the Town Board will begin taking a look at a redlined version of the Special Permit that has been submitted by Tuxedo Farms.  They look forward to seeing what the new proposal is and as soon as possible they will get the public involved.
  • The Town and the Village have begun working together to improve communications regarding water service.  There was a lot of confusion in the Hamlet and the East Village surrounding the recent boil water notice, which many felt was not widely enough disseminated.  It is the responsibility of the Village Water Department to communicate with its’ customers however a fair amount of anger was directed at the Town from residents who didn’t understand where their water comes from and who is in charge of it. 
  • Last year the Town decided to invest $35,000 to engage an appraiser to reappraise State owned parkland in the Town.  (The State is the Towns’ largest taxpayer.)  They may end up having to negotiate but what they believe will happen is that the tax burden will be more fairly distributed across taxpayers.  They will not receive any more income but the State will end up paying a greater portion of taxes.  This will be the case for both the Town and the School.  Similar reappraising has taken place in both Stony Point and Haverstraw and has been successful.

Speaking to the issue with the Water Department, Mayor McFadden reported that the department would be collecting contact information from everyone in the Hamlet District who utilizes Village water and that appropriate notices will be sent out through the Village moving forward. 
Board Attorney suggested that the Village might want to reconsider the idea of having the Town establish a separate water district for this area.  If approved by the Town, this would give more formality to the District and even though the Village supplies the water, it would give more control to the Town in terms of oversight and billing.  This idea initially was proposed several years back but was rejected by the Town at that time. 
Mayor McFadden then asked Chief Conklin to speak to the Police Reform Committee Report.  The Chief reported that after a long process with the committee and the completion of the community wide survey, a plan for the Village department has been put together and posted to the Village website for public review.   Residents are encouraged to take a look at it and provide comments, suggestions and general feedback, after which the plan will be amended accordingly, adopted by the Board and submitted to the State.

Public Comments:
Maureen Coen expressed her concern with regard to a proposed cell tower on Ridge Road.  She began by acknowledging the Communications Committee for their hard work and congratulating them on a job well done. She then noted that the proposal currently before the Board from Tilson called for the construction of a 12 story (120 foot) cellular tower on Ridge Road (one of the highest points in the Village).  She feels that the construction of such a tower would be unsightly and that it would pose potential health risks for the community.  Towering 5 stories (50 feet) over the average tree height, it would be visible from many vantage points in Tuxedo Park, including from Tuxedo Lake. The current proposal, if implemented, would create blight and greatly impact the Village view shed.  She further highlighted several issues with the process including the lack of guidance from independent experts, as well as research into alternative options. She has spoken with an engineering consultant who is implementing alternatives to tall cell towers on the Harriman estate, which has similar terrain issues to the Village. She suggested that if the Village was serious about improving cell service and also considers protecting the scenic landscape a public necessity, that they should treat enhancing the service as an infrastructure project like building a dam or improving the roads and should obtain advice from independent experts in this area as soon as possible.  She cautioned that this decision would permanently impact the scenic landscape and the quality of life and health of the Village community. She feels that such a lasting and impactful decision cannot be made arbitrarily or capriciously.
Mayor McFadden responded by reading the following recommendation, which has come to the Board from the Communications Committee:
“We have the best and final proposal from Tilson for a 4G micro tower.  In order to ensure the community that we are being presented with all the best options for cell service, we suggest the BOT hire an independent consultant, who is expert in this industry, to research any other options that can best serve the community within a short but reasonable timeframe.  Technology evolves swiftly and constantly.  The Village owes it to the community to see if the consultant recommends other options as well.”
He assured everyone that the project would not be moving forward without the proper analysis.  The committee was only tasked with providing information.  They are not making any recommendations.  They have completed their work and turned things over to the BOT, but the Board has yet to discuss it.  Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that the Tilson proposal would be approved at this juncture.  He further suggested that if Ms. Coen would like to be involved, he would have no issue with her assisting.  Ms. Coen responded that she would love to get involved.
Communication Committee Chair Paola Tocci added that when she had served on the Board of Architectural Review that they had used an independent consultant and had found his input to be of great value to both the applicant and the BAR.  She whole-heartedly endorses hiring an independent consultant who could present to the Village other potential options.  She further noted that she hoped the consultant would have independent resources for testing as well.  She would not want all of the health and safety testing to be in one person’s hands.  Testing options should come from the independent consultant and not the vendor. 
Speaking to the earlier discussion of potentially developable land along Brook Road, Claudio Guazzoni suggested that if somebody were to purchase this property from Michael Bruno and put houses on it as part of the Town of Tuxedo, the Village may very well have to grant those home owners access to the property via the Front Gate. 
Board attorney Brian Nugent responded that it was his understanding that the agreement prohibited the property from being developed and/or sold and then developed.
Speaking to the situation with the Water Department, Mr. Guazzoni noted that several years back he had spoken with Suez, who indicated that they would be very interested in acquiring the 324 Hamlet water customers from the Village for a large sum.  He further noted that supplying these particular customers with water was costly for the Village in many ways and that they might want to consider exploring such a sale.
Chiu yin Hempel commented that she was delighted to know that the Village was only in the preliminary stages of investigating the various possibilities for increased cell service.  She agrees with Ms. Coen completely with regard to the concerns about aesthetics and the impacts on the view shed as well as potential health threats.  She was glad to hear that the Village would be seeking independent opinions and she offered her time as a volunteer to help with the process if needed.  She cautioned that the issue needed to be explored from all angles. 
“This exploration of a cell tower could die out very quickly,” point out the Mayor.  “There really is no vested interest by any of the Board members to install a cell tower at any particular spot in the Village.  But I do recall that it was a campaign issue and there are quite a few people in the Park who would like to see better cell service and I am doing my job and I am going through those motions.”
Mrs. Hempel inquired as to whether or not the Village would receive any income from hosting the cell tower.
The answer was yes, roughly $12,000 annually with contractual increases.
Ms. Tocci added that she would be happy to forward the names of several potential consultants to the BOT for their consideration/review. 
Jake Matthews noted that he was glad to hear that planning was still in the early stages.  He went on to echo the sentiments of Ms. Coen and Mrs. Hempel in terms of both health and aesthetic concerns.  “Once something is up,” he stated, “you really can’t go back on it.  Tuxedo Park has such a magnificent geographic landscape and we should not mar it with something that has not been thoroughly thought through, where the negatives might outweigh the benefits.”  He agrees that an independent consultant should be hired and further suggested that while cell service in the Village does need to be improved, the ultimate goal should be to improve it in a thoughtful way for the residents, rather than installing a tower that would benefit multiple communities around the Village.  “What we don’t want is a company to come in and install a tower that serves us in a limited way, but then they are making money hand over fist distributing cell service to everyone else.  This should be a very targeted solution for our community and done thoughtful to protect health and our view sheds.”  Finally, he stated that he was not sure that Ridge Road would be the appropriate pace for a tower, although he further noted that he is biased being that he lives in that area and is raising his young son there.
Chris Mahan agreed with the previous speakers, further commenting that he believed a lot of the excitement was the result of the fact that the original meeting agenda suggested the Board would be resolving to sign the Tilson agreement, although this was later changed to a discussion rather than a vote.  He suggested that the installation of such a tower should be taken seriously and not viewed as a revenue-generating event for $12,000.  He suggested that the process should include significant studies.  “We all know that the telecommunications industry has huge resources,” he pointed out.  “Taking advice from them is like taking advice from tobacco companies that say it is safe to smoke.”  He suggested that if they were seriously considering altering the landscape he hoped the Village would undertake visual impact studies, to include a crane to demonstrate the actual impact for residents, and that additionally a significant amount of process would likely be involved including SEQR, (tower would be a type 1 action as it would be over 100 feet) approval from the New York State Preservation office and both the Planning and Architectural Review Boards.  Finally he cautioned “If the Board voted to put up a 120 foot tower looming over Tuxedo radiating energy across all its citizens, it would probably be the single most defining thing that you would be remembered for and our grandchildren would be remembering you as they looked up at that tower.  I don’t think this is an inconsequential decision and it should be taken with great thoughtfulness, care and thorough diligence.” He believes there are other alternatives and that the consultant should be utilized to find one that is more suitable for the Village community.
The Mayor noted that he had made an error with the agenda.  He apologized for any consternation that the initial agenda may have caused, further noting that he agreed with everything Mr. Mahan had said and assuring him that this was the direction in which the Village would move forward.
Greg Beard stated that he agreed with everyone who had spoken before him and that he would hate to see a cell tower go up.  He believes that the Village should not waste their time even considering it and that they should not make use of resources exploring an option that they should not move forward with.    “The Village has never had good cell service.  We kind of all know it and live with it.  There are solutions you can get in your own home and on your own property to deal with it.”  He further suggested that one of the professionals who had visited his home had advised the service might be improved were the village to install a repeater at the water treatment plant, the Village office or the DPW plant.
The Mayor reiterated that the discussion was only in its preliminary stages further commenting “I don’t consider this proposal for a tower from one vendor to have any significance beyond information being handed to the Board to consider and to invite the public in for their viewpoints.”
Mr. Beard cautioned that if they were to move forward with it, he believed there would be a number of people who would fight it “tooth and nail” and that if there were any individuals who wanted to further study the tower option, they should be asked to fund those studies themselves. 
Claudio Guazzoni commented that he felt a cell tower would be a dreadful idea, pointing out that property values would likely be impacted that it would not be fair to the people living on Ridge Road to diminish their real estate in that way.
Mayor McFadden agreed, stating that it was the vendor who had proposed the Ridge Road location and that there had been no formal follow through on the part of the Village to put anything there. 
Ms. Tocci reiterated that a cell tower was only one of many options and that the independent consultant would be able to present additional options. She further noted that additional independent consultants could and should be utilized to address people’s concerns about health and safety. 
Jake Matthews noted that there were cell towers surrounding Tuxedo Park and he thinks an independent consultant might be able to suggest ways of leveraging those existing towers rather than installing a new one inside a historic community.

Old Business:
Discuss Tilson Proposal To Provide Cell Tower Service to The Village of Tuxedo Park – The Trustees briefly outlined their positions with regard to the proposal and the idea of enhanced cell service in the Village.  Trustee Kasker noted that there was still a lot of work to be done.  He noted that he had spoken with a resident earlier idea who expressed frustration at the idea that a tower might go up so quickly when he had been struggling to get BAR approval for what he believed to be a relatively simply project. Trustee Kasker further suggested that the issue of improving service had really come to light last August when the Village was without power for an extended period of time and many residents struggled to get service.  He expressed concern with the idea that those residents who did not maintain a landline might not be able to call for help if needed in these types of situations.  He feels that the Village definitely needs to pursue the exploration of options, whether this means an expert consultant or some other method and it is an expense they should budget for in the upcoming year.
Trustee Gluck agreed that funds should be budgeted.  He noted that there is a lot to be examined and considered, but he believes they should do it. 
Trustee McHugh stated that he was not in favor of a cell tower but was more than happy to explore other options.  He thinks it makes a lot of sense to bring in a consultant, who will be able to more clearly frame the issues.  For him, it is a function of what the Village can afford in the budget and getting some ideas on vendors and costing.
Trustee Shaw agreed with Trustee Kasker’s comment about individuals who don’t have landlines, expressing concern over this issue and suggesting that the Village should explore solutions. 
Resolve to Hire Part-Time Police Officer – On the recommendation of Chief Conklin, the Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring part-time police officer Giana Capone.  Officer Capone was on the Zoom call and proceeded to introduce herself to the Board and thank them for the opportunity, noting that she was looking forward to working in the Village. 
Resolve to Approve Separation From Service Policy – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the separation from service policy.
Resolve to Approve Ex Post Facto the Emergency spending to Hire Leak Detection Firm – During the recent water main break, which resulted in a boil water notice for water customers in the Hamlet, the Village had to bring in a leak detection expert at a cost of $6,600.  Following a somewhat lengthy and confusing discussion regarding the work that had been completed vs. the work that remains and associated expenses, the board voted unanimously in favor of approving the emergency spending.
Resolve to Approve Ex Post Facto the Emergency Spending for Dam Certification – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving this expenditure. 
Resolve to Approve Website Vendor Civic Plus – After researching multiple vendors, the Mayor has recommended moving forward with Civic Plus for a Village website redesign.  The estimated cost is $12,000 spread out over a year.  Budgeting was discussed and the Mayor proposed that the initial $4000 be taken from the money that had been set aside for redundant booth equipment.
Trustee Gluck stated that he was in favor of moving forward, commenting that he felt the upgrade was much needed and long overdue.
The Mayor noted that Civic Plus was a well-respected firm that had been utilized both by the Town of Tuxedo and Orange County. 
Trustee Shaw commented while some of the public might feel it was not worth the expense to update the website, however the new site would provide services such as online bill paying and access to 311 services.  She feels it is a worthwhile expense.
Mayor McFadden added that the current site is not ADA compliant and this is something that needs to be immediately addressed, but it cannot be done with the current site, which is actually a Word Press blog.  If the Village were to sign an agreement the entire process would likely take 5 months.  Once Civic Plus has been brought on board, one of the first things they will do is to conduct a community survey in order to determine which services and features are of interest to them. Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with Civic Plus.

New Business:
Resolve to Cancel “Bespoke” DPW Truck and Snowplowing Equipment Purchase at a Cost of $193,000 and to Pursue a Replacement Truck and Snowplowing Equipment not to Exceed $150,000 – Following a lengthy discussion it was agreed that this decision would be tabled until more information could be gathered.
Resolve to Approve the Purchase of Two Tasers for the VTPPD – Chief Conklin noted that this was being considered as part of the police reform under the Use of Force category.  An incident occurred in the Village less than a month ago where the one officer working responded to a mental health related call that turned into a physical, hands on altercation.  Situations like this create the potential for injury both to the individual being arrested and the officer.  The Tasers are equipped with warning systems that let people know what is coming.  A few years back, one of the officers was confronted by an individual with a knife.  “That Officer could have easily shot that guy and been justified.  We don’t want it to get to that. We hope we never ever ever have to use the Taser, but we want it at our disposal in case we need it.”
Trustee McHugh wondered whether the Taser was mandated.
The answer was no.  The Chief outlined the current force continuum, which consists of verbal warning, pepper spray (not always effective) and then firearms.  “We are just looking for one more line of defense so that we can avoid a potential shooting if we have to.”
Trustee Gluck pointed out that there was a substantial amount of training involved with obtaining the certification needed to operate the Tasers and it was not as though they were going to be handed out to every officer to carry.
The Chief concurred.
Following some further discussion the Board voted 3-1 in favor of approving the purchase, with Trustee McHugh voting against.
Resolve to Accept Bid on Surplus Police Equipment – This pertains to surplus equipment that was stripped from old police vehicles and put for sale by the Chief with the permission of the Board.  The parts fetched $517 and the Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the bid.
Resolve to Approve Grant Application – The Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the Chief to move forward with a grant that will enable replacing laptops with tablets, subject to review by the Village attorney.
Resolve to Authorize Wee Wah Fishing Club to Repair Dock – The Board voted in favor of allowing the WW Fishing Club to move forward with dock repairs.  At the request of Trustee Shaw, before and after pictures of the dock must be provided in order to ensure that it remains the same size.
Resolve to Approve the Tuxedo Club Fireworks Application – There was a lengthy discussion regarding the Clubs application for fireworks, which mainly centered on Covid-19 and what restrictions may or may not be in place come July in terms of crowds gathering.  Ultimately, the Board voted 3-2 in favor approving the application with the condition that the club must comply with all regulations at the time of the display.  Trustees Gluck and Shaw voted against the approval. 

The Board then entered into an executive session to discuss litigation and employees and union negotiations. 

999 - BOT February 16, 2022, Regular Meeting from Village of Tuxedo Park, NY on Vimeo.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 17, 2021

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Notice of Public Hearing February 17, 2021

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Tuxedo Park is considering discontinuing a certain road that was dedicated to the Village in 1953 as a Parkway by the Tuxedo Park Association as follows:

Unnamed Paper Road parcel (approximately 1,800 feet in length) between tax parcels Section 103, Block 1, Lot 12 and Section 103, Block 1, Lot 49.2, and Section 103, Block 1, Lot 11.2; and, Town of Tuxedo parcel Section 8, Block 1, Lot 25.

The proposed amendments and related documents are available at the Village Clerk’s Office, 80 Lorillard Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987, Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 25, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on Monday, January 25 at 3pm.

Mayors Comments:
There were none.

Public Comments:
There were none

Old Business:
Resolve to Approve December 16 BOT Minutes - The Trustees voted in favor of approving the December 16 minutes.
Resolve to Approve Debbie Matthews To Continue Training Her Replacement Elizabeth Doherty Through The End of May – The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Debbie Matthews one day a week at a rate of  $355.74 per day to continue training her replacement, Elizabeth Doherty, through the end of May.  The total expense will be $6,047.58.
Resolve to Reschedule the Public Hearing to Discontinue a Portion of a Paper Road, AKA The Lower Brook Road, for Purchase by Resident Michael Bruno for Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at 6pm – The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of rescheduling the hearing for February 17 at 6pm.

New Business:
Resolve to Adopt a Separation Policy – As the policy was not ready, this item was removed from the agenda.
Request to Adjust Account #64501 in the Amount of $646.87 – A voucher was submitted to refund the customer for the credit amount on file following the sale of the property.  The Board was in unanimous support of the request.
Resolve for Weston & Sampson to Complete the Annual Wee Wag Dam & Pond No. 3 Dam Certifications – This was discussed for about 10 minutes.  Trustee McHugh commented that the engineering firm CHA had performed these certifications for the past 3 years and he felt that for the sake of consistency that the Village should continue with them.  He also noted that having worked on the Wee Wah Dam, CHA was better equipped to answer some of the questions that might arise and further that they had a strong interface with the DEC.  He suggested that rather than to approve a firm at this time, they should consider approving a dollar amount.
John Ledwith suggested that utilizing Weston & Sampson would ensure a system of checks and balances.  While there was no issue with keeping CHA involved in dam maintenance and DEC compliance, having another firm look everything over and complete the certification paperwork would allow them to make sure everything was truly in check.
The Mayor commented that he liked the idea of checks and balances.
Trustee Gluck stated that he felt both firms were good, but CHA was familiar with what would be required for the certifications while Weston and Sampson would likely need to collect information, which could well lead to accessory costs for the Village.
Trustee Shaw wondered if it were a complicated process and was informed that it not and consists of a 1-page form.
Trustee Kasker suggested that since both firms were strong they should choose the one that would be most fiscally advantageous for the Village.
Following some further discussion it was agreed that as the Board did not have estimates from either firm yet, they would authorize a dollar amount not to exceed $2,000, and choose the firm accordingly once the estimates had been received. 

Audit of Claims :
Discussion about BAR Billing of Engineers and Attorney’s Time Per Applicant – The Board discussed BAR’s billing of Engineers and Attorney’s time per applicant. Best practices must be developed.  Mayor McFadden suggested that he would draft something up based on what the Planning Board uses and present it for approval at the next meeting.  He suggested they hold off on billing until then.  Trustee Kasker noted that he agreed that the process needs to be fair and equitable and that they need to make sure that the right professionals are in the meetings.  He further commented that he had attended the January 21 meeting of the BAR at which they spent over an hour reviewing the architectural details of one home and 35 minutes reviewing plans for a proposed pool at another.  No decisions were made and neither project was granted an approval.   While the attorney was present the entire time, he was never called upon nor did he weigh in, yet he will surely bill for the time. 
The Mayor wondered if the BAR might consider having two types of meetings, one formal and the other informal.  The informal meetings might focus on architecture and engineering comments and discussions, while the formal meetings would be reserved for decision making.  If this were to come to pass, perhaps the attorney would only be required at the formal meetings.  This is just an idea however.  He further noted that the BAR had recently approached the Village and asked them to take a look at the Design Guidelines in order to possibly enable some updates/revisions.  Approved/recommended materials are of particular concern to them in that there have been advancements since the guidelines were originally put together and what might not have been considered appropriate or in keeping with the historic nature of the Village has changed with the development of new materials.   
Ultimately it was determined that they would take a closer look at the bills and work towards establishing best practices moving forward.

The Board then entered into an executive session to discuss separation policy and water invoice settlement.

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Agenda for Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 25, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 20, 2021

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by commenting that he had posted a number of reports to both the Board and the Public.  He encouraged everyone to take a look at the Police Department’s Annual Report, which is a report put together by Chief Conklin summarizing the past year.  He further noted that although there was no formal report at this time, the Communications Committee was very close to negotiating a contract for a new cell tower.   Additionally, Village engineers, Weston & Sampson, completed a structural review of the DPW building.  While there appear to be no substantial structural issues with the building itself, there are a number of other issues, (stairs, lighting etc.) which will need to be addressed moving forward. 

Reports to the Board & Public:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the Police Department’s Annual Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department/Construction Report
Click here to view the Water Department Report
Click here to view the Engineering Report
Click here to view the Budget Report
Click here to view the Village Litigation Report
Click here to view the results of FYKE Bird Count
Click here to view the Town Liaison Report and here to view the notice for an upcoming meeting of the Tuxedo Farms LDC. 

There were no comments from the Trustees on any of these reports.

Public Comments:
Robert Brown noted that he had noticed additional commercial traffic in the Park on the weekends, mainly FedEx and Amazon.  These trucks frequently stop in the middle of the streets, creating a safety hazard when cars have to drive around them.  He wondered if there had been a change in policy as he had been under the impression that commercial traffic was not permitted on the weekends.
Mayor McFadden responded that the Board and the Police were well aware of this issue and that they had taken steps to address it this past summer by limiting the hours during which commercial vehicles can enter the Village on weekdays.  Chief Conklin concurred adding that deliveries were not permitted (without request for an exception) past 5pm on weekdays.  He added that deliveries are allowed on Saturdays but not Sundays.  He further suggested that they could look into discontinuing the allowance of Saturday deliveries if desired.  Trustee Kasker suggested that prior to making any changes they should explore the issue further and get feedback from the public.  Either way, Mayor McFadden assured Mr. Brown that the vehicles should not be stopping in the middle of the road and they would look into it ASAP.
Claudio Guazzoni commented that it had been his understanding that there was supposed to be a public hearing on the discontinuance of “an unnamed public road” earlier that evening at 6:45pm, but the hearing had not occurred.  He wondered if the hearing had been cancelled or postponed.
The Mayor responded that the hearing had not been planned for “un unnamed public road” but rather concerned the lower Brook Road and the subsequent agreement with Michael Bruno.  “You should know this because you were on the Board when the Village made this deal,” commented the Mayor McFadden, further explaining that Mr. Bruno has an option to buy the lower portion of the Road but before that can happen, it must be discontinued.  The discontinuance requires a public hearing.  The reason the hearing had been postponed was due to a clerical error on the notice.  This was announced via an email circulated by the Mayor to residents earlier in the day. 
Mr. Guazzoni inquired as to whether there would be a public hearing to consider the discontinuance of the road connecting East Lake Road and Tuxedo Lake.
The Mayor responded that that particular hearing had already taken place and the road had been discontinued several weeks back.
“So, we are not having another hearing tonight?” pressed Mr. Guazzoni.
The Mayor reiterated that another hearing was not needed as the road in question had already been discontinued. “Didn’t you make a series of accusations?  Would you like those to be addressed?” continued Mayor McFadden.  “You made a series of accusations about side deals, inside deals, land sales, public bids and all sorts of stuff.  You claimed there were people who were willing to pay $150,000 if it has a dock.  Do you want to ignore those comments you made or do you want to discuss them publicly?”
“Mayor, keep going,” responded Mr. Guazzoni.  “You are a great playground bully and you are adding to our Article 78.  Keep going.”
“In that case,” replied the Mayor, “I will ask the attorney to address those matters because he is our expert and we rely on him.”
Village Attorney Brian Nugent advised the Mayor that these comments should not be addressed during the meeting and that they should move on.
Michael Coleman thanked the DPW for their hard work during the last snow event.  One of the workman noticed that Mike was struggling to get up Crows Nest Road and went beyond the call of duty to ensure he was able to get up there by blazing a path.  “Thank you to Jeff Voss and the great workers of the DPW for being out there and being vigilant.”

Old Business:
Workers Compensation Insurance PERMA – This coverage represents old Workman’s Comp claims that are still being paid out.  Following some discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of extending it.

New Business:
Resolve to Approve Weston & Sampson Training of PFAS Sampling Protocols and Labs – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolve to Approve Weston & Sampson Recommendation for Control Panel Installation - The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolve to Establish Procedure For Tax Assessment Settlements – This was discussed at some length.  Trustee McHugh commented that while he admired the attempt to democratize a process, he didn’t feel that what had been proposed allowed the Village the latitude or the leverage needed when meeting in front of the Judge.  He agrees that the process needs to be enhanced, but he feels it would be better to have a group buy in prior and then designate one or two Trustees to appear before the Judge.  Trustee Gluck concurred, suggesting that what had been proposed made for a good start but he felt there was “a more elegant” way to get there.
Ultimately, the Board voted 3-2 in favor of approving the resolution with Trustees McHugh and Gluck voting against.
Resolve to establish a committee of community stakeholders in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order.  The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.  Members of the Police Reform Committee are: Police chief Dave Conklin, Mayor David McFadden, Trustee Chris Kasker, Father Richard “Rick” Datos-Robyn, Joshua Scherer and Serena Mueller – Mayor McFadden explained that the Governor had passed an Executive Order following the George Floyd case whereby the State is asking all police departments in the State to evaluate their method of policing and their techniques of policing.  There is an April deadline by which each municipality must accept a plan that reflects consideration of requests made by the Government.  Each municipality is required to put together a committee to meet with the police and review the way they police and move towards community policing and/or move towards reallocating budget from one section to another.  The committee will make a report to the public, and the public will be able to review the plan and make comments via public hearings.
 The Chief and the Mayor have put together the committee as noted above. 
The Board voted unanimously in favor of ratifying the committee.
Resolve to sell surplus Police Equipment – Following a brief discussion the Board voted in favor of selling surplus police equipment as detailed by Chief Conklin, with Trustee McHugh abstaining because he could not find the list within his Board packet and did not want to vote without seeing it. 

Approval of Minutes :
Following some discussion the Board agreed to table the approval of minutes.

The Board then entered into an Executive Session to discuss litigation and employees. 

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Assessment Review Meeting January 25, 2021

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 20, 2021

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*This evening's Public Hearing on the purchase of the lower portion of a Village Paper Road, a.k.a. Brook Road by resident Michael Bruno has been postponed. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Assessment Review Meeting January 20, 2021

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Notice of Public Hearing January 20, 2021

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 17 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, December 16 at 7pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by wishing everyone happy holidays and acknowledging the impending winter storm, for which the Village is well prepared.  Garbage pick-up for Thursday, December 17 has been cancelled and the Village Office will also be closed on that day.  DPW and Police have extra manpower standing by in case it is needed.  Anyone with special safety requirements or who might want a safety check for either a loved one or a pet is encouraged to contact the Police Department at 351-4741. 
Covid-19 cases and subsequent hospitalizations have increased in Orange County and the Village is advising all residents to be careful and to continue following the CDC guidelines.

Village Engineer Q & A Regarding Sewer Line Repair:
The Mayor introduced Joe Zongol of Weston & Sampson, who provided the Board with a summary of their recent memo concerning SSES (sewer remediation) and I&I (inflow and infiltration) issues in Village and their recommendations for how they should be addressed.
Explaining that the Village has a SPDES permit, (discharge permit) which allows them to operate and maintain the wastewater treatment plant and associated collection system, Mr. Zongol further stated that there is an I&I problem within the collection system, allowing for infiltration of groundwater into the sanitary system and inflow (illicit connections, sump pumps, etc.)  This increases both the flow through the plant as well as chemical usage and dilutes down the ability to effectively treat the wastewater.  As part of the SPDES permit, the Village is required to remediate some of the I&I within the system.  This is something that has been ongoing for a number of years.  A portion of the project is currently under construction and will be substantially completed as of December, with an anticipated return credit of $121,815 to the Village on the $451,582 contract.
Within the project, there was a section of pipe that was discovered to be 4inches in diameter as opposed to 6inches as originally indicated.  Because 4-inch pipe is more difficult to install, remediating/relining this pipe could prove to be extremely expensive for the Village, even with a change in material from clay tile to PVC.  W & S is recommending that the Village not remediate this small section of pipe, which is actually contributing a relatively small amount of I&I and rather approach the DEC and substitute it with a section in the Village that has yet to be investigated but is likely to be contributing a much higher quantity of I&I and will move to achieve the Village’s goal of attaining more I&I reduction for the same value, while holding the contractor to his provided price. 
Next Mr. Zongol moved on to the Overton Subdivision project, for which there has been an agreement cast between the Village and the applicant, whereby the DEC is mandating that for every house constructed which adds to the sewer flow in the Village the applicant must provide compensation to do a 3:1 offset for I&I compared to the base sanitary flow.  Three areas within the Village system, referred to as “trunk sewers,” where clay tile pipes are in close proximity the lake t have been identified.  W&S is recommending that by the process of flow isolation they determine whether or not there is substantial I&I in the trunk sewers and if so, they will meet with the DEC to see if they can substitute remediation of this project for the 4 inch pipe. At the same time, this can be coordinated with the Overton Project and a legal agreement can be executed for partial reimbursement to satisfy their need to remediate I&I.  This way the Village can get significant reduction while the Overton Project can meet their needs.  The trunk flows have been identified for three main reasons. First, there have been reported sewer overflows during high rain events and this could pose a public health concern flowing into the lakes. Secondly, the Village has received a notice of Violation from the DEC for excessive flows, which requires that they submit a work plan to address certain items and specific sub-basins have been identified for investigation.   W&S has inserted a clause into the work plan, which states that if the Village were to find another significant source of I&I, they reserve the right to negotiate with the DEC to remediate these instead of investigating, designing and constructing repairs to the identified basins, which could be quite costly for the Village. Finally, remediation of the trunk sewers could work in concert with the Overton Project and since the current construction project is being funded by grant monies and through low and no-interest loans, with a credit of roughly $120,000, that money could then be applied toward these projects if they are found to be significant contributors to I&I.   If they aren’t, the credit could go back to the Village or be used in some other fashion.
Trustee Gluck commented that it was his understanding that there had been no reported sewage overflows.  The one instance that was reported to the Board was reviewed and determined not to be an overflow.
Mayor McFadden countered that there had been a visual inspection after which it was determined that there had been an overflow. 
Secondly, Trustee Gluck expressed concern that the Village should be careful not to “give away more than they have to” with respect to Overton and their obligations.  He pointed out that according to the agreement it was Overton’s responsibility to fully fund any I&I required by the DEC in order to allow the lots to be connected to the system.  While cost sharing is a possibility, he urged the Board not to get too far down the road with incurring expenses unless they had an understanding that reflects the cost sharing to its full extend within the agreements.  
 This was discussed.
Trustee McHugh concurred with Trustee Gluck that there had not been an overflow situation, noting that Jeff Voss had investigated and determined that a report did not need to be filed. 
Secondly, with regard to the DEC notice of violation, he pointed out that after filing the work plan, the response they had received from the DEC noted that the Village had applied for a grant and were moving forward with the second phase of the I&I construction and that this would satisfy their requirement.  He further pointed out that at the previous BOT meeting, the Board had approved a proposal for W & S to complete an analysis of phase-one in order to determine whether or not it had been successful.  
Mr. Zongol concurred, noting that his recommendations had pertained to another section of the work plan, which requires the investigation of additional sub-basins.
Trustee McHugh responded that the Village has a responsibility pertaining to their SPDES permit and addressing I&I flows and that there are certain benchmarks they must hit with the DEC.  Phase one has been completed and the benchmarks were not achieved.  Now they are working on phase two.  Once completed, he feels they need to analyze the work and if they have succeeded, then they will be in compliance with their permits.
Mr. Zongol replied that regardless of the results of the flow analysis study, the DEC has indicated that the sub basins will need to be investigated.  He further stated that in his estimation it was unlikely that at the completion of the current project the floes would be below the threshold to not necessitate further work. 
Trustee McHugh suggested that they might be jumping the gun and that although the three projects that have been identified by W&S are likely large contributors to the I&I issues, they should not spend money until they have to.
Trustee Shaw brought up the Pond #3 line, wondering whether Trustee McHugh felt that they should not investigate this issue.
He affirmed that he did not feel they should move forward with it at this time.
The Mayor expressed his concern with this, asking Mr. Zongol to confirm whether or not the situation with Pond #3 constituted a risk.
Mr. Zongol recommended that the Village look at the Pond #3 line, stating that he felt the risk management benefit could be substantial.
Trustee Kasker wondered whether the Village would meet the DEC requirements if they chose to do nothing further at this time.
The answer was yes, with the exception of figuring out how to remediate the situation with the 4-inch pipe. If the Village invests $4,800 into flow isolation, they may be able to determine that ultimately money could be better spent addressing I&I elsewhere and avoid the costly replacement of the 4-inch pipe. 
Trustee McHugh suggested that if they were to do nothing now and wait until March/April when they will have an analysis of the work already completed…should they discover that they were still non-compliant with the SPDES permit, they would then be in a good position to go back to the DEC and propose the flow isolation project in lieu of the 4-inch pipe replacement.
Following some further discussion, revolving around timelines and Overton’s involvement, the Q and A was brought to a conclusion.

 

Reports to the Board and the Public:
Mayor McFadden delivered the following brief report highlights:
Communications Committee – A cell tower for Verizon and other carriers is now within reach.  The committee will be obtaining contracts shortly and if things go well they will be signing an agreement to have the cell tower installed.  The only bummer is that there is a yearlong wait list, so it would likely be late 2021/early 2022 before anything came to fruition. 
Police – A car went into Tuxedo Lake at the intersection of Turtle Point and West Lake Roads.  Thankfully, everyone involved was ok.  The Chief is requesting a guardrail for that area.  This will be discussed moving forward, but the Mayor feels it is a “probably a very good idea.”
Welcome Committee – This committee held their first meeting via Zoom at which they discussed the goals and scope of the committee, which is to improve the take-away information provided to new residents.  The meeting was very productive and they will be meeting again in January.
The Traffic Booth – The project is going very well and there are no setbacks at this time.
Village-Wide Re-Assessment – The Mayor, Trustee Shaw and former Deputy Mayor Chris Hansen participated in a phone call with the Real Property Service Administrator (southern region) for the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance as well as the Director of the Orange County Real Tax Service Agency.  Various options for the reassessment were reviewed in detail.  Ultimately it was concluded that undertaking the reassessment would “not be worth it” at this time.  Mayor McFadden invited anyone who had questions about this to contact him following the meeting.  
Building Department – Click here to view the Building Department report for the month of December.

Public Comments:
Jim Hays commented that back on December 2 he had sent an email to the Board volunteering to work with the Lakes Manager to develop a long-range plan for the treatment of the Village lakes.  He then read a portion of the email into the record.  At the time that the Village hired a Lakes Manager the BOT made a unanimous verbal commitment to give an annual report to Village residents on the state of the lakes.  Such a report was to include the work during done during the previous summer as well as the condition of the lakes relative to the prior year.  It would also indicate which of the prior years’ objectives had been achieved while outlining plans and objectives for the following year together with long-term goals and objectives to improve the ecological health of the lakes.  The appropriate time to compile such a report would be in the beginning of the year before the Board started budgeting for next years’ work.  Mr. Hays has offered to work with the Lakes Manager to prepare a draft of such a report with the intent of submitting it sometime in either late January or early February.  He asked them to please consider this offer.
There followed a discussion with regard to the development with a long-range plan rather than looking at things on a year-to-year basis.  Trustee McHugh suggested that the Lakes Manager had already been charged with the development of such a plan but he did not have the data yet to compile it.  Mr. Hays noted that there was data available from the year prior but to date, no long-term plan had been created.  He reiterated his offer help draft it.   
The Mayor along with Trustees Kasker and Shaw were in openly in favor of this and so it was agreed that Mayor McFadden would meet with Mr. Hays to go over the technical aspects of creating the plan.
Trustee Gluck, who also endorsed Mr. Hays’ involvement, further suggested that a Board representative should be included in the process.
In regard to a resolution on the agenda pertaining to a paper road, Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hanson noted that it was not quite clear whether the Village was intending to buy or sell a paper road, however she believed that unless there was a really strong or necessary planning reason for the Village to surrender its right to its roads she would recommend against it.  Further, she noted that if a resident was currently involved in litigation with the Village, she would question why the Village might enter into voluntary negotiations with that resident while litigation was still going on.  On behalf of the Planning Board, she advised that the Village should retain on all of its roads and rights because as they moved into the future, they did not know what use they may serve for the Village.
The Mayor responded that the item in question pertained to a deal that had been made with Michael Bruno by a prior administration.  One of the required stages of the deal is for the Village to schedule a public hearing.  He further suggested that Board attorney Brian Nugent would explain further when they reached that part of the meeting.
Claudio Guazzoni congratulated Trustee Kasker on his skill in writing out the Mayor’s Reports, further noting the last one regarding Debbie Matthews had been very well written and done her “some great credit.”
Trustee Kasker responded for the record that he had had nothing to do with writing the Mayor’s correspondence.  “I didn’t touch the report,” he stated.  “I will never write a report.  I will attend the Board meetings and vote appropriately and do appropriate research, so let the record show that Kasker had nothing to do with that.  That was all the Mayor or somebody else.”
Secondly, Mr. Guazzoni pointed out that later in the meeting the agenda showed that there was a road to be decommissioned.  He wondered whether this was the paper road off of East Lake Road or another one.
Mayor McFadden responded that it was the road off of East Lake Road that had been under discussion for the last several months.
Mr. Guazzoni stated that he felt that it was very important that Village assets not be sold off “willy nilly.”  He further suggested that if the Village residents truly did wish to sell the parcel in question, that it should be put up at public auction and sold to the highest bidder.  “Right now the Mayor’s friend is bidding $15,000, which is a ridiculous low amount for this desired parcel.  Why is the Mayor afraid to use a public auction process to determine a fair market value for this parcel? I think that fair market value is determined by the auction process.  I myself have a $50,000 bid on that parcel.  I will pursue my bid very aggressively.  I will not see the Village sell and transfer very valuable lands at below market value to the Mayor’s friends in a backroom deal.  It will lead to lawsuits here.  We are bidding very aggressively.  Our plan is to turn it unto a public park.”  He then reiterated that Village assets should not be changing hands in what he again alleged were “backroom deals,” further suggesting that by doing so the Village was taking money out of everyone’s pocket and transferring it to private individuals.   
Ms. Hanson reiterated that if the East Lake parcel was indeed what was being discussed that she did not believe that the Village should be selling land to anyone but should rather retain its’ rights to those lands.
Mr. Guazzoni pointed out that the Maddens were currently suing the Village and that they should not be entering into negotiations with anybody with whom they were engaged in litigation.
Michele Lindsay inquired about the resolution on the agenda extending a 2015 agreement, wondering specifically if this were the annexation agreement and if the extension was to allow for the SEQRA process. 
The answer was yes.

Old Business:
Resolution – Weston & Sampson Proposal – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the Weston & Sampson proposal in the amount of $29,500 regarding sewer trunk line investigations for Pond #3, Wee Wag Lake and Tuxedo Lake flow isolation, which will include tasks 1, 2, 3A, 3B, 3C, 6 and task 7.
Resolution – Discontinuance of a Portion of a Paper Road – For the record, Mayor McFadden pointed out that there has been no agreement to sell this particular road for $15,000 as previously alleged by Mr. Guazzoni.  Trustee Kasker added that all they were doing by way of this vote was to change the property in question from a road to a property.  The Village stilled owned it and retained all rights.  No sale could move forward without a public hearing.
Trustee Gluck wondered why they were moving to discontinue the road if they were not intending to potentially sell it.  He asked them to consider why they were going to the time and expense of doing this now if they did not have a clear picture of their ultimate intent suggesting they should wait until they had better confidence in what they were doing before moving forward. 
The Mayor responded that the action was based on a request from the Maddens, who had come forward with an informal offer to purchase the lower portion of the paper road, and that it was his intent to present them with a counteroffer that included contingencies, but before anything formal could take place, offer or counter-offer, the road needed to be discontinued.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted 3-2 in favor of the discontinuance with Trustees Gluck and McHugh voting against.

New Business:
Resolution – Authorizing the Mayor to execute an extension of the 2015 agreement between the Village and Michael Bruno and Alexander Jakowic – Board Attorney Brian Nugent explained that this pertained to a 2015 agreement between the Village of Tuxedo Park and Mr. Bruno and Mr. Jakowic concerning several parcels of land.  At the time of the agreement there was a discontinuance and transfer of portions of certain paper roads.  There remains one parcel/paper road along the Village Boarder to be purchased by Mr. Bruno as well as the annexation of two parcels that currently belong to the Town of Tuxedo.  An agreement between the Town and Related Companies/Tuxedo Farms had originally required the later to annex the two parcels into the Village of Tuxedo Park, but in the 2015 agreement Mr. Bruno agreed to take on the responsibility of annexing the parcels into the Village.  The provisions of the agreement are set to expire on December 31, 2020, however the Town and the Village are still waiting on the SEQRA documents before the process can proceed.  The proposed the extension will extend the agreement for 90 days, allowing the SEQRA process to conclude and the annexation to move forward.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
Resolution and Option – Requiring the Purchase of Former Village Roadway Parcel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution. (*this resolution was actually voted on before the extension)
Resolution – To Schedule a Public Hearing for 6:45pm on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 to Discontinue a Portion of a Paper Road Enabling the Village to Proceed with Requiring Purchase of Former Village Roadway Parcel – The Board voted unanimously in favor of scheduling the hearing.
Resolution – To Approve the Village of Tuxedo Park’s Continued Membership of Tree City USA - At Trustee McHugh’s urging, Tree Advisory Committee Chair Christopher Gow explained that the Village had been a member of Tree City USA for the last 4 years.  The Group embodies the same basic mission as the TAB, which is the promotion and encouragement of the stewardship of trees, which involves planting trees and encouraging the use of native trees as well as educating people about the benefits of them.  After 5 years, the benefits to continuing the Villages’ membership is that there will be more grants available which will allow the Village to procure free trees to plant.  This is particularly important at the moment because of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Residents may have noticed the large streaks of bark that have been breaking free from hundreds of trees in the Park.  This is a result of woodpeckers attacking the borer larva on the bark.  The Emerald Ash Borers lay their eggs on the bark and when they hatch the larva bore into the tree and its transportation tissue, which ultimately kills the tree.  Most of the ash trees in the Park will likely die.  Tree City USA and the associated grants provide the Village with an opportunity to both plant new trees and learn more about what they can do to combat the Emerald Ash Borers and spreading the disease they promote.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of passing the resolution.
Resolution – To Proclaim April 30, 2021 as Arbor Day – The Board voted unanimously in favor of proclaiming April 30, 2021 as Arbor Day.
Resolution – To Proclaim Debbie Matthews Day – The Board voted unanimously in favor of proclaiming December 4 as Debbie Matthews Day.  Every year on this date an acknowledgement to the Debbie will be posted on the Village Website. 
Resolution  - Adoption of New Retention and Disposition Schedule for New York Local Government Records – The Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the new schedule.  Mayor McFadden announced that the Village was in the process of cleaning out their files and would be bringing a shredding company into the Village to assist with some of the disposal.  He will be announcing this when it occurs so any residents who have things that need to be shredded will be informed.
Resolution – Police Department Equipment Disposal – This resolution was unanimously adopted.
Resolution – NEAMI/PERMA Contract Renewal – As the Trustees had not had ample time to review the contract information, it was agreed that the resolution would be tabled.
Resolution – Adjustment for Account #121 in the amount of $402.39 for Consumption Usage Recorded in Error – This pertains to an inaccurate water meter reading and subsequent error in billing.   The meter was reread and the billing corrected.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution.
Resolution – Resignation of PO Ryle – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of Police Officer Ryle.  Officer Ryle accepted a full time position elsewhere and could no longer give the Village the part-time hours. 
Resolution – Approval of Management Letter for Auditors – The Board voted unanimously approved the letter. 

The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss a particular employee as well as litigation matters.

 

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 17 2020

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 18, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met at 6:45pm on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 via zoom.

Public Hearing – Discontinuance of Paper Road:
Prior to opening the Public Hearing Mayor McFadden asked the Village attorney to comment on the purpose of the hearing as there had been a flurry of false information widely circulated throughout the Village in the days leading up to the hearing. 
It was explained that the purpose of the hearing was to discuss the potential discontinuance of a road.   The Board must determine whether or not the parcel in question has any municipal purpose and should they determine that it does not, they may choose to discontinue it. 
The Mayor asked the attorney to confirm that there was nothing with regard to the potential sale of the property currently before them and that they had not accepted a $15,000 offer on the land nor opened any sort of bidding process.
The attorney concurred, further stating that the Village was not currently contemplating a sale of the property or accepting any offers. 
Resolution – SEQRA:The Board then voted unanimously in favor of declaring itself lead agency under SEQRA.
The public hearing was opened.
There was a lengthy debate with regard to the property in question, which began with a history/overview from Sean Madden, who owns the parcels on either side of the paper road.  Mr. Madden further addressed the recent community-wide emails circulated by Claudio Guazzoni, labeling the content therein as “malicious mistruths” which he suggested were “a figment of the alternate universe that he (Mr. Guazzoni) seems to inhabit.”
Mr. Guazzoni responded, asserting that he intended no ill will towards Mr. Madden but felt that if declared surplus, the property should be put to auction where it could fetch a fair market price, arguing that he believed this would be “the right thing at the right price for the residents.”
There ensued a somewhat contentious back-and-forth, which was peppered by intermittent comments and questions from various other members of the public and which focused primarily on the potential sale of the property.   At one point Mayor McFadden silenced Mr. Guazzoni’s microphone in order to prevent him from speaking but then reinstated it at the request of several residents.
Ultimately, in an effort to calm the uproar, Mr. Madden put forth an alternate plan, which would allow the Village to maintain the paper road and by which the Maddens would formally request permission to landscape the lower portion of the road, pursuant to a BAR approved landscaping plan.   They would also be willing to make a donation to the Village, financing the ZOOM equipment that is currently under consideration. “This, from my point of view, would maintain the status quo.  Nobody can sue anybody about it.  The Village will get some benefit.  We’re going to beautify the property and we can put all of this nonsense to the side,” he stated.  
Mr. Guazzoni agreed that this would be a good compromise and solution and further  vowed to match the Madden’s donation to the Village as a show of “no hard feelings.”
The discussion continued for some time with Chris Hansen making points regarding precedent that had been set by previous administrations with the sale of paper roads and further debate over the potential sale of the parcel.  “In an environment where our community should be inviting new residents, who want to invest in their properties and make our community a more attractive place, this kind of process is not a good inducement,” suggested Mr. Madden. “The Board, this process, Claudio has wasted an enormous amount of our time and a little bit of money…and it’s annoying…and new residents are watching…and they’re watching the BAR process and the more difficult we make it , the more we are going to drive people away to more inviting communities in Westchester and other places in the Hudson Valley.”
Following some further debate, the Public Hearing was closed.
Click here to listen to a full recording of this hearing. 

The regular meeting was then opened.

Mayoral Comments:
Mayor McFadden expressed his gratitude to several Village employees.  Village Clerk Debbie Matthews has been busy training her replacement Elizabeth Doherty
while simultaneously keeping up with her daily responsibilities. Noting that this takes an impressive amount of time and effort, Mayor McFadden further commented that the training had been going very well and that Elizabeth has demonstrated a real “can do attitude” which the he believes will be an asset to the Village.  He thanked both women for their strong work.
John Ledwith represented the Village at SCAR hearings in Goshen.  He did an exceptional job as he always does, and the Mayor thanked him for his efforts.
There was a serious water main leak at the intersection of Tower Hill and Tuxedo Roads a week or so ago. DPW Superintendent Voss and his crew worked around the clock to both investigate and fix it and then Superintendent Voss played a critical role in working with the County on managing the boil-water mandate, making sure that things were done correctly and that residents were kept informed.  Mayor McFadden thanked him and the entire department for their time and effort.
Lastly, the Mayor thanked Police Chief David Conklin for his work surrounding Halloween, making sure that the officers and residents were well informed and ready and then ensuring that everyone who was out and about was safe and in compliance. 

Reports:
DPW Report - Click here to view the DPW report
Police Report – Click here to view the Police report
Water Synopsis – Click here to view the Water Department synopsis.  Trustee Shaw inquired as to the outstanding water bills and how the Village went about collecting these debts.  Trustee McHugh provided an overview of the process.
Building Department Report - Click here to view the Building Department Report
Litigation Report - Click here to view the Litigation Report

Public Comments on Agenda Items:
Enrique Corredor commented that he felt that remarks made by Sean Madden at the end of the Public Hearing about having a community where residents could improve their properties were extremely important.  “It just seems like Claudio’s attempts here were simply to obstruct what the Madden Family wants to do,” he stated. “The concept that that small sliver of land could be turned into a park is pretty outrageous if anyone has seen that piece of property.  It’s super thin.  It’s 15 feet wide.  You can barely fit a bench on it and it’s a super steep incline,” he continued suggesting that the email Mr. Guazzoni had circulated to the community, in which he suggested that there was going to be a public auction and that people should band together and formulate proposals to purchase the land, was disingenuous and obstructive.  “I don’t like feeling this way,” he stated.  He then suggested that Mr Guazzoni and Mr. Madden get together and put a stop to all the negativity by coming to an amicable solution. 
Mr. Guazzoni responded that his desire was not to obstruct the Madden family, but rather to protect the rest of the residents so that the Village obtains a proper and fair price for the property.  He went on to say that Mr. Madden could bid in the auction and that nobody was preventing him from doing so. “My desire is not to give that piece of property away..take it off of the books of the residents and put it into the hands of somebody at a below-market value.  That’s all.”
There were no further public comments.

Old Business:
Discussion – Comparing Quotes from ZOOM and BlueJeans for Village Hall – The Village requested bids from 3 vendors on the design and installation of a remote meeting product in the Village hall.  This would be utilized by the Village Boards and, if interested, the Village court.  Over the course of the Covid crisis, it has become apparent that live streaming of Village meetings allows for greater attendance and community participation.   Once in-person meetings resume, this equipment will enable to Village to continue to stream, providing residents with both virtual and in-person attendance options. 
The Village contacted ZOOM, Bluejeans and WebEx.  WebEx did not respond.  ZOOM has presented a few options, which differ significantly in price depending on the type of technology the Village wishes to use ranging from $10,000 to $30,000.  The Village may be able to acquire some of the equipment through its municipal IT agreement with the Town of New Windsor, which would potentially lower costs significantly.  No information was provided about the Bluejeans bid. 
Given Mr. Madden’s earlier offer to fund the equipment, Mayor McFadden suggested that the Board table the discussion until the next meeting, which would allow them time to explore all of their options.  Before moving on he asked Trustees Kasker and Shaw whether they had any thoughts to offer on this topic or on the topic of the resolution to discontinue the paper road.  The resolution to discontinue appeared on the agenda, but was skipped over following Mr. Madden’s offer during the public hearing.
Trustee Kasker expressed his frustration at the fact that all of the discussion seemed to center around an offer to purchase the property, but this is not what was being decided.  Whether the Board votes to discontinue the road or not, it is still Village property and he is unclear as to why they didn’t vote on it as planned and then discuss purchasing should it arise.
The Mayor responded that he believed purchasing was off the table at this point.  He inquired of the attorney whether they would still need to do discontinuance if they chose to give Mr. Madden a revocable license to landscape the property and further whether such a license would be permissible under those circumstances.
The answer was yes, a revocable license, with certain conditions, could be granted without the discontinuance.
Trustee Kasker pointed out that there had been only one vocal resident who was opposed to the discontinuance during the public hearing with close to 80 people in attendance.  “We’re going to let one person dictate everything this Board is doing?  I don’t think we want to live in a Village like that either.  I would prefer that we table it an discuss it another time if that is what we want to do, but I don’t think it is fair to Mr. Madden to delay this process.  Regardless of whether we discontinue the public road or not, it’s still Village property.  The whole discussion was about selling the Village property and that’s not the resolution in front of this Board.  We got totally sidetracked.”
“Madden offered an alternative to purchasing the road,” stated the Mayor, outling the offer that had been presented earlier.  “If that’s the case, I do not believe that we would need to do any SEQRA work or any discontinuance work.”  With that being said, he indicated that if they still wanted to do it, they could postpone until the next meeting.  He asked then asked Mr. Madden for his thoughts.
“I think Trustee Kasker is right on the money,” responded Mr. Madden.  “It is ridiculous the way this process has gone.”  Commenting that he did not want to reiterate all that had been said already he stated “There has been a false choice presented by Claudio’s misinformation.  That false choice is that somehow some other party could buy this lot.  He said it’s apples to apples.  It’s not.  The only alternative is that the Village holds this property as is or it sells it to  one of the two property owners, who can absorb it into an existing, code compliant lot.  A 15x100 foot lot is not legal.”
From the audience Mr. Guazzoni asserted that the BZA could sell Village land in parcels as big or small as they chose.
Trustee Kasker attempted to silence Mr. Guazzoni by reminding him that this was not a public hearing and that he had not been invited to speak, to which Mr. Guazzoni replied “This is a public Board meeting, and my name was taken in vane again.”
“So what?  Write a letter,” retorted Trustee Kasker.
“We created some form of peace Mr. Kasker and you decided to stoke the fire.  Why is that? Come on!  Stop!  The BZA can do whatever they want,” stated Mr. Guazzoni.
“The notion that this piece of property is ever going to be owned by anybody else is fanciful,” commented Mr. Madden.  “Before you even took action we would sue the Village.”
“and I would sue you too,” noted Mr. Guazzoni, “so we could both sue.”
“We are talking about discontinuing a Village Road,” Trustee Kasker reminded everyone.  “You guys are both outside what’s on the agenda.  Can we please just talk about discontinuing a public road!”  He went on to point out that out of 80 individuals who were on the call, nobody had utilized the hearing to talk about their use of the road.  He believes it is clear that the road has not been utilized by the public in years and therefore, does not serve any public use.  “It doesn’t change the fact that the Village still owns it,” he asserted. “It’s just a piece of paper and a map no longer call it a road for 100 feet.  We are making this way more difficult than it needs to be.”
An unidentified individual inquired as to what the benefit of discontinuing the road would be for the Village.
Mayor McFadden responded that the benefit to the Village was property tax and money to put into the coffers.  “That’s what brought us here,” he said, further noting that what would have happened next would have been to negotiate a price based on fair market value.  “The purpose of discontinuing the road is to open those opportunities to a resident which is our philosophy here on all of our boards.  We want to be welcoming.  We want to be accommodating.” 
Trustee Gluck noted that the Public hearing had closed and that Board could no longer properly entertain comments from the public on this matter.
Following some further discussion, the Board agreed to table the issue and move on.
Resolution – Approving New Procedure for Confirming Construction Costs on Building Permit Applications – Trustee McHugh initiated the discussion by explain that the Village had been experiencing issues with regard to building applications being inaccurate, where there have been gross discrepancies between submitted design costs and actual design costs.  This affects the Village in terms of property assessment values as well as defending itself at SCAR hearings.  The procedure is not an attempt to be overly onerous but rather to employ best practices that have been utilized by other communities.  Attorneys for the BOT and BAR have reviewed the situation as have the Village engineers and put forth the recommendation currently before the Board.  
Trustee Kasker commented that he would prefer to see what the options were.  He is concerned that the proposed procedure would be adding bureaucracy to an already elaborate process.  Some projects might not have an architect or a builder, leaving property owners to develop the estimates themselves.  He does not understand how the construction costs relate to the tax assessments.  He does not feel that he knows enough to move forward.
Trustee Gluck stated that he was a little sensitive to putting in a floor that might impact low cost, generally inexpensive projects, although he is generally in favor.
Responding to Trustee Kasker’s question about how the construction costs fit into the assessment process he stated “Often during the assessment review, the Village reviews building permits to see what has been added to a home.   This doesn’t mean that the assessment is increased by the amount of cost that goes into each project but if the permit has an absurdly low number, it does limit the Village’s ability to increase the assessment to a level that is consistent with the fair market value of that particular project.”  He reiterated that he viewed the process favorably but felt it might need a few tweeks.
Trustee McHugh commented that he would have no issues with tweeking it.  The proposed process is an attempt to equalize everything.  It makes the tax roll fair and equitable and accurately reflects what people are doing to their properties. 
Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hansen noted that the discrepancies have been a problem for the Village in the past and she recommended they move forward with the proposed procedure.  She agreed to work with the Board on any tweeking they felt necessary.  It was agreed that they would table the decision for one month to allow time for further discussion and tweeking.
Resolution approving the Mayor to sign the Weston & Sampson response to the Orange County Department of Health Letter – Trustee Shaw inquired as to why they had chosen to move forward with the proposal from Weston & Sampson vs. McGoey Hauser.  The Mayor responded that at their last meeting they had agreed that John Ledwith would go back to the engineers to try and line up proposals that were more “apples to apples” than what they were originally presented.  Following that extended review, it was determined that the Weston & Sampson proposal was more comprehensive and beneficial to the Village.  (Following some discussion with regard to the specifics of the proposal and the various elements within.) this is not a sentence! There are some other things that the Trustees would like to incorporate.  Ultimately, the Board chose to modify the resolution slightly in terms of the tasks they were prepared to move forward with before unanimously voting in favor.
Resolution - Approving the Mayor to sign the Westin & Sampson Proposal to Proceed with the CCT and Manhole Investigation of the Pond 3 Sewer Pipe System- Trustee McHugh expressed some concern with regard to a couple of other I&I issues  and the way in which they should be prioritized.   Following some discussion, it was agreed that they would table the proposal while continuing to investigate all of the I&I needs before determining how to moving forward.

New Business:
Discussion – To talk about a Village-wide Property Tax Reassessment – The Village will begin discussion in the near future about Village-wide property tax assessments.  A municipal-wide assessment is the best way to ensure that assessments are both fair and accurate.  There are undeniably a lot of discrepancies in the Village.  The reassessment includes an evaluation of the market value of properties in the community, based on changes in the real estate market.  The assessor will determine which assessments need to be increased or decreased.  The last assessment of this kind was done in the mid-1970s.  Typically they are done every 4-7 years in municipalities.   Having it done is a both a matter of cost and return on investment.   After decades without a reassessment many properties will have changed in value.  Some will have increased while others have decreased.  Some will likely remain the same.  Without the reassessment, all properties will continue to pay the same amount in taxes.  In an effort to educate themselves on the process of reassessment, the Board has scheduled a meeting with a Real Property Services Administrator for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance as well as the Director of The Orange County Real Property Tax Service Agency. After having received the presentation, the Board will share the information with the community.   
Trustee McHugh noted that previous administrations had looked into reassessment. When former Trustee John Moon investigated it, the estimated cost was a quarter of a million dollars and when he and Trustee Gluck investigated it a couple of years back the estimated cost was $180,000.  While it would certainly be another form of equalization, his concern is that given the state of the real estate market, it might not be the best time to move forward with it.  That being said, he fully supports the idea of investigating it and obtaining the costs, which will allow them to make an informed decision. 
Resolution  - Approving the Mayor to sign the Weston & Sampson Proposal to Conduct Post-Construction Flow Isolation for Sub-basins 2 &10 and Prepare the Required Summary Letter Report to the NYSDEC – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolution – Appointment of DPW Worker Dominick Posta – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this appointment.
Resolution – Declare Police Equipment & Guns as Surplus – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolution – Award Bid on Surplus Police Vehicle – Supporting documents were circulated to the Board, who voted unanimously in favor of approving it.
Resolution – Approve Annual Exemption of Taxes on Village Water Facilities Located in the Town of Tuxedo – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution.
Resolution – Re-appoint Fire commissioners Jeff Dowding and Paul Eichengreen to a Five-Year Term ending December 31, 2025 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of this resolution. 
Resolution – Approve Annual Bird Count by The Fyke Nature Association – Trustee Kasker inquired as to whether or not the Board ever received the results of this annual survey.  The answer was that they had never pursued the results, but they were certain they could obtain them if desired.  The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the resolution. 
Resolution – To Levy Unpaid Village Taxes to Orange County – This resolution was passed unanimously. 

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Notice of Public Hearing/Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting November 18, 2020

Click here to view the notice

Click here to view the agenda

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 21 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, October 21 at 5pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:  Mayor McFadden Opened the meeting by thanking everyone for accommodating the earlier meeting time, noting that they had a hefty agenda before them.

Reports – Board & Public Comments:
Click here to view the Police Report
Click here to view the DPW Report
Click here to view the Building Department Report
Click here to view the Town Liaison Report
Click here to view the Communications Committee Report

These reports were released to the public on Monday, October 19 along with the meeting agenda.  There were no comments.

Public Comments:
The Mayor announced that the Board would be receiving public comment on agenda items only.  There were none.

Old Business:
Discussion – To Consider Halloween and Covid-19 – Input from the Chief  - Mayor McFadden noted that this discussion had been tabled at the last meeting so that the Board could receive input from Chief Conklin on the subject.  Since that time, the Chief has indicated that he plans to follow government guidelines, which have been circulated to the Board for review.  It was unanimously agreed that the Village would proceed with Halloween as normal without any additional oversight aside from the Guidelines, which will be made accessible to the public via the Village Police Facebook page as well as the Village website.  Additionally, Chief Conklin confirmed that there would not be a need for any additional overtime. Trustee Kasker inquired as to whether there would be designated times for trick-or-treating.  The answer was no.
Discussion – To Consider Lake Manager’s Latest Recommendation – The Village Lake Manager has recommended that the Village take sediment samples as an alternative to other items that were listed for the same price on the same proposal.   The Lakes Committee supports the recommendation.  Following minimal discussion,  it was agreed that the Village would move forward with the sediment samples as recommended. 
Discussion – To Consider Brook Road Options and Annexation of Certain Parcels – This relates to a transaction that took place with Michael Bruno several years back.  The Village attorney and Mr. Bruno’s attorney have been in discussions.  It was suggested that the discussion should be continued the following month during an executive session so that the Board could be advised on several options that are available to them as laid out in previous legal documents. 
Trustee McHugh inquired as to when the contract would expire.
Trustee Gluck responded that the option on the part of the Village to acquire the lower part of Brook Road would expire on December 31, 2020.  The annexation does not have a deadline but as it has been a number of years, Trustee Gluck suggested that it would make sense for them to help the participants move things along now rather than to wait. 
Resolution – Authorize the New Police Car Purchase and Pending Financing – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the purchased of a new police vehicle (2021 Ford Interceptor SUV Hybrid) at a cost of $49, 394.94 with 5-year financing.
Resolution – Approve License Plate Reader Expenditures – The Village license plate reader has not been operational since August of 2019.  Repairs will cost $2,103.
Trustee McHugh suggested that the machine was not providing valuable service for the investment and that he felt they could save the Village money by letting it go.
The Mayor responded that the Village had already invested $46,000 in the machine and he asked the Chief to comment on the value of reader.
Chief Conklin stated that the LPR was invaluable when it came to potential issues of all kinds because it stores historical data.  On a daily basis, the machine alerts the department if somebody has a suspended registration, if they are wanted for any sort of crime or if they have an Order of Protection against them.   It keeps track of every vehicle that enters and exits the Village through both gates.  For these reasons, the Chief believes it is invaluable.
Trustee McHugh pointed out that the Village maintained cameras at both gates that do essentially the same thing, although admittedly not with the same level of granularity.
Chief Conklin replied that the LPR could produce info on a particular vehicle in 5-10 minutes time while it would take somebody hours to review the camera videos in real time to get the same information. He further commented that while he would have never recommended the initial $46,000 investment, since it had already been made he felt that it was worth the $2,100 to keep it operational.
Noting that domestic disturbance is probably one of the biggest things police have to deal with, Trustee Kasker wondered if there would be a way to use the LPR to protect the Tuxedo Club as well as the Tuxedo Park School.  He feels that if the machine can help to prevent these types of disturbances, it is definitely worth it.
Deputy Mayor Shaw suggested that one of the main reasons the Village employs a police force is for protection and that if the Chief felt it was a good thing, she was fine with it.
Trustee Gluck agreed, further noting that it was not something that he would recommend investing $46,000 in today “But if it is useful and it’s helping….let’s keep it in place,” he stated.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of making the repair.
Resolution – Approve Hardship Application for a Well at 61 Turtle Point Road – The Mayor noted that he would be recusing himself from the discussion.  He then proceeded to read a summary into the record.  Please click here to read that summary.
Noting that there had been a lot of talk about this particular application over the summer, Trustee Kasker indicated that this had helped him to decipher exactly what the question before them actually was.  There is no concrete proof to support the idea that the applicant is not allowed to have water and sewer at his boathouse.   The only question currently before them is whether the Board can determine that there is a hardship, which would in turn allow the McFaddens to proceed with the application to dig a well. If they do proceed, the application would still need the approval of both the DEC and the Orange County Department of Health.  The Building Inspector and the Village Attorney seem to be in agreement with this.
Trustee Gluck respectfully disagreed, noting that he had also carefully reviewed the application, having been involved for quite some time.  While the application has been updated and improved to include more detailed information, he believes that the proposed water and sewer hookups and their standing in connection with the reservoir must work together in an appropriate way.  Because of this, he feels that the decision before the Board is more than just a hardship determination and cautioned that while having a financial hardship would be a method of getting the Village OK to build a well as opposed to hooking up to the water supply, this did not remove the other considerations that the Trustees have to consider in authorizing a water hookup.  He further noted that the engineer had recommended that a number of different things be done in connection with the report and that the resolution as written did not incorporate any of these and that it was not consistent with what they had recently done in similar situations dealing with water hook-ups, such as the Overton subdivision..
Trustee Kasker asked Building Inspector Ledwith to confirm that what had been proposed was permissible under the Village code commenting  “We follow our code.  If the Village code does not forbid it, then we approve it.  If the DEC code forbids it, then they disapprove it and we’re done”
Trustee Gluck countered, reiterating that in his view, they should be considering not only whether or not a financial hardship existed but also whether what was being proposed was appropriate and likely to be approvable in the context of being next to a reservoir.  “I think we can fold that in to what we are considering here and if we have a regulation that says specifically that a well needs to be 50 feet from a sewer line and we have a property where that doesn’t look to be configurable….that needs to be considered.”  He went on to outline 3 reasons why he was negatively inclined to vote in favor of the hardship as follows: 1. He does not believe the resolution incorporates the conditions recommended by the engineers, 2. He doesn’t feel they have a workable plan under the existing regulations, 3. Despite the fact that there is nothing in the Village Code that specifically prohibits water and sewer hookups to boathouses and sheds etc., the language is somewhat ambiguous in it suggests that every structure has an obligation to connect to the system.  His interpretation is that the provision is intended to apply to residences and that residential owners have an obligation to connect their residence to the sewer system. “It can’t mean that every structure has an obligation to connect…but that’s what it says.”  If they want to establish a proposition that every structure (garages, shed, boathouses, etc.)has the right to connect to water and sewer than this constitutes a major change that needs to be carefully deliberated in his view.
Trustee Kasker asked Board attorney Brian Nugent if he had any thoughts or clarifications that he could provide.
Mr. Nugent stated that in his view the decision currently before the Board pertained to whether or not an extreme hardship existed.  With respect to the other concerns, the code already subjects the application to additional approvals.  The Board has the right to amend the resolution to add conditions, such as compliance with the engineer’s recommendations, if they see fit.  He further noted that if they approved the hardship, this did not equate to an application approval as the McFaddens would still have to go through the process, including the additional required reviews, which would address issues such as distance from the reservoir and ensure that things were in compliance with regulations. 
Trustee Kasker noted that the engineers had recommended that there be a site plan prior to issuance of a permit.  He inquired of John Ledwith as to who would be responsible for approving that plan if it were added to the resolution.
The answer was the Building Inspector in conjunction with a review by the Engineers.
Mayor McFadden noted that the sewer application was not part of what was being considered.  What was before the Board was the hardship application for the well. The sewer application is on its own track with the Village Engineer.  There is no Village Engineer approval requirement for the water hardship application.
Mr. Nugent agreed with this, further noting that the sewer application would be a Building Inspector approval.  He reiterated that the only application before the Board was related to the water application and the granting of a financial hardship.
Trustee Gluck commented that if the Board was going to consider whether to allow a potable water source into a building that as a condition to this there also had to be an acceptable means for dealing with the wastewater.  Citing conditions that had been placed on the Overton subdivision, he suggested that he felt it would be reasonable to enforce similar conditions on this application.
Trustee Shaw inquired as to whether or not Overton had applied for a hardship.
The answer was no.
She suggested that she did not feel the two could be reasonably compared.
There followed a discussion with regard to Overton and whether or not that application was comparable to what was currently before them, with Mr. Nugent asserting that there were fundamental differences between subdivision and residential applications and the requirements for each while Trustee Gluck suggested that approval of both applications fell under the same code provisions. 
Trustee McHugh pointed out that if the hardship was not granted the Mayor would still be entitled to get the water, albeit at a greater expense, and then pursue a sewer hookup.  What was before them was a financial hardship.  He asked Mr. Nugent to confirm that both he and the Building Inspector had reviewed all of the documents and determined that it would be entirely appropriate for the boathouse to have water and sewer.
Mr. Nugent responded that under the code the boathouse could both connect to the sewer and have water access and that if the hardship was denied the applicant would still have the right to connect to the Village water system. 
Next Trustee McHugh referenced an email that had circulated in the Village earlier that day which suggested that the Mayor was getting something for free, further stating that under no circumstances did he agree with that angle and that there was no basis for it and he believed the facts were being twisted.
The Board then voted with Trustees Kasker and Shaw voting in favor of approving the application and Trustees Gluck and McHugh voting against it.
Mayor McFadden commented that he wanted to reserve his right to file an article 78 for arbitrary and capricious no votes that were not based on any precedent.  He asked Mr. Nugent to opine on how the courts might look at a 78 under these circumstances.
Trustee Gluck suggested that this would be a conversation more appropriate for an executive session.
“I’ll give you a chance to amend your record right now by putting into the record why you said no in terms of your legal position,” stated Mayor McFadden.
Trustee Gluck reiterated his position on the ambiguity of the code provision, suggesting that if interpreted literally, every structure would be required to have a water and sewer system.  He feels the code applies to residences.  “We have a history in this village of that enforcement from what I can ascertain.  It has been read that way before and that is one of the reasons  I have set forth.”
Trustee Shaw wondered if hardships of this nature were always approved by the Board of Trustees.
The answer was yes, any application for a hardship looking for an alternate water source under the code would have to be approved by the Board.
Mr. Nugent then stated “In the event that there is an Article 78 we likely need to not be involved anyway as the Board’s attorney and as attorney also at the same time to the Mayor, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment.”
There followed some further discussion, after which the Board agreed to move on.

New Business:
Discussion – To Approve New Procedure for Confirming Construction Cost on Building Permit Applications – There seems to be a differential whereby the estimated costs on permit applications are falling well below the actual costs.  The proposal was offered requiring an affidavit from the contractor and/or applicant with the final costs and then an adjustment can be made backwards to the fees paid based on the fees required by Village Code for the Building Department prior to the issuance of a C of O. 
At the last two BAR meetings, there had been applications submissions on which the Village engineer felt that the cost estimates were gross undervalued.  By changing the procedure the Village is trying to address the issue so as to ensure that they receive the appropriate amount of revenue from building permits issued as well as having an accurate picture of the taxable amount when assessments are done and when they Village must be defended against SCAR hearings. 
Trustee Kasker expressed some concern stating among other things that he was not sure that estimated project costs were the best way to judge the amount the Village should be charging for a building permit.
Following a brief conversation this was tabled until the November meeting for further discussion. 
Discussion – To Approve ZOOM Equipment and Installation in the Village Hall –
The Mayor and Mr. Ledwith met with professionals and were presented with a package at a cost of roughly $30,000.  The idea is that the equipment would be installed in the Village Hall and utilized by all 4 Village Boards as well as the Court. 
Mayor McFadden commented that he found that the Zoom meetings had been extremely productive during the time of Covid with not only sunshine laws and transparency but also with allowing for greater levels of community attendance.  Noting that he was not entirely sure where the money would come from, he suggested that the Board should seriously consider the expense. 
Trustee McHugh agreed that ZOOM was a valuable tool but also noted that the expense had not been budgeted for and was going to be hard to work into the expenses.  He suggested they might utilize the unallocated surplus.
Deputy Mayor Shaw commented that she felt it was a good idea but wondered why it was so expensive.
Trustee Gluck stated that he felt it would be nice to have but he was not sure if it was worth using unallocated surplus. 
Ultimately it was agreed that based on the overall level of Trustee interest, they would table to the next meeting and explore the idea further.
Resolution – Appoint Trustee Gluck and Deputy Mayor Shaw to the Sexual Harassment Committee- The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Trustee Gluck and Deputy Mayor Shaw to the Sexual Harassment Committee for a period of 1 year.
Resolution – Appointment of Planning Board Candidates Portia Henshaw and Joshua Scherer – The Board vote in favor of appointing Portia Henshaw and Joshua Scherer to the Planning Board to fill the unexpired terms of Michele Merson and Peter Regna, with terms expiring 6/20/22 and 6/30/24 respectively.
Resolution – Authorizing Commencement of Civil Service Law Separation from Service Process Regarding a Village Employee – This item was tabled to executive session.
Resolution – Amending Booth Budget – The approved resolution for the booth project requires Board approval for all line item changes.  Mayor McFadden suggested they amend this so that the Board no longer needs to approve every line item change, however they will continue to approve those changes that exceed the approved budget for the project. Following a discussion and some minor tweeking of the resolution as presented, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the amendment.
Resolution – Regarding the Requirement of Redundant Equipment in the Keep –
Mayor McFadden noted the requirement to maintain redundant equipment in The Keep had been at the recommendation for former Chief Melchiore, who feared that he would not be able to find officers who would be willing to work in the Booth and wanted to retain the redundant equipment “just in case.”  Chief Conklin has since indicated that he does not believe the redundant equipment is necessary.  The Mayor has suggested that the approval be amended to remove this requirement and that the Board repeal the authorization to fund the equipment. 
This was discussed.
Trustee McHugh suggested that the cameras currently located in the Keep should remain there. 
The Mayor agreed.
Trustee Gluck stated that he was in favor of keeping the redundant equipment because he feels it provides the Village with a good safety margin should things not work out with the Booth, however he understands and appreciates the other points of view.
The resolution was slightly tweeked after which the Board voted in favor of adopting it.
Resolution – Approve Upgrades to the Police Department Wifi/internet Equipment and Service by IT New Windsor – Following a discussion, and some tweeking of the resolution the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the upgrades at an amount not to exceed $2,800 but to include upgrades to the optimum internet service and equipment.
Resolution – Approving Mayor to Sign the Revised Agreement from Schnabel Engineering for Designing the Booth Foundation- The Board voted in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the revised agreement from Schnabel engineering for designing the booth foundation.  There is a $600 differential and the new cost is $4,500.
Resolution - Approving the Mayor to sign the Engineer to respond to OCDOH Letter-
The Village has received a letter from the OC Department of Health containing several questions, some of which which they need assistance with.  Two firms, Weston and Sampson and McGoey Hauser & Edsall, have submitted proposed costs for response however, there is a fairly large variance between the two and Mr. Ledwith feels they should reach back out to both and confirm that they are all on the same page in terms of the scope of work.  This is a time sensitive issue as the Village has 60 days to respond to OCDOH before they begin accruing a fine of $2,000 per day.  It was agreed that the Mr. Ledwith would contact the engineers to ensure they were getting an “apples to apples” comparison of costs and once this had been confirmed they would schedule a special meeting for the purpose of awarding the contract.
Resolution – Approving Mayor to Sign a Proposal to Proceed with the Structural Inspection of the DPW Building – There has been some concern over the structure integrity of the roof on the DPW building.   Following some discussion, the Board voted in favor of hiring Weston and Sampson to proceed with a structural inspection at a cost of $2,800.
Resolution – Approving Mayor to Sign the W & S proposal to proceed with the CCTV and Manhole Investigation of the Pond #3 Sewer Pipe System- The Mayor would like to move the trunk line along Pond #3 up the priority list and has asked W & S to provide an updated proposal for this.  The project will also relate to the Village’s agreement with Overton, which requires the developer to pay for part of this work prior to receiving DEC approval.
There was a lengthy discussion.  Trustee Gluck suggested that they should hold off as doing the work now could hinder the negotiating process with Overton.  Mayor McFadden urged the Board to “decouple” the proposed project from Overton, revealing that there had been a recent over-flow of a manhole near one of the residences along Pond #3 and there was some concern that there could be raw sewage seeping into Pond #3.  Therefore, the emergency repairs are necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of the community.
Trustee McHugh wanted to know whether the DEC had been informed.
The answer was no.  DPW Superintendent Voss has examined it, but it has not been reported to the DEC.
Trustee McHugh expressed concern with this, suggesting that Jeff needed to report it as this was a required part of the SPDES Permit.
Following further discussion the resolution was tabled so they could collect further detailed information. 
Resolution – Accepting the Resignation of Part Time Police Officer Cynthia Harcher – The Board vote unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of part time police officer Cynthia Harcher.
Resolution – To schedule public Hearing on Discontinuance of a portion of Village Road Scheduled on 11/16/2020 @ 6:45pm – The Board voted unanimously in favor of scheduling the Public Hearing. 

The meeting then adjourned into executive session for the purpose of discussion related to the employment of certain persons as well as matters pertaining to contract negotiations/collective bargaining

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 21 2020

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Annual Village Board of Trustees Reorganization Meeting September 29, 2020

The Board of Trustees met for their annual reorganization meeting via Zoom at 6:30pm on Tuesday, September 29.  All Board members were present.

Click here to view the Reorganization Agenda and list of appointments.

The meeting began with the ceremonial swearing in of newly elected Trustees Tinka Shaw and Chris Kasker.

Resolution – Appoint Elizabeth Doherty as Deputy Village Clerk: The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Elizabeth Doherty as Deputy Village Clerk effective October 1.  Elizabeth will replace Debbie Matthews, who will be retiring next month.

Appointments:  After agreeing that holdover appointments would be exempt from the term-limits law, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the appointments as detailed on the agenda.

Other Reorganization Items:
The Board engaged in discussions with regard to section #7, “Duties of a Liaison to a Village Department – Definition” and section #13-3 “Special & Special (emergency) Meetings.”   It was agreed that moving forward, communication amongst the Board members and particularly between Board members and the Mayor needed to be improved.  Ultimately, the Board voted 3-2 in favor of accepting sections 7-16.  Trustee Gluck voted no, siting the above referenced sections 7 and 13 as the reason and Trustee McHugh voted also no, commenting that following the discussion, he was ok with section 13 but remained opposed to section 7.

Next, the Board unanimously approved section 18.

The meeting was then adjourned.

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Board of Trustees Meeting September 29, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, September 29 at 7:15pm via Zoom.  All members were present.

Adjourn to Executive Session to discuss matters related to the employment of two particular employees and a pending litigation filed in Orange County Supreme Court: Because the Village Attorney had another engagement beginning at 8pm, the meeting began with an executive session.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden began by thanking former Trustees Maureen Coen and Allen Barnett for their years of service on the Board and then welcoming newly elected Trustees Tinka Shaw and Chris Kasker.  He further commented that he was proud of the new trustees for having run a positive campaign and that in his opinion the “landslide defeat” over the Preserve the Park Committee was a referendum on negative campaigning and  “The residents sent a strong message to future candidates that our community does not tolerate this behavior.”
There has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in Orange and Rockland Counties.  The Mayor reminded everyone of the need to be cautious, noting that the Tuxedo community has a strong track record thus far and should strive to maintain that.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Conklin reported the following for the month of August:
Calls for Service – 298 (5 Criminal)
Arrests – 2
Motor Vehicle Accident – 0
Traffic Tickets Issued – 8
Verbal Traffic Warnings issued – 6
Fire Calls – 7
Intrusion Alarm – 1
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Given to other Agencies  - 2
Assists Received – 0
Shots Fired – 0
FOIL Requests – 0
Miles Patrolled – 2, 213

Additionally, roughly 931 vehicles were counted entering the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis, however the Chief noted that there has been an issue with the license plate reader and therefore, this number is inaccurate. 
Chief Conklin and Mayor McFadden conducted a post-storm meeting following the tropical storm that left trees down everywhere throughout the Village and some residents without power for over a week.  They discussed things they had done well as well as areas where they felt they needed to improve and the acquisition necessary equipment.

DPW – Superintendent Voss was not present and therefore no report was given.
Building & Capital – Click here to view the Building Report.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Miller Vs. The Village – this is a case brought by the Millers against the Village and a neighbor due to some alleged drainage damages.  The case is pending in Orange County Supreme Court. 
PERB Matter – This relates to a part-time police officer’s petition for Union certification.  The PBA has intervened and a hearing has been scheduled for January 26, 2021.  There will be a conference scheduled sometime in early December.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  The case is in the process of being settled.

Committee Reports:
Lakes – On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays began his report by stating that they are ADHOC committee with no Village mandate or authority to make decisions or spend taxpayer dollars.  Rather, they are trying to assist the BOT in developing a long-range plan to improve the ecological health of the Village lakes.  In this way, they work to complete tasks that can often be time consuming and therefore difficult for the BOT to accomplish.  To this end, they assisted with contracting the Lakes Manager for the purpose of improving water quality in the lakes.  Another important part of the long-range plan is the control of nutrient based run-off from the watershed into lakes.  High nutrient loading of the lakes is the result of development within the watershed, especially those properties that border the lakes and their tributary streams.  Under natural conditions, trees and shrubs continuously recycle nutrients and the forest root system prevents the erosion of nutrient rich soils.  Removal of trees and shrubs stops this recycling and exposes the nutrient rich soil to erosion into the lakes.  In an effort to reduce this nutrient influx, the committee is exploring the possibility of hiring an Environmental Landscape Architect to help the BOT develop mitigating strategies.  They recognize that this effort must be considered as part of a long-term strategy as quick results will not be forthcoming, but in the long run the committee feels that the BOT can accomplish the goal of reducing nutrient influx.  They have already met with one such architect, who made a privately funded visit to the Village.  They are hoping to interview others in the near future.  Such an individual or firm can assist the Village in developing landscaping guidelines, which will enhance the retention of nutrients and preserve the soil.  They could also assist the Village Boards in implementing these Guidelines.  The committee has the support of the Lakes Manager in this task. 
Mayor McFadden commented that he would be interested in hearing what the landscape architect would have to say.
Mr. Hays responded that they would talk about the replanting of trees as well as the development of vegetative barriers along the lake.  The architect they met with favors native plants in particular for this purpose.  Buffers will also help to curb the geese issue.
The Mayor further recognized that the Village had a very difficult time enforcing the law pertaining to which fertilizers and herbicides were permitted for use in the Village.  They have circulated literature and have attempted to educate residents but, unfortunately,  have not had much luck with it. 
Mr. Hays replied that the cutting of trees was also a significant issue and suggested that down the road the Village might want to consider requiring residents to seek permission before removing any trees and also replanting after trees have been removed. 
Tree Advisory Board – TAB is 4-years into the Racetrack meadow project.  The next phase will take place within a month’s  time and consists of planting native plants at the entryway, which will further beautify the area.  Board Chair Christopher Gow encouraged residents to visit and enjoy the meadow.
Cell Tower Committee – Committee Chair Paola Tocci reported that the group had held their first meeting and that after reading through the voluminous provider information that has been collected by John Ledwith over the years, they will be reaching out to several providers for updated information/proposals in addition to contacting a couple of new providers.  They will report back to the Board as soon as they have amassed this information. 

Report by Town Board Member:
There were no Town Board members present and therefore, no report was given. 

Public Comments:
Representing St. Mary’s, Lili Neuhauser asked the Trustees to consider allowing non-resident parishioners access to the Village via the South Gate on Sunday mornings between 9:30 and 10am.
She was informed that this would be discussed later on in the meeting. 

Old Business:
Approve New Police Car Purchase and Pending Financing – The Police Department is in need of a new car and the Chief has presented the BOT with two options, one a standard vehicle and the other a hybrid model.  This was briefly discussed.  The Hybrid is slightly more expensive ($3,000) but will reduce gas consumption by approximately 25%.  Trustee Gluck noted that it would be good to have this data mapped out and that it should in turn be shared with the Climate Smart Committee so that they can determine whether it will earn the Village points and/or assist with opening up grant opportunities etc.  It was agreed that this would be done and that the item would be added to the October agenda for a vote.

New Business:
Resolution – Award Bid for Water Plant Control Panel Upgrades – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the Bid to PCS Pump and Process in the amount of $86,521.55.
Resolution  - Yoga Exercise – Amendment to the Wee Wah Beach Club License Agreement- The Board voted unanimously in favor of extending the Wee Wah Beach Club License Agreement through December 15 of 2020 in order to allow the club to offer yoga classes to their membership as well as Village residents.
Resolution – Race Track Nature Preserve Plaque – The Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the RTNP to install a historical marker plaque at the entryway to the preserve as previously approved by the Board of Architectural Review with the understanding that they would explore mounting it on something other than a galvanized steel pole.  
Resolution – Chip and Tar Village Office Driveway & Parking Lines – For a variety of reasons, it was agreed that it would be better for the Village to undertake this work in the spring and therefore it was not voted on. 
Discussion – Post Storm Purchase Proposal for Police Department – Following post-storm meetings with the Mayor, Chief Conklin was asked to submit a list of desired equipment that would prove helpful to the department in similar circumstances moving forward.  He has since requested 5 barricades and 12 traffic cones for a total cost of $705.25.  Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing this purchase. 
Discussion – St. Mary’s & South Gate – This was discussed at some length.  There is a concern with regard to setting precedent.  The Mayor expressed concern over the fact the Village has been diligently working on restricting traffic for the last 6 months. It was suggested that a new vehicle tag be created and sold to parishioners wishing to access the church via the South Gate.  It was further suggested that currently, TPS tags are not being honored at this entrance.  Ultimately, the Board decided to table the request while they did some research as to what is currently in place and why and further what sort of overall plan they would like to see for this type of request moving forward. 
Discussion – Halloween COVID-19 Consideration – Mayor McFadden stated that his inclination was to allow Halloween to proceed as normal with no changes but to ask the police to put out and subsequently enforce guidelines pertaining to social distancing and congregation of groups.  Chief Conklin was asked for his thoughts.  He responded that it was his intention to follow the Governor’s Guidelines.  He noted that the number of Covid cases is on the rise and that by Halloween the area could well be nearing another shutdown if things don’t improve.  The Board decided to table the discussion until their October meeting when they would have a more accurate idea of the Covid threat.

Public Comments:
Claudio Guazzoni noted that historically the police had kept one vehicle idling at all times.  Noting that he had always felt this was a waist of resources, he further commented that he had been informed that having a car ready to go at all times was a mandate.  He wondered if this would be the same with the new hybrid vehicle.
Chief Conklin responded that he had been in law enforcement for 24 years and that he knew of no such mandate.  Keeping a vehicle idling at all times is no longer the practice in the Village.
Speaking to the St. Mary’s request for South Gate access, Gary Pompan advised the Board that they should keep the integrity of the Village Gates in mind when exploring the issue.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Reorganization/Regular Meeting September 29, 2020

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting September 14, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Monday, September 14 at 12pm.  Mayor McFadden was absent. Trustee McHugh presided over the meeting.

Resolution – Approve BOT minutes:
The BOT voted unanimously in favor of approving 20 sets of meeting minutes dating as far back as April 15, 2020.

Resolution – Appoint Fire Commissioner:
The Board expressed unanimous support for the appointment of Jason Poggilio as a fire commissioner to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Todd Darling, with the term expiring on December 31,2023.

Resolution – Water Account Adjustment:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the adjustment of a particular water account by waiving the penalty charges of $2,803.53.  The charges were waived as the water customer has brought their account into good standing.

Discussion – Bid For Water Plant Control Panel:
Although the bids for the water plant control panel have been received and range between $86-94,000, the Villages’ engineering firm has not yet had the time to perform the necessarily due diligence in order to the make a recommendation to the Board.  Therefore, this was tabled until the next meeting.

Discussion – License Plate Reader Repair:
Neither the Chief nor the Mayor was present to discuss this item, so it was also tabled. 

Other Business:
Being that it was their last meeting as Trustees, Trustee McHugh asked Trustees Coen and Barnett if they had anything they wanted to say.
Trustee Coen read the following statement:

“I want to say that I am sorry that I did not accomplish more, but I am proud of the work that I have done over the last two years.  Many of the residents, including the Mayor, may not like my direct, intense and aggressive style, but I assure you all of my actions have always been with the intention to promote and protect Tuxedo Park.  We as Trustees are fiduciaries of the publics’ assets and trust and I have taken that obligation very seriously and always have endeavored to make certain that people follow proper procedures, treat all residents fairly and consistently and treat all with respect.  For the next Board…I hope they continue much of the work that we are undergoing right now, but I also hope that the following things get completed: 1. Approve a social media policy that protects the Village and is fair and equitable to all.  We have part of a social media policy enacted and we need to follow up from the Police just to make sure the page conforms with the policy, but the policy needs to be expanded to other things and that’s the work the still needs to be done.  2. We need to devise policies that prevent Trustees from having applications viewed or decided upon by employees they supervise.  I believe this inherently creates a conflict of interest that should absolutely be avoided.  I don’t believe anyone would act improperly, but it creates the appearance of impropriety that absolutely should be avoided.  3. Many capital projects were completed over the past two years, but more work needs to be done.  We need to implement more of the capital projects that we, as a Board, spent so much time putting together and financing those projects by raising long-term debt or seeking grants like the $150,000 grant for the I&I project that we were able to get this term.  I know Trustee McHugh is busy working on other grants.  4. (and probably most importantly) we need to compete the investigation into the unauthorized return in May 2020 of the Front Gate Guardhouse $50,000 donation that was received in 2018 and has been recorded as a Village asset in all of our financial statements since then.  The Board was advised of the return almost two and a half months after the Mayor directed the Village Clerk to return the money.   Thankfully, our accountants concluded that reflecting the donation as a Village asset was correct, so no new financial statements have to be prepared or re-filed.  Our Village Attorney thankfully also concluded that there was not a violation by the Mayor or the Village Clerk of Village Law 555-524 because the attorney cannot say that the Mayor or the Village Clerk acted knowingly to violate the law because there was not a similar situation in the past.  What we have not concluded on is whether a policy or procedure has been violated and whether any changes to the Village policies and procedures need to made to prevent similar disposition of Village assets in the future.  I think it is extremely important that we conclude on this.  We have been working on this for the last 2-3 months and we need to finalize this very important topic.  Unfortunately, I won’t be involved in the finalization but I ask the next Board to really focus on getting that completed.  I wish the next Board good luck.  We are counting on you to continue to make the Village of Tuxedo Park a special place.  To many it is a sanctuary.  I think we have become particularly aware of the nature of how special Tuxedo Park is as a result of this pandemic.  Finally, I would like to thank retiring Trustee Barnett for his years of service.  I also need to call out Trustees McHugh and Gluck for the incredible amount of time and hard work they have put in through the years.  No one knows all of the Village operations better than Trustee McHugh. We are lucky to have him on the Board.  Thank you and good luck to all.”

Next, Trustee Barnett commented that he had enjoyed his time on the Board and that it had been an interesting experience.  Noting that it was a difficult job, he wished the new Board good luck.  In particular, he commended Trustees McHugh and Gluck, who put in a lot of time and do a tremendous job.  He then made a motion that the Board formally commend the Garden Club for all of their hard work over the past month beautifying the Village and the Town.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. 

Public Comments:
Claudio Guazzoni thanked Trustees Barnett and Coen for their service on the Board. 

The meeting then adjourned into an executive session for the purpose of discussing the employment of a particular individual.

 

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting September 14, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING – Monday, 9/14/2020 @ 12:00 p.m. via Zoom for the purpose of approving BOT meeting minutes, awarding the bid for the water plant control panel, discussing the License Plate Reader repair, and any other matters that may come before the Board.
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Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 21, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Friday, August 21 at 11am via Zoom.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden began the meeting by acknowledging Chief David Conklin and the Police Department, DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and the DPW team, Village Clerk Debbie Matthews and Deputy Clerk Denise Spalthoff, building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer John Ledwith for doing an outstanding job during the recent hurricane crisis.  He further acknowledged the Village residents, who remained patient, polite and courteous under tremendous pressure without electricity and in some cases water.  He noted that later in the agenda they would be discussing the idea of a Village hosted BBQ as a thank-you to the team.  Village residents will be welcome.

Departmental Reports:
Police – Police Chief David Conklin reported the following for the month of July:
Calls for Service – 354
Criminal Complaints – 3
Arrests – 0
Traffic Tickets – 27
Traffic Warnings – 7
Fire Alarms – 4
Intrusion Alarms – 8
Medical Calls – 1
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo – 1
Miles Patrolled – 3,168
Additionally, roughly 1,550 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate each day.
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether or not any weapons had been discharged.  The answer was now however, the department did respond to a call of “shots fired,” which they believe was the result of fireworks having been set off.
DPW – Superintendent Voss reported that the department had been extremely busy with cleaning up after the storm, clearing both brush and fallen trees.  Before the storm they were largely occupied with 2 water main leaks in the Town, which were both repaired.  Aside from this, it has been business as usual.  New equipment as approved by the Board at a previous meeting was received and installed at the Water Treatment Plant.  Finally the Superintendent requested and received permission to chip seal the following Village Roads: Crows Nest Road, Pine road, Lower and Upper Continental Roads, Stable Road, Ledge Lane and the road that leads to the Ridge Road storage tanks.
Building & Capital – Click here to view the Building report

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  The case is ongoing,
Madden Vs. The Village – This is an Article 78 proceeding. They are awaiting the scheduling of oral arguments.
Miller Vs. The Village – this is a case brought by the Millers against the Village and a neighbor due to some alleged drainage damages.  The case is ongoing.
Tayback Vs. The Village – This is a new case.  It is an article 78 proceeding relating to a General Municipal Law (207C) Matter.  There is currently a resolution before the Board to hire Lynch/McCartney to represent the Village in this proceeding. 
Resolution - Authorize Legal Services by Special Counsel to Represent the Village in a Litigation Matter – The Board voted in favor of authorizing the firm of Lynch/McCartney to represent the Village in the litigation matter Tayback Vs. The Village.

Committee Reports:
There were none

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck noted that the Town Board was currently considering regulations to reduce overcrowding at Town Park areas, specifically Power House Park.  The idea of issuing parking permits, which would be free for all Town residents, is under consideration as is the requirement of permits for larger groups/gatherings.

Liaison & Trustee Reports:
With regard to the Water Department, Trustee McHugh reported that water losses were reduced to 42% in the second quarter.  The receivable exposure is unfortunately staring to creep up.  10 letters have been sent to most egregious account holders in the Town with hopes of establishing payment plans.  These particular accounts have been outstanding for anywhere from 2-5 years.
Reporting on the Lakes, Trustee Gluck reported that Pond #3 had been treated with ProcellaCOR at the end of June and although there has not yet been an official survey done, both the Lakes manager and the residents who live around Pond #3 have indicated that the results have been astonishingly good.  All of the milfoil appears to be gone and there has been no apparent impact on the other native plant species there.  Later this year and into 2021, the Board will be discussing whether or not they should do a similar herbicide treatment in Tuxedo Lake.   The lakes consultant has also installed fragmentation at three locations into all three lakes for the purpose of preventing milfoil fragments from traveling between the lakes. 
Mayor McFadden observed that the barrier located near the Tuxedo Club pool consisted of a mesh net with openings that were rather large.  Although the Lakes consultant has indicated that the openings much be large enough to allow smooth water flow, the Mayor expressed concern that some milfoil fragments were getting through.
Trustee Gluck responded that he would take a look and address with the Lakes Manager if need be.

Public Comments:
Michael Coleman noted that August 21 marked the 23rd anniversary of the death of Village Police Officer Jason Conklin., who gave his life in service to the Village.  He thanked Chief Conklin for his service and for continuing on the Conklin legacy, noting that the Village was proud to have him there and they were proud of Jason’s service and it would never be forgotten.
This was followed by a moment of silence in honor of Jason Conklin.
Kathy Norris commented that if the Mayor was planning to put a sewer and water line to his boathouse that he should double check with the DEC and make sure that the appropriate forms had been submitted.  She cautioned that if they were not, the DEC would put a fence around the entire lake like they had done in front of Glenmere.  She further noted that it was against both federal and State law to put a sewer and water line within 100 feet of drinking water and that DEC approval would be necessary prior to commencing with the proposed project. 
Next, Kathy commented that somebody had told her that the mayor had been talking about abolishing the Mayor and BOT and instead having somebody else run the Village. 
The Mayor responded that this was not the case and that he would be happy to explain.
Ms. Norris commented that this would be great, further noting that the Village needed a Mayor who lived within it’s boundaries and loved the community and wanted to help it succeed.
The Mayor agreed, nothing that he was all of those things.  The Village is the process of finding a replacement for Village Clerk/Treasurer Debbie Matthews.  There is a search committee consisting of himself and Trustee Barnett and over of the course of the last several months they have found several strong candidates.  One of these also has experience as a Village Administrator.  A Village Administrator is distinct from a Village Manager, who essentially runs a Village while the Mayor and Trustees serve more as figureheads.  Hiring a Village Manager typically requires a public referendum.  A Village Administrator on the other hand takes on certain duties but does not require a referendum and the Mayor and Trustees retain their directory supervisory responsibilities.  The Mayor and Trustee Barnett thought that having an administrator could be an interesting prospect for the Village and to this end they invited the candidate to visit and introduced him to the Village employees, the other Trustees and the 4 Trustee Candidates.
Ms. Norris next wondered how much more it would cost the Village to employ somebody with the administrative title.
The Mayor responded that he could not publicly discuss salary offers at this time but that the information would be available via FOIL once an offer and hire had been made. 

Old Business:
Resolution – Reauthorize S & B and JZ Contract Agreement for Booth – Following some clarification with regard to the project budget as well as which versions of the contract were being referenced in the resolution, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of approving the resolution with Trustee McHugh voting against.
Authorize Hardship to Allow Well at 61 Turtle Point Road – As he is the owner of this property, the Mayor recused himself from the discussion. Building Inspector John Ledwith explained that the Village had been presented with an application for the installation of a water line to the McFadden property on Turtle Point Road.  The provided estimated expense is $72,800.  This is dependent heavily upon what kind of material they find in the roadway.  If they find a lot of rock the price could be much higher.  With this representation the Village has done some investigation as to what it would cost the Village extend the water main approximately 800 feet and these estimates came in between $18-21,000.   If the Village installs the line there would be a payback period in excess of 49 years.  In Mr. Ledwith’s opinion it would not be prudent for the Village to extend the main for just one service connection.
Therefore, Mr. Ledwith is recommending that the BOT approve the McFadden application.  It was confirmed that following this approval the application would have to go to both the DEC and DOH for further approval.
Trustee Barnett then made a motion to approve the application as recommended by Mr. Ledwith.
The motion was not seconded and therefore it died.

New Business:
Resolution - McCaffrey Tree Removal – The Board discussed removal of some dangerous large trees on the McCaffrey property.  The property in question boarders village property and the trees threaten the latter.  The estimate given for removal was $3,500 and the Village offered to split this cost with the McCaffrey’s but the offer was rejected.   The Village intends to move forward regardless.  There was discussion with regard to the proposed estimate, which includes full removal.  As the property in question is a wooded section of the Fox Hill tract, Trustee McHugh suggested that removal of trees might not be necessary and that once cut down they should be allowed to decompose over time on Village property.  This would in turn lower the cost of the endeavor.  This was briefly debated.  Ultimately the Board voted in 3-2 in favor of removing the trees entirely with Trustees McHugh and Coen
voting against.
Resolution – Formalize Booth Donations as Village Funds – The Board voted unanimously in favor of formalizing the booth donations as Village funds.
Resolution – Authorize Purchase and Financing of DPW Truck – The DPW is looking to purchase a 4-wheel drive, stainless steal framed dump truck for the purpose of salting and plowing snow on some of the steeper roads.  The Mayor expressed his opinion that it would not be an appropriate purchase for the Village at this time.  Rather, he recommended they look into a 4-wheel drive pick-up truck, which can be used for the same purchase and which he believes would be a more versatile purchase for the department.  He does not feel that the proposed vehicle, which costs roughly $190,000, is economically prudent.  This was discussed at length after which the Board voted 3-2 in favor of purchasing the truck to be financed over a 7-year period with Trustee Barnett and the Mayor voting against.
Resolution - Award Proposal for Filing of Department of Labor Asbestos Pipe Plan – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the proposal for filing of the Department of Labor Asbestos Pipe Plan to Westin and Sampson in the amount of  $2,500.
Resolution – Award Proposal Water Plant Oil Tank and Installation – The Board voted unanimously in favor of awarding the proposal for purchase and installation of an oil tank at the water plant to Cross River Environmental. Inc. in the amount of $9,900.
Resolution – Authorize Advertising for bids for Water Plant Control Panel and Set Bid Date – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing advertising for bids for a water plant control panel with a bid opening date of September 11 at 2pm.
Resolution – SSES Project Notice to Proceed – The Board voted unanimously in favor of issuing a letter to proceed for the SSES project with a start date of September 1, 2020.
Discussion – Allocate Funds for Employee BBQ – Recovery Disaster Thank You – Mayor McFadden suggested allocating $500 for the purpose of holding a BBQ Thank You BBQ for Village Employees and their families in celebration of all their hard work with the Disaster recovery efforts.  The BBQ would take place on a week night evening at the Wee Wah Beach Club.  Village residents would also be invited to attend for a small fee. 
Trustee Coen commented that she applauded the idea but wondered whether now was the time to proceed with it considering the potential issues surrounding gatherings during the time of Covid-19. 
Mayor McFadden acknowledged this valid concern but suggested that he believed those in attendance would be wearing masks and would comply with social distancing.  Following some further discussion, the Board voted in favor of allocating the funds.
Resolution – Allocate Funds for VCT Candidate Expenses – The Board voted in favor of allocating funds not to exceed $800 for the reimbursement of travel funds to the Candidate for Village Clerk/Treasurer who visited earlier in the week.  Trustee Coen noted that although she was voting in favor of the resolution she didn’t believe that the appropriate process had been followed.  She stressed that moving forward the Board must follow the correct procedure.  
Resolution – Appoint Additional Election Inspector – The Board voted in favor of appointing Elwood Skip Briggs as an Election Inspector for the September 15 Village Election at a rate of $225 for the day.
Resolution – Create Civil Service Position for Part Time Clerk to the Village Justice – The Board voted in favor of creating a Civil Service position for the park time Clerk to the Village Justice.
Resolution – Appointment to Position of Part Time Clerk to the Village Justice – The Board voted in favor of appointing Alice Confield,, current clerk to Judge David Hasin to the Position of Part Time Clerk to the Village Justice at a salary of $30 per hour.
Discussion – DASH – Wee Wah Lake – The Board discussed the authorization of 3 days of DASH harvesting in the Wee Wah Lake at a cost not to exceed $6,500.  The Mayor expressed some concern with the expense wanting to know what volume of milfoil they would be able to remove and further suggesting that if they were intending to use ProcellaCOR in that lake next spring that it might not be worth the money.  Lakes Committee Chair Jim Hays countered this concern pointing out that milfoil is an extremely aggressive invasive and that it can be extremely difficult to beat.  Although the ProcellaCOR seems to have been successful in Pond #3, it is a relatively new herbicide and they still do not know what the long-term effects of treatment will be.  Most other, similar herbicides are successful at beating back infestations, but they do not conquer them completely.  DASH harvesting on the other hand results in complete removal of the plants and he believes it would be money well spent.
Trustee McHugh added that all of the lakes managers that have worked with the Village over the years have recommended DASH harvesting.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of moving ahead with the harvesting as proposed. 

Public Comment:
Claudio Guazzoni commented that when the level of the Wee Wah Lake had been lowered, milfoil harvesting was a lot easier as frost and freezing helped to kill the plants.   He wondered why this could not be done annually.  He suggested they could also inspect the inside of the dam while water levels were low.
Turning to the authorization of S&B for work on the booth, he noted that the contracts were for a “goodly sum of money” and wondered whether any of those Trustees who had voted in favor would disclose whether or not they were doing business with S&B.  I feels it is important from a public advocacy point of view that that the Trustees disclose whether or not they are having work done by S&B at there own, personal homes. 
Mayor McFadden responded that he had used S&B for landscaping and renovation work on his Turtle Point Road property.  When the Village lost their initial project contractor due to delays in the approval process, he invited S&B to bid.  Before doing so, the Mayor contacted the Village attorney in writing, fully disclosing his relationship to S&B and inquiring as to whether or not he should recuse himself.  The response was no, although he was advised to disclose it which he did.
Trustee Coen added that she had used S&B  at her home for the last 10 years, but she felt that the Village had been through the appropriate competitive bidding process and this alleviated any concerns. 
Trustee Barnett has not used S&B.  Trustee Gluck has used them.
With respect to Mr. Guazzoni’s suggestion that the Wee Wah Lake be lowered annually in an effort to freeze off milfoil, the Mayor commented that he felt this was a good idea and that it should be considered by the Lakes Committee.
Trustee Gluck stated that this idea had been discussed and that they had been advised that DEC permitting would be required and further that that they would not likely grant such a permit absent the need to do some engineering on the dam because it places a great deal of stress on the fish population.  It could certainly be explored again, but this is the advice they have received in the past.
Speaking as a property owner on the Wee Wah Lake, Elizabeth Cotnoir stated that each year that the Wee Wah Lake had been drained they had experienced severe damages to their properties in the form of wind coming off the dry lake bed, damages to the boat house, having to repaint every 6 months, loss of trees and on and on.  She would be completely opposed to lowering the lake unless the Village was agreeable to helping them offset these expenses.  She and Howard Shore fully support DASH harvesting.  As a member of the Lakes Committee, she has done quite a bit of research and can attest that so long as it is done correctly and consistently, DASH harvesting is an effective method of fighting milfoil.  She believes there is too much unknown with ProcellaCOR and both she and Howard would be against using it in either the reservoir or in bathing water (Wee Wah)

Other Business:
Trustee Coen suggested that the Police Chief send an email to the residents informing them that delivery service in the Village was going to be extended to 6pm.

The Board then adjourned to an Executive Session to discuss matters related to the employment of a particular person.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting August 21, 2020

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting August 5, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING – Wednesday 8/5/2020 @ 11:00 a.m.  via video conferencing for the purpose of discussing Booth donations, adjourning to executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person, and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Zoom instructions to follow.

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting August 3, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING – Monday 8/3/2020 @ 11:00 a.m.  via video conferencing for the purpose of adjourning to executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person.  Zoom instructions below.

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting July 31, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING – Friday 7/31/2020 @ 11:00 a.m.  via video conferencing for the purpose of moving the Booth project to construction and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Zoom instructions to follow.

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting July 24, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING – Friday, 7/24/2020 @ 12:00 p.m. for the purpose of considering the Wee Wah Beach Club’s request relating to two prospective members (one a volunteer first responder), adjourning to executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person, and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Zoom instructions below:

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Village Board of Trustees Meetings July 15, 2020

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

O & R Project Update:
The meeting began with a brief update from O & R project update.  A project representative reported that things are going well and they remain on track to finish Phase 1 by the end of August.  This could change should inclement weather cause delays.  They are hoping to proceed directly on with Phase 2 of the project but it is still in the design process and has not yet been finalized. 

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden acknowledged the recent Covid-19 e-mail he had sent to the community over the weekend, commenting that with summer recreational activities in full swing on the lakes and other Village properties that it was an excellent time to refocus on mitigating the risks of community spread.  Residents have been stellar in terms of following the guidelines.  Cautioning that it was “easy to let our guards down,” the Mayor cautioned that residents must continue to follow the guidelines.  Recent national news as well as one new reported case of the illness in the Village (not by community spread) motivated him to officially reach out to the community and encourage people to continue social distancing and wearing masks. 
Long-time Village Clerk/Treasurer Debbie Matthews will be retiring in October.  The Mayor expressed his gratitude to Trustee Barnett, who has headed up the search committee for her replacement, further commenting that the Board anticipated making a decision at the conclusion of the meeting, following the executive session.

Departmental Reports:
Police – Chief Conklin reported the following for the month of June:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 337
Criminal Complaints – 6
Arrests – 4
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 0
Traffic Tickets – 5
Traffic Warnings – 5
Fire Alarms – 3
Intrusion Alarms – 4
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo – 0
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo – 1
FOIL Request – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2, 652
Additionally, roughly 1,550 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.
Next the Chief provided a Road Safety Report.  The North Gate has been open on weekends for Wee Wah Beach Club traffic since the Club opened on July 5.  The following stats were noted
Sunday 7/5 – 13 cars
Saturday 7/11 – 2
Sunday 7/12 – 16 cars
The department has also begun taking note of the number of cars that enter the Village via the South Gate.  The Chief noted that in 2019 during the month of June there were 3,865 cars that entered the Village there and this year there were 3,881. 
The Chief and the Mayor have been in contact with Amazon Prime as they discovered that the company was conducting shift changes inside the Park during which drivers would park the vehicle and wait for their replacements.  This is no longer happening. 
Chief Conklin applauded the officers for the job they have been doing with enforcement.  Their efforts have greatly reduced motor vehicle accidents.  In 2019 between January and June there were 7 motor vehicle accidents in the Village and this year there have been none.  72 radar details were conducted during the month of June.  These resulted in 1 speeding ticket. 
New traffic signs and posts were delivered on July 15 as was the electronic radar sign.  The latter will take about a week to get up and running.
Finally, the Chief reported that June was the 3rd consecutive month with no over-time expenses.
Trustee Barnett inquired about the 6 criminal incidents, looking for more detail.  Chief Conklin responded that the majority of them were vehicle and traffic related, further explaining that some vehicle and traffic violations are misdemeanors and/or felonies according to traffic law, such as driving with a suspended license or suspended registration.  Additionally, two of the incidents concerned illegal dumping.
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present.  In his absence, Trustee McHugh provided a brief report.  Two weeks ago John Bello, head of the Water Department, was electrocuted while working on Turtle Point Road.  Thankfully, he is ok, however a couple of days afterwards he broke his leg while jumping on a trampoline with his sons.  Because of this, he will be out of work until mid-August, leaving the Department understaffed. 
On Monday July 6 there was a water leak at SOS.  A 6-inch water line leaked roughly 200,000 gallons over 5 hours.    Superintendent Voss believes there could be additional issues in this area.  They will conduct some exploratory digs there.
A leak detection service visited the Village on July 13 and while exploring the pipes in the East Village, detected a leak near the Ramapo River in a 4-inch water line.  The estimated loss from this particular leak was 15-20,000 gallons per day.  This adds up to roughly 7.5 million gallons per year and accounts for 10% of the annual water loss.
A contractor accidentally broke a waterline while trying to hook in on Tower Hill Loop.  This resulted in some overtime for the department.  The homeowner will be billed.
With regard to the I&I project, a winning bid was selected and contracts are being drafted.  The Village hopes to move forward with the loan at the end of July.  Trustees Coen and McHugh will be working with project engineers as well as bond council in order to keep things moving forward. 
Building & Capital- Click here to view the Building Department Report for the month of July.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Village Attorney, Brian Nugent, reported the following:
Miller Vs. The Village – this is a case brought by the Millers against the Village and a neighbor due to some alleged drainage damages.  It is still pending.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. This case is still in discovery.
Madden Vs. The Village – This is an Article 78 proceeding.  As of June 16 the parties have agreed to forgo an oral argument.  The briefs have been fully submitted and the case now awaits a decision.
Public Employment Relations Board Matter – This matter is not in a court.  The part-time Police Officers in the Village are seeking certification through the Teamsters local 445 in order to unionize their group of 16 part-time officers.  A petition has been filed and the Village has submitted a response.  A teleconference has been scheduled before an administrative law judge on July 22.

Committee Reports:
Cell Tower Committee – Several weeks back the Mayor polled residents to see if anyone would be interested in joining a cell tower committee in the hopes of working to somehow improve cell service in the Village.  A “terrific group” of volunteers responded.  The committee consists of representatives from TPS and the Tuxedo Club as well as talented residents.  Mayor McFadden will act as the Board liaison to this informal, non-binding committee.   They are hopeful to have some good news to report in the near future.  The Mayor further noted that there are residents who are opposed to improving service if it should involve unsightly towers on the mountains.  There are also residents who do not want towers located near their homes. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Deputy Supervisor Michele Lindsay reported that the Town had hosted a successful economic development webinar with State and County officials at the end of June.  The Town has put aside $250,000 in order to rent equipment for the purpose of sorting through the contaminated soil on the dirt pile at the Highway Department.  High Department personnel will be operating the equipment helping to bring the Town into compliance with a DEC consent order.  They are not sure how long this will take.
The Town Board is holding workshops approximately every two weeks throughout the summer, which are open to the public and focus on revising the Town Zoning Code.  They hope to start public hearings at the end of September.

Trustee Reports:
With regard to the lakes, Trustee Gluck reported that DASH harvesters had been in the Village the last week of June working in the Wee Wah lake.   They believe they were successful in harvesting the majority of the milfoil, but will take another look at it later in the season and if there is regrowth, more harvesting will be considered.
Additionally, Coon Tail on the Wee Wah, which was a significant issue last year, was reported to be fairly mild and the need to harvest will likely be eliminated after this summer.
Pond #3 was treated with the herbicide ProcellaCOR.  The initial feedback from property owners is quite positive.  The Village will have a better idea when the Lakes Manager comes back for their monthly visit.
Finally, the Village is in the process of installing three boons for the purpose of mitigating potential fragmentation.  The model which is currently in place at the top end of Pond #3 will be retrofitted with an improved model. 
Mayor McFadden wondered whether having drained Wee Wah Lake during the dam repairs over the course of 2018/2019 had been a factor in helping to kill off a lot of the milfoil in the lake.
Trustee Gluck responded that it had certainly been helpful.

Public Comments:
There were none

New Business:
Madden Water Supply Crossover – As the original water line to their house runs up Tower Hill Road, and the Village water system has been under a lot of undue stress recently because of the increase in full time residents, the Maddens have experienced a substantial loss in water pressure.  After meeting with the John Ledwith and Jeff Voss, the Maddens have determined that the proper solution is to take the old connection off-line and add a new one on Tower Hill Loop, where the house is located.
Trustee McHugh noted that he had no issue with the request and wanted to see the Maddens get better pressure, but he took issue with the fact that the work had already started before the issue was brought before the BOT.
Mayor McFadden responded that he was not sure that it was required for the BOT to vote on this, although he thought that technically speaking, whenever there was a new connection to the system, the Board had to vote.  This is not really a new connection, so to speak, as much as it is simply unhooking the connection from one pipe and hooking it up to another.  He felt that since this constituted a “grey area” they should probably vote.
The board then voted unanimously in favor of approving the request. 
Water Main Extension from 79 to 61 Turtle Point Road – As it stands to benefit his property, Mayor McFadden recused himself. 
John Ledwith explained that this pertained to the McFaddens’ request for water service at their boathouse.  There appear to be two options.  They can either allow for the extension of the main to the vicinity of his boathouse or possibly give the McFaddens a waiver that would allow them to drill a well.
Trustee Coen wanted to know how much the project would cost and whether the funds would come from the water budget.
Mr. Ledwith responded that he did not have an estimate yet but that the funding would likely come from the water budget.
It was determined that Superintendent Voss had been charged with putting together the cost information however as he has been both short staffed and busy, he has not had a chance to do it yet.
Trustee McHugh wondered whether or not the cost would be born by the Village or the McFaddens.  He suggested they should table the discussion until they had the applicable numbers.
Asking permission to speak, Mayor McFadden interjected that the reason this method had been proposed was because Turtle Point Road was due to be ripped up for repair by the DPW anyway.  It would cost a private contractor in the ballpark of $80,000 to bring in the necessary equipment etc. and uncover the lines, but all it would cost the Village was price of the pipe.   The McFaddens are willing to pay this expense within reason.  They are awaiting the estimate. 
Trustee Gluck commented that before they got into the details of extending the main, he felt it would be a good idea for the Board to consider whether the system as a whole should be permissible.  Counsel should review the code in order to ensure that both the water and sewage connections that have been proposed are permissible.  Additionally, from a land use prospective, there is the issue of whether or not sewer hook-ups to boathouses that don’t currently have them is something that the Board want to endorse (if the code affords them the ability to consider it.)
Following some further discussion it was determined that the discussion would be tabled until they could determine the estimated costs.
Water Main Connection - Town of Tuxedo Property Owner/east side of Route 17 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting Augusta properties permission to connect to the Village water main located on the east side of Route 17 to service a new commercial building to be located between the Orange Top and the Ambulance Corps, which received site plan approval from the Town Planning Board.
Discontinuance of Paper Road – The Madden family is looking to purchase roughly 100 feet of the access road leading to the lake near their boathouse, located off of East Lake Road.  They own the lots on both sides of the road.  Their intent is to leave access to the lot intact. The section of the road they are looking to purchase begins about 10 feet past where the road turns.  There are no pipes located there and it has no value for the Village.  It is seldom, if ever, accessed by anyone.  Their hope is to add it to the adjoining lot and then landscape the entire area. It will not add to the buildable portion of the lot.   They are offering $15,000.  If the Village chooses not to sell them the road, they will likely request permission to landscape the property anyhow at their expense. 
Following a lengthy discussion amongst Mr. Madden, the Board and their attorney the request was tabled until further details could be researched worked out. 
Purchase and Financing of Police Vehicle – This item was tabled as they do not yet have financing rates.

Public Comment:
Concerning the Mayor’s request for water to his boathouse, Jim Hays inquired as to whether or not this type of change to an auxiliary structure would require a variance from the BZA. 
Mayor McFadden responded that the Boathouse was not auxiliary structure, but rather a separate tax lot. 
Mr. Hays responded that the boathouse was an auxiliary building to the McFadden’s existing home.
The Mayor responded that they were not, however, contiguous lots.
Mr. Hays suggested that putting water and sewer into the boathouse suggested that somebody might want to live there.
Mayor McFadden replied that he did not want to live there, but rather wanted to be able to provide access to a bathroom while entertaining, reiterating that it was not an auxiliary building to his house but rather a separate tax lot.
Mr. Hays asked the attorney to comment.
Mr. Nugent responded that he would have to review the code however the issue being discussed that evening was whether or not to extend the water line along the public roadway and not whether or not to allow the McFaddens water and sewer hookups.  Those are separate issues. 

Donation of Stone Bench:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the donation of a stone bench to be placed at the Wee Wah Beach Club to the right of the diving board out and out of the way of traffic.
There was a brief discussion as to whether or not there should be a policy in place with regard to accepting donations.  Ultimately, Mr. Nugent advised that they could have a policy but he would not advise it.  Rather, he suggested that donations should be taken on a case-to-case basis. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meetings July 15, 2020

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From The Mayor's Desk - Covid 19 Update - Mid July Recreation Guidelines (posted July 12, 2020)

Dear Neighbors,

With summer recreational activities in full swing on our lakes and other village properties, it is an excellent time to refocus on mitigating the risk of community spread. The residents have been stellar in following the guidelines to date and we should continue to do so. Recent national news and 1-newly reported case of COVID-19 in the Park (not community spread) has motivated me to reach out.

While it is a challenge at this point to continue social distancing and wearing a mask, we should resist the temptation not to.

The virus is still here.
 
As I mentioned, during the first three months of the stay-at-home order we did a stellar job as a community resulting in no cases of community spread. While confidence in our safety within the gates is justifiable, because we are in Phase 4, and New York City is in Phase 3, we have to be careful not to be overconfident or complacent. Residents are going back to work in New York City, there are more outside delivery vehicles and service vendors here more than ever before, guests are visiting on a much more regular basis, and we are venturing out to reopened stores and restaurants.

Across the nation, areas that are complacent and have relaxed restrictions are seeing a surge of cases. If someone contracts the virus in Tuxedo Park and we continue to gather in large, non-family groups, without following the guidelines, the number of cases will spread at an exceedingly fast pace in our tight-knit community and could have serious implications for the most vulnerable.

The Village of Tuxedo Park is affirming the Coronavirus guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Health here.
 
These guidelines naturally are in effect for all Village property, including Tuxedo Lake, the Little Wee Wah (Pond No. 3), Wee Wah Lake, the Race Track, the hiking trails, the Village Office, and all of our roads.  
 
In my opinion, there is no better place than Tuxedo Park to weather this pandemic.  Let’s continue to act responsibly and do our part so that new cases are kept to a minimum.


Thanks,

Mayor Mac

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Notice of Special Village Board of Trustees Meetings July 8, 9 & 14, 2020

Wednesday, 7/8/20 @ 1:00 p.m., Thursday 7/9/20 @ 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday 7/14/20 @ 8:45 a.m. for the purposes of discussing employment matters relating to a particular person. 

July 9:

Thursday, 7/9/20 @ 2:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing employment matters related to a particular person.  Zoom instructions below.

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July 8:

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 23, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, June 23 at 9am.  All Board members were present.

Road Safety Package:
The Board voted in favor of purchasing a digital speed awareness sign as well as authorizing an expense of up to $1,500 for additional road signage.
To listen to their discussion, click here.

Wee Wah Beach Club:
After a lengthy discussion, the Board voted in favor of renewing the lease with the Wee Wah Beach Club, allowing them to open for the season.
Click here to listen to this discussion.

Booth:
The Board voted in favor of moving the booth project forward.
Their discussion can be heard here.

McFadden Well & Sewer Application:
The Board reviewed and discussed an application from the McFaddens for installing a well and sewer hookup at their boathouse on Turtle Point Road.  The Mayor recused himself.  There are a number of items that need further investigation/review.  Ultimately it was tabled.
Listen to this discussion here.

Overton Subdivision:
The Overton subdivision is in the final stages of approval.  They are in need of an Incidental Take Permit from the DEC, which sets forth very detailed conditions on how they have to conduct their operations to avoid the accidental taking of rattlesnakes during the construction process.  The DEC has requested that the developer obtain a commitment from the BOT to take much of the same actions should it become necessary for them to do any work on any of the public utility easements that they maintain in connection with the development.  Most of the easements are privately owned, although the Village has retained the right to work on them should the owners not carry out that obligation.  Planning Board attorney Rick Golden has recommended that the Board respond indicating that this is not an obligation they would be prepared to take on. While they will certainly try to avoid any incidental taking of rattlesnakes, he advises that they should not subject themselves to the regulatory oversight of the DEC in performing standard maintenance functions or emergency functions.  The Board was in agreement that they should follow Mr. Golden’s advice. 

Water Plant Pumping Station:
Trustee McHugh reported that given the amount of people currently in residence in the Village, the pumping station at the water plant was working 24/7 and they are having a hard time keeping the appropriate water levels in the tanks.  Going forward, there is a chance that they will be instituting lawn-watering restrictions.  This is ultimately a function of the lack of rain. 
Mayor McFadden added that the increase in population has also had an impact on the antiquated electricity infrastructure.  The question of whether or not they should introduce regulations stipulating every-other-day air conditioning use has been put on the table.  O&R continues to work aggressively to mitigate the brownouts.

Climate Smart Task Force:
The Board voted in favor of assembling a Climate Smart Task Force in conjunction with the Climate Smart Community Pledge they adopted at their previous meeting.  The task force will consist of those Village residents who currently sit on the Town of Tuxedo’s Climate Smart Task force as well the Village Planning Board Chair and Trustee Gluck.

Engagement Letter – Cooper/Arias Accounting Firm: 
The Board in in receipt of a proposal from Cooper/Arias for the year-end audit.  It is identical to previous proposals.  The fee is $17,000.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the proposal.

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Notice of Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 23, 2020

SPECIAL  BOARD OF  TRUSTEES MEETINGTuesday, 6/23/2020 @ 9:00 a.m., via Zoom, for the purpose of considering the opening of the Wee Wah Beach Club and any other matters that may come before the Board.   Zoom instructions below.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 17, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, June 17 at 7pm via Zoom.  All members were present. 

Mayor’s Comments:
Due to the fact that the Park is currently “at capacity” and a majority of the homes are “online” certain areas of the Village have been experiencing electrical brown outs with some regularity.  The brownouts have been occurring primarily in the area of Lookout Stable Road and Stable Road.  This area is NOT slated to receive an upgrade from O&R this year.  The level of electrical activity is putting a great deal of stress on the Village’s antiquated system, especially between the hours of 5-8pm.  The Village is steadily at the same usage rate as it typically is at its busiest times of year, such as over the 4th of July weekend.  O & R is moving quickly to upgrade other areas of the Park so that the new system can off-load some additional current to the problem areas and to speed things up and the Village has extended the electric company’s week day allowable work hours.  As a result, O & R has indicated that the brownouts should stop in the affected area within 2-4 weeks.
The Village also suffers from spotty cellular service and the Mayor has recently asked for volunteers in one of his newsletters so that they may put together a committee to address the problem.  A number of people have volunteered and Mayor McFadden is looking to get the effort off the ground in the next week.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Conklin reported the following for the month of May:
Criminal Complaints – 2
Non-Criminal Complaints – 297
Motor Vehicle Accident/Property Damage Only – 1
Traffic Tickets Issued – 1
Traffic Warnings Given – 2
Medical Calls – 0
Intrusion Alarms –2
Fire Alarms – 3
Shots Fired - 0
Miles Patrolled – 2,556
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police - 2
Assists Given to Other Outside Agencies – 1
Assists Received from Outside Agencies – 0

Additionally, an average of 1,173 cars per day entered the Village via the Front Gate.
DPW – Trustee McHugh reported that along with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss, Building Inspector John Ledwith and Trustee Gluck he had been meeting extensively with Westin and Sampson with regard to the control panel at the water treatment plant.  They have defined the scope of work and engagement and begun collecting quotes.  The prices for replacing the panel range from $80,000 to $140,000.  Westin and Sampson have been engaged to “drill down” on these quotes and they have completed site visits in order to further refine what they think the Village needs in order to stay up to current standards as well as what functionality is needed.  With regard to replacing the generator at the Water Treatment Plant, they are looking consolidate and replace the existing oil tanks with 1 tank in order to heat the plant and act as a fuel source for the generator.  This is expected to cost somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. 
The department is refining their approach with regard to leak detection in the East Village.  They would like to have some “shelf ready” projects in the event that the State Government comes out with grant opportunities, which might allow them to proceed.  Typically sewer grants provide up to 30% of project costs while water grants provide 60%. 
During the month of May the amount of effluent through the sewer plan exceeded plant exceeded the SPDES permit.   This was a function of 5.4 inches of rain in the month of April in addition to an already saturated start. The Village has written a notice of violation to the DEC as required. 
Building and Capital – Click here to view the Building and Capital report. 

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There are three pending cases as follows:
Miller Vs. The Village – this is a case brought by the Millers against the Village and a neighbor due to some alleged drainage damages.  It is still pending.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. This case is also still pending.
Madden Vs. The Village – This is an Article 78 proceeding.  As of June 16 the parties have agreed to forgo an oral argument.  The briefs have been fully submitted and the case now awaits a decision.

Committee Reports:
There were none

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck reported that on Saturday, June 20 at 10am there would be an online event called Moving Tuxedo Forward  that would feature presentations and discussions with respect to Town center revitalization, real estate opportunities and parks and recreation/ eco-tourism.  The event will feature State Senator Jen Metzger, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec and County Executive Steve Neuhaus.  There will be an opportunity for Q & A.  Log in instructions can be found on the Town’s website. 
Trustee Reports:
With regard to the ongoing I & I project, Trustee McHugh reported that an addendum to the bid package has been sent out.  Bids are due by 2pm on Friday, June 19.  Once the bids have been received, Westin and Sampson will make an analysis and recommendation to the Board.  This project is being financed through the EFC for 5 years.  Subject to how effective the project is, additional remediation might be needed.  Work will be occurring on Continental, Town Hill, Circuit, Club House, Serpentine and Turtle Point Roads.  Essentially it entails re-aligning of the sewage lines and manholes.  Trustee McHugh advised that additional meetings will be required in order to move the project forward. 

Public Comments:
Mayor McFadden advised that the Trustees had received many letters, both pro and con, regarding the opening of the Wee Wah Beach Club.  In total there have been 29 emails in favor of opening, 16 against and 1 suggesting that the Club should be opened to Village residents only.  Noting that he anticipated a number of speakers on this topic, he requested that people try to keep their comments to two minutes or less.  The floor was then opened.
Enrique Correden noted that he and his family were relatively new Village residents, having lived here for only 4 years.  Covid-19 and the potential for a second wave and all the uncertainty surrounding that is most worrisome to his family at the moment.  They have come to the Park to seek safety and refuge and they have concern over the potential of opening the Beach Club to outsiders.  Under normal circumstances they have no issues with opening the Club, however right now they feel there is too much uncertainty.  Many families have retreated to the Village seeking safety.  The village streets are   full.  His family has had a couple of close calls with drivers who were going too fast.  He urged the Trustees to vote with resident safety in mind.  He feels that next year would be a better time to re-assess the opening of the Beach Club.
Jennifer Darling identified herself as both a Village resident and the Vice President of the Beach Club.  With respect to Covid-19, Mrs. Darling noted that the Club had submitted proposed guidelines, modeled after the State Guidelines, outlining how the Club was intending to open.  She believes that the guidelines in conjunction with the Club’s opening proposal comprehensively address all of the New York State and Health Department issues pertaining to how the Club will be run.  The fact that the Village is currently at capacity was a major factor in the club’s decision to pursue opening.  They believe that many Village residents will be looking to swim in the Wee Wah lake via that property whether the Club is open or not.  Speaking directly to the issue of traffic, Mrs. Darling reported that the Club had spent the last few days carefully reviewing sign-in sheets from the previous season and noted that over the course of the 63 days that the Club was open, they averaged 10 non-resident vehicles per day.  Conversely, during the same time period, the Police reported 1,300 vehicles entering the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.  The amount of daily non-resident traffic heading to the Beach constitutes is ¾ of 1% of that number.  Clearly all residents are concerned about traffic.  It is a universal concern.  That being said, the impact of the Beach Club traffic is minimal.
Elizabeth Cotoir and Howard Shore noted that they lived on the Wee Wah and crossed the road several times daily in order to access the lakefront.  Their property located between two, mostly blind, curves in the road and she wondered whether the Village might consider either temporarily installing speed bumps there or making the road one-way around the Wee Wah Lake. 
Jane Garofano commented that she and her husband were 37-year residents of the Village and that the Wee Wah Beach Club has always been a special part of their lives here.  In all the years that they have been in the Village, she has never learned of any child or animal being hurt by a vehicle on the roadways leading to and from the Club.  The Beach Club is typically somewhat sparsely attended, but it provides an important community service and she does not see that there are any insurmountable obstacles in the way due to Covid-19.  There were several years when the Club was not able to operate due to the condition of the lake and that was incredibly disappointing.  She does not feel that anyone would abuse the privilege if the Club were allowed to open.
John Sandak stated that he was a resident of the East Village who had been a member of the Wee Wah for the last 15 years.  Having the Wee Wah open is a central part of their summer.  He is confident that the Beach Club would take care of everything in order to enable the members to safely get out of their homes (where children have been kept away for the past 3 months) in order to enjoy the summer.  The Towns are starting to open up and he feels it is imperative that they allow families in the community to access the Wee Wah and enjoy the outdoors. 
Marc Citrin stated that he was both a resident and Beach Club Board member.  Commenting that he wanted to reiterate everything that Mrs. Darling had said, he added that he wanted to address a point that had been made by one of the earlier speakers, who had said he did not want outsiders to come into the Village.  He believes that this was an unfortunate turn of phrase to use and if the speaker was referring to people who live in the Town , he wanted to point out that the Tuxedo Club has numerous members from the State of New Jersey, who come into the Village at will.  Whether somebody lives inside the Village or outside the Village should not be a factor with respect to the Board’s decision whether or not to open the Beach Club.  The Village should not be creating a dichotomy between “us and them” especially in the current times.  He feels this was a poor choice of words from that particular speaker.  He further noted that the Village had the authority to reduce the speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour without the approval of the State Legislature.  He suggested respectively that they consider imposing the lower limit throughout the Village, which would result in slowing drivers down.
Susan Goodfellow noted that she had been a resident of the Village for over 40 years and that the Wee Wah was an important part of life in Village, particularly now.  She feels that between the Department of Health and the State of New York as well as the good work being done by both the BOT and the Wee Wah Board, certainly a safe environment could be developed in which people could use the facility and enjoy the summer months there. 
Victoria March noted that she had been a summer resident of Tuxedo since 1970 and that the highlight of the summer each year was the ability to go to the Wee Wah.  Her family visits the beach every day.  There is not a lot of traffic generated by people going to the Beach.  During the week, the facility is often empty.  She stressed that right now the ability to get outside and go to the beach was critically important.
Jessica Naeve echoed Ms. March and further pointed out that if opened, it would be optional for people to attend.  She does not feel that there is any evidence to suggest that there would be any negative impacts for those people who choose to go there.  Although they do not visit the Club every day, they value the ability for their daughter to jump in the lake as a break from a normal summer, never mind a quarantined, camp-free summer. 
Jed Turner noted that he had been going to the Wee Wah for his entire life and that it was a big part of who he was.  That being said, putting aside Covid, he expressed concern over the increased volume of cars on the roadways.  His home is located on the road to the Beach Club. Acknowledging that 10 cars a day is “not a big deal at all” he wondered if there were to be a significant spike in traffic what would be done to help mitigate it. 
Jake Matthews stated that as a 40+- year resident of the Village he could attest that the Beach Club was an integral part of the community.  Given that the Wee Wah was either closed or forced to endure shorted seasons for several years due to the low lake levels and now with Covid he feels that it is even more important for families to get out and recreate.  If the State is opening up and putting in guidelines for beaches and parks and the Beach Club is being held to those standards then he favors opening it up this year.  He echoed the concern of others with regard to traffic in the Village and more so the speed at which many cars are traveling.  He reiterated that if speed concerns could be addressed by the Village and the Beach Club could address safety concerns as they related to social distancing and timed visits etc., then he felt the club should be opened. 

Old Business:
Resolution – Road Safety – Digital Speed Sign Rental –
Mayor McFadden noted that he, Chief Conklin, DPW Superintendent Voss and Code Enforcement Officer Ledwith had recently met to discuss traffic issues and related safety measures.  The group put together a proposed safety package, which includes stricter speeding enforcement (fewer warnings and more tickets) renting two, portal(portable?), solar powered, digital road signs to locate at critical intersections (to communicate both road safety and O & R closure messages) and the purchase of a portable, solar powered, digital road sign that informs drivers whether or not they are speeding.  Speed limit reduction to 25mph was also discussed, although they were under the impression that this needed approval from the State.  They also discussed a series of permanent signs to identify high-risk areas. 
These ideas were then reviewed and discussed at length by the Trustees.  It was universally agreed amongst them that stricter enforcement was necessary.  Trustee Barnett noted that when speeders arrive in Village court, they are typically offered the opportunity to bargain down to non-moving violation, which eliminates the threat of points on their license.  He suggested that this if this were not case, and the proper penalties were executed, it would likely have a desired effect.  He further suggested that in his view, the speeding issues had nothing to do with the Wee Wah Beach Club.
Trustee McHugh suggested that he would not be against lowering the speed limit but he felt that they needed the appropriate data to support the change.  In reviewing empirical data from the last 3 years, he has noted a correlation in the decline of speeding tickets issued and the number of miles patrolled by the Police Department.
Trustee Coen is in favor of decreasing the speed limit to 25.  She further noted that it was also important to consider actual speed vs. perception of speed as well as appropriate speed in certain areas.  She suggested that there have been times when she has passed pedestrians and felt that she was flying by them, only to look down at the speedometer and discover that she was traveling 27 miles an hour.
Trustee Gluck is also in favor of exploring speed limit reduction.  He was under the impression that getting it reduced would be both a lengthy and somewhat arduous process. 
Although stricter enforcement is necessary, Trustee Coen stated that she felt residents should be afforded a warning prior to receiving a ticket and Trustee Gluck suggested that perhaps points did not have to be awarded to first time offenders.  Trustee Gluck also expressed some skepticism with regard to idea of immediate feedback road signs.
When asked for his thoughts, Chief Conklin stated that he believes the digital signs to be highly effective, but they need to be moved around with regularity.  He agreed that speed reduction should be explored in combination with stricter enforcement.  That being said, he noted that often times people’s perceptions of speeding can be off and they might believe a car to be traveling much faster than it actually is.   While there certainly is some speeding in the Village, the problem may not be as egregious as some people seem to believe it is.  He and his officers have completed 24 radar details in last two weeks that resulted in only one speeder. 
The idea of purchasing a driver feedback speed sign was discussed.  Trustees Barnett and Gluck expressed support for the idea.  Ultimately, The Mayor stated that he would organize the various signage and associated costs as proposed as part of the safety package so as to form a resolution to be voted on later in the meeting.
Resolution – Wee Wah Beach Club License Agreement-
Mayor McFadden stated that he believed many residents had a false sense of security because they lived behind the gates within the Village and felt that because of this they would not catch or spread Covid-19.  He pointed out that many residents regularly interacted with landscapers and contractors and housekeepers and delivery people.  Many residents have been gathering in places such as the Club lawn or the golf and tennis courts.  Ultimately, they have no idea where the vendors they are interacting with live.  Many of them come from Suffern and Rockland County, which has been a hotbed for the virus.  He felt it important to balance this kind of behavior with the concerns about opening the Beach Club.  He then asked each of the Trustees to give their thoughts on the subject.
Trustee McHugh commented that he appreciated all of the efforts that the Beach Club has made to address the issues and try to make the opening a possibility.  He has received an enormous number of calls from residents with concerns about traffic.  He acknowledged Mrs. Darling’s report of 10 non-resident vehicles per day, but suggested that there could be a number of reasons for this including the fact that the membership was “decimated” due to  both health department issues with the water quality and the low water levels as a result of the ongoing dam repair.  He is not a fan of allowing access via the North Gate as has been discussed in meetings.  This is a secure area where sewage is treated, among other things and poses a security issue.
Trustee Coen noted that two main issues have been raised.  Speaking to the issue of Covid-19, she stated that she felt the Beach Club had done a great job and she felt it could be brought into compliance.  Any individual, who might not be comfortable with it, should just not go to the Club in her view.  She finds the issue of traffic and road safety more troubling.  The average of 10 non-resident cars per day as presented earlier does not reflect potential spikes.  Additionally, as noted by Trustee McHugh, the data pool was likely not as robust as it might be as a direct result of various issues pertaining to lake levels and water quality.  She believes that if opened the membership would likely be more robust this year and that the numbers would increase, as would the spikes.  There are so many more people on the road these days, pedestrians walking, kids riding bikes, people out with their dogs etc., she does not believe they can safely take the risk of adding additional vehicles to the road.  While she is very supportive of opening up the Beach Club, she feels they need to mitigate the traffic issue first.  She would like to explore how they might be able to utilize the North Gate to do this. 
Trustee (Gluck?)commented that he felt if they could find a way to provide the residents of the Village with a swimming area this summer, it was something that they should strive for if they could do it safely.  Covid-19 and pedestrian safety are the two main issues.  He believes that both New York State and the Beach Club have done an excellent job of putting in place a set of protocols that have dotted all of the Is and crossed all of the Ts. With regard to the traffic, he pointed out that the 10-car average presented earlier came from a period of time when the Club was not shut down and therefore the numbers were likely in line with what they might see this year.  Although there seem to be more people on the roads right now, he does not think that the number of cars traveling to the beach would be significant in the context of the total number of cars that are coming through.  The traffic issue seems to him to be a minor additional burden to bear if they can provide the benefit that the Club would provide to the residents.
Trustee Barnett agreed with Trustee Gluck.  He believes that the plans developed by the Beach Club go above and beyond the State requirements for safety.  He does not believe it is fair to blame the Beach Club for the traffic issues.  The traffic issues exist for a number of reasons.  Are they going to put the same burden on the Tuxedo Club as they are putting on the Beach Club?  He wholeheartedly supports granting the Beach Club a license. 
Mayor McFadden stated that he had three major concerns, which are traffic, transfer and tracing.  If they cannot be mitigated to his satisfaction he is leaning away from approval.  For any resident who is concerned about getting Covid, joining the club is certainly optional.  As things begin to open up more, people will be traveling more and while this may take some of the pedestrians off the street, it also heightens the risk of spreading the virus.  He has discussed the idea of having the Beach Club take temperatures as members arrive at the discretion of the Covid Enforcement Officer, turning away anyone with a fever.  He has further suggested that the Beach Club hire a contract tracer.  Finally, the traffic issue is extremely important.  He believes they should explore the idea of utilizing the North Gate on weekends.  He has spoken with Chief Conklin, Superintendent Voss and Code Enforcement Officer Ledwith about it.  Some things need to be done to the area in order to make it a feasible access point and the DEC should be called in to take a look, but ultimately the Mayor believes it could be used. He has spoken with the Beach Club about it and they were amenable to exploring the idea. A part time police officer would be necessary to man the area. With a potential 19 Saturdays and Sundays at a rate of $30 per hour, this would cost roughly $6,000 and the Mayor feels the Club should bear this financial burden. 
Following some further discussion the Mayor took a straw poll of Board members to determine where the consensus lay.  It appeared that the majority of Trustees were not ready to comfortably vote in favor of opening and therefore it was agreed that they would table the vote until the following Tuesday morning, at which point they would hold a special meeting.   In the meantime they would continue negotiations with the Beach Club. 
Resolution – Booth Vendor Agreements – S & B and Jody Zero- Mayor McFadden noted that if approved, these would be the last two agreements necessary to facilitate the booth project.  Trustee McHugh and Trustee Gluck had a number of questions and concerns that were discussed at some length.  Ultimately there are some fundamental issues that the trustees would like to see addressed within the contracts before moving ahead.  Trustee Coen asserted that these things could likely be done by the following Tuesday and the attorney agreed, however the Mayor argued it might not be doable and aggressively forced the meeting along, commenting he felt the issues at hand could be dealt with offline the following morning. 
Discussion – Overton Subdivision – This item was tabled as the Board is awaiting input from counsel. 
Update – Job Search – Mayor McFadden asked Trustee Barnet to update the Board on the search for Debbie Matthews’ replacement.  Trustee Barnet reported that a description of the job had been posted to the Village website and an ad had also been posted in the Times Herald Record along with a number of other websites. These postings just occurred and they are hopeful to have responses in the very near future.  
The Mayor added that Trustee Barnett had done a great job of putting together a strong job description, reiterating that the job had been posted in a number of locations and that they were looking forward to receiving responses.

New Business:
Resolution  - Leak Detection – East Village – The Village would like to employ a leak detection company to check some of the more difficult areas that Village waterlines cross under such as the New York State Thruway, the Ramapo River and the railroad tracks.  There have information from two companies that would provide acoustic sounding services. The lowest price received to date is $1,500 per day for an 8-hour day.   Trustee McHugh suggested that they should go with whichever company could perform the job sooner and following some discussion the board agreed to punt the decision until Tuesday morning, by which time Mr. Ledwith would be able to obtain proposed timelines.  
Resolution – Water Plant Generator – The Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a new water plant generator at a cost of $51, 590.
Resolution – Part Time Police Officer Reimbursement Agreement- Chief Conklin explained that there had previously been a 1-year agreement in place whereby the Village would sponsor the officers through phase two of the Police Academy and then if the officer chose to leave the Village within a year they had to re-pay the cost.  Unfortunately, the Village encountered an issue with recouping the money from the last  officer who left and so the Village Attorney developed a prorated 3-year agreement, which contains an exact dollar amount for both uniform reimbursement and training.  This way new hires will understand exactly what they will have to pay back to the Village should they decide to leave.
Trustee McHugh asked the Chief whether the new agreement provided him with a greater level of comfort.  He responded that it did, indicating that he felt the Village would be much more protected under the new agreement.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the agreement.
Resolution – Tuxedo Club Fireworks Request for September 5th – As the representative for the Tuxedo Club was not on the call, it was agreed that this item would also be tabled until Tuesday, at which time the representative would be present to answer questions.
Resolution – McFadden Well Application – Mayor McFadden noted that just prior to the meeting he had learned that his plumber had not submitted the appropriate drawings and therefore he stated that he would like to table it until the next meeting.
Resolution – Grant Police Chief access to Tuxedo Lake via Chastelleaux Lane – Chief Conklin has requested permission to access Tuxedo Lake via Chastelleaux lane both to carry out his official duties as well as for recreational fishing purposes.  This was discussed at some length.  There was some concern with regard to code compliance in terms of who is permitted to put boats on Tuxedo Lake and for what purpose.  Portions of the code indicate that police officers can only access the lake in conjunction with their official duties while other portions suggest that the Trustees have the transgression to occasionally allow individuals access.  Ultimately, after a fair amount of discussion, the Board voted in favor of allowing the Chief to store and launch his boat from Chastelleaux Lane, with Trustees McHugh and Gluck abstaining. 
Cap Ex List Update and Assignments:  The Village has created a robust capital projects list.  They subsequently prioritized the list and assigned various individuals to each project.  Various projects were touched on including I & I, Lakes Management, and the wall on Summit Road, the Sewer on Pond #3, Leak Detection and Emergency Water Plans.
Tax Certiorari – A resolution authorizing special counsel to represent the Village of Tuxedo Park in a tax certiorari litigation brought against the assessor by Hume Styer was put forth and unanimously adopted.
NEAR 2020 Proposal – Trustee Gluck presented the Board with a proposal from lakes managers North East Aquatic Research (NEAR) in the amount of $44,000.  This is down $12,000 from last years’ expense.  Principal differences include a cutback in surveying, and extension of water quality November. Also, due to Covid-19, the CSLAPs program will not take place this year.  Costs will be split between the Water and General Fund budgets.   Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not installation of boons and application of procellacor were included in the proposal cost.
Trustee Gluck responded that they were not, further indicating that three boons had already been installed and that observation was ongoing. 
The Mayor commented that he was “fed up to his ears” with constant surveying in the lakes.  “We have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and here we are with Milfoil that has been growing for 10 years.  I don’t think we are addressing the problem.  We know what to do and we are not doing it.”  He went on to indicate that he was against “re-upping” with NEAR.  Following some further discussion regarding the importance of continuing to survey the lakes and monitor the Milfoil., the Board then voted 4-1 in favor of accepting the proposal with the Mayor voting against.
Climate Smart Communities – Trustee Gluck explained that New York State has a program called Climate Smart Communities in which slightly in excess of 300 communities participate.  It is designed to encourage climate smart activities.  Joining the program does not cost anything nor does it carry any sort of commitment.  It does offer a variety of supports for climate smart activities including technical services, enhanced grading on grant applications, and it allows for credit and potential funding for certain projects.  All that is required is the adoption of a pledge that enunciates a number of principals around climate smart activities.  The Town of Tuxedo has adopted the resolution and formed a Climate Smart task force, which includes a number of Village residents.  The thinking is that it would make sense for those village residents to form a similar Climate Smart Task/Advisory Committee to the Village, which would enable them to leverage both knowledge and expertise across both municipalities and potentially obtain credit for municipal sharing.  The Board discussed the proposal and ultimately voted 4-1 in favor of moving ahead with the Mayor voting against.
Resolution – Tree Removal – The McCathern property backs up to the Village property near the Fox Hill Tract.  There are a number of large trees looming over their garage and property and they have asked the Village about removal.  Counsel has advised that the Village investigate removing the trees as they pose a potential liability and Mr. Ledwith has obtained 3 estimates all of which are quite high.  Ultimately it was determined that the matter would be discussed in executive session.

Public Comments:
Michele Lindsay reiterated Trustee Gluck’s earlier comments about Moving Tuxedo Forward Event on June 20.
Speaking to the issue of speeding, JoAnn Hansen suggested that there were two philosophies when it came to the speed limit.  One was that they set the speed limit at 30 and most people comply.  The other was that they lower the speed limit to 25 and this would result in most people driving five mph over the limit. She feels that they should be looking at specific, narrow areas where people are speeding and enforcing regulations there. 
Jake Matthews pointed out that technically there might not be a lot of people exceeding the limit, but to a pedestrian walking on the roadway, 29 mph seemed incredibly fast.  He noted that on Club House Road there was a sign that required a 15mph limit.  He suggested that in theory there were likely some other streets where the limit should be decreased even lower.  He pointed out that there was also some concern over the issue of potentially having too much signage throughout the Village and what that would do to the general aesthetics.  He believes the digital signs that tell people how fast they are going are effective.  He questioned the proposed look of the one that might be brought into the Village, further suggesting that some of them were quite large and had an unsightly trailer-drawn look, while there were other, smaller, signs that hook right on to street signs.  The Mayor responded that he intended to share this information with the public.
Speaking to the proposed Climate Smart initiative, Jay Reichgott reiterated that the Town was a Climate Smart community.  Commenting that it was pretty much “no pain,” he further suggested that if the Village should decide that they wanted to apply for grants in order to engage in an environmental project like solar panels etc., the opportunity would be there.

Following the approval of minutes the Board adjourned into an Executive Session to discuss the employment of particular persons, collective bargaining negotiations and front gate safety and security issues.

 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 17, 2020

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Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 8, 2020

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Notice of Special Village Board of Trustees Meeting June 8, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD MEETING ON OPENING THE WEE WAH BEACH CLUB

Dear Neighbors,

This next Monday at 10:00 a.m. the Board will discuss opening the WWBC or not. There are multiple issues in play including the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk associated with that. The WWBC has proposed a list of precautionary safety measures. Your comments during the meeting or an email before the meeting will be taken into consideration. Email comments to dmatthews@tuxedopark-ny.gov.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 20, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met via Zoom on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.  All Board members were present.

Mayor’s Comments: 
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking those in attendance.  He further commented that he had no new knowledge of any Coronavirus cases to report.  He went on to thank residents, Village Employees, Police Department (including the Chief) Health Care providers and EMS for all the work they are doing to keep everyone safe.  He encouraged residents to subscribe to “From The Mayor’s Desk” newsletters via the Village website and further noted that the Police Department had a webpage as well, which could also be accessed via the Village site.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Conklin reported the following for the month of April:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 240
Criminal Complaints – 2       Closed By Arrest – 1
Traffic Tickets – 2
Traffic Warnings – 5
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 0
Fire Alarms -6
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Received from outside Agencies -0
Miles Patrolled – 1,997
Additionally, roughly 1.300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.
Building & Capital Report – Click here to view this report.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There are currently 3 pending cases as follows.  All three cases are pending in postponement until the courts re-open. 

Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that they had been reviewing the plans for the summer with the Lakes manager and that they would have some comments, which they would provide to Trustees Gluck and McHugh.
There is potentially a significant danger to the Tuxedo Lakes from a zooplankton called the spiny water flea.  Fish who eat it can wind up with digestive issues or dead.  The fleas attach themselves to fishing lines and can be transferred to and from bodies of water in that way.  Mr. Hays stated that he would be happy to begin collecting samples over the summer in an effort to ascertain whether or not the spiny water fleas are in the Village lakes.  If they are, they cannot be eradicated.  If they are not, there are measures the Village can take to prevent them.

Report by Town Board Member of Trustee Liaison
There was none

Liaison & Trustee Reports:
Trustee Barnett reported that he had spent some time sitting with Village Clerk Debbie Matthews in order to properly assess how the Village should proceed after her retirement on October 31.  Mrs. Matthews would like to see her successor in place prior to September 1 in order to provide enough time for a smooth transition.  According to Mrs. Matthews, the five skills most needed to successfully do the job are: proficiency in QuickBooks (or similar bookkeeping software), proficiency in Excel and Word, an accounting background, municipal experience with procedures, regulations and reports and most importantly, the ability to multi-task.  The job by nature entails constant interruption and the position must be filled by a person who can successfully  “keep a bunch of balls in the air.”  When asked what the most demanding pars of the job are, Mrs. Matthews indicated that the budget process and that preparation and supervision of the annual Village elections were the most time consuming.  She further indicated that there was no single task that was overly demanding but when put together, and particularly with competing demands, the job can be difficult to manage and do well.   She feels that having an assistant, be it full or part-time, will be very important.  Finally, Mrs. Matthews indicated that it is a good job, which she has enjoyed.  She does not think the Village will encounter trouble finding strong candidates to fill it.
Trustee Barnett further noted that during the process of meeting with Mrs. Matthews, he had attempted to walk into the office with “fresh eyes.”  He believes there is a lot of clutter that needs to be sorted through and stored away.  More importantly, the office itself in a post-pandemic world needs to be addressed.  The way things are currently set up/designed it is impossible to achieve appropriate social distancing for the employees.  Procedures regarding masks and gloves need to be established.  He also recommended that they seriously consider closing the front doors for entry and having all access come through the courtroom.  Anyone who wants to visit with/speak to Mrs. Matthews or Mr. Ledwith would do so in the courtroom where there is proper space for social distancing.  This could be a temporary practice. 

Public Comments:
John Watson commented that he felt the Board was doing a great job, especially managing things during the pandemic and providing support to residents, public servants and local businesses.  He thanked everyone for their efforts.

Old Business:
Booth Discussion – Budget & Agreements (if approved by vendors) – Mayor McFadden opened the discussion by noting that the most recent budget for the booth was not approved.  There have been several discussions at the Board level concerning the requirement for redundant equipment, which has a price tag of roughly $16,000.  The Mayor asked the Board members for their views as to how they should proceed in order to get the budget passed and move the project forward.
Trustee Coen suggested that there were two possible approaches: they could either take the money from unallocated surplus or they could look to amend the resolution to relieve the requirement.  She believes they should go with option one.  She suggested that with the budget as currently proposed, the Village would be gaining a booth valued at $140,000 for an expenditure of $16,000.  This seems like a fair deal to her. 
Trustee Gluck noted that the booth expenditure had not been included in the budget.  He has consistently felt that the project should be funded privately (without the use of any public funds) and in light of this and the recent budget process he does not favor taking the money from unallocated surplus.
Noting that the Chief does not believe the redundant equipment is necessary, the Mayor commented that perhaps they could delay the purchase of the lion share of equipment, allowing for the ability to open and close the gate from the Keep, and reassess the need for the rest of it in 6 months time.
Trustee Barnett commented that it was his belief that because of the current situation with Covid-19, the project should be delayed until sometime in 2021.  The booth as proposed does not allow for proper social distancing.  He reiterated the importance of the redundant equipment under these circumstances and ultimately concluded that he felt the money should come from the unallocated surplus. 
Following some further discussion, the Board voted in favor of taking the necessary funds from the unallocated surplus and approving/passing the budget for the project.  Mayor McFadden commented that this did not mean that the project would begin immediately as they still needed to finalize contracts with two of the primary vendors.
Resolution – Approve scope of Work for Milfoil Barriers on Lakes – The Board voted in favor of approving the Northeastern Aquatic Research proposal to construct and install milfoils fragment barriers in the Village lakes at a cost not to exceed $3,400 (with the cost allocation of $1,700 from the Water Fund and $1,700 from the General Fund)

New Business:
Resolution – Hire Part Time Police Officer – The Board voted in favor of hiring part time police officer Tyler Stark at the current Monday-Friday rate of $26.5 per hour and Saturday/Sunday rate of $32 per hour effective May 21, 2020 having successfully passed the required background check and an interview with Mayor McFadden.
Resolution – Approve Increasing Fees For Garage Rental Units and C of O Searches – The Board voted in favor of increasing the rental fee for garage units from $150 per month to $200 per month as well as increasing the cost of Certificate of Occupancy search Requests from $100 to $300 beginning June 1, 2020 as approved in the 2020/2021 adopted budget.
Resolution – Approve Levy of Village Unpaid Water Accounts to Village 2020 Tax Bill – The Board voted in favor of levying unpaid water bills for 30 residents in the amount of  $37,885.36 onto their 2020 tax bills.
Resolution – Approve Renewal of General Liability Insurance Through Marshall & Sterling – The Board voted in favor of approving renewal of the policy at a rate of $87,250 (the same rate as last year) with $66,250 coming from the general Fund and $21,000 from the Water Fund.
Resolution – Approve Haugland Truck Storage Agreement – The Board voted in favor of authorizing the Mayor to sign the Haugland truck storage agreement contingent upon a number of conditions that need to be reviewed with Haugland.
Resolution – Approve Madden Dock – Following some discussion with Mr. Madden, Building Inspector John Ledwith and the Village Attorney, the Board approved the Madden’s application for a floating dock and the installation of underground conduit.

Public Comments:
A member of the public identifying himself as Paul congratulated the Board on completion of the budget.  He noted that in order to make things operate in a financially and economically effective way that decisions should be made promptly and constructions projects done.  He is afraid that right now the traffic booth project seems to be potentially sliding back in time again.  “This has been a long time coming and we have had cost runs because it has been a long time coming,” he stated.  He reminded the Trustees that the world would return to some sort of normal after Covid and further cautioned that they should be careful about spending money on things that might not be relevant six months from now.  He then congratulated the Trustees on coming in under the 2% cap increase, but further commented that he feels there is a long way to go.  It has been noted that there are a lot of people who are grieving their homes and sales of some homes that have gone through at much lower prices than expected.  For the good of the community he wondered whether there was a reasonable projection or estimation as to how badly this will hit the tax base in Tuxedo and what will the Village be able to afford to provide its’ citizens.  In this day and age, he feels it is critical to be able to have some serious forward planning.
Trustee McHugh responded that some new houses have been built in the Park and that this has had a beneficial effect on the tax-roll as have people who have done major renovations.  These things have somewhat mitigated the effects of lower sales prices.  He further noted that he would be able to provide some “better color” with “greater flavor” at the next meeting but the good news is that there is currently a new house being built on Tower Hill Road.  The land was sold for $350-400,000 and the building permit is for a 3.5 million dollar home.  This also does a good job of mitigating some of the lower sales prices within the Park. 
Paul thanked Trustee McHugh, commenting that he new it was not a simple thing to evaluate especially given the period of uncertainty the world is currently in.  He looks forward to taking a deeper dive into all in the future.  He appreciates the fact that the Board has been sensitive to the fact that it is a difficult economy at this time and the long-term projections to make Tuxedo Park as attractive as possible a place to live is something that they are all taking very seriously. 

Following the approval of minutes, the Board adjourned to an executive session to discuss the employment of a particular person.

When they returned to the regular session, the Trustees voted in favor of abolishing the position of part-time clerk effective immediately.  The duties previously assumed by the part-time clerk will be taken over by the clerk and Mayor.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 20, 2020

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Notice of Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 20, 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 @ 7:00 p.m. via Zoom, instructions below.

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Final Budget Summary - Posted May 17, 2020

SENT ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES


Dear Residents,


The Board of Trustees adopted a final budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year.  We want to thank the residents that took the time to participate in the budget hearings and the overall process. Your input was informative and very valuable to the Board.

This note contains a summary of the budget process, the final budget changes and the impact on your real estate taxes.
 
Budget Process in a Nutshell
January-February: The budget process began where Board members rigorously reviewed estimated resources and proposed expenses with Department heads.
 
March: Two public budget workshops were held where trustees did a deep dive on each line item.  For non-contractual payments, the line item numbers were, in many cases, determined after a five-year historical analysis of expenditures, input from other municipalities and Orange County governmental officials, and other experts, etc.
 
April: As is required by law, a Preliminary Budget must be adopted to provide a basis for public comment and further amendment. The Preliminary Budget is NOT a final budget and was unanimously adopted by the full Board on April 8th representing a 5.5% increase year-over-year in taxes.

On April 15th, a Budget Hearing was held where several members of the public urged the Board to strive for no or only a minimal tax increase.  On April 17th, a special meeting was held where the Board developed a list of potential expense savings and user fee increases for public comment.  Another special meeting was held on April 28th to hear public comment and discuss each of the possible expense reductions/revenue opportunities identified.  A Final Budget was approved on April 30th.
 
Final Budget
Despite headwinds caused by decreased revenues from lower real estate property assessments resulting from grievances and a projected decrease in the Orange County sales tax rebate related to the pandemic, the Final Budget represents a 1.18% year-over-year increase in the tax rate without severely impacting services to residents. (Last year’s tax rate increase was 3.37%).  Year-over-year expenditures have been limited to an increase of ~$11,500—about 27 basis points (.27%).
 
The reduction is driven by the following changes to the Preliminary Budget:

Revenue Increases ($130,400)
  • Allocated Surplus Increase by $120,000 ($120k to $240k): This item has the biggest impact on keeping the tax increase lower. Due to cost savings efforts it now appears there will be greater surplus funds than anticipated at fiscal year-end. Therefore, an increase in allocated surplus has been made while still maintaining a prudent reserve consistent with the Comptrollers guidelines.
  • Increase in User Fees by $10,400: Increase in licensing fees for WeeWah Beach and WeeWah Fishing Club to $1,000 ($1,600 impact), increase storage unit charges from $150 per month to $200 ($4,800 impact), increase certificate of occupancy issuance charge from $100 to $300 ($4,000 impact).
Net Expenditure Reductions ($30,680)
  • Expenditure reductions include a $5,000 reduction for building equipment, an additional $15,200 reduction in road paving costs (expense likely to be deferred to future years), $2,500 reduction in personnel costs related to snow removal, $10,000 reduction in financing of dump truck by extending term, elimination of $1,000 recreation budget. Offsetting these reductions was add back of Code Red system cost ($3,020) as proposed alternative was determined not to be less expensive.

Please stay safe.

Note: The Board of Trustees (the Mayor abstaining) approved the distribution of this letter.

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 13, 2020

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 15, 2020

Friday, 5/15/2020 @ ___ , via Zoom, for the purpose of adjourning to executive session to discuss the employment of a particular person.  Zoom instructions to follow..

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 13, 2020

SPECIAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING  – Wednesday, 5/13/20 @ 9:30 a.m. via Zoom for the purpose of discussing:  Capital Projects list,  employee performance review process, clerk-treasurer replacement, budget process memo, executive session to discuss the employment of a particular person, and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Zoom instructions to follow.

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 6, 2020

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting May 6, 2020

Wednesday, 5/6/2020 @ 9:30 a.m. via Zoom for the purpose of discussing electrical upgrades to Mt. Farm pump station, additional road paving in this fiscal year budget, increasing certain fees for 2020-2021 and any other matters that may come before the Board.  Zoom instructions below:

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Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 30, 2020

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Notice of Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 30, 2020

Thursday, 4/30/2020 @ 2:00 p.m. by video teleconferencing via Zoom.  Zoom instructions below.

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Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 28, 2020

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 21, 2020

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 21, 2020

Tuesday, 4/21/2020 @ 7:00 p.m. by video teleconferencing via Zoom.  Purpose:  Continuation of the public hearing on Local Law Introductory No. 1 of 2020 and budget discussion.  Zoom instructions below.

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4/15/20 Local Law Intro No. 1 of 2020

2020-2021 Tentative Budget

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Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 17, 2020

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 15, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, April 16, 2020 via Zoom conferencing.  All members were present.

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking residents for their cooperation in following the State, Federal and local guidelines to prevent transfer of the Corona Virus.  He further thanked the Village employees, including the Police Department, for standing on the front lines for the residents.  Finally, he acknowledged Fire, EMS and Healthcare personnel throughout Orange County commenting “We couldn’t do this without you.”

Public Hearing – 2020/2021 Preliminary Budget:
The Public hearing was opened.  The Mayor explained that the purpose of the hearing was to take comments from the public regarding the proposed budget.  He further suggested that what had been proposed was not set in stone and that it could be altered if the Board chose do so, or it could also be adopted without changes.  He then noted that he would begin by providing his thoughts, after which he would ask each of the Trustees to give their’s before opening the floor to the public.  He thanked Trustee McHugh and his team for providing a budget for review that contained “little or no fat.”  However, he is opposed to exceeding the cap this fiscal year.  “Times are tough and we all need to make sacrifices,” he added.  Despite the fact that the budget he originally received for review had little to no fat, it was still roughly 2.9% over the 2% cap.  In an attempt to lower the expenses, he met with General, DPW and Police department heads and asked each of them to lower their expenses in their departments in order to bring things down to cap.  This was done and the Mayor returned to the Trustees with his suggestions, which included some “actual sacrifices” and “deep cuts” such as cutting a $400,000 line item for road maintenance.  The Board then collectively looked at the proposed changes, ultimately compromising on several of them, resulting in the proposed preliminary budget.
As previously noted, before opening the floor to public comment, Mayor McFadden asked the Trustees for their comments.
Trustee McHugh stated that he was more interested in hearing what the public had to say and further suggested that based on their comments, he might want to respond.  As none of the other Trustees had comments to make, the discussion was opened to the public. 
8 residents spoke over the course of 35 minutes.  The Board was urged not to exceed the tax cap and even to lower taxes if possible.  Further it was suggested that they should work with both the Town and the School to lower taxes across the Board.  Expenses associated with the Tree Board and Personnel were openly questioned.  The idea that taxes are an impediment in attracting new residents to the community was discussed.  The question was raised as to what, aside from Road Maintenance, might be cut in order to bring the budget under cap.
It was determined that the hearing would remain open for written comment through Thursday, April 16 at 5pm.
To listen to the hearing in it’s entirety, click here.

Public Hearing – Local Law Introductory #1 of 2020 – Tax Cap Levy Limit:
The public hearing was opened.
The Mayor explained that if LL Introductory #1 were passed, the Board would have the ability to exceed the maximum 2% property tax increase.  That being said, if they were to finalize a budget that was either at the cap or below, they would not have to pass the legislation.   On the advice of Village Attorney Brian Nugent, he suggested that they would not vote on the legislation that evening, but rather leave the hearing open while they continued to assess the budget.  If they determine that they need to exceed the cap, the law must be adopted prior to the adoption of the budget.  The floor was then opened to public comment.
Trustee Coen commented that what she was largely hearing from the public was that they did not want to see any tax increase.  For the purpose of clarification she pointed out that what was being discussed was the possibility of exceeding the cap.  The tax cap is set at a certain percentage (2%) The assumption is that there will be a tax increase. The issue being discussed is whether or not the Village will exceed that 2% cap and the necessary legislation involved with doing so.  She further noted that in asking the various departments to make cuts, ultimately it was not those departments that would feel the pain, but all of the taxpaying residents and that what needed to be determined was whether or not the cuts made sense from a community prospective.   “What I would like to hear in the comment period,” she continued “is if we cut certain services, how would you feel about it?  For instance, for arguments sake, if we had one police officer at night, how would you feel about that?  If we cut our garbage contract to one pick-up a week, how would you feel about that?  If we didn’t pave the roads, how would you feel about that?  Those are the kinds of things that we need to know when we are making these value determinations.”
Mayor McFadden agreed, wondering how those members of the public who were present would feel about these types of cuts if making them would bring the budget below the 2% cap.
Various members of the public responded with their thoughts.
Click here to listen to this the public hearing in its entirety.
Ultimately it was determined that the Board would hold a budget workshop meeting on Friday, April 17 at 9:15 for the purpose of putting together a more definitive list of potential deep cuts for public consideration.  The Public hearing was continued until Tuesday, April 21 at 7pm.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Dave Conklin reported the following for the month of March:
Non-Criminal Complaints -170
Criminal-Complaints – 3
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 0
Traffic Tickets – 7
Traffic Warnings – 1
Fire Alarms – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 1
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Given to The Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Given to Other Police Agencies – 3
Shots Fired – 1 Report (Town of Tuxedo)
Miles Patrolled- 2,092
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village on a daily basis via the Front Gate.
DPW- Trustee McHugh noted that DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present.  The department has been busy with cleaning up the side roads, brush cutting and catch basis repairs.  With regard to a question that was raised earlier during the public hearing on the budget, he noted that hydrant flushing would be deferred and that they would make an announcement as to rescheduling once they were able to gain greater clarity as to the number of residents who were “in house.”
Building & Capital – Click here for the Building Department Report.

Village Litigation Report:
Because the court system remains largely closed, there is nothing new to report on the three existing cases involving the Village.  They all remain pending. 

Trustee Reports:
Trustee Barnett reported that he had conferenced with the Chief to discuss various ways in which the Police Department could be kept safer and run most efficiently given the current environment. (Covid-19)  The Chief has done a commendable job and was ahead of the curve coming out with several directives early in March before the virus had attracted a great deal of National attention. Issues regarding the Keep and the Booth are complex and these are being looked at further.  He expects to be able to report on this within the next two or three meetings.
Trustee McHugh commented that he had a laundry list of capital items to report.  Regarding completing the paving of Club House Road, the Orange County DPW has provided a quote, which is within the budget.  A motion to approve the project will come before the Board later on the agenda. Similarly, there are three sewer pumps in need of replacement.  One is a clarifier at the sewer plant and the other two are located at the Turtle Mountain Pump Station and the Water Plant respectively.  Bids have been collected and Trustee McHugh’s recommendation is that the Village proceed with the lowest bid for each.  There will also be an associated electrical expense.  This expense is within budget and is also slated for approval later in the agenda. 

Lakes Management Discussion:
The Board is in receipt of an Aquatic Plant Management report from N.E.A.R. (North East Aquatic Research) including recommendations for remediation of Eurasian Water Milfoil in all three lakes. (Click here to view the report/recommendations.) 
In brief, N.E.A.R. has recommended the use of the herbicide ProcellaCOR in Tuxedo Lake, where they believe the Milfoil is far too extensive to be managed practically by DASH harvesting , use of ProcellaCOR or DASH harvesting  or a combination of the two in Pond  #3 and DASH harvesting only in the Wee Wah.  
The Lakes committee was consulted for their thoughts on the recommendations and that group subsequently held a conference call with N.E.A.R. and Trustee Gluck.  A summary of these discussions has been distributed to the Board.  Trustee Gluck suggested that Committee Chair Jim Hays would be able to relay the committee’s thoughts to the public. 
Trustee McHugh added that they had also received a water quality report, which contained nothing “too dramatic.”  There were some action items and recommendations, specifically a 2021 action item for Pond #3 and the recommendation that they take a deeper dive into the intake valve for the water treatment plant on Tuxedo Lake.
Mayor McFadden commented that he had a different view on how to deal with the Milfoil than some of the other Trustees.  The lake managers have recommended the use of ProcellaCOR, a relatively new herbicide designed to be used in drinking water.  It is potent but it is safe.  It has EPA, State and DEC approval and it has been used in the Croton Water Shed.  The EPA has given it a “reduced risk” classification, meaning that it is safe.  An argument against using ProcellaCOR is that it is relatively new, but the Mayor feels this is a subjective point.  The Board recognizes that dumping chemicals into the lake could be considered controversial, although Mayor McFadden noted that he had surveyed the Tuxedo Lake front property owners and they were “all for it” as are the lake front property owners on Pond #3.  It is dangerous to swim in, and swimming is permitted in Pond #3.   This is something the Mayor feels the Village should do in Tuxedo Lake this year in small portions, potentially at the south end of the Lake and in front of both the Village Boat Club and the Tuxedo Club Boathouse to see what happens.  In doing so he feels they should go out fairly quickly and let people know what they might do with this chemical and get some feedback in order to determine what they are up against in terms of community buy-in. “Everyone may be total gung-ho or maybe its going be a fight for five years, but we might as well start that process.”  Finally, he noted that he was an avid fisherman and that he had been out on the water over the course of the past couple of weeks and had noted that the conditions were prime as the milfoil had yet sprouted.   “The recreation on the Tuxedo Lake would just improve so much….and we haven’t done anything over the years except some DASH.  I will really push to get that done.”  He re-iterated that his proposed compromise was to treat Pond #3 with ProcellaCOR and also portions of Tuxedo Lake.  If they achieve good results, then he feels the entirety of Tuxedo Lake should be treated the following year.
Representing the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays commented that they had met with N.E.A.R and many of the committee members support the recommendations.  Although the milfoil is fairly scattered in the Wee Wah Lake, the committee fears there is potential for the lake to become clogged in a few years if aggressive action is not taken.  Following discussions with N.E.A.R., he Lakes manager has revised his recommendation suggesting that 9 days of DASH as opposed to 5 would be appropriate, 5 days earlier in the season and 4 days later on.  In Pond #3 ProcellaCOR and/or DASH Harvesting has been recommended.  The committee is divided on the use of ProcellaCOR half supporting the recommendation and half opposed.  Essentially DASH has been proposed for the stream that runs into the pond from Tuxedo Lake as well as for the shallow southern end, with ProcellaCOR being used in the rest of the lake.  “This division on the Lakes Committee is unfortunate,” commented Mr. Hays, “but I think you are probably going to find a similar division within the community.”  With regard to Tuxedo Lake, the committee was also divided.  The Lakes Manager has suggested testing by treating only portions of the lake, similar to what the Mayor is advocating, to be followed by treatment of the entire lake.  The committee feels that there may be a time issue with this as the evaluation of the tests may take too long.
Trustee Gluck noted that using ProcellaCOR on Pond #3 would cost $14,000 and if they chose to also utilize DASH Harvesting, this would cost and additional $14,000.  He recommends the use of ProcellaCOR on Pond #3, based not so much on the financial considerations but more that the Lakes Manager believes that it will be a more effective treatment option.  He further suggested that the Village should defer herbicide treatment in Tuxedo Lake for one year.  The Lakes Manager has indicated that things will not get worse in that amount of time.  This will allow the Village time to build up support for the initiative. 
The Mayor agreed, again suggesting that they do “an initial poking around” for feedback with everyone on the water system now.  If the response were positive, perhaps the Village could move forward now.  He further offered to write a community letter, sending a letter to the Board for approval.
Trustee Gluck noted that timing might be an issue in terms of permitting.
Trustee Coen stated that she would like to see a cost benefit analysis.  What is the actual impact of EWM on the water quality, as opposed to just recreation?  What will happen if the Village neglects to take care of the problem this year?
Trustee Gluck responded that EWM would have a long-term ecological effect on the health of the lake because it crowds out other species and plants and it changes the ecology of the areas where the fish spawn.  
Trustee McHugh commented that he agreed with Trustee Gluck in that they should use ProcellaCOR on Pond #3.  With regard to the Wee Wah he feels they need to be very vigilant in terms of staying on top of things there.  He noted that one thing that had not been mentioned is that barrier curtains were going to be installed between Tuxedo Lake and Pond #3 as well as Pond #3 and the Wee Wah.  This will help to minimize the fragmentation that is coming off of Tuxedo Lake.  He would prefer to use Pond #3 as a “base case” for ProcellaCOR.  He is worried about the financial implications of treating Tuxedo Lake.  He further noted that they needed to be cognizant of the fact that much of this would be funded by he water department, and that this included a far greater group of people than just the 300-some-odd residents of the Village as they have a total of 702 customers.  
In defense of fishermen, the Mayor commented that the milfoil had an adverse effect on fish as well and that both the Village and the Club spent money stocking the lake each year.  This is something to consider.  That being said, he stated that everyone had to make sacrifices and if they were in a position to let the milfoil go  in Tuxedo Lake for another year, they should probably do it.
Jim Hays commented that the herbicide 24D had been used in Pond #3 two years ago and that it had not been terribly effective in the south end because of the shallow water there.  The inlet from Tuxedo Lake seemed to disperse the herbicide in that area.  The Lakes manager has recommended DASH pulling in that area.
Following some further discussion, it was agreed that Trustees Gluck and McHugh would begin investigating pricing as it pertains to the lakes managers recommendations.  It was further agreed that in conjunction with this, they would begin to investigate permitting for herbicide in Pond #3, but that they would not pursue permitting for Tuxedo Lake this year.  It was also agreed that it was unlikely that would pursue DASH harvesting in Tuxedo Lake either as this method of abatement had proven both costly and unsuccessful in years past. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck reported that there would be a public hearing on the Town/Village consolidation plan via WebEx on Monday, April 27.

Public Comment:
Jim Hays commented that although the results of the DASH harvesting on Tuxedo Lake were not as positive as they had hoped last year, it was important to note that they had not been given much time to harvest and that there had been boats docked in the piers which interfered with the work they were doing.  If people are going to be using the lake from both boathouses this season, the milfoil is going to become a big problem in those areas if the Village elects to do nothing there. 
Trustee Gluck responded that they had received the same feedback from the harvesters last year and that they had taken it to heart.  Should they decide to move forward with DASH harvesting in those areas, the Village Boat club would be relocating their boats and he was certain that similar arrangements would be worked out with the Tuxedo Club.
Bill Bortnowski thanked the Trustees for all of the collective work they had been doing to keep the Village running smoothly and efficiently on a tight budget.  That being said, he noted that he wanted to bring attention to a serious dilemma that was facing residents in both the Village and the Town.  Nobody wants to talk about how the Corona Virus is affecting the people, but right now, generally speaking, everyone is anxious and worried while living in self-quarantine.  People are afraid of who they talk to and who they come into contact with and the subsequent possibility of becoming infected.  The community is looking to their leaders to infuse them with a positive message of hope and inspiration to distract them from all the negative news.  Noting that he understood that the budget was tight, he commented that the proposed traffic booth at the front gate had been almost entirely funded by private donations and seemed to be awaiting only a final approval from the Board before getting underway.  Why not start the construction on the booth now and announce the project to the people to show them “a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.”  It’s a 3-month project that will be mostly constructed off-site.  It can be constructed in a safe environment with minimal concerns about any viral contamination.  It is likely that there would not be more than two people working on the project at any one given time.  With safe distancing this should not have any effect on the workers or on police officers who are working at the station.  His understanding is that the project is already in full compliance with the Village Code, NYS State and Federal law and is even approved and exempt under the Homeland Security Essentials Guidelines.  The project has also been presented to the new Chief of Police, who has also given approval.  Mr. Bortnowski asked the Board to consider granting final approval to the project and allowing it to commence on May 1, further noting that because everything was shut down, traffic would be minimal.  “The President and the Governor are already trying to restart the country, so why don’t we try to reset and restart things locally on our level?” 
Mayor McFadden thanked Mr. Bortnowski for his comments, noting that project approvals were on the agenda for discussion. 

Old Business:
Booth – Review Vendor Agreements/Review Budget- The Mayor noted that a revised budget for the booth project had been circulated to the Trustees and he asked for comments.
Trustee Coen responded that she did not have any comments and that the budget looked fine to her.
Mayor McFadden noted that the new budget required some additional funds because the quote given to them by S & B was larger than the price they had obtained from the previous contractor, which they lost due to timing issues.  Also there was some potential that this could be raised privately. 
Trustee Gluck commented that he had voted no on the prior budget because he did not feel that the project should be supported by public taxpayer funds.  He maintains this view and stated that he would be voting no.
In response, Mayor McFadden noted that the funds raised for the projects covered what was initially proposed however the Board had added a redundant set of equipment for The Keep and this brought the cost of the project over the amount raised.
Trustee Coen commented that she was confused by the budget.  The last budget she saw, which she felt they had adopted, showed roughly $2000 funds remaining while the new budget had increased by that same amount and this should cover the increase.
John Ledwith commented that originally 99% of the project was funded by donation but there have been some additions to the project and a change in contractors.  There is a differential of $2,000, which is a relatively small amount considering the amount of changes and all of the approvals that were required to get the project to this juncture. 
Acknowledging that the new budget remained very close to the original budget that was approved by the Board, Trustee Coen reiterated that she was ok with the new budget. 
Trustee McHugh commented that he did not feel that the project should be publicly funded.  Noting that the Mayor had done a “miraculous job” getting the project close to the finish line, he further commented that in order to bring it over the finish line it would need to be exclusively privately funded.  Additionally he expressed some concern with the contracts, inquiring as to who the 3 bidders were that resulted in the choice of S & B and also suggesting that in his view, they needed to get re-pricing on the major components and go through a re-bidding process in order to make sure the pricing was accurate. 
The Mayor responded that several months back he had expressed concern that they might lose contractors due to the amount of time it was taking to get the project approved.  As far as he is concerned, S & B is a continuation of the five other bids he collected for that aspect of the projects.  He compared S & B to those bids.
Trustee Barnett commented that he had reservations about the project.  He feels that they would be building something in the midst of a pandemic when they have no idea how long it is going to last or whether it is going to resurge again and what changes might have to be made.  He would like to see the contracts as part of the final budget and insure that the project is being funded from private funds as opposed to the Village Budget.
The Mayor noted that in the previous project budget, which had been approved by the Board, it was noted that any remaining expenses would be funded by the Village, which he felt was fair considering the fact that the cost of redundant equipment for the Keep had been added to the project, and this was not included in the scope of what was originally fundraised for.   He then made a motion to approve the revised budget.  Trustee Coen indicated that she supported the proposed budget while Trustees Barnett, McHugh and Gluck voted no.

New Business:
Lack of Security at the South Gate, Wee Wah Road & Warwick Brook Road- The lack of security at the South Gate was discussed.  The Mayor proposed the installation of a 6-foot fence, to be installed on either side of the road near the gate.  He presented the Board with images of the proposed fencing, commenting that it would cost the Village roughly $6,000 and that he would like to take the proposal to the BAR for their review. 
There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion.  Ultimately it was determined that the proposed fence would not be the best use of taxpayer money and that some well placed, clear signage combined with an increase in police presence and vigilance would be a better approach.  Mayor McFadden volunteered to work on the verbiage for such a sign and circulate it to the Board for review.
Approve Purchase of Clarifier/Sewer Pumps – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the purchase of a clarifier and two sewer pumps, as discussed earlier in the meeting, including associated electrical costs, for a total of $25,929.
Approve Paving of Club House Road – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the paving of Club House Road at a cost of $46,000.
Authorize Bidding for Sludge Removal Services and Set Bid Opening Date – The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing bidding for sludge removal services and set a bid opening date of Tuesday, April 29 at 2pm.
Announce – Election Poll Location and Time for June 16th (Dependent on State Regs/Covid-19) – Trustee Barnett announced the election to fill two Trustee seats on Tuesday, June 16 from 7am-9pm at the Village hall dependent on State Regulations pertaining to Covid-19.

Public Comments:
There were none.


The meeting was then adjourned to an Executive Session to discuss the employment of a particular person.

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Notice of Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 17, 2020 @ 9:15am

video teleconferencing via Zoom.  Instructions below.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 15, 2020

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Notice of Board of Village Trustees Meeting & Two Public Hearings April 15, 2020

Board of Trustees Monthly Meeting and Two Public Hearings – Wednesday,  4/15/2020 @ 7:00 p.m. by video teleconferencing via Zoom.  Instructions to attend by Zoom to follow.

Click to view public hearing notice on local law to exceed tax levy limit:Public Hearing Notice-LL Intro 1 of 2020

Click to view Intro Local Law #1 of 2020:Local Law Intro No. 1 of 2020

Click to view public hearing notice on tentative budget:2020-2021 Tentative Budget Public Hearing Notice

Click to view tentative budget:2020-2021 Tentative Budget

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Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 8, 2020

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 6, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020 at 9:30am via Zoom.  All members were present.

The Mayor opened the meeting by thanking both village residents and employees for the great job they having been doing in following Covd-19 guidelines.

Official Village Communications:
The Trustees discussed a proposal set forth by Trustee Coen to include a provision in the Village’s Social Media Policy (or some such similar policy) that outlines what a Village Official can do in terms of communicating with the Public..
Click here to listen to that discussion.

Budget Workshop/Tax Cap Local Law:
The Board discussed the budget as well as the potential introduction of a local law that would allow them to override the tax cap.  Enacting such a law does not necessarily mean that the tax cap will be exceeded, but it does allow the Village to exceed it if necessary. 
The Board voted 4-1 in favor of moving forward with the local law with Mayor McFadden voting against.  A public hearing was set for April 15 at 7pm. 
Click here to listen to that Discussion

Discuss Booth Vendors:
The Board discussed the Booth project, specifically the need to revise the project budget based on the loss of one of the key vendors as a result the lag time between the bid submission and forward movement with the project.  Additionally, Trustee Barnett expressed concerns with safety in the Booth given the potential need for social distancing within and suggested that they consider scheduling a meeting to discuss tabling the project until the threat of Covid-19 has safely passed. 
Click here to listen to that discussion

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Notice of Board of Trustees Budget Workshop April 8, 2020

Board of Trustees Budget Workshop- Wednesday,  4/8/2020 at 9:00 am via video teleconferencing for the purpose of a budget workshop, booth meeting, and any other matters that may come before the board.

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Meeting ID: 619 499 827

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 6, 2020

Special Board of Trustees Meeting – Monday,  4/6/2020 at 9:30 am via video teleconferencing to discuss booth vendors, official Village communications,  tax cap local law, budget workshop, and any other matters that may come before the board.   Instructions for Zoom meeting:

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Meeting ID: 958 628 551

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Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 2, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting via ZOOM on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 9am.  All Board members were present.

The Mayor opened the meeting by thanking everyone for cooperating under the guidelines that have been put out by the State.  Orange County is unfortunately a “hot spot” for Covid-19.  He then invited the audience to ask any questions they might have on the topic.  There were none. 

Lakes Management:
The Board is in receipt of an Aquatic Plant Management report from N.E.A.R. (North East Aquatic Research) including recommendations for remediation of Eurasian Water Milfoil in all three lakes.  Click here to view the report/recommendations. 
A water quality report is forthcoming.
In brief, N.E.A.R. has recommended the use of the herbicide ProcellaCOR in Tuxedo Lake, a combination of ProcellaCOR and DASH harvesting in Pond  #3 and DASH harvesting only in the Wee Wah.  Additionally they are recommending that the Village install boons on both Tuxedo Lake and Pond #3 in order to prevent fragmentation from flowing downstream. 
The question as to whether or not the Village should utilize herbicide in the reservoir is a controversial one. 
Lakes Committee President Jim Hays was on hand and voiced some concerns on behalf of the group regarding the efficacy of procellaCOR, which is a relatively new herbicide, and it’s ability to reduce Milfoil in all three lakes over the long-term.

To listen to this discussion, click here.

Boating Activity:
There has been some confusion with regard to recent communication from the Village concerning one of Governor Coumo’s Covid-19 mandates and how it effects boating on Tuxedo Lake, particularly via the Tuxedo Club.  This was discussed at some length. 
Click here to listen to this discussion.

Social Media Policy:
The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding a draft social media policy. 
The conversation was brought to a close after over an hour as the attorney was on a time constraint and the Board needed to enter into executive session in order to discuss litigation.
Click here to listen.

Future Meeting:
Following their executive session, the Board decided to hold another Special Meeting on Monday, April 6 at 9:30am for the purpose of discussing booth vendors, official Village communications,  tax cap local law, budget workshop, and any other matters that may come before the board.  

 

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Notice of Special Board of Trustees Meeting April 2, 2020

Special Board of Trustees Meeting – Thursday 4/2/2020 at 9:00 am via video teleconferencing to discuss lakes management, the tentative budget, social media policy, the booth, and any other matters that may come before the board.   Instructions for Zoom meeting:

https://zoom.us/j/819538975?pwd=MmtEYkw1dXZZQyt6S1Bwc293R3ZMdz09

or Zoom.us

Meeting ID: 819 538 975

Password: 483238

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acXKPx4bn

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Covid-19 Update - Governor Cuomo Executive Orders - Gatherings and Enforcement Posted 3/28/2020

Dear Neighbors,

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued Executive Orders 202.10 and 202.11. Of particular importance to the Village are provisions restricting gatherings and the enforcement of those gatherings by police officers and building inspectors.

EO 202.10 states that non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g., parties, celebrations, or other social events) must be canceled or postponed. EO 202.11 gives authority to police officers and building inspectors to enforce the gathering restrictions.

Boats and Lake Recreation: Because we have boating and lake recreation within the Village, Executive Order 202.10 applies to the Tuxedo Club, the Village Boat Club, the Wee Wah Fishing and Boat Club and the Wee Wah Beach Club.  The order applies to all boats and recreation on all three lakes.  Please abide by these restrictions.

Enforcement of Gathering Restrictions: While the Executive Order is in place limiting the operation of a facility or limiting the number of persons who may occupy any space, operation of that facility or occupancy of such space by more than the number of people allowed shall be deemed a violation of the Uniform Code or other local building code in effect in the jurisdiction where the facility or space is located.

Police Officers who are authorized to enforce laws within the jurisdiction in which a facility or space is located are allowed to remove persons from such space or facility.

A local code enforcement officer authorized to enforce the Uniform Code in the jurisdiction is authorized to issue an appearance ticket, Notice of Violation or Order to Remedy which shall require immediate compliance as well as issuing a Do Not Occupy Order to any owner, operator or occupant of any such facility or space.

Vehicle Inspections: Vehicles with an inspection certificate that was valid as of March 27, 2020, may continue to operate if such inspection expires after March 27, 2020.
 
School Closures: Extends closure of schools through April 15, 2020, at which time closures shall be re-evaluated.

 

Thank you,

Mayor MAC

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Notice of Board of Trustees Budget Workshop March 31, 2020

Click here to view the notice

This will be an online meeting conducted via zoom. Log-in instructions are as follows:

https://zoom.us/j/470113269?pwd=QXRFVXRNQVl5SXlaTHhXd3R5dithUT09 or zoom.us or

Dial-in: (646) 558 8656 US (New York) or

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,470113269# US (New York)

Meeting ID: 470 113 269

Password: 556506

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 19, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met virtually on March 19, 2020 at 7pm via the online service ZOOM.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by recognizing all of the Village employees  for showing “great resolve”  under the current circumstances in keeping Village services functioning   He thanked the entire team, namely Police Chief Dave Conklin, Village Clerk Debbie Mathews, Village Building Inspector John Ledwith, Deputy Clerk Denise Spalthoff, and DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and his team, noting that they had put the needs of the Village before their own and that the community was incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated team in place. 
He also recognized the volunteer committee of concerned residents who started Outreach Tuxedo to help those in need with food and other services, as well as local business owners who have adjusted their business hours to accommodate changing schedules and food establishments with stepped-up delivery services and menus. He encouraged everyone to support these businesses and shop locally.
Finally, he recognized the Trustees for their work in putting together the Village’s Preparedness Plan and in assisting Village employees with ways to protect themselves in the work environment.  The current health crisis is both serious and severe.  The Village is in constant contact with County and State Department of Health Officials 
While there are currently no known cases of Covid-19 in the Village, many residents have traveled globally, attended large events or been in direct contact with those who have.  This puts everyone at risk.  The Village takes this very seriously and is following the protocols our State and Federal government has laid out. 
Should things take a downward turn, the Village has procedures they can activate immediately, including a number of Declarations of Emergency allowed by the State and the Village's own Emergency Response Plan, and these give them additional tools to regulate safety measures for residents.

 

Department Reports:
Police – Police Chief Dave Conklin reported the following for the month of February:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 168
Car Accidents - 0
Traffic Tickets – 5
Warning Tickets – 3
Medical Calls – 1
Intrusion Alarms – 8
Fire Alarms – 1
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,186
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present.  Trustee McHugh reported that the department had been practicing social distancing by assigning one employee per vehicle, with each vehicle undergoing a thorough wipe-down at the end of the day.  The department has been busy with clearing catch basins, clearing brush along West Lake Road at the south end of the Lake and at the Racetrack.  They are working to clean the roads and make things presentable for the summer months.  Superintendent Voss has submitted his budget for 2020/21 and Trustee McHugh has been working on this with him as well as the Chief of Police.   The preliminary budget will be circulated to the Trustees as well as made available to the public.  Stressing that the document would be preliminary in nature, he noted that it would include wish lists from these departments and that much of the data still needed to be populated.  It is a work in progress.
Building & Capital click here to view March 2020 Construction Report.  Click here to view the March 2020 Project & Violations Update.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There are currently 3 pending cases as follows:
Miller Vs. The Village – this is a case brought by the Millers against the Village and a neighbor due to some alleged drainage damages.  The litigation papers were sent to the Insurance Carrier and an attorney has been assigned to defend the Village.
Madden Vs. The Village – This is an Article 78 proceeding.  The Village continues to await oral argument.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. This case is in discovery and is on-going. 
There are no new litigation expenses associated with any of these cases.
Trustee Gluck added that there was some additional litigation involving the Zoning Board of Appeals, which does have some ongoing expenses associated with it.
When the Mayor asked about associated costs, Trustee McHugh suggested that a total of $12,000 had been spent on this case to date.

Trustee Reports:
Alan McHugh reported that he and Trustee Gluck had participated in a conference call with Jim Hays (Lakes Committee) and AJ from North Eastern Aquatics (Village Lakes Manager) for the purpose of reviewing the recommendations made by NEA with regard to lakes management and control of Eurasian Water Milfoil.  They are beginning to “drill down” on these things in order to put together some preliminary figures for the budgeting process.  They are still waiting for the complete and comprehensive water quality report.  This is a work in progress.    Otherwise, they have been busy working on the Village budget.  Budget workshops will be coming up soon. The preliminary budget will be circulated via email first and from there they can determine how and when they will meet. 
Alan Barnett reported that he and Trustee McHugh had met with Chief Conklin and Denise Spalthoff the week prior to discuss the budget in detail.  It was a good meeting and an amended budget will be forthcoming from the Chief.

Report By Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
This item was tabled until the next meeting.

Committee Reports:
This item was tabled until the next meeting.

Public Comments:
There were none

Old Business:
Capital Projects List Discussion – The Boards have been working diligently on developing a capital projects list so that they can develop both short and long term assessment of the infrastructure and the cost.   The list looks at long-term projects and top priorities both for the Capital Budget and the Water Budget as well as those projects that will not impact the budget but should potentially move forward.  As they move into budgeting season there are 8 or 9 items from the list that they will be discussing order to determine how they can either fit them in or obtain financing, while really drilling down on the costs and what can realistically be accomplished in light of anticipated fiscal constraints.  Top priorities include completing the on-going I&I project as required by the DEC, refurbishing the bridge between the Wee Wah and Pond #3 (very pricey), remediation and repair of a wall located on Summit Road, for which they must first determine ownership, a host of Lakes Management related issues, a new salt spreader for the DPW, a water loss leak detection system and a water emergency system (in case the Village should either lose the ability to pump water or access to it) There has also been some discussion of testing of a sewer pipe that traverses Pond #3.  The line currently runs underneath one of the homes that sits along Pond #3 and there is some suspicion that due to the age of the pipe and the amount of effluent that travels through that area, that there may be some leakage there, although there is no proof of this.  What is evident is a sharp increase of nutrient loading, but as per the Lakes Manager, this could be coming from the lake itself.  
Resolution – Approve sewer line inspection of Pond #3 Section – The Trustees discussed this item as previously described and John Ledwith provided some preliminary cost information for the project.  Ultimately, it was determined that additional testing would be done in order to try and determine what was actually causing the nutrient loading before making the decision to embark on a major project..  No resolution was made.
Resolution – Approve Memo from Chief that addresses replacing the booth - One of the conditions for approval of the booth project was receipt of an opinion from the Chief indicating that he believes that the booth will not have an adverse effect on the quality of policing in the Village or that it would prevent hiring on the Police force.  Accordingly, Chief Conklin has submitted a memo and the Mayor invited the Trustees to ask any questions they might have.  Trustee Barnett noted that he had 3 main concerns: the safety of the officers, would the booth function as effectively as the Keep and finally, the reaction of the police officers who would have to work there.  The Chief addressed the last one in his memo, but Trustee Barnett does not feel the first two were effectively addressed.  In today’s world he believes that safety to the officers must be a paramount concern.  Given the current environment in this country, he wondered whether there existed any guidance from the State or Federal Police, Department of Justice, Homeland Security or the Department of Labor to guide the Village as to whether or not constructing a manned booth in this day and age would be safe.  He is concerned with the degree of protection on the windows and he further noted that the booth would have only one means of entry and exit.   Speaking to his concern about functionality of the booth as compared to that of the Keep, he noted that the Keep allowed for multiple persons to congregate and converse.  Trustee Barnett feels that these types of interactions are essential to the working of an effective unit.  He wondered how much space was available in the booth, how many officers could be in there at one time and whether or not this would be sufficient to maintain the dialogue, which he feels is an integral part of effective functioning within the department. 
With respect to the security questions, Mayor McFadden noted that the glass in the booth would be bullet proof  level 3, the same as the keep.  In addition the structure has both a steel frame and steel plating and the interior is bullet proof.  In terms of collision, the engineer has determined that it will sustain a hit from an automobile or small delivery truck.  There will also be steel and concrete bollards out front that will provide additional protection.  It has been designed to meet OCEA standard and to comply with handicap regulations as laid out in the American Disabilities Act.  As per the approval conditions for the project it has been determined that all of the equipment in the Keep fits into the booth.  There will also be a desk for a second officer. 
Speaking to Trustee Barnett’s question about guidance from other authorities with regard to manned booths, Chief Conklin commented that he was not aware of any.  That being said, he noted that every military base throughout the country maintains a manned booth.
Mayor McFadden then asked Chief Conklin to provide a general overview for the public of his position in terms of whether a traffic booth would have a negative impact on security or officer safety.
The Chief responded that speaking from experience in the Village, the level of face-to-face contact, communication, community policing and public relations was a lot stronger when there was booth than it is now with a speaker system. 
In terms of the booth approval process, Trustee Gluck asked the Chief to affirm that he believed that the booth as proposed would not adversely effect police services. 
The Chief replied that he believed police services would be increased with a booth.  Having a person in the booth, with whom people have face-to-face contact, who is either allowing or denying access provides a sense of accountability.  Currently, when people pull up to the gate, a voice comes over the speaker and asks them where they are going and then access is granted.  There is no vetting taking place…no eye-to-eye contact or body language involved.  “When I was coming for my interviews, I would stop at the front gate and say that I was going to the Village Hall and the gate would open and I was let through.  Nobody knew who I was.  I could have ended up anywhere in the Park and nobody would know.  To me that is very lax security and I believe that having somebody in the booth, speaking directly to the driver as they pull up would allow us to ascertain what their real business is in the Park.”
Next Trustee Gluck wondered if there were any officer safety issues that need to be addressed that are not currently part of the booth configuration and if so, could they be brought forth in an executive session. 
Chief Conklin agreed that he could do this.
Trustee McHugh noted that his questions, which pertained to staffing issues, would also need to be addressed in an executive session.
A member of the public identified as Omar inquired as to whether the booth would have either cameras or an emergency button that would allow them to request and receive back-up if needed.
The Mayor responded that there would be cameras both inside and all around the booth.
The Chief added that the officer in the booth would be able to call for assistance using their police radio.
Lili Neuhauser commented that she strongly believed that eye-to-eye contact was very important.  She has spent time in the Keep and feels that from there the officers cannot see or clearly hear where people are going….but everyone is being let in!  She supports the police department and feels that they are doing a great job with what they have been given to work with, but feels that things would be vastly improved with what the residents have asked for and voted for twice, which is the booth. 

New Business:
Resolution – Approve hiring of a specific part-time officer – The Chief read into the record a letter he had written requesting the Boards permission to hire Ken Sanford as a part-time officer at the rate of $28 per hour.
The Mayor then read a resolution supporting this request.
Trustee McHugh commented that he was opposed to it for a number of reasons.  Mr. Sanford was previously the Chief of Police and he retired.  He then came back as a part time officer for a period but ultimately quit.  From an HR prospective Trustee McHugh does not think it is a wise idea. 
It was determined that the discussion would be continued in executive session. 
Discuss the renewal of the Village MVP Health Insurance – Trustee Coen suggested that the Mayor designate somebody to further investigate in order to ensure that the Village was getting the best deal.  She wondered how much time they had before renewal.  It was agreed that Trustee Coen would meet with the current rep and report back.
Discuss O&R storage outside the North Gate – One of the contractors that is working with O&R on the rehaul project in the Village is looking for a location where they can store some of their trucks, equipment and utility poles at night over the course of the next 6-8 months.  They have agreed to pay $1,000 per month in addition to assisting the Village with the removal of hazardous trees that might not be a part of the O & R project.  
Trustee McHugh noted that the Village had run into some trouble storing equipment at the proposed location back in 2018 during the dam construction.  He further noted that space had been created at the DPW where the equipment in question could be stored and that he was strongly opposed to allowing it.
Mayor McFadden suggested that they could call the DEC and run it by them.  If for some reason they were openly against it, the Village would act accordingly.  It was agreed this would be done.
Discuss New Social Media Policy - A facebook page has been created for the Village Police Department, however there is no social media policy in place to regulate it.  Chief Conklin has provided information regarding what was done in Monroe and the Village Attorney has also opined on the subject.  Trustee Coen suggested that the Trustees take a look at what had been distributed and then weigh in with their thoughts on the issues or concepts that should be included in the policy and these could be reviewed with the Chief and then passed along to the attorney, who could help to draft a policy.
There followed a brief conversation with regard to whether or not the public should be able to post comments on the page.  It was agreed that Trustee Coen would meet and work towards a draft, which would be presented at the next meeting.
Schedule dates for all budget workshops – The tentative budget will be circulated to the Trustees within a day or so and also posted to the Village website.  Trustee McHugh suggested that they should meet somewhere around March 27,  30 or 31 and then again on either April 13, or 14 to discuss.  He further suggested that they should prepare a document to have on hand in case they felt they might need to “violate” the tax cap.  It was agreed that the meetings would be scheduled after the budget had been circulated and the Trustees had had time review and digest it.

Public Comments:
There were none

 

The Board then adjourned to an executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of particular persons.
When they re-entered the meeting they voted unanimously in favor of approving the recommendations of the Chief pertaining to the booth, officially fulfilling condition C of the project approval as well as hiring Ken Sanford as a part-time police officer, effective immediately. 

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Agenda For Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 19, 2020

Below is the meeting link and telephone numbers to call in depending on the participant’s geographic location.

Topic: Village of Tuxedo Park Board of Trustees Meeting.
Time: Mar 19, 2020, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

To take part in the Village of Tuxedo Park Board of Trustees March Meeting, use this link.

https://zoom.us/j/150158904?pwd=ZnFGQTRLNUJFSHNPdU1jTDZvUlh5UT09

Meeting ID: 150 158 904
Password: 03192020

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Find your local number:
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Click here to view the Agenda

IMPORTANT:
Please watch this 53-second video on how to join the meeting.
https://youtu.be/vFhAEoCF7jg

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Covid-19 Update - Village Services & Buildings - Posted 3/17/2020

Dear Neighbors,

Closures & Partial Closures.

The Village Office is open to employees only until further notice. Please use the phone and email to conduct business. We will set up a dropbox outside the door by Friday morning for document exchanges, including payments and recreational stickers (boats, etc.). You may continue to use the mail.

Village phone numbers:

Work hours, 9 am – 4 pm, M – F.

The Village Hall is closed to the public until further notice (see Village Court restrictions below).

The Village Court has postponed all non-essential functions of the court until further notice. All essential functions will continue as described here: http://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/pdf/Updated-Protocol-AttachmentA3.pdf unless otherwise Noticed by the Village Court Judge or Village Court Clerk.

The Village Police Department has limited residents access to the KEEP and LODGE at the front gatehouse until further notice. [The Police Department is located in the KEEP and the offices of the Chief and Deputy Village Clerk are located in the LODGE.]  We will set up a dropbox outside the door by Friday morning for document exchanges, including vehicle tags and water payments. You may continue to use the mail. 

Phone numbers:

  • Chief Dave Conklin (and Police Department phone): 845-351-4741; Chief's email: chief@tuxedopark-ny.gov
  • If this is an emergency call 9-1-1


The Village Board of Trustees Meeting tomorrow evening at 7:00 pm is postponed until Thursday or Friday. We will conduct the meeting by using the application ZOOM (or equivalent audio-visual program) for use by all participants to dial in and take part. Information on the rescheduled meeting to follow.

The Village PB, BAR & BZA Meetings are postponed until further notice.


Thank you for your cooperation,


Mayor MAC

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Covid-19 Pandemic Message from The Mayor - Posted 3/16/2020

Dear Neighbors,

Thee only effective way to stop the spread of the coronavirus is to limit social interaction. Tuxedo Park is secluded, but that does not mean that we, as residents, are immune to the spread of this disease. While most fatalities are limited to the elderly, in Italy, middle-aged people are dying from the virus as well - many put on respirators for weeks. While not confirmed, younger people may experience the debilitating effects of this virus on their lungs when they get older.
 
If anyone becomes ill, there may not be a hospital bed available as our hospital system is not designed for mass outbreaks. There is no vaccine and no cure. 
 
I, therefore, urge you to limit if not eliminate social interactions and to practice social distancing. Many of our residents have visited restaurants, gone shopping, are coming from the city, or returning from vacation. Anyone one of us may have been unknowingly exposed to or transmitting the virus. I think we all agree that we do not want to spread the infection inside the Park. All it takes is one small dinner party or other interaction for the virus to go from one person to another and then another. I also urge you to limit if not halt your interaction with food delivery services, domestics, vendors, and package deliveries. As you know, someone may carry and spread the virus for two weeks before they experience any symptoms.
 
As an example, Patient 1 in Italy caused 40 deaths in the hospital where he was admitted. Two weeks prior, he interacted with family, friends, and colleagues. Italy now has thousands of cases, mostly in northern Italy, which is the epicenter of the disease in Europe.
 
The silver lining is that we can learn from our own experts and what has taken place in Italy. Italy quarantined its provinces and then its cities and now its citizens. Rome does not allow its citizens to leave their houses unless it is for work or for groceries. But the good news is that Rome, and its surrounding area, with 6 million residents, had only 200 cases as of last week.
 
We can avoid the spread of this virus in Tuxedo Park with voluntary sequestration—before it becomes mandatory. While it would be nice to feel as though within the Gates we are safe and can do as we please, the virus does not know or care if it is in Wuhan, Milan, or Tuxedo Park.
 
Stay at home unless it is an emergency. Limiting any interaction is the most prudent action. If there is anywhere a community that can act for the benefit of the whole, it is our community. My goal is that no one in Tuxedo Park contracts the virus.

Thanks,

Mayor MAC



I apologize for the mistakes made in yesterday's announcements. Information changes by the moment.

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Village Board of Trustees Coronavirus (Covid-19) Preparedness Plan

Dear Neighbors,
 

The health and safety of the entire community are of the utmost importance to us all. 

The Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting Friday to work with the various service providers and department heads to develop preparedness plans related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The plan includes specific prudent and precautionary measures designed to protect not only the employees of the Village but all residents with a minimal amount of disruption to Village services. 
 
We posted an overview of the current preparedness plan on the Village website http://www.tuxedopark-ny.gov.
 
We ask that you refrain from going to any public buildings or meetings if you are not feeling well. Please limit your physical visits to the Village Office and Police Headquarters and use the phone and email instead to conduct business.

The Mayor and Trustees are available to discuss your questions, comments, and suggestions. 


Thank you for your cooperation.

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Notice of Special Meeting March 10, 2020

Click here to view the Notice

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Meeting Notices for February 27 Board of Assessment Review & BOT

Click here to view the Notices

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Village Board Of Trustees Meeting February 19, 2020

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, February 19 at 7pm.  Trustee McHugh attended via Skype.  Trustee Barnett was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by announcing that the new Chief of Police would begin work on Friday, February 21.  There was a delay in start due to some technical issues with State approvals, but these have been resolved.  The Mayor is looking to schedule a “Meet & Greet” with Chief Conklin on March 18 at 6pm, an hour before the regular monthly meeting. “This will be the start of us moving towards a community policing model,” he commenting, adding that the more people in the community that the Chief and department officers get to know, they better it will be for everyone. 
Next, the Mayor provided an update on the Booth.  He indicated that he had sent a memo via email to the residents who had voted in favor of the project, seeking support for his proposed strategy, which is tabling the remaining conditions attached to the approval so that the project can commence immediately.  He reported having had 75 responses, which favor this strategy.  Further stating that they had run into some serious issues with losing contractors, the Mayor read his memo into the record.  This was followed by a lengthy discussion between Board members, involving the public throughout, with regard to the project, the pace at which it has progressed, the reason for that progression and how they intend to move forward with it.  To listen to this discussion, click here.

Departmental Reports:
Police – The following was reported for the month of January:
Complaints - 194
Criminal Complaints – 4 (3 closed by investigation and 1 by arrest)
Property Damage Car Accident – 1
Traffic Tickets – 17
Traffic Warnings – 2
Fire Alarms – 8
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Medical Calls – 0
Assists Given to Town of Tuxedo -2
Assists Received from Town of Tuxedo – 1
Assists Received from Other Outside Agencies – 1
Shots Fired – 0
FOIL Requests – 0
Miles Patrolled – 2.084

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

DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present and no report was given.

Building & Capital - Click here to read the construction report for the month of Febraury.
Additionally, Building Inspector John Ledwith noted that Orange and Rockland would be sending out cards (and information will also be put on the Village website) regarding mandated meter updates.  The new meters will be more accurate and will allow the utility company to know instantaneously (without a phone call or an email) when the power has gone out at a given location.

Village Litigation Report:
None was given

Trustee Reports:
Trustee McHugh reported that the Village had received 27 grievances on tax grievance day.  A second meeting will be needed in order to formalize the grievances.  Secondly, the Village Attorney has finalized documents pertaining to the settlement and closeout of business with McNamee Construction. (Wee Wah Dam project)  New stop logs will be installed at the dam next week.  Divers will come for the installation and will assist with cleaning out the spillway.  The engineer will also be on site for the installation in order to ensure that everything is seamless.
Regarding phase two of the Village I&I project, there has finally been some traction with the EFC and the DEC is also on board.  They are hopeful that everything will be ready to go by the end of April so that the Village can go out to bid for the project in May.
Trustee Gluck reported that the Village is in receipt of the first of two reports that they have been expecting from the lake’s consultant, focusing on aquatic vegetation (aka milfoil) The report indicates that there is also new invasive species present and this is of some concern.  Sometime within the next two weeks the Village expects to receive the second report, which is on water quality and they will then evaluate the reports simultaneously.   In the meantime, the Village has asked for a variety of bids and/or quotes for the mitigation efforts that the consultant has suggested for the three lakes, which include a combination of herbicide/ treatment and pulling, so that they can discuss these intelligently and put a number around the potential costs. 
Secondly, at the request of the Mayor, Trustee Gluck met with representatives from the Wee Wah Beach Club, who are hoping for a successful summer season.  The thought is that they will carry forward the arrangement from last summer on a 1-year basis, with more details to come.  This item will be included on the March agenda.

Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that the committee had reviewed the report from the lakes manager.  There are things that need to be decided and the committee is eager to work with the Board and to meet with the lakes manager in the near future so that treatment decisions can be made ASAP and any contracts with harvesters etc. can be arranged and executed before these contractors become booked for the spring and summer. 
New Business:
Resolution – Appoint Member to Planning Board – the Board voted in favor of appointing Richard Witte to fill the vacant seat on the Planning Board, term expiring 6/3/21.  Trustee McHugh abstained. 
Announce – Village Election – The Village Election for two Trustee seats will take place on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 from 7am-9pm in the Village Hall.

Public Comments:
Lili Neuhauser noted that there had been an Economic Development Committee meeting earlier that week in Town at which there was a brief discussion with regard to the possibility of the Village and the Town sharing a radar speed sign.  She feels that the Town would be amenable to sharing the expense.
Mayor MaFadden recommended that either John Ledwith or Jeff Voss touch base with the Town so they could look into the pricing and ultimately determine whether or not they should move forward with it.
Next, Mrs. Neuhauser noted that she regularly brought her dogs to the Wee Wah Beach Club property to run during the winter months and that recently she had noticed that, despite the plastic bag station, certain residents were not picking up after their dogs and that this had resulted in a messy situation. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck noted that Michele Lindsay asked him to pass along two important dates.  The first is March 23, which is the first public hearing for the consolidation plan that has been adopted by the Town Board.  The plan will be posted on the Village Website and notifications will be sent out via email.  Secondly, April 18 will be Community Economic Development.  Senator Jenn Metzger, Assemblyman Karl Brabenec and County Executive Steve Neuhaus will all participate.  The Economic Development Committee will also present their goals and objectives.  The Town looks forward to hearing from the officials as to how they can support the committee’s efforts. 
From the audience, Town Board member Jay Reichgott added that the TUFSD Capital bond vote would be taking place
 on Tuesday, February 25 from 2-9pm in the multi-purpose room at the school. 

The meeting then adjourned to an executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person and pending litigation.

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lineAgenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting February 19, 2020

Click here to view the agenda

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lineVillage Board Of Trustees Meeting January 15, 2020

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

Mayor’s Comments:

Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by wishing everyone a Happy New Year.  He expressed his gratitude to all Village employees on a “solid year,” recognizing the Police Department in particular as January 10 was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.  Moving on, the Mayor commented that he wanted to acknowledge Jim and Nancy Hays for their service to the Village over the last couple of decades.  He noted that later in the evening, Nancy would be appointed to the empty spot on the BZA, where she has served once before.  Mrs. Hays has served on Board of Trustees as well.  Jim Hays has also served on the Board of Trustees and additionally has dedicated a great deal of his time to both the Environmental and Lakes committees.  The Mayor thanked the Hays for their dedication the Village.  This was met by a round of applause from the audience. 

Tuxedo Union Free School District Presentation:
Superintendent of Schools Tim Bohlke introduced himself and his team, promptly turning things over the District Architect Chris Ladanyi of Clark Patterson Lee, who outlined plans for the proposed $4.24 million dollar Capital Bond Project, which will come before District Tax Payers on February 25.  Every five years, the State Education Department mandates that school districts bring in a 3rd party company to do a thorough inspection of all buildings.  There are three buildings in the TUFSD and they are The George F. Baker High School, The George Grant Mason Elementary School and the John P. Mottola Gymnasium.  As per the regulation, Clark Patterson Lee performed an inspection of the buildings compiling a “nuts & bolts laundry list” of items that need to be repaired, replaced or improved.  As part of this project, improvements are proposed for each of the three buildings and Mr. Ladanyi outlined them all, building-by-building.  To see what has been proposed for each building, follow the links below:
George F. Baker High School, George Gran Mason Elementary School, John P. Mottola Gymnasium.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to how much the project would cost the taxpayers overall and, should it pass, when the work would take place.
Mr. Ladanyi reiterated that the total cost of the proposed project was 4.24 million.  If approved, the lion’s share of the work would take place during the summer of 2021.
Next the Mayor wanted to know whether the District would eligible for any State funding for the project.
The answer was yes, for some of the items.  The project has been strategically put together to maximize as much State Education Department Building Aid as possible.  He added that every district receives a different percentage of building aid from the State.  Tuxedo’s is roughly 10% and it is based on a State Formula.
With regard to the plans for GGM, Kimberly Brieland inquired as to whether the proposed playground was associated with the new Pre-K program that the District is planning to launch in the fall of 2020.  Specifically, she wondered whether or not the State of New York mandated that a new playground be put in.
Mr. Ladanyi responded that should the school move forward with implementing the Pre-K, the playground would certainly benefit that program, but that the other elementary school students would use it regardless.
Superintendent Bohlke added that the District was planning to move ahead with a full-day Pre-K program in the fall of 2020 and that the classroom would be located in GGM.  The area that has been selected for the new playground is a currently unused swath of landlocked property behind GGM.  In order to move forward with the drainage improvements as proposed, that piece of property will have to be disturbed, so the thought was to create both a playground and an outdoor learning space for the elementary school there at the same time.
Trustee Coen wanted to know how much of the overall project cost would go towards the new playground.
The answer was roughly $150,000.  This estimate does not include the site drainage. 
Trustee McHugh inquired as to the age of the buildings.
Both GFB and the original section of GGM were built in 1905.  There was an addition put on GGM sometime around 2005.
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether the bond for the addition had been retired. 
The answer was yes.
Mr. Ladanyi then circulated information pertaining to the estimated tax impact of the project.  Click here to view.
Essentially, a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay roughly $148.50 per year. 
Trustee Coen wondered why the vote was taking place on February 25 and not at the same time as the budget.
Superintendent Bohlke explained that the permitting process was such that if the District hoped to receive permits that would allow them to complete the work during the summer months they needed to get going as soon as possible.  Additionally, most other Districts combine bond and budget votes, so it is his hope that Tuxedo will be ahead of the rush for permits.
Trustee Coen suggested that taxpayers were not going to understand the full financial impact should there be other budget increases.
Superintendent Bohlke responded that the District was beginning to put together the 2020/2021 budget now and that it was their hope to come in either below or at budget.  He further commented that the BOE had been working to put together the proposed project for over two years and that the original price tag, based on the building and conditions survey, was closer to 7 million dollars!  With hard work and a lot of diligence, the plan has been dwindled down to only those things that really must be done in order to maintain the integrity of the buildings over time.
Next, Trustee Coen wanted to know how many students the District anticipated would enroll in the Pre-K program.
Superintendent Bohlke responded that the District intended to cap it at 20.  Currently, prior to any advertisement or registration, 8 local families have called to express strong interest and requested to be kept informed so that they can enroll.
The other spots will be available to both residents and those who wish to tuition in.
Trustee Coen wondered how much the tuition would be.
Superintendent Bohlke responded that this had not yet been finalized, further indicating that there was a BOE meeting scheduled for the following evening at which they hoped to determine this so that they could begin promoting the program by January 27.
Trustee Coen inquired as to how many students were enrolled in grades 9-12.
The answer was 65.  K-12 is 220. 
Given the low enrollment in the High School, Trustee Coen wondered whether or not the District had explored the idea of consolidating into one building.
The answer was yes and that such a consolidation would be cost prohibitive as spaces in the high school are not in compliance with State guidelines for elementary classrooms.  Bathrooms would have to be constructed within several of the rooms for example.  Superintended Bohlke added that the goal of the District was ultimately to expand. “The biggest charge that I have is to increase enrollment,” he stated.  “The first part of that is the Pre-K.”
Mayor McFadden wondered whether the project had been run by The Related Companies and if there was any potential for funding from them.
The Superintendent responded that developer would not be contributing any money although they were in favor of the project.  Ultimately, the District would like to do whatever it can to help Related sell their parcels of land to different builders. 
From the audience, BOE President Meg Vaught informed the Board that the District would be taking 1.2 million dollars from their reserves to off-set the overall cost of the project, brining to cost to taxpayers down from 4.2 to 3 million.
Trustee Gluck wondered whether the projected tax impact was based on Assessed Fair Market Value.
The answer was no.  It is based on the assessed value. 
This was discussed at some length.
The Superintendent pointed to a recent sale in the Park of a home for $995,000….rounding this up to one million.  This particular home was assessed at $289,350.   This assessment reflects a total market value of 1.7 million.  Based on this assessment, the projected increase would be $420 a year or $45 a month.
Several more examples were provided and discussed, using homes that have sold in the Village within the last year. 
Following this, the presentation was concluded.  Mayor McFadden thanked the School District and assured them that the Trustees would relay the information to the community, letting them know that the vote would take place on February 25.

Departmental Reports:
Police – Officer Dan Sutherland reported the following for the month of December:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 189
Criminal Complaints – 0
Motor Vehicle Accident (property damage only) – 1
Traffic Tickets- 6
Warning Tickets – 0
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Medical Calls – 4
Assists Given to Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Given to Other Police Agencies -0
Assists Given to Other Agencies – 1
Assists Received From Town of Tuxedo Police – 0
Shots Fired – 0
FOIL Requests – 0
Miles Patrolled- 1,842
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss presented the Board with quotes for two sewer pumps that need replacement as discussed at the December meeting. (One at Turtle Point Road Pump Station and the other at the Water Plant pump station)  The lowest bid for the Turtle Point Road pump is $6,466 while the one at the Water Plant is $9,841.  Following some discussion it was determined that the decision to move forward would be tabled until they could determine where within the budget the funding would come from. 
Superintendent Voss then reported that the department had been busy patching potholes and working on their salt and plow equipment.  Because the weather has been mild to date this winter, the Village has plenty of salt!
Building & Capital - Click here to view the Construction and Court reports for January.
There was a relatively brief discussion with regard to repairs needed to the roof at the Keep, considering this work was completed only recently.  Unfortunately, the  contractor will not assume responsibility for the issues. There does not appear to be any warranty and because the work was fast tracked under the oversight of Alan Yasaky when initially completed, there is little the Village can do about this now.  When asked where the funding would come from, Trustee McHugh commented that he believed there was money within the Police budge to cover the expense.
There was a lengthy discussion with regard to the condition of the property located at 456 West Lake Road, which has been uninhabited and in a state of neglect for almost a decade.  Following a meeting this past summer, the Village had resolved to clean up the landscaping, with costs billed back to the owner, however after receiving estimates for the work, there was some uncertainty as to the legalities involved with billing back the amounts in question.  Therefore, the Village DPW cleared the entranceway, and alleviated any safety related issues within 20 feet of the road, but left the rest of the property as is.  Since that time, the bank has foreclosed and ownership has been transferred to a trust.  Ultimately, it seems as though the Village is uncertain as to how they can effectively move forward with getting the property cleaned up.  Building Inspector Ledwith confirmed that he had walked the property and did not see any imminent danger there.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There is no new litigation.  There remain two open cases:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument. 
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. Depositions are expected by the end of January but the court has indicated that this might be extended.

Trustee Reports:
With regard to the water department Trustee McHugh reported that over the course of the past two years, the Department has been very successful in collecting outstanding receivables.  On May 31, 2017 the Department was owed $322,000.  On May 31, 2018 it was $258,000 and on May 31, 2019 it was $240,000.  As of January 15, 2020, it has been reduced to $90,000. They have spent much time chasing after delinquent Town bills, which helped to reduce the amount significantly.   With regard to the water pumping data, he was pleased to report that the numbers have decreased by 24% in the last year.
Trustee Coen reported that she had compiled and distributed a list of proposed capital projects.  She recommended that they schedule a special meeting for the purpose of going through the list in order to prioritize and figure out if, how and when these projects could be moved forward.
Trustee Gluck stated that the Board would need to schedule a Board of Assessors (the Board of Trustees acts as the Board of Assessment) meeting prior to the 23 or 24 of January so that they could print and produce the assessment roll by months end.  Following quite a bit of back and forth during which they could not come to a date and time that was workable for everyone, it was agreed that they should move on and work to get the meeting scheduled ASAP.
Next, Trustee Gluck reported that the contract for the new Village phone system, approved in November, has been finalized and is ready for the Mayor’s signature.  The Village will be replacing all 14 phones and 3 fax lines in both the Village office and Police Department with a new, modern IP system.   The new system will reduce expenses bringing the monthly expense down from $700 to $250.
Trustee Barnett had nothing to report. 

Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that the committee was agreeable to assisting the Village with its geese problem as proposed last month.  There appear to be a number of possible solutions, which they will explore and report back on at a later date.  He further reported that they committee had received estimates for the assembly of a dash harvesting boat.  The costs, which do not include the boat, are as follows: A 1-diver boat = $10,378 and a 2-diver boat = $13,370.  The group is in conversations with a Village resident who may be willing to donate a pontoon boat to the cause.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Michele Lindsay reported that there would be 2 public hearings at the January 27 meeting of the Town Board, pertaining to zoning code amendments and changes to the vehicle and traffic laws.  The goal is to allow for new businesses in the Hamlet to open.   The Zoning amendments will exempt current, existent commercial buildings from the new code, which requires 1 spot for 200 square feet of space.  Under these regulations, Tuxedo Hudson Realty would require 90 parking spaces in order to open the entire IGA building for business.  The Planning Board had restricted THR from using the southern end of the front driveway, citing the fact that because the building was closed for over a year, any grandfathering rights were relinquished.  The proposed amendments aim to correct this, and will allow for cars to make a right hand turn right onto Hospital Road when exiting that portion of the driveway.
The proposed vehicle and traffic amendments will change the direction of traffic on Store Road from north to south, while making Library Road one-way, south to north, with parking on added along both roads.  An engineering firm presented the Town Board with a proposed plan to turn Store Road into more of a main street, however the cost estimate is quite high and so the Town will have to look for funding and grant opportunities in order to move forward.
Trustee McHugh inquired as to how much the project was projected to cost and Mrs. Lindsay responded that the basic option, which will create 30 new parking spaces,  was estimated at $100,000 and that adding lighting, benches and landscaping would likely bring the cost up to $200,000.
The full time line for the Town/Village consolidation has been posted to the Town website.  On February 10 the Town Board will present its’ draft consolidation plan, which will outline how the government will be structured and run and which powers will be assumed from the Village and Town respectively.  The plan needs to be presented for 4 consecutive weeks in the paper, after which they will begin conducting public hearings.
Finally, after interviewing an impressive list of candidates for the open seat on the Town Board, Village Resident Jay Reichgott was selected to fill the position.  Mr. Reichgott also serves on the Village Planning Board.  The Town has looked into the legalities of this and determined that there will not be an issue with him serving on both boards.  Additionally, 3 positions will be opening up on the Town Planning Board.   These will be advertised in the Photo News.

Public Comments:
There were none.

Old Business:
Review Village Attorney Comments on Booth Vendors Compliance to Letters E & G – Terms of agreements/contracts with two potential booth vendors were discussed. 

New Business:
Resolution – Authorize Mayor to sign Property Damage Release: The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Mayor McFadden to sign a property damage release relative to the Village’s wall located at the corner of Chastelleux Lane and East Lake Road.  The wall was damaged by a Tuxedo Joint Fire Company truck and the Village has agreed to a settlement in the amount of  $4,9001.07. THIS FIGURE MAKES NO SENSE.  ARE WE TALKING 4 MILLION OR 49 HUNDRED?

Resolution – Weston and Sampson Fee Schedule for 2020 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting Weston and Sampson’s fee schedule for 2020 as presented.
Resolution – Hire New Chief and Authorize Mayor to Sign Off on Employment Agreement and any Other Conditions of Employment Between Now and Feb 1, 2020 After Verbal Approval from the Board – Trustee Coen commented that she would like to discuss a couple items in executive session prior to voting.  It was agreed that this would be done. 
Resolution – Appoint Nancy Hays to Fill Open BZA Seat- The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Nancy Hays to fill Houston Stebbins’ seat on the BZA with a term to expire in June of 2023.
Design Guidelines – Mayor McFadden noted that the Village Design Guidelines were roughly 15 years old and he felt that it would be appropriate to begin the process of review for the purpose of updating them.  The Board was agreeable to this. 

Announce Grievance Day:
 Grievance Day will take place on Tuesday, February 18 from 5-9pm in the Village Hall.

Public Comments:
There were none.

The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person and pending litigationThey re-entered the public session at 10:12pm, at which time they voted in favor of denying an application for General Municipal Law 207-c benefits for a certain employee (identified to the Board of Trustees in the Executive session) with a written decision to follow. 

Hire New Police Chief:
The Board voted 3-2 in favor of appointing David Conklin to the position of full-time Chief of Police, with the maximum applicable probationary period under the Orange County Civil Service Rules and subject to the execution of an employment contract setting forth the terms and conditions of the employment as well as a satisfactory background check, with a starting date of February 1, 2020 or after. Trustees Gluck and McHugh voted against.

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Agenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting January 15, 2020

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From The Mayor's Desk - January 6, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

I trust you enjoyed the holidays.

As I have noted in the past, there are openings on the Planning Board and BZA. If you are considering joining either board please call me and I will explain the time commitment and skill set required. I can be reached on weekdays at (212) 532-4530.

I did make two high-priority new year's resolutions.

First, to start the new police chief by February 1, 2020. We have chosen a candidate and are settling the terms and conditions. We have been without a chief since July 2019.

Second, to begin construction on the new security booth by mid-February 2020. The final designs were presented to the Board and public in November 2018.

Please do not hesitate to contact members of the Board for further information.
 

Thanks,

Mayor MAC

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Village Board Of Trustees Meeting December 18, 2019

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

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by reading a prepared statement regarding the Booth approval process and his deep concerns about the amount of time it has taken to satisfy the conditions as laid out in the project approval.  Click here to read the Mayor’s statement.

Departmental Reports:
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present due to a water main break on Brook Farm Road.  Trustee McHugh gave an update in his absence.  The Impeller assembly has arrived and been installed at the water plant.  There are now 3 working pumps in that facility which can be rotated. 
Both the DEC and the Department of Health were in the Village looking at the Water and sewer plants.  The DEC has issued a response with regard to the sewer plan   which, while much better than last year, still shows some deficiencies.   These things are all being addressed. 
The Department is currently patching holes on the Village roadways.  If anybody noticed potholes in need of filling they should notify Denise in the Village Office and she will make sure it gets to Superintendent Voss.
Police – Officer Sutherland reported the following for the month of November:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 203
Criminal Complaints – 3 (2 closed by investigation and 1 by arrest)
Property damage Accidents – 2
Traffic Tickets – 10
Medical Calls – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Fire Alarms – 8
Shots Fired – 1 (a deer was hit by a car on the South end of Tuxedo Lake and needed to be dispatched due to its’ injuries)
Assists Given to Outside Agencies – 3
Assists Received from Outside Agencies – 3
Assists Given to non-police Agencies – 4
Additionally, roughly 1,300 vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate on a daily basis.
There followed a discussion with regard to new criminal justice reforms that will be taking effect on January 1, 2020.  While these will likely not have a huge impact on the Village, Officer Sutherland did voice some concerns.  Following the discussion, Trustee Gluck suggested that if there were any areas of non-compliance within the Village Department that they should make an effort to identify and understand these as soon as possible so that they could effectively build a road map for bringing things into compliance. 
Building and Capital – Click here to read the Building Department report.
Resolution – Accept Resignation of Michael Rizzo – PT PO – The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of part-time Police Officer Michael Rizzo.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There is no litigation to report.  There remain two open cases:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument. 
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. Depositions are expected by the end of January with investigation to be complete by April 28.

Trustee Reports:
With regard to the budget, Trustee Barnett reported that while the Village is currently running “on budget” there are several items that will likely bring things over-budget in the near future.  These include: Increased I&I expenses, DEC issues that have been raised, the cost of sewer pumps and the dam settlement.  Trustee Barnett anticipates that the Village will enter 2020 with a very tight budget.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that the Town had recently been awarded a $4,999 grant from Orange County Tourism.  They have several projects in mind for the money.  They are planning to hold a special event with shuttle busses to bring both residents and tourists around to trail heads in both Sterling Forest and Harriman State Parks.  They are also assisting NY/NJ Trail Conference with some really nice wood signs to help guide hikers to the trailheads.  This will help to relieve some pressure in the East Village, where hikers often wander onto private property in search of the trailheads.  They are also going to be working on a marketing plan for tourism in the Town.
The Town has also been awarded $100,000 from Senator Metzger to be used on the new roof at Town Hall.  Currently, $130,000 has been budgeted for this expense, so the town will see a significant reimbursement on that expense.  The Town is also in receipt of a $75,000 grant for the installation of ADA compliant ramps and bathrooms in Town Hall.
As part of the Environmental Task Force Councilperson Lindsay and Jim Hays attended the Mid-Hudson Environmental Forum for climate smart actions, where they learned a lot.  One of the things the Town is doing is replacing 65 streetlights with LEDs.  This was done last year as well.  After this next installation there will only be 50 left to replace.  The replacements represent a nice reduction in costs.
On January 27 the Town Board will hold a Public Hearing on proposed zoning code changes.  What they are proposing is to allow existing commercial buildings to be exempt from the number of parking spaces required under the current code, which is believed by some to be quite restrictive.  For example, under the current code Michael Bruno can only open a little more than half of his first floor given the number of spaces he has.  The revisions will allow all existing commercial buildings to be exempt from these restrictions.  They are also hoping to create some on street parking, which should help to allow him to open the entire building. 
Trustee McHugh inquired as to whether or not this had been the main constraint to Mr. Bruno opening the building.
Councilperson Lindsay responded that it had been one of the constraints.  Another has been that because the business has been closed for over a year, the grandfathered rights were unfortunately lost.  This creates an issue as the Town code forbids left hand turns within 70 feet of an intersection and therefore the Planning Board has required Mr. Bruno to close off the buildings’ entrance near the intersection of Temple Drive and Route 17.  They are hoping to somehow alleviate/remove this restriction. 
There followed a brief discussion with regard to Steve’s and whether or not that business had been held to the same standard.  Trustee McHugh pointed out that Steve’s was an actively on-going renovation project of an existing building and that this allowed them to get around the requirement.  Councilwomen Lindsay added that Steve’s had recently been awarded a $125,000 grant from the Tuxedo LDC to assist with the construction of additional parking on the adjacent lot to south of the restaurant.
The Town/Village consolidation is sill in progress.
Finally, Councilperson Lindsay reported that come January there would be a vacancy on the Town Board due to the fact that Supervisor Elect Ken English would be vacating his current seat to fill his new role.  The Town put out a press release in the Photo News announcing the vacancy and has received 11 applications thus far.  Interviews will begin in January.
Mayor McFadden congratulated Councilperson Lindsay on her re-election.  This was met by a round of applause. 

Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays updated the Board with regard to the recent fish survey as well as the committees’ research into the possible acquisition of a boat for DASH harvesting.  Click here to view this report. 
Mayor McFadden inquired of Mr. Hays as to whether or not the committee would be willing to investigate the possibility of culling the non-migrating Canadian Geese population in the Village as they pose a potential threat to the reservoir.  Mr. Hays agreed that the committee could do this.  He further suggested that one way to reduce the risk of threat on lake front properties such as the Tuxedo Club would be to install a vegetative buffer along the water’s edge, which would help to prevent the geese from congregating there in such large numbers.    
Dena Steele inquired as to the Status of the CSLAPS program and whether the Village had received a report.  The answer was that a preliminary report had been received earlier in the fall with the more extensive, formal report due in April of 2020.

Public Comments:
Dena Steele commented that she was trying to get the facts with regards to some rumors she had been hearing over the course of the fall months.  She has heard that there were 3 deer drives sanctioned by the Village (this is what individuals were told when asked to participate) and on these drives a total of 7 deer were shot, one of which made its’ way back into the Village and died on private property.  She also heard that a bear was shot and killed on the drive as well.  She wondered whether all of the drive participants were aware that they needed a hunting license in order to participate as per the DEC. She further wondered whether the Village had changed its approach to the deer.  It was her understanding that the police were monitoring the number of deer and duly applying for nuisance permits.  Is this still the process or are they leaning more towards having Vigilante groups handle the wildlife? 
Mayor McFadden responded that the Village had not sanctioned any deer drives.  Further he commented that it was his understanding that the participants were required to ask permission before crossing private property.  He reiterated that that he had not gotten involved with the effort.
Ms. Steele replied that she felt that the Village had some obligation as participants had been told that the drive was Village Sanctioned.  She wanted to make sure that the public record showed that the it had not been sanctioned and further recommended that the Village investigate what their liability might be “with people shooting and dying deer coming in.”  She cautioned that if the Village wanted to handle their wildlife with Vigilante groups that she felt it was something that needs to be carefully considered.  She reiterated that the NYS DEC requires everyone who walks in a drive, regardless of whether they are shooting or not, to have a hunting license.
Trustee McHugh commented that the news of these Vigilante drives came as a complete shock to him.  He added that Sgt. Tayback had been in charge of the deer count for the past 4 years, however he has been out as a result of an injury and it was not done this year.    
Ms. Steele reiterated that she felt the Village needed to make it very clear that they had not abdicated the responsibility of deer management to residents. 
Trustees McHugh and Coen agreed. 
Michele Lindsay noted that she had called the police on two occasions because of hunters parked on Eagle Mountain Road.  It was her understanding that hunters were not permitted to access hunting in Sterling Forest State Park from the Village, however these individuals indicated that Village residents had given them permission to park there. 
Trustee Coen suggested that if they knew who was involved with the effort, they should reach out and let them know that moving forward hunting licenses would be required for this kind of activity. 
Following further discussion it was agreed that this would be done.
Lesley Devore inquired about the justice reforms as discussed earlier particularly as they pertain to first responders as she is the Captain of the Ambulance Corps.  This was briefly discussed and she was assured that it was the responsibility of the police to secure any potentially violent or dangerous scene before the medics enter.  There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion with regard to the ability to easily navigate the Village and find homes as there is not a clear numbering system in place.  Often times the police must assist with this, although there are times when even they are not easily able to decipher where they are going.

Old Business:
Capital Projects List – Trustee Coen explained that she had circulated via email a list of all potential Capital Projects.  The list was compiled by a committee earlier in the year.  Ultimately, it was determined that the projects could not be properly prioritized without more information such as costs, etc.  The Trustees are now being asked to look at the list, which contains roughly 60 potential projects, and select 10 that they feel should be prioritized.  They will then collect basic information on each of these, to be submitted to the Board for review by the end of January so that they can responsibly review, prioritize and budget.  It was agreed that this would be done. 
Resolution – Booth Project – Letter J – The Board voted unanimously in favor of  approving a resolution satisfying condition J as laid forth in the booth project approval conditions. 
Discuss Mayor’s Memo to the Trustees “Path for the Booth” – Mayor McFadden’s memo, as presented during the first portion of the meeting, was discussed.  It was agreed that the remaining conditions pertained mostly to administrative work such as the satisfactory review of vendor contracts by the Village Attorney and subsequent Board approval of the contracts.  As the timeline has changed, the Mayor would like the ability to reach out to the vendors in order to determine whether or not they were still available to complete the work and if the costs would remain the same.   If the costs are in fact the same, he suggested that they put down deposits in order to secure the vendors.  This was debated.  It was suggested that they should not be putting out any funding before the contracts had been reviewed and approved.
Ultimately it was determined that Brian would review the contracts on file over the next 2-4 weeks after which they would regroup and discuss the appropriate path forward. 

New Business:
Resolution – Appoint Fire Commissioner – The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of appointing Charles Jones to a five-year term as Fire Commissioner, expiring 12/31/24.
Resolution – Accept Resignation of Stebbins (BZA) & McQuilken (PB) - The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignations of Houston Stebbins as Board of Zoning Appeals Chair, effective December 31, and Rob McQuilken as Planning Board member, effective December 16, 2019.
Resolution – Appoint BAR Member – McQuilken – The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of appointing Rob McQuilken to the Planning Board effective December 18. 
Resolution – Appoint BZA Chairman – Lindsay – The Trustees voted unanimously in favor of appointing Jake Lindsay as Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals effective January 1, 2020.
Filming Request – The Tuxedo Club – John Ledwith informed the Board that The Tuxedo Club would like to allow the television show BILLIONS to shoot an episode inside their facility sometime in early January.  While the code currently forbids commercial filming within the Village, Board Attorney Brian Nugent advised the Board that they could authorize it by resolution.  The filming would take place primarily inside, however the production will likely include several large trucks and the possibility of elevated light and noise levels.  The Board discussed these things as they pertained to the current code restrictions as well as the issue of precedent.  Ultimately it was determined that the majority of the Board would like to allow the filming to take place.  It was suggested that they put together a letter detailing all of the potential concerns.  After some further discussion, the Trustees voted unanimously in favor of approving the Club’s request subject to terms and conditions satisfactory to the Mayor, the Building Inspector and Village council. 

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Agenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting December 18, 2019

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Notice of and Agenda for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting December 12, 2019

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Village Board Of Trustees Meeting November 20, 201

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, November 20.  All members were present.  Trustee McHugh attended via skype.

Mayors Comments:
Mayor McFadden expressed his gratitude to all of the various Village employees as well as the Trustees for all of their hard work and efforts.

Departmental Reports:
Police- The following was reported for the month of October:
Criminal Complaints – 1
Non-Criminal Complaints – 221
Motor Vehicle/Property Damage  - 2
Arrests – 1
Traffic Tickets – 9
Traffic Warnings – 0
Intrusion alarms – 7
Fire Alarms – 2
Medical Calls – 2
Weapons Fired – 0
Assists Given to The Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Received from outside agencies- 0
Miles Patrolled – 2,259

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

DPW – There was an emergency situation at the Turtle Point pump station when 1 pump ceased working entirely and the other would only work when operated by hand.  A new pump will cost $5,200.  DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss is currently researching the cost of repairing the other.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of allocating $6,000 towards the acquisition of a new pump and installation. 

One of the departments’ large dump trucks has been sand blasted, rust protected and repainted.  The work was done “in house” and came out very well.
Maintenance on the salt spreading equipment has been completed.
A small leak on Club House Road Extension was repaired.
Trustee McHugh inquired about the paving of Tower Hill Road down towards the Race Track and was informed that it had been delayed due to weather, however the department has installed new catch basins and made drainage modifications in preparation for the work.  Possible paving of the entrance to the Village Office was briefly discussed.
Building & Capital – Click here to read the Building & Capital Report

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There is no new litigation to report.  Current cases include:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument. 
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. This case is in the discovery phase.
Trustee Gluck added that there is also King/Duchen Vs. The BZA, which has been fully submitted.

Trustee Reports:
There were none

Committee Reports:
TAB Update & Tree City – on Behalf of the Tree Advisory Board, Christopher Gow reported that they had begun working with the local schools to develop curriculum that will get students actively involved with the preserve.  Seeding has been done and several species are starting to come back.  They are hoping to improve general visibility of the preserve from the roadways y removing some of the low-lying branches, which currently cloud the view.  They recently unearthed an old stone steeplechase, which they were able to completely uncover and de-vine.  This will be the site of an event on May 30, 2020, when they formally recognize their newest group of Racetrack stewards.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of continuing the Tree City USA initiative and subsequently posed for a photo with Mr. Gow and the Tree City USA banner. 

Report by Town Board Member of Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck reported that on the night previous, the Town Board had adopted a local law, which allowed them to exceed the tax cap.  Although this was cause for alarm for some folks, ultimately it had to do with an accounting issue relating to the fact that the Tuxedo Farms sewer district has not yet been brought onto the tax roll.  For the past two years Tuxedo Farms has been billed $1.9 million dollars annually as repayment for the debt service on the bonds issued to pay for the plant.   The Comptroller has recently informed the Town that the plant must be put on the rolls with the repayment made by a tax bill.  Adding that payment to the tax roll will raise the Town’s tax cap from 1.91 % to 34.54%.  Related will pay the bill in January so, there will be no affect to any resident’s tax bill. 
Further, it was announced that Related has indicated that they are once again interested in building, both rental and sale units, siting what they believe to be favorable trends amongst Millennials. 

Public Comments:
Christopher Gow thanked the Village for removing the Christmas lights from the Keep. 

Old Business:
Overton Subdivision – Water & Sewer Permits – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a resolution which will allow the 9 lots within the Overton Subdivision to connect to various water & sewer lines with certain conditions as set forth in the project approval. 

New Business:
Furnace Replacement – DPW Shop- The furnace at the DPW shop needs to be replaced.  They will be making the changeover from oil to a propane-fired system.  Three quotes were collected, with the lowest bid coming in at $4,450.  Following some discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the expenditure not to exceed $6,000 to include the purchase of the new furnace, it’s installation and the cleaning of the ductwork.
New Telephone System – Village Hall & Police – The Village has been investigating replacing the antiquated phone system at the Police Station for some time, but when a recent electrical storm took down the system in the Village Office, it became apparent that these phones also needed to be replaced.  There are three options available: a traditional, copper wire based system, a digital system and a cloud based system.  Following some discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Trustee Gluck and John Ledwith to select which system would be best at an amount not to exceed $400 per month. 
McGoey Hauser Edsall Payment Dispute- There is some dispute with regard to 3 invoices that have been submitted to the Village by McGoey Hauser.  These were reviewed individually after which it was determined that Trustee McHugh and Mr. Ledwith would continue to try and reasonably resolve the dispute while keeping the Trustees informed. 
O.C. Water Exemption on Water Parcel in the Town- The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting an exemption on a water parcel in the Town.
Fyke Nature Association 2019 Bird Count – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the annual Fyke Nature Association Christmas Bird Count.
Agreement with OC Regarding Emergency Radio Equipment- The Board voted unanimously in favor of continuing this inter-municipal agreement, through which the County provides the Police Department with radios that allow for inter-municipal police communications at no cost. 
Discussion – Full Time or Part Time Chief – There was a lengthy debate as to whether or not the Village should hire a Full Time Police Chief, who would be expected to physically put in a 40 hour work week in the Village, or a Full Time Chief with more “flexible” hours, who would be able to complete a fair portion of work off-site.  There is a significant cost differential between the two, with the more flexible position likely to cost half that of the more traditional Full Time role.  The entire discussion can be heard by clicking the meeting audio link below.  Ultimately, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of hiring a Full Time Chief with flexible hours, with Mayor McFadden voting against the motion.  There was some feedback from the public following the discussion, and this can also be heard on the recording.  The general consensus from the public seemed to be that the more cost effective route was preferable.  The Trustees were also encourage to seriously investigate the idea of sharing services with the Town of Tuxedo moving forward.
Booth Project- In looking at the budget for the booth, Trustee Coen recently did a thorough dive into the Village Budget in order to determine where things currently stood and subsequently what funding might be available for the booth project.  Over the course of the last several months, at the recommendation of former police Chief Alex Melchiore, the Board has determined that there must be duplicate mechanical systems in both the Keep and the Booth.  This way, should the booth become inoperable for whatever reason, the department would still be able to function easily from The Keep.  This requirement was added roughly $17,000 onto cost of the project.  Ultimately, Trustee Coens overview shows that on its current track, the Village is projected to show a slight deficit of roughly $10,000 however, there are number of items that could impact that one way or the other.    Following another lengthy discussion (also included in the audio link) the Board voted 3-2 in favor of allocating  $18,000 of unallocated surplus to round out the budget for the Booth.

 

To listen to a recording of this meeting in its entirety, click here.

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Agenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting November 20, 2019

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Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting October 28, 2019

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Village Board Of Trustees Meeting October 16, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments: Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by expressing his profound sadness at the passing of longtime Village resident John Dawson, who passed away from cancer on October 13.   Mr. Dawson will be greatly missed.
The Tuxedo Park Fire Department conducted a hook & ladder drill at the Front Gate on Tuesday, October 15 and, in the process, were able to remove 90% of the Christmas lights from those buildings.   The Mayor expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Village to both Gardiner Hempel and David DuPont, who were instrumental in organizing and running the drill.
On a fun note, the Mayor reported that he had recently had the privilege of officiating at his brother-in-law’s wedding in New York City.  “It went very successfully and was a lot of fun!  Who knew 34 years ago that I would be officiating at a wedding?!”

 

Departmental Reports:
Police – The following was reported for the month of September:
Criminal Complaints – 3
Non-Criminal Complaints – 260
Vehicle Accidents – 1 (Property Damage Only)
Traffic Tickets – 10
Traffic Warnings – 1
Arrests – 2
Medical Calls – 5
Fire Alarms – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Assists Provided to Outside Agencies – 0
Assists Received from Outside Agencies – 0
Miles Patrolled – 2,557

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

Mayor McFadden noted that there seemed to have been a marked decrease in the number of traffic tickets issued and he wondered why this was. 
Officer Sutherland responded that the department had been trying to target aggressive driving rather than smaller violations. 
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether or not any weapons had been discharged during the month of September and the answer was no.  She requested that moving forward weapon discharge be added to the monthly report and it was agreed that this would be done. 
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present and therefore Trustee McHugh provided a brief overview of the that report.  Given that the Village underspent when paving the roads last month, they are now looking to pave Club House Road from Cacciopo down to the Racetrack.  A traffic survey has shown that this stretch of road is heavily used.   An initial quote for the work came in at $42,500.  This falls within the bond/bid.  Subject to weather conditions this work can be done during the month of November.  Catch basins will be done prior to the paving.
Roads were restriped throughout the Village earlier this week and the department has also been very busy installing catch basins along Wee Wah Road.
Mayor McFadden wondered if there were any plans to repave Turtle Point Road.
Trustee McHugh responded that this could be looked at as it had previously been identified as an area of need of work and if there were sufficient funds left over, the work could likely be done.
Building and Capital – Click here to view the Building Report for the month of September.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There is no new litigation to report.  The following are on-going cases:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument. 
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  Insurance council represents the Village in this case. There was a discovery conference in September and some disclosure.  There will be a status conference on October 21.
People Vs. Zgonena – This is a Justice Court matter.  There was a motion filed by Mr. Zgonena on July 24 to vacate the conviction pursuant to settlements.  In accordance with a related Federal Court stipulation, the Village only submitted papers indicating that it took no position on that motion.  This matter is pending. 
Steyer Vs. The Town of Tuxedo – This is a tax Certiorari case.  This Village is not named as a party in this action, but it has an effect on some property that is located in the Village.  There have been no developments.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee – As per their directive from the Board, the Lakes Committee has been working to evaluate the cost of building a boat for DASH harvesting for the Village.  Committee Chair Jim Hays reported that they have priced out the various components necessary including, but not limited to, such items as an engine, strainer table, masks for the divers and various hoses and tubes.  All in all the price of the unassembled equipment comes to $6,756.65.  They are still in need of a Pontoon Boat and are not certain as to what the assembly costs will be. 
Mayor McFadden suggested that pontoon boats could be easily found for not very much money and Mr. Hays agreed. 
Additionally, Mr. Hays has contacted an associate of his in the Adirondacks who might be able to help determine some of the assembly costs.  If this individual is unable to help, the committee can reach out to the manufacturers of the various components in an effort to determine who else has been buying these parts and then contact those folks in order to learn how they are putting things together.  It was agreed that the committee would continue to research these things.
Mayor McFadden asked for an update with regard to recent harvesting on Tuxedo Lake and the Wee Wah, specifically wondering whether or not NEAR had issued a preliminary report.
Trustee Gluck responded that NEAR was a new vendor and that they had been working on a limited time schedule with an abbreviated work plan.  Currently, they are still “in the field” working on various lakes throughout the region but once the weather cools down and they return to their offices full time, they will be analyzing the data and issuing a report.  The Village is hopeful that they will receive the report sometime in late November/early December but contractually NEAR does not need to supply it until January 31, 2020.  Initial results seem to show that although there has been great success in the Wee Wah, there are still areas of concern in Tuxedo Lake, particularly near the Village Boat Club and the Tuxedo Club Boat House. 
Mayor McFadden wondered if the successes in the Wee Wah had to do with the draining of that lake, further noting that Greenwood Lake had had some success with working with the DEC on an every-other-year drainage plan for that lake.
Trustee McHugh replied that the draw down of the Wee Wah had likely contributed greatly to the successes there, however this could not be likened to what was happening in Greenwood Lake as the Wee Wah had been drawn down by roughly 15 feet for over two years.  NEAR has advised that the drawdown of lakes is not something that should be undertaken regularly as many of the other life forms aside from the Milfoil are also killed off or adversely effected.  Additionally, the DEC is known for being quite strict with the necessary permitting.
There followed a somewhat brief discussion regarding the current condition of Tuxedo Lake.  Mayor McFadden noted that he had forwarded Trustee McHugh an email from a concerned resident who felt there was algae bloom starting to form on the lake.  Trustee McHugh acknowledged receipt of the email and further commented that it had not been accurate.  The water has taken on somewhat of a “pea green hue” and so Solitude Lakes Management did come and take a sample but did not conclude that a formal treatment such as Copper Sulfate was necessary at this time.  They’re hopeful that heavy rains this week will clean the water and alleviate the issue.  Ultimately, they will just have to wait and see what happens, but there have been no formal recommendations from either Solitude Lakes Management or NEAR.

Trustee Reports:
Trustee Barnett reported that he had had some interesting liaison work with the Police Department, both riding in the patrol car and spending time in The Keep.  When asked by the Mayor what he had learned, Trustee Barnett responded that the Police operated like a military unit.  He feels that what they really need is direction from a Chief.  He believes there is a “sizable reservoir” of part-time officers available and that the Village needs to work to make themselves attractive in order to hire.
The Mayor noted that previously they had raised the hourly rate for the weekend shifts in hopes of attracting folks, but this did not seem to be working.  He has some further ideas but recommended that these be discussed in Executive Session.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck reported that November 5 was Election Day. In addition to the Supervisor, there are two seats on the Town Board up for election.  Both the Town Clerk and the Highway Superintendent are running unopposed.  New York State has early voting dates this year and registered voters from Tuxedo will be able to cast their ballots on October 26 in Warwick if they would like. 

 

Public Comments:
With regard to the Lakes Committee report and the building of a DASH Harvesting boat as discussed earlier, Jay Reichgott commented that he had been involved with running several diving operations.  He cautioned that above and beyond what was spent on the equipment, the people who are doing the actual diving must be on point and that this was likely to be the greatest expense but also the most important. 

Old Business:
The Booth Project –

  1. Resolution – Vote on approving Condition Letter H
  2. Resolution  - Vote on approving Condition Letter J
  3. Resolution  - Vote on approving Letter K
  4. Discussion Regarding early implementation of bulletproof window and door manufacturer because of 3-month lead time
  5. Discussion of pre-approving Condition letter C due to uncertainty in hiring a new Chief

The Board engaged in a lengthy, heated discussion of the above the topics as they relate to the booth project.  Condition letter K was the only item approved. 
Click here to listen to this Part 1 of this discussion and here to listen to Part 2.

New Business:
Resolution – Adjustment to Water Account #203 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of recognizing that the account holder had satisfied his 2018 agreement with the Village and thus waiving the residual penalties on the account.
Resolution – Amend 11/15/17 Resolution Regarding Officer Sirine’s Hire Date – There exists a discrepancy with the date of hire for this officer on the Orange County Civil Service list Vs. what the Village has on payroll and the resolution which was passed on 11/15/17.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of amending the resolution to synch the date with Orange County Civil Service’s appointment date.
Announcement – Bulk Trash Pickup – Saturday October 19 – Bulk trash pickup will take place on Saturday, October 19.

Public Comments:
There were none

The Board then adjourned into an executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person.

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Agenda For Village Board Of Trustees Meeting October 16, 2019

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Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting October 2, 2019

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Agenda For Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 25, 2019

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Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 18, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, September 18 at 7pm.  Trustee Coen was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:
In lieu of opening remarks, Mayor McFadden announced that the new Superintendent of Schools, Timothy Bohlke, was present and would like to introduce himself.

Introduction – New Superintendent - TUFSD:
Mr. Bohlke formally introduced himself to the Board, noting that he had started work as the new Superintendent of Schools/High School Principal for the TUFSD on July 1.   Mr. Bohlke grew up in Rockland County and has 20 years of experience working in education as well as 28 years experience as a realtor.  He has recently purchased a town house in the Woodlands and will be moving into the district in a couple of weeks.  “I am excited to be here,” he commented.  “We have a large task ahead of us, but I am confident that there will be some great things happening this year.” 
Mayor McFadden asked Mr. Bohlke what his plans for the near future were in terms of boosting enrollment. 
Mr. Bohlke responded that they were looking at enrollment very closely and that there were a lot of programs they were putting together for next year to help attract more students to the school.  Noting that residents may have already seen some of the updates/improvements that have taken place on the campus outside the school buildings, he stated  “it’s important to show the community both within the school district and outside that we’re here, we’re viable and we are a very good, small private/public school, so to speak.”  He went on to state that he had been in contact with Tuxedo Farms as building a successful relationship with them was “a big part of it” and that the school would be doing as much as they could to partner with them in order to help them sell homes and attract builders to the community to build homes.  Additionally, the District has submitted a grant, which will hopefully enable them to start a full-day Pre-K program in January of 2020.   If the District does not receive the grant, he still intends to push for a full-day program, which would begin next September.  He believes this will be a strong feeder for the District.   
The Mayor responded that it was a “catch-22” of a situation because combining the median income in certain areas provided an inflated number, which did not accurately represent the school community.
Mr. Bohlke agreed, further commenting that they had worked very hard in putting the grant together to reflect the reality of situation.  Additionally, he has had several conversations with various people at the State Education Department over the course of the last few months, ensuring that Tuxedo is on their radar.
The Mayor then asked about Tuxedo Farms, stating that it was his understanding that the developer wanted to see a viable school district before they would move ahead with the building.
Mr. Bohlke responded that this was a fallacy.  “There’s a lot of propaganda out there about that,” he stated.  He went on to explain that he came from a construction family and had some knowledge of the history of the property.  “It’s all rock,” he commented.  “If you want to build something, you have to blast….and that’s very expensive.” 
“You currently have what….60 students enrolled in the school?” inquired Mayor McFadden.
“No,” responded Mr. Bohlke “ 230”
Trustee McHugh wondered if there were 60 students in the High School.
Mr. Bohlke responded that there were about 115 students in the high school and that currently enrollment in the two schools is about equal.  
The Mayor wondered what Mr. Bohlke’s overall goal was for the enrollment.
Mr. Bohlke responded that he did not want to set a specific goal as he felt they needed to explore how they were going to attract students.  He further noted that he did have a goal for Pre-K, which was to attract 15 students per year, which, over 5 years, would add 75 kids to the District.  He would also like to try and bring between 15 and 20 out-of-district, tuition-paying students in per year.  He suggested that the State laws governing immunizations were having an impact on enrollment everywhere as many parents were choosing home-school options in order to avoid certain required immunizations. 
Trustee Barnett noted that a while back the district had employed full administrations in both buildings and he wondered if this were still the case.
Mr. Bohlke explained that it was not.  When he was hired, the positions of Superintendent and High School principal were combined, effectively eliminating an administrator.  This is not something that is typically permissible in New York State, however the district was able to procure a hardship waiver from the Commissioner of Education based on its’ size.
“That will result in significant budgetary savings?” inquired Trustee Barnett.
Mr. Bohlke confirmed that it would.  “I would rather see monies go to teachers to support students than go to administrators,” he commented.  “If I have to work a little bit longer and a little bit more, that’s ok. “
Jim Hays inquired as to whether or not Tuxedo Farms had indicated to Mr. Bohlke when they might be willing to lower their land prices significantly in order to attract buyers. 
“They are not going to tell me that,” responded Mr. Bohlke, further noting that he had had a great conversation with Henry Heffner, who indicated that he would be calling back some of the builders who had walked away.    “I have been a realtor in this country for 28 years.”  he stated “Plus I teach real estate licensing classes.  I know a lot of realtors.  I understand construction because I grew up in a construction family.  Mr. Heffner knows that.  I told him ‘I know what you need as far as a school.  I know how we can support you and I’m going to do that because if it benefits you, it benefits me.’”
Mayor McFadden then thanked Mr. Bohlke for time and wished good luck with District. 

Department Reports:
Police Report- Officer Sutherland reported the following for the month of August:
Criminal Complaints – 0
Non-criminal Complaints – 261
Property Damage Complaints – 3
Traffic Tickets Issued – 3
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Fire Alarms – 3
Medical Calls – 3
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 4
Assists given to Other Outside Agencies – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,391
Additionally, roughly 1,300 cars entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to the time of day for the assists given to the Town, specifically wondering if these had occurred during the overnight hours when the Town did not have coverage.
From the audience Meg Vaught noted that at a the Town Board meeting on the night previous, it had been announced that overnight coverage had been restored 3-4 nights per week, however they would not publicly announce which nights these were for security reasons.
Officer Southerland noted that one of the assists had taken place around 11:30pm, when a report of a kitten in the middle of Route 17 was called in.  As it turned out, the animal was not a kitten, but rather a baby opossum and by the time the police arrived, it had unfortunately already been hit.
Audrey Perry noted that during a recent golf event at the Tuxedo Club there had been an extra police presence at the South Gate, which was very much appreciated.  She wondered if the Club was billed back for this service.
The answer was yes.

DPW Report – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the paving and grinding work as planned has been completed and that the department is very happy with the results.  Additionally, the paving work came in at $50,000 less than anticipated, so they will be looking to find 2 or 3 other paving related projects that can now be addressed with the savings.
The Mayor inquired about road salt and whether the Village was prepared for the winter ahead.
The Superintendent responded that they had some salt left over from the year prior and they would also start getting more towards the end of October.  The price of the salt has gone up $1.35 a ton, which will amount to roughly $1,000 more than anticipated for the Village.
Line striping will take place sometime within the next three weeks. 
Given how narrow the roads are, Trustee McHugh wondered whether the Village could make a change from double yellow lines to a single, solid line down the center of the roadways.
Superintendent Voss inquired of Officer Southerland whether there were any legal requirements governing the lines.
Officer Southerland responded that there none that he was aware of, but the police would no longer be able to write citations for crossing the double yellow line.  Rather they would have to write citations for failing to maintain lane.
The Village Attorney advised that New York State had a manual that regulated things like this and that the Village was not in a position to vary from what it says without having certain repercussions. 
The leaf  machine is in need of welding work in order to extend it’s useful life.  The Superintendent has collected quotes for the work.  Following some discussion the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the emergency labor by Rockland County Iron Works for a total of $3,000.
The DPW is in need of a new truck as discussed and budgeted for.  Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing a 2020 Ford 4x4 dump truck with plow for a total cost of $59,365.45, to be financed over 5 years at a rate of 3.9%.
Finally, the new pump impellers for the water plant, the purchase of which was authorized back in June, are due to arrive in the next couple of weeks.  Once received and installed, all three pumps will be up and running at that facility.
Building & Capital – Click here to view a copy of the September Property Issues report. Click here to view a copy of the Construction report.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument. 
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  The Village is represented by an attorney assigned by the insurance carrier, as it is covered.  Currently, they are awaiting a discovery schedule from the Federal Court.
People Vs. Zgonena – This is a Justice Court matter.  There was a motion filed by Mr. Zgonena on July 24 to vacate the prior judgment.  In accordance with a related Federal Court stipulation, the Village only submitted papers indicating that it took no position on that motion.  This matter is pending. 
Steyer vs The Town of Tuxedo – This is a tax Certiorari case.  This Village is note named as a party in this action, but it has an effect on some property that is located in the Village.  There have been no developments.
King/Duchen vs The Village – An article 78 has been filed.  Due to a conflict stemming from a prior representation, the Village cannot use their usual attorneys Feerick Nugent MacCartney.

Trustee Reports:
There were none.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee – On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that the committee had been asked by the BOT to take over the CSLAPS lake sampling and they have agreed to do so.  Pristine Waters has completed their two-week milfoil pulling engagement.  Mr. Hays took the time to inspect what was pulled and was pleased to see that they had gotten a lot of roots.  It appears that they did a good job.  The results will be evident when the lakes survey is done. 
The committee also spent some time skimming the surface of all three lakes.  Unfortunately, they came away with quite a bit of material in Tuxedo Lake but there was very little material in Pond #3 and almost none at all in the Wee Wah.  The Committee is hopeful that this will mean that the Wee Wah may have shifted into maintenance mode.  Tuxedo Lake will need quite a bit of work down the road.  Mr. Hays cautioned that it would be important for the Village to plan ahead and make decisions regarding next summer in the late fall/early winter. 

Appointment of New Planning Board Member:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Jay Reichgott to the Planning Board to fill the seat recently vacated by Peter Regna.  Mr. Reichgott’s term will expire in 6/24.

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
There was none

Public Comments:
Regarding the  milfoil pulling, Joann Hanson commenting that she felt there would be a certain logic to concentrating the efforts around the Boat Houses, noting that she frequently sculled and could see that boat traffic was churning up the milfoil and spreading it around.
John Ledwith reported that he had received a call from Bonny Takeuchi, informing him that they were almost finished with clean up for the season at the Beach Club.  She further advised him that the wooden playset is in disrepair and is likely unsafe for play, so the Village might want to consider partitioning it off for the winter.
Trustee McHugh noted that there was already caution tape and signage there that had been provided by the Beach Club.

New Business:
Garbage Bids – The Village voted unanimously in favor of accepting the 1 bid received for the Garbage Contract from Sterling Carting in the amount of $14,490 a month.  This represents roughly an 11% increase.   There was a brief discussion as to how this would be afforded being that the increase had not been budgeted for.  It was agreed that the funds would have to come out of the un-appropriated surplus. 
Present Responses to Conditions in the Village Booth Project Resolution/Sign and Authorize Schnabel Professional Services Agreement for Booth Project – There was a lengthy debate regarding responses to conditions in the Village Booth project resolution.  Most of the debate centered around the condition that all of the police systems currently located in the Keep must be duplicated in the Booth so that there are redundant systems in both places and whether or not this expense should be considered part of the budget for the booth project.  (Funding for the construction and installation of the booth has been predominantly raised through donations from private residents, however replacing all of the police equipment has not been funded or budgeted for)
To listen to this discussion, click here.

New Business:
Resolution – SCAR Proceedings Authorization – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Trustee McHugh to represent the Board of Assessment Review in a Scar Hearing to take place on September 26.
Schnabel – Stop Logs – Divers – Engineering Oversight: When Mcnamee finished out the Wee Wah Dam construction they dropped debris into the spillway and as per the DEC it must be cleared out.  This work will need to be performed by divers and it is recommended that the Village use Seaway, as they have already been extensively involved with the project.  At the same time, they will install new, aluminum stop-logs (the current stop-logs are steel, very heavy and incredibly hard to maneuver.  Additionally, some of them were damaged during construction and require replacement) as advised by Schnabel Engineering in their recent proposal at a cost not to exceed $4,500.  Schnabel will design  and install the new stop-logs.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of this action.  Additionally, they unanimously approved engineering oversight fees of $9.800.   There are enough funds left in the dam budget to cover this expense.
Announcement – Bulk Trash Pickup – Saturday, October 19 – Bulk trash pickup in the Village will take place on Saturday, October 19.  Items must be curbside by 7am.

Goose Hunting: It is goose-hunting season.  The Village code allows property owners to shoot geese on their own property.  Mayor McFadden inquired as to what the Trustees thought about allowing approved individuals to shoot on Village owned property, namely at the Wee Wah Beach Club.  This was discussed at some length.  Goose poop in the Village lakes has become more and more of a problem over the past several years.
Trustee McHugh suggested that the Village had hired the lakes manager to look at various factors and analyze the lakes.  He suggested that rather than to move forward with a piece-meal effort, they should consider all of the issues and come up with a broader plan as to how to deal with everything.  There has been no public notice and he is not a fan of people shooting off shotguns on public property.  Following further discussion it was determined that they would not move forward with authorizing shooting on Village property.

Public Comment:
Sally Sonne commented that the Village trails were in better shape than ever before with all fallen trees having been cleared, brush cut back and wood chips laid.  Maps are available in the Village Office.  She encouraged residents to get out there and enjoy the trails!

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Agenda For Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 18, 2019

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Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 17, 2019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meetings September 11, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday, September 11 at 7pm the purposes of discussing the proposed traffic booth project and approving the parapet wall expansion joint caulking proposal. all members were present.

A lengthy discussion/debate concerning various aspects of the traffic booth project occurred. Click here to listen to a recording.

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Notice & Agenda for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting September 11

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Village Board Of Trustees Meetings Auguat 21

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, August 21 at 7pm.  All members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
After welcoming everyone, Mayor McFadden commented that he was looking forward to a productive meeting.  Specifically, he expressed excitement that his responses to last week’s booth project resolution would be reviewed by the Board.  “The sooner these requirements are met, the sooner we will improve Park security and move one step closer to community inclusive policing.”  He went on to note that at the Board’s request he would be presenting responses to items A-L for an “up or down” vote and that printed copies of these response were available in the back of the room for audience members to follow along.

Departmental Reports:
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss was not present and therefore his report was skipped.  Trustee McHugh noted that the department had been busy with milling and paving various roadways throughout the Village.
Police- Officer Dan Sutherland reported the following for the month of July:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 369
Criminal Complaints – 1 (closed by investigation)
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 2 (property damage only)
Traffic Tickets Issued – 23
Fire Alarms – 6
Intrusion Alarms – 4
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Given to other outside agencies – 4
Miles Patrolled- 2,487
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate each day.
Mayor McFadden mentioned that he had recently received a card in his mailbox that had clearly been stuffed there by hand and that further, one had been stuffed in almost every mailbox in the Village.  Clearly, somebody was been able to gain access to the Park and circulate this mailing.  He further commented that he would pass the mailer along to the Police tomorrow along with the date it was received and the time frame during which it had been circulated in hopes that they could revisit the video tapes and attempt determine who was responsible and how they had gained access to the Village.
Building Department – Click here to view the Building Department Report for the month of August.
Trustee McHugh asked Mr. Ledwith to provide an update with regard to the dataloggers.
Mr. Ledwith explained that the referenced dataloggers were part of a technology that the Village was trying to use to help them locate leaks within the water system.  Essentially censors are laid out throughout the distribution system and they triangulate between each other to locate where leaks will occur.  The dataloggers transmit the information up to the cloud and then report back as to what they hear and what the various distances are so that the leaks can in turn be located.  There has been some difficulty utilizing the censors in the Village due to inadequate cell signals.  They attempted to use two of the dataloggers in the Town on two different ends of a line that runs under the railroad tracks and the Ramapo, and while they were receiving some signals, they were not strong enough for them to locate leaks.  Ultimately it was determined that the censors were faulty and the company responsible has taken them away and will return in two weeks to try again.  To date, the Village has not incurred any expense for these services.
Building Dept. Resolution – Return CC Road’s Performance Bond – Villa Inna Project Complete-
As the Villa Inna Project has been completed and a Certificate of Occupancy issued, it is the recommendation of the Building Inspector that the Performance Bond, in the amount of $354,428 be returned.  Following some minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of returning the bond as recommended. 

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Board attorney Brian Nugent reported the Following:
Madden Vs. The Village - this is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument.  To date billing is $18,000 and there are no additional costs.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback – This is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  The Village is represented by an attorney assigned by the insurance carrier, as it is covered.  An answer to the complaint has been served and the court has scheduled an initial discovery conference on September 6, 2019.
People Vs. Zgonena – This is a Justice Court matter.  There was a motion filed by Mr. Zgonena on July 24 to vacate the prior judgment.  In accordance with a related Federal Court stipulation, the Village only submitted papers indicating that it took no position on that motion.  This matter is pending. 

Trustee Reports:
Garbage/Recycling Contract – Following some brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of putting the garbage/recycling contract out to bid, with an opening date of 9/17/19.

Committee Reports:
With regard to the Lakes, Trustee McHugh reported that a Cutrine Plus treatment had been applied to Pond #3 on Friday, August 16.  This was followed by a 24-hour swimming restriction.  Since that time, the clarity of the water in Pond #3 has increased by 50%.
Oneonta has been in the Village putting together a fish study, the formal results of which will be issued in September.  In the interim, Trustee McHugh reported that they had caught between 300-400 fish including both large and small-mouth bass, raw bass, 3 species of Sun Fish, Yellow Perch and Common Carp.  There is some nice diversity in the near shore fish community.  The lake has markings of good warm water fishery.  They cannot say a lot about cold-water fishery because the trout are deeper.  There are a lot of sunfish.  It was noted that a year or two’s class of large mouth bass are missing from a few years back.  There are a lot of bass less than 15 inches and many larger, but nothing in the middle.  Oneonta will be developing recommendations which they will present to the Lake’s Manager with regard whether the Village should be stocking the lake and if so with what.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not the system Oneonta was using only explored a limited depth of water, meaning that the results would not show what exists in the deeper spots. 
Trustee McHugh confirmed that this was true. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Coen reported that she had spoken with Town Supervisor Mike Rost, who was wondering whether the Village might consider connecting to the new sewer plant in Town, should they elect to bring it online sooner than originally planned.  Trustee Gluck pointed out that this had been explored previously and that there were a number of substantial engineering obstacles, which could make it quite difficult to pursue, but he agreed to look at it again to more specifically determine the associated pros and cons.
Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that the week previous there had been a meeting at the library to discuss the new early voting laws.  The State of New York has changed the primary dates and has also added 9 early voting dates.  Click here for more information.  Tuxedo residents who wish to vote early must do so at the Warwick Town Hall.  Additionally, some changes have been made to the absentee ballot application, but as they constitute a change to State constitution, they will be a part of the referendum for two years.
With regard to the consolidation, Mrs. Lindsay reported that the Town Board was currently discussion how the government would be run moving forward.  It is anticipated that things will remain as they are now.  They have to formally adopt a consolidation plan and this will be followed by public hearings.  All of this should be completed by the end of the year.
Trustee McHugh inquired about the Related Companies and the Status of the Tuxedo Farms project.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that they continued to bring fill onto the property and had recently received a 1-year extension on their filling and grading permit for the East Terrace section of the Development. 
Trustee Coen wondered if they were actually going to continue with the project as originally planned and Mrs. Lindsay replied that they were continuing with the filling and grading. 
Mayor McFadden inquired about a recent communication he had received from the Town regarding changes to the Planning Board.
Mrs. Lindsay explained that in 2017 the Town had officially added 2 members to the Planning Board, bringing the total number of members up to 7.  The terms for the 2 new members, along with one of the pre-existing members, are set to expire at the end of 2019.  This Board finds it unacceptable to have three terms expiring at one time and therefore they are changing the terms around. 
Public Comments:
Lili Neuhauser commented that she periodically drove around Tuxedo Lake and that she had been increasingly finding that “things don’t look as tidy as they ought to.”  She feels it behooves the Village to present themselves with their best foot forward when it comes to properties and things that can be viewed from the road such as crumbling walls (there is a brick wall on East Lake Road that has been in bad shape for over a year.)  It is not her intent to gang up on any homeowners, but there are issues with a wall on Mountain Farm Road; Club House Road is a chronic issue and there are pods and trailers scattered all around.  There are actually trailers in the Village Office parking lot.  “What are we running…a boat house or a Village Office?”  She understands that it is a difficult situation because the code is not always specific and that folks tended to blow off these types of concerns, but all the same she wanted to bring it up.
Mayor McFadden replied that the Village was up against residents who were not aware of the code.  There is in fact mention of boat trailers in the Village Code.  Regarding walls along the roadways, there was always the issue of the original plot of land and who owns it…the Village or the property owner and these often become battles.  That being said, he is aware of conversations between the Village and residents who are out of compliance and in fact there are several court cases pending relating to these types of issues. 
Trustee McHugh added that the Village took these things very seriously and that they currently had two arrest warrants out for residents for disregarding property violations and flagrantly refusing to come to court.  The problem lies with getting residents to take things as seriously as the Village does. 
The Mayor reiterated that the Village was aware of the issue.  He thanked Mrs. Neuhauser for bringing it up and reassured her that they would continue to do the best they could to get on top of it. 
JoAnn Hanson read into the record a letter from the Planning Board, commending Peter Regna, who recently retired from the Planning Board, for his years of service to the Village.  Mr. Regna first joined the BAR back in 1977 and subsequently served on the Planning Board.  A copy of this letter can be viewed here.

Old Business:
Resolution – Overton – The Board unanimously approved two resolutions pertaining to the Overton Subdivision.  The first officially adopted the Findings Statement as approved by the Planning Board as part of the SEQR process.  The second authorized Mayor McFadden to sign I & I /community benefit agreement. 
Resolution – Approve Booth Drafter – As part of his continuing work on the traffic booth project, the Mayor has put together a diagram demonstrating that the police equipment currently housed in the Keep will fit into the new traffic booth.  The next step in the process is to hire a professional drafter to take this diagram and create official working construction documents to be encompassed into the overall plans.  As per the Village procurement policy, Mayor McFadden collected 3 quotes for this service and ultimately chose the least expensive professional who will charge a rate of $45 per hour, for a total cost not to exceed $800.  Following some discussion and debate pertaining to the diagrams as presented by the Mayor, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the drafting services as proposed.
Resolutions – Responses A-L to Booth Resolution Passed on 8/14/2019:
As stated during his opening remarks, the Mayor presented the Board with responses to sections A-L of the Booth Resolution, which was adopted on 8/14.
These can be viewed here.
LETTER A RESPONSE
LETTER B RESPONSE
LETTER C RESPONSE
LETTER D RESPONSE
LETTER E & G RESPONSE
LETTER F RESPONSE
LETTER H RESPONSE
LETTER I RESPONSE
LETTER J RESPONSE
LETTER K RESPONSE
LETTER L RESPONSE
The responses and subsequent proposed resolutions were discussed and debated at some length.  Click here to listen to recording of these discussions.
Discussion of Village Boat Club Informal Non-Binding BAR Review; Racetrack Landscaping Project Informal Non-Binding BAR Review; v. Booth Project Formal Non-Binding BAR Review; and Flagpole Projects’ Lack of BAR Review:  Mayor McFadden opened the discussion by expressing his concern over the consistency of what is being required for these types of projects.  The Booth application is being treated like a home, with rigorous BAR attention. He spent some time researching the Racetrack landscaping project and discovered that they had only had an informal review.  Chiu Yin Hempel gave a brief presentation to the BAR and this was greeted with informal, constructive feedback.  There was no official approval process for this project.  The landscape architect was not required to present to the BAR and there was no SEQR, even though the Racetrack is a registered wetlands.   The Mayor wondered whether or not they wanted to reverse their opinion that these kinds of projects would receive informal reviews by the BAR, or if they wanted to require them all to have formal reviews, which is what has happened with the Booth.  This would involve brining the TAB back before the BAR so that the project can receive formal approval and further that a stop work order be placed on the project until that process has occurred. 
Trustee Coen requested that this be discussed in executive session as she wanted to receive advice from the Mr. Nugent as to the legal ramifications. 
Trustee Barnett agreed with this. 
Moving on to the Village Boat Club, the Mayor suggested that there were no existing BAR minutes pertaining to the Village Boat Club dating back to 2001.
Trustee Gluck suggested that there was a discrepancy here because if one looked at TPFYI, they would see that in either 2015 or 2016 the Village Boat Club had appeared before the BAR.
The Mayor responded that he had searched TPFYI and had not come up with anything.  There might be references to a BAR review, but nothing in the minutes.  Besides, the point is to determine whether any such review was formal or informal in order to ensure that there is consistency.  The Booth is required to receive a formal review, while these other projects on Village property, which require SEQR and other “very serious things” had informal reviews if at all. 
Moving on to the flagpole, Mayor McFadden suggested that this should have been given a review, however there was no BAR review for the flagpole formal or informal.  “I guess the option that we can discuss is whether we believe in this consistence issue.  At the last meeting we discussed a precedent going forward but we didn’t consider recent projects that never got BAR approval like the Racetrack and the Flagpole.”
Acknowledging that the Mayor had spent quite a bit of time researching these suggested infractions, Trustee Coen stated that she believed there was a distinction that could be made, but reiterated her desire to receive council from their attorney in an executive session. 
Mayor McFadden was agreeable to this.  He further pointed out that the flagpole expenditure had never been approved by the Board, nor did they have an opportunity to review the various quotes that had been obtained.  He suggested that they should make a retroactive resolution to approve the expenditure, similar to what they had done last week with the architect who stamped the Booth drawings.
Trustee McHugh responded that the flagpole had been paid for using the police budget.  3 quotes were obtained and 4 trustees signed off on the voucher. 
Mayor McFadden argued that there had only been quotes.
Trustee McHugh pointed out that the procurement policy required 2 written quotes and 1 verbal quote for expenditures under $2,000 and this is what had been obtained.  

New Business:
Sexual Harassment Training – All Village employees, Board members and consultants are required to undergo sexual harassment training.  The training is web-based and consists of viewing a 45-minute video and must be completed by October 9, 2019.  Additionally, as a part of the training the Village must provide trainees with an email linking them to the Village Attorney in case they have any subsequent questions or concerns and requiring them to certify that they have viewed the required videos.  Videos can either be accessed from the trainee’s home computer or a computer in the Village Office. It was agreed that the training should take place during the course of the normal workday and that overtime would not be afforded.

Public Comment:
Meg Vaught commented that while the Board had been discussing the sexual harassment training, she had revisited the BAR archives on the TPFYI website and determined that the Village Boat Club had appeared before the BAR twice in 2015 for their boat dock extension having received approval in May of that year, conditional upon the subsequent approval of the BOT.  The report did not indicate whether the review had been formal or informal.
The Board thanked Mrs. Vaught for this information. 

Following the approval of minutes, the Board adjourned into an executive session to discuss the employment of a particular person, Police Chief candidates, BAR Executive Session of 8/15/19 and to receive advice from council. 

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Agenda Village Board Of Trustees Meetings Auguat 21

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Notice for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meetings Auguat 20, 22 & 262019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting Auguat 14 2019

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday, August 14 at 7pm.  All Board members were present.

Mayor’s Comments:
After welcoming everyone to the meeting, Mayor McFadden turned things over to Trustee Coen for an update on the Police Chief Search.  Trustee Coen subsequently reported that to date 6 candidates have each completed two rounds of interviews for the position.  The committee is now working to develop a “short list” of candidates and expects to make a decision sometime within the next 2-3 weeks.

Police Co-Liaison:
Mayor McFadden noted that the current system of co-liaisons to the Police Department with Trustees McHugh and Barnett was working nicely. However, while he does not anticipate the need to make a change, he would like to have the flexibility to make a change after the new Chief is hired.  He suggested appointing Trustee McHugh to the role provisionally that evening and then at the next meeting, changing Trustee Barnett’s appointment to provisional as well.   Once the new Chief has been in place for several months, they can evaluate the chemistry, see if things are working and should the Mayor feel a change needs to be made, he would address it with the Board at that time. 
Trustee McHugh recommended that they change nothing for the time being as things were working well.  Once the new Chief has been appointed they can make a determination should a change be necessary.
Following minimal discussion, it was agreed that they would follow Trustee McHugh’s recommendation. 

Pristine Waters – DASH Harvesting: 
Trustee Gluck reported that primarily due to the “efforts and good graces” of resident Elizabeth Cotnoir and the Lakes Committee, the Dash Harvester has dramatically reduced their pricing while coming up with a reduced scope of work.  The Village will now be able to move forward with a program of DASH harvesting in Pond #3, the recommended selective areas of DASH harvesting in Tuxedo Lakes (by the Club docks and the Village Boat Club) and also take care of a small amount of Eurasian Water Milfoil that is in the Wee Wah for a 10-day pricing of roughly $20,160.  The pricing for herbicide was only slightly less.  The only “wrinkle” in the plan, so to speak, is that the 10-day time period the Village has been allotted, 823-9/7, spills over onto a Saturday.  Trustee Gluck proposed that this be the day the harvesters work in the Wee Wah so as not to interfere with any recreational activities. Trustee McHugh added that the Milfoil in the Wee Wah was located north of the DPW property, so the harvesting in that area would not effect recreational enjoyment of the Wee Wah Beach Club.
Mayor McFadden asked specifically which areas were going to be covered by the DASH harvesting.
Trustee McHugh responded there were 2½ acres in Pond #3, a “very localized” area in the Wee Wah South of where Brook Road comes in (1½ acres) and in Tuxedo Lake they will addressing areas where there are currently severe infestations in order to reduce the fragmentation and provocation from boat traffic coming in and out.
“So, in fact, the chemical price we got would have not applied apples and apples to what we are doing on the Main Lake or in the Wee Wah because we are not contemplating using chemicals there,” commented the Mayor.
Trustee McHugh responded that they have never considered using chemicals in Tuxedo Lake and with regard to the Wee Wah, they had submitted a permit to use Procellacore both there and on Pond #3, however their discussions had pertained mainly to it’s use in Pond $3 and were never seriously focused on the Wee Wah.
Mayor McFadden next wanted to know if the Lake’s Manager had recommended the company that would be doing the diving.  The answer was no.  The Lakes Committee was instrumental in finding the divers.
Finally, the Mayor inquired about the status of the fish survey.  Trustee McHugh responded that this work had started earlier that day.
The Board then voted unanimously in favor of approving Pristine Water’s proposal for 10 days of DASH harvesting in all 3 Village lakes at a cost of $20,160 and authorizing Trustee McHugh to sign the contract.

Resolution: Appoint Attorney for BZA:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Alyse Terhune as attorney to the BZA.

Resolution – BZA Request to Change Meetings from 4th Thursday to 1st Wednesday of the Month:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of granting the BZA request to change their meetings from the 4th Thursday to the 1st Wednesday of the month.

Resolution – Approve Hiring of Booth Architect and Fee:
Mayor McFadden stated that following the previous meeting of the Board it had been suggested that an Architect be obtained for the purpose of reviewing the booth drawings and issuing both a signature and a stamp.  The Mayor “unintentionally and inappropriately “ took it upon himself to contact an architect, send him the plans and obtain the necessary signature and seal without first obtaining Board approval to do so.    He then apologized to both the Board and the public for having taken those actions.  He has since asked the Village Attorney how they can rectify the situation and has been offered a retroactive solution.
When asked, Trustee McHugh expressed some concern over the retroactive plan, commenting that the Village had recently been audited by the comptroller and found deficient.  Further the Village has hired a Lakes Manager, Bond Council and a Grant Writer, all of which are professional services, by complying with the procurement policy, which requires 3 bids.  They did not vote in favor of collecting the bids and he feels that doing something after-the-fact is disingenuous. 
Trustee Coen commented that she understood that mistakes happen and she did not have an issue with adopting a retroactive solution.
Trustee Gluck commented that something similar had occurred with the Trails Committee.  He understands that the actions were not badly intentioned but he suggested that the Village recognize, with some level of formality, in the resolution that the action had not complied with the procurement policy and that the policy would be followed in the future.
Trustee Barnett stated that assuming there were no further legal issues, he agreed with Trustee Gluck.
Trustee Coen then offered a couple of suggestions pertaining to the resolution focused on how they could make things compliant in terms of waiving the need for an RFP and also clearly indicating where in the budget the money for the services would come from.
Following some further discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the resolution.
The Mayor reiterated then thanked the Board for helping him to resolve his error and the public for their understanding of the situation. 

Resolution – Booth Project:
A resolution focused on the Booth Project and various conditions that must be satisfied before it can move forward was then presented and discussed at length by the Trustees.  There was some disagreement with regard to the proposed conditions.  To listen to the discussion in its entirety, click here.

Ultimately, it was determined that the Board would need to enter an executive session in order to receive advice from council before they could vote on the resolution.

Following the executive session, the Board voted 4-1 in favor of adopting the resolution, with Trustee McHugh voting against.    To view a copy of the resolution as adopted, click here.

Public Comments:
Elizabeth Cotnoir commented that she had received a call earlier in the day alerting her to the fact that Cutrine Plus would be applied to Pond #3 on Friday August 16.  She understands from having attending the previous special meeting that because there had existed the potential of utilizing Procellacor, the Cutrine Plus treatment needed to be pushed forward because it had to be done two weeks in advance of a Procellacor application.   Now that the Village has decided not to use Procellacor, she wondered if they would also consider not using Cutrine Plus as the weather has been cooler and there has been quite a bit of rain.  She suggested that perhaps there was a way to avoid the treatment and conserve the money for usage towards the other lakes projects.  She further inquired as to how the Cutrine Plus would work and more specifically, how it moved through the water.  She understands that there is a 24-hour window after the treatment when swimming is prohibited.  The treatment is currently scheduled for first thing Friday morning and she expressed concern over the ability for people to swim in the Wee Wah on Saturday, which seems a little “too close for comfort” to her.  She wondered whether or not the water in Pond #3 could be contained following the treatment, so that it would not flow into the Wee Wah Lake.  Since the reasoning behind the Cutrine Plus treatment was originally a cosmetic/lesser-grade health issue (as described in the previous meeting) she further wondered if they might be able to push the treatment back by a few weeks until after the swimming season had ended.  She suggested that the Lakes Manager be consulted about this.
Trustee Gluck responded that they had consulted the Lakes Manager and that this had been their recommendation.
Ms. Cotnoir responded that this communication had taken place prior to the cold snap and that the Village had been seriously considering the use of Procellacor at that time as well. 
Trustee Gluck replied that they had not pushed the Cutrine Plus treatment forward rather they had potentially pushed the Procellacor treatment back.  He further commented that it had been the recommendation of the Lakes Manager after taking a sample that the Village should do the Cutrine Plus treatment as there was some blue/green algae in the water.  Solitude will assess the lake again prior to treatment.
“Can the Lake Manager do the assessment rather than Solitude?” inquired Ms. Cotnoir.  “Because it’s like having a salesman test and then sell you the product they want you to use.”
“If the assessment was that there was no need to treat it now,” responded Trustee Gluck, “then we wouldn’t treat it,  but that is not what the assessment is.  Has it changed?  I don’t know.”
Trustee McHugh commented that the answer to that question was no.  Solitude had been in the Village the day prior and taken another sample but the visual assessment of the water body was that it did need to be treated. “We are not jumping up and down to have to do it, but the recommendations that we have gotten from the Lake Manager have been supportive of treating it.”
Howard Shore inquired as to what we would be done to prevent the treated water from spilling over into the Wee Wah.
Trustee McHugh replied that they could not drain the lake to reduce the flow.  That being said, the flow levels are extremely small.  “The restrictions with regard to the DEC are pretty clear,” he said. “If the downstream water body, in their opinion, is not negatively being effected by this and that is their opinion.”
Ms. Cotnoir noted that the Wee Wah Beach Club had not been notified of the  with treatment and she wondered if the Village was required to notify them if kids were going to be swimming there on Friday and Saturday. 
“The permitting and the DEC notifications have no downstream from Pond #3 swimming restrictions,” replied Trustee Gluck.
Moving along to another issue, Ms. Cotnoir commented that her daughter had taken a Lyft home from the airport, accessing the Park via the South Gate.  When they reached the gate, it opened…..no questions asked, even though the vehicle did not have a resident sticker.  The driver was neither stopped nor questioned as to where he was going.
Mayor McFadden responded that they would make a note of this so that it could be addressed with the Police Department.

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Notice for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting Auguat 14 2019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting Auguat 6, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday, August 6 at 8am.  All members were present.


The first half of the meeting focused on the treatment of Pond #3 with herbicide to combat both algae and Eurasian Water Milfoil.  In brief, Village Lake Managers North Eastern Aquatic Research (N.E.A.R)  have recommended that all three lakes be treated for Eurasian Water Milfoil, either via Dash Harvesting (hand pulling) or use of the herbicide Procellacor.  There is a significant price different between the two treatments.  The Village Lakes Committee has advised that in their view chemicals should only be used as a last resort and they would like to see the Village move ahead with the Dash Harvesting if at all possible.  There may be some flexibility in the harvesting estimate that was provided.  A decision needs to be made very soon either way as the Village must either secure divers for the harvesting or move forward with the herbicide in order to comply with the timeline of their existing permit.
Simultaneous to the E.W.M. in pond #3, last week’s CSLAP testing showed elevated levels of algae in that body of water and while these are not of eminent concern, it has been advised that the Village proactively treat the water with Cutrine Plus, which is a copper based algaecide similar to the Copper Sulfate that has been used in the past.  The village must obtain a permit to administer this treatment and they have done so.  Residents living on Pond #3 will be notified 7 days prior to the treatment and there is to be no swimming for 48 hours afterwards.  
There was some concern and subsequent discussion as to whether or not the Village has the ability to close the dam between Pond #3 and the Wee Wah in order to keep the treated water from passing between lakes following treatments.  
Ultimately the Board voted unanimously in favor of the Cutrine Plus treatment and the neighbors will be given a 7 day notification.  The BOT will utilize this 7 day period to gain further granularity on the dash harvesting estimate and hopefully negotiate the price down. A special meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 14 at 7pm, at which time they plan to render a decision. 

The entirety of this discussion can be heard by clicking here.

The second half of the meeting was centered around the Traffic Booth Survey.  Despite the results of the recent survey, two of the Trustees have reservations about moving ahead with the project.  There was a lengthy discussion, during the course of which each Trustee expressed their views.  Ultimately, it was agreed that a resolution for approval, to be conditioned upon a number of items as discussed, would be drafted and presented at the Special Meeting on August 14 for a vote.

To listen to the booth discussion, click here

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Notice for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting Auguat 6, 2019

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Board Of Trustees Meeting July 17, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, July 17 at 6:45 pm for their annual reorganization meeting, followed directly by the regular monthly meeting.  Trustee Coen was 10 minutes late.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden began the meeting by commenting that he was quite pleased with the Village turnout for the July 16 town-wide consolidation referendum, which passed overwhelmingly. 

Reorganization Meeting:
Following a brief discussion and minimal changes, the Board voted in favor of adopting the reorganization document.  Trustee Coen abstained from the vote as she arrived after the discussion had taken place.
The document can be viewed here.

Following a 5-minute break, the regular monthly meeting commenced at 7pm with all Board members present.

Report – Overton Subdivision:
The Overton Subdivision is a project consisting of 9 buildable lots to be located on both Mountain Farm and Camp Comfort Roads near the Tuxedo Park School.  The project has been before the Village Planning Board for more than 10 years and is finally nearing approval.  Once the application has received Planning Board approval, the Board of Trustees will also need to issue some approvals before the project can move forward.  Planning Board Attorney Rick Golden was called upon to outline what would be required of the BOT.  With respect to water, the BOT must issue a permit allowing Overton to connect to what the Village considers to be a lateral, but the DEC considers to be an extension.  The permit will allow the connection of three lots to the Tuxedo Park School private water line.  Secondly, the BOT must approve and connection of any of the lots in the subdivision to the water system.  Pertaining to sewer, the BOT must issue a special permission to allow the connection of the same three lots to the Tuxedo Park School private sewer line.  There is an issue with these three lots as well as two others in that the DEC considers these five lots to be extensions and there is currently a DEC moratorium on extensions.  However, the DEC has said that if the Village performs certain mitigation, they will allow the lots to be connected.  In order for this to happen, the BOT must approve an agreement with Overton stating that the Village will take the responsibility for doing the I&I work, but Overton will finance it in its entirety and further they will take responsibility for doing whatever is necessary to satisfy the DECs moratorium for the project to move forward.   A part of the agreement will indicate that instead of having recreation fees determined and assessed by the Planning Board, Overton will donate to the Village (in a general way) $13,500.  Before any of these permits can be granted, SEQRA must be completed.  The Planning Board is the Lead Agency for this application and they anticipate completing the process soon.  At the conclusion of the process, they will adopt a Findings Statement.  The BOT must also file their own Findings Statement before they can approve anything.  Mr. Golden Advised that the BOT could either fashion their own statement or they could simply adopt the one that has been adopted by the Planning Board, which is what most legislative bodies do when they are involved in this kind of thing.  (The Findings Statement addresses how to mitigate all the potential environmental impacts of the project.)
Representatives from Overton then gave a presentation, generally outlining the project for both the BOT and the public.  As previously mentioned, the subdivision consists of 9 lots, which essentially form a U shape around the Tuxedo Park School.  Five of the lots will be serviced by a private access road.  These lots range in size from 4 to 7 acres.  Two of lots will have independent driveways off of Camp Comfort Road.   The two remaining lots will be fed from an existing access drive coming off of Mountain Farm Road.  A utility map was presented and briefly reviewed.  The project has been through intense review, with extensive focus on sewer and water.  The project is not expected to adversely effect water pressure.  Each house will have its’ own water system and pump system in order to avoid excessive demand on the existing Village system, especially during peek hours.  The five required extensions have also been looked at extensively. 
A Q & A with the public ensued.
John Boyle inquired about the impacts of the project on the existing residents of Camp Comfort Road in terms of water.  He further commented that construction that has already occurred in that area has had adverse impacts over time and that although not consistently, the water has turned brown.
Overton responded that in terms of potential construction impacts, one of the mitigation efforts that has been considered by the Planning Board as part of their findings is restricting the applicant to two building permits a year. 
Planning Board Chair JoAnn Hanson reiterated that there had been an extensive environmental review, spanning almost 10 years, which addressed issues such as construction, water, sewer, traffic, etc.  They have restricted the applicant to two construction projects at a time and additionally, the applicant will have an obligation to repair the roadways in the area if necessary.  There have also been extensive engineering studies relating to water pressure in order to ensure it would not be adversely affected.
Rick Golden interjected  that the Village Engineer had reviewed the plan and believed that it would work without causing any issues to the existing water system, such as discoloration of the water.  Trustee Gluck added that all of this information was available to the public as part of the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) which is posted on the Village website.
Howard Shore commented that he owned property on Camp Comfort Road as well as Patterson Brook Road, which is located directly below Camp Comfort.  The one home that was recently built on this particular ridgeline impacted him adversely in terms of noise for two to three years.  He was unable to use the properties because of constant pounding.  He noted that various environmental impacts were being discussed, but that nobody had mentioned noise.  He also expressed concern that by only allowing 2 projects a year, the “agony” of having to listen to the construction would be extended.   In his view, the best thing to do would be to build fewer houses as quickly as possible.
There followed a discussion with regard to rock chipping that occurred on another project in that area, which was likely the cause of the disturbance that caused the discoloration of the water.  Mayor McFadden stated that it had been agreed that nothing like this would ever be allowed to happen again.  Chair Hanson added that it was important that folks realize that each individual home that is constructed as a part of the subdivision will have to come back before the Planning Board as well as the Board of Architectural Review for approval.  Construction will only occur as the lots are sold.  She reiterated that everyone was aware that they could not allow a repeat of what had occurred with the extended chipping.  
Elizabeth Cotnoir inquired about the condition of the lots at time of sale and whether they would be clear-cut with access road and driveways built.
Mr. Golden responded that there would be no land disturbance in terms of clear-cutting or access roads prior to the sale.  When the first lot comes before the Planning Board for site plan review, Overton will have to put in the necessary infrastructure to service the lot.
An audience member inquired as to how much total acreage would be affected by the project.
The answer was that the project covers 67 acres in total, however only 11 acres of disturbance is anticipated.
In closing, Mr. Golden stated that it is anticipated that the Findings Statement will be finalized on July 23 and the project approved by the Planning Board on August 7.  After receiving Planning Board approval, the applicant will come before the BOT for the approvals as outlined.

Department Reports:
Police – Officer Sutherland reported the following for the month of June:
Criminal Complaints – 1 (1 open/1 closed by investigation)
Non-Criminal Complaints – 387
Property Damage Complaints – 4
Arrests – 5
Traffic Tickets – 28
Traffic Warnings – 1
Medical Calls – 2
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Fire Alarms – 2
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,366
Additionally, roughly 1,300 cars per day entered the Village via the Front Gate.

On July 1 there was a bear complaint at 157 Tower Hill Road and rubber bullets were used to hustle the bear off the property. Aside from this incident, no weapons were discharged during the month of June.
DPW – On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Voss reported that road resurfacing and paving on 5 roads as previously reported would take place between August 19 and 22. The Department has been busy cutting back brush at intersections and adding stop bars in various locations.  A new gutter system for roof drains at the water department was also installed and this will prevent that water from entering the sewer system.  A representative from West Tech, the company that manufactures the filters used at the water plant, spent the better part of two days looking things over for efficiency.  Preliminary feedback was positive and a written report reflecting this is expected next week.
Meg Vaught inquired about a section of the causeway near to the Boathouse where the road is eroding and the hillside is steep.  She wondered if anything would be done about this.
Superintendent Voss responded that he would take a look at it the following day.
Secondly, Mrs. Vaught inquired as to whether or not there were any plans to weed whack the Ridge Road Triangle in the near future.  She recognized that this was likely not a top priority for the DPW, but further noted that it was quite overgrown and that she had recently seen neighbors undertaking some of the work themselves.
Again, Superintendent Voss responded that he would look into it ASAP.
Building & Capital – Click here to view a copy of the Building & Capital report.
Audrey Perry inquired about 456 West Lake Road.  The property has been uninhabited and in disrepair for years.  A tax service company, Core Logic, is paying the property taxes annually but they will not release the name of the property owner to the Village.  During a previous discussion, the Board had suggested that they would go ahead and clean up the problem and then bill the property owner back via the tax roll.  Following some discussion with Board Attorney Brian Nugent, it was agreed that the Village would get quotes to hire a landscaper who would in turn clean up the property and that the Village would bill back the property owner for this work via taxes.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
There is no new litigation.  Pending is:
 Madden Vs. The Village, which is an article 78 concerning a freedom of information request.  The Village prevailed in April of 2018 on this case and Mr. Madden subsequently appealed and they are still awaiting an oral argument.  There are not additional costs.
Yaknowitz Vs. Tayback, which is a civil action brought for excessive force and false arrest.  The Village is represented by an attorney assigned by the insurance carrier, as it is covered.  An answer to the complaint has been served and the court has scheduled an initial discovery conference on September 6.  At time disclosure will be served and the matter should move along more quickly. 

Trustee Reports:
Garbage/Recycling – Trustee Barnett recommended that the Village go out to bid with the same contract, which has been received and reviewed by himself as well as Trustee Gluck and the Mayor.  Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that the attorney would revise the bid document and share this with the Board for their approval prior to initiating the bid process.
Lakes – NEAR recommendations – Trustee McHugh reported that the Village is in receipt of the recommendations from NEAR.   Dash harvesting has been recommended for both Tuxedo Lake and Wee Wah Lake.  With regard to Pond #3, they are recommending the Village use either Dash Harvesting or the herbicide ProcellaCOR.  The Village is in the process of collecting pricing and looking into availability of divers.  Unfortunately, many dive teams are already booked up, so scheduling has becoming problematic.  Once they have defined schedules and cost structures, there will be a special meeting with regard to addressing the issue and getting approval.
Village Office Administration – Trustee Barnett reported that he and Trustee McHugh had been working with Desiree Hickey to upgrade her function.  There are two objections: to relieve the Village Clerk of some of her duties and provide some backup in that regard and also to increase internal controls in order to satisfy fully the comptroller.  Mrs. Hickey has begun some work in this regard and will be doing more so in the coming months. 
Chief Search Update – Trustee Coen reported that to date the search committee has received 6 unsolicited resumes from potential candidates who have heard about the position and would like to be considered.  Additionally, the committee has developed a canvas letter, which they sent to the top three candidates on the Chief’s List.  Of the three letters they sent they received one response from a candidate who indicated that he was not interested in the position because of the posted salary level.  The other two have yet to respond.  The Board will next consider whether or not they should rewrite the canvas letter, which currently states that the Village is looking for a full-time chief at 30 hours per week for a salary of  $30,000 – 60,000.  The rationale for this salary is based on the amount a retired police chief can earn as well as what the Village is currently paying, but this may have to be revisited.  Based on the projected timeline, Trustee Coen suggested that the earliest the Village would be hiring a new Chief would likely be the end of August.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee – On behalf of the Lakes Committee Jim Hays commented that as far as the Lakes Committee was concerned although herbicides could be used if there was no other method that would work, in the case of Pond #3 and the Wee Wah, dash harvesting would work and therefore they would strongly recommend this method.  The differences in cost between herbicides and harvesting are unknown as of yet, but it will likely be a few thousand one way or another.  NEAR has presented ProcellaCOR as a choice, but is not making a strong case for its use.  ProcellaCOR is a relatively new herbicide, so whatever possible long-term negative effects it may have are unknown.  It may not have any negative effects, but they feel it is better to be safe than sorry.  On another note, Mr. Hays commented that he felt very strongly that a very aggressive approach to the milfoil is what is needed.  In his view, what has been recommended is not an aggressive approach.  In Pond #3, the focus is only on areas where there is a lot of milfoil, but why let the rest of it go and spread??  Things are also spreading in Tuxedo Lake.  He worries that every year that goes by where things are allowed to spread, remediation is going to cost much more down the road.
Mayor McFadden responded that he had conducted a survey of lake front property owners and the majority of them had been in favor of using chemicals and “get it over with” as quickly as possible.
My Hays responded that eradication would not happen that quickly.  Chemicals would need to be used for several years.  “By saying ‘get it over with’ you act as if the chemicals are more effective,” cautioned Mr. Hays, but this is not necessarily the case. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Trustee Gluck reported that the consolidation referendum had been overwhelmingly approved.  He also noted that residents may have noticed signage on South Gate Road indicating that road work would be occurring there from 7/25-9/3.  In actuality, the road will only be closed for 3 or 4 days at some point during this time period and while motorists may experience delays, the road will not be closed.  There ensued a brief discussion of the situation with the stalled Metra Construction project on Route 17 between Tuxedo and Sloastburg.  Mayor McFadden noted that this was now officially in the State’s hands.

Public Comments:
There were none.

Old Business:
Resolution to approve Gate Configuration Survey and closing date of July 31 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the Gate Configuration Survey, which will be distributed to residents electronically as well as via water bills.  Those residents who use wells, will receive the survey via “snail mail.”   The closing date for the survey will be July 31.  The Village clerk will be responsible for tallying the results.
Resolution setting date of Special Meeting to choose front gate configuration solution- The Board voted unanimously in favor of holding a special meeting on August 1 at 8am to determine which front gate configuration solution would be utilized.
O&R Response to Questions Regarding Major Upgrade for the Park- The Village recently had a meeting with O&R regarding the upcoming massive upgrade project The utility company raised some questions which are going to have a direct impact on their daily activities while working in the Village.  These were:
Does the Village Board care if O&R brings in a large crew to get the wire and pull-up rates faster or do they only want a small crew to limit road traffic?
With regard to tree trimming, should the Utility company contact the individual property owners or just the Building Inspector and DPW?
Can they use the North Gate by the sewer plant for access to the Village?  (They are attempting to obtain permission from the Town to use the ball field parking area for their equipment and material staging)
There is also a question of Police overtime, which will be inevitable, as detours will need to be set up and maintained. 
Trustee Gluck wondered how big of an operation would be involved?  30 trucks?  More?  Less?
Trustee Coen wondered about the timing for the project and was informed that it was tentatively scheduled to take place this coming fall. 
John Ledwith added that O & R would be going out to bid for some of the services that are needed, so they would need to communicate with their subs to find out how many crews they could get, etc.
Ultimately it was agreed that the questions would be tabled for the time being, allowing the trustees to further review and contribute additional questions.
Mr. Ledwith suggested that the magnitude of the project might not be as large as they were anticipating, but that he would follow up with O & R and felt that he could have answers for the Trustees by the end of the week. 
Mayor McFadden further requested that Mr. Ledwith attempt to solicit a plan from them, detailing which neighborhoods would be effected and when so that they could keep residents informed and people would not be caught off guard by the work.
Mr. Nugent further suggested that they find out exactly what will be expected in terms of Police involvement.
It was agreed that Mr. Ledwith would obtain the answers to these questions within the next week.  The magnitude of the project will in turn determine to what degree the Village needs to seek public input before moving forward.  Once they have the answers they are looking for, they will in turn be able answer O & R’s questions and make any necessary resolutions at their special meeting on August 1.

New Business:
Resolution to approve Wee Wah Beach Club Membership Request:
Wee Wah Beach Club Chair Bonny Takeuchi has written a letter to the Board seeking permission to admit a member to the Beach Club who currently reside outside of the permissible membership area (but still within the Town of Tuxedo.)  The family in question had been members of the club for over 50 years and one of the individuals served for many years on the club’s Executive Board.  The Club views this as a one-time exception. 
There followed a lengthy discussion.  Trustees Gluck and McHugh were concerned with the precedent that might be set by allowing a one-time exception.  The cautioned that creating exceptions to rules like this could lead to bad policy and that ultimately it was a slippery slope.  Trustee Coen agreed that it was slippery slope, however she felt that they could word things restrictively, identifying the specific qualifications for the exception so as to ensure that it would be a one-time thing.  Trustee Barnett and Mayor McFadden did not have any issues with making the exception.
Mr. Nugent advised that the contract already allowed for some exceptions in that first responders were allowed to join regardless of their address.  To this end, the slippery slope already exists.
The Board debated several options in terms of how the might word the exception in order to ensure that it would, in fact, be a one-time occurrence.
Ultimately, they voted unanimously in favor of allowing the exception. 
Additional Gate Arm Expense – Both the intercom system and mechanical portion of the Gate Arm at the front entrance were replaced.  There were some issues with the mechanical arm as the police were using one shared device for both the arm at the Main Gate and the arm at the South Gate.  This was causing a number of issues including delays with both gates as the officers were required to push a number of buttons in order to toggle back and forth between gates.  A second controller was ordered and installed at a cost of $1,558 including labor.   There remains a slight delay with the closing of the Main Gate Arm., but the situation with the button pushing has been alleviated.  The new intercom at the main gate is reportedly working well.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the $1,558 expenditure for the second controller. 
Village Employee Performance Review Templates- This issue was tabled, although the Mayor noted that he would like to review and approve the templates.
Invitation to Tuxedo Fire Department to use The Keep and Lodge for Practice Drill- The Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing the Tuxedo Fire Department to use the Keep and Lodge for a practice drill.  As an added bonus to the Village, they will remove the Christmas Lights from both buildings, which have been in place since 2016.

Public Comments:
There were none.

Minutes were approved and the Board adjourned into an executive session to discuss pending enforcement matters, matters relating to the employment of particular persons and pending litigation.

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Agenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting July 17, 2019

Click here to view the Reorganization agenda

Click here to view the meeting agenda

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting/Traffic Booth Q & A June 29, 2019

Click here to listen to this meeting

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Agenda for Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting/Traffic Booth Q &AJune 29, 2019

Click here to view the Notice

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Board of Trustees Meeting June 19, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.  Trustee McHugh was absent.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking the Village for their support in the recent elections, further commenting that he would do his best to always keep the best interest of the Village in mind.  He further expressed his gratitude to Village Clerk Debbie Matthews, Desiree Hickey and all of the other individuals who helped out with the election.  He added that not long after the results came in, he had received a congratulatory letter from resident David Dangor, who simultaneously donated $10,000 to the booth project as proposed by the Mayor.  He thanked Mr. Dangor for his generosity.

Departmental Reports:
Police – Chief Melchiorre reported the following for the month of May:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 399
Criminal Complaints – 5
Propery Damage Complaints – 1
Traffic Tickets – 20
Traffic Warnings – 1
Arrests – 4
Fire Calls – 5
Medical Calls – 8
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Assists Received from outside Agencies – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,756
Fire Arms Discharged – 0

Additionally, roughly 1,600 vehicles entered the Village per day via the Front Gate.

DPW – Superintendent Voss reported that he had received pricing for the milling, reclamation and resurfacing of several Village roads as discussed at the previous meeting.  Turtle Point Road, part of West Lake Road, Lookout Road, Club House Road, the back of Wee Wah Road and Tower Hill Loop will all be worked on. Club House Road will be milled down by 1+1/2 inches and then paved.  The back of Wee Wah Road will be ground up, graded, compacted and then paved.  The combined total of all this work will be $328,503.  $200,000 of this expense will be funded through the budget and the remaining $128,503 will be covered by escrow funds from the recent roads bond issuance.   Following some discussion the Board approved funding for this work in the form of two resolutions; one for the milling reclamation and resurfacing work and the other for straight up paving.
Next Superintendent Voss turned to the pumps at the Water Plant.  Following the installation of a new pump and motor, there was still some vibration in one of the pumps.  After taking apart the pump in question, they discovered it is in need of a new impeller assembly.  They attempted to switch the impeller out with another one, however vibration was still detected.  Therefore, the Superintendent is proposed that the Village purchase two new impeller assemblies for pumps 1 and 3 at a cost of $22,800 along with two seal kits for $1,750 for a combined total of $23,550.  Following some discussion, the Board unanimously approved this expense.
Finally, Superintendent Voss requested permission to hire Brandon Lebar as summer help for the DPW at a rate of $15 an hour.  This was also unanimously approved.
Mayor McFadden then commented that he had asked the Superintendent to take a look at the pipes, which run directly under the center island at the Front Gate where the proposed traffic booth would be installed, in order to ascertain whether or not it would be in the Village’s best interest to relocate the pipes should the project move forward.  The superintendent reported that there was an existing sewer main there and that he had used a camera to televise the line in order to determine whether or not it should be replaced prior to installation of the booth.  “We found the pipe in just as good shape as the day it was put in,” he stated.  “It doesn’t have to be replaced.”
Trustee Coen wondered what would be entailed should the situation change and the pipe became an issue down the line.
Superintendent Voss indicated that the pipe could be relined as an alternative to digging it up.  Ultimately, the line runs to the Town plant and is owned by the Town, so the Village would not be responsible for repairs.

Buildings & Capital-
Click here to read the construction report for the month of May.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to whether or not there had been any discussion with the Tuxedo Club with regard to replanting the hedge along the shoreline of the Lake by the Main Club House.  Building Inspector Ledwith indicated that this issue had been raised with the Club on several occasions.  Three years ago, the Club advised the Village that they would be presenting a Master Landscaping Plan for approval, although nothing has been presented to date.  The Mayor asked Mr. Ledwith to contact the Club and raise issue, further commenting that there were excessive goose droppings on the sloping lawn and they were being washed directly into the drinking water.  He further suggested that the Village should investigate whether or not they might comply with the necessary regulations that would allow them to obtain a culling permit from the DEC for the geese.

Resolution- Appoint Part Time Police Officers:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing 3 part-time police officers, effective June 24, subject to an interview with the Mayor or a Trustee.

Trustee Reports:
Financial Report - Trustee Barnett presented a 2018-2019 General Fund Budget Update.
Click here to view.
In summation, the Village came in roughly $250,000 under budget and this money will go into the surplus fund.
Garbage Pick-up – Trustee Barnett reported that he and Trustee Gluck had visited Sterling Carting to learn more about the recycling and garbage programs.  Ultimately, what they learned is that the value of recycled plastic is decreasing and as a result, recyclers everywhere are less and less willing to take it.  This is quickly becoming a big problem, with much of New York’s material ending up in dumps and landfills upstate.  The only material of value is clean paper (which is essentially newspaper only) and cardboard.  What we do here in the Village for recycling is more symbolic than anything else.  In examining the contract and looking at possible ways to reduce expenses, the Village could choose to recycle different materials each week (i.e. bottles and cans one week and paper and cardboard the next) but this would result in a minimal savings.  As for the garbage pick-up, the only real way to significantly reduce those costs would be for the Village to revert to curbside pick-up.  It was universally agreed that the majority of residents would likely not be in favor this change.  Following some further discussion, the Board agreed to authorize their attorney to draft BID documents for the garbage contract.
The Search for a New Police Chief – Mayor McFadden reported that a search committee had been formed with the goal of developing a short list of candidates (2 or 3) to present to the Board of Trustees.  The committee is comprised of resident Chris Casker, Trustee Coen, the Mayor and the Village Attorney, Brian Nugent.  They have completed a job description, which is essentially a copy from the Orange County Civil Service Department, which is what has been recommended for Class Title Police Chief A.  They have also requested the Chiefs List from Orange County Civil Service.  This list identifies which Chiefs are available for work and further ranks them by the score they received on their Chief’s Exam.  The Village is required to interview the top 3 or anyone equivalent to the top 3.  They will begin this process shortly.  To supplement the job description, the search committee is now developing a one-page plan, which adds the color of what they are looking for in terms of community reach-out and job responsibilities as well as more clearly describing the Village and the community.  They are hopeful that interviews will take place within the next 2-3 weeks with an offer to be made within a month after that process has concluded.  If anyone in the community has strong feelings and would like to contribute to the one-page summary, they should feel free to submit them to either the Mayor or Trustee Coen.  They have already formally solicited feedback from both TPS and The Club. 
Truste Coen has completed a rough cost analysis of hiring additional full-time officers and reducing the number of part-time officers vs keeping things as they are. 
Commenting that the analysis was “back of the envelope” and had not been vetted, Trustee Coen indicated that adding a full-time officer and thus maintaining 4 full-time officers and a part-time Chief, appeared to be more economically prudent than maintaining the status quo, which is 3 full-time officers and a full-time Chief.  This is dependent on a number of factors, such as the salary of the incoming Chief.  Bottom line, based on a very rough analysis, adding a fourth full-time officer, and assuming that the full-time officers will work weekends (which they are not obligated to do currently and would need to be negotiated) could save the Village as much as 30 to 40,000 annually. 
Mayor McFadden asked Chief Melchiorre weather he would recommend keeping things the way they are or hiring the additional full-time officer.  The Chief responded that in his view, hiring the full-time officer with weekend coverage was “the way to go.”
Trustee Gluck suggested that they should take some time to delve further into the numbers, noting that they had looked at this in connection with the budget process and came to a different conclusion on the economics.
It was agreed that this should be done.
The Booth – The Board had a lengthy discussion concerning the booth. 
Click here to listen to it.

Village Attorney Litigation Report:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent reported that the only matter currently pending was Madden vs The Village, which is an article 78 challenge about FOIL documents that were not formatted in a way that the petitioner found to be acceptable.  The Orange County Supreme Court ruled in the Village’s favor back in 2018 and Mr. Madden appealed to the Appellate Division.  Briefs have been submitted and they are awaiting a determination.  To date, billing on this totals $18,000.
The only other matter is a civil matter, which is a false arrest claim arising out of a police incident.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee- On behalf of the Lakes Committee, Chair Jim Hays read the report into the record.  Click here to view a copy.  Included in the report was a list of possible tasks/projects that the Lakes Committee could explore at the direction of the BOT.  Noting that they were making no commitment to pursue any of the projects, Mr. Hays read the list into the record, formally requesting Board feedback.  The list of projects can be viewed here.
Finally, Mr. Hays touched on the preliminary feedback that has been received from the Lake Managers, N.E.A.R.. An informal copy ofthe commitee's thoughts can viewed here.
The report notes that there is a “sparse” distribution of milfoil in the Wee Wah while at the same time an increase in the spread of coontail (a native aquatic plant)
The Mayor wondered whether or not this meant that swimming could be permitted.
Following a brief discussion, during which it was determined that there was no milfoil in the area of the Wee Wah Beach Club, the Board voted unanimously in favor of allowing swimming at the Beach Club conditional upon compliance with the Club’s Leasing Agreement.
There followed some discussion with regard to Pond #3.  Although NEAR does not condemn the use of herbicides there, the committee does not favor that approach and cautioned that they should only be used in the lake system as a last resort. “Why use what is bound to be a controversial treatment when an alternative is available?” they question. 
Mayor McFadden suggested that the Village bring DASH in immediately to begin an aggressive pulling effort there, noting that the milfoil had quickly rebounded in that lake following chemical treatment last fall and that along the south shoreline it was worse than it had been before. 
Trustee Gluck commented that NEAR had also provided mapping which indicated areas where they felt hand pulling should occur and that they had further been discussing the work with a couple of different vendors.  He suggested that as the plans developed, they would price check with another vendor before coming back to the Board with a price and a recommendation to move forward.  There is some doubt as to how soon the pulling can begin as this is the busy season and contracting divers will not be easy.
Hand Pulling has also been recommended for areas of dense milfoil in Tuxedo Lake. 
The Mayor suggested that if the Board was in favor, they should initiate an aggressive DASH pulling program as quickly as possible.  There was a relatively brief discussion with regard to funding, after which it was determined that similar to the situation in Pond 3, NEAR would discuss the scope of work with a couple of vendors as plans developed and that a recommendation would be made to the Board as soon as possible.  A special meeting can be scheduled to authorize the work.
Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Town Board member Michele Lindsay began her update by speaking to an email exchange, which had occurred earlier in the day pertaining to Route 17.  Mrs. Lindsay has been in touch with Senator Carlucci ‘s office, who has in turn been in touch with both the Sewer authority in Rockland and the Contractor Metra.  These two entities have been working with Metra’s bonding company to determine what would happen to the bonding that was put in place should Metra walk away the project.  Now it appears that there is a chance that the DOT might get involved, however Mrs. Lindsay is not certain that they are qualified to do the work that Metra was contracted to do.  The project has been shut down since the fall of 2018 when Metra had a blasting accident on site.  At a minimum the DOT is expected to smooth out the surface of the road.  What will happen in terms of hiring a new contractor to complete the project remains to be seen.
Trustee Gluck inquired as to what had become of the Road Diet project that had been proposed for Sloatsburg and he was informed that it had been modified and that while work would still take place it would not be as extensive as what had been publicized a while back. 
Next, Mrs. Lindsay spoke about the upcoming referendum on the Town/Village consolidation, which will be taking place on July 16.  The referendum will contain two questions.  The first will address whether or not the people want to form a Village and the second will ask whether they want to consolidate immediately.  Village residents will only be invited to vote on one of these questions.  A mailing will be sent to all residents from the Town providing more details. 
Mrs. Lindsay and Trustee Coen have also been working together on a CFA consolidation grant to see if there is anything they might be able to come up with for the Town and the Village. 
With regard to the Economic Development Workshops, Mrs. Lindsay reported that committees had been formed and a marketing plan was being put together to market all the available properties for corporate purposes.  They are also working on updating the pre-existing development plan from 2003.  Additionally they are reaching out to local landlords to see if anything can be done to get them to take a more proactive approach to leasing out available space.  They also continue to work on developing ecotourism. 
Mayor McFadden inquired as to when Steve’s would be opening.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that they were still hoping for a July opening, although they had encountered some issues with hooking up septic tank, as there is currently a sewer moratorium in place.  The work is essentially complete they just need septic hook up and Board of Health approvals.  They are working with the County to get these things in place as quickly as possible.
Next, Mayor McFadden inquired about the IGA, noting that there seemed to have been a bevy of activity there recently.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that Mr. Bruno had been putting in new landscaping both at the IGA and on his other property, which is just south of Steve’s along Route 17.  At this point in time, there is still no tenant for the IGA, but the hope is the new landscaping/beautification efforts will help to attract one.  The Mayor wondered what type of tenant Mr. Bruno was looking to attract.
Mrs. Lindsay responded that ideally he would like a restaurant but currently she believes the plan is to open it as an antique shop…just to have something open there.   With an antique shop, parking will not be an issue.  Should a restaurant go in, the parking issue will have to be revisited.
Public Comments:
Lili Neuhauser thanked Mrs. Lindsay for her efforts with regard to the issues on Route 17, commenting that the whole thing was a complete mess and that it was shocking that nobody had been killed there.
Old Business:
Data Logger- The Board has been discussing possibly moving forward with a data logger system in order to better chart water loss in the Village.  The loss of potable water is an issue the village has long struggled with, and to date roughly 51% of the water is lost on an annual basis.  John Ledwith advised the Board that going with a partial system as previously discussed (to include 12 censors) would not in his view get the job done as they would have to constantly move the censors around.  Rather,  he is recommending that they move forward with a system of 82 monitors, which would allow them to take a look at the entire system at one time on a daily and/or monthly basis and really pinpoint where the leaks are occurring.  It will also help to pinpoint new leaks as they occur. The Village has had some success over the last several years using various different methods of detecting water loss.  They have invested quite a bit of money, but they have never been able to effectively catch up.  In the last year alone, they have invested $90,000 in chemicals and electricity at the water plant.  The proposed system will cost $182,000 and could ultimately save the Water Department $22,000 a year.
There followed a somewhat lengthy discussion wit regard to the finances and the various other possibilities.
Trustee Barnett stated that he felt that this was an issue that the Village had been struggling with for 20 years and that in his view if they were going to invest in it, they should do it right and go with the full system.
Trustees Coen and Gluck expressed concern over the substantial cost of the system combined with associated costs that would surely present themselves moving forward.
Ultimately, it was determined that they would table the vote and discuss it further.
Front Entrance – The Board voted unanimously in favor of replacing the intercom at the front gate, complete with wiring and new hardware for a cost of $2,247.  They also voted in favor of replacing the mechanical gate arm system for a cost of $4,400.

New Business:
Resolution – Appoint BAR Chair – The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Sheila Tralins as Chair of the BAR for a period of 1-year.
Resolution – CHA EWA & Invoice – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving invoices in the amount of $8,100 for services through June 6, 2019 and $13,000, which is the estimate moving forward for services through July 12.  The project remains within contingency.
Resolution – Bond Resolution – The Village is in receipt of a $132,000 grant with respect to the I & I project phase 3, sub-basins 2 & 10.  In order to apply for short term financing at reasonable rates, the Village must have a bond resolution in place.  Ultimately, The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the issuance of up to $600,000 in serial bonds for undertaking certain improvements for portions of the Village sewer system with an estimated maximum cost of  $732,937.5 and adopting the resolution as prepared by bond counsel. There followed some discussion with regard to ratifying a second resolution that was made back in September, but it was determined that this would be tabled.
Resolution – Ratify Resolution of May 20,2019 – The Board voted unanimously in favor of ratifying a resolution to appoint the position of Building and Land Use Officer to John Ledwith to reflect that the appointment had been made by the Mayor and approved by the Board.

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Agenda for Village Board Of Trustees Meeting June 19, 2019

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lineSpecial Board of Trustees Meeting June 14, 2019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 28, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met at 8am on May 28.  All Board members were present.

The first item discussed was the Wee Wah Fishing Club lease which expires on May 31.  It was suggested by Trustee McHugh that while the Village awaits results from North Eastern Aquatic Research  (N.E.A.R.) they should renew the lease on a month-by-month basis.   The Village Attorney has prepared a draft agreement reflecting this proposed change.  Trustee Gluck suggested that they amend the agreement to reflect a single payment rather than prorating their license payment over the course of several months.  It was proposed that the Board authorize Trustees Gluck & McHugh to modify the proposed agreement to reflect the discussed changes prior to the Mayor signing it.
Trustee Barnett inquired as to whether or not members of the fishing club were permitted to fish on Tuxedo Lake.
The answer was no. 
There followed a brief discussion regarding the required credentials of those who are permitted to fish Tuxedo Lake.  Mayor McFadden noted that the police have recently caught a number of people poaching fish from the Wee Wah. Two individuals in particular had more than 30 bass in a take-away bag, which is not permitted.  (There is a limit to the number of fish individuals can remove from the lake. Beyond that, catch and release is employed.)  These individuals will be appearing in Village court in a couple of weeks.  Trustee McHugh noted that the fishing club annually put between $5-8,000 worth of fish into the Wee Wah.  They do this in conjunction with the DEC.  All of the data has been provided to N.E.A.R. in an effort to help them get a better understanding of what kinds of fish are living in that lake.  The relationship between the Village and the club has been a very “collegial and cooperative” one.
The Mayor wondered when the Village might see some results from N.E.A.R..
Ultimately, there is no definite timeline, although they are hopeful to see results of the aquatic plant study in roughly 2 weeks with chemistry results projected to take longer at 4-6 weeks.
Following some further discussion regarding the proposed payment schedule, it was unanimously agreed that Trustees Gluck and McHugh would have the authority to make necessary changes prior to the Mayor signing off, as previously proposed. 

Next, the Board moved on to the proposed draft survey concerning the various options for the Front Gate. Trustee Coen had prepared a rough draft/outline of the survey and this was reviewed and discussed. 
As proposed, it is a one-question survey, but it is quite lengthy as it fully outlines the reason why the Trustees are surveying the public while striving to provide as much information about each potential option as reasonably possible.  There are 4 suggested options:

  1. Keep current set-up/make no changes aside from some cleanup/beautification efforts.
  2. Center Island Manned Booth as proposed by The Mayor
  3. Upgrade the current intercom system to kiosk to include a 2-way audiovisual element so that drivers and Police Officers can see each other while speaking and possible print option for directions, maps, etc.
  4. Recessed Manned Booth designed to be in keeping with architectural standards of Tuxedo Park with Resident and non-Resident lanes

 

Before addressing the various options themselves, the Board had a lengthy discussion as to how the survey should be disseminated and whether or not it should be anonymous.  Various methods of ensuring that each person could only take the survey once were also discussed. Mayor McFadden expressed his concern that the wording on the survey as it pertains to each of the options would be contentious and that he feared it was going to be a challenge for them to create something that would be 100% neutral.  He suggested they do away with the survey altogether and instead conduct only a public Q & A session.  Ultimately the majority of the Board felt that both should occur.  Following further discussion, it was agreed that the survey would be distributed electronically via Survey Monkey and that residents would have the option to include their name, but it would not be required.  People will be directed to the survey via email, the Village website and a sign to be posted at the Front Gate.
Next, the Trustees briefly discussed the Town Hall Style meeting, to take place prior to distribution of the survey.  The Mayor wanted to know what the agenda for this meeting would be.  Trustee Coen suggested that the agenda would consist of laying out each of the options for the public.   She further commented that her goal was not to push any particular option or agenda.  Rather the goal was for the Board to gain insight into what the residents actually want.  She added that she has no predisposed notions as to which option makes the most sense or which options the residents want.  She is striving to collect this information. 
Discussion then turned to the individual options.
The survey has been designed to lay out each of the options in terms of design, location, duration of project, estimated costs and noted features.
Mayor McFadden noted that in the description of option 4, (recessed booth with service entrance) Trustee Coen had indicated that the $100,000, which had been raised privately for option 2, would be applied to the cost of the project.  This is not the case.  
Trustee Coen responded that she had only indicated a potential to apply those funds to the project, and the Mayor informed her that there was in fact no potential for that.  He went on to suggest that because there was no definitive pricing attached to options 3 and 4, the questions were hypothetical in nature.  He is not comfortable with putting out guesses in lieu of actual figures.
Trustee Barnett commented that he understood this concern.  Speaking to option 4, he noted that the expenses related to this project would likely be north of $500,000 due to the nature of what was being proposed. He suggested that they might somehow convey in the survey that the actual cost was TBD, but estimated to be $500,000 or greater.
Mayor McFadden expressed concern that as presented residents might vote for option 4 because they like the idea of it, without realizing that in actuality it has never been priced and that the Village does not have an architect.  He went on to say that he was planning to make a public statement as to why he felt the survey was apples and oranges.  The Village has no way of truly estimating the costs of these other proposed projects without going through the entire process, which he has done with his proposal.  He plans to vote no on the survey as written.  He has no issue with the idea of a survey, however he would not agree to include “fantasy booths that don’t exist” that have no price or time from attached to what is being proposed.
Trustee Gluck noted that he understood this point as there was a level of preciseness included in option 2, which the other options clearly lack.  At the same time he feels that what the survey is suggesting to the public is that there is potential for an alternative to what has been proposed….and they don’t know how much that will cost, but it will cost a lot….and they are not sure if it is feasible but it might be.  So the question becomes whether or not the residents want to go with something like option 2, which is shovel ready, or do they want to defer and explore the alternatives further.
The Mayor responded that he felt a more feasible survey would only include the first 3 options.  To include a high-end booth alternative that is going to cost somewhere between $500,000 and 1 million and would not be done for several years is a waste of everyone’s time in his opinion.  Realistically speaking, he does not believe the Board would ever approve the high-end booth project and therefore if included on the survey, it becomes a “straw man” and serves only to pull votes from the other options. 
Each option was then reviewed in some detail.
Option 2 (Center Island Manned Booth )is a shovel ready project for which all of the details have been vetted and organized into both electronic files as well as a project binder, available for residents to view at the Village Office.
Noting that there was limited to no information on Option 3 (Upgrade the current intercom system to kiosk with interactive technology screen) Trustee Coen asked Trustee McHugh if he might provide some details.  Trustee McHugh explained that this would be a two-way audio/video system.  “You pull up to the gate and there would be some form of a computer screen, but you would be able to see the Officer in the booth and visa versa, so there would be an interface with that.  This was looked at two years ago….having it so that if somebody wanted directions the Officer could input it and the computer would provide a piece of paper with a road map and directions.”  When originally proposed, this option was meant serve as some form of audio visual interface in order to address one of the bigger issues that residents were expressing, which was that they could not see the Officers or did not know who the Officers were.  “It was trying to make a cheap, enhanced solution to that problem in order to create a more personalized, albeit distant service.”
There followed a brief discussion as to how directions/maps are currently distributed to motorists, which is via a drawer in the doorway to the Keep. 
Turning back to option 3, it was suggested that the original estimate (2 years ago) for the upgraded system as described was roughly $50,000.  It was further suggested that Trustee McHugh would work with John Ledwith to get the information necessary to provide some granularity on more current costs.
Trustee Gluck suggested that this was not going to happen. 
“It is in the same genre as the future grand design booth.  I think it will take a fair amount of work to figure out if something like this is actually ready and obtainable and the quality of it today.  In my mind, the notion is the same.  Would you rather have this (shovel ready project) or would you rather have something else, undefined technology solution…may or may not be there today in a workable format. “
Trustee Coen suggested that it would be better to have a more formed option for residents to consider. 
Trustee Gluck agreed that it would be but he expressed his doubts as to whether or not this could be achieved in a reasonable time frame. 
Trustee Coen pointed out that the idea had been investigated two years prior, which suggested to her that somewhere there were specifications.
“No, no, no,” replied Trustee McHugh. “We had a conceptual discussion about feasibility.”
Trustee Coen commented that she favored giving residents options, but felt that some key information such as estimated costs and time frames needed to be included. 

Ultimately it was determined that a rough estimate could be obtained building off of the information they had collected in 2017 and that there was also information regarding what the system might look like that could be provided via a link.  Trustee McHugh will work with John Ledwith to pull this information together.
Option 4 is a Recessed Manned Booth designed to be in keeping with the architectural standards of Tuxedo Park, with Resident and non-Resident lanes.
Trustee McHugh suggested that if this is the solution residents opt for, the Village would have to go back to the architect who originally put forth the designs in 2016 and ask for permission to use the designs as well as a rough cost estimate based on other work they have done within the Park.   “They have done a lot of work in the Park, so that would be better than nothing and would be an educated guess that should provide some degree of comfort that order of magnitude is about right.”
Mayor McFadden pointed out that although this firm had done a lot of residential work in the Park, the proposed project, because it is Municipal, would have a prevailing wage component to it, which is very expensive.
Trustee McHugh suggested that they could back out labor and use prevailing wage labor rates.
“Having the architect do the estimate is risky,” responded Mayor McFadden.  “There are many occasions where the estimate goes way over and the architect might have an interest in getting the project.  We can certainly do that…it’s better than nothing, but I caution you that we would have to get permission from the architect to submit that drawing as an option and then we would have to decide what we would be willing to do in exchange for that.  Would they want compensation or a guarantee on the job?”
The Board asked their attorney to what degree they would need to get permission to present the drawings to the public.
Mr. Nugent advised that the drawings were already part of the public record, having been previously presented.  However,  if the Village were to put them out again there they would need to properly give credit to the architect for them.  He further advised that the best way to avoid conflict would be to contact the architect before hand and ask permission.
The Trustees were in agreement that this would be the best way to proceed.
Trustee Barnett suggested that options 1-3 were viable in his opinion and that if the public should indicate that any of these were the direction they would like to see taken, that the Board would likely approve whichever one had the most support.  That being said in terms of option 4 he wondered,  “would we even remotely approve the building of this recessed booth?”
“Potentially,” responded Trustee Coen.  “If 90% of the voters came back and said that they wanted to have this elaborate thing, I think that it would be our obligation to consider how to do it.  It wouldn’t be something we could do this year.  We might want to reserve for it and get it done in three years.  I think we need to put the caveat there that this is a very expensive option.”  She further noted that in the lead-in for the survey it was noted that both the viability and feasibility for this project could take several years.  She then reiterated that putting the options out there was not a guarantee that the Village intended to move forward with any of them.  “If 90% of the people say yes, we want this option and we understand that it is going to take 3 years to get it, I think we have to consider that.  This is not the option I am promoting, but I want to understand what people want.  I am not promoting any of these options.”
“Then why not leave this for the Town Hall,” suggested Mayor McFadden. “Let the people tell us which option they want.  Why are we saying that it could be this one?”
“Options mean that we give people choices,” replied Trustee Coen.  “This is one that has come up a lot.  This option could be feasible as long as we explain to everybody that it could take several years and it’s very expensive.”
“and it would probably require consent of Diosese of New York,” added Trustee Barnett. “because it is going through St. Mary’s lawn.”
Trustee McHugh responded that he did not necessarily agree with this.
“I think if this survey said that the Board of Trustees has looked at this and there were three viable options…do nothing, do the booth or do the intercom….what do you think….and we have a Town Meeting and somebody says I want to talk about the luxury booth…it’s not a viable option that the Board has considered!”
Trustees Coen and McHugh disagreed.  Trustee Coen reiterated that if the consensus of the people was that they wanted that option and were willing to wait for it, that it would become more viable. 
Trustee Barnett disagreed, suggesting that it would likely cost 1 million dollars.
“Let’s not throw out numbers when we don’t know what the numbers are,” cautioned Trustee McHugh.  “All we can say is that it’s more expensive than one of the other options. That’s all we can say.”
Trustee Gluck suggested that really what they were doing was saying to the public that they had one design that was shovel ready as well as a few ideas that have not been fully fleshed out.  The survey will be used to ascertain whether or not the people want to move forward with the shovel ready project or if they would prefer the Village to further explore the other options. 
“I am on the record…it’s very clear,” stated the Mayor.  “I don’t want to put anything other than perhaps the Kiosk because I think that is more reasonably estimated than option 4.  I am not for putting out anything that is misleading.  That is a strawman.  That doesn’t have a price, etc., because it is inconsistent with what I have done in the past.  I am on record on a number of occasions saying that we shouldn’t tell the public something that we don’t have a price for.”
Trustee Coen pointed out that the last survey had included no cost information at all.  “I took it.  I remember.  I remember people talking about it. “
“I was not responsible for that survey,” responded the Mayor.
The discussion about whether or not to include choice 4 on the survey continued for some time.
Ultimately it was agreed that Trustees Barnett and Coen would work to flesh out option 4 as much as possible.
There followed a discussion between the Board and Brian Nugent with regard to the procurement policy.  Following this, the Board agreed to set the Town Hall style Q & A session for Saturday, June 29 at 9:30am.
Mayor McFadden cautioned that with option 2 (Center Island Manned Booth) the more time that went by there were some issues that needed to be considered.  Donors may ask for their money back.  The quotes that were collected are only valid for a certain amount of time.  Most importantly, the welder could take on other work and become unavailable and it is unlikely that they would be able to find another, similar option.  He believes they should move forward quicker and present this real, shovel ready option to the public as soon as possible.  “Putting in all these other types of projects is just delaying it, when we know that option 4 is not feasible.”  He went on to reiterate that options 1-3 were feasible in his view but that option 4 was not feasible in his view.  He further suggested that the delay in moving forward was because of this “strawman option.” 
Trustees Gluck and Coen disagreed, commented that they did not believe that option was adding to the timeline of the public process.
Next there was a discussion about taking the shovel ready project through the BAR process.  Mayor McFadden appeared before the BAR with the project on May 21, but the appearance was not noticed on the agenda.  Trustee Gluck expressed the view that noticing the community so that they could ask questions about the project and learn about it from a BAR prospective should have been a part of that process.
Mayor McFadden replied that the BAR had deferred to their original review, which is included in the proposal.  Both the attorney to the BAR and the Chairwoman informed the Mayor that even if he wanted to bring the project before them formally, he would not be able to do so because the BAR cannot provide a formal review on a Village project. 
Trustee McHugh, who was in attendance at the BAR meeting, stated that he believed what had been conveyed was that the BAR had no right to vote on or authorize the project, but they were able to provide input/constructive criticism. 
The Mayor stated that he would be happy to bring the project back before the BAR if this what folks wanted, but he questioned the need to do this in addition to the Town Hall meeting, which would provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions.  He does not even know if the public would be permitted to make comments on the project at a BAR meeting.  “If we are going to weigh the productivity and deliverable, the Town Hall would probably be the best format for that,” he suggested.  “But again, if you are not going to check off the box that it went to the BAR twice, then please do your research and let me know that I am not going to be wasting my time if I go back and I am happy to go.”
“Fair point,” responded Trustee Coen. 
The Board then discussed the idea that the plans/drawings for the shovel ready project should be stamped by an architect or engineer.
The Mayor agreed that the engineer should stamp the design for the steel cage in order to ensure it’s integrity and this is already happening.
Trustee Gluck commented that as a Trustee he felt the need to have some sort of professional stamp on the project that says “yes, this works.”  He does not know how this gets done, but feels it is important.
Mayor McFadden suggested that they bring in the engineer to give an informal presentation on the project.
Trustee Gluck further suggested that Jody Zero could look at it and the Mayor agreed.  He went on to inform the Board that he had met with DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and his construction personnel regarding associated responsibilities of the DPW.  They reviewed putting in the slab based on the engineer’s design and the timeline for this and the supervision of that installation.  Superintendent Voss informed the Mayor that there would be no overtime associated with the project and that they could fit it into the DPW schedule without affecting other projects.  He knows Jody Zero well.
Trustee Coen wondered how many hours of work would be required from the DPW.
The Mayor responded that they had not determined a specific number of hours, only that the work could be done without accruing overtime or putting other projects at risk.
There followed a lengthy discussion as to the importance of having the official stamp of an engineer and/or an architect and how these would relate to this particular project and the method that has been proposed, which is essentially pre-modular construction off-site by vendors who supply parts and components that can be put together like a puzzle.  It was agreed that the Board would amass a list of questions for the engineer, which could then become part of the record.  This should provide for a body of evidence that gives everybody comfort that the engineer is buying into the process and has either thought about the issues or knows which issues need to be directly addressed. 
Next there was a discussion on potential cost overruns with the shovel ready project and how these would be funded seeing as there is only a 5% contingency based on material costs only.
The Mayor noted that all of the prices for the materials, as listed in the specs for the project, are fixed.  (cage, windows, bullet proofing etc.)   Where he feels they might need contingency monies is in the fluctuation of some of the materials at the time, based on the cost of steel at the time of the project and things like this.  Therefore, a small contingency has been added, although he does not anticipate any changes in these materials.  This is not a regular construction project.  These are various pre-paid, pre-fab components that will be shipped to a warehouse.
Trustee Barnett asked the question as to what would happen if there were unforeseen overruns and the project went over budget.
It was suggested that reserves could be used.
Trustee Coen suggested that they needed to acknowledge that any of the options, other than “make no changes” were going to cost the Village some money.
Trustee Gluck noted that there were different categories of money available: money that had been raised for the shovel ready project (option 2) which amounts to $100,000, insurance money, and restricted money that has been set aside from the original front gate donation (roughly $30,000).   Additional taxpayer monies should not be needed in order to pay for option 2, should they decide to move ahead with it. 
Finally, the Board briefly discussed the Chief’s concerns with the booth as voiced at the 5/15 Board meeting.  It was agreed that when Trustees McHugh and Coen met with the Chief at their regular bi-monthly meeting they would attempt to get more granularity on these concerns and then report back, which would allow them to better determine whether these things are correctable or “red herrings.” 
“We might agree to disagree but at least we have framed the issue and it gives us all some comfort as to where we are,” stated Trustee McHugh. 

Moving on to a different topic altogether, the Board next discussed paving of the Village roadways.  The DPW was planning to pave Clubhouse, Tuxedo Road on the West Side, Turtle Mountain - upper loop, a section of Lookout, and the East side of the Wee Wah.  The Village has received an estimate of $350,000 for this work.   Clubhouse Road is a bit misleading because it runs over the top of Tower hill all the way down to the Racetrack.  They will be installing a traffic counter this week to gauge the amount of traffic going down the backside of Tower Hill.  They may be able to patch this section of roadway and reallocate the funds elsewhere in the Park.

Mayor McFadden next stated that the Board would need to get together to discuss the proposed project from O & R and respond to some questions the utility company has.  It was agreed that John Ledwidth would circulate the questions and they could in turn submit answers/comments, which would be collated and re-circulated to the entire Board.   There is a lot involved with this project including planned outages, tree removals and new telephone poles and these things need to be brought before the public.

Next, Trustee Gluck noted that the Village would need to respond to the DEC with respect to the notice of violations.  Westin and Sampson has been preparing a draft response.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Trustee Gluck and Trustee McHugh to review the response and send it back in subject to the Mayor’s signature.

Lastly, the Village Attorney has drafted a response to Macnamee Construction’s counsel.  Trustee McHugh is unhappy with the sequencing and would like to rework it.  It was agreed that this would be done and then the document would be circulated.

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Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 28, 2019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 20, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, May 20 at 8am.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Traffic Booth Project.  Mayor McFadden arrived late.

Trustee Coen began the meeting by commenting that she had sent an email to the Trustees the day prior in which she outlined both what she felt the purpose of their meeting was as well as her issues and concerns with the current booth proposal.  She suggested that they highlight some of the main issues from her email for the record and then move on to discuss any other issues and/or concerns they might have with the current proposal.  It was then unanimously agreed that Trustee Coen’s email should be read into the record, which it was.  A copy of the email can be viewed here.  Some of the concerns laid out within include:

  • Confirmation from the Village Attorney that the proposal is in compliance with both the State and the Village procurement policies
  • She feels the proposal must be formally taken through the BAR process
  • The Architectural plans must be stamped by an architect or engineer or other relevant verification
  • The Chief’s concerns with the booth must be addressed
  • The budget, particularly discussion regarding possible cost overruns and how these will be funded
  • The impact that moving ahead with the project will have on both the Village DPW and Building Inspector.
  • A short, possibly one question, survey be conducted that shows a strong (more than 50%) agreement with the booth plan.
  • She favors conducting a public Q & A for the community before the survey is distributed

Following the reading of the e-mail, Trustee Coen asked the other Trustees whether or not they were in agreement that if all of these items were addressed, the booth proposal could go forward.
Trustee Gluck indicated that he felt the process could go forward.  He further indicated that a big part of “getting to yes” for him was the public participatory process in terms of getting the proposal out there, allowing it to mature in the community for a decent amount of time, getting the appropriate comments back and then making an informed decision.
Trustee Barnett commented that he felt Trustee Coen’s email laid out the concerns well and if they were addressed as put forth in that communication, he believed the project could move forward.
Trustee McHugh stated that his fundamental issue was the idea of replacing something that was flawed.  Replacing like with like without addressing a myriad of issues would not make sense.  There are police related issues, as previously expressed by the Chief.  There are sewer lines that run directly under the foot print of the old booth.  Putting a new foundation in without first relocating the sewer lines seems a “ridiculous concept” to him.  “We don’t want to pour a slab, spent $14,000 on CHA and then all of a sudden find a leak!  Let’s be proactive!”   He believes that moving the infrastructure would lead to a long-term cost savings while what is being proposed (the installation of a new booth where the old sat) is more of a “band-aid” approach.  He further stated that he was far more in favor of one of the architectural plans that was brought forward back in 2016, which involves recessing the booth back, making it larger and safer, including a bathroom facility within and creating both resident and non-resident lanes for entry. Having the officers constantly walking across traffic is a safety concern.  Additionally, a larger facility could more easily host all of the necessary technology and equipment and there would not need to be any duplicity between the Booth and the Keep.   He recognizes that the cost of what he is proposing would be much different than what is currently being proposed, but it is his feeling that if they are going to do it, they should do it once, rather than simply building the best thing they can based on the amount of money they have been able to raise.
Trustee Coen responded that she would love to have an improved booth and that she liked many of the things Trustee McHugh was proposing however, in her view the problem is that based on the Capital projects that the Village has coming down the line, it would be incredibly difficult to justify spending a substantial amount of money to do what he has proposed in the near term.  Therefore, the Village would have to stay with they system they currently have in the near future, unless they choose to go with a different design and this would likely necessitate more money.
Trustee McHugh agreed with this.  He added that the size of the booth would be incredibly important, noting that when they redesigned the Keep, finding chairs etc. that were large enough for the officers with all of their gear was a challenge.  “Spending $100,000 and then having it stand as a testament to our stupidity if nobody can sit in it is a greater problem.”
Trustee Gluck noted that he had recently gone through all of the comments that came back with the 2016 survey and that out of roughly 160 comments, the one message that resonated with him was that if the Village was going to rebuild the booth, they needed to do it right as the structure would be both the face of and the gateway to the Village.  He further commented that he was not suggesting that what has been proposed is indicative of not “doing it right” but unless they hear something back from the community indicating that this particular design is what they want and that constructing a “less than optimum” booth now would be better than funding a booth that’s worthy of the Village and the National Registry via bonding, that he leaned more towards the idea of doing it right.
Trustee McHugh suggested that this should have been the template from which to spring forward and the problem lies with the fact that it hasn’t been. “The Keep and St. Mary’s are signature buildings.  What used to be there (the booth) historically was never there.  It was built in the late 1970s and it had no architectural significance.”
“This is why I suggest that the project must go before the BAR,” responded Trustee Coen. 
The procurement policy was then briefly discussed.  It was agreed that, as per Trustee Coen’s email, the project must be in compliance with the procurement policy.
Next, the Board agreed that the project must go through the BAR process.  The process for having the plans reviewed and signed-off on by both an architect and engineer was discussed.
Next, the Chief’s concerns regarding the booth were discussed.  Trustee McHugh suggested that the concerns must be vetted, considered and then deemed either worthy or not.  He believes there needs to be a forum for dealing with this.  The Village has 4 full-time and 21 part-time officers. Uniforms and training for the part-time officers costs the Village just under $3,000 per officer.  If the Chief’s concerns are correct, and the part-time officers choose to leave rather than work in a traffic booth, it could be a $60,000 liability for the Village.  This is something he feels should not be taken lightly.
Trustee Barnett commented that he had two reactions to the Chief’s concerns.  The first was that he felt that if the job entailed sitting in the booth, and that was the directive that the officers were given, then the Village should be able to expect that of them, although he recognizes the seriousness of the comment.  He further commented that he did not believe the Village would contemplate going back to gate guards, but he wondered if that might be worth exploring.
Trustee McHugh responded that given the fact that the Village was still going through some issues 4 years after the decision to do away with the Gate Guards had been made he didn’t see how it could happen. 
Ultimately it was agreed that the Chief’s concerns needed to be vetted and considered.
Moving on to the project budget, Trustee Coen commented that at the end of the day they would need to have the right contingency numbers.  As proposed there is only $1,244 contingency and no indication of what building permits, etc. would cost. 
Trustee McHugh agreed, adding the DPW manpower, to include overtime, needed to be factored in. 
The process of vendor selection was discussed. It was determined that in order to avoid a similar situation to the once they are currently experiencing with the Wee Wah Dam, a clear process would need to be put in place. 
The Board is in agreement that there should be a community Q & A prior to administering the survey. 
Segueing into a discussion of the proposed survey, Trustee Barnett noted that in his opinion the proposal before them was a good one and could be labeled “good enough” as it would produce something that was more attractive than its predecessor and included various upgrades that would ultimately improve its efficiency.  The question that needs to be posed to the residents is whether or not they want to proceed with a booth that is “good enough” or whether they want to wait an indefinite amount of time until the Village can afford to invest in a “really good” booth, more along the lines of what Trustee McHugh was suggesting earlier.
Trustee Coen stated that she felt the survey should include all of the facts including the costs of the design proposal and the cost to the taxpayers.  Residents should be able to choose their preference from a list of options, and the first of those should be to leave things the way they currently are.
Trustee McHugh suggested that this option would need to be fleshed out a bit.  The Village has consciously chosen not to replace the intercom system or the gate arm mechanism for the last 7 months because of the uncertainty regarding this project.  This is something that has a direct bearing on people’s interface with the Police officers and likely creates some of the animosity.  The first option should not be to keep things the same, rather it should be to enhance the entranceway by making these upgrades and eliminating the “god awful” slab.  “Keep everything the way it is…so you are going to have a planter on top of a slab where the old booth used to be?” he inquired.
“People may want that,” responded Trustee Coen.
Trustee McHugh replied that if they were talking about enhancing the entrance to the Village, at a minimum they would need to do something with attractive curbing and installing some sort of raised profile/median to slow down traffic, which poses a danger to officers crossing the street.
Trustee Coen countered that this should be the second choice.  The first choice would should be change nothing, the second should be improvements to what is currently there and the associated costs, the third choice it the current proposal and associated costs, fourth choice is an enhanced version of the booth and it’s projected costs and the fifth and final choice would be “other.”
Mayor McFadden arrived in the midst of this discussion.
Once seated Mayor McFadden thanked Trustee Coen for her email, indicating that when he had referred to “team play” at the previous meeting, what he had been talking about was coming to a meeting prepared by knowing what issues would be discussed and what the associated concerns were. 
Reverting briefly back to the vendor selection process, the Mayor commented that he felt comparing the proposed booth project to the dam was like comparing apples and oranges.  He noted that there had been a vetting process in place for the dam as they went through the bidding process with several contractors and then voted.  They did not have the opportunity to select the individual vendors that the contractor used, with the exception of the stonemason.  That being said, he does not have any issue with putting the proposed vendors through a review process.
Moving back to the survey, Trustee Coen commented that she would like to find out what the populous wants and that she would be willing to manage the survey process. 
They Mayor replied that he had an issue with putting anything on the survey that had not been priced out. 
Trustee Coen wondered which items had not been priced.
Mayor McFadden suggested that the Kiosk, previously proposed by Trustee McHugh did not have an associated value.
Trustee McHugh responded that he would work to get some pricing for this option.
Trustee Gluck commented that he felt that this would be premature at this point.  Earlier in the discussion they agreed that they would initiate a public participatory process to be followed by a survey.  He feels it would make more sense to listen to the comments and use them to help frame the survey. 
Trustee Coen suggested that they should put together a draft based on the information they currently have and that this can be adjusted after the Q & A.
The four survey questions previously discussed were reviewed for the Mayor’s benefit.  He objected to the enhanced version of the booth, commenting that this was a “pie in the sky” proposal due to the associated costs. 
Again, this was discussed so that the Mayor was brought up to speed, with the Trustees making many of the same points as in the earlier conversation.
Trustee Barentt wondered whether they were going to be willing to honor the survey regardless of the result.  “I have an intrinsic reluctance to do a survey that is binding on us.”
“We as Trustees have to be fiscally responsible.  We are fiduciaries of the Village,” replied Trustee Coen.  “If the population wanted us to put a public swimming pool in here, we couldn’t afford it.  But, we are only five people.  The residents may want something different and we should hear what they want to say.  We haven’t heard from them since 2016.”
“That’s not true,” countered the Mayor.  “We heard from a group of them when they donated money and that was recently.”
“I think that we ought to have the four categories with a price range.  I think that the fourth option of having an enhanced, Grade A booth is going to be at least half a million.”
“I don’t think it is responsible to ask the public if they want a $500,000 project and then they say yes, and then we say no,” suggested Mayor McFadden, “because if they say yes they want it, do we think it’s the best way to spend $500,000 or do we want to spend it on I &I.  Why lead them on?  It’s almost an invitation for trouble.”
“How about if we got a grant?” replied Trustee Coen.  “There is money out there.”
Trustee McHugh burst out laughing, suggesting that the likelihood for success in obtaining such a grant would be rather small. 
Mayor McFadden then made the following points, relevant to discussion that occurred prior to his arrival:

  • Addressing the Chief’s concerns, he does not feel that Chief Melchiore is familiar with the dimensions of the proposed booth.  It is much bigger than the old one and is ADA compliant.
  • With regard to an Architect’s stamp, the real “meat & potatoes” of the project is the steel cage, the bulletproofing and installation.  Having an engineer’s stamp is more important than that of an architect.
  • In terms of the amount of time that the Building Inspector would have to put in, the Mayor suggested that the amount of time that he has already put in helping to put together the plan is actually more than the supervision phase would require.

These points were briefly discussed.
It was agreed that Trustee Coen would work to put together a draft survey, which she would circulate to the Board for review.  Another meeting will then be scheduled to discuss any issues and things will be moved forward from there.
“Can you give me a timeline,” requested Mayor McFadden “because people are asking me about having their money returned.  If we wait too long, we won’t have that money anymore”
Trustee Coen suggested that she could turn it around within 24 hours.  Following this comment, she had to leave the meeting.
On the issue of overall timing for the project, Trustee Gluck suggested that the Q&A, Survey and BAR review could likely all take place inside of a month. 
The Mayor suggested that the BAR might be able to bump the project to the top of the list.
“If people want their money back, give them their money back,” suggested Trustee McHugh. “If we come up with that your design is the preferred design after getting input, they can elect to put their money back in if they want to and if not, that’s their prerogative.  It’s their money.  I guess I don’t like to be beholden to having a gun to my head with regard to the money.  My view is return it and then we’ll give them whatever iteration is the finished project.  If they like it , they can buy into it.”
The Mayor suggested that they go out to each of the benefactors and ask them if they would be willing to wait a month or until the survey was sent out.
It was agreed that this is what would be done.
Following some further discussion regarding project timeline, it was agreed that the Board would hold another special meeting on Tuesday, May 28 at 8am to discuss the draft survey.

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Notice of Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 20, 2019

Click here to view the Notice

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting May 15, 2019

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

Mayor’s Comments and Booth Presentation:
Mayor McFadden began the meeting by announcing that the window to submit nominating petitions for the 2019 Village Elections has closed.  There are three open seats, that of the Mayor and Trustees McHugh and Gluck.  These three gentlemen are all running unopposed for their seats.  The Mayor noted that he was humbled, further commenting “as you know our Board in conjunction with the Village employees, planning Board, BAR, BZA and Village Court remain focused on our responsibilities and we will not waiver during the next two years.”  He went on to note that although they were running unopposed, it was still important for residents to vote. More information about the election will be forthcoming.
Next, the Mayor outlined a proposal he has put together for replacing the Traffic Booth at the Front Gate.  He has created a binder, which contains all of the detailed information.  This information is available to all residents at the Village office and can be obtained without FOIL.  Additionally, it is available for download and review via the village website.  (Click here to review the presentation. The proposed design can be viewed here )  A cover letter and executive summary were also read into the record.   Roughly $100,000 has been raised for the project privately, which would reduce the overall cost to taxpayers significantly, bringing the expected cost to the Village down to about $30,000.  The booth would be constructed off site between the months of June and August, with hopes of installation in September.  Because of the off-site construction, the impact on traffic would be minimal.  Next the Mayor would like to poll the residents, in order to accurately determine their position on the booth before moving forward with the project. 
The Mayor is in receipt of an email from Town Supervisor Mike Rost with regard to the possibility of using chemicals to treat the Eurasian Water Milfoil in Tuxedo Lake.  Both the email and Mayor McFadden’s response to it were read into the record as follows:
Original Email: Good afternoon Mayor McFadden, I am receiving inquiries from the Hamlet residents regarding the chemicals that will be used in the lake to kill the invasive plants.  Could you share what chemical will be used with our engineer so I can put my residents at ease? Thanks, Mike Rost.
Respose: Sure. At this time we have made no determination on using chemicals in any Village lake. We have several options that will be presented to us by our outside Lake Management professionals that include divers to pull the Milfoil. I will make sure you receive notice when the lake managers are scheduled to make their presentation to the Board. In addition, the hamlet residents and input from your engineer will receive the same consideration as our own.
The Mayor went on to note that he had conducted an informal survey of 27 residents who live on Tuxedo Lake to determine their views on the possibility of chemical treatments.  A copy of the letter he sent to these residents was entered into the record.  There were a total of 18 responses, with 13 residents indicating they would be in favor of using chemicals, 1 resident indicating that they would not be in favor of it and 4 who were undecided.
Departmental Reports:
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that they had experienced a slight emergency at the water plant with one of the pump motors, which is not functioning.  It is recommended that the Village move to repair the motor immediately and a resolution was made and unanimously adopted authorizing this repair at a cost not to exceed $4,458.
Repairs to the second Ridge Road water storage tank have been completed and the tank is now back in service.
The Department has finished road sweeping and will next progress to patching.  They have also completed some catch basin repair work.  Their next big drainage project will be at the corner of the triangle at the intersection of Ridge and Pine Hill Roads.   They will be installing drainage pipe to get rid of a deep gutter while also putting in a larger catch basis in order to eliminate the big gully there.
The cost of paving has increased by roughly $4 a ton.  The Superintendent has a meeting scheduled for next week with the paving contractor who won the County bid and will show him several Village roads and obtain cost estimates for each.  Then they will decide which ones they can tackle with the funding they have set aside.  Lookout Road, Turtle Mountain Road, Tower Hill Loop, Summit Road, Wee Wah Road on the East side, West Lake Road from the Tuxedo Club to Turtle Mountain Road and Club House Road have all been identified as roads that need work.  It is likely that a “mill and fill” will be done on Club House Road as opposed to a repave so as not to undermine the work that has been completed by several of the homeowners on that street to alleviate drainage issues there. 
Finally, tree removal with O & R continues throughout the Village.
Police – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of April:
Criminal Complaints – 5
Non- Criminal Complaints – 356
Property Damage Complaints – 1
Arrests – 3
Traffic Tickets – 34
Traffic Warnings – 7
Intrusion Alarms – 2
Medical Calls – 1
Fire Alarms – 3
Assists given to outside Police Agencies – 2
Assists received from outside Police Agencies – 2
Miles Patrolled – 2,560
Additionally, roughly 1,600 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate per day.
License plate readers have been installed at both gates and are in operation.
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether or not any firearms had been used over the course of the month.  The answer was no.
She then inquired as to how many DWI arrests there had been, siting a rumor she had heard about 9 such instances.  The answer was 2.
Building – Click here to view the Building & Capital Report.
There was a fair amount of discussion over a small oil spill that took place at the Hennessy property on West Lake Rd. and the subsequent clean up effort.


Trustee Reports:
Trustee Barnett reported that he and Trustee Gluck would be talking to Sterling Carting within the next week to discuss the current contract here in the Village and investigate the possibility of reducing costs.  They will also be taking a look at the efficacy of the recycling program.
Trustee Coen reported that she and Trustee McHugh had begun their bi-monthly meetings with the Police Chief.  These are informal meetings designed to keep the Trustees informed on an every-other-week basis.  One of the goals of the meetings is to assist the Village in dispelling inaccurate information that may be circulating amongst the public.  Anyone who has any issues or hears any rumors related to the Police are encouraged to report these to either Trustee Coen or Trustee McHugh and they will in turn bring them up at the meetings.  The issue of overgrowth on some of the Village Roadways was discussed with the Chief, particularly as it pertains to making it difficult for pedestrians and motorists to see some of the road signs.  Additionally, there have been instances where motorists have reported having to cross over the double yellow lines in order to avoid having their cars scratched by overgrowth on the side of the road.  The Chief has agreed to address these issues. Trustee McHugh added that the DPW was going to begin doing a more thorough job of cleanup along the Causeway, particularly on the non-lake side, to make sure that the overgrowth was minimized there.  There is also a huge gully running along the base of the stonewall there, and they are going to attempt to back fill some of it in order to increase the total volume of road surface.  Next, Trustee Coen reported that the Village’s liability Insurance would be expiring on May 31.  If the Village remains with the same carrier there will be an $8,000 increase primarily due to pending claims as well as the increase in the Village budget (if the budget goes up, the insurance goes up) The insurance can be paid for on a month-by-month basis, so the Board agreed to move ahead with the current carrier for the next month while taking the time to review the information in more detail and possibly shopping around for a cheaper or better deal.  A resolution to approve the renewal of the general liability insurance was then made and unanimously approved. 
Trustee McHugh reported that he and Trustee Gluck had been working with CHA with regard to a response they received from the contractor regarding the close out of the Tuxedo Dam project.  There remains a punch list of items that need to be completed and the Village does not anticipate that the contractor will fulfill these.  A summary report has been written and an accompanying letter is being drafted.  This will be vetted by the Village Attorney and sent to all members of the Board before it is sent out.  Regarding the lakes, NEAR will be coming next week to complete a plant survey on both Pond #3 and the WeeWah.  They will not be doing a plant survey on Tuxedo Lake at this time.
Trustee Gluck reported that he, Jeff Voss and Engineer Carl Stone had met with the DEC, Division of water in White Plains to discuss a number of violations at the Sewer plant and on-going issues the Village has had with excessive flows there.  It was a successful meeting and they are amenable to working with the Village.  The operational issues have been cleared up and Westin and Sampson will be working with the Village to create a flow management plan, which will address the immediate regulatory requirement pertaining to these excessive flows.  There are two proposals on the table.  The first deals with issuing an immediate response to the New York DEC for an estimated cost of $3,800.  The second pertains to creating a flow management plan.  This work will be done on an hourly basis for an amount not to exceed $7,000.  Motions were made and unanimously adopted authorizing Westin and Sampson to complete this work. 
Next, Trustee McHugh made a motion was made that the Village approve the invoice from CHA for services relating to the WeeWah dam through April 26 in the amount of $6,924.  Funding for this still exists within the budget.  It was unanimously approved.
Meg Vaught inquired about the physical appearance of the dam, noting that currently at the end of the primary spillway there were what appeared to be several large pieces of plywood leaning up against a metal arm.  She wondered if these were permanent fixtures or if they would be removed.
Trustee McHugh explained that these were not plywood, but rather the dam stop logs.  They remain there while the Village engineer attempts to investigate/address some issues of cavitation they have been experiencing.  Once the issue has been addressed, they will be removed.

Committee Reports:
Lakes Committee –Lakes Committee Chair Jim Hays reported that the committee had met on May 13.  They are in receipt of a letter from Peter Van Zandt, which has also been sent to the Trustees, and this was briefly discussed, although the content of the letter was not revealed.  The committee believes that the letter should be referred to NEAR and trustee Gluck confirmed that this had been done.  Work continues on the bathymetric survey of Tuxedo Lake.  The rest of their meeting was spent discussing the committee’s path forward.  The conditions have changed with the hiring of NEAR and there are now three groups discussing lakes issues in the Village; their committee, NEAR and the BOT.  The Lakes Committee has been operating as an ad-hoc committee, but with the new Lakes Manager, the situation has changed and they are wondering how the three groups can best work together.  Communication between the groups is essential and the committee feels that everyone should be copied on everything to allow for commenting.  They also believe that they need to have their role better defined and, to this end, they have come up with three possibilities:

  • The BOT could give the committee tasks to complete
  • The Committee could prepare a list of tasks they feel they can complete and submit these to the BOT, who would in turn decide which tasks they would like to see completed.
  • The committee could be dissolved

The committee has already been tasked to look into the costs of developing a harvesting boat for Dash.  This is something they can and will do.  They believe they can pull together a design as well as a list of necessary components. 
The Mayor advised them not to waste time worrying about a pontoon platform, as used platforms were readily available in and around Greenwood Lake.  Rather he feels they should focus more on the necessary equipment and how it would be laid out on a platform as well as the hiring and training of a diver.
Mr. Hays suggested that there were diving companies that might well be able to handle this for them.
The committee also discussed the possible use of herbicides to treat the milfoil.  With the exception of one member, the committee believes that the Village should take the use of herbicides as a method of treatment completely off the table but other methods should be explored first.  They caution that things need to be considered on a long-term scale.  While it may be cheaper to dump herbicides in the lake this year, if this has to be done on an annual basis, it may not be cost effective in the long run.  The committee has collected and submitted to the BOT data from Upper Saranac Lake, where milfoil pulling was conducted in a very organized manner and has produced good results.  Results there were achieved by making a sizable investment up front in order to knock-back the growth substantially. The other concern, which Mr. Hays believes to be valid, is that EPA and DEC approved herbicides get used, but then five or ten years down the road, it turns out that the chemicals were not safe.  This has been evidenced recently with the settlements resulting from the use of Roundup.  Mr. Hays is in receipt of a study done on rats using Roundup in which the first generation of exposed rats were not effected very much but the second and third generations showed all kinds of defects and problems.
Mayor McFadden concurred, adding that somebody had just received a 2 Billion dollar reward as a result of one of these settlements. 
Mr. Hays suggested that the Village should proceed with extreme caution as many of the recommended herbicides were very new.  While the committee is not entirely against them, if treatment can be done another way, they feel that would be best.
“You know where I stand,” responded the Mayor.
“You’re for it!” stated Mr. Hays.
“Yeah,” replied the Mayor.
“Well, that’s a mistake,” cautioned Mr. Hays.
“I would like to listen to all of the potential issues and make my mind up.  I have a predetermined position, but I am flexible,” responded Mayor McFadden.
“You were misinformed,” stated Mr. Hays “That can happen, but you can correct it and evolve.”
“So many politicians have,” quipped the Mayor.
Mr. Hays went on to say that the committee had provided the Board with more than one example of locations where the pulling has worked and suggested that should the new Lakes Manager recommend chemicals, the committee would like to see studies whereby these chemicals have been used over a period of 10 years or more and what the costs would be.
“One of the things that I think might have prejudiced me,” responded the Mayor “is what I perceive anecdotally as the results of the first dive pulling that was done.  I watched them and I just felt like we weren’t getting results.  That could be a cause and I am open minded about it.”
Mr. Hays responded that he understood this and that moving ahead the divers would need to be professionals who worked in conjunction with the lakes management team and that supervision would be important. 
Trustee McHugh noted that the previous divers have been recommended by the Lakes Manager and that he felt it was unfair to suggest that they were not professionals. 
“Our concern with Tuxedo Lake,” stated Mr. Hays to Mayor McFadden “is that by your admission there is nobody on the Board except yourself who wants to put herbicides in Tuxedo Lake.”
“How do you know that?” replied the Mayor.
“Because you told me,” said Mr. Hays “Our concern is that if you are not going to use herbicides in Tuxedo Lake, the only other thing to do is Dash harvesting and you might as well get started on it if you are going to do it.  Make sure that you can get the divers.”
“Look, I am not going to stand in the way of Dash, that’s for sure,” stated Mayor McFadden.
Turning back to the three options laid out for the Lakes Committee’s path forward, the Mayor stated he favored option two.  He is opposed to disbanding the committee, noting that if they preferred the BOT create a list of tasks this could be done as well.
Mr. Hays suggested that ideally a combination of one and two would be best, but he feels that the committee needs a better definition of what their role is moving forward.
The Mayor requested that the committee put together an outline detailing what they felt their role should be and that this would be reviewed at the next meeting.
It was agreed that this would be done.

Report by Town Board Member of Trustee Liaison:
As Michele Lindsay was not present, Town Trustee Liaison Paul Gluck provided a brief report.  There will be a referendum vote on the consolidation effort on July 16.  Absentee ballots will not be permitted.  It is a two-fold vote, with one portion for Town residents only and one portion for residents of the Village.  This will be followed by a second referendum with the date to be announced.  At the most recent Town Board meeting there was an interesting presentation on community power aggregation.  The presentation focused on a new program NYS program where municipalities can contract out for power and take all of their residents along with them, unless they choose to opt-out of the program.  The program has potential for significant savings.  Unfortunately, should the Town choose to move ahead with this, it would not filter down to the Village.  They would need to set up their own program. 
Regarding the proposed cell tower in Sterling Forest, there was a joint public hearing of the Town Board and Planning Board the previous evening. 
Meg Vaught commented that it was her understanding the T-Mobile folks had the right to install the tower regardless of whether or not the Town approved. 

Public Comments:
Meg Vaught asked if the Board could comment on the current status of the WeeWah Beach Club.
Mayor McFadden responded that he and Trustee Gluck had met with the Beach Club to discuss the Village’s position that the Club should not be opened for swimming.  The Village was advised that they should seriously consider the liability involved with allowing anyone to use the property because individuals might choose to go into the water, and the Village view was that nobody would be allowed swim until the milfoil had been taken care of.  The Beach Club informed the Village that the DEC would come in and install a fence to prevent folks from getting into the water.  This provided the Village with some comfort, because they feel the fence will be a strong deterrent for folks who might be looking to sneak into the water.
Trustee McHugh interjected to inquire whether or not the DEC would install the fence or if that work would be done by the DPW, noting that the later had already installed a fence by the waterfront. 
The Mayor responded that he could not say for sure but he knew that the DEC would be directly involved with the fence.
It was agreed that the Beach Club could have 7 day access to the property for picnicking.  Swimming remains prohibited until the Village has received advice from their new lake managers, NEAR, after which they will render a final decision.  Noting that it was only his personal opinion, Mayor McFadden stated that he believes swimming will be allowed before the end of the summer.  The meeting ended on a happy note and the Mayor feels that the decisions made are in the best interest of both the community at large and the relationship between the Town and the Village.  In the meantime, they are working to develop a written agreement with the Club to reflect all of this.  There is an existing agreement with one year remaining, so technically, the Club can begin using the land as per that agreement.

Old Business:
Resolution-Booth Survey:
A somewhat heated discussion over whether or not to proceed with the survey in its proposed form unfolded.  This can be heard by clicking here.

New Business:
Resolution – Trimble Data Logger – After researching various technologies to assist with leak detection in the Village, the search has been narrowed down to two companies.  Trimble has offered the Village a 30-day trial version of their software and hardware.  The package includes both computer accessed GPS for determining the location of the leaks as well as equipment for use in the field.  The proposed trial has a price tag of approximately $11,000 and includes 2 days of training.  Both John Ledwith and Trustee McHugh support taking advantage of the trial.  There are, however, some questions as to whether or not the there will be issues with uploading the data due to the topography of the area and the poor cell service.  The people at Trimble have explained that the signal used to transfer data is slightly different from cell signals and that although there could be some issues, there are various ways around them. 

Trustee Coen commented that in her opinion whether or not the system works due to the ability to transmit signals should, in her view, be Trimble’s risk and not the Village’s at a cost of $11,000.  She wondered if, after the 30 days, things were not working, they could return the system and get their money back.
The answer was no.
Trustee Coen suggested that she would approve it subject to condition that Trimble assumes the fiscal risk of the trial and not the Village.  It was agreed that voting on this matter would be delayed until the Special Meeting on May 20.
Resolution – WesTech Proposal – While vast improvements have been made to the water plant facility, those individuals who have been involved feel that the Village should employ Westech (the company responsible for the original design of the filters and pump systems) to come back and perform an analysis in order to ensure that everything is functioning efficiently.   The water plant is operating 24/7, so any savings that can be realized, can in effect be multiplied by 365 and can in turn be quite substantial.  The cost of the proposal is $5,710, subject to the Village sending an advanced list of items that they would like covered in the final report.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the proposal.
Resolution – Adopt Water and Sewer Maps – A while back, the Village engaged Westin and Sampson to put together a map of the water and sewer lines.  These maps are now being put forth for adoption as the Village’s official water and sewer maps.  Following minimal discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of adopting the maps.

Public Comments:
Having arrived late, Town Board member Michele Lindsay provided the BOT with an update.  She began be reiterating many of the items reported earlier in the meeting by Trustee Gluck.  With regard to the Town/Village referendum to be held on July 16, Trustee McHugh inquired as to how residents would be noticed.  Councilwoman Lindsay responded that she had proposed that the Town send a letter to all registered voters but the Board was not in favor of spending the associated $2,000 on the mailing.  As a result, communications will be put out via Town emails, TPFYI and the Photo News.  There was a Climate Smart presentation at the May 13 Town Board meeting, which focused on electric charging stations to be installed near the Train Station and the commuter lot.  They are also looking at converting all streetlights to LED and are investigating the cost of purchasing the lights from O&R.  The New York Power Authority has financing available for this, so it would not be an out-of-pocket expense for the Town. 
The Community Aggregation initiative was then reviewed for a second time.
Trustee McHugh asked for an update on Tuxedo Farms.
There was no new information to report, other than that the Planning Board granted them another extension on their subdivision approval at the May 14 meeting.  There followed a brief discussion about the new sewer plant and when it might be able to come online.  Apparently the Town is attempting to work with the developer to bring a portion of the plant online.
Meg Vaught commented that despite the somewhat unfortunate situation that had occurred earlier in the meeting, she was happy that the Board had scheduled a special meeting for Monday morning for the purpose of discussing the booth project and she hoped that they would seriously consider moving ahead with it.  While she understands that there are differences of opinion as to how they should proceed in terms of public input and BAR approval, she believes that there are many people in the community who support the project and would like to see the booth rebuilt.
The Board subsequently asked Chief Melchiore to offer his view of the proposed project.  The Chief stated that he did not favor rebuilding the booth.  He expressed concern about moving all of the necessary equipment from the Keep into the Booth.  “Where do you interview?  What do you do on the night shift?  Midnight…when only 1, 2 or 3 cars pass through during that time and you have that person at the booth….,” commented the chief.
“What does that person do at the Keep?” inquired Trustee Gluck
“They have reports to do.  We have a computer-aided dispatch.  You have an impact reporting system.  You have documentation.  You had none of this stuff 3 years ago,” responded the Chief. “Then you need your printers, then you need your monitors.  You are going to out-crowd yourself.  You really are.  I am not too sure if the booth is safe.  Bullet proof glass and steal beams are not going to stop a truck.  The perception is that the resident wants to see a face.  Ok?  And they want to be able to talk to that face.  You had that when it was a civilian traffic guard and they used to change constantly here.  Other than Denise and maybe 2 or 3 steadies, everybody else was constantly a big turnover.  You are going to have a major difficulty hiring and retaining police officers if you go to the booth,” he cautioned, indicating that he had said as much to the Mayor on several occasions.  “That’s up the Board to put the booth there,” he continued “but if it’s up to me to tell you, I think you are going to have a problem.”
“Why though?” inquired Trustee Coen.
“They are not interested in sitting in that booth,” replied the Chief.
“But they sit in the Keep doing the same exact thing,” replied Trustee Coen.
“They’re not,” responded the Chief.  “You have a bathroom there and you have a kitchen right behind you and you’re monitoring activity at the rear and the front.  There’s interviews and people are coming in.  It’s a different world.  You are going to wind up looking at a security force and not a police department if you do what you are asking to do.  Police personnel are just not geared for that.” 
“What do you mean interviews,” inquired Trustee Barnett.
“Well, if they interview for motor vehicle accidents, incident reports.  They interview right there.  It’s not a safe condition.  It is what it is, but we have to do the best that we can.  A lot of stuff is done standing just inside the doorway and talking to the back of the officer.  You can’t hear as it is with the speakers and the monitoring system.  I am not in favor of the booth.  It’s the Board’s decision.  I have said it a while a back and I am going to say it again.  You are going to have difficulty hiring and retaining personnel here.”
The Board thanked the Chief for his comments.

Following the approval of minutes, the Board adjourned into an executive session to discuss matters relating to the employment of a particular person, potential litigation and legal advice.

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Agenda For Village Board Of Trustees Meeting May 15, 2019

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting April 17 2019

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Report of the Tuxedo Park Lakes Committee April 17, 2019

Click here to view the Building Department Report for April

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Notice of Special Meeting/Public Hearing for the 2019/2020 Budget

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 12, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, March 12 at 7pm.  Trustee Coen was late.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden began by thanking the Board for changing the meeting date in order to accommodate his travel schedule.  Additionally, he noted that they had been working diligently on four major projects: responding to the Comptrollers audit, putting together a sophisticated capital budget, acting as the Board of Assessment and compiling the annual budget and these things have required many meetings and a lot of extra personal time.  He thanked the entire team for their efforts.  He went on to express his gratitude to DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss for that department’s strong work in clearing away snow during and after the recent storm.   Finally, he thanked John Ledwith for his work and contributions to the Capital Budget project as well as other on-going projects.

Departmental Reports:
Police Report – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of February:
Non-Criminal Complaints- 361
Criminal Complaints – 2
Arrests – 2
Property Damage/Motor Vehicle Accidents – 3
Traffic Tickets Issued – 20 / Warnings – 2
Fire Alarms – 3
Intrusion Alarms – 1
Medical Calls – 1
Assists received by outside agencies – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,218
Additionally, approximately 1,300 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate each day.
DPW Report – Superintendent Voss was not present, so no report was given.
Building & Construction Report – Click here to view a copy of this report

Trustee Reports:
None were given

Village Attorney Litigation:
Village attorney Brian Nugent was not present and his stand-in was not fluent in current litigation, therefore no report was given.

Committee Reports:
None were given

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Michele Lindsay reported that on April 1 there will be a Public Hearing on the sufficiency of the petitions that have been submitted to the Board in support of a Town/Village consolidation.  More than enough signatures have been obtained.  A date for voting on the referendum will be set following the hearing.  The vote could occur as soon as June. 
The Town has adopted the Climate Smart Pledge and is actively working towards certification, which will enable them top access grant money for additional climate smart actions.  The Climate Smart Task Force recently met to review the necessary actions involved with obtaining certification and have noted that one of these items involves shared services.  One item that is being looked at in this regard is community choice aggregation, which is essentailly bulk electricity and natural gas purchasing. 
Mayor McFadden wondered whether the Village should also look into adopting the Climate Smart certification and Mrs. Lindsay responded that this would be great and that she would be more than willing to work with the Village to assist and help coordinate efforts. 
The Town conducted an economic development round table discussion, with 25 people in attendance representing various organizations in town.   The group is working with the Director of Economic Development and Tourism from Orange County to investigate ways that the Town can access monies and promotion in their efforts to revitalize the Hamlet and Southfields, building on existing assets (parkland/open space) The meeting was very productive and a second meeting has been scheduled for April 2. 
Trustee Gluck inquired as to whether there had been any update on the development “formally known as Tuxedo Farms.”
Mrs. Lindsay replied that she had heard there were several interested parties and two bids currently on the table, although Related did not seem to be getting their desired price. 
Mayor McFadden wondered who the bidders were and Mrs. Lindsay informed him that one was Draggonsgate and the others were home developers.

Public Comments:
There were none.

Old Business:
Resolution – Procurement Policy – This was tabled.
Resolution – Affirm Release of Fontana Performance Bond – The Board voted unanimously in favor of affirming the release of the Fontana performance bond.

New Business:
BAR Membership Resignations – Patrick Donaghy and Christian Bruner have resigned from the BAR.   Deputy Mayor McHugh thanked them both for their service, noting that the BAR was constantly one of the more active Village committees, meeting twice a month to review applications.  He further noted that they are in the process of looking for replacement members and that any interested parties should contact Debbie in the Village Office. 
Piggybacking off of this, Mayor McFadden announced that he was officially declaring the second week of March to be “Appreciation of Appointed Board Members Services” week annually, in recognition of those who have either completed a term or retired.  He went on to recognize several former members of various Boards including John Whittney (BZA), Maureen Coen (BZA), Gary Glynn (BZA), Chiuyin Hempel (BAR) and Julia Simet (BAR) as well as the most recent retirees.  He expressed his appreciation to these individuals, noting that they had all worked very hard volunteering their services to the Village.
Resolution – Declare Two DPW Vehicles as Surplus – The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring two DPW vehicles as surplus.
Approval of CHA Invoice – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving an invoice in the amount of $16,380, which covers the cost of necessary additional oversight as well as project closeout for the Wee Wah Dam.
Schedule Budget Workshops – Budget Workshops were scheduled for Friday, March 15 from 7:30-9:30am and Monday, March 18 from 8-10am.  The public is welcome to attend.

Public Comments:
Audrey Perry expressed concern with an unoccupied home located at the south end of Tuxedo Lake, which has fallen into disrepair.  Specifically, she wondered what the process would be if the Village were unable to locate the owner of the property. 
Building Inspector John Ledwith informed her that every effort had been made to contact the owner with notices and that it had been before the Justice Court in February, at which point the judge agreed to formally send another notice.  The property is on the docket for the next court meeting in March. 
Mrs. Perry wondered whether the Village was going to clean up the property.
Mr. Ledwith responded that before the Village could take any action, they needed to pursue all legal avenues.  If the owner does not respond or come to court, the Village will seek council to determine the appropriate next steps. 

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting March 12, 2019

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lineSpecial Village Board Of Trustees Meeting March 4, 2019

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From The Mayor's Desk February 22, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
 
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to share with you some information regarding the matter of our Police Chief working as a fulltime police chief for both the Village of Tuxedo Park and the Village of Monroe. First to note is that there are no Civil Service regulations or provisions in our contract restricting in any way holding the two positions simultaneously. In fact, the Orange County Civil Service Commissioner mentioned during a phone call that several other municipalities share chiefs in Orange County.
 
Obviously, our first concern is the safety of our community. We have discussed the matter with the Chief and received his assurances that he is committed to serving the needs of our Village.  The Chief has also assured us that the level of service and responsiveness, whether day to day or in any emergency, will not in any way be compromised or diminished by this arrangement.  The Chief estimated the Monroe position will end by September. The Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the situation closely.
 
Thank you,

David

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting February 22, 2019

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Agenda For Village Board Of Trustees Meeting February 20, 2019

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Special Village Board Of Trustees Meeting February 11, 2019

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 23, 2019

The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7pm.  Deputy mayor McHugh attended the meeting via Skype from Florida.

Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden opened the meeting by thanking the Trustees, Department Heads and Village staff for accommodating the date change for the meeting.
He went on to report that bids for the various components of The Booth project have been coming in (3 per vendor as required) and that for the most part they have been consistent with the estimates.  All of the bids have been compiled and distributed to the Board members via thumb drives.  They will be reviewed over the course of the next month and hopefully discussed at the February meeting.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of December:
Non-Criminal Complaints- 331
Criminal Complaints – 1
Traffic Tickets Issued – 12
Traffic Warnings Issued – 3
Motor Vehicle Accidents – 0
Intrusion Alarms – 6
Fire Alarms – 6
Medical Calls – 1
Assists given to the Town of Tuxedo police – 1
Assists received from outside agencies – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,342
Additionally, roughly 1,100 vehicles entered the Village via the Front Gate on a daily basis.
DPW – DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that the department had encountered some trouble when attempting to install new water meters in the Town in that one of the main valves is not operating properly.  They are currently devising a plan to address the issue and are hopeful that they will not need to shut off water service to the entire town in order to do so.  It was agreed, however, that somebody would reach out to the Town Supervisor and put him on notice that a shutdown might need to occur if they are unable to fix the problem, which is underground. 
Superintendent Voss will also be putting together a list of drains and catch basins around the Village that are in need of repair or replacement.  As part of this assessment, he will also be looking at the areas where drainpipes outlets are near the lakes to see where they might be able to take measures to better control sediment going into the lakes.
It was recently discovered that one of the two turbidity meters at the water plant was not working and that both meters are outdated, meaning that parts are not longer accessible.  As a result, the decision was made to purchase two new meters at a cost of $10,200.  This price includes start-up and preventative maintenance.  The new meters have arrived and the department has installed one of them to date, and it  will be ready for start up on Friday, January 25.
Mayor McFadden inquired as to how much road salt has been used to date.  The response was roughly 200 tons.  The Superintendent does not anticipate needing to purchase any more salt this winter.
Building-Capital - Click here to view a copy of the Building Report.
There are some capital improvement projects, which are ongoing, although the weather has generally slowed things for the moment.  Progress is being made on the heating system at the water plant as are final repairs to the filter #1.  The sewer plant recycling project is temporarily on hold due to weather.  Additionally, they are investigating some other options regarding leak detection.
Police – Resolution – Accept Resignation of Two Part Time Police Officers - The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignations of two part time police officers.
Police – Telephone System - The telephone system at the police department is antiquated and in need of updating.  There is only one operating line and no way to page individuals (all phones go off at once) If the line is tied up, they are unable to communicate with 911.  There is no roll over system so if the lines goes down during emergencies they are simply out.   The Chief met with Trustee Gluck and the two of them spoke with the IT service, New Windsor, who will be recommending some solutions.  Trustee Gluck reported that he felt that ultimately the solution would be relatively inexpensive as these days phone systems are cloud based.
DPW – Resolution – Purchase Two New Turbidity Meters- The Board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing two new turbidity meters.

Trustee Reports:
With regard to the Wee Wah Dam, Trustee McHugh reported that they are very close to a resolution with the knife gate valve and its operation.  It is anticipated that divers will be coming in at the end of next week to resolve the issue.  Once this has been done, installation of the dam will essentially be complete and all that will remain is dealing with the financial settlement, which is the result of multiple delays and the subsequent engineering costs assumed by the Village.  At the December meeting the Board approved hiring a company to come in and drill into the spillway in order to check the anchor bolts.  Luckily, the engineer was able to procure the service for a lower cost than what was approved and the drilling was done between Christmas and the New Year.  Unfortunately, there appear to have been installation issues with the anchor bolts and this is another problem that the Village will have to raise with the construction company.
Speaking to Village Finances, Trustee Barnett reported that it had been agreed that the Finance Committee would report quarterly.  The next report will come in February.  A working session for the purpose of reviewing the Capital Budget is needed and this was discussed. A meeting of the Board of Assessors was scheduled for Tuesday, January 29 at 9am (The Board of Trustees will serve as the Board of Assessors) and the Board considered scheduling a contiguous meeting for the purpose of reviewing the capital budget on that same morning. 

Village Attorney Litigation:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent Reported the Following:
· Guazzoni/Zgonena vs. The Village – Mr. Zgonena is the only remaining plantiff in this case.  There is a Federal Case, which they are not handling.  There is a settlement discussion underway and things are currently in limbo.  There has been no new billing on this case.
· Guinchard vs. The Village –.  This case has been concluded and discontinued.
· Cosmetica vs. Jennifer Billiu –The Village’s role in this case is over. 
· Madden vs The Village – This was an article 78 in which the Village prevailed and then Mr. Madden appealed.  Briefs have been submitted and they are awaiting an oral argument date, which could take a year or more.  The billing on this case to date is between $17-18,000.  There will be no further billing until the oral argument takes place.

Committee Reports:
On Behalf of the Lakes Committee, Jim Hays reported that the biometric map of Tuxedo Lake has been received.  Copies were subsequently distributed to the Board.  The committee believes that the map will be helpful as they move forward in developing a management plan for the lake.  They are also in a receipt of a proposal from lakes management company Princeton Hydro and will distribute this to the Board as soon as possible.  The committee feels that the proposal for study is very similar to what Princeton Hydro did back in 2009.  The estimated cost is $69,000.  Some of the committee members feel that there should be reduction in cost as some of the work will be redundant, but others believe that this is not the case since the lake has changed over time and there has been an increase in Milfoil and algae blooms along with new houses in the watershed and clearing along the shoreline. Regardless, what has been proposed at this time are studies only and the cost does not include any abatement or preventative measures.  The committee has also reached out to another, smaller firm called North East Aquatic Research.  N.E.A.R. would not do any of the abatement work (pulling/chemical treatments) either, but they would supervise these efforts and make recommendations to the Village as to who should be doing this kind of work, should the Board wish to proceed that way.  They have sent along some references including previous studies completed and the committee will assess these and compare them to what Princeton Hydro has proposed so that they can analyze the differences in approach and hopefully make a recommendation to the Board as to which would be better for the Village.  In the meantime they have invited somebody from N.E.A.R. to visit the Village and he will be coming on February 4, after which he will submit a formal proposal.   The Committee has also spent some time discussing what the action plan will be post-report.  Following the 2009 Princeton Hydro report, not much happened.  They feel this may have been because a schedule of action was never clearly laid out, but whatever the reason, they would like to avoid a similar fate this time around.  To this end, they are recommending that the Board establish a 5-10 year strategic plan, based on clearly established goals with measurable objectives.  It has been suggested that perhaps the plan could somehow be legislated in order to ensure that future Boards do not drop the ball, so to speak, however it is uncertain as to whether or not this can be done. 

Report by Town Board Member or Trustee Liaison:
Town Board member Michele Lindsay reported that the Town has been conducting workshops as they revise the zoning code to bring it in line with the updated Comprehensive Plan for Tuxedo. She encouraged everyone to go online to the Town’s website and review the Comprehensive Plan, which sets out a plan for the Town moving forward.  She feels that public participation during the hearings that will follow the zoning workshops is crucial.  In other news, the Town has adopted the Climate Smart Certification, which means that they will now undertake a number of actions culminating in certification for the Town.  As part of this initiative a task force has been formed. Village residents Jim Hays and Jane Garofano have joined her and Terryanne Gmelch on that force.  Additionally, the TUFSD will be assisting them with an energy audit of all the government buildings, creating a benchmark and completing a natural resource inventory.  Among other things, certification will make the Town eligible for numerous grants.
Claudio Guazzoni inquired about the ongoing initiative to turn the Town into a Village. 
Mrs. Lindsay responded that the Town Board cannot take the lead on this initiative, but there have been citizen groups that have formed and an informational meeting was held at the Eagle Valley Fire House two weeks ago.  520 signatures must be collected on a petition before the Town Board can formally get involved.  Once the petition has been presented to them, they can dive in and begin gathering information and pursuing legal input.   There are a number of individuals currently collecting signatures.  Some of these include Bonny Takeuchi, Shari Brooks and Janet Galushka. The consolidation would not merge the Town with the Village of Tuxedo Park.  The municipalities would continue to exist side-by-side, but the Town would become a new entity called a Town/Village.   Back when the petroleum pipeline was a threat, it was discovered that the State of New York affords certain powers and protections to cities and villages that towns do not have.  Consolidating in this way will allow Tuxedo these benefits moving forward.

Public Comments:
Resident and former part-time police officer for the Village Mike Coleman commented that he was very involved in volunteer government consulting and had done some consulting with past Village administrations.  To this end, he further commented that he had been receiving a lot of phone calls recently from community members in the Village of Monroe and the local Orange County Government inquiring about Chief Melchiore as they have heard that he was going to be working in Monroe fulltime.  Mr. Coleman does not know if this is true or not, but he has heard it from some very reliable sources.  As somebody who helped consult with the previous administration when Chief Melchiore was hired in the Village, he is aware that the contract stated specifically that Melchiore was filling a 4th fulltime position. The Village must have 4 fulltime positions filled or else they could be sanctioned.  Mr. Coleman wants to make sure that there is not going to be a conflict between the Village and Monroe should Chief Melchiore accept the fulltime position there.
Mayor McFadden acknowledged Mr. Coleman’s comment, further stating that the neither he nor the Board had had any conversations about this with the Chief and he hoped that Mr. Coleman had not been “stepping over the line” by publicly divulging the information.
Mr. Coleman responded that he was merely referencing phone calls he had been receiving from Civil Service and County Officials and as has not had any information to give them, he figured he would pass the concerns along to the Board.
Claudio Guazzoni inquired as to when the tentative assessment roll was due to come out.
The answer was February 1.
Mr. Guazzoni wondered then whether there would be a tax assessor and was informed that once again, similar to last year, the Board of Trustees would be functioning as a Board of Assessment. 
Mr. Guazzoni then wanted to know whether they would be receiving outside help from any consultants.
Trustee Gluck responded that the Board of Assessment had a staff consisting of a clerk and outside council as well as Mr. Ledwith, who would be functioning as a consultant to the Board. 
“So, Mr. Ledwith will be involved in the assessment roll for 2019?” inquired Mr. Guazzoni. 
“I would expect so,” replied Trustee Gluck.

Old Business:
Resolution – Revise – Vendor for Wee Wah Dam Auxiliary Spillway Capstone Dowels- The Board voted unanimously in favor of revising the approved vendor for the work done on the auxiliary spillway at the Wee Wah Dam in favor of ConCore Precision Inc., who completed the job on January 19 for $2,180.
Permits for Demolition, Clearing and Filling (Langdon Property) – After a somewhat lengthy discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of approving permits for demolition, clearing and filling on the Langdon property.

New Business:
Employee Manual – Mayor McFadden reported that as per previous discussions, Paychecks had submitted a proposal for creating the manual, which he had distributed the Board for review.  Trustee Gluck has also drafted an updated version of the manual.  Following some discussion it was determined that the Board would review Trustee Gluck’s draft prior to making a decision as to how they would proceed.
CHA Fees – The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the request from Engineers CHA for EWA (extra work authorization) #12B for the period November 14, 2018 through February 8, 2019 in an amount not to exceed $39,000.
Arias Consulting Engagements – Trustee Coen explained that the engagement up for discussion was the evaluation of the roles and responsibilities of the Village Clerk, Deputy Clerk and Clerk.  Cooper Arias was asked to provide the Village with an engagement letter proposal for a number of items related to evaluating these roles and responsibilities.  They will also be looking at the segregation of duties.  It is estimated that the total cost will not exceed $1,500.  This is part of the Villages’ response to the Comptroller Audit.  Following some discussion, it was determined that the conversation would be continued in executive session as there were some questions pertaining to specific employees.
Corrective Action Plan – Comptroller Audit- In November of 2018 the Village received a final audit report from the Comptroller’s office.  The process requires that the Village address the recommendations that the Comptroller made within the report.  There were a total of 8 recommendations dealing with segregation, procurement, issues relating to water billing, and IT.  The draft C.A.P. goes through each of these and addresses them accordingly.  The initial response to the Audit is on file in the Village office and the C.A.P. will also be on file once approved.  Policies supporting the Villages approach to some of the recommendations made were placed on the agenda for discussion as well.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the draft correction action plan.
Water Billing Policy- Trustee Coen briefly outlined some changes she had made to the draft policy.  Under the policy the water billing clerk will have the ability to adjust accounts up to $75. Above that two designated Trustees (currently Barnett and McHugh) have authority to adjust accounts up to a limit of $250.  Anything above that will come to the entire Board for review.  Following some discussion, the Board voted in favor of adopting the policy.  Mayor McFadden abstained, commenting for the record that he was doing so only because he had not read the most recent draft and not because he was opposed to adopting the policy.
Breech Notification Policy – Village Attorny Brian Nugent presented the Board with an updated Breech Notification Policy as prepared by his office, with revisions by Trustee Gluck.  Following a brief discussion, adoption of the policy was unanimously approved.
Policies on Segregation and Procurement – These were tabled.  It was noted that the current policies would remain in place until replaced with the revised ones.
Announce Village Grievance Day – Mayor McFadden announced that Village Grievance Day will take place on Tuesday, February 19 from 5pm – 9pm.
2019-2020 Tentative Assessment Roll – The 2019-2020 Tentative Assessment Roll is due to be completed by February 1.  The Board has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, January 29 to discuss. 

Public Comments:
Meg Vaught noted that it seemed that at every Board meeting over the course of the last 6-9 months, the Board was either accepting the resignation of or appointing new part time police officers.  She wondered whether there was anything the Village could do to promote or encourage longevity within their police force.  The turnover is so great that it is next to impossible for community members to form any sort of relationship with the people who are protecting them.
Mayor McFadden responded that he agreed 100%.  High turnover not only made it difficult for the residents to get to know the officers, but it was difficult for the Village to manage and resulted in a lot of extra time being spent by officers scheduling and doing basic human resources work.  The Village is in a variety of meetings with the Chief with regard to a variety of things and this is definitely something he would like to bring up. 
Brian Nugent commented that he had worked in law enforcement for 20 years with part-timers and that sometimes it was just the nature of the part-time beast that these employees were ultimately looking for full time work and that the part-time employment ended up being shorter in duration as a result.   He suggested that they might want to consider exploring whether the part-timers were leaving because they didn’t like working in the Village or if it was because the found full time employment elsewhere.
Mrs. Vaught responded that she understood that it might not be as cost effective but all the same she wondered whether it would make sense to reduce the number of part time officers and replace them with full time people.
Mayor McFadden noted that he had discussed this with Trustee Gluck and they were looking at it.  The change was initially made because of budgetary concerns in terms of pension costs.  4 full time officers would cover all the shifts.
Trustee McHugh noted that the Board had more recently formalized the process by which they accept resignations by instituting a public vote, which had not previously been done.  The situation may well appear more dire as a result of the votes.  He added that the Trustees had worked with the Chief to address turnover concerns with part-timers and these officers were now reimbursing the Village for their training costs, so the taxpayers are not out of pocket for these expenses.
The Mayor suggested that Mrs. Vaught was primarily concerned with the issue of community policing and he was focused on this as well, although he agreed that the Village had moved on a number of actions to offset the costs that come along with it.
Claudio Guazzoni wondered whether the Board might consider holding Trustee meetings on Saturday mornings in order to allow more participation from the weekend community.
Mayor McFadden responded that as volunteers who worked very hard, all of the Trustees valued their weekend time.  He agreed that it would be nice to have more participation from the weekend community though and as a solution suggested that he would like to begin live streaming the monthly meetings, which would allow folks to either watch from home, or access them at a later date for viewing. 

Map for I &I: John Ledwith commented that the he and the Planning Board and Trustee Gluck had been discussing having the Village Engineer put together an enhanced map of data to be used for the I&I plan and by the Planning Board.  The estimated cost is $1,500.  Following a brief discussion, the Board voted unanimously in favor of commissioning the map.

Tree Advisory Board: The Board voted unanimously in favor of appointing Christopher Gow as Chair of the Tree Advisory Board for a term of 3 years.  Simultaneously, they voted in favor of making former Chair, Chiu Yin Hempel a member of the TAB, as Mrs. Hempels’ term as Chair has expired.

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Agenda for Village Board of Trustees Meeting January 23, 2019

Click here to view the agenda.

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Village Board of Trustees Meeting December 17, 2018

The Village Board of Trustees met on Monday, December 17 at 7pm.  Trustee McHugh attended from Florida via Skype.
 
Mayor’s Comments:
Mayor McFadden thanked everyone for rearranging their schedules to allow for the date change of the meeting.  He then reported that an entertainment company has made an offer on the Tuxedo Farms property and is proposing to build an amusement park, which will contain many buildings and employ up to 1,800 people.   He has three main concerns with this:

  • Light pollution
  • Potential noise pollution
  • Security (opportunities for nonresidents to enter the Village through the woods)

He is hopeful that these potential issues can and will be mitigated during the SEQRA process.

Department Reports:
Police – Chief Melchiore reported the following for the month of November:
Non-Criminal Complaints – 345
Criminal Complaints- 3
Property Damage/Motor Vehicle Accidents – 3
Arrests – 2
Traffic Tickets – 11
Traffic Warnings - 2
Intrusion Alarms – 3
Fire Alarms – 4
Medical Calls – 2
Assists Given to the Town of Tuxedo Police – 2
Assists Received from the Town of Tuxedo Police – 1
Miles Patrolled – 2,352
Additionally, approximately 1,100 cars entered the Village via the Front Gate per day.
Trustee Coen inquired as to whether or not any weapons had been discharged.  The answer was no.
Trustee Gluck wanted to know if the department was keeping track of the traffic warnings issued.  The answer was yes.
DPW – Superintendent Voss was not present, however Building Inspector John Ledwith gave the report in his absence.  The department has been keeping busy with continued leaf pick-up and drain clearing.  The roads were plowed and salted on November 15 and 16.  The road leading to the Mountain Farm pump station was also repaired.  Finally, they have begun installing some of the hardware for the recycling  system at the sewer plant.
Meg Vaught inquired as to how long  it would take to get the recycling system at the sewer plant up and running, noting that the Board had been discussing the project for almost a year. 
Mr. Ledwith responded that it had taken a while to obtain all of the necessary parts and that there is also some plumbing that needs to be done.  They are hopeful that it will be ready to go by the beginning of January.  Trustee McHugh added that the flows going through the treatment plant had been too high and therefore, a period of dry weather was necessary before the system could be installed.
Water Department – Meter reading for the 4th quarter has begun.  This will take approximately two weeks.  There was an issue with the low lift pump at the water plant.  An electrician was called in and ultimately a new pump has been ordered.  A chemical feed hose at the chemical pump located in the Mountain Farm pump station was replaced.  A hydrant on Fox Hill Road was flushed.  The water plant underwent its annual inspection during the month of November and everything is running well, however  they did receive a secondary report with some “ancillary items” that have to be attended to relative to the heating system.  Additionally, a boiler was replaced. 
Building Department – Click here to read a copy of the Building Department report.
Resolution – Accept Resignation of Part Time Police Officer – The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the resignation of Ken Sanford effective November 26, 1018.
Resolution – Declare Police Department Guns as Surplus – The Board voted unanimously in favor of declaring 12 Gen-3 Glock 21 45 caliber guns as surplus.  These will be replaced with an equal number of Gen- 5 Glock 17 9 millimeter guns.  The surplus guns will be purchased by department officers at the price of the new Glocks and, therefore, there will be no expense to the department for the new guns.

Trustee Reports:
Trustee Barnett – Drawing everyone’s attention to two hand-outs entitled 2018-2019 General Fund Budget Update and Profit & Loss YTD Comparison, Trustee Barnett explained that the public presentation of this data was part of an ongoing effort to keep the public informed of Village financials and to collect their feedback.  The sheets were reviewed in some detail.  In brief, the Village has spent roughly 54% of their budget to date.  With only $200,000 budgeted, Trustee Barnett feels that they are not spending nearly enough on infrastructure and maintenance.  Employee benefits, including pensions, account for roughly ¼ of the total budget at $1,019,402.
Rich Witte inquired as to whether or not anyone had considered what might happen 20 years down the line as more employees retire and new ones are brought on.  He expressed concern that $1 million would quickly turn into 1.5 and then 2 million.
The Trustees agreed that this was a valid concern as health care costs go up 10 to 15% a year and pensions and salaries continue to rise as well.  Eventually, these costs will become unsustainable for the residents.  Mayor McFadden noted that this was something they were currently working on with the accountant as part of their capital planning. 
Trustee Gluck – Reporting on the Town, Trustee Gluck commented that the Town Board was actually holding a meeting simultaneous to their own that evening.  Items on their agenda included a public hearing on a proposal to transfer the duties of the Architectural Review Board to the Planning Board and subsequently dissolve the ARB.  Stating that he did not know what the outcome of the hearing would be, or whether it would be continued, Trustee Gluck encouraged residents to familiarize themselves with the issue as there might still be time for comment.  State Senator Elect Jen Metzger visited Tuxedo on Saturday, December 8.  In addition to several other things, she spoke about the impossibility of continuing along a path of mandated State benefits and the need to get relief to local jurisdictions in order to deal with this. 
The Town budget was adopted.  It does not appear to call for any significant increases.  Additionally, the Moodys rating on the Town debt has changed from negative outlook to positive outlook, which is a significant accomplishment.
Trustee Coen – Trustee Coen has been busy working on several projects.  With regard to the Wildlife Management Policy, she reported that she and Chief Melchiore have been in conversations with the Department of Health and are still waiting for them to put together protocol in the form of an FAQ.
Beginning in January, the Board will be conducting Capital Project Workshops.  These will be public meetings where they will review and prioritize infrastructure projects to be worked on over the next 5 to 10 years with estimated costs based on feedback from department heads.
Finally, she and Mayor McFadden met with the accountant/auditor and inquired whether the firm could supply a monthly or quarterly summary of actual spends vs. budgeted funds and where the Village stands, alerting them if there is anything they need to be concerned about in terms of either over or under-spending.  The firm does provide this service for many municipalities.  The cost is anywhere from $1000-1,500 per month.  They also inquired as to whether the firm might be able to do a “deep dive” into the administrative department to include evaluating the efficiency of how the Village has set up procedures and making some recommendations as to those procedures as well as the employee workload and the segmentation/delegation of duties.  The cost of this service would be $1000-$1,500.  Part of the motivation for this service comes from the recent Comptrollers report and the need for the Village to evaluate the segmentation of duties.
Trustee McHugh expressed a desire to see some specific examples of similar work that the firm had done in other communities as well as some more data prior to moving ahead with the service.  Following a somewhat lengthy discussion, it was agreed that more data would be amassed for Trustee review.
Trustee McHugh – With regard to the lakes and lake management, Trustee McHugh reported that the final report encompassing the lake surveys and chemistry is expected in January and will be made available via the Village website.  The Wee Wah dam project is 99% complete.  There continues to be an issue with the operation of a knife gate valve from the ledge of the spillway.  They are working on crafting a solution and getting the contractor to recognize what is wanted so that they can move forward.  They have begun drawing the lake down a bit for the winter months.  The levels will come down by approximately 4 and ½ feet.  6 to 12 inches of concrete will be visible on the auxiliary spillway. 

 Village Attorney Litigation:
Village Attorney Brian Nugent reported the following:

  • 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 $11,000.
  • Guinchard vs. The Village – This is a challenge to the dismissal of a SCAR proceeding.  This case has been concluded. Total cost to the Village $7,500 in total.
  • Cosmetica vs. Jennifer Billiu –The Village’s role in this case is over.   
  • Zgonena vs. The Village – This was a